RUGER SR40 REVIEW
For over 60 years Sturm Ruger has been producing a variety of firearms; from rifles to shotguns, to semi-automatic pistols to revolvers. Ruger has been an American firearms manufacturer delivering quality firearms that are usually affordably priced—making them a major player in the fine tradition of American firearms. Well here at Gunblog.com we’re trying to develop our own tradition of giving you reviews of popular guns as soon as they hit the street (or as soon as we can get our hands on them), and with trying to perpetuate this new tradition, we’re here t o give you a review on Ruger’s new sr40 handgun.
CONSTRUCTION AND ERGONOMICS
The Ruger sr40 is a striker fired, .40 caliber pistol that features a 14 round magazine. It has a typical trigger safety and also an external safety located on the rear of the pistol. Some other physical features include chambered round indicator, an ambidextrous safety, and a place on the back strap to attach a lanyard. The sr40 sports a rail to mount a tactical light or laser, and adjustable rear sights. Ruger’s new sr40 also has an indicator at the rear to let you know if the striker is cocked or not (pin out cocked; pin not visible, not cocked).
The Ruger sr40 construction seems to keep the convention from Ruger in regards to quality. With that being said, I feel there are some aspects to the sr40 that fail to solidify that feeling of confidence when discussing the construction of the handgun. I say that because, while one half of the pistol feels like a tank, the other half just doesn’t leave that same impression.
Let’s begin by talking about that first quality half, the slide. The slide gives the impression that it’s made of some serious steel. It’s heavy, solid, and feels like if all else fails, you could use it as a club to knock the hell out of someone because it may just be as lethal.
I personally like the serrated edges on the slide to help give you a good grip on it when power stroking the Ruger sr40. Overall, the slide seems to be constructed to take a beating; although it’s a bit heavy, it leaves an impression of being indestructible.
Now let’s discuss the second half, the frame. I own/owned plenty of polymer pistols, and I’ve never had the impression that the Ruger sr40’s frame gave me. While the slide seems indestructible, the frame seems very light and just not as durable as the polymer we’re used to seeing on Glocks or XDs. Not to say that the Ruger sr40’s frame can’t take a beating, it just seems off balance when compared to the construction of the slide. And I believe this “off balance” observation played a factor when I discuss the recoil that I’ll discuss later in the “Range Time” section of the review.
The pistol has a comfortable grip; I personally like the rubber blackstrap it provides which adds to the comfort and the high grip assists with recoil control. The ambidextrous magazine release is easily actuated from either side. Although it’s a little tough to engage, the slide release is located right where it needs to be to be pressed instinctually. The one feature of the Ruger sr40 that is not ergonomic at all has to be the external safety, which is difficult to engage or disengage with the sr40 in a firing position since it’s located at the back of the slide. I had to compromise my grip in order to engage it, while disengaging it wasn’t as difficult. If it was located a little further forward, it would be easier to do both. It should also be noted that the safety cannot be engaged (on position) unless the striker is cocked (kind of like an Ar-15 in regard to the hammer).
As usual, we tested a variety of rounds through the sr40, and everything spit out reliably. I would estimate I shot around 600 rounds through the Ruger sr40 and I did not experience one malfunction—I didn’t see any stove pipes, failure to feeds, or failure to battery after all 600 rounds went through the handgun without cleaning. The ammo used was mainly Federal, Winchester, and some HPR. We used both FMJ and hollow points from 168 grain to 180 grain bullets.
I’ve shot a sr9 before and I was anticipating more recoil for the sr40; however, the amount of recoil the sr40 produced seemed to exceed those anticipations. The Ruger sr40’s recoil was slightly more noticeable than my Smith and Wesson M&P .40; however, it easily controllable. With the slide being so much heavier, I was assuming that this would limit muzzle rise, but it almost felt as if it was contributing to it. I’m not saying that the sr40 has a lot of recoil, it doesn’t; its only that it was slightly more than I anticipated.
The trigger was also an area where it didn’t feel harmonious. While the pull isn’t necessarily as smooth as I would like it, the break seems to be adequately clean enough not to complain. The total pull amount of the sr40’s trigger is a little heavy—to put it into perspective, it feels like it has just a little less pounds than the first pull on a typical DA-SA pistol like a Beretta 92FS. Another aspect of the trigger that seemed noticeably different from other pistols is the reset; the trigger reset on the Ruger sr40 seemed to be a bit longer as well.
Taking all the less refined elements of the Ruger sr40 into consideration, the accuracy of the handgun seems to be excellent. Granted, I had to concentrate a little harder on my fundamentals of shooting, but when I did my part, the Ruger sr40 did hers. Giving it a very conscious effort, I could put 2”-3” groups at 10 yards and that expanded about 2” for every 5 yards back I went. Out of the box the groups seemed to always travel left of target, and then an over compensation would cause my groups to spread. I’m appreciative that the Ruger sr40 comes with those adjustable sights, so that misalignment can be corrected easily.
I know it sounds weird, but I had to think really hard about what I “think” about the Ruger sr40. Yes it’s less refined in certain areas when compared to much more expensive handguns. But what is pistol supposed to do? And when I asked myself that question in regards to the Ruger sr40, the sr40 does it. It’s incredibly reliable and accurate, and in turn, provides the ease of mind that it’s going to function (something I believe ALL firearms should do). I feel I couldn’t make this handgun fail if I really wanted it to. Considering you’re getting the features it provides while adding the reliability, it’s hard to say the Ruger sr40 isn’t worth every penny of the $400 price tag.
I know the “pistol-philes” out there along with the Glock, or M&P, or XD fan boys (and girls) would have a hard time falling in love the Ruger sr40 since they would be used to the more refined elements of those handgun lines; however, I wouldn’t hesitate to give a nod to the sr40. I would easily recommend the Ruger sr40 for a starter gun for someone that wants have a little bit more bang than a 9mm, or for a range warrior wanting to add to their collection. The Ruger sr40 would also serve as a suitable home defense handgun, and I would recommend it as one since the sr40 proved to be extremely reliable and accurate. Overall, the Ruger sr40’s reliability to function as advertised made it an enjoyable weapon to shoot and continue to shoot in the future.