When Ruger announced earlier this year that they were going to produce a 1911, I was genuinely excited. I was excited because 1. It based on the series 70 design, 2. It has almost everything that I want in a 1911, and 3. It has a street price right around $600. I’m usually cautious about being an early adopter of new models of guns from any manufacturer, but whats new about a 1911?
So when Ruger announced that they were shipping, I started calling all my local dealers looking for one. Of course nobody had them yet, and none of them could really tell me when they would have one. So I gave up, and ended up spending the money on a SW MP9 for the wife. About a month and a half later (around June) I had my gun fund built back up enough to give it another shot. After spending about 3 hours calling all the local dealers within 100 miles, I gave up. But this time I got added to the waiting list at three different dealers. At one dealer I was #9 on the list, and the other two, I was #14 and #16. The three dealers that had me on their waiting lists had only received 1 SR1911 each, and were all sold before they hit the display case. After another month went by, I started dipping into the gun fund for other things (Ruger Vaquero in .357 Magnum, an Eotech EXPS3-2 holographic sight for the AR-15, and a couple cases of ammo). Then just before thanksgiving, I get a phone call one day on my way home from work. It’s the dealer, they have a SR1911 in stock, and its mine if I want it. However, theres a catch. Its not a standard SR1911, it’s a Talo limited edition with the slide finished in black Cerakote, and it would be an additional $50 for this model. Without hesitating, I said I’ll take it. Right after a quick phone call to the wife to let her know I’d be home late for dinner an to not freak out about the $700 charge that was about to hit the account, I turned the truck around and headed straight to the dealer. After filling out the necessary paperwork, waiting for the feds to admit that yes, I’m still not a bad guy, I swiped the debit card, and headed back home to face the wrath of the love of my life. Luckily Im also the love of her life, so she didn’t make things too difficult for me. Besides, I just bought her the new MP 9 a few months ago, right?
So heres the specs:
Caliber: .45 Auto
Slide Material: Stainless Steel
Slide Finish: Black Cerakote
Grip Frame: Low-Glare Stainless Steel
Sights: Fixed Novak® 3-Dot
Barrel Length: 5.00
Overall Length: 8.67
Weight: 39.00 oz.
Twist: 1:16 RH
MA Approved Certified: Yes
CA Approved: No
Retail: $799.00 (standard edition)
Included in the box were a standard 7 round magazine, an 8 round magazine, a barrel bushing wrench, a padded zip up carrying case, and the manual.
Before I continue, I have to make a disclaimer. While I love 1911′s, I’ve only owned a couple of them over the years, so I am no expert on the subject of 1911′s. Now, I could repeat all the Ruger marketing talking points how the barrel and bushing are machined front the same bar stock, and kept together from that point on, and so on, but I really don’t care about all the marketing talking points. I care about results. Is it reliable? Is it accurate? How does it feel? Fit and finish? With that in mind, I will do my best to keep from repeating the same stuff you see in all the other reviews, which you could also find the product brochure. Let’s get the technical specs out of the way. It’s a standard 5-inch, 39 ounce single action, 7-8 round 1911. The slide is forged stainless steel, and the frame is investment cast stainless steel. The frame has a bead-blasted finish, while the slide is finished in black Cerakote. The barrel is also stainless steel. The loaded chamber indicator is accomplished by a small cut in the top of the barrel where it meets the breech face so that you can visually inspect if a cartridge is present in the chamber. The slide release, thumb safety, magazine release, flat main spring housing, and beaver-tail grip safety are blued. The grip safety has a raised bump at the base to help ensure that the safety is properly disengaged when gripped. The front strap is not checkered. The main spring housing is checkered. The stocks are a traditional checkered wood, and are secured with allen-head screws. The safety plunger tube is integral to the frame, not staked on like the traditional design. Sights are Novak 3-dot, mounted in dovetail cuts. The recoil spring is the traditional setup (no full length guide rod). The firing pin is titanium. Upon inspection some of the internal parts, I was able to confirm that at least the hammer, thumb safety, grip safety and slide release are all MIM parts. The sear and disconnector may also be mim, but I didn’t tear that far into it. I’m not a fan of MIM parts in general, but that’s to be expected in a $700 1911. At the same time, I think MIM parts have come a long way in the past few years. Eventually I will probably replace the MIM parts, but that’s not in the foreseeable future.
I didn’t intend on getting the Talo edition, but I’m glad I did. I really like the two tone look. The fit an finish is pretty good for a $700 1911. The slide has a tiny bit of lateral play on the on the frame rails, and the barrel to bushing fit seem pretty good. At least to my untrained eye.
My initial range tests were very informal. I only had 100 rounds of Remington/UMC 230 gr. ball to work with, so I focused on reliability, not accuracy. With a standard USPSA target set up at 15 yds., I proceeded with controlled rapid fire strings and quickly burnt through my 100 rounds of ammo, firing only as fast as I could maintain proper sight picture ensuring hits in the A zone of the target. The trigger by my uncalibrated finger ran around 5-6 lbs with a bit of creep, but not at all unmanageable. I only really notice the creep when whork in my trigger press during dry firepractice. The SR1911 ran flawlessly. No feeding or ejection issues. The brass piled up neatly in a pile about 2 ft in diameter about 3 feet to my right. The spent brass all had clean firing pin dents in the primer. No sign of primer wipe and no signs of the spent brass contacting the slide during ejection. I know that’s not exactly a 1000 round endurance test… ok not even close. But after the first 100 rounds, everything was still running just as smooth as the first round.
I’ve pretty much decided that this will be my USPSA single stack division gun. So the first thing I’ve done is install an ambi-safety, since I’m a south-paw shooter. I went with the Wilson Combat Bullet Proof Ambi Safety. I ended up going with the stainless version, only because the polished blue version was on backorder and probably 4 months out. I will be doing a full writeup on safety later, but for now, here’s how it looks installed.
So to wrap things up, I think this 1911 is a great buy. I’ve already purchased another 8 magazines and can’t wait to get the rest the gear I need to start using it in the USPSA single stack division. You really do get a lot for your money.