Guns had the good fortune of spending a week with Ruger's long awaited
Sub² Compact Pistol, the SSCP, chambered for the all new Ruger .180 ACP cartridge. I can sum up the
experience in one word, "Incredibly Impressive".
Pictured left to right: .357 SIG, .380 ACP
and the new .180 ACP. Loaded with either a 28 grain full metal
jacketed or 20 grain hollow point bullets, velocities of 1,200 fps and 1,400 fps
from the gun's 1¼" barrel were attained.
I personally fired 122,006 rounds, never once experiencing a jam,
slam fire, stove pipe, pickle barrel or even an inside slider. A slight
callous was raised on the palm of my left hand as a result of the 20,335
required magazine changes.
We did switch from 20LB to 10LB target paper to assure penetration,
however, during sustained fire from behind a barricade, while riding on horseback and
at the apex arc of a tire swing, the gun performed ...admirably,
producing ½" MOA
six shot groups at 100 yards.
When queried about the strategy behind the SSCP,
Justin Case, Ruger's Vice President of Marketing and Trade Show
Collateral Material, jumped in with both feet and possibly one
hand, "We introduced that little SP101 chambered for the .327
Federal and that sold out. We introduced the little LCP in .380
ACP and that sold out. The trend is obvious, Americans
want...no, they demand ever smaller guns and the new 0.180"
caliber will certainly give them something to think about. In a
self defense scheme of things, we assume there will be a primary
firearm, a backup firearm, a knife, a club,...maybe a pointed stick, and
THEN the SSCP takes over where all other options have failed. Besides, the damn thing's cute,
does anyone actually
care about application?"
Evolutionary or revolutionary manufacturing?
OK, no one is going to miss the obvious physical similarities
between the SSCP and Ruger's Super Redhawk, however, the little
SSCP is actually the product of a breakthrough manufacturing
process that utilizes the company's LCP. An LCP, empty of
course, is placed directly into really hot water for an hour,
then placed into a dryer set to "High" without selecting the
"Wrinkle Guard" option. A quick check for softener
sheets, a shot of Pennzoil and the result is a perfectly sized SSCP as
seen below left, ready for retailors' shelves.
The tale of the tape...
||Wash & Wear
||Fixed, D&T for
Extra Mag, Case, Pack of Gum.
really appreciate the gun's compact size and reasonably light
weight. Drawn from a shoulder holster, a Tac leg holster or even
a cross draw rig...belly aside, the little SSCP is fast
handling, quick pointing and a natural for getting on
target. I did get a small slide bite in the web of my hand, but
that is a small price to pay for the peace of mind the SSCP
Soon, SSCP owners will be able to tune their guns to their
personal preferences. We've been advised by L. Larry Weeks, Brownells
spokesperson, that they are
collaborating with numerous vendors and will be offering:
competition spring sets, Hogue grips, Williams FireSights, Warne
scope mounts, and a drop on .308 Winchester DPMS upper receiver.
Rail mounts for lights, laser sights and bayonet mount
adaptors will follow. Everyone sees the Special Ops potential of
.180 ACP was actually the brainchild of Sid Moses Browning, John's second
cousin, twice removed. He had intended to tool up to
manufacturer an autoloader based on his second cousin, twice
removed, John's design, but he was a little absent minded and forgot.
John Stevenson, Hornady
's V.P. of Ballistics and Proprietary
Powder Blending, in collaboration with Ruger on the project, decided to utilize
a variation of Sid's design.
With only 1.4 grains of case capacity to work with, John concocted
a blend of Alliant Blue Dot and hydrazine but, unfortunately,
the compound caused it to rain whenever it was tested in the
lab. Eventually the Blue Dot was discarded, the hydrazine was
discarded and velocities of 1,200 fps for a 28 grain FMJ bullet
and 1,400 fps for a 20 grain hollow point bullet load were
a small rifle magnum primer and one medium size pop rock.
The 28 grain load proved to be a reliable feeder, however, the
20 grain hollow point is the real stopped for this combination.
In test medium at the RealGuns lab, expanded diameters of up to
0.200" were common place with penetration of up to ¼" in mixed
fruits and vegetables. Experiments conducted with lab rats were
inconclusive. There were no fatalities at point blank range, or
bleeding, or... bone fractures, however, there was clear
evidence of agitation and aggravation which may have led to
ulcers and a possible need for surgery further down the line. By then,
under a new federally managed national health care program,
surely they would all die.
Will it succeed?
Absolutely. The SSCP and .180 ACP are new products and the public is bored. Europeans will love this gun. It's green, it's not mean and it is not
capable of doling out capital punishment. I only had a couple of problems with
the gun. It has virtually no report, so to avoid paying an NFA tax as the owner
of a silenced gun, I am
required to shout "Bang!" at a minimum of 82dB each time I squeeze off a shot. There is no recoil
so, once or twice, the combination of no report, no recoil and an inability to
penetrate 20 lb paper, left me unsure as to whether of not the gun had actually discharged. I mean, if
a gun goes off in the forest and nobody hears it...