Another Forty-Five Faceoff: Ruger SR45 vs. Glock 21

The Ruger SR45 and the Glock 21 are big pistols and hard to hide. In cold parts of the country where owners bundle up like they’re ready to harpoon a few seals, either pistol would be somewhat concealable, at least until the parkas come off. In warm weather with no outerwear to disguise the guns, either pistol would be as obtrusive as a Class III goiter. They’re both heavy, too. So, is bigger better? Do we really want to carry oversized, non-concealable .45s? And if we do want gigantic hoglegs dangling from our duty belts, do we want either of these?

Point and Counterpoint

We compare every other handgun to a Glock because almost every other handgun is a Glock. The Austrian Empire (by way of Smyrna, Georgia) dominates the American handgun market the way Ella Kros dominates Tel Aviv. Because it’s Nummer eins in sales, there are plenty of other firearms manufacturers who would like nothing better than to snip the tip off Glock’s prodigious market share. The most common competitive tactic is to try to make a gun that’s kinda sorta like a Glock, rather than trying something original. Such an approach usually fails. People who want a Glock usually buy a Glock, not a Glock clone.

To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, “New gun companies imitate; established gun companies steal.” Ruger, an established gun company, did neither in this case. The SR45 is as different from the Glock 21 as Metallica is from Mendelssohn. To put it mildly, the SR45 isn’t your daddy’s Glock 21. It’s a whole different pistol.

Starting with the appearance. The SR45 comes in two trim packages: basic black or brushed stainless. Our tester was dressed in brushed stainless, and looks sharp. The Glock 21 comes in any color you want as long as it’s Tenifer black, has all the style of a 1972 Volvo. Advantage Ruger.

 

Next: the handles. The G21’s stock is as blocky and bricky as all its siblings. If anything, it’s a bit pudgier to accommodate the staggered stacks of thirteen large cartridges. Glock’s Gen4 iteration (not shown) with its swappable back straps ameliorates the clumsiness of the handle to some extent. But handling the G21 is still not unlike holding a toaster.

The SR45 comes straight from Rugerville with a reversible rubber backstrap.

Changing the handle from monstrous to manageable requires knocking out a pin, easing the backstrap from the channel that holds it in place and flipping it over. Reversing the removal process changes the feel of the handle dramatically. It’s a small change that yields big dividends.

It takes longer to read about it than it does to do it. Since the backstrap always stays with the handle, there’s no losing it. That’s good. What’s bad is that rake of the handle. It’s just too upright. Advantage Ruger, but a small advantage. If Glock ever gives the G21 the Gen4 treatment, the SR45’s advantage in the backstrap department might be reversed.

 Ruger SR45 courtesy The Truth About Guns

The G21 mags in non-capacity limit locales hold thirteen rounds. Ruger opted for ten-round magazines everywhere for reasons best known only to Ruger. On the premise that more is better, advantage Glock.

The G21 is also four ounces lighter than the SR45 when empty. It’s a small difference but certainly perceptible. Maybe the SR45 is as overbuilt as the rest of the Ruger handgun line, or maybe not. Advantage Glock? Perhaps.

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Then there’s the field-stripping process. To clean many striker-fired pistols, it’s necessary to pull the trigger to disengage the sear. That’s one important reason why there are a disproportionate number of negligent discharges when cleaning striker-fired pistols.

An ordered universe depends on rules. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs? The one rule to rule all rules — the Golden Rule if you will — is to keep one’s freakin’ finger off the freakin’ trigger until the sights are on the target and the shooter’s ready to, you know, shoot. Not ready to clean, ready to shoot.

Yeah, I know that poor gun design is no excuse for an ND, but so what. Glock forces all of its owners to disregard a basic rule of firearms safety, and I consider that to be a design defect.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Some manufacturers are making their guns safer by making the owners safer, and this should be applauded. In pleasant contrast to the Glock 21, the Ruger SR45 does not require hazarding an ND to render the gun cleanable.

 

An SR45 owner simply presses a small internal sawtooth lever to disconnect the sear, then pushes out the generously-sized takedown pin, et viola! That slide will come off faster than a stripper’s underwear at a frat party. Big advantage, Ruger.

 

Last but not least, there are the safety features. The SR45 has an active safety to go along with its passive ones, while the G21 has plenty of passive safeties. Shooters who want their duty piece to have an active safety will reach for the Ruger, while those who hate safeties will gravitate to the Glock.

And then there are the annoying touches that Ruger seems to lavish on its pistols: the “LOADED WHEN UP” chamber indicator; the cocking indicator that points the back of the firing pin at the shooter’s face; and who doesn’t love Ruger’s constant admonition to “READ THE MANUAL.” The only thing missing is “YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT.” Really, would you want to go to the range with Ralphie Parker’s mom?

Still, when all is said and done, guns are made for shooting. So how do they shoot?

The Shootout

With the current ammunition extinction now in full swing, I was relegated to shooting whatever I could lay my hands on. I scrounged fifty rounds of classy JHP ammo left over from a prior test, but most of the test shooting was performed with junky range ammo.

As we all know, a gun’s trigger is critical to accuracy. We were warned about the SR45’s trigger in the TTAG review last month. “[T]he SR45′s trigger has no appreciable breaking point. At some point in the squeezing process the thing just goes off.”

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After slow-firing my first 50 rounds with the SR45, I agreed. Indubitably. There was a bit of light take up and kaboom! Without warning, the thing went off like The Forty Year Old Virgin on his wedding night.

The indistinct trigger was disconcerting at first. Due to the complete absence of any tactile feedback during the trigger press, accuracy was more a myth than a rumor. Disgusted with the pistol and my own mediocre shooting performance, I fired off a burst of five as fast as I could in the general direction of the target. Lo and behold, the trigger that once seemed as vague as a Mitt Romney campaign speech exhibited impeccable rapid-fire manners.

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Blazing away with the Glock produced groups that were more difficult to maintain and not as well-centered. I could manage fine accuracy, but not at the same tempo as with the SR45. The issues were recoil and the trigger. Compared to the SR45, the G21’s felt recoil seemed a bit heavier, and the trigger pull was longer.

Here’s a representative 7-yard rapid fire target. The Ruger hits are labeled “R”, the Glock hits with “G.” Duh.

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The Ruger spread and the Glock spread were consistently comparable, in this case at around 2 3/8”. Neither gun would shoot groups tighter than the current ammo supply, but both were pretty accurate. Still, the SR45 was a lot easier to shoot rapidly. Not that the Glock was a slouch in the rapid fire exercise. The Ruger just did its business quicker.

It took a few more boxes of ammo to finally get the feel of the Ruger trigger, and when I did, I grew to like it a lot. Here’s a 7-yard target after slow-firing five from the SR45, offhand with a Weaver stance. It’s about a 1” group with three basically in the same hole.

 

Although the gun is heavy, it handles well even with one hand. Here’s the same target “filled in” with five more single-handed shots with no support. There’s one “flyer” at 9:00. Considering the entire target is only 3 1/4” across, that flyer is more like a semi-flyer. The rest of the second five went into the same cluster as the first five.

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The SR45’s trigger was like borsht – the more I tried it, the more I liked it. Shooting offhand at 25 yards, the groups opened up as one might expect, but accuracy was still fine. The G21 is also a capable handgun, but it required more attention to maintain the same degree of accuracy at 25 yards, and benefitted from a slightly more deliberate presentation.

Likes and Dislikes

So what’s hot and what’s not about these big service pistols? First, the SR45 has that sneaky trigger that rudely disguises its intention to fire. A shooter will either hate that or love it. I started out hating it, but it grew on me once I was able to feel — or possibly intuit — where the sear trips.

The articulated safety in the blade of the SR45’s trigger initially felt like pressing the edge of a butter knife. I didn’t get used to it so much as I just forgot about it. What I liked the most about the SR45 was the short trigger pull and a reset that was as clicky as an all-girls high school (yeah, I know it’s spelled differently).

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The G21 was every inch a Glock. What I liked best about it was the consistency of Glock firearms. Once you’ve shot one Glock, you’ve pretty much shot them all. That’s a good thing. Like every other Glock, the G21’s trigger was as mushy as a month old avocado, but the pull was reasonably light and I never had to wonder when the pistol would go boom. Perfection it isn’t, but the G21 is still a good gun.

Neither the SR45 nor the G21 will do for concealed carry. They are big, bulky pistols, best suited to OWB carry in open carry situations, or on-duty carry for LEOs and armed mall cops. Either pistol would be a fine choice for those limited roles.

Strictly as a range toy or nightstand comforter, the SR45 is hard to beat. Just keep it away from new shooters.

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The SR45 for this review was provide by The Kentucky Gun Company

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Ruger Specifications:

Model: Ruger SR45
Caliber: .45ACP
Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
Materials: Brushed stainless steel slide and glass-filled nylon frame
Weight empty: 30.15 ounces
Barrel Length: 4.5″
Overall length: 8.0″
Sights: Three dot “combat style,” rear adjustable for windage and elevation
Action: Striker fired
Finish: Two tone
Price: $529 MSRP

Ruger Ratings (out of five stars):

Style * * * *
The Ruger’s two-tone look is more appealing and less threatening than the hardcore gangsta version. Because concealment isn’t much of an issue, the flashy slide is no detriment. Like the Fiat 500 Abarth, the SR45 looks more expensive than it is. It’s also about the same size.

Ergonomics (carry) * *
A good duty holster and reinforced gun belt is a must. Carried openly, it’s comfortable despite its weight. Stuffed into an IWB holster at my preferred 4 o’clock position, it was as comfortable as a kidney stone.

Ergonomics (firing) * * * *
The reversible back strap worked well, completely transforming the handle and accommodating my medium-sized hands. The trigger is very much a love it or leave it affair. I loved it, but in this I may be a solitary voice in the wilderness. The handle needs more rake. The sights are excellent. During rapid fire, there was some recoil, but the pistol came back to target faster than a fat guy to a buffet line.

Reliability * * * * *
Flawless. I was unable to make the Ruger wet the bed.

Customize This * * *
It has a rail, so feel free to make the pistol even heavier by adding lights, lasers, an MP4 player or an industrial-sized rare earth magnet. The aftermarket for Ruger semi-automatics is not robust.

Overall * * * *
Anyone contemplating the purchase of the SR45 would be well advised to check out the trigger first.

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Glock Specifications:

Model: Glock G21
Caliber: .45ACP
Magazine capacity: 13 rounds
Materials: Stainless steel slide and Melonite® barrel, polymer frame
Weight empty: 26.46 ounces
Barrel Length: 4.6″
Overall length: 8.22″
Sights: Fixed plastic front and rear
Action: Striker fired Safe Action®
Finish: Black Tenifer slide, black frame
Price: $687 MSRP

Glock Ratings (out of five stars):

Style * *
Glock doesn’t do style. Based on the popularity of Glock pistols, their lack of style might even be a selling point.

Ergonomics (carry) * * *
It’s big and looks like it would be heavier, but the G21 is lighter than the Ruger SR45 and feels it. I’d rather shove a carpet knife inside my pants then carry this pistol IWB, but stuff it in a duty holster and you’re GTG.

Ergonomics (firing) * * *
The brobdingnagian handle will not fit small and medium hands. The G21’s trigger is fairly light but as squishy as grandma’s sponge cake. Recoil is quite controllable, but there was more of it than I wanted.

Reliability * * * * *
The G21 tester sported Glock’s trouble-free traditional Recoil Spring Assembly, rather than the trouble-prone Gen4 RSA. As expected, there were no reliability issues.

Customize This * * * * *
With its accessory rail and an aftermarket that’s ready, willing and able to sell any doodad that money can buy, the G21 is almost as customizable as an AR.

Overall * * * *
The G21 is the Charles P. Dutton of handguns – it’s big, bulky and a very solid performer. Unfortunately, the G21 has all the charm and visual appeal of a primitive farm implement.

93 Responses to Another Forty-Five Faceoff: Ruger SR45 vs. Glock 21

  1. avatarJoshinGA says:

    Glock wins because the Ruger has an external safety. Why complicate the process when your life truly depends on things going smoothly?

    • avatarmofo says:

      If the safety is such a big deal, couldn’t you just carry the Ruger with the safety off?

      • avatarJoshinGA says:

        What if the safety snags on something and engages itself?

        • avatarRightYouAreKen says:

          If it’s anything like the safety on my LC9, it’s very stiff to engage, much easier to disengage. It’s not easy to click on and off like a 1911.

        • avatartdiinva says:

          That can’t happen on a 1911 because you click up to engage the safety so when you draw the pressure on the safety if it snags is in the direction that deactivates the safety. I guess that could happen on an M-9 since Beretta chose to engage the safety with a downward push.

          Sounds like you don’t have much experience with guns that have safeties.

        • avatarKvjavs says:

          Judging from the ones I’ve handled, the SR series has a very stiff safety to engage. To disengage the safety, it’s not so stiff.

          I don’t get why people cry about there being an external safety on a firearm. If you lack the motorskills to press down on a lever (or up depending on your firearm) while you’re drawing, maybe you shouldn’t carry.

        • avatarJoshinGA says:

          Kvjavs-Bully for you if you think you will retain fine motor skills in an intensely stressful situation. Im not willing to bet my life on it. Besides, why add a safety to a gun that doesnt need one? Its a striker fired handgun for fvcks sake…

          Tdiinva, only handgun with a safety I own happens to be a 92 compact ironically.

      • avatarDarren says:

        JoshinGA, if you think you won’t retain the fine motor skills to wipe the safety off, what makes you think you will retain the equally fine motor skill of pressing the trigger? Or of unsnapping a thumb break (if that’s the kind of holster you carry)? Or of pressing the magazine release if you need to reload?

        This is really a non-issue that I cannot for the life of me figure out why people complain about. I have carried 1911s and Hi Powers for years that required one to disengage a thumb safety, and THOUSANDS of other shooters have as well, and have deployed them successfully.

        The key is to make it a part of your draw. It is not at all hard, when you are practicing your draw, to make the motion of wiping the thumb of the shooting hand downward and disengaging the safety. If you can operate the snap on a holster, you absolutely CAN do this. And if you practice that enough, it will become a part of your muscle memory. You CAN’T forget, because it’s not something you have to think about consciously in the first place. It becomes automatic.

        • avatarTim says:

          The real issue is not one of forgetting as much as the amount of dedicated training to make taking the safety off non-conscious… many just do not take training that seriously. They think it is about “knowing” rather that not having to think about it in the first place.

        • avatarMichael says:

          There is no logical argument for an external safety on a handgun. “It is easy to disengage the safety on your draw stroke” is not a logical point. When the pistol is in the holster, it doesn’t need a safety. “If you can’t take the safety off when you draw, you shouldn’t own a firearm” is not a logical argument. Don’t tell me why I don’t need a Glock. Tell me why I need a thumb safety.

        • avatarMichael says:

          There is no logical argument for an external safety on a handgun.

      • avatarMichael says:

        Couldn’t you just buy a Glock?

    • avatarjohnmackay70 says:

      I carry a Ruger SR9C – I carry with the safety on, and when I ready my firearm, I automatically press the safety with my thumb (it is now part of my muscle memory), I have practiced this OFTEN, and I have never failed to switch the safety properly. It is not difficult

      • avatarKvajvs says:

        +1

        If people would quit being lazy and start training, they’d realize it’s not that hard to disengage a safety. I have no issues with it on my 1911.

        • avatarLars says:

          Switched from a few micro Glocks to the SR9C for CC, will never go back to Glock.

      • avatarMichael says:

        It’s not difficult, then why have a safety in the first place?

        • avatarJack says:

          Because if somone manages to get your SR45 away from you and they typically shoot glocks, that safety may just save your life. They’ll be confounded for a moment while you look for something heavy to hit them with. LOL!

  2. avatarNick says:

    “But the G21 isn’t available yet in a Gen4 configuration.”

    Mine would beg to differ.

  3. avatarDavid W. says:

    I got an SR9 for my birthday and I love it. I can split a playing card in half with it at about 10-15 feet. I’m pretty sure they are the same pistol too, just in different calibers.

    Also, concealing it, it’s not that hard. I do it with nothing more then a T-shirt.

    SR45 is interesting… I wonder if Ruger will make a caliber change kit for the SR series’.

  4. avatarRoll says:

    I have my heart set on the 21′s little brother, the Glock 30. Hopefully will get that soon.

  5. avatarRopingdown says:

    I’m curious. Why does my G21 say Gen4? Ah! seeing Pascal’s comment I feel reassured I don’t have a counterfeit G21.

  6. avatarDudeBro says:

    Best analogies EVER. My ruger p90dc was built for my hand. Fan for life. Glock, boo.

  7. avatarIdahoPete says:

    Crabby OFW comment: “If it ain’t a 1911 designed by John Moses (by-God) Browning, why would you waste belt space on it?”

  8. avatarPulatso says:

    +1 for the Charles Dutton.

    I’ve been waffling on what make and model of .45 to get later this year, now it looks like I need to add the SR45 to the choice list.

  9. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Regarding size: full size sidearms do just fine for home carry. I’d rather have a full size pistol than one of the concealable ones in that situation.

    Great review as usual, Ralph. Also, “snip the tip”? Yowza!

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      He was referring to snipping the tips of flowers before puttin them in water. Or the tip of a tube of caulk… err, silicone sealant.

      I hope.

      • avatarAnon in CT says:

        “The parents pay the moyl but he gets to keep the tip!”

        Weird Al, Pretty Fly For a Rabbi

    • avatarRalph says:

      Alpha, I see you discovered my not-so-subtle or oblique circumcision reference. It’s an homage to Ted Nugent’s pithy “kiss my Glock” remark.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        I’ll throw this in very late: You wondered about the texture change for the Gen 4 versions last fall, in relation to holster wear. “Sandpaper?” was roughly (!) your question. I can say that only the Gen 4 texture change and adoption of the short frame as standard made the G21 Gen4 usable for me. Threaded barrels can be had for the G21. Glocks are the opposite of young ex-wives, hard to love but easy to trust.

  10. avatarjsmith says:

    If Ruger would ditch the giant loaded chamber indicator, external safety, and the owner’s manual billboard on the side then they would have a solid winner.

    On the Glock, if you safely dry fire without an ND then cleaning the gun isn’t any less safe. Also, on my Glock I can field strip it without cocking which means I don’t even need to pull the trigger when you take the slide off. You just have to pull the slide back the bare minimum when stripping it.

  11. avatartdiinva says:

    It’s the blocky shape that makes most full sized, double stacked magazine polymer pistols hard to conceal not their inherent length. A 1911 has rounded edges that don’t print as much. My XD/m 9mm compact has a bigger visual signature than my 1911. LL Bean makes a nice line of casual shirts that easily conceal a full size gun.

    My only comment on safety vs non safety is that Glock owners seem to believe that you can train yourself to keep your finger away from the trigger so as to prevent an ND but you cannot train yourself to reflexively disengage the safety on the draw. They seem to believe that you have to make a conscious decision to disengage the safety.

  12. avatarjsmith says:

    If you can dry fire safely then taking down a Glock shouldn’t be any less safe.x

  13. avatarRoot C says:

    “Glock forces all of its owners to disregard a basic rule of firearms safety”

    Wrong. As long as you know where you are pointing the gun, pulling the trigger prior to disassembly no more violates a safety rule than does dry firing practice or dropping the hammer/striker on a firearm after clearing the chamber.

    • avatartdiinva says:

      It might pass muster on the four rules but the resulting ND might not pass muster with local laws. I suppose you get brownie points for the lesser charge.

      • avatarJason says:

        Which way does your muzzle point when your taking off your barrel bushing? Imagine doing that with one in the pipe!

      • avatarRoot C says:

        The issue is not whether an ND violates firearm safety rules.

        This issue is whether or not pulling a trigger on an empty chamber while pointing the gun in a safe direction violates a firearm safety rule. And of course, it does not.

        • avatarRalph says:

          Correct. Unfortunately for all too many people, the chambers have not been empty. If I discussed all the ND stories here, there wouldn’t be room for anything else.

          Requiring a trigger pull to clean the gun is an ND waiting to happen. That doesn’t make the ND less negligent, but the system still sucks.

        • avatarJason says:

          I’m just saying that if I had just removed the barrel bushing on a 1911 with the muzzle pointed at my head and then discovered there was one in the pipe, I of course would be an idiot but I’d also crap myself.

          I’m not saying anything bad about the 1911, just that you really need to clear it like anything else before disassembly; the fact that you don’t have to pull the trigger doesn’t provide me much comfort.

          Not trying to be a fan boy here but another lever to drop the striker would probably add a few moving parts. More superfluous stuff that doesn’t add to the guns function but could prevent its operation.

          My lawnmower failed due that stupid control bar cable seizing in the housing. I guess if it saves just one finger it’s worth it.

        • avatartdiinva says:

          If you are that concerned I recomend making sure there is no magazine in the grip, racking the slide and putting on the safety before you remove the bushing. That will certainly clear the chamber and prevent you from removing your head as well.

        • avatarJason says:

          As it would on a Glock.

        • avatarRoot C says:

          Ralph, not trying to be argumentative, just interested in this topic.

          If you state that “Requiring a trigger pull to clean the gun is an ND waiting to happen”, my feeling is that you are overlooking many other reasons why one legitimately needs to pull a trigger to perform certain acts.

          (1) Coming home after having been carrying, you want to put your carry gun back in the safe. You go to remove the mag, clear the chamber and then what? Do you not pull the trigger to drop the hammer/striker before putting the gun away in the safe (assuming that is where you store the firearm over night)? Of course you are going to pull the trigger (except for the few guns that have decockers maybe?). By your rationale, that is an ND waiting to happen?

          (2) You finish cleaning your handgun and go to reassemble it. The act of reassembling of course cocks the gun. Do you just put the gun away in the safe with the handgun cocked? I would argue that most people, regardless of the handgun make or model, will pull the trigger to ensure they do not have a cocked weapon sitting in the safe. Is that an ND waiting to happen?

          (3) You routinely dry fire practice and set up shooting stages in your house. Dry firing involves the act of pulling the trigger. Is that an ND waiting to happen?

          All this just to say that, for people who actively use their firearms, there is simply no way to get around having to pull a trigger to perform acts other than shooting. It is not a Glock-unique issue. Nor should it be considered irresponsible, poor design, or an ND waiting to happen.

    • avatarNoob says:

      Isn’t one of the rules “assume all guns are loaded until you yourself have verified it empty”? Why aren’t people verifying their guns are empty? Every time I pick up a gun I go through the “pull slide back a couple times then examine the actual chamber” routine. Negligent discharges aren’t the gun’s fault.

      Pulling the trigger is not an acceptable method of verifying clear.

      • avatarRoot C says:

        The issue with the Glock disassembly and the absent sear disconnect lever is not about pulling the trigger to verify that the chamber is clear. The issue raised in the original review was a statement that the act of pulling the trigger (which is required to disassemble the Glock, and other guns too, let’s get real) violates one of the firearm safety rules.

        The issue is whether pulling a trigger on an empty chamber while pointing the gun in a safe direction violates a safety rule. It does not.

      • avatarRandy says:

        Noob, I like your opinion. I was raised with that rule.

  14. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    I like the Charles “Rock” Dutton reference, Ralph. Of course, he was a convicted felon . . . . .

    • avatarRalph says:

      Twice. Two years for manslaughter in a fight when he was 17, and three years for unlawful possession of a firearm a little while after he got out of the joint on the first charge. Still, the man can really act.

  15. avatarRopingdown says:

    This was an interesting review/comparison. However, it made me face my own shortcomings: I found myself thinking “Great, another new .45ACP model I couldn’t make myself purchase.” With two triggers to train (1911, Glock), no chance of wearing out my pistols, and only defensive use in mind for a pistol, I almost stopped reading at the mention of the SR45 trigger’s “no break point” feature. Does anyone else have this “please, not another entirely different trigger feel” reaction?

  16. avatarNewge says:

    Nice review.

    I think you meant Charles S. Dutton

  17. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    I carry a 45 thats heavier than roseanne barr after a wild pig feast. It is very concealable though & tames +p recoil well. Great writeup on the 2 guns, Randy

    • avatarLucas D. says:

      …heavier than roseanne barr after a wild pig feast.

      Or as Roseanne calls it: a pre-lunch snack.

    • avatarRalph says:

      I carried a Deagle IWB @ 4:00 as an experiment after I reviewed the pistol last year. It stuck out so far that it looked like I had a tail or a pantload. Had I appendix-carried the Deagle, I would have gotten a lot more dates.

  18. avatarCJ says:

    I’d be curious to know what weight bullet you were shooting grain wise. The Glocks really shine IMO when shooting 23o gr bullets. Few 45′s seem to tame that round better than Glock. My 2nd gen (20 years old now) G21 is a pleasure, but even my G36 carry gun does an amazing job handling the load. I love Ruger revolvers and have owned some pistols. Never had one that didn’t get a hard to activate, gritty-feeling safety lever after a magazine or two. Might just been dumb bad luck but it permanently soured me on Ruger pistols. And I should add that I’ve never shot the SR45, not trying to pre-judge it, sounds like it’s at least worth a trial.

    As far as having to dry fire a Glock to break it down- what better sensory experience to confirm it’s indeed unloaded could there be. ha ha Clear gun, point in safe direction, wince while pulling trigger, exhale when it doesn’t go boom. Been doing it for 20 years.

  19. avatarmountocean says:

    I’m glad Ralph ended up liking the SR45′s trigger. Why all the hate for a trigger that doesn’t telegraph it’s release point? Isn’t a “suprise break” one of the key elements of marksmanship? As far as DAO/Striker fired pistols go this sounds perfect. If you’re talking takeup that’s one thing, but once I start the actual trigger pull I don’t want to feel anything but recoil.

    • avatarJason says:

      I was just reading Brian Zin’s take on this. It goes something like this. While the ‘surprise break’ may help beginner shooters progress to become intermediate shooters, the elite shooters know exactly when the gun is going to go boom. At least Brian Zin does and he’s pretty good I hear.

      • avatarRalph says:

        I’m far from elite but I read the same article and totally agree with Zin. New shooters should be “surprised,” because that means that they can’t flinch. Experienced shooters like to feel everything that the gun is doing.

  20. avatarAharon says:

    “no appreciable breaking point”

    Can anyone please give feedback how this compares with Ruger’s SR9 and the Sr9C? Do the two 9mm’s have the same issue with no appreciable breaking point?

    BTW, the SR9C is one of the few Ruger’s not to dry fire. Without a mag in the pistol (assume it’s the same with the SR9) repetitive dry firing launches the striking pin into the drop down safety bar. This has caused a number of problems with light primer strikes occurring failing to ignite the powder when a magazine is inserted and a cartridge is later placed in the chamber.

    • avatarBrooklyn in da house says:

      I have put almost a thousand rounds through my sr9c and I would call it sensitive. At the range taking your time with no pressure you can get a feel for it. Under pressure in a bad situation i dont know if you are going to be able to feel where it breaks. I agree that its great for rapid fire at close range and not so much for slow target shooting at distance.

      • avatarAharon says:

        Thank you!

      • avatarTR says:

        I would concur. With well over 1,000 rounds through my SR9c (and zero malfs, btw), I can say that you definitely learn to feel the breaking point. For mine, it seemed that about the only takeup in the trigger was in squeezing the trigger safety flush with the trigger. Once the safety was fully depressed, a tad more pressure and it went bang. Not really ideal for slow target shooting, but pretty darn good for defensive drills, etc. The very tactile reset is a major plus, too.

  21. avatarG says:

    Well that link was a browser clearer…

    • avatarRalph says:

      Thanks for the reminder!

      TTAG writers search the globe for interesting and informative links that are NSFW or anything else.

      • avatarإبليس says:

        Ella Kross will literally take a dump on you in exchange for shekels (read her “services” page). She’s like a sexier version of the ATF!

  22. avatarTim says:

    I had to LOL at the thought that these guns are too big for EDC. I carry a Glock 20 Gen4 every day, inside the waistband in the appendix position.

    Is it a big gun? Yes, it is a big gun but that is why I like it ;-) Proper belt, holster and clothing make all the difference for carry.

  23. avatarAPBTFan says:

    Personally I’ve found a big Glock pretty easy to conceal.

    I’ve a G-20SF and use what may be the epitome of a love it or hate it holster – the GlockTech MIC.

    I saw it, I was intrigued and it was inexpensive so I bought one because I live in Phoenix which means I (seriously) don’t even own a big coat – it’s a Dickies work shirt and shorts for me almost all year with a hoodie thrown in for the cold days. With the MIC I can tuck it in at 2:30 with the muzzle pointing back at enough angle that I can sit down or drive no problem.

    The good,

    - The adjustable paracord keeps it from sinking too low.

    - The trigger is completely covered.

    - Quick, smooth draw.

    - It adds zero width which makes all the difference with a thick shooter.

    - With reasonable belt tension it stays put.

    The bad,

    - With only the trigger guard covered the rivets on one pair of my jeans have made some superficial marks on the right-hand side of the slide. All my other pants are no problem and I personally don’t care. It’s an EDC, the finish will get worn. If you strictly wear jeans and carry by the rivets then beware. To me its all the more reason to get that wonderful NP3 finish I’ve been wanting.

    - Definite two-handed re-holstering but it’s stupid quick to do so compared to any non-reinforced IWB I’ve ever used.

    • avatarTim says:

      If you like the MIC you ought to check out Raven Concealment’s Vanguard 2… I used to use their Vanguard holster (which, as I understand, the MIC is modeled after) but have since switched to the VG2 and absolutely love it.

      Like the Vanguard and the MIC, the VG2 sports a minimal, “trigger guard” design but it also has a kydex reinforced soft loop with a tuckable strut . I carry with it daily and it holds my G20 securely. The biggest improvement over the Vanguard/MIC IMO is that I can perform a normal draw – no need for any funky gyrations involving the paracord loop to get the gun to break free from the holster.

      Reholstering is still a 2-handed affair, as the holster must be removed from your belt first, but I don’t mind that – I actually prefer to take a little more time and care when reholstering to make sure I am being safe about it ;-)

      I do have a Bladetech Nano I use AIWB when training or at the range and have a lot of reholstering to do (and am not concerned about concealment) but for every day carry the VG2 seems to really hit all the sweet spots for me.

  24. avatarcj texas says:

    I don’t know about “over-sized and un-concealable” because i can conceal one fairly easily but then again i’m an old fat guy who wears old fat guy clothes. Here’s a video showing Mr. Colion Noir concealing one and he’s much thinner and hipper fashion wise than myself. To quote Clint Smith “big gun when I conceal it, big gun when I pull it out.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz41ZsV3bDw&list=UU193r5YXcpQJV34N99ZbhzQ&index=71

  25. avatarMoonshine says:

    “To clean many striker-fired pistols, it’s necessary to pull the trigger to disengage the sear.”
    ——
    Which is why I am a fan of my new EDC: Springfield’s XDm-40.

    • avatarMichael says:

      To dry practice you pull the trigger. Why is cleaning any more hazardous? The first thing you learn is how to verify an empty gun. For goodness sake people…take some responsibility! You sound like a bunch of liberals!

  26. avatarJohn Paschke says:

    Yet another pretender to the throne.

    Glock 21 > any other 45

    • avatarAaron David says:

      I shoot lead cast bullets through MY SR45. I loaded up 1600 230 gr fn lead and Ive shot about 1000 so far with no problems whatsoever. Ive got plenty of brass and primers (cause I prepped) and a 600 lb sailboat keel. A pound of powder will load about 1400 rounds. In order to do this with a Glock you MUST order a standard twist barrel and you might as well toss the original piece of crap because if you switch back and forth its to0 easy get mixed up and boom bye bye Glock. Less than $5oo = Ruger. 5 cents per round, 3-4” 25 yard groups. You keep your Glock, good luck finding ammo.

  27. avatarJames says:

    This is one of the most ridiculous reviews I have ever read. I feel sad that I will never get back the four minutes I spent reading it.

  28. avatarbob says:

    My hats off to Ruger for making striker fire safe. Guess. they read about the thousands wounded or trajectly killed accidentally by glocks

  29. avatarbob says:

    My hats off to Ruger for making a striker fire gun safe. Guess they read about the thousands wounded or trajectly killed accidentally by glocks

  30. avatarsinn1 says:

    What is this nonsense about a Glock 21 being to big, to conceal. I live I. Florida and I have 0 problems. I bought a holster for the inside of my pants and it works great. I use my holster for other firearms as well. My 92f Baretta and CZ85 B Combat come to mind. You also say the Glock is basically not as attractive, now that is just your opinion. The only thing I don’t care for is the back of the G21 it looks strange.

  31. avatarfrank says:

    I carry a Glock 21 gen4 with a extension mag totaling 17+1 RDS. I live in las Vegas where its hot and has maybe a week a year of a heavier jacket. Also I own a SR 9,40 and 45 and all show why they much cheaper than Glocks because they literally fall apart during range shooting. Pins actually fall out. Also they are not reliable. All 3 have plenty of FTE and stovepipes. My 21 has never failed. I love the feel of the Ruger SR45 but it doesn’t hold up to the Glock by any stretch of the imagination.

  32. avatarMike Bardone says:

    I just finished reading the above post, very interesting ever one of them. I have both glock 45s and sr 9, 40 and the sr 45. I like them all. The sr 45 is my favorite, don’t know just why. But what ever weapon you happen to have just learn how to use it, practice and practice. They all back I’ve back them by using them, thousands of rounds. I have had glocks break the most. Now about putting thousands of rounds down range without a hic-up, that’s B.S. , They all will fail sometime, learn how to clear them. The only weapon that never let me down was my M-60, but I took care it and it took care of me. So boys take of your choice weapon and it will take care of you.

  33. Pingback: Selecting Your First Handgun: Caliber Wars! | Gun Safety Blog

  34. avatarLt 33 says:

    I have carried on and off duty for over 30 years – I was a die-hard 1911 guy until I bobbled the thumb safety during a match and my best cop buddy did the same on the street-Lucky for him the bad guy gave up without an exchange – Since then (10 years ago) I switched over to a G21 and haven’t looked back – And I have no problem carrying IWB with a t-shirt – Your views on NDs during cleaning are baseless as long as the protocols are followed.

    • avatarMichael says:

      I am not a Glock fanboy although I defend its merits. When I think pistol, the image of the classic 1911 comes to mind. I shopped around for my first ever firearm with an open mind. I don’t believe Glock has a better marketing strategy than any other manufacturer. Actually at the few gunshows I visited, everybody was walking out with the new Sig 250. M&Ps were hot. The first pistol I shot was the M&P 40c. If I was ga-ga for any gun, it was the FNX 45. The day before I had the cash, it sold. I walked in to a range to try a Glock 19 but it was unavailable so I shot the G26. I was not impressed compared to the M&P. I went back a week later and the rental G19 was not back but they had a new one for sale for $429. It was discounted because it was returned but never fired. I bought it and now after 1,000 rounds, I can’t imagine being satisfied with any other pistol. Carry it 15 + 1, draw and fire, and fire, and fire… So simple and so reliable. If I ever buy another handgun, it will be a high caliber revolver, 357 or 44. I am still waiting for someone to convince me that I need an external safety on a defensive handgun that is in a holster until I draw it.

  35. avatarken says:

    Glock is good at marketing and making everyone think they are the best thing since sliced bread. They practically gave their guns away to police departments.

    They put their gun in the hands of hollywood props departments… most people gained what they think about Glock during the speech Bruce Willis gave during Die Hard.

    They gained notoriety when politicians screamed that they were “plastic” guns that would be able to sneak past security at airports and the admittedly brilliant marketing geniuses took full advantage of the free publicity. (They gained street creed with that one.)

    Because of all this the sheeple have been convinced they are the bomb when in truth Glock is a gun that is good at almost everything but does not excel at anything.

    • avatarMichael says:

      So…You like Glocks if you only had one gun? You said they are good at everything. Isn’t that the point on which Glocks excel?

  36. avatarPhil says:

    I own both an SR45 and a Glock 21, as a Constable I have to qualify every year. I have carried the glock for 3 years and bought the Ruger last year (2013). I also help other people to shoot and to better their skills. Since qualifying with both in October 2013 I have not carried the Glock on duty. The Ruger had a better grouping at 25 yards and was smoother when bringing back on target. I qualified after only firing 30 practice rounds a week before I had to do qualifying. releasing the safety is part of the draw and has never failed for me. I will continue to carry the Ruger over the Glock. I have allowed 7 others to fire my SR45 that carry Glocks and other manufacturers they have all agreed and liked the SR better. 4 have already bought them, 1 has it on lay-a-way and another is waiting to get his tax return to get it. I now have over 4,000 rounds through the Ruger and have not had a single problem.

  37. avatarMikC says:

    Buy Glock learn the trigger and fear no evil…

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