Ruger SR1911


Ruger SR1911 Target

When I was coming up through the ranks in competitive target shooting, the .38 Special in a souped-up double-action revolver was the norm. High sights, a bull barrel and a holster that looked like it came out of “Star Wars” were the equipment of the day, and, yes, this combo actually brought home some trophies for me. Then one day I was invited to see an IPSC match, and that sold me on the .45 semiautomatic handgun. The thought of running a course—as opposed to a static position on the firing line—complete with reloading while moving with targets at various ranges brought a new dimension to my shooting experience.

I still shoot matches here and there today, and my preference is the 1911, so when Ruger came out with a target version of its SR1911, I had to give it a try. First off, the SR1911 Target features a Bo-Mar style adjustable rear sight that is milled into the slide via a dovetail and includes wide slotted screw heads for positive adjustments. The rear blade measures a hefty .870 inch across by .440 inch high.

The rear sight is serrated, and the beavertail safety sports a memory bump for sure operation. This is the only gun in Ruger’s standard 1911 lineup to incorporate G10 grips.


The rear sight is serrated, and the beavertail safety sports a memory bump for sure operation. This is the only gun in Ruger’s standard 1911 lineup to incorporate G10 grips.

The rear of the blade is serrated to keep reflections at bay and is rounded off so it won’t snag on the holster. The notch is wide and deep and in concert with the front blade offers the shooter a great sight picture. There are no white outlines or colored dots on the front or rear the sight.

The slide is stainless, finished in a satin luster and machined to CNC precision. Cocking serrations are at the rear of the slide only, and the Ruger logo is etched on both sides of the slide—as is “Made in USA” (1911s are produced at the company’s Prescott, Arizona, facility). The ejection port has been enlarged, and inside you’ll find a hefty extractor teamed with a mechanical ejector, and both performed flawlessly during my testing.

Ruger machines the barrel and bushing from the same stainless steel bar stock, which contributes to accuracy. The frame is cast, a process Ruger perfected long ago.

Ruger machines the barrel and bushing from the same stainless steel bar stock, which contributes to accuracy. The frame is cast, a process Ruger perfected long ago.

Both the stainless steel five-inch barrel and the barrel bushing are made from the same bar stock, a process the company says enhances accuracy potential. The barrel is slightly flared toward the muzzle, just a few thousandths of an inch, for a better fit with the bushing, and the feed ramp and chamber are polished for additional reliability. When the gun is closed, there is a small open notch at the tail end of the barrel acting as a visual sighting tool for checking the chamber for a loaded round. Inside, the gun incorporates the standard Browning-designed recoil spring, spring guide and plug.

The frame is cast from 415 stainless and has a slightly different color than the slide; it’s more neutral whereas the machined slide has a slight tinge of blue to it. There is a finger recess on each side of the skeletonized trigger, which has an overtravel adjustment and broke at 4.25 pounds every time. Being a target gun, the trigger has the feel of a two-stage competition setup: Pull the trigger back slightly until you feel some resistance, then a bit harder to allow the sear to release.

Back in the day, competitive shooters would’ve killed to have ambidextrous thumb safety levers come stock like they do on the new Target.

Back in the day, competitive shooters would’ve killed to have ambidextrous thumb safety levers come stock like they do on the new Target.

The magazine release has been extended outward, and the magazine well has been tapered on the inside edges for faster reloads. The beavertail safety is large and comes complete with a hammer well to allow the skeletonized hammer more room while allowing the safety to ride higher in the hand. The flat mainspring housing is checkered for additional support while shooting.

In years past, competitive shooters would die for ambidextrous safety levers on a gun, especially when it came to that part of the match where you had to use your weak hand. The Target has them as standard equipment; they are oversized, serrated and smooth-operating and black in color, as is the slide stop. The gun comes equipped with a pair of black laminated G10 grips with the Ruger logo, complete with some tasteful checkering and a satin finish.

Ruger-SR1911-Target-AccuracyThe gun shot good groups at 25 yards, especially considering it is not “tuned” to any great extent (a process that would certainly add to the cost). With average groups falling into neat three-inch clusters, the best group of the day was with the Winchester—five shots into 2.25 inches.

I brought along a bunch of .45 ACP handloads that were starting to clutter up the shelves in my gunroom—different loadings complete with a variety of bullets in all shapes, weights and velocities. To my delight, the Ruger had no problems with any of them, which made me a happy shooter. It never balked or flinched and threw empties far to my right for later collection.

Considering all the calibers and variations, today’s shooters might have a hard time picking out a competition gun—especially if they’re just starting out. The Ruger SR1911 Target offers many of the desired features serious shooters desire, at an honest price.

Ruger-SR1911-Target Specs


24 thoughts on “Ruger SR1911

  1. Hooray! For the first time in ages you have used the correct term, “bar stock” in your writing, as opposed to the ridiculous term, “billet” that all of the other “experts” use. I did notice a little boo-boo – you mentioned “415 stainless” for the frame. I believe it should be “416 stainless.

  2. For the price…i can and would get a sig tac ops .45 for $200 dollars more…night sights a rail…well u know
    Yea its nice but WAYYYYY overpriced for the new kid on the 1911 block… tacops are .45 and 10 mm..sig quality..ruger cant come close in 1911s

  3. A while back I feel in love with the SR1911 in the shorter barreled configuration, and it has become my carry weapon although it is a heavier pistol than some of the others I have. It is the first .45 that I have purchased in over 40 years. I bought it because of the “quality” of the gun when compared with others. I was a range officer in the military for over 20 years before the days of the 9mm – I have no love for that round. I feel that 40 caliber or larger is more when it comes to use. The .45 ACP can not be beat for a offensive or defensive round that the average person can handle.

  4. Ruger has been making affordable guns that are absolutely fine and shoot better than we can shoot. This 1911 will go up against any 1911. The price is totally within the market.

  5. Shoot the same as other ACP .45 cal M1911s??
    All seem priced the same none under 1K for Basic M1911 model.

    1. The standard SR1911 comes with Novak sights and is priced around $750 street. Shoots like a dream and is as reliable as described here.

  6. my dad carried two 1911 Colts in WW2 and although I heard stories from his West Point buddies and guys he served with on the Rhine; I never saw them or even know where they ended up. this looks like the new gen alternative for enhanced target shoots and smooth reliable tech that may well be my next acquisition. who knows, may be a favorite at the range and on the back ridge pacific northwest poly gallon bottle challenge. thanks for the great in depth info on this AMERICAN progression on one of the greatest automatic handgun configurations EVER. the real grabber here was the point about trouble free op with varied ammo which my friends happen to have bushels of sitting around unloved and running out of time and space. thanks 1000k for the info and remember how good we have it in the USA.

  7. I bought my first 1911 and it is a Ruger. Iuse for carry and not target but on my first time at a course from 25 yds i felt very comfortable and the grouping showed. Mine us the SR 1911 4 1/2 ” barrell. Iove the grips and the sites as well. My other guns are S&W M&P and the compact version as well and i truly love them all .

  8. I can vouch for Ruger quality. Over a year ago I bought the Ruger light weight commander version of their 1911. Over 1500 rounds through it and no malfunctions except for a magazine caused failure to feed. I reload, and it is nice to pick up all you brass in a 5 to 7 foot circle. Consistent ejection is, to me a sign of quality workmanship. It is super accurate, and with the same ammo as my full sized 1911 has a softer feeling recoil. I love it so much I trust my life to it every day.

  9. I just purchased a SR1911 4 1/2. i traded a plastic 3.3 made else where. That required a return trip to the factory, it was very fussy about what I FED IT. The SR1911 seems to care little about types of loads. It is my daily carry. Trust my life to the 1911 everyday. I shot 1911s in the Navy on the pistol team. I am a big fellow and have no problem carrying the SR1911.

  10. I had one when they first came out. Took it to Robar in north Phx. to have some custom work done on it. I believe that I had the first two tone SR1911. Shot great with no hiccups at all. My grandson fell in love with it, so I gave it to him when he turned 21. Now I have a Ruger SR1911 Commander. And it’s a great shooter. No one’s going to get this one. I like it too much!

  11. I had an SR1911 and I took it to Robar in north Phx. to have a bunch of custom work done on it. Not that it needed the work done on it. I just wanted to make it better. I like to think that I had the first two tone Ruger SR1911. My grandson fell in love with it, so I told him that when he turned 21 I’d give it to him. So when he turned 21 he held me to my promise. Now I have an SR1911 Commander that I’m not going to anything done to it. It shoots great without any hiccups no matter what kind of 45ACP ammo I feed it. Ruger firearms are keepers.

  12. I have been shooting 1911’s for 40+ years. I currently own 6 1911’s. I bought a new Ruger 1911 lightweight commander with the thought of making it my carry gun. It is currently back at Ruger. It has been sadly unreliable. Especially with my reloads. With factory hardball out of 100 rounds you can expect 4 failures to chamber. It seems that this one has a tight chamber. I took seven rounds that you could not even force with your fingers into the barrel with it removed from the pistol. I took those same seven rounds and ran them through one of my other 1911’s with no issue whatsoever. I like Rugers and have owned one for 50 years. I have every thing from #1 rifles to numerous single actions and double action revolvers and most of the rim fires that they have ever made. I just hope that they find something and I get it back and becomes reliable. Otherwise I’m stuck with as my wife gave it to me for my 60th birthday. 😎👣

  13. I have one of the early two-toned Commander models as well. It is my favorite gun. It’s a little too heavy to carry everyday as I must dress in somewhat professional attire, but on the weekends it’s always on my side. It’s far more accurate than I am! Never had a single FTF problem, it has eaten everything I’ve fed it. I just bought a new Remington
    R1 Enhanced and it’s a very nice gun too, but I seem to always go back to the Ruger when I have a choice. I got mine for about $650 if I remember correctly. I thought that was a very good price for a gun of this quality!

  14. I’d like it in matte black with some night sights, etc.
    Or they can just make me that Alaskan 480 in 4.25 – 4.75 inches, no porting!
    (Blue or matte black) That I’ve been begging for…

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