Ruger SR1911 “Made In The USA”

| October 22, 2011 | 15 Comments

In the 100th Year Birthdate of the 1911 many manufacturers have decided to test their skills at entering the 1911 market. At the beginning of 2011 many internet forums and gun magazines were a buzz asking and speculating if Ruger would enter the 1911 market. Though a crowded market many felt the reputation of Ruger behind a 1911 would win many hearts. Ruger known for it’s well made stout revolvers and no thrills but always reliable semi-auto’s decided to make this leap into the 1911 market, and they did it with a big bang (no pun intended, well maybe a little). Upon the first site of the Ruger SR 1911 my breath was taken away and my heart won. I looked high and low scouring the internet many late nights looking to get my hands on this stainless steel sleek beauty. The 1911 100 year old design is a beauty in itself and I never thought Ruger could produce such a specimen. I love Ruger firearms but they are not known for their beauty, they are known for their reliability and strength, just place this matte stainless finished SR1911 next to a Super Redhawk and you will understand. One of the most important facts which won my heart is the fact that this 1911 is Made Completely in the USA in Rugers casting facility, unlike many US based companies importing frames from Brazil and other parts of the world. After countless hours I managed to get my hands on this beauty in Oct 2011 after almost giving up hope, I also understand Ruger is about 30,000 behind in orders at this time which shows there is a very big demand for the SR1911. Though no one at Ruger would confirm this number for me.

Welcome to the initial 250 round range review of the Ruger SR 1911.

I told you all this pistol is attractive, with it’s matte stainless finish on the slide and frame with black finished accents Beavertail Grip Safety, Slide Stop, Mainspring Housing and Thumb Safety makes this one of the most attractive stainless 1911’s on the market. As you can see Ruger shy’d away from many add on features you often see on a lot of 1911’s today. You won’t find a Tactical Rail, Ambi-Safety or front slide serrations. For the most part Ruger stayed with the original John Moses Browning blueprint when designing this beauty. Though most of the SR1911 is original you won’t find the swartz system firing pin block at all on this 1911. Most 1911’s utilize the swartz model 70 type system which utilizes the grip safety to disengage the firing pin block or some have gone to the series 80 system which has never won the hearts of the true 1911 fanatics. In fact Ruger went with no firing pin block at all instead utilizing a light titanium firing pin with a heavy firing pin spring. Though this setup passes the industry standard drop test, it will be interesting to see how the California market receives it or not since there is no firing pin block or loaded indicator.

As shown in the picture above the SR1911 comes with some very nice Cocobolo grips, very nice with the Ruger logo centered. I plan to acquire these to enhance it’s beauty and feel even more.

The Ruger SR1911 is packaged inside of a white cardboard box with most of the normal accessories one would expect to find, a very detailed manual, bushing barrel wrench, fired casing, two magazines one 7 round and one 8 round. But Ruger goes a little further by including a nice black gun rug with the Ruger name embroidered on the outside. Most intriguing to me is the very large red and white card stating if you register your firearm online with Ruger you will receive a some sort of special offer. I did place a call to Ruger to try and find out what this special offer was only to be told in a very nice polite way register your firearm and find out what the surprise is. So if anyone knows or cares to share what the surprise is let us know.

When John Moses Browning created the 1911 there is no doubt he created the best fighting handguns of all times as evident by its 100 year anniversary and still selling strong. As we have seen there is no doubt Ruger did an outstanding job on the fit and finish on the SR1911 but is it capable of continuing the 1911 legacy? Let’s start with the SR1911 field stripped after our 250 round range evaluation.

As seen in the picture above the SR1911 comes with Browning’s original short guide rod, plunger and bushing. There have been many debates and friendships ended over the topic of the full length guide rod. Many argue the full length guide rod adds great accuracy and those on the other side argue a full length guide rod brings about unreliability. I was one who once argued against full length guide rod’s most foolishly because Mr. Browning knew what he was doing, and if a 1911 was supposed to have a FLGR then he would have included it. I know now from experience that if manufactured and put together right a full length guide rod 1911 is just as reliable as can be seen in some of the 1911 reports on this site. During Rugers manufacturing process it mills the barrel and bushing all from the same steel bar stock which assist with ensuring a better fit. As can be seen in this photo as well the skeletonized trigger breaks at a smooth 5 pounds according to my RCBS trigger gauge.

The barrel to bushing fit is not the only tight fit pieces of the SR1911. The SR1911 also has one of the best slide to frame fits I have seen on mass produced 1911’s, not only is it tight it is very square as John Moses Browning intended it to be. Some 1911’s may have a tight fit but you may notice round corners on the frame when examining them from the rear, not the SR1911. As also can be seen the SR1911 comes with LoProfile 2 dot rear site.

The front site is a white dot Loprofile novak based site.

Though very functional and easily seen in my range testing I am having thoughts about changing it out for Ruger’s fiber optic site.

The Beavertail grip safety also is nicely fitted and very smooth when activating.

Having spent 3/4’s of the time commenting on the great sleek beautiful lines of SR1911 this review would be greatly insufficient if we do not comment on it’s fighting and defensive capabilities. Is the Ruger SR1911 worthy of continuing on the legacy of arguably the best fighting handgun the world has ever known?

All test were conducted at an indoor range utilizing 100 rounds of Winchester white box ammunition and 150 rounds of my reloaded ammunition utilizing X-treme 230gr round nose projectiles. The winchester white box was utilized to break in the SR1911 and the reloads were used for accuracy testing. Though I am very excited to report there were no malfunctions during this evaluation.

This target was shot with 5 rounds at 7 yards with a two hand unassisted hold, with the point of aim being the letter D2 center of the head.

This Target was shot with 5 rounds at 10 yards with two hand unassisted hold, with the point of aim being the lettering K5 D2 in the groin area of the target.

This target was shot with 5 rounds at 15 yards with two hand unassisted hold, with the point of aim being the lettering 5x center mass.

I assure you the Ruger SR1911 is way more accurate than I. Here lately in a number of my reviews and shooting I notice I have been pushing the trigger left versus having a steady slow pull straight to the rear. I continue to work to try and understand and figure out why I have started this all of a sudden.

The last two targets were 8inch targets shot at 25 yards. The first target was shot slow fire with the 8 round magazine.

This last target I wanted to experiment a little with speed and sight acquisition. I loaded both magazines with 5 rounds a piece, ran the target out to 25 yards with the intent of utilizing rapid fire and a reload. I was going to attempt to pull the trigger as fast as the SR1911 would recover on target and my eyes could clearly see the front sight.

So ask yourself would you want to be a bad guy looking down the barrel of the SR1911? Though only 250 rounds were fired I believe Ruger has proved itself as a viable 1911 builder. Their first endeavor the SR1911 has proved capable of continuing the tradition of the best fighting handgun this world has seen in 100 years. Ruger is making their mark as innovators in the firearms industry with introductions of the LCP and LCR. With the introduction of the SR1911 Ruger has carried forward tradition which gives the 1911 purist an affordable, beautiful firearm to treat themselves to in celebrating with the rest of us the 100th year birthdate of the 1911.

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15 Comments on "Ruger SR1911 “Made In The USA”"

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  1. Walt Kuleck says:

    The “surprise” is 20% off your order at, up to $100 (max $20 off).



  2. admin says:

    Thank you Walt I think I better register and order those grips and front sight.

  3. barrym says:

    Unfortunately, those of us in Kalifornia won’t be able to acquire this beauty, unless you are an LEO, or want to go through the cost and hassle of the ‘single shot exemption’. CA now requires all pistols not currently on the approved roster to have a magazine disconnect, which isn’t feasible to add to the M1911 without a major firing group redesign. Sigh….

  4. Dann in Ohio says:

    Nice review, I’ve had good results myself…

    I picked up a couple of more 8-round mags and some of Ruger’s rubber Hogue grip panels for my SR1911…

    Dann in Ohio

  5. North says:

    Thank you for the review!

    I added you to the Gun Blog Black List at

  6. John says:

    I have had mine for about a month and 700+ rounds. No failures and as accurate as some of my 1911s @ 1/2 the price. Ruger has a winner here.

  7. Jeff says:

    As accuarate a 1911 out of the box that you’ll ever find! Good fitting all around it. Cycles beautifully even at rapid fire! Take down is fine. For my money, it’s as fine a shooter as my far more expensive Kimber and Wilson Combat!

  8. Joe says:

    The special gift is a 20% discount on your next order from their store.

  9. Dan B says:

    I was luck to have been able to purchase the Ruger SR1911; since everyone else I know who wants one is on a waiting list to get one, and has been on the list for quite some time I shot my SR1911 at the range 3 times and although I shout some 230 grain factory hollow point an some 200 grain factory HP loads, mostly I shot my 230 grain FMJ reloads using 5.6 grains of Winchster 231 (also same as HP38) powder. Thus far this gun has shot 100% as far as reliability. It is also a very accurate shooter. I also have a Taurus PT1911, with a full lenght guide rod and ambidextrous thumb safety. I shoot the Taurs VERY wll also. I just wanted to own a 1911 that was made 100% in the USA and now I have one. I don’t plan on parting with either of these 1911 pistols, since both function flawlessly and are both beautiful and both very accurate. I will say that the Ruger is a little easier to disassemble since I don’t have to use a barrel bushing wrench, since the Ruger does NOT have the full lenght guide rod. I can use my thumb and hands to take apart and re-assemble it easily. If I had to, I could do the same with the Taurus, but the barrel bushing wrench makes it much easier. NOW I would like to know WHEN RUGER WILL COME OUT WITH A COMMANDER SIZE 1911? (I hope, I hope). Thanks for your write-up and reveiw.

  10. Gary says:

    I just received my SR1911 after months of “special order”. It was worth the wait. Fit and finish, trigger, functionality is superb. Accuracy out of the box is excellent, functioning is 100% with my cast H&G 68 handloads. Price in Pittsburgh, PA was $699; for a made in America product with no issues at all, that’s a bargain. I seem to accumulate 1911’s and the SR1911 is my 10th one; I can’t believe that this pistol was so reasonable. I have custon 1911’s (Brown, Wilson etc), military ones (Colt, Rem, Singer) and a few with American-sounding names that are made overseas….if I had to thin the heard, the SR1911 would be one of the last to go.

  11. buckeye49 says:

    I also waited and finally was able to purchase the Ruger SR1911. I have several Ruger guns and have had others over the years. I first saw the SR1911 at the NRA Convention and show in Pittsburgh in the Spring of 2011 and immediately told myself I wanted one. For 3 reasons, primarily: 1) I wanted a 1911 made 100% in the USA; 2) I wanted a Stainless finished 1911; 3) I wanted to buy one made in 2011, on the 100th anniversary of the original 1911 coming out. I have fired both my reloads (230 grain FMJ ball ammo) and some self-defense factory hollow points through the gun without any issues whatsoever as far as function or reliability, and it is pretty accurate to boot. The grips did loosen up some so I put a little bi to fthe blue colored lock-tight on them to hold them in place. I really like this gun and have just bought a beautiful leather brown holster for it and it looks really good with the wood grips on the Ruger. One thing that really bugs me though is that their seems to be an inordinate amount of space opening for the grip safety. When gripping the gun you can actually hear the grip safety rattle, although it seems to be connected well. However, the opening cut in the frame for the grip safety seems a little too large and levaes what I would call a tiny bit of slop in the fit. When S&W first came out with their stainless 1911 I bought one and it wsa tight as far as finish everywhere on the gun; too tight in my opinion. I sold it, and whished I had not. A few years ago I purchased a Taurus PT1911 45acp pistol and I am amazed at the fit tolerances on it. Everythng fits so well. But, then I understand one of their selling points is that the parts of each of their 1911’s is hand fitted to the rest of the parts and each part has its own serial number so that they stary together throughtout the mfg. process. When comparing the Ruger to my Taurus 1911 I a have to admit that in my opinion the Taurus is a better fit gun and is actually more accurate for me to shoot. I have not read where any one else has had this too large of opening on their SR1911 for the grip safety. But, I would like to know. Since the pistol seems to function perfectily, I have hesitated to call Ruger about sending it back. I dont’ know how they would fix the fit issue unless they replace the actual frame itselt. Any comments or feedback about this are aprecitated. Thanks, “buckeye49”. (That is the year I was born :).

  12. Stacy says:

    I’v had mine since May of 2011. If fact the SN in the photos of the owners manuel is higher than the one on my pistol. That said I love it. The trigger is nice…for “out of the box” trigger. I’v shot a lot of bowling pin comps with it and it kicks butt. I still get beat by the guy who doesn’t know he can’t shoot that fast, but that ain’t my guns fault. I’d recomend one to anyone wanting a 1911. The only thing I’v changed on mine is the mainspring housing. I put in a Colt Gov. arched with loop. I like a arched housing so the flat one went in the Ruger box with the lock. This is a nice pistol that I’m proud to own.

  13. Anthony Smith says:

    Thanks to everyone for your post and comments. I stumble upon an SR 1911 at my favorite gun store yesterday . I went in to put a Springfield two tone 1911 on layaway . I was a day to late. I looked at a Kimber and the salesman showed me the Sr 1911. It was the last of two that the store had received. Not anymore. Beautiful weapon. It will be home next to my Springfield XDM 45, and S&W M&P 40 in a couple of months. thanks again.

  14. Wayne Richards says:

    Nice review on a very nice gun. Now comes the NRA police firearms instructor in me… You are obviously capable of shooting proficiency. When you identified your target as the “D2”, and others you cited, you also identified a very serious basic marksmanship deficiency, however. If you could see the discreet lettering on those silhouette targets at any range, you could not simultaneously see the sharp, clear sight picture that is elemental to fine marksmanship. In pistol marksmanship above all other firearms, owing to the short sight radius, you must resolve the sight picture, with visual acuity centered upon the front sight, paramount. The image of the target will be diminished and grayed to a degree, but you will not sacrifice any tactical awareness of your target. In practice, you will learn to focus on your target until your trigger starts rearward, at which time your focus will go to the sights. It happens in an instant. But, NEVER focus while shooting at anything but your sight picture, lest everything be lost.

  15. admin says:


    Thank you for the feedback, I clearly understand sight alignment and sight picture. Having looked at the target while putting/hanging it up I knew exactly where these point of aims should have been.

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