After our overwhelmingly positive review of the new Ruger LCP, we wanted to continue the trend of reviewing handguns from this manufacturer. The newly developed Ruger American pistol is the result of several years’ worth of research and development carried out by one of the most legendary names in the firearm niche: Sturm, Ruger & Co. Since the polymer handgun market was already pretty crowded, the creators of the Ruger American knew that they had to create something truly special. For at least 7 years, the various prototypes of this Ruger handgun were issued and improved in order to strike the perfect balance between impressive features, convenience and an affordable price. In today’s review, we will take a detailed look at this long-awaited model and see if its creators managed to achieve the high standards they set for themselves.
The other reviewers who had a chance to try the Ruger 9mm seem to be seriously polarized into camps about it: some consider it one of the best Ruger releases in the recent years, while some other reviewers are making waves with their unfavorable YouTube video reviews. After our own inspection of the Ruger American, we tend to think that while the gun is definitely not the greatest polymer pistol or semi-automatic ever, it’s still a pretty good one and deserving a kinder outlook. In other words, the new Ruger seems to be getting a bad rap in some parts of the gun community, in harsher terms than it would be warranted by an objective assessment.
The Ruger American 9mm Pistol Specs and Features
The new Ruger 9mm pistol is a semi-automatic handgun, full-sized, operating on a Browning-type locked-breech action. The locked-breech action has a pretty interesting alteration, consisting of a patent-pending barrel cam that reduces the felt recoil the user will experience after shooting. This is achieved by controlling the rearward movement of the slide, and the pistol prototype team has allegedly put quite some scientific research into perfecting the mechanism. Thus, when a shooter fires this Ruger handgun, the unavoidable recoil impulse is spread out over time instead of occurring all at once, which significantly reduced the unpleasant or sharp kick which most similar semi-auto guns bring with them. Besides this remarkable added comfort, here are the main specs and features of the new Ruger handgun which you should know about:
- Reduced muzzle flip for all following shots: The follow-up shots fired after the initial bullet will be fired faster, thanks to the light-weight slide and barrel cam, ideally balanced with a low bore axis.
- Three dot sight system: the case of the new Ruger handgun is topped with an authentic Novak LoMount sight system with three sights, metallic made. Ruger has also announced several more sights options coming to their American Pistol model in the future, including night sights and much more, options which will be available via their online store, shopruger.com.
- Optimum angles for the cam’s surface: Thanks to a complex modelling program written by the best of Ruger’s engineers, the cam surface of the pistol contains just the optimum angles for perfect accuracy and increased comfort upon shooting. Thanks to this perfected feature, the slide could be made in a lighter-weight fashion, without the user perceiving an increased recoil.
- Stainless steel barrel which allows the use of both lead and jacketed bullets; the rifling of the barrel is a traditional six-land-and-groove one. The top of the chamber is has a small witness hole notched onto it, which serves as a loaded chamber indicator.
- Simple and effective recoil system: it’s made of a single, flat wire spring, captured on a straight guide rod, resembling the system of a Gen3 Glock pistol. Still, the components of the Ruger American guide rod are all stainless steel instead of polymer (like Austrian pistols tend to use), making it higher-quality.
Pros of the Ruger American Pistol:
The rumors are that the wider gun community wasn’t that pleased with the Ruger pistol, but it all boils down to your source of information (aka precisely what handgun reviews you’re reading). Our experience with the pistol was satisfactory, and most of the other reviews we checked in with for further reference seemed to see eye to eye with us.
- The reduced recoil is really impressive, making the firing of a semi-automatic more comfortable to use for everyone, regardless of skill or strength.
- A shorter and crisper trigger pull: the new Ruger 9mm pistol is using what the company has dubbed a pretensioned striker-ignition system. This means that when its slide is cycled, the striker of the gun is then set into a fully cocked position, unlike other gun models where the striker is only partially cocked after the striker cycling, requiring the depressing of the trigger in order to achieve a fully cocked stance.
- Further comfort with the 3 available wrap-around grip modules: each gun comes with 3 of these so that you can choose the best fit for your hand size and the trigger reach.
- The new Ruger model is also highly customizable if you buy it from an official Ruger distributor, which is great news to most of us who are really passionate about our guns.
- Last, but not least, we find the price of the new Ruger handgun more than affordable for such a high quality product.
Cons of the Ruger American Pistol:
- There have been some concerns expressed by gun experts about the long-term durability of the pistol’s fire control group. Its relatively complex mechanism makes for greater functionality, but some experts voiced concern that it may be worn out faster than in the case of other guns. However, there is no evidence yet that the new Ruger handgun would wear and tear faster than similar guns in the same price range.
- The back of the grips don’t always fire comfortably for shooters with larger hands. Repeated use my cause soreness. You may need to compensate while firing or play around with the other two grip sizes.
- The gun is a bit sensitive when loading a new magazine. If you slap the magazine in too hard, the gun may automatically chamber a round which could lead to a safety issue if you aren’t aware of it.
Check out this video for additional insight into the new Ruger handgun:
Our Final Verdict
As a final verdict, the new Ruger pistol is definitely one of the most impressive recent releases on the gun market, and one which any gun aficionado should experiment with a little, even if you decide not to add it to your gun collection in the end. Its chief value, in our opinion, lies in the fact that it might just make semi-automatic hand guns more accessible and easy to use for the wider masses, effectively contributing to a rise in popularity for this type of gun. Whether this prediction will or will not come to pass remains to be seen, but the Ruger handgun is an impressive and slick gun nonetheless.