Ruger SR45 Semi-Automatic Striker-Fired 45 ACP Pistol

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

February 12th, 2013

 

Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 

Ambidextrous safety levers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambidextrous magazine release buttons.

 

 

 

 

Slide lock.

 

 

 

 

Accessory rail.

 

 

Excellent set of sights, with the rear fully-adjustable.

 

 

 

 

Visual and tactile loaded-chamber indicator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the introduction of the Ruger SR9 back in 2007, shooters have been asking for that pistol to be chambered for the 45 ACP cartridge. The SR9 was Rugerís entry into the striker-fired auto loading pistol market, and it has met with great success. Followed by both the compact SR9c and the full-sized SR40 in 2010, as well as the SR40c, the SR series of pistols have proven to be very reliable, while having the softest recoil that I have felt compared to other competitive pistols on the market. The SR pistols sit low in the hand, and the size and shape of the grip handles the recoil extremely well.

For those who have been waiting, the SR45 is finally here, boasting all the traits of the SR family of pistols, in a very slightly larger package. I wonít go into every last detail of the SR pistols here, as we have covered that already in previous reviews, but I will hit the high spots of the design. As mentioned, the SR pistols are striker-fired, instead of having a hammer and firing pin arrangement. This design allows the weapon to sit lower in the shooterís hand. The SR pistols have many safety features, including ambidextrous manual safety levers, a visual and tactile loaded-chamber indicator, a passive striker safety, and an articulated safety within the trigger blade. The SR pistols also have a magazine-disconnect safety, to prevent firing with the magazine removed. In addition, the SR pistols have ambidextrous magazine release buttons, and a left-side slide lock. An accessory rail is provided, integral with the polymer frame, to accept a laser, flashlight, or other accessory.

Disassembly of the SR pistol is very simple, requires no tools, and the trigger does not have to be pulled to accomplish disassembly, as is necessary on some competitive designs. The sights are of the three-dot pattern, are made primarily of steel, and the rear is adjustable for both windage and elevation correction.

The new SR45 pistol has all the features of the other SR pistols, but is chambered for the most American of pistol cartridges, the grand old 45 ACP. The 45 ACP is a proven cartridge, which has served the needs of military, law enforcement, personal defense, and competition shooting for more than one hundred years. The cartridge itself needs no fanfare to introduce it, but this SR45 is Rugerís latest pistol to be chambered for the cartridge.

For many years, Rugerís only 45 ACP autoloader was the excellent P90. Like other hammer-fired P Series pistols, the P90 was reliable and accurate, but a bit on the bulky side. Ruger later introduced their polymer-framed P345, which was lighter and more compact than the P90, but both of those have now been discontinued. The Ruger SR1911 45 ACP has met with tremendous success in the marketplace, and is still going strong, but this new SR45 meets the needs of those who want a thoroughly modern polymer-framed 45, with the durability, reliability, and value of a Ruger. The SR45 does not disappoint.

Ruger has managed to fit a ten shot double-stack magazine into a package that is only slightly larger than the 40 S&W caliber SR40. In fact, the grip width of the SR9, SR40, and SR45 are the same. Front to back, the SR45 is only about eight one-hundredths (.08) of an inch larger. Trigger reach is only six one-hundredths (.06) inch longer for the SR45. The SR45 feels very little different from holding an SR40. The grip is well-textured for a secure hold, and has a reversible backstrap, changing from arched to flat, to suit the shooterís preference.

Critical specifications for the SR45, along with a comparison to the SR40, are listed in the chart below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull scale. Height includes sights and magazine base pad. Maximum width is measured across the top of the frame, and includes the ambidextrous safety levers.

  SR40 SR45
Chambering 40 S&W 45 ACP
Weight with Empty Magazine 27.4 oz. 30.1 oz.
Trigger Pull 6 lbs, 5 oz. 6 lbs, 6 oz.
Barrel Length 4.14" 4.51"
Barrel Diameter 0.565" 0.595"
Overall Height 5.57" 5.72"
Overall Length 7.5" 7.875"
Grip Thickness 1.18" 1.18"
Slide Thickness 1.06" 1.06"
Maximum Width 1.27" 1.27"
Trigger Reach 2.68" 2.74"
Magazine Capacity 15 10
Magazines Supplied 2 2
Sights 3-Dot, Adjustable 3-Dot, Adjustable
Accessory Rail Yes Yes

I tested for velocity with my chronograph set at ten feet from the muzzle, and an air temperature of forty-nine degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of fifty-four 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. HCL is a hard-cast lead 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 PowíRBall. LFHP is a Barnes lead-free homogenous copper hollow point bullet. LSWC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. UHD is Remington Ultimate Home Defense hollowpoint ammunition. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore JHP 230 938
Buffalo Bore FMJ 230 951
Buffalo Bore LFHP 185 1122
Buffalo Bore JHP 185 1110
Buffalo Bore HCL 255 960
Cor-Bon JHP 200 1034
Cor-Bon JHP 165 1117
Cor-Bon JHP 230 893
Cor-Bon DPX 185 944
Cor-Bon PB 165 1141
Cor-Bon Glaser 145 1111
Stryker JHP 185 784
Atomic HP 230 911
Remington FMJ 230 786
Remington UHD 230 789
Handload LWSC 200 975
WCC 1911 Ball FMJ 230 748

Functioning of the Ruger SR45 was perfect with every type of ammunition tested. Every cartridge fed, fired, and ejected flawlessly. The magazines were difficult to load by hand as the mag reached full capacity, but thankfully, Ruger includes a magazine loader with the SR45, which makes the task much easier. For accuracy testing, I held the SR45 rested across a Target Shooting, Inc. pistol rest, firing on paper at a distance of twenty-five yards. The P90 has always had a stellar reputation for accuracy, so the SR45 had a tough act to follow, but accuracy was excellent with almost every load tested. Accuracy varied from superb to very good, with the least-accurate ammunition grouping in the two and one-half inch range, and the better loads running about half that group size. The best-performing loads are pictured here, and would be suitable for the toughest competition. Bullet weights from 185 to 255 grains all grouped very well from this SR45. The trigger pull was smooth, making the SR45 easy to hold on target.

The SR45, like the other SR Series pistols, is priced below most of its competition. As of the date of this review, the MSRP is only $529 US. The SR45 is loaded with features, and comes packed in a hard storage case, with instructions, cable lock, two magazines, and a magazine loading tool. The SR45 is built right, and is built in the USA.

Check out the extensive line of Ruger firearms and accessories 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 45 ACP ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com, www.midsouthshooters.com, and www.luckygunner.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 

SR45 comes with case, instructions, two ten-round magazines, cable lock, and magazine loading tool.

 

 

SR45 (right) compared to SR9 (left).

 

 

Magazine loading tool makes loading the magazines to capacity much easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disassembly is easy, and requires no tools.