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I just received notification from the lovely Beth McAllister that Ruger’s sending me an SR1911 to test and evaluate on your behalf. I’m planning on putting the gun through the usual editorial wringer: style, ergonomics, accuracy, carry-ability, reliability, etc. But I’m still stumped on what makes the SR1911 better/different/more desirable than its competitors. I’m sure Ruger will have some thoughts in that regard, of which I’ll share with you. But I’m appealing to TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. How should we test this gun to prove its metal/mettle? Oh, and I’m setting-up a “bring your own ammo” shooting session at American Firearms School for any local TTAGers who want to give it a go. Details next week.

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  1. If handloads are available then the light target loads favored by bullseye shooters, 185-200 gr lead SWC bullets at 700-750 fps, would be an interesting test. Likewise something using plain lead bullets (i.e. inexpensive) that makes 165 power factor.

    Another test is trying as many different brands of magazine as possible.

  2. I think the biggest thing it brings to the table is being 100% American made. Also, no series 80 firing pin lock, and no plastic parts.
    For me, it is set up out of the box just as I would have it built if I was ordering on made. (Only exception, I would like a bobtail version). I have been considering getting a 1911 again after a long time without one; the Ruger is now top of the list for me.

  3. Some ideas:

    Basic stuff:
    -Function with various types of ammo
    -Hand loads (something like 200gr LSWC over 4.2 grains bullseye)
    -Test function with different magazines
    -Consistency of operation

    I feel like these detail separates classes of 1911:
    -Field strip, machining marks, quality of finish internally
    -Verify the presence of and measure height of “bowtie” for barrel link clearance.
    -Detail strip, are contact surfaces polished?
    -Measure trigger weight
    -quantify trigger takeup if any
    -is the thumb safety positive or mushy?
    -how well does the mag release work with partially full magazines.
    – quality of checkering if any.

    • +1

      Detail strip it and show us what the small part machining/casting quality looks like. How’s the overall fit and finish? Is the extractor tightly seated and flush with the back end of the slide? Is there barrel movement in lockup? How’s the grip safety fit and engagement? Are the small parts (slide stop, thumb safety, fire control group) cast or forged?

      The gun does seem to lack a design “point of view”, and there are some confusing cosmetic and configuration choices. That said, if it’s a high-quality, well-fit American 1911 under $800 then it’s still going to be of interest. I’d like to know if that’s actually the case.

    • If Ruger wants to “legalize” their 1911 for MA, there should be no problem. Ruger knows the MA rules inside and out. Aside from the drop tests, a MA handgun is required to have a trigger pull of more than 10 lbs. in DA mode. That’s been the stopper for Glock and others. But the 10 lb. rule has no adverse impact on a 1911 for obvious reasons.

  4. The one thing that appears unique about this 1911 is the titanium firing pin and heavy firing spring setup. Any way to test if this actually works?

  5. See if it can run 500 rounds of mixed magazines of FMJ, hollowpoint and frangible ammunition without throwing a hissy fit (as every stock 1911 I have ever seen does). Then try 500 rounds of steel and nickel cased stuff to see if the ejector will go TU. Then see if it will work with several different brands of magazine. If it survives all of that without needing adjustment and/or repair you will have finally found a 1911 I will buy.

  6. I think that your testing session is a great idea, if you allow several people to use their own ammo and mags this will show us how the gun really performs.

  7. Noted and logged. I’ll do as many of these test as I possibly can. With a little help from TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia (AFS date to be announced next week), we’ll put a LOT more than 1000 rounds through the gun, including hollow points and your other suggestions.

  8. In fairness, if you’re going to test the gun with light SWC target loads you need to bring a lighter recoil spring to the party. I would be surprised not to see ftf and fte with those target rounds and an 18# standard spring.
    Otherwise, just wring the puppy out. I’m not sure what purpose would be served by an extended session without cleaning or lubrication, but checking function with mixed mags and various bullet shapes would be of interest to me and a bunch of others I suspect.

  9. As far as I know, Ruger does not use MIM parts. If that’s true, that would be a BIG selling point, at least for me.

    I would also like to see it go through some of the torture tests (after a break in period, otherwise the tests will not be a true representation of that the gun can do.) The big three tests in my book are mud, sand and salt water corrosion.

    Now I, personally, don’t think a gun MUST function flawlessly after it was “stuffed” with mud or sand or kept in the salt water for days, however, I think a good gun should function well if it’s accidentally dropped into either mud or sand. It should also function well after it was submerged in sea water and then left for 8 to 10 hours in a humid environment.

    BTW, it would be nice to see this gun available in black finish.


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