What did Ruger bring to the party?
Ruger shows up at SHOTShow 2015 with a plan. While so many other manufacturers were at range day with one or two new weapons Ruger had a table full. Ruger had eight new offerings that I found interesting. There was even more but for my purposes the handguns were the priority.
Ruger shined like a diamond with most of their offerings. The handguns included a new 22/45 lite, LC9, LCRX 3 inch, GP100 Match Champion, Charger takedown and the SR1911 Lightweight Commander. Yes that’s 7 not 8 new guns. The last item was the new drop in trigger upgrade for the 10/22.
The quick facts on a few of these offerings. The new 22/45 lite is bringing new colors and more cutaways for lighter weight. So this isn’t much of a change. For backpackers the reduced weight of the new 22/45 is a plus because every ounce counts in hiking. The 22/45 is extremely accurate and makes a good choice for a survival weapon as well. The downside for this weapon can also be the weight. From an accuracy point of view, living up to the gun’s ability is actually more difficult with a lighter firearm. If you look at quality target pistols from the past you will often find optional barrel weights to make the weapon heavier. A heavier weapon will dampen the natural shake in the shooter’s hand lending more stability. In this regard the 22/45 may not be the right choice for a novice.
The Charger Takedown is a short barrel pistol version of the 10/22 with an attached bipod and the ability to break the weapon down in a similar fashion to the 10/22 Takedown previously introduced. While not many people have a lot of demand for this weapon it does provide a specific service. The Charger is an extremely accurate semiautomatic with multiple magazine choices that takes up very little space. The Charger is a great survival gun choice with even better packability now.
The LC9 has been updated a little and while I personally didn’t fire the weapon everyone was astonished by the improvement Ruger has made in the trigger. It’s certainly a good move for Ruger to provide a trigger upgrade to an already popular and well performing handgun.
The first of these handguns I wanted to try out was the new LCRX 38 +P with the 3 inch barrel. This is the newest variant of the LCR polymer revolver series for Ruger. The smaller frame feels very nice in the hand and of course coupled with the light weight lends itself to all day comfortable carry. Even with that light weight the recoil is nothing to even blink at. (While most may think this is normal for a 38 special, I’ve shot the S&W Bodyguard 38 in its factory lightweight non padded configuration and I can assure you that weapon highlights all the recoil a 38 can produce.) I was excited for this weapon for two reasons; the exposed hammer provides a single action shooting option and the 3 inch barrel should lend extra accuracy (if only due to the longer sight radius). I stand behind the exposed hammer but unfortunately the accuracy wasn’t great from my brief experience. The trigger was fine but a little heavy for what I wanted, though not heavy for a defensive revolver. Firing in single and double action I was having difficulty finding where I was hitting on the overcrowded target provided. At the time I thought this was due to the target. I later realized when hitting with great accuracy I saw every hit. So what I can say is I couldn’t track my shots what I can’t say is how accurate or inaccurate this weapon was.
In a stark contrast to the LCRX I picked up the full size stainless GP100 Match Champion. This one is a finely tuned tack driving machine. It’s chambered in 357 with a nice slab sided barrel and upgraded grips. The trigger oil was fantastic even though the double action pull is a little stretch for my short fingers. My shots hit exactly where I aimed each time. It was the type of experience that makes you want to buy the gun because you shot so well with it the first time you picked it up. The other upgrade is the sights on this variant. There is a highly visible fiber optic front coupled with an adjustable rear. The Match Champion is a great offering from Ruger this year.
Next in line was the 45acp SR1911 Lightweight Commander. The entire frame is aluminum shaving a bit of weight without increasing recoil out of any comfort level. This weapon also shot beautifully with a nice smooth action and great accuracy from my short time with it. The nice touch for me is the feed ramp Ruger installed. They’ve added a titanium feed ramp, over time this option will protect the aluminum frame from the gouging caused by thousands of rounds being forced into the chamber. It should be noted Colt didn’t bother to add a feed ramp at all to their lightweight model this year. Good looking out Ruger. I appreciate the reputation for overbuilt guns.