Ruger SR1911CMD 45 ACP Stainless Semi-Automatic Pistol

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

January 28th, 2013


Click pictures for a larger version.





SR1911CMD comes with pistol rug, instruction manual, padlock, two magazines, and bushing wrench.



SR1911CMD (left) compared to full-size SR1911 (right).



Thumb safety (top), extended magazine release (center), slide lock (bottom).



Beavertail grip safety.



Novak three-dot sights.



Trigger is lightweight, easy to reach, and adjustable for overtravel.



Ruger SR1911CMD rides comfortably in a Galco belt slide holster.



Accuracy testing was done at 25 yards using a Ransom Master Series machine rest.









It has been over two years now since I first had the opportunity to fire Ruger’s then-new SR1911 pistol at Gunsite in Arizona. At that time, I don’t think even the Ruger folks knew just how successful that pistol would be in the marketplace. When introduced, the design had been around for 100 years already, and the market was flush with many good variations of the 1911 from numerous manufacturers. Since that day, Ruger has tripled their manufacturing capacity for the 1911, adding two additional manufacturing lines to produce the weapon, and still, supply has not kept up with demand. The Ruger SR1911 is a high-quality, beautifully-finished 1911 pistol that is priced competitively with the imports, but built one hundred percent in the United States. I won’t go into great detail on that fine pistol here, but refer you to my review of the SR1911 from April of 2011.

Now, Ruger has just started shipping the Commander-sized version of the SR1911, which has a full-sized grip, but a slide and barrel that is three-quarters of an inch shorter than the original. Colt originally named their shortened 1911 “Commander“, and Ruger is following suit, as this version of the 1911 has generically been given that title, and it makes it easy for the knowledgeable buyer to know what the term means, when applied to a 1911, with one caveat. The Colt Commander refers to a pistol with a slide and barrel that is three-quarters of an inch shorter, and that also uses an aluminum alloy frame. The steel version is called the Combat Commander. However, this Ruger SR1911 Commander uses a stainless steel frame, barrel, slide, and other small parts, so the pistol is not as light in weight as the Colt that bears the same name, but the Ruger has a solid heft to it, weighing in at only 2.6 ounces lighter than the full-sized SR1911.

The Ruger Commander is one of the best-looking 1911 pistols on the market, using a few blued steel parts that contrast beautifully with the stainless frame, slide, barrel, and barrel bushing. The grip safety is of the highly-functional beavertail style. The hammer is skeletonized, and the trigger is a skeletonized lightweight aluminum style, with adjustable trigger stop. The right-handed thumb safety is of the extended style, as is the magazine release. The stainless steel magazines eject briskly when the release is pressed. One feature that is unique to Ruger SR1911 pistols is that the plunger tube is integral with the frame, instead of being staked-on, as is traditional for a 1911 pistol. The mainspring housing is checkered blued steel, which is a nice touch, and is of the flat 1911 style. The checkered double-diamond wood grips look great, and feel great in my hand. The Novak rear and dovetailed front sights are made of blued steel, and wear the popular three-white-dot pattern. The sights are adjustable for windage regulation.

Critical specifications for the SR1911CMD are listed in the chart below. The weights are listed in ounces, and linear measurements in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured at their widest points. The maximum width is measured across the grip panels, and includes the thumb safety. The height includes the sights. The trigger pull is listed as pounds of resistance. The weight includes the empty seven-round magazine. Length is measured from the muzzle to the tip of the beavertail grip safety.

Weight 36.2 oz.
Height 5.5"
Length 7.88"
Slide Width 0.908"
Maximum Grip Width 1.312"
Frame Width 0.755"
Maximum Width 1.36"
Trigger Pull 3.5 lbs.
Trigger Reach SA 2.8"
Barrel Length 4.3"
Magazine Capacity 7 rounds
Magazines Supplied 2

Shooting the Ruger Commander was a real pleasure, even with hot high-performance Plus P ammunition. The solid heft of the stainless steel pistol soaks up recoil very well, and like any good 1911, handling qualities are excellent. The trigger on this Ruger is perfect, right out of the box, releasing crisply with three and one-half pounds of resistance. Years ago, that would be a one hundred dollar trigger job on a new 1911 pistol, and this new Ruger trigger is perfect as delivered. The checkered grips have enough texture for a solid grasp, but are not abrasive during long shooting sessions. Being left-handed, I wished for an ambidextrous safety lever, but I can easily correct that by ordering one from Brownell’s online. A quality 1911 is one of the best choices for a carry gun, as it combines power, weight, accuracy, and handling qualities perfectly. The Ruger SR1911 does not have a trigger safety, but none is needed. With the manual safety, grip safety, lightweight firing pin, and excellent trigger, the Ruger SR1911 is one of the safest pistols to carry, yet is quickly and easily brought into the fight when needed. The sights on this Ruger offer a great sight picture for daylight use, but for a fighting pistol, I like to add a set of Trijicon or XS tritium night sights, which are both readily available for the Ruger. I also like a quality laser sight, and the Crimson Trace Rosewood Master Series Lasergrips would be my choice to put on this Ruger SR1911 to make it an ideal carry gun.

I tested for velocity with my chronograph set at ten feet from the muzzle, and an air temperature of forty-eight degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of ninety-five percent. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level. Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. DPX is an homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. Glaser is a specialty pre-fragmented core inside a copper alloy jacket. PB is Pow’RBall. LFHP is a Barnes lead-free homogenous copper hollow point bullet. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. UHD is Remington Ultimate Home Defense hollowpoint ammunition. NPA is National Police Ammunition frangible bullet ammo. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore JHP 230 972
Buffalo Bore FMJ 230 914
Buffalo Bore LFHP 185 1191
Cor-Bon JHP 200 1080
Cor-Bon JHP 165 1101
Cor-Bon JHP 230 950
Cor-Bon DPX 185 992
Cor-Bon PB 165 1153
Cor-Bon Glaser 145 1199
Stryker FMJ 230 827
Atomic HP 230 940
Remington FMJ 230 867
Remington UHD 230 803
NPA Frangible 140 1230
Handload LWSC 200 949
WCC 1911 Ball FMJ 230 756

For accuracy testing, I placed the SR1911CMD into my Ransom Master Series machine rest, and tried a variety of ammunition on paper at twenty-five yards. Accuracy varied from okay to excellent, depending upon the load tested, with the most accurate loads pictured. The Remington Ultimate Home Defense ammunition proved to be the most accurate ammunition tested in this particular Ruger, and its 230 grain jacketed hollowpoint bullet leaves the muzzle of the Ruger at a bit over 800 feet-per-second (fps). If a more powerful load is desired, the Buffalo Bore Lead Free ammo uses a 185 grain Barnes homogenous copper TAC-XP hollowpoint bullet that exits the muzzle of this Ruger right at 1200 fps.

Like its full-sized counterpart, this Ruger SR1911CMD is an excellent pistol, and an excellent value. I can find no flaws in the fit and finish of the parts. The chamber is throated and the feed ramp polished to reliably feed high performance ammunition. There are no plastic parts on this pistol. The satin stainless finish is tough and great-looking. Functioning was flawless with all ammunition tested. This Ruger SR1911CMD is built right, priced right, and built in the USA.

The SR1911CMD is in production, and already shipping to distributors and dealers. You can spend a lot more money for a 1911, and still not get a better pistol than this Ruger.

Check out the extensive line of Ruger firearms and accessories online at

For the location of a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the SR1911 online, go to

To order the quality holsters for the Ruger SR1911CMD, go to,, and

To order quality 45 ACP ammunition, go to,,, and

Jeff Quinn

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Bushing wrench.