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The lack of a unique selling point for Ruger’s new old 1911 is leaving many a gun guru at a loss for words. “It’s a 1911” and “it works” seems to be the consensus. That said, Wild Bill has a failure to feed problem at 11:00, which he ascribes to a telescoped Federal round. I wonder how the SR1911 likes hollow points. (Side notes: using the slide stop as a slide release is not recommended practice for self-defense. Drives me friggin’ nuts. As for Hickok’s left thumb over the right grip, when I can shoot that well, I’ll complain.)

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    • Unique means one. Choose one.

      What does the SR1911 do better than anyone else, that sets it apart from the competition? What is its claim to fame?

      • I’d guess that the SR1911’s claim to fame is all in the manufacturing process, not the product itself. My guess is that Ruger put a lot of work and money into the machines and workflows to make this thing. In Michael Bane’s podcast, he hinted that they had stuff that he wasn’t allowed to talk about. Even if some of that is exaggerated, anything that Ruger can do to get the cost of manufacturing a 1911 in the USA down will give them an advantage I suspect. If the product quality proves to be good, they’ll recoup their investment before the rest of the industry can adopt their machines and processes… At least that’s my guess.

        • All that manufacturing stuff means nothing to the consumer.

          I assume what you’re saying is that the Ruger SR1911’s new manufacturing process ends-up giving the consumer excellent value-for-money (VFM). In other words, good quality at a good price. Or excellent quality at an excellent price.

          No matter. That’s an extremely weak USP (Unique Selling Point). 1911 manufacturers with a rep for high quality (e.g., Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Kimber, SIG) can reach down with a lower-priced product (Wilson already did this a bit with the X-TAC). Manufacturers with a rep for lower-prices can reach up with a new, higher-quality product (e.g., Springfield). Ruger gets squeezed from both ends.

          Besides, VFM just isn’t that compelling. Ruger SR1911: the best 1911 money can buy at or around $800. Sure, some people will bite, but even then you have to define “best.” Best what? Best made? Most accurate? What?

          Most gun buyers don’t have much mental bandwidth (i.e. they have a life). They rely on branding to inform their decisions. Glock = reliable. Wilson = 1911. Springfield = comfortable. Smith & Wesson = revolvers. Ruger = ?

          For me, the Ruger brand is about durability. IMHO, the SP101 doesn’t have as good a trigger as an S&W J-Frame, but the Ruger is a tack driver. Literally. If I wanted to use a handgun to hammer nails into wood, I’d use the stainless SP101. Ruger = brick shithouse.

          There’s a USP right there. A 1911 that can take anything you can throw at it. Solid. Tough. It kinda borders on reliable, but the marketing suggests itself. Which is how it is with strong brands. If you keep the faith with the consumer’s expectations (in whose mind the brand exists), everything is easy. Stray into novel territory and you eventually end up languishing on the shelf. If may take years, decades even. But that’s what happens. Every time.

      • Intregal plunger tube, titanium feed ramp, series 70 firing assembly, GI recoil assembly, slim grips out of box…….all pretty desirable stuff in a commander size package. I want one bad!

  1. Hickok45 is the man.

    He, along with and Jeff Quinn are great reviewers. Practical, no BS, very little bias.


    • Did you really put “Jeff Quinn” and “no BS” in the same sentence? Looky here, I really enjoy Jeff Quinn, I read his blog all the time, but has he ever reviewed a gun (or a gun maker) he didn’t like?

  2. watching a Hickok45 video does a couple of things to the male psyche… not the least of which is to spark intense feelings of admiration… next would be jealousy…

    • i would say i am SUPER jealous of that shooting range he has, the animal shapes are my favorite targets in his videos. He has got a great sense of humor, displayed in his zombie hunting clips (my fav with the shotgun) One BadA$$ fella if you ask me.

  3. “using the slide stop as a slide release is not recommended practice for self-defense.”

    Since when? that’s what it’s there for. If it works 99% of the time and is designed to be pressed with a thumb (Glocks are not, 1911s and the like are) then why not use it when it’s faster and just as easy to do.

    • When you’re in adrenalin dump mode, your finger are like flippers. The slide stop—which isn’t called a “slide release”—requires fine motor coordination when gross motor skills are all you’re gonna get. Also, releasing the slide stop causes a momentary loss of muzzle control. And it’s not unknown for shooters to have their finger on the trigger when using the stop, causing an ND. Which can also happen during a weak hand release, but still.

      • I’m curious as to how having the trigger pressed upon release will cause the gun to fire, that’s what the disconnector is there for. Muzzle control is also lost when slingshotting the slide, and you also have to take more time to re-form your grip after a slingshot. For me, hitting the slide stop on the way back from a reload is just part of me reforming my grip, and it is muscle memory at this point.

        I can’t speak to how I would perform under life-or-death stress, but when the shot clock is behind me causing stress I can still hit the slide stop, and it works for me the 99% of the time that a lot of people profess, but I can see your rationale behind slingshotting everything too. I guess we can agree to disagree on that point 🙂

  4. In November 1957, I turned 16. In January 1958, I swore into the Army. (Yeah, I lied about my age.) In basic training, I first shot the 1911. I ended up doing two hitches, the second one going through light weapons infantry, jump school, and SF training. I trained further on the 1911 and carried one as part of my basic weapons issue. In 1967, I bought my very own Colt Series 70 1911. I still have it. I also have five more, 2 SAs and 3 Caspians. I carried the 1911 not only in the military, but also as a federal agent and as a civilian. I have carried guns now for a very long time, and often the 1911. I continue to train regularly at Front Sight Nevada. I totally rebuilt my Colt and the 2 SAs, adding all NM internals and the normal exterior bells and whistles. I built from the ground up all three Caspians, 2 with the bells and whistles and one on the Caspian 1911 style frame, with staked front sight, wide spur hammer, surplus GI trigger, old Colt thumb safety, etc. This September 2013 I will be building another 1911 under the watchful eye of Larry Vickers, assuming Obama, Schumer, Pelosi, and that gang allow us to have guns by then. I am on the notice list for an SR1911 and am looking forward to getting it. I no doubt will work it over wherever needed, but expect it to be better internally than the SAs. As for Hickok45, he shoots just fine, whatever way he holds his thumbs. The Straight-Thumbs technique now is practiced by many, if not most, competitive shooters. It has its applications and strong points. The Thumb-Over-Thumb grip style is part of the (think Cooper/Gunsite) Modern Technique of the handgun taught as a method for using the handgun for self defense, as opposed for cometition. The idea is to provide a solid grip with little manipulation of the wrists, keeping the right hand thumb on top of the thumb safety, and the left hand thumb away from the slide and the slide stop. The slide stop is easy to bump and cause premature and unintended slide lock, a potential killer in a gunfight, but only points lost in competition Nudging or dragging on the slide wtih either thumb can cause failure to eject or failure to feed, depending upon the part of the cycle retarded. This tends to happen during recoil if the thumbs are near either part, and especially during times of high stress when the shooter is lucky at times to hold onto his gun as he is moving fast and shooting at the same time. Hickok45 clearly uses both techniques, and based upon his many rounds fired without failures function while regularly hitting his targets, he clearly uses both well and effectively. Hickok45 is not out there showing off his knowledge and technique, but only having fun and running lots of well-aimed rounds through his guns to show us how well they function and how accurate they are in often rapid and mostly offhand shooting. In my many years, I notice that there are the nitpickers and there are the doers. Hickok45 is a doer, and a pretty damned good one, at that. Carry on, Wild Bill, for those many of us oldsters and youngsters alike who enjoy and appreciate what it is you do.

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