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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Long Ridge Deer Camp Weaponry Review Inc. (just kidding)

I knew I would get SOMETHING started, with my review of the S&W 1911Sc, which if you read the blog, have figured out that I love it, and am currently carrying it as my go-to.
Well today a good friend couldn't help himself, and dropped off a brand new in the box Ruger SR1911. Those of you in the know realize SR1911 stands for Stainless Ruger 1911 .45 ACP.
With all due warnings to my buddy that I would be completely frank in my review (he WANTS that) I took it in hand. He is forwarding a thousand rounds for a complete wring-out. I know, I KNOW, the mainstream mags all put a few hundred through a gun and review it. But as a professional carrier, sorry, can't I do that. I need a full thousand before I trust a piece. So below you see a few pictures of it. This is a full sized 5 inch barreled .45, and it weighs a hefty 2 lbs. 13+ oz loaded. So right off I can tell you that unless you are wearing full duty rig, or you are a silly 22 year old, you are NOT going to carry this gun for protection. It is simply too heavy. This is a gun you might hunt with, carry in a belt holster for a hike or  protection in the woods or take to the range occasionally to target practice. Mostly, this is a gun you'll keep most of the time in your gun safe. It IS a handsome piece, let's take a look.
Stainless though and through, this gun is built to last, not only against corrosion but for sheer strength. You can drop this piece on cement, and while it wouldn't make it prettier, it will still work. I note in the first picture that it does not have an ambidextrous safety. (I happen to like them on the 1911 platform, because I am required in quals to shoot with just my weak hand) Otherwise quite sturdy. This 1911 has an internal extractor - not good or bad, but they do require tuning and timing. I did note some coarser machine marks on the inside, and the slide lock cut out in the frame looks like it was done with a hack saw. But unseen all, until field stripped. And while this doesn't have the fine machining of the Smith, remember, it sells at retail for 300.00 less than the S&W. It has sturdy white dot day sights on it.
 On the flip side, above, you can see this gun has an extended (though flat, I prefer curved) safety. The flat safeties lend themselves to being activated under stress, when you least want them to, and this was my experience with this piece. Skeleton trigger and hammer, good for pruning a little weight (anything helps on a gun this big) and typical wood grips. Like the Smith, it comes with a 7 and an 8 round magazine.
 Here they are side by side (kinda). The Ruger is a full sized 5 inch, and the Smith is a Commander with a 4 1/4 inch barrel. Otherwise the size is identical except that the S&W is a bobtail.
 Above is the loaded Ruger on the scale. It weighs exactly what my full sized Dan Wesson 10mm does.
Just like the Smith, it fits the Fobus C-21 holster perfectly.
Now, people, before we go cannot write a perfect review in utter silence. A fitting piece is this CD of Mozart's 1st and 4th.  It settles the mind, and puts the cat and pups promptly to sleep so that I can work.
So far, I have field stripped the Ruger. Somewhat interesting, because it takes a bushing wrench like the Smith, but in fact, has no full length guide rod. A lot of 1911s with no guide rods come apart w/o a bushing wrench, so this was a surprise. One might ask what is the advantage/nonadvantage of a full length vs non full length guide rod? None. Two screaming schools of 1911 aficionados out there take the side of one or the other, but neither is superior. Most of your competitive shooters want the full length guide rod. It is said to keep the slide more perfectly aligned on the rails on recoil, less wear, more weight for less recoil etc. The other side thinks no guide rod is more reliable. I am of neither school, and would counsel you to buy a 1911 based on looks, function, and fun. Don't even bother to ask which your model comes with. The top tier of custom 1911 makers don't agree either. Some use one, some the other.
 I did find the gun as dry as a sun dried tomato, so I lathered it (you read that right) up with Slip 2000, and racked the slide twenty five times. By the time ammo ships in, that stuff will have penetrated everywhere.
Dry firing it felt as if the trigger were a bit lighter than the Smith, but when I measured the pull it is just about the same at 5 3/4 lbs. Some grittiness on take up, but that always smooths out with firing. We'll see and re-check after 500 rounds.
Stand by for updates!
OK people! Below you see the Ruger 'heavy' as I call it, a full five inch 2 1/2 pound loaded behemoth ready to have it's mags loaded to set the springs. I always do this with new weapons, especially single stack mags. They can be tremendously difficult to load at first - so, load, and leave to set for a week, and bam! Easy to load, just like that!
 Today it approached 35 degrees, so with the -20 degrees on a tailwind, I decided to hit the range to check the stamina of this rugged looking piece. I should tell you at the outset that I have never been a big Ruger fan. They have made honest weapons, for honest money, always. But I was just never impressed by them. Always worked, mediocre accuracy, fairly priced, a working man's gun. Not one you would take on a serious date if you know what I mean. In fact, in the state academy training in the early nineties, we actually forbid recruits from bringing them. They didn't work, failed the officers, and Ruger was non-responsive. I did own for years a series 181 Ruger Mini-14 that I had as a truck gun. It ALWAYS functioned, no matter what. Ammo, atmosphere, dirt, salt, it didn't matter. It went boom. Trouble was, I could never hit anything with it. No matter the ammo (and I tried them all), I could do no better than 4 inches at a hundred. Did an expensive trigger job on it,  and...four inch groups. Eventually I sold it, though I loved shooting it. Now you know how I really feel, read on.
Below is the piece, 300 rounds through it, and hot. Can't touch the barrel. Dirty. That lube I poured over it oozing everywhere. 300 rounds. Shot it fast ( and I mean fast). Shot it slowly. Shot it on it's right side, shot it on it's left side. Shot it upside down. Shot it one handed, two handed, even shot it holding it so lightly that most pistols would fail to go back into battery. Nope. This baby works. It just pure shoots no matter what you do, as long as you release the safety, and pull the trigger, it goes bang. I am impressed. No failures of ANY kind including failures to lockback. It was so shootable, that after this many rounds I decided to paste a few targets and check accuracy.

 Below is the first magazine in a target I shot. Fifteen yards, cadence fire, one eight round mag. Aiming for the Q but want you to realize that the front white dot sight on this gun is not the best. You almost have to shoot this pistol as you would with regular patridge sights. 6 o'clock hold. I didn't and you see the results a bit high. Remembering my own screaming at officers ' The white dot is your sight, the piece around it is only the sight housing' and I came back to earth. Even so, this target below is completely acceptable in any shooter's school.
 Next target below is a fifteen yard cadence fired head shot target, eight rounds. Would YOU want to be challenging this big ol' Ruger?
 A second eight round magazine fired at same target rapid fire. I am getting used to this Ruger, and I am using a six o'clock hold (or whatever you THINK you do during rapid fire) on the crease. This pistol does shoot a bit high to point of aim. But, let me ask you...want to argue with this Ruger?
 OK, out to 25 yards. I know, I KNOW, the magazines always give you group sizes for pistols at 25 yards. Sand bags, Ransom rests, the whole big job. For what? Who has TIME for that? Let's see what this baby will do in real time!
Below, an eight round magazine, cadence time, 6 o'clock hold on the crease. In other words, on center mass, and behold! Right where you would want these rounds to go! A bit high, and perfect. I am starting to like this gun.
 Let's get picky. Let's do cadence time shots at twenty five yards, to the head. 6 O'clock hold, about on the crease (remember, front sight is clear, target is blurred rule) and true to form, all shots but one a bit high. Again I ask you..want to argue with this beast?
 I could never pull off shooting 500 rounds with the two magazines that came with this gun, so threw in three of my own, and it was made palatable and fun!
 Same target, but this time, let's shoot three 8 round magazines, rapid fire (again, I mean rapid)
at center mass, twenty five yards. Grouping a bit left, but exactly up where it should be. The left stuff is my bad, not the gun. A thousand more rounds here, and I (or you) would 'grow' into this pistol. Do NOT adjust the sights!
 Again, a twenty five yard target. One magazine rapid fire to the head, and the rest of the last 50 rounds rapid fire to center mass. Fast and furious. I have zero issues with the field/defense accuracy of this hand gun.
 Last test. I love the dot torture test, and require it of myself very often and with every gun I ever carry. Isn't easy, but it is probably the fastest way to sight/target engagement trigger pull improvement there is... With a new to me gun, I always start at 3-4 yards with this. Even at that, it is not easy. This target includes two handed, one handed, weak handed only, reloads, draw and shoot, multiple target, and a myriad of other built in exercises. It is a fifty round, no speed required, exercise. Get good at this at 7 yards, and you are GOOD! Anyway, below is the first (and only) torture test I did with the full size Ruger. So much easier than with my lightweight commander. First of all, the Ruger, being so heavy, has a ton less recoil. A TON less. And with nearly an inch longer sight radius, it is much easier to shoot accurately. While this is not a perfect target, it is as good as any I have ever done the first time shooting a new pistol. Except maybe my M&P Shield. Maybe.
Conclusion - Buy it
This is a moderately priced pistol in major caliber, (you can buy this for $650 bucks any day of the week) built to function, and function it does. This is not a carry piece. But if you want a home protector, a chunk on your hip for a hike or hunt, or simply want a gun you can own forever to take to the range and fire 20,000 rounds through it without worry, this is a good buy. I was skeptical, and for my purposes, it will not do. But for the reason you might want a piece as listed above, you just can't go wrong. The fixed three dot Novak sights suck. They are unadjustable  (except windage)
and after a hundred rounds even the front white dot is black from powder residue. So what! Buy a set of TFO's and you are in the major leagues for all light situations. The trigger smoothed out and is acceptable. I did not try a dozen types of ammunition in this piece. I did not need too. I know how to make a gun malfunction, and this little guy simply said 'no'.  Frankly, people, this is the first Ruger firearm I have ever shot, that I truly enjoyed, and wanted to just keep going. They've come a long way these folks in Newport NH (er...Arizona I should say). And, I'll confess. Last year in researching Commander sized .45's, it came down to the Ruger 6711 and the S&W 1911Sc. The bobtail, tritium night sights and scandia frame was the only thing between me and the Ruger. But, I paid a $400.00 premium for that. So there you have it. A GlocklovingS&WM&Ptotingarmorerinstructorswatguy telling you that this gun, this full sized Ruger 1911, is a go! Have fun! 

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