Collapse bottom bar

Guns & Ammo Network

Handgun Reviews Semiauto

Ruger’s SR Grows Up: Ruger SR45 Review

by James Tarr   |  May 14th, 2013 9


In 2007, Ruger introduced the SR9. In addition to being Ruger’s first striker-fired handgun, compared to the firm’s other chunky autos the SR9 looked like a Ferrari. It was sleek, it was modern, it was affordable, it was made in America, and it was reliable. I helped out on a torture test in which we shot 7,000 rounds through an SR9 in one afternoon, and it never jammed once. Our hands ended up in worse shape than the gun.

In the eyes of many gun owners, however, Ruger made one huge blunder with the SR9: The company chambered it in 9mm.

There are many who believe the search for a handgun cartridge suitable for self-defense begins and ends with the .45 ACP. I know how they feel; I used to be a member of that congregation myself. I still believe the .45 ACP is the handgun cartridge against which all others should be judged when it comes to self-defense, and for everyone who thinks the same way, you now have a new pistol to put on your wish list: the Ruger SR45.

Ruger had no desire to mess with success, and so the looks and proportions of the SR45 appear to be identical to the SR9 and SR40. From a distance, the only way to tell the difference seems to be the “SR45” etched on the slide. And in fact the gun comes with an SR9 instruction manual, with an insert for the newest model that reads, “With the exception of its caliber, the Ruger SR45 pistol has the same basic operational characteristics as all other SR-Series pistols.” It has just been super-sized, so to speak.

The SR45 sports a 4.5-inch barrel and is eight inches in length and 5.75 inches tall. Maximum width, at the safety, is 1.3 inches, but the bulk of the gun is less than 1.2 inches in thickness. Empty weight is 30.2 ounces. That makes it less than half an inch longer and taller than the SR9, and only four ounces heavier. It is rated for +P loads.

The SR45’s frame is constructed of the same fiberglass-filled nylon as the previous SR models, and it has functional fine checkering on all the gripping surfaces. The front of the frame has a low-profile tactical rail for mounting weapon lights or lasers, a must in today’s marketplace.

The slide on the two-tone version I was sent is stainless steel; an all-black version with a black nitride-coated alloy slide is also available.

Sights are the same as on previous models. They’re made out of steel, as all serious sights should be. The front sight is dovetailed into the slide and sports a big white dot.

The rear sight is also dovetailed, and it can be drifted for windage and adjustable for elevation via a screw as well. The rear features white dots on either side of the notch smaller than that of the one on the front sight, and that size difference is visible when obtaining a sight picture.

Capacity on the SR45 is 10+1. I’m sure Ruger did this for several reasons—first and foremost being that when you start trying to stuff more than 10 rounds of fat .45s into a magazine, the grip of the pistol tends to get a bit beefy. The frame of the SR45 feels almost narrow in my hand, even more so because of the slightly narrower contoured section of grip on the front of the frame around which your fingers will wrap.

At its thickest point the grip is 1.2 inches thick (the same as the SR9/40), and the narrow front of the frame is a mere one-inch thick. By contrast, the frame of a Glock 17 is about 1.18 inches thick all over. Ruger provides two matte black 10-round magazines with the pistol, equipped with easily removable polymer base pads. They have marked index holes on each side: 5, 7, and 9 on the left; 4, 6, 8, and 10 on the right.

Ruger could have stuffed one or two more rounds into the design without adding noticeable girth, considering the steel SR45 magazine is actually narrower than a Glock 17 magazine, but the gun was designed so it could be sold in every state (this was before New York passed draconian new magazine-capacity restrictions).

Load Comments ( )
back to top