One of the interesting things about being... mature, is
hearing my children and grandchildren go on and on about the great songs
of their generation, when many are no more than a cover of the
songs of my ancient generation. As good grandpa, I smile, feign
acceptance of their creative superiority, but somewhere in the dark
recesses of my mind I hogtie them to a chair and make them listen to the
originals. We were so much better at everything.
At least three times each generation, some shooter discovers
the 1911 type 45 Auto. They set aside their Euro influenced 9mm and 40 S&W
autoloaders, double action and preset, grab a good 1911 and start
shouting about their new discovery. John Browning's 1911 is a good,
solid design. Which
is why, over one hundred years after their inception, manufacturers are
still introducing a myriad of new ones every year. This is the second
iteration of Ruger's SR 1911. What differentiates it from the first
go-round is the new additions Commander length , 4.25" versus 5.00"
barrel... which is probably why Ruger cleverly added "CMD" to the gun's
Catalog #, SR1911CMD.
Thank you for not messing with a
great basic design!
The Ruger SR1911 is very similar to a
Colt 1911 Series 70; a recoil operated, linked, tilting barrel design,
with that generation's enhancements and some popular custom touches. The
SR1911 is an all steel gun, including the mainspring housing, but
excepting its lightweight aluminum trigger.
Consistent with the Series 70 are: no firing pin bloc, a
long trigger, lowered ejection port and extended ejector. Custom touches
not standard on the Series 70 are: solid barrel bushing, lightweight
trigger with overtravel adjustment, titanium firing pin, dovetail
mounted front sight, Novak LoMount Carry rear sight, extended thumb
safety, beavertail grip safety with contact pad, and lightened hammer.
The slide stop - thumb safety plunger tube is cast integral to the
Despite all of the nuance changes, the SR1911
remains a spec gun in regard to pin hole size and location, as well as
in overall size and geometry. Subsequently, virtually any part can be
upgraded, enhanced or modified with any of the 375 million aftermarket
part available for the 1911. Yes, that was an exaggeration, but only
slight. Yes, that was another exaggeration... You're catching on.
Contrary to impressions some people may have, the 1911 is
a small firearm, only 7/8" across the slide and 3/4" across the grip
frame. Grip panels swells artificially expand width to 1.34" to make it
a comfortable handful. The SR1991CMD envelope is 7.75"x5.45", weighing
36.4 ounces. Considerably smaller than a Glock 45 Auto of comparable
barrel length, but about 10 ounces heavier; steel Vs poly frame.
Subsequently, the Ruger is a comfortable compact handgun to shoot.
Not a lot of parts inside...
The Ruger SR1911 takes down this far without the use of
tools, including the bushing wrench that comes with the gun. Standard
1911 stuff. You pull the magazine and clear the gun. You push in on the
recoil spring plug, rotate the barrel bushing until it clears the plug
and ease the plug out... then look for it on the floor when it slips off
of your thumb or rebounds off your forehead. Pull the slide back until
the take down notch aligns with the end of the slide stop and push out
the stop. Move the slide forward and off. Lift out the guide rod and
So the preset guys, the striker guys start jumping up and
down advising that their Euro sympathetic guns come apart with alignment
of a slide stop only. Very true, but the Ruger SR and other 1911 design
guys can strip the rest with a small punch and end up with a few more
parts, including the slide. The striker guys are left with a grip frame
that has lots and lots of linked and solo stampings, springs and spring
retained pins and it is not abundantly clear that they can ever be
reassembled again. Yes, further exaggeration, however, a 1911 does have
approximately 30 less parts and they are easy to "dis" and "re"
Just like the big CZ 75 SP-01 except completely
What the SR1911, all 1911s, have in common with the
firearms like the
Browning Hi Power and the
CZ 75 SP-01 are
radial locking lugs, part of the original Browning 1911 design. Why
bring up this model CZ 75? Because it is another firearm that has the
potential to exhibit excellent accuracy. The locking lug layout, within
the confined of link and slide stop slop, allows the barrel to align
cartridge casehead square to breech face and barrel to bushing with a
very solid lock up. There is no squared locking lug above the barrel's
chamber that needs to be squared with the slide and forces a third
alignment point between breech face and muzzle.
Playing around with some bench parts, it would not be
difficult to refine the SR1911 with a tighter conventional, spherical or
angled barrel bushing, or swap in a favorite match barrel. A little
gunsmith sitting to maintain the loaded chamber indicator in the barrel
hood, but nothing serious. Or better yet, just leave it alone and shoot
it as Ruger intended. The slide was a tight fit on this gun and nice
uniform rail contact.
Good sights for carry, basic low profile three dot, the
rear is Novak LoMount Carry, the front is dovetail mounted. The front
mount means a lot to those of us with old guns with staked front
sights and a reason to keep old installation fixtures around. The bobbed
hammer is a nice touch. I put them on all of my 1911s. Mostly because
all of the other kids do it and it looks impressive; all that decreased
lock time from lightened parts and snag free concealed carry.
Not in the least bit picky
In the old days, Mesozoic, Cretaceous more specifically,
the preoccupation related to the 1911 was reliable feed and cycling. The
shorter the barrel version, the more sensitive the firearm, the more
stove pipes and shaved cast bullets we all got to look at. Hobbyists
were busy grinding away with Dremels, ruining some very nice barrels by
cutting into case support and most everyone was shooting ball ammo to
minimize chambering problems. Now, 1911s are so good that if you throw a
handful of ammo at a current generation 1911 it will cycle just because
it can. No exaggeration and no sarcasm. Ever see a unicorn?
The Ruger SR1911 digested and expelled all of these without complaint, even
when mixed in the same magazine. In fact, I was trying to load mags with
a blindfold just so that I wouldn't skew the results with advanced
knowledge of what was loaded where (WWLW), but that approach became
problematic during the live fire portion of the program.
Ultimate Home Defense
*Poly filled full metal
jacket - limited penetration
Other than that...
The Ruger SR1911 is an
easy autoloaders to shoot; good trigger, overall durability, accuracy, and
intuitive feel when shooting. The grip angle and size is very good,
no fingers hanging over unsupported and no curved mainspring housing
pressing unevenly into the palm of a shooter's hand. Recoil is... brisk with +P loads, it is a 45
very manageable. The Commander length SR 1911 has a very balanced feel
compared to a typical full size 5" barrel 1911's nose heavy attitude.
The magazine well opening is chamfered, making magazine changes easy,
even without looking. The trigger reach at 3" puts the index finger pad
fully on the trigger in a comfortable grip. The three dot sight
picture is clean and fast. Thanks to the gun's beavertail grip safety, nothing bites
at the web of the hand when shooting offhand or
from a Weaver stance, neither Charlie or Dennis.
Trigger pull is classic duty firearm 1911. Light take up,
slight creep, clean break and virtually no overtravel. Ten minutes with
a hammer file and stones squaring and cleaning up the hammer hooks and
sear, a little reforming of the sear spring and there would be no creep
and the trigger would break at 2 pounds... and be absolutely
inappropriate for any carry or defensive firearm or recreational target
shooting. My point is that the Ruger SR
1911 CMD trigger is excellent and requires no fiddling or finagling...
especially no finagling.
Ruger SR1911 CMD
Recoil Operated Autoloader
Slide & Frame
Low Glare Stainless Steel
Low Profile - Windage Adj.
4 Lbs. 3 Oz.
Thumb & Grip
Weights & Measures
I didn't measure the recoil spring rate, but the gun dumped empties a
few feet to the right of
my feet. Often Commander length slide guns, with less reciprocating mass
than a 5" gun, eject empties make a shooter play "fetch" with empty
Meeting the need to be a critic, regardless how petty - I would
like to see the SR1911 without the contrasting black bits, with the exception
of the sights. I realize the black
treatment is fashionable with even the biggest price tag autoloaders
and it is aesthetically pleasing. However, it causes me to have
Tubbs & Crockett
flashbacks and I hear Phil Collins in my head singing "In the
Air Tonight". But then I am a very old guy and not always attuned to
know what the
young under 100 crowd likes these days. Supply is currently a little
tight while demand is very high, but certainly a gun worth the wait. For
further information stop by the