Ruger’s Striker-Fired 40 Caliber SR40 Semi-Auto Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

October 12th, 2010


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Gunsite raven welcomes shooters to the Gunsite Academy.







Magazine loader.





Massive extractor.



Accessory rail.















Back in June of this year, I was invited to the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona, along with about six other writers, to try out a few new weapons scheduled to be introduced by Sturm, Ruger & Company. One of the new weapons that we got to fire extensively on the combat course was the SR40, which is the subject of this piece. The SR40 has been anticipated by shooters since the day that the SR9 was first introduced. The 40 S&W packs more power into the same size pistol as a 9x19mm, and is the preferred cartridge of the majority of law enforcement officers in our nation. Between the writers present, the Ruger executives, and the skilled Gunsite training staff, collectively we put thousands of rounds through the new Ruger SR40 pistols. The most common comment heard was something like “This is the softest-recoiling 40 caliber that I have ever fired!”. I was of the same opinion, as were the Gunsite instructors, who have fired just about every brand of 40 caliber pistol in existence. The SR40 still has to obey the laws of physics, but the design of the pistol and the materials used greatly softens the felt recoil of the weapon. The axis of the bore in relationship to the hand is very low, the grip extremely comfortable to the hand, and the polymer frame allows a bit of flex. All this tends to soften the recoil impulse that is transferred to the shooter. However, I have fired other pistols made of similar construction, and the SR40 definitely is easier on the hand, allowing faster follow-up shots and better accuracy for me than any other 40 caliber auto pistol which I have fired.

I had to leave that prototype SR40 behind in Arizona, but as I type this in October, I have an SR40 production pistol in my left hand, as I hammer away on this keyboard with my right. Until now, I have been obligated to not mention the SR40, even though rumors have been bouncing around for several weeks, and there are even some SR40 pistols for sale on the internet already. Still, I gave my word, and that is why I have not been able to answer any emails about the new SR40.

The Ruger SR40, like its brother, the SR9, is loaded with safety features. Like other such striker-fired pistols, it has a striker safety which prevents the forward movement of the striker until the trigger is pulled. It also has an articulated safety lever inset into the trigger. There is an ambidextrous thumb safety on the frame which is within easy reach of the shooter’s thumb, and there is also a magazine disconnect safety which prevents firing with the magazine removed. Atop the slide just aft of the ejection port is a blade-type loaded-chamber indicator, which is easy to both see and feel to determine the condition of the chamber.

The SR40 comes in a hard plastic case with two fifteen-shot magazines and a magazine loader, which is very handy for loading the double-stack magazines. The backstrap on the SR40 is easily reversed to provide either an arched or flat backstrap, depending upon the shooter’s preference. Personally, I prefer the arched side, as the pistol feels and points better for me that way. The grip on the SR40 is very slim for a double-stack 40 caliber pistol, and the trigger easy to reach. The pistol has a feel that it sits down deeply into the hand, if that makes sense. The sights are black, and both front and rear are drift adjustable for windage correction, and the rear is adjustable for elevation. The sights are of the popular three-dot variety. There is an accessory rail in front of the trigger guard to accommodate a laser sight or flashlight.

The SR40 disassembles easily for cleaning, and goes back together just as easily. Differing from most pistols, the ejector must be manually pushed down for disassembly, but it is very easy to do with just a finger. Inserting a magazine after reassembly will return the ejector to its ready position.

The new SR40 is almost identical in size, feel, and weight to the SR9. The SR9 has a two-shot capacity advantage, with a total capacity of eighteen compared to the SR40 with a capacity of sixteen. That is not really enough to make a difference, as both pistols hold a fistful of cartridges, and the 40 has more power. 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.

  SR40 SR9
Chambering 40 S&W 9x19mm
Weight with empty magazine 27.4 oz 26.6 oz
Trigger Pull 6 lbs 5 oz 6 lbs 6 oz
Barrel Length 4.14" 4.14"
Barrel Diameter 0.565" 0.565"
Overall Height 5.57" 5.57"
Overall Length 7.5" 7.5"
Grip Thickness 1.18" 1.18"
Slide Thickness 1.16" 0.992"
Maximum Width 1.27" 1.27"
Trigger Reach 2.68" 2.68"
Magazine Capacity 15 17
Magazines Supplied 2 2
Accessory Rail Yes Yes

Velocity testing was done at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, on a perfect Autumn day. There was a slight breeze with plenty of sunshine. Range temperatures hovered around the eighty-two degree Fahrenheit range, with nineteen percent humidity. 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.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Cor-Bon DPX 140 1163
Cor-Bon JHP 135 1272
Cor-Bon PB 135 1313
Buffalo Bore JHP 155 1277
Buffalo Bore JHP 180 1045
Buffalo Bore FMJ 180 1088
Extreme Shock EPR 150 1101
Black Hills JHP 180 966.1
Stryker JHP 180 927.1

Just like the prototype SR40 pistols that we shot back in June, the production pistol performed with one hundred percent reliability. There were no failures of any kind. Accuracy was very good, shooting at combat distances from three out to twenty-five yards. Keeping tight clusters from a standing position was easy on the human silhouette targets, and from the bench, most ammo would group into two and one-half inches at twenty-five yards, with some brands opening up to around four inches from the test pistol. As with any pistol, experimenting with different loads is the best way to find an accurate type of ammo for a particular weapon. The trigger pull was very smooth, and is just about right for a pistol of this type. Heavy enough for safety, even with cold hands, but smooth enough and light enough for accurate shot placement. Again, as stated above, felt recoil was light. While it is a subjective matter, the SR40 just seems to handle the recoil better for me than any other 40 caliber auto pistol of similar weight, making it very easy to get back on target quickly.

The Ruger SR40 is a welcome addition to Ruger’s stable of auto pistols. It comes in a hard plastic storage case with instructions, two magazines, mag loader, and a pad lock. The Ruger SR40 is built in the USA, and the pistols are in stock on distributor’s and dealer’s shelves as I type this.

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

Jeff Quinn


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to:

To buy this gun online, go to:


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Click pictures for a larger version.


Ruger SR40 40 S&W pistol.



Pistol comes with hard case, two magazines, instructions, padlock, and mag loader.





40 S&W cartridge (left) compared to 9x19mm cartridge (right).



Ambidextrous magazine release.






Ambidextrous thumb safety.



Visual & tactile loaded chamber indicator.