Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Ruger SR1911 (Video) | Down Range TV

The Ruger SR1911 (Video) | Down Range TV

Michael Bane and his DOWNRANGE TV website helped introduce the RUGER SR1911 pistol this week. (Michael has been taking some heat on his weblog lately for "Dissing" the pistol ... which he didn't even identify or comment upon before it was announced by the manufacturer.)

Until we have our hands on the gun, it's going to be difficult for any of us to speak to the quality of the pistol, so it's not reasonable to comment on Bane's description of the product or its functionality.

Bane's description of the pistol sounds .... about as swell as any shooting-magazine writer would present when a manufacturer cooperates in the publication of a "first release" article on any kind of firearm or associated equipment. That is to say: if he gives a bad review, that will be the LAST time when that manufacturer allows him first-day access to the product. It's not that Bane, or any gun-writer will deliberately down-rate a new product. However, unless there is something majorly wrong with the product, you won't learn about it here.

That's not a comment on Bane or his show; it's just a comment on the industry. That's the way it works.


Accepting, temporarily, the above caveat, Bane's evaluation of the pistol sounds both positive and fair. Ruger (a surprise tome) has, Bane says, been producing 1911 pistols for some years. I assume this has been as a sub-contractor to some other manufacturer .... there's nothing new about this; I simply was ignorant of the fact.

And the accoutrements, for example, include Novak 3-dot sights. As Bane says, if you dont' like 3-dot sights, you don't have to have them.

All the specifications are available on the Ruger website, so you don't have to rely on me to 'get it right'. Which is a relief, because there have been rumors about this product since December, 2009 (perhaps earlier ... I didn't bother to research the rumor mill further back than that.)

In short, a reliable gunmaker has jumped on the 1911 Bandwagon, and I'm glad they did.

I'm also glad that Michael Bane is there, right on top of things to provide us with a reliable "First Look" and an old reliable.


7-round vs 8-round Magazines:

The only negative thing which came to mind when I watched his video was purely peripheral ... Bane's mention of the fact that Ruger had decided to include both a 7-round magazine and an 8-round magazine with the new gun. Bane stated that the 8-round magazine did not feed as reliably as the 7-round magazine.

I don't know why he said that.

I've only been shooting 1911's in .45 acp since 1997 (Not counting several thousand rounds I fired in Vietnam in the late 60's / early 70's from 7-round magazines), so I cannot count myself as an expert on the care and feeding of the pistol/magazine combination in that caliber. However, I have to say that the only failures to feed have been from failure to load the ammunition to specifications (usually too short), when the magazine was improperly maintained (eg: magazine spring old and weak, like me; or the feed-lips were not adjusted properly) and when the handgun had not been adequately maintained.

And again, when the ammunition was not re-loaded appropriately; usually due to not full-length sizing the cartridge correctly, crimping them correctly or using the 'wrong' bullet.

On the other hand, the quality of the magazine is ALWAYS suspect. The military issue 7-round magazines I used in 1969 were, in my experience, "questionable" using Military Hardball ammunition. But those magazines, and probably the ammunition as well, had probably been created during WWII ("The War To End Wars To End Wars") and most likely had been over-used and under-maintained.

Put a new quality magazine spring in any "name brand" 8-round magazine and tune the feed lips, they'll perform as reliably as any 7-round magazine that has ever been made.

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