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Personal Defense Pistols

Exclusive Ruger SR40c Review

by J. Scott Rupp   |  June 29th, 2011 31

Last December I was invited to a Ruger event at the famed Gunsite shooting facility—-conveniently located near Ruger’s Prescott, AZ, plant. There, Ruger unveiled three new firearms: the Gunsite Scout rifle, which was featured on the cover of May/June 2011 issue of RifleShooter; the SR-1911, the company’s first-ever 1911 (a review of which you can see on Handguns TV); and the SR40c, a compact version of the SR40, itself a relatively new pistol.

The Ruger SR40c is a striker-fired pistol that’s less than seven inches long overall and weighs just a hair over 23 ounces.

The rifle was introduced a few weeks afterward, and I had written up the 1911 and the SR40c for inclusion in Handguns’ annual new gun preview (April/May issue). Then, just as we were going to press, I heard from Ruger: The introduction of both handguns was being postponed, and I had to pull the write-ups. The 1911 was announced at the NRA show in May, and, finally, today—six months after the Gunsite event–Ruger unveiled the SR40c to the public.

The gun features a 3.5-inch barrel and an OAL of 6.85 inches. It’s 4.6 inches high, and width is the same as the SR40: 1.27 inches across the safety levers. Weight is a svelte 23.4 ounces. The SR40c comes with adjustable three-dot sights, and an accessory rail is molded into the glass-filled nylon frame.

If you’re familiar with the SR9, which was introduced a few years ago, you know about the reversible backstrap. Simply drive out a pin and choose either flat or rounded strap, whichever fits your hand best.

The newly announced Ruger SR40c in action last December at Gunsite.The gun features a visual and tactile loaded-chamber indicator, striker blocker, trigger safety, magazine disconnect and an ambi frame-mounted safety. The mag release is likewise ambidextrous.

At Gunsite, everyone was drawn to the 1911, but I was just as impressed with the SR40c and shot it quite a bit. The pistol comes with a nine-round flush magazine along with a 15-rounder that fits seamlessly into the grip courtesy of an extension that slides over the magazine. I didn’t have the opportunity to shoot the nine-rounder, but I shot the 15 with and without the extension–the latter in one of Gunsite’s shoot houses as part of a room-clearing exercise–and found it quite controllable and accurate in both configurations.

A grip extension on the Ruger SR40C slides over the 15-round magazine to make the grip full size.

A grip extension on the Ruger SR40C slides over the 15-round magazine to make the grip full size.

I don’t recall Ruger discussing this at Gunsite, but according to the press release, the magazine bodies are treated with an anti-friction coating to reduce the effort required to load the magazines fully. Perhaps it’s something the pistol’s designers decided to add since the intro event.

If you’re looking for a very concealable, nice handling (for a subcompact .40) pistol for carry, the SR40c is definitely worth checking out. While it’s not approved for Massachusetts, it is on the California approved list (and ships with nine-round mags instead of 15 for CA). All-black and black/brushed stainless options are available, and the gun has a suggested retail of $525.

  • Thomas Ray

    Is it possible that Ruger will produce a lc40 after the lc9 has been produced

    • Quiet Man


      Ruger will have to wait for KelTec to make a small .40 so they can copy it. IE. 3AT to LCP PF9 to LC9.

      Taurus already makes a pocket sized .40. I can't think of the model right now.



        • Scott Rupp

          Mr. Tindle: Just wanted to note a couple of things. One, we covered Kel-Tec twice in recent issues of the magazine: a review of the PMR-30 in June/July and the PF-9 as part of a 9mm shootout feature. With regard to the coverage Smith and Ruger get, these two companies are constantly introducing new models, and one of our primary missions is to bring our audience a look at newly introduced handguns. Companies such as Kel-Tec may bring out only one new model a year, and sometimes not even that.

          • matt

            he he

      • Russ

        It is the Taurus PT740 Slim

      • Bruce Johns

        I don't consider the quality of any Keltec to come any where close to the quality of the Ruger. Just my opinion. Shot both and thats just I call it.

        • Caligula

          I've had a Kel-Tec PF-9 for two years; it's a great gun at a low price, and has a better trigger than the Ruger LC9. I also can't stand the magazine disconnect on the Luger and really don't see the need for a safety on a pistol with such a long pull and diminutive size.

          It's quite obvious that Ruger copied the Kel-Tec. The quality is ver good on the Kel-Tec, and I have put about 400 rounds through it without one malfunction. It is an ugly duckling, but this pistol is for social work, not beauty pageants.

  • Jed Henson

    @ Thomas Ray: Heh, I dunno, but I imagine it would be quite a handful!

  • Stevie

    Seems to be a much larger gun than the lc9.

  • Dale Bailey

    Why would you use a 9mm when you can use a 10mm(.40 cal ? If you can get to a .45, use that.

    The 9mm was adopted to make U.N. types and Europeans happy, not to make zombies Dead Right There.

    Without very hi-tech ammo the 9mm is the reason for the "double tap", the.40 is more effective , the .45 better yet and the all in a close-up encounter.

    The point of defense is survival !

    • Joe

      so what is your point? Anyway better ammo is always a good thing .45 hardball can hardly be cosiderd a great round,even the .380 is a good choice foe CCW with new JHP loads.

      • Joe

        I do like the .45 but I would not carry hardball unless my gun would not feed JHPs

    • Jerry

      If this country ever collapses, 9mm ammo will be the easiest to obtain. When you're in panic mode you tend to miss, 9mm pistols have larger magazines. You don't have to be rich to shoot one and you can practice more.

  • Mike Ford

    Just fired my new sr40c this mornnin, and all i can say is "WOW" Accurate. Fail free. Recoil is what you would expect from a 9mm. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • Lito

    I am waiting for a SR45. I hope it comes out soon.

    • Joe

      The P345 would have been a great gun if it had a 5in barrel,it has a great grip thin yet hand filling.

  • Richard Tompkins

    Bought an SR40C for my birthday last week (what a great wife, she gives me a gift of cash and says go buy whatever firearm related stuff you want) and it is a pleasure to shoot. Field stripping and reassembly was a breeze. My Stoeger Cougar .45 is still my primary carry piece; however, the SR40C will make a great #2 weapon and has clearly pushed my Taurus Protector revolver into 3rd place.

  • Big Kielbasa

    Checked one of these out at my local Sportsman warehouse and will consider a purchase. Before I do that I want to fire the new Bersa 40 to make a comparison.

  • Todd

    just purchased SR40c its great very reliable, accurate, and not 2 heavy the recoil is almost non existent it is a great weapon to carry !!!

  • Martin Buck

    Why are the Peterson websites so SLOWWWW and take ages to load up.

    I thought progress meant improvement, not deterioration (we have age to do that). Have you hired someone's idiot son-in-law to do the job?

    Really, people. Everybody else does better. Life is too short to wait.

  • all

    what is a cheap good target ammo for my sr40c

  • Ray Austin

    Smith&Wesson , Sturm Ruger all the way USA.

  • utah

    whi dont yu basturds lern ho too spele

  • xcountry

    just bought one,about 200 rds not a hiccup this thing runs as good as my Sig 239 and it weighs less and is smaller and just as accurate.The Sigs in the safe now! Oh Yeah….half the price!

  • james king

    i guess i would stick to my ruger p90 45cal. opinions or not, this sob is so f-ing accurate. its hard tobelive ican shoot 2in groupings 40yrds. s and w are okay but aperson is just buying into the name,also i can just say ruger has proven time and againthey as handgun manufatuer can BACKUP their reputation by the quality and accuracey on how good their gunsREALLY ARE. ive seen it time and again how dependable in a life and death situation they are. my p90 has saved my life more than once. on and attempted.home invasion.

  • andy

    well mine jams like jelly,i get light stikes on the primers its getting sent back to ruger asap!!!

    • joe

      if it is a new gun clean the striker and ejector ruger packs these things in grease. I bought mine used and dirty as hell and had tons of problems, jams, light strikes and pinched rounds. After a ton of cleaning and a very light oiling not a single problem over the last 300 rounds. Just keep it clean and don't over lubricate and you'll have a great gun.

  • TAbbe

    Just fired my new sr40c this afternoon and am very pleased. It has less recoil than my berreta 92 and fires just as accurate. The only problem I have now is I need every aftermarket accessory for it. I'm hooked.


    Just got another Ruger with the SR40C. I too, have Keltec, Bersa, and Beretta's ranging from 22-40 caliber. By far, the SR40c is the best overall. Nothing wrong with the others, but this one will be my primary CCW. Very pleased with performance and quality.

  • Bill

    I have had mine for about a year now and have fired 750 rounds not I single jam . I also love the fact that a friend bought his Glock 40 cal and it jammed on him.

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