Review: Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style
May 01, 2019
Ruger has so many product lines and introduces new products so often it can be hard to stay current on all of its new pistols. Case in point is the new…well, newish Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style. There are two versions: an all stainless in .45 ACP and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm, which I tested.
This 1911 is cut down for concealability, so offering it in 9mm only makes sense. When chambered in 9mm you get less recoil and a higher capacity. Offering it with an aluminum frame makes it a bit lighter and easier to carry.
For those of you relatively new to the 1911, Colt was the standard for decades, and Colt terminology is quite often used by other companies when describing their 1911s. For instance, Ruger refers to this as an “Officer-Style” SR1911. That term comes from Colt, which offered first the full-size Government model with a five-inch barrel, then the Commander model, which mated a full-length grip frame to a top end with a shorter 4.25-inch barrel. In 1985 Colt introduced its Officer’s model, which paired a shortened grip with a 3.5-inch barrel, and that’s the term that has stuck.
Ruger’s SR1911 Officer-Style has a 3.6-inch barrel. Overall it is 7.25 inches long and five inches tall. Weight is 27.2 ounces. The anodizing on the frame of my sample had a bluish tint, which I liked.
This pistol sports all the modern upgrades to the base 1911 design that most shooters now take for granted: extended beavertail grip safety, extended trigger, extended single-sided thumb safety, Commander-style hammer, lowered ejection port, beveled magazine well and Novak three-dot sights.
Ruger also adds some of its own special tweaks to the gun as well, including: a plunger tube integral with the frame; chevron-type slide serrations; a bushingless ramped bull barrel; a unique, proprietary recoil spring plug to go along with the full-length stainless steel recoil spring guide rod; and a profile cut to the slide. It also has a slightly rounded butt that feels nice in the hand. The stainless steel barrel has a black nitride coating for corrosion resistance.
The front of the slide, in a line parallel to the end of the frame’s dust cover, has been narrowed. Functionally, this does little, although it may serve as a single forward cocking serration. Aesthetically, on the other hand, I really like it.
The grips are stylish black G10 with the Ruger logo. I wish they were more aggressively textured, and I also wish the frontstrap had some texturing on it, but since this model is chambered in 9mm, the gun didn’t shift in my hand while shooting. The mainspring housing is checkered.
In Colt terminology, this is a “Series 70” 1911, which means it doesn’t have an internal firing-pin safety. To further reduce the already slim likelihood of an accidental discharge if you drop the gun, Ruger fits it with a titanium firing pin. Fewer parts in the trigger mechanism means a crisper cleaner trigger pull. On my sample the trigger pull was 4.75 pounds and at all not gritty.
The listed magazine capacity for this little gun is 7+1 on the Ruger website, but that’s a typo. Technically, the two magazines provided for this gun are eight-rounders, but I found I was able to get nine rounds in each of the provided magazines, although seating them in the gun with the slide forward took a bit of brute force. “Downloading” them to eight rounds, I found fit, feeding and function to be 100 percent.
Historically, 1911s with aluminum frames demonstrate a looser slide-to-frame fit than all-steel guns. And that’s what I found with my test gun: loose slide-to-frame fit and loose barrel fit. When I shook the pistol, it rattled.
In the pre-gunsmith days of World War II-era guns, smart shooters preferred the rattly 1911s because they tended to be more reliable, especially when dirty. The Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style was 100 percent reliable during testing, but still, I would have preferred a more tightly fit gun in this era of CNC machining.
The integral plunger tube on Ruger 1911s make them inherently superior to any and every other 1911 on the market that still uses a staked plunger tube. However, between the features (or lack thereof) and relatively loose-fitting parts, I consider the Ruger to be an entry-level Officer’s 1911.
The gun ran just fine, which is the most important aspect to any firearm intended for self-defense, but for the price, I think Ruger should be giving its customers a little bit more. In my opinion, an undercut trigger guard with a checkered frontstrap would get the value of this pistol up closer to the asking price.
RUGER SR1911 OFFICER-STYLE
TYPE: 1911, full-length guide rod
CALIBER: 9mm (tested), .45 ACP
BARREL: 3.6 in.
OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH: 7.3/5.0/1.3 in.
WEIGHT: 27.2 oz.
CONSTRUCTION: stainless steel slide, aluminum frame
SIGHTS: Novak 3-dot
TRIGGER: 4.75 lb. pull (measured)
SAFETY: grip, thumb
MANUFACTURER: Ruger, ruger.com