RAP-1

Researching the web, it seems the Ruger American Pistol’s not exactly a hit with some YouTube gun reviewers. After a weekend spent shooting several hundred rounds through Ruger’s new striker-fired handgun, I believe the RAP’s getting a bum rap. . .

RAP-right

I put the first hundred rounds plus twenty accuracy testing rounds through the RAP at Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop, which has a few more in stock and one in the rental case. It ran like a top and chewed up the 10-ring. Strong hand, weak hand, both hands, no matter. That said, I’m not a big fan of standing still and shooting at paper indoors. So I spent Sunday in the woods. Unfortunately, it was around 11° F when I arrived that morning with about 16″ of snow on the ground.

RAP-snow

This was rough on function. My function, that is. My gloved yet numb hands dropped the RAP in the snow twice. I literally shook it off, then the pistol figuratively shook it off. The RAP’s metal components were near freezing temperature much of the day, but the gun didn’t care. While this is far from a proper torture test, I’ve had plenty of firearms refuse to function in these conditions. Often it’s due to the manufacturer’s use of a lube that thickens when it’s really cold. The RAP shipped nearly dry, and I ran it as it came.

The Ruger American pistol ships with two, 17-round, Nickel-Teflon plated magazines (courtesy Jeremy S for The Truth About Guns)

You can run the Ruger American Pistol almost dry — the owner’s manual suggests only four drops on the whole shebang. That’s down to the company’s extensive use of modern metal treatments. The RAP’s stainless steel slide, chassis and trigger are all nitrided. Most of the other stainless steel parts (e.g., fire control group, barrel, trigger bar, magazines, springs, etc.) are Nickel-Teflon plated. Ruger probably chose the slick coating after it became the solution to sand-induced M9 Beretta magazine failures that the military suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assuming – as one does – that the American could be Ruger’s bid for the Army’s new Modular Handgun System contract. . .

RAP-chassisL

The RAP’s removable chassis is one of its best features. Like the SIG P250 and P320, the Beretta Nano, Pico, and upcoming APX, the American’s grip frame isn’t the serialized part. It isn’t a “firearm” per the ATF’s definition of the term. The “firearm” is the serialized, stainless steel chassis insert.

RAP-chassisR

While the other pistols I mentioned have a removable chassis made from a stamped piece of steel, the RAP’s is milled from billet. It has long slide rails instead of a nub at each corner. It’s rock solid – one reason the RAP is extended-use +P rated – and the machining and finish are excellent.

RAP-chassisT

As stout as the chassis is, the fire control group’s complicated nature gives me concern about long-term durability and reliable function in adverse conditions (dirty, muddy, etc). Ruger produced most of those parts by metal injection molding. That doesn’t bother me for this use, but there are those who look down their nose at the process.

Speaking of noses, the American comes complete with a mil-standard Picatinny 1913 accessory rail with four slots. Also unlike most other Ruger pistols (the SR series, for instance) the Ruger American Pistol has no manual safety and no magazine disconnect safety.

RAP-trigger
Note the overtravel stop molded into the trigger guard

The Ruger American Pistol’s trigger has attracted a lot of attention. On the positive side, it’s an actual, metal trigger shoe with a pleasing shape. On the not-so-positive side, Ruger opted for the ever-so-popular GLOCK-style trigger blade “safety.” In so doing Ruger repeated exactly what I hate about these doohickeys: the safety blade doesn’t stop flush with the trigger face.

RAP-triggersafety

The RAP’s trigger safety blade rotates well beyond the face of the trigger shoe. Whereas a GLOCK’s blade bothers some shooters because it doesn’t depress far enough, this one has the opposite problem. I have to say this is worse; it feels like you’re pulling on a skeletonized trigger. The two resulting edges are uncomfortable.

This is the RAP’s only ergonomic sore point (so to speak). The Ruger American Pistol’s grip circumference, shape, angle, and texturing are all perfectly judged. Thanks to swappable, wrap-around grip panels, grip size — rear “hump” as well as palm swells — and trigger reach can be modified to better fit almost any shooter’s hand and preference.

RAP-grips
Medium installed, small center, large right.

The 9×19 RAP comes with small, medium, and large grip panels, while the .45 ACP comes with only medium and large. That said, medium on the RAP is small on most other pistols.

RAP-backstrap

Ruger integrated a lanyard loop into the grip frame, accessible through a notch in the bottom of the grip panels.

RAP-triggerguardU

The slide stop is mirrored on both sides, and the magazine release is fully ambidextrous as well. The flared section at the rear of the trigger guard encourages a comfortable, high grip.

RAP-serrations

The RAP only has slide serrations at the pistol’s rear, defying the current fashion for both front and rear serrations in modern “fighting” guns. The cross hatching on the serrations are more than an aesthetic flourish; the large number of edges and angles are both extremely grippy and easy on the hands.

RAP-stripped

At the cost of complicating the fire control group, Ruger designed the RAP so it can be field stripped without pulling the trigger. The field stripping process is fairly standard: lock the slide to the rear, flip the takedown lever clockwise until it stops, then release the slide and pull it off the front of the frame. You can’t rotate the takedown lever into the disassembly position when a magazine’s inserted in the frame. You can’t insert a magazine if the takedown lever is already in the disassembly position.

The Ruger American’s flat-wire recoil spring is captured on a steel guide rod. Under the slide is a Steyr-like, skeletonized feed strip. Ruger touts the American’s new “Recoil-Reducing Barrel Cam.” Of course, I have no way of knowing what the Ruger American pistol would feel like with a “standard” barrel cam design. But I can say that the unlocking process takes more slide travel, and happens more gradually, than it does with many other pistols on the market. Comparing the American side-to-side with a GLOCK, that difference is pretty obvious. It could make the RAP a great suppressor host.

RAP-slideplate

Moving beyond the owner manual’s instruction for field stripping, you can remove the chassis by simply pulling the takedown lever all the way out of the left side of the frame, then pulling the chassis up, out of the frame and a bit forward. A hook on the rear of the grip frame slides into a notch in the rear of the chassis.

RAP-chassisassembly

Putting the chassis back into the gun proved frustrating. The takedown lever comes to a hard stop short of fully re-installed. Turns out that gold-colored bar, which prevents takedown while a magazine is inserted or the insertion of a magazine during takedown, needs to be manually moved forwards to clear the takedown pin. To accomplish this, push forward (towards the muzzle) on the dingus seen above. Hopefully this helps somebody avoid a bunch of four-letter words.

On The Range

The Ruger American Pistol feels great in my hands. Control is excellent and the grip angle is natural, without a whole lot of gun sticking up above the hand. It suits my tastes aesthetically and functionally. Ruger claims a “Low Mass Slide.” At 353 grams, my kitchen scale says it’s all of five grams lighter than a GLOCK 17 slide (no barrel or recoil spring in either). The “Low Center of Gravity” may be less of an exaggeration, as the RAP’s frame weighs 293 grams to a GLOCK 17’s 138 grams. A featherweight it is not.

RAP-height

The gun’s ride height would be lower if it weren’t for the RAP’s fat butt. The Military Arms Channel beat the RAP for this section of the frame. The butt’s width and generally square-ish shape abused the heck out of Tim’s thumb knuckle, and that of a handful of his colleagues. Apparently I grip a pistol a bit differently, as do the other folks in my neck of the woods. Everybody here who test-drove the RAP found the grip comfortable; nobody was plagued by the dreaded Ruger American Pistol thumb knuckle issue.

That said, it will be an issue for some people. I can reproduce Tim’s complaint by cramming my hand upwards hard into the bottom of the frame and/or by pressing my right thumb hard into the frame. I usually ride my right thumb on top of my left thumb. Shooters who hold their right thumb lower (which seems to make that knuckle stick out more) and shooters who overlap left thumb on top of right may find the back corner of the frame in direct contact with their knuckle…with uncomfortable, if not painful results.

The size of the Ruger’s internal chassis is what causes the grip frame to be so wide at the rear. Because the frame isn’t the “firearm,” though, there’s much less risk in modifying it with stippling and sculpting. If Ruger (or the aftermarket) releases different sized and shaped frames for the American Pistol, they should be fairly inexpensive and can be sold straight to the customer (without an FFL). By way of example, spare grip frames for the Beretta Nano run $25 to $30 and for the SIG P250/P320 they’re about $44.

The Ruger American sports steel Novak LoMount Carry 3-Dots. The rear employs a set screw so it can be more easily drifted for windage adjustment, then locked down again. (courtesy Jeremy S. for The Truth About Guns)

In my initial impressions post the 3-dot steel Novak sights weren’t working well for me. It turns out low light was partially to blame. I’m not so great at picking up the Ruger American Pistol’s front sight in other than bright light conditions, as it’s too similar to the rear. My indoor range’s lighting is darker in front of the shooting bays than it is back at the benches, where the sights worked much better for me. Outdoors they were great.

RAP-sightF

As great as standard fare 3-dot sights can be, at least. They certainly aren’t my preference. Thankfully replacements are already available (as are holsters and spare mags). There’s a farrago of Novak options — plain black rear, line rear, box rear, black front — at just $9.95 each. Trijicon front and/or rear with tritium inserts are also available. Fiber optic fronts and other options are apparently on their way soon.

For all the bragging Ruger is doing about the “Short Takeup Trigger with Positive Reset,” color me unimpressed. Trigger travel is smooth and the break is fairly crisp. There’s less creep than on the vast majority of striker-fired pistols, and effectively no overtravel. While it may look a bit odd, that overtravel stop molded into the trigger guard works very well. But oh, that reset distance. . .

I don’t really mind the Ruger American Pistol’s trigger’s take-up (a.k.a., pre-travel or slack) – although I certainly wouldn’t call it “short” as Ruger does. But I strongly dislike the fact that the trigger doesn’t reset until it moves all the way forward, nearly as far as it can go. This forces the shooter to repeat all of that take-up on every shot.

The end result: shot-to-shot travel distance is fairly long. Longer than a GLOCK’s. The GLOCK’s take-up is more like “initial take-up.” Once your muscle memory learns the reset distance you don’t have to deal with the trigger slack on subsequent shots. Shooters may tend to “slap” the Ruger American Pistol’s trigger (remove their finger from the trigger before reengaging) when firing a string with the Ruger.

The RAP is still a great shooter, though. Thanks to its low bore axis, great grip, and [maybe] recoil reduction system, it shoots pancake flat. Better yet, it’s fast, controllable and accurate. Keeping double taps and rapid fire inside of the -O zone on 75% scale IDPA targets at 10 yards was easy. With a bit of trigger work and better sights, the RAP could become a gun guru’s go-to pistol.

Slowing things down a bit and sending the target out to about 15 yards, this is what I came up with for five-round groups:

RAP-target

Unfortunately I left my good targets at home. I was too cheap to buy one at the range and could barely make out these light blue dots over my sight picture. So, apologies for the pretty much worthless accuracy target. The Ruger American Pistol is definitely capable of better, but POI is also definitely off to the left a bit.

Conclusion

RAP-logo

Depending on how the whole thumb knuckle “issue” works out, the Ruger American Pistol is a hit. The gun’s rugged good looks (I like big butts and I cannot lie), reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, and street price – from $439 to $489 – will give the GLOCKs, Springfields, and M&Ps of the world a run for their money. The Ruger American Pistol may not be better in every way, but it’s better in some and at least as good in others. Which was good enough for me to buy one. ‘Nuff said?

Specifications – Ruger American Pistol:

Capacity: 17+1 Sights: Novak® LoMount Carry 3-Dot
Slide Material: Stainless Steel Slide Finish: Black Nitride
Grip Frame: One-Piece, High-Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon Grip: Ergonomic Wrap-Around Grip Module
Barrel Length: 4.20″ Overall Length: 7.50″
Height: 5.60″ Width: 1.40″ (Across Controls)
Weight: 30 oz. Twist: 1:10″ RH
Grooves: 6 Suggested Retail: $579.00 (as low as $439 so far street price)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style * * * *
The RAP looks modern and angular without going overboard. What may appear solely like styling queues all have a legitimate functional purpose (including the lawyer’s warning to read the manual, which, as warnings go, is scaled way back from Ruger’s normal billboards).

Ergonomics * * * *
Top notch – other than that dang trigger safety blade. The thumb knuckle injury issue will affect some shooters, but not all. Test drive if possible.

Ergonomics Carry * * 
It’s a heavy, full-sized pistol: a duty/service firearm.

Reliability * * * * *
The high parts count in the fire control group raises concerns, but our RAP was 100 percent reliable shooting nearly 500 rounds of everything from cheap reloads to Federal HST and Remington HTP. The gun made it through a particularly cold snow day where many-a-gun has not. Expect a high-round-count update in the future.

Customization: * * * * *
Sights, holsters, and other accessories are already available. Grip panels allow end user ergonomic adjustment. The Pistol’s removable, serialized chassis opens up a whole world of other grip frame possibilities. Threaded barrels are in Ruger’s plans, as the pistol’s relief mold in the plastic case has obvious clearance for an extended barrel as well as for tall sights. Aftermarket triggers, magazine extensions, and more are already in the works.

Accuracy: * * *
About average.

Overall: * * * *
The Ruger American Pistol as very best in class falls a star short due primarily to the trigger’s long reset.

Testing and evaluation sample purchased retail at Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop

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131 Responses to Gun Review: Ruger American Pistol (9mm)

  1. This seems like a solid mid-shelf pistol for people in the Glock / M&P / XD market. Not sure how it will compete with a $800+ H&K / SIG, but it looks like a very solid duty pistol.

    Then again, Glocktards gonna hate.

    • Ruger elicits strong brand-related emotions as well. There will be dismissal and derision directed at this gun because of it. I don’t care what logo is on a gun if it works for me, which the RAP does. It has joined an older Super Blackhawk .44 mag as my only two Rugers. I have no particular feelings towards the brand either way, and am confident this review would have been identical no matter who manufactured the gun.

      • Jeremy, how would you compare this to the older SR series, if you have trigger time on them, that is?

        I’m sure any similarities to the old P series have long since evolved out. 🙂

      • I own 3 Ruger revolvers and have nothing but good things to say about them. Really hoping this pistol gives them a solid entry into the full-size service pistol market. Always good to see a strong U.S. company thrive.
        Thanks!

      • That’s a close call. I have a Walther PPS in 9mm and it has been 100% reliable and the most accurate small gun I’ve ever owned. Im a Walther fan because of it. You probably can’t go wrong either way…For $50, go with the one that “feels” right. Sorry, no experience with the PPQ specifically.

  2. “Ruger produced most of those parts by metal injection molding. That doesn’t bother me for this use, but there are those who look down their nose at the process.”
    And for everyone else, count me in the nose-looker-downer(?) category. But not for Ruger. Ruger has taken MIM to whole ‘nothuh level.
    As far as the reset, that is the same thing that disappoints me about my FN-X Tactical. Outstanding everything, so why the long reset that slows me down? Is it something in these types of fire controls that necessitates it? If so, I can’t figure out what.
    I’d love to see what the Ruger can do off a bag at 25 yards.
    Solid review.
    Also, F the cold.

    • It’s normally the firing pin block (striker block). The pre-travel clears it out of the way. The mistake here is forcing the shooter to reset then re-clear it for every single shot instead of resetting the sear sooner and leaving the striker block cleared.

      I’ll definitely be putting it on a bag and following up (likely adding an edit at the bottom of the review) on what sort of accuracy the RAP is capable of mechanically. Actually, I’m handing the pistol off to Nick this week so maybe he’ll provide a second opinion piece.

      • What would be the downside to to making the depressed trigger safety ‘blade’ flush with the trigger surface?

        The point being, it may be something the aftermarket could address…

        • No downside I can imagine, other than you’d need to engineer in a mechanism that stops it. There are pistols that get this feature correct and have a blade that does stop flush, resulting in an even trigger shoe surface all the way across. Some aftermarket triggers are good at this, like Lone Wolf’s UAT.

    • Indeed, in the hands of some manufacturers MIM is a very red flag. But Ruger knows a thing or two about molding metal (they’ve been making money off their investment-casting services for decades). If anyone is going to get MIM right, it’s probably going to be Ruger.

  3. A military contract has never before seemed to be a major part of Ruger’s business plan. As a pretty devoted fan of theirs I wouldn’t mind seeing them submit a few for contention to replace the M9.
    For us civies on the other hand: can we expect a compact version soon? Not that I’m eager to replace the SR9c soon at all… still an awesome EDC piece.

    • They have until the end of this month to submit for MHS trials if they want to. Assuming they can whip out a sand-colored version, it meets all of the MHS requirements (reliability testing aside).

      The nice thing about the chassis deal is that you could pop it in and out between frames of various sizes.

      • Is it the same serialized part in the 9mm and .45? As I learned to my frustration and anger, the Sig 320 bits from the .45s don’t fit the other guns.

    • Military contracts have been a part of Ruger for more than half a century now. They just seem to lose the “Big Ones” every time.

      No telling how many MK .22 pistols went to the military over the years.Their P85 and 89 did get the big wins. They won some P95 contracts. The MP9 Uzi, AC-556. Goes on and on.

      There are even stories of Ruger sending Elmer Keith to South America to try and win over military contracts down there.

  4. Thanks for this review.

    I’m much more interested, however, in the .45ACP-chambered RAP, especially as-compared to the SR45. I love my SR9c, but comparing it – a compact – to a full-size pistol such as the RAP wouldn’t really be an even comparison. As I’m next in the market for a .45ACP, and intend to get a full-size, I’d love to see such a detailed review comparing the SR45 to the RAP.

  5. The only complaint I’ve been hearing about the RAP is that the design of the frame causes the “beaver tail” (for lack of a better term) to hit you in the thumb every time it’s fired due to it being too thick and blocky.

  6. I fully realize that I am an old fart, but back in the day, if a gun rubbed a knuckle when shot, then it was obvious that your knuckle didn’t belong there. I see these Gun-Fu grand wizards out there teaching grips that are the “only” way to hold a gun, and all else is crap and if the gun hurts you, then it must be the gun’s fault, not the choice of grip. Which makes as much sense as one size fits all shoes. My grip is substantially different when shooting my S&W model 41 target pistol, vs. my grip on my Glock, vs, my grip on my Ruger Single Six revolver. And I don’t recall ever getting my knuckles scraped, bruised or nicked.

    • +1 I think you nailed it with the gun-fu wizardry. There seem to be an awful lot of instructors who’s primary claim to fame is simply being different from the myriad others around. It’s enough to put one in mind of the various martial arts ‘schools’ and their slavish dedication to form regardless of function. Then again, how is one to make money and gain notoriety in the shooting instruction game if one lacks a tacticool signature move?

      Performance seems to have been lost behind flash somewhere along the line.

  7. I don’t think I would have a problem with the reset. I never count on myself to feel the reset in the middle of a gunfight, and always train to let off a bit more in case I’m wearing gloves. This is definitely not good enough for competition but for defensive use it’s not a problem IMHO.
    And the trigger safety blade might have been done that way for more positive disengagement? On a glock I sometimes get a dead trigger due to having too little trigger finger and not disengaging the safety

    • If anyone is counting on feeling something as minuscule as trigger reset in a fight, then they’re counting on too much.

      • For me it’s about muscle memory and I get used to the travel length of a trigger relatively quickly. There’s no way I hear or feel a trigger reset consciously enough to react to it while shooting rapidly (eg competition), but I dang sure ride that reset regardless to limit how far my trigger finger has to travel. Under the stress of a self defense scenario I’d probably slap the trigger. Under the stress of a timed competition stage or during normal shooting, I definitely do not. Extra reset distance slows down the works. It’s particularly annoying when 1) it’s all worthless slack travel that serves no function and 2) the company’s marketing incorrectly advertises how very short it is.

        Whether it affects all potential use scenarios for the firearm or just some, or affects some, most, or all shooters, it bears mention. It’s this gun’s sore point and it’s the one spot that it falls short of some of its competition.

        • Jeremy, on the reset length:

          It seems to me the aftermarket could address this (and a lot of the other issues) by offering ‘tuning’ services to the FCG, dissembling them (yeah, yeah, yeah, I realize it says ‘No user serviceable parts inside) and working their magic on them.

          Example, I could see Timney offering such a service, giving it their famous ‘glass rod’ feel…

          And then have the ability to drop it in any Ruger comparable receiver.

          Eventually, after the patents expire, companies like Lone Wolf might start producing their own Ruger compatible frames.

          On an evil note, someone could produce a dummy FCG that externally looks and functions like the Ruger module but is un-fireable. Then one could just drop the real one into another Ruger frame, as there’s no paper on those.

          Could come in real handy if gun confiscation comes to a town near *you*…

          🙂

          I’m finding myself kinda psyched about this Ruger concept…

    • I think it’s a solid bet more calibers and configurations (like single-stack) will be available in the not distant future from Ruger…

  8. People hate it because it’s not foreign. If it was from a gun manufacturer that’s is based in a country like Austria or Germany everyone would be saying how awesome it is. No one wants anything American anymore. People hate America. Personally, I perfer guns and everything else that is made in the US, but I know I’m a minority on this issue.

    • While guns are usually an exception, “Made in America” just means overpriced and low quality for almost every other product. That’s because even the most unskilled person in the US thinks they deserve a lavish lifestyle and they have an appallingly poor work ethic.

      • People seem to think the auto industry is “America’s” manufacturing industry. That if we are discussing manufacturing in the USA it must be the auto industry. The US is the world’s second largest manufacturer and in 2008 it’s manufacturing output was greater than the manufacturing output of China and India combined. The majority of US manufacturing is high tech and aerospace and we lead the world in complexity and quality in those fields.

        Overall manufacturing jobs are down though and I suspect that will continue. Your comment about people expecting a certain lifestyle is pretty accurate but it’s even deeper and more complex then that. As humanity advances we become more and more efficient, driving down costs and labor needs. So as we advance we need less unskilled labor in the labor pool and that labor has less value than it did before. Then to top it off we are increasing the population at exponential rates. At some point the number of unskilled workers will exceed the available jobs.

        Considering the massive advancements we are seeing in robotics and miniaturization the past few years I suspect the unskilled / slightly skilled labor market to take even more damage in the future as more and more advanced automation becomes cheaper.

    • I think you’re painting with too broad of a brush.

      I’ve often said, if I didn’t already have all the guns, holsters, gear, mags, etc., S&W would be my go-to pistols over Glock. And it’s because they’re an American company. But, I’m already established Glock, and I don’t want to start over.

      Though, if S&W would get their heads out of their a$$es and make a f*cking G19 size M&P, I might serious consider it. And no, the M&Pc with mag extension doesn’t count.

      But, I digress; Sigs, Glocks, and Hks work, and work well, that’s why they are popular. Not because of where they were designed.

    • The overwhelming majority of handguns sold in the US are made in the US. Sigs are made in NH, Glocks in GA, FNUSA, etc… It’s just that European companies have not gone down the competitive shithole that swallowed Colt, Remington, etc…

  9. “Cramming my hand upwards into the frame?” Pressing the thumb hard into the frame? Sounds like you are describing simply getting a proper firm, high grip on the pistol. If the only way you can shoot it comfortably is by half-assing your grip, the pistol is a loser. Guess I’ll have to go try one now.

    • I definitely take a full-on high grip with thumbs forward and usually against the very top of the frame. Often I’ll end up riding the slide stop on guns like this. To reproduce what MAC discussed, I have to push with much more pressure than usual and not just up into the corner of the beavertail with the web of my hand but straight upwards into the underside of the beavertail extension. And/or instead of normal frame contact with my right thumb, forcibly press it into the frame.

      Anyway grips vary and that’s fine, but I have what most instructors teach these days, which is a very high, thumbs-forward grip. In the pics from the rear, you can see the web of my hand actually goes up onto the Glock’s beavertail a bit…

  10. The metal parts of the gun were near freezing temperature? How about the plastic parts? I bet they were the same temperature.

    • Probably not, as even during the stretches when I was walking around and not shooting, I was holding the gun by its grip. Don’t have a holster for it yet. On a related note, the plastic parts also aren’t relevant to the gun’s function in this case (firing, cycling fully, etc), which I suppose is going to be my main excuse for only mentioning the temp of the metal parts 😉

    • “The metal parts of the gun were near freezing temperature? How about the plastic parts? I bet they were the same temperature.”

      There’s a huge difference between metal and plastic heat transfer rates. That translates *directly* into operator comfort when picking up a cold gun without gloves.

  11. Excellent review, Jeremy!

    Unfortunately, despite the excellent review, the thought of another plastic, striker-fired nine that’s virtually indistinguishable from any other plastic, striker-fired nine instills me with a whole bucket-load of ennui.

    • On the “striker fired thing” I can remember when ANYTHING that was “striker fired” was considered “trash”….. funny how the wheel goes round. I’m still waiting on the industry sweeping Poly-raven with safe action trigger 5 star review…..

  12. You mentioned a couple times other guns have failed you at freezing temps. Any chance we can get a list of those?

    Doesn’t matter here in Houston, but when we travel, it’s usually much colder.

    • I can specifically recall a couple but definitely not all of them from the last few years. It’s really a lube choice issue, though, significantly more so than it’s anything inherent in the gun’s mechanics. Although, yeah, there are actions that reach failure more easily from the extra friction. I’d hate to name names, as at this point I’m not positive which ones were factory lubed and which ones I had lubed. I do use a grease on some actions, and that isn’t always winter friendly.

    • My then-brand-new Ruger SR9c failed me the first time I took it to the range, which was an outdoor range (Clark Brothers, Warrenton, VA) in sub-freezing temps. Normally I would never subject myself to this but I was excited to shoot my new gun. Probably was about 20 degrees outside and breezy. The gun was out-of-the-box new and had not been cleaned other than to run a dry bore snake through the barrel once. Before I got to 100 rounds, the trigger reset started getting really slow, and eventually stopped resetting. I had to manually pull the trigger to the front to reset. I put the gun back in the box and shot a little more with my LC9 until my fingers were numb. The LC9 had no problems.

      The SR9c disappointed me at the time but I didn’t want to send it back just yet. When I got home I stripped the gun, cleaned the guns insides with Hoppes #9, including the firing pin and channel, trigger bar, etc. I flushed the trigger group area with solvent, let it soak and then blew it out with a compressed air can. Since then, I have never had a repeat problem or failure of any kind in a couple of years and over 1000 rounds.

      I attribute the initial problem to some factory grease getting too thick in the cold and gumming up some moving part, possibly between the trigger bar and inside of the frame where they are in contact. The gun is completely reliable now. I keep it lightly lubed with Slip 2000 on the rails, barrel exterior and a few other spots. Trigger bar and trigger group are kept dry but I clean behind that bar with a patch dipped in Hoppes after every few range trips.

  13. throw a third mag in the box and well talk. ruger is way too proud of their pistol mags. forty dollars, my foot.

    • yeah tell me about it. I bought my wife a mini-14. Fantastic rifle but the only mags that are reliable are the “factory” ruger mags. +30-40 bucks for a 20 rounder. Also the mini eats steel cased ammo like a super model at a free buffet whereas my AR chokes on it to the point of having to use a ramrod to clear the spent casing.

  14. Picked up a RAP in 9mm yesterday. Put 100rds ZQI 123gr FMJ through it this morning. Great shooter. Accurate. Handles recoil well. Sights easy to use for old eyes. Trigger is fine; the reset not a problem. No hint of MAC’s thumb-knuckle problem. I can’t even hold the gun in a way to MAKE it happen. Mine was $439. I plan on recommending the RAP to potential buyers taking my class this weekend.

    • Shucks, you caught me. The video was totally faked. You guys are good… I should know better. You recommend brand new unproven guns you’ve owned for one day to your students who might use it to protect their lives? Interesting. What’s the name of your training company?

      • Just imagine if people who have done this with the R51. There would be a lot of pissed off and potentially injured people walking around. How the hell can anyone recommend a gun after 1 day? Seriously. It takes several trips to a range and hundreds of rounds to really get a feel on how a gun performs, reliability, function, durability, ect. Jesus christ. He picks the gun up and 5 min later hes recommending it to everyone he knows. Give it time there tiger

    • Ask me in a few months 😉 …but they’re really very different platforms so it’s a little hard to look at them as substitutes…

    • I dont think anyone is idiotic enough to choose this gun over a CZ, which is universally regarded as the best 9mm pistol of all time. Hammer or striker fired.

      • I am honestly to that point of scrutiny for every new platform anybody comes out with. If it doesn’t mute recoil, have the inherent accuracy, ergonomics, and refinement (or refine able) trigger of a CZ 75 variant I am not interested. Now if you excuse me I am going to go Scrooge McDuck in a tub full of Czech made pistols.

    • Relative to what you can actually buy for $329, this is a better gun. Canik TP9sa is a top notch gun at a budget price but isn’t as refined as the RAP, and the differences in machining, molding, materials, and finish quality are readily apparent. How much value one assigns to those things is totally variable, of course.

  15. 4 stars………unfortunatly there are more and more 5 star striker fired pistols on the market nowdays than even say 4 or 5 years ago. Ill gladly pay 100-200 more for a pistol that has a much better reset and is more ergonomic. Nothing i see on this review or have heard makes me want to drop everything and go buy it.

  16. Jeremy, would you be kind enough to measure and report the width of the frame at it’s widest point, but WITHOUT including the slide catch/release lever? I assume this would be at the frame “bumps” that protect the slide catch/release lever.

    While you have the calipers out and pistol in-hand, if you wanted to measure the width of the slide, the frame width at the dust cover, the frame width at the rear WITHOUT including the protective bumps, and frame width at rear INCLUDING the protective bumps (as requested above), I think that many folks would find that information valuable/interesting (I know I would). Thanks in advance for all hard measurement data you can provide.

      • Sorry if it sounded pushy. I just haven’t been able to find this info anywhere, and I trust you to do a good job of measuring and reporting it.

        I’ve got folks telling me stuff like “If you ignore the levers, the pistol isn’t any thicker than a Glock”, and “The slide is the same thickness as the frame”, and I can tell by looking at the photos that this is BS, but I can’t quantify it.

        For what it’s worth, I think it may turn out to be a great home-defense pistol, and a solid choice as a sturdy “informal target shooter”/camping pistol/truck gun that will last a long time (unlike some of the competition in this street-price range).

    • Yes, the raised area that protects the slide catch is the widest part of the frame even if you install the L grip (which comes within a fraction of a mm though) and even counting the width across the magazine release buttons (which also comes close).

      It’s 33.14 mm across those points (across the raised polymer areas around the slide catches)

      It’s 36.05 mm across the slide catches themselves. This is the widest point on the pistol. That’s 1.42″… looks like Ruger rounds that to 1.4″

      Slide width is 26.88 mm
      Frame width at dust cover is 25.67 mm
      Frame width at rear top (above “beavertail”) is 30.22 mm
      Across ambi mag release buttons is 31.8 mm
      Width at approximate widest point on M grip panel is 32.7 mm
      Across magazine baseplate is 27.69 mm

      …updated with better measurements…

      • Thanks, Jeremy. I’m checking back periodically, and once again, I do appreciate this greatly.

        And batteries (and how/why they die just when you need them) are why I keep an old dial caliper in the extra/backup tool drawer. I do love the ease-of-use of my digital calipers, though…

        • Yeah I’ve been yelled at for having a digital caliper before haha. Usually I have extra batteries but I’m still in a temporary house while mine is repaired from the tree damage. I updated the numbers above…

  17. Every now and again, I have to remind people why my handle is “Dyspeptic Gunsmith,” and this will be one of those times.

    re: this otherwise fine review:

    a) Nothing is milled “from billet.” If it was milled, it was milled from bar stock. Being that it is Ruger, it is likely that some of the parts were cast, and then milled.

    b) The MIM issue among some shooters is positively hilarious. Oh, the entertainment I have in reading these internet wizards talking on and on (and on and on and on and on and on and on) about the utter crap that MIM is. I love me some MIM debates almost as much as I love watching debates over forged vs. cast receivers, or people jaw-jacking about how “superior” 7075 aluminum is to 6061 in an AR receiver, blahbiddy-blah-blah. Do these people have any engineering expertise? No. Any manufacturing expertise? No. Any machining expertise? No. Can they make some of these parts they want so much (supposedly so much) that they’ll haul out a piece of bar stock and a bunch of hand files, and make their own?

    Heavens, noooo.

    BTW, These same people think nothing of getting on an airplane where the turbine blades in the turbofan engine have been MIM’ed. The probably don’t even know they’ve been MIM’ed. They don’t think that if MIM parts were crap, those turbofans could launch blades into the pax cabin at gun-like velocities and probably make a bit of a mess.

    c) Yet some of the people from (b) above will praise hammer-forged barrels all day long, because that’s what some tacti-kewl vendor is doing. Never mind that the benchrest and F-class folks have put this issue to bed – repeatedly – over the last 20+ years. Single-point cut barrels are better – and they cost more. They have been the best barrels for decades. All the internet keyboard warriors could have one on their rifle too, if they were willing to spend the extra money.

    A lapped, single-point-cut barrel will be more accurate, be easier to clean than a button-cut barrel (the other mass-production manner of making a barrel out there) or a hammer-forged barrel, and the quality of the barrel will have more effect on the accuracy of your gun than most other things you can buy short of a really good trigger.

    Would I like to see milled, quenched & treated bar stock for parts in a gun? Yes, if for no other reason than the ability of field gunsmiths to replicate parts for older guns through non-MIM means being preserved. But… the hard truth is, the American gun-buying public has voted with their feet and their dollars to buy mass-produced cheez-whiz guns, and this type of pistol is the result of those votes. This pistol is a manufacturing triumph to a question the American gun-buying public wasn’t asking – how to move the serialization onto the fire control group inside the pistol. It is a question being asked by a military/DOD contract, but not by anyone else.

    PS – my wife, who is a big knitter, says “Cool hat!”

    • A section of bar stock from which you intend to make something is, by definition, a billet. 😛

      It could have been cast into basic shape and then milled, though. I’ll look closer.

      The FCG parts are obviously MIM as the little mold dots are visible. I suppose it’s actually possible they’re investment cast but I don’t believe so. They are definitely stainless steel of some flavor.

      • I’m going to finish resolving this, because when one knows what “billet” actually is, the mis-use of the term is really annoying.

        “Billet” is a huge (and I mean length of the trailer on an 18-wheeler trailer long, 4×4 inches square up to 6×6 inches square) chunk of material. Most often, it has no heat treatment. It is just raw steel of the selected alloy, from the mill. For structural steel, you could buy a billet (or truckload of billet, eg, 25 tons) of billet A-36 steel (eg). If you’re a building contractor, however, this is probably of no use to you. You need structural steel in the final shape and heat treatment necessary for your application.

        Billets, real billets, are used to settle commodity futures trading contracts. Here’s the specs for the London Metals Exchange, where futures contracts in actual steel and aluminum billets are traded:

        http://www.lme.com/metals/ferrous/lme-steel-billet/contract-specifications/physical/

        See those sizes? That’s a little large to get into a milling machine. Any milling machine. “Billet” is a term used by commodities traders and steel plants to indicate the raw product – steel – coming out of a steel plant.

        Here’s a Alibaba listing for steel billet for sale, minimum purchase quantity 1,000 tonnes:

        http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Continuously-cast-square-round-steel-billets_106690920.html

        Billet comes from the steel plant in a variety of alloys. At a bar stock processing plant, it will be “cold” or “hot” rolled to finished shape, and then any heat treatment to be applied and finish machining will be done. It is from this bar stock that parts are made on a machine.

        The same deal applies to aluminum, but aluminum billets tend to be round:

        http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/aluminium-billet-6061_60356436336.html?spm=a2700.7724838.30.111.IwwK5z

        There are round steel billets (especially of certain alloys) and there are square aluminum billets (usually of 6000-series aluminum). But none of these things is something you can pick up without a machine or a crane.

        There are no gun parts that are made from “billet.” Gun parts are made from “bar stock.” Bar stock steel is either cold rolled, hot rolled, cast, forged or extruded (eg, drawn over a mandrel), then heat treated, finished (eg, machined or ground for some higher-end products, like TGP – “turned, ground, polished” motor shaft rounds) and then sold to industry in a form more economical to deal with.

        • It’s funny to find myself basically on the opposite side of this sort of discussion. I used to work for a car manufacturer and the head of marketing was going to put out a piece saying our car was faster than this other car. I “corrected” her and said that actually, no, it isn’t faster and it isn’t even close. It’s quicker. To anybody who cares about cars, “faster” and “quicker” are different things. She said the dictionary definition of faster allows this use (referring to our shorter 0-60 time) and that it’s absolutely, technically correct. Well, sure, grammatically, but not in real life meaning to the group of car guys we were targeting. Anyway, I’ll now mostly argue the dictionary definition side of things…

          I think it’s very fair to say that in the firearms industry the term “billet” is common vernacular and jargon for what does indeed match the dictionary definition of “billet”:

          a : a bar of metal
          b : a piece of semifinished iron or steel nearly square in section made by rolling an ingot or bloom
          c : a section of nonferrous metal ingot hot-worked by forging, rolling, or extrusion
          d : a nonferrous casting suitable for rolling or extrusion

          And in all of my foundry experience, gigantic slabs of raw material were indeed referred to as ingots, not billets. This isn’t my area though and it’s all semantic pedantry to me at this point, but suffice it to say that I don’t feel compelled to edit the review as A) it’s appropriate, accepted, and common-usage industry jargon and B) it absolutely, positively fits the dictionary definition of “billet”…

    • DG, would you agree that, for a long time, the small MIMed parts present in handguns were anywhere near the quality of more traditional manufacturing methods? Before Ruger, who was doing it well? They were roughly made at best, and I mean literally rough and often inconsistent.
      MIM has come a very long way, but, at least for gun parts, it earned its reputation in the past. I do believe that is in the past.

      On the barrel making, no one can disagree with you there. I’ve been running Satern barrels on just about every gun I’ve had made for a while now.
      My joy will be this summer when, during a flintlock making course, I’ll cut my own the same way they did in 1790, with one long hook, one groove at a time.

      • Depends on whose traditional parts we’re using as the benchmark.

        I’ve seen plenty of traditionally-made parts fail. Poor heat treating, parts that were left too hard shattered or broke, springs that were drawn too soft lost their spring coefficient, etc. It happens. Springfield 1903 receivers developed a rep for destructive failure under s/n’s 800,000 – it wasn’t a failure of the type of steel, it wasn’t the design or the skill of the workmen. It was an issue that steel you’re heat treating by eye looks to be a different color on a bright sunny day vs. a cloudy day. On bright sunny days, you’ll typically over-heat the steel, resulting in embrittlement failures. The Army decided to start using temp-controlled furnaces instead of the experienced eyes of old men, and the problems were gone and done.

        Another example: Cast gun parts. There are companies (eg, Ruger) who make very high quality castings – even the barrels on their smallest revolvers are castings that are machined. Hi Power makes an inexpensive gun with large amounts of cheaper alloys where they can safely use it. Some people will try to tell you that cast gun parts are crap – and if you’re looking at Jennings, Bryco, etc companies, then they’re quite probably right. If we’re talking about Ruger, then no.

        Same thing with MIM. There was shakeout period. There’s nothing wrong with the MIM process for making gun parts – the problem was that some companies rushed the parts into production guns before they had completed their testing period. We’ve seen plenty of that in the gun industry today. Gone are the days when a gun gets an unflinching, multi-thousand-round shakedown at the hands of people who won’t and don’t make excuses. If I were hired to do gun testing, odds are that I could break something on most any modern semi-auto. I’ve seen Glock’s (early models) early .40’s break for lack of an additional pin in the design. I’ve seen Glocks ka-boom. I’ve seen S&W revolvers ka-boom too – no plastic involved, only far too much lead fouling. Does this mean that the Glock or S&W revolver designs (or materials) are bad? No.

        This is where we could just lift one of my rants on the lack of quality in the modern gun industry from most any other thread where I’ve gone off on one of my rants. The days when a manufacture (eg, Parker Bros. shotguns) would keep cutting into their barrels to find out how little material they needed to contain the chamber pressure to get an idea of how much safety margin they had; the days when Winchester fired over 2,000 proof loads through a Model 21 shotgun to test whether it was strong enough to take everything the American shooter could dish out – those days are over and gone. The US has no proof house the way the EU gun companies do, and consumers are pretty much at the mercy of the companies.

        Look at the R51 debacle of a year ago. Was there anything wrong with the manufacturing techniques on that gun? I’d wager not. Anything wrong with the design? I dunno. What I do know is this: all they had to do was replicate the Model 51 design in modern alloy steel, and ship that (because that design had been proven about 90 years ago), but nooooooo… it had to be made cheaper and “better.” And you get what we had there – a complete fuster-cluck.

        As I like to tell my customers: “You can have it cheap, quickly or correct. Pick any two, and no more than two.”

        • Hey plenty of Glock guys rail on MIM without realizing that the locking blocks and some other components in Gaston’s finest are MIM.

          I’m not totally on board with it being used to make takedown pins in some firearms that really hammer their takedown pins on every slide cycle, but using it to make little levers and plungers and such in the FCG seems like a solid choice.

        • I wonder what it would take to set up and keep a proof house running in the United States?

    • Thank you for your comments on MIM. I have been preaching this for years… and I use the same examples. People pretend MIM is some horribly cheap, unproven, low quality manufacturing process yet have no idea how many MIM parts they encounter in their day to day activities like flying on planes with engines full of MIM parts, or driving their car they love so much which likely has a MIM crankshaft.

  18. If it’s all nitrided and/or nickel plated stainless steel, it sounds like you could leave the gun fully submersed in salt water for a few days with no ill effects – it would be an interesting torture test.

    A more practical angle to this would be an outdoor gun that can withstand exposure (e.g. in an open holster) to heavy rainy weather for prolonged duration just fine.

  19. Wife just got one in 9mm. I am impressed with its fit and finish. The trigger is leaps and bounds above any of the Glock’s in our safe and it is surprisingly easy to manipulate. She loves Rugers and I love CZ’s but we have Glock’s due to commonality and parts availability. Does this compare to any of my CZ’s ? No, is it a great gun for the money? I believe so. Gun owners are as finicky and bitchy as car people. This car wipes my ass so it is better. Blah blah. Buy what you like and stop pushing your agendas on the rest of us who will also buy what we like. See how that works?

  20. Had my mind set on a M&P until I ran into this ditty by accident at my mom and pop. I have big hands, so I prefer a full-size piece with the ergos. This weapon started singing to me even before I could get someone to unlock the case. Feels comfortable and the trigger didn’t seem uncomfortable at all. Slide was low effort and the release was one thumb effortless. I figure trigger issues will be settled in short order by the dauntless Ruger aftermarket. And since this piece has ‘service weapon’ written all over it, that issue will be resolved before I can convince my wife to allow me to crack open the piggy bank to snag one.

  21. the two biggest gripes on youtube were the bad molding on the back of the gun that digs into peoples thumb knuckles forcing them to change their grip SPECIFICALLY for this gun, which no one wants to have to do. and of course you got the other, the super long trigger reset. the latter is easily fixable via aftermarket SRT kit when it comes out. the preceding though, you might actually have to modify the weapon for your personal use. not cool. it is a damn good looking and shooting pistol though. i would like to see a slightly smaller C version. really want to see the .45 as well.

    • Yeah ergos work for me. No change in grip. Add Nick, Tyler, Dan, and Robert to that list now as well. Plus four other people at my local range. I haven’t found anyone who has this thumb abuse problem with the RAP yet…

  22. I agree with you John, my Ruger 9E is one of the best guns of my two dozen pistols that I shoot. With the polished parts and Apex trigger, this is a fabulous and dependable piece. Ruger is the best American pistol maker, but I have many foreign names as well.

  23. Just to play devil’s advocate here, suppose I’m a salesman standing behind the gun counter. Joe Customer comes in, says he has narrowed his choices to a Ruger American Pistol and a Glock 17, and asks you “which one should I choose, and why?” What do you tell him?

    I have several Ruger firearms, and I like them very much. Ruger has a well-earned reputation for selling excellent products, value pricing and best in the business customer service. Despite all that, and despite how Ruger has clearly worked very hard on this pistol, I have a hard time figuring out what I would say to Joe Customer in this situation. Ruger has produced an excellent new pistol, but it doesn’t deliver a knockout blow to Glock or M&P.

    • My suggestion would be; It depends. The Ruger is a little bit heavier but has better recoil. Glocks are known to just keep running but Ruger has a great reliability track record. For the price you are getting the Ruger American a little cheaper (I’m only assuming since the LGS where I’m at sell the Glocks in the $500-650 range where the RAP is $475). I would also find out what they’re using i for. If they are just shooting just to shoot or if they will be carrying it (weight comes into play). I would also ask them to hold each one seeing as the Glock’s angle is much different and some people tend to point the gun higher due the high angle of the Glock’s grip. I would also find out they’re preference of American vs non-American products (yes some Glocks are made in the U.S. but it is still an Austrian company and therefore not 100% American like the Ruger). I would also find out if they like Customer Service because Ruger’s Customer Service is unbeatable. Lifetime Warranty and fast and amazing service. I would also ask them if they prefer a crisp break or a smooth break, both guns have these feature but the Glock seems to be more on the crisp side and the Ruger seems more on the smooth side. I would also have them test out the reset because the positive Reset can throw off some people with the Ruger. I would also ask them if they are heavy into customizing seeing as the Glock has many modifications that can be done to it the RAP just barely came out and is very new to the customization arena. The plus side the Ruger is that its fire control group is the firearm not the actual frame of the gun so you can imagine the possibility of many different frame options available for the RAP as well as a possible Bullpup chassis. All of these are questions I would ask and in the end It would have to come down to them feeling them in each hand and seeing what they like better. I personally enjoy both firearms but a stock Glock 17 and a stock Ruger American Pistol I would choose the Ruger just because (my preference and everyone’s is different) It’s American, Its accurate, Its Reliable and it is nickel teflon coated and is different than the majority of all gun owners. Everyone and their dog has a Glock but not everyone will have a RAP. Both great guns but in the end I’d say: why not buy both?

  24. Cool Sir Mix-A-Lot reference there! 🙂

    Sounds like a good pistol with typical (i. e. excellent) Ruger reliability. I’m wondering, though, what the functional advantage for the civilian shooter is of this new Ruger American Pistol over the SR-series? We have an SR-9 as a rental gun at our range, and I’ve fired an SR-45, and both pistols are fine, very reliable shooters.

    – T

    • Well, whether they’re advantages or just differences can be subjective, but the American has an ambi slide catch, no manual safety, no magazine disconnect safety, swappable grip panels, a removable chassis that has the serial number, new metal treatments for anti corrosion and lubricity purposes, easier takedown, a normal accessory rail… Probably other things I’m blanking on.

  25. I picked up one at the local gun store just to have a look see. It felt very good in my hand and it was love at first touch. Functioning is very smooth and while I tend to favor Glocks, I had to have one of these. I would have bought the 45, but felt that a pistol this large should really hold 13 rounds. Can’t imagine how one busts a knuckle on this gun. I don’t have overly large hands, but they are somewhat beefy. The grip was natural for me and I was satisfied with the medium size one. The trigger reset does not bother me a bit, maybe because I come from a slow fire target shooting background. I think this Ruger has about the best over-the-counter striker fired trigger I have felt. The three-dot sights are a bit small for dim light and I may look into replacing them. Overall, I am very happy with this pistol purchase.

  26. I own 3 Ruger revolvers and three rifles…..love them. I have never been impressed with their semi-automatic pistols.
    I’ll give it a test at the range before I buy it.

  27. Bought one in 9mm last week. I have small hands, so I installed the smallest grip. Fits my hand MUCH better than my Glock, Fired several mags full of TULA 9mm, no problems. Final magazine with Remington 115gr JHP at 10 yards with a wrist rest (monopod) gave me a 3″ group of 17 rounds, most of them within 2″ of center. Low recoil, fits my hand, accurate even with my crummy trifocal-assisted eyesight. I am going to hang a green laser on this one and use it for my bedside gun. I really like it, and would recommend it to anyone with smallish hands who needs/wants a double stack 9mm.

  28. Great review, but there’s one thing I have to mention — the Beretta sand/magazine issue was not Beretta. The gov bought 3rd party magazines at the discount, they weren’t beretta mags. And, on top of that, the gov refused the recommendations made by beretta AND the 3rd party maker to use a proper sand-resistant coating, but instead opted for their own sand-attracting finish that they use on tanks and everything else they need a coating on.

    • Beretta doesn’t make many magazines in the first place. They use Mec-Gar for most of their pistol models, or at least for most/all of their pistols with staggered or double stack magazines. Though the offending mags were manufactured by Check-Mate in the U.S., right?

      At any rate, that’s obviously too much detail to go into on a review about a Ruger. But the text doesn’t imply that Beretta manufactured the magazines or that it was their “fault” or whatever, if that’s a concern of yours. Just that magazines for the M9 Beretta were failing in sandy conditions and that problem was solved by switching to magazines with this sort of coating on them.

  29. Ruger designed the gun to meet or exceed the militaries combat pistol specs. In the reviews discussion of durability I didn’t see that mentioned or I missed it. Those specs call for the firearm to be able to fire 20K rounds without needing repairs. Ruger tested it by firing 25K rounds of military ammo without a breakdown. If they can show those results were accomplished by independent tests I would feel very good about the guns durability and reliability.

  30. clayb, been a Ruger fan since dad gave me a single six 30 plus years ago (still have it and still shoots great after 1000s of rounds) great firearms at a fair price, and customer service that is second to none, Have owned many of Bill Rugers designs over the years and have enjoyed them all. I’m not a competition shooter just a fun shooter that enjoys burning ammo at paper and harvesting game, Its great to hear that Ruger is building a pistol that may dispel the Ruger lawyer trigger syndrome. My P95 IMHO is a great firearm and damned accurate. Bought the LC9, Terrible trigger, traded for LC9S love it, Passed my 30 year old 10/22 down to my son, so i had to buy a new one and promptly installed the Ruger BX trigger, Bought the new AR 556 and installed the 451 elite trigger. IMHO Ruger can build a great trigger, they just dont install it in their firearms. My Ruger #1 in 25.06 and Model 77 in 220 swift are absolute tack drivers at any range. Just my ramblings for what its worh.

  31. Have been an NRA Instructor and Police Firearms Instructor for over 25 years. Have many rugers as well as other pistols. I found the RAP has more recoil than other 45s I own, including my Taurus OSS/DS 24/7. Don’t see less recoil but in fact more. Also find the RAP rubs against my thumb saddle joint of my shooting hand and I have a medium sized hand. No other 45 does this but the RAP. The rear novak sight slides completely off when the screw is lightened up for adjustment. No other 45 or other caliber pistol I have does this either. Accuracy was found to be superb at 10 yards shooting 230 grain ball using only a two hand hold. 1/2 inch group with 10 rounds.

  32. Just got the ruger a9 pro duty 9mm. At first I didn’t like the weight, but after shooting rounds out of the handgun, love it. I like this handgun , the durability, the smooth feel when shooting at targets, no kick back. Helps for better accuracy for your target. I own quite a selection of pistols and by far this one is at top five. The trigger isn’t a issue to me like I hear from others, does everything I want it to and more. I’ve shot 550 rounds from this pistol and everything is as tight as I’ve first bought it.

  33. My only gripe with my new RAP is the sharp edges on the lanyard cutout. They impact the heel of the shooter’s hand. Easily fixed in 5 minutes with a file and some sandpaper. The reset on my pistol seems shorter than the one in your review. Maybe there was a fix at the factory. The Mags do not fit flush with the bottom of the grip. Don’t know if that is a problem or not.

    • That’s normal. It’s rare that pistols other than competition/target shooting-oriented ones have a rear sight that’s adjustable for elevation. My sights were right on, but the solution on most self-defense type guns like this is usually swapping the front sight out for one that’s shorter or taller. Most manufacturers tend to sell a short, medium, and tall front sight for making windage adjustments. If it’s too tall (the gun is hitting low), you can also file it down to make it shorter. If it’s too short already, technically you could file the rear down a bit in most cases.

  34. The only thing that bothers me about the Ruger American 9mm pistol is that when a full mag is inserted and the chamber is loaded as well, the mag rattles.

  35. I’m looking for my first handgun to practice for the police academy. Would you recommend the Ruger American or a Glock 21.

    • Probably Glock 17. I’d stick with 9mm since it will be a lot less expensive to practice with and I’d go Glock just because it’s the most common firearm among police departments and you may as well get to know it. Alternatively, if you know what specific firearm model the police department you’d be working with uses, get that one. Though if it’s a Glock 21 I might still suggest getting a 17 just so you can practice with 9mm. Likewise if it’s a SIG in .40 or whatever gun in whatever caliber, I’d probably get it in 9mm to practice with. Though if the difference in the ammo cost isn’t a concern for you then, sure, go same-same across the board.

        • BTW just to clarify a bit, I still think the RAP is a great gun and I’ve shot mine a lot since writing this review and it continues to perform flawlessly. I’d say I do enjoy shooting it a bit more than I enjoy shooting a Glock. If you were a normal dude just asking which gun to buy for recreational use, home defense, etc., it would be a way harder answer. They both have merits and they’re both great and it’s very subjective. Due to the specific nature of you getting a gun for LE use, though, the answer changes and I say get whatever gun it is that the department uses (with the caveat of considering 9mm even if the department uses a different caliber just so you can practice at a lower cost). Even if the gun ‘sucks’ for whatever reason, I’d get that gun and become familiar with it.

    • I concur with the Glock 17. I’ve carried a Glock on duty for 24 years, first a 17 and currently the 22 in .40. It is a solid performer and you have a huge choice of holsters, etc. The 9mm gives you real value for practice, as it’s about 30% less expensive than .40. If you are purchasing your own gun, you may want to consider the 19. Slightly smaller, but better for off-duty or CCW carry, and still plenty of options for holsters, etc.

  36. I’m looking for my first pistol. I want to use it for training for the police academy. I have narrowed it down to the Glock 21 and the Ruger American. Which one would you seen as the best fit.

  37. FWIW these are on sale TODAY for 249 at Palmetto State Armory!!! Wish I had some spare dough!

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