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Author Topic: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge  (Read 3084 times)

louie the lumberjack

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The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
« on: November 26, 2015, 03:06:11 am »
Why did I buy this?

We have all seen this commercial.  Ray Liotta walks into a bar.  He's wearing a well made, classic cut suit, sans tie.  He orders a drink, and is promptly served.  He looks over at two other men my age twirling cocktails garnished with cherries, and gives them a condescending, non-verbal 'cheers.' His drink?  Tequila on the rocks.  Cut away to 1800 Tequila.

Wait, what?  That stuff's terrible!  He wouldn't drink that, right? 

I have no idea, but I see what 1800 is trying to do.  Ray Liotta has made a pretty good career for himself, essential playing the same role-- a tough, calm, quiet but exceptionally competent professional who is unafraid to be himself.  Ray Liotta has made a career out of being Ray Liotta, and he doesn't care what others think.  This type of confidence is why the other two change their order to what he's having. 1800 is an reasonably priced brand trying to appeal to the uninitiated in an attempt to drawn in loyalty to a beverage by associating itself with an archetype--the aficionado.  Later on, a more shall we say, worthy brand will become the object of desire.

You might be thinking an aficionado is somebody that reads Rob Report or magazines with Morgan Freeman on the cover smoking cigars, or drinks single malt whiskey, wears Swiss watches or drives a Porsche 911--a fanboy for expensive things.  An aficionado however, is not the same thing as being a fanboy.  There is no shame in being a fanboy because if you like something you like it.  I can disagree but it doesn't change your mind.  A fanboy is somebody that likes the Porsche 911 because its cool.  An aficionado on the other hand is more of a purist and wants a particular 911. In this case they would tell you the new ones are too heavy, too wide and have far to many amenities that make it too easy to drive fast and even have an option for a dual clutch automatic.  For those, the modern 911 is not for them, and instead prefer a Carrera RS made in the early 70s.  This particular aficionado is left in a tough spot of either finding a unicorn or buying one from a boutique builder like Singer.  A Singer rebuilt 911 has a sticker price that can reach half a million dollars because it is rebuilt by hand but it is a car made exclusively for the individual driver.  For the uninitiated, finding out if that sort of thing is even for them can be insanely expensive.

Thats where 1911s are now.  At one point it was made for everyone.  A farm boy from Missouri could learn everything he needed to know about using it safely in an afternoon. The romanticism surrounding this pistol need not be explained.  It has gone from something that everyone can use, to something else due to time spent on "improvements." For this discerning shooter there are generally two types that are loved the most:  the GI and the Series 70.  The GI has remained virtually unchanged, and most available are reasonably priced and those shooters easily satisfied by its "bare bones" design.  The Series 70 on the other hand, one would need to buy from Colt, which isn't impossible to find buy not always easy.  If not from Colt, one could find it from a boutique builder like Ed Brown, Nighthawk or Wilson Combat.  Most of the other builders include extras like the Schwartz safety or the Series 80 firing pin safety which the purists believe affect the trigger pull.  Like the Singer built Porsche 911, a Series 70 1911 doesn't always come cheap.  Those shooters will pay around $2,000-$3,000 for a hand built pistol made exclusively for the individual shooter.

Except, the Ruger SR1911 is a Series 70 that will run around $750.  For the uninitiated, it is priced within reach of those who don't have that kind of disposable income to find out if they are a fanboy, or an aficionado.  Not so much unlike 1800 Tequila.  Am I that type of shooter?  Well, around the time I bought it I picked up a penchant for Italian made dress shirts and I have been known to frequent a particular tobacconist because they carry a certain brand of cigar--so yes.

The bad.

It is built on a cast frame and is most certainly not hand built.  It does not have a name you can show off.  It comes equipped with widgets like a beavertail and an extended thumb safety.  All of the small parts are black which means they do not match the stainless steel slide and frame.  The looks and parts though are subjective.  Functionally it has hiccuped on me on three occasions.  One jam when I first shot it and it began running dry.  The next where I might have been pushing up on the slide release and it locked back on a full magazine.  Another where others here witnessed it fail to feed. 

This is nitpicking, but for a pistol that is fitted as well as it is, I was disappointed in how the trigger wiggled vertically.

The good.

It is otherwise fitted together nicely.  If I keep it clean it runs and while there is a learning curve it is disturbingly short.  It shoots well--well enough to make an average shooter look pretty damn good.  Wood grips are always a nice touch and the widgets it comes with are what shooters typically install on their own.  Its stainless steel and comes standard with Novak sights.  To satisfy the purists, it does not have a full length guide rod.

This is a Series 70 pistol and as such, is compatible with Series 70 parts.  So I was able to easily get the sights changed out, and I picked up a flat trigger from Fusion.  I also picked up slim VZ grips to get my bean counting mitts around it.

Accuracy:  It shoots.  8.5/10 with points lost for my average skill.  Need proof?

My group is the top target, pushed slightly left of bullseye from 15 yards.  Did I mention it shoots?


Reliability: 8/10.  Three failures and I'm 3000 rounds in. Its not a Glock, it won't sit for decades between Rosie O'Donell's thighs and be expected to fire with 99.9% reliability.  I for one appreciate the way it was built an not about to expose it to such disturbing levels of torture to prove a point. 

Would I buy it again? 

If I am to go back to the time I bought it, yes.  The version of me now that is aware he is an aficionado?  No.  I want an Ed Brown, or a Nighthawk, or a Wilson Combat.  No longer am I uninitiated.

louie the lumberjack
Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

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    GeorgeHill

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #1 on: November 26, 2015, 09:36:55 am »
    For a 750 dollar 1911... that's actually very good.  And I dare say that the gun is still wearing in.
     :thumbup1  Great report.
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    Raptor

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #2 on: November 26, 2015, 11:04:41 am »
    One of my old college/gun show friends picked up a Ruger SR1911 Commander. The all-steel version, not the Lightweight. He really likes it. I've shot it, and it's a good gun. Don't really care for how it balances (I prefer a Government Model or CCO), but I think the trigger's actually little bit nicer than my Springfield's.
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    GeorgeHill

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 08:49:43 pm »
    My next 1911 will likely be Ruger's Light Weight Commander.
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    louie the lumberjack

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #4 on: November 27, 2015, 04:21:51 pm »
    One of my old college/gun show friends picked up a Ruger SR1911 Commander. The all-steel version, not the Lightweight. He really likes it. I've shot it, and it's a good gun. Don't really care for how it balances (I prefer a Government Model or CCO), but I think the trigger's actually little bit nicer than my Springfield's.

    //Swirls cognac in a sniffer and stares at it reverently//

    The firing pin safety is getting in the way...

    //sips cognac//

    louie the lumberjack
    Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

    louie the lumberjack

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 04:22:33 pm »
    For a 750 dollar 1911... that's actually very good.  And I dare say that the gun is still wearing in.
     :thumbup1  Great report.

    Thank you! Glad you liked it.

    louie the lumberjack
    Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

    HiVelSword

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #6 on: November 27, 2015, 04:32:37 pm »
    Regarding tequila.

    I know the top teir is Anejo, followed by Reposado followed by Silver.

    For some reason reposados are smoothest to me going down. Silvers are the worst going down.

    BUT... I joined in for a round of shots one night. The waitress screwed up. Was supposed to be Patron but we wound up with 1800 Silver. I didn't know this when I did the shot.

    Well, maybe my body is designed for sub-par tequila but it was smooth and to me, delicious. Maybe mister Liotta and I have something in common? lol
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    MTK20

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #7 on: November 27, 2015, 04:44:36 pm »
    //Swirls cognac in a sniffer and stares at it reverently//

    The firing pin safety is getting in the way...

    //sips cognac//

    louie the lumberjack

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #8 on: November 27, 2015, 05:19:48 pm »
    //Swirls cognac in a sniffer and stares at it reverently//

    The firing pin safety is getting in the way...

    //sips cognac//

    louie the lumberjack

     :clap Well played, sir. But in all seriousness, my Springer's trigger is a tad on the heavy side: it's listed as 5-6lbs, and I'm guessing it's closer to 6. My friend's Ruger's trigger was noticeably lighter, probably around 4-5 lbs, and I think he's tuned the overtravel stop too, something that I have not done on my Springer as of yet.
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    Kaso

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    Re: The Ruger SR1911: A response to George Hill's challenge
    « Reply #9 on: November 27, 2015, 07:48:00 pm »
    ...I think he's tuned the overtravel stop too, something that I have not done on my Springer as of yet.
    Dude, I'm telling you...  Do it.

    Take a 1/16" Allen wrench, and turn the adjustment screw in until you can just barely see the end of it, when looking through the lower hole from the side.  Try the trigger - it will probably not drop the hammer.  If it does, screw it in further until the hammer will not drop.  Back it out until it just barely does, then back it out just a bit further.  Now take the gun and dryfire a few times (or live fire, if possible) to see the difference.

    Trust me.  Do this.



    Kaso

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