Ruger SR40c Compact 40 Caliber Semi-Automatic Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

June 29th, 2011


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YouTube Video





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SR40C comes with hard case, one nine-shot magazine, one fifteen-shot magazine (where legal), padlock, instructions, and mag loader.





SR9C (left) compared to the SR40C (right).



SR40C compared to the full-sized SR40.





SR40C (top) compared to the LCP 380 (bottom).



Ambidextrous thumb safety.



Sights are of the three-white-dot configuration. Rear sight is adjustable for elevation, and both sights can be drifted for windage correction.



Ambidextrous magazine release.







Since the introduction of the Ruger SR40 striker-fired semi-auto pistol about nine months ago, people have been asking for a compact version of that same pistol. Ruger delivered on a compact version of the SR9 back in January of 2010 with the dandy little SR9c, then introduced the full-size SR40 in October of the same year. Ruger has been pretty quick getting these new pistols to market, with demand outrunning supply. I was at Gunsite back about six months ago, along with a few other writers and television folks, shooting the new compact SR40c, but have been obligated to keep it quiet until now. Shooters have been anticipating the new SR40c for quite some time, being a natural progression of the excellent striker-fired design. Today, we can discuss the new compact 40 caliber auto: the Ruger SR40c.

The most oft-heard comment about the SR40c at Gunsite among the writers, reviewers, and instructors was how soft-shooting the pistol felt in the hand. Recoil is not painful at all, and the weapon is very quick to get back on target between shots. Like the SR9c before it, this SR40c feels perfect in my hand. I prefer the compact version to the full-size counterpart, whether in 9x19mm or 40 S&W. Placing the included finger extension on the compact magazine makes a world of difference in the feel and controllability of the SR40c, without compromising comfort or concealability.

Like the rest of the SR auto pistol family, the SR40c has several useful features. The sights are adjustable, black, and rugged, wearing the popular white-dot pattern. The SR pistols have unobtrusive ambidextrous thumb safeties that block both the trigger and slide from movement. Also given the ambidextrous treatment is the magazine release. It is easily manipulated with either hand. The trigger guard is rounded, and offers ample room for even a gloved finger. The slide is serrated front and rear for easy manipulation. The trigger pulls are smooth, and consistent from shot to shot. The SR pistols have an accessory rail for the attachment of a flashlight or other accessory. The backstraps are reversible, offering the choice of a flat or arched backstrap. Being striker-fired, there is no chance of hammer bite, and the web of the shooter's hand is well-protected from being cut by the slide. Disassembly is quick and easy, and requires no tools. The slide locks open on an empty magazine, and the pistol will not fire if dropped, or if a magazine is not in place. The SR extractor is huge, and takes a good bite on the fired cartridge case, working with the blade ejector to eject the empty brass cleanly. Atop the slide is a loaded-chamber indicator that is easily seen and felt, immediately letting the user know the condition of the chamber. The frame, trigger, and mag release are made of reinforced polymer. The slide and barrel are stainless steel, and the sights are blued carbon alloy steel, as are the magazines.

The new SR40c is almost identical in size, feel, and weight to the SR9c. The SR9c is one of my favorite 9mm pistols. It fits my hand perfectly, and the SR40c has the same great feel. With the SR40c weighing only one ounce more, the pistols feel pretty much identical. I compared the SR40c to the SR9c and the full-size SR40, which itself is neither overly large nor heavy. Critical dimensions are listed in the chart below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pulls are listed in pounds of pressure. Maximum width is measured across the ambidextrous thumb safety levers. Height includes sights and magazine base. Note that both the SR9c and SR40c can use full size magazines as well, within caliber.

  SR9C SR40C SR40
Chambering 9x19mm 40 S&W 40 S&W
Weight with empty magazine 23.2 oz. 24.2 oz. 27.4 oz.
Trigger Pull 6 lbs 3 oz. 6 lbs 3 oz. 6 lbs 5 oz.
Barrel Length 3.5" 3.5" 4.14"
Barrel Diameter 0.565" 0.565" 0.565"
Overall Height 4.51" 4.51" 5.57"
Overall Length 6.75" 6.75" 7.50"
Grip Thickness 1.18" 1.18" 1.18"
Slide Thickness 0.99" 1.16" 1.16"
Maximum Width 1.27" 1.27" 1.27"
Trigger Reach 2.68" 2.68" 2.68"
Magazine Capacity 10 9 15
Magazines Supplied 2 2 2
Accessory Rail Yes Yes Yes

Velocity testing was done at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, on a humid early Summer day. There was absolutely no breeze at all with an overcast sky. Range temperatures hovered around the eighty-five degree Fahrenheit mark. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet weights are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. DPX is a homogenous copper hollow cavity bullet. PB is Cor-Bon Pow’RBall, a specialty hollowpoint bullet with a nylon ball inserted into the hollow nose. EPR is a specialty round from Extreme Shock with a polymer ball in the nose of a hollowpoint bullet. FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. Velocities were recorded at a distance of ten feet from the muzzle, and are the average of several shots for each load tested.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity SR40 Velocity SR40C
Cor-Bon DPX 140 1167 1121
Cor-Bon JHP 135 1269 1194
Cor-Bon PB 135 1320 1230
Buffalo Bore JHP 155 1272 1171
Buffalo Bore JHP 180 1049 992
Buffalo Bore FMJ 180 1091 996
Extreme Shock EPR 150 1112 1011
Black Hills JHP 180 970 913
Stryker JHP 180 929 891

Accuracy testing was informal, and no attempt was made to benchrest the SR40c. No need to, as this pistol delivers plenty of accuracy, and then some, for its intended purpose; that being to quickly and effectively handle the most grave of social conflicts. Making hits out to fifty yards on targets of opportunity, like rocks and sticks, was relatively easy, considering the pistol’s short sight radius. More meaningfully, keeping every shot in the kill zone of a silhouette target, rapid fire, at ranges from three to twenty yards was also easy to do, as the SR40c is very controllable. This is best seen in the video, as there is very little muzzle rise for a lightweight 40 caliber pistol. Every brand and type of ammo tested functioned perfectly. There were no failures of any kind. Every cartridge fed, fired, and ejected perfectly during the testing of this SR40c pistol. Also, thinking back on the range sessions at Gunsite a few months back, I do not recall even one malfunction with any of the pistols used there by any of the shooters, firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The Ruger SR40c is reliable, compact, accurate, easy to shoot, affordable, and made in the USA. Every good feature of a modern pistol is useless if the pistol is not reliable, every time, all the time. Absolute reliability is paramount in a defensive pistol, and the Ruger SR40c delivers.

Check out the new SR40 online at

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

To order the SR40 online, go to

To order quality 40 S&W ammunition, go to,, and

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.


A finger extension is included for the nine-round magazine.





An adapter is included to comfortably use full-sized SR40 magazines.





Loaded chamber indicator can be easily seen and felt.







Accessory rail.



Disassembly is quick, easy, and requires no tools.