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
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.
|Weight with empty
||6 lbs 3 oz.
||6 lbs 3 oz.
||6 lbs 5 oz.
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.
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|Extreme Shock EPR
|Black Hills JHP
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 www.ruger.com.
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the SR40 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality 40 S&W ammunition, go to