Ruger SR40 Review: The good, the bad, and the ugly

By Caleb published on in Handguns

Part II of our reviews of the Ruger SR series moves to the Ruger SR40.  I’ve discussed this pistol previously at Gun Nuts Media (click here for the review) but I wanted to give the CTD readers a more comprehensive look at the Ruger SR40, using my “Good, Bad, Ugly” format that I run over at Gun Nuts.  One thing to remember is that “bad” features aren’t actually really awful, just things that I think need improvement.  The “Ugly” is the category for stuff on a gun I just don’t like at all.  So let’s take a look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Ruger SR40.

The Good

  • The trigger: after spending a tremendous amount of time shooting nothing but DA revolves, it’s really put the issue of “trigger pull” in a whole new light for me.  I’ve also become obsessed with how positively a trigger resets; I want to feel the trigger go “click” under my finger as I let it forward so I know I can shoot again.  The SR40′s trigger has a great reset, which means you can run the gun very fast.  At a training class, I shot almost 2000 rounds through an SR40 and was getting splits in the high teens on certain drills.
  • The Grip: the gun points very well.  The grip angle and adjustable backstraps allow you to adjust the gun to get the bore axis very low relative to your hand, which helps cut down recoil on the snappy .40 S&W cartridge.
  • Reliability: the SR40 was boringly reliable.  I have fed all kinds of different .40 ammo, and even after several high round count, fairly abusive classes, it continues to run.  I also haven’t cleaned it in over 2000 rounds.
  • Ergonomics: this is a very easy gun to shoot and carry.  As mentioned above, it sets well in the hand, is light, thin, and easily concealed.

The Bad

  • The sights: On the SR series, the factory sights feature a rounded profile and a fairly narrow rear notch.  They’re not great for competition shooting or self defense, and I’d get them replaced with a Novak rear sight and a fiber optic front, or if this your carry gun I’d get a set of XS Sights.
  • No forward cocking serrations: the SR9c features forward cocking serrations to aid in press-checking the gun.  The SR40 does not, and I miss them when I press check my SR40.
  • Disassembly: taking down the SR40 (and all the SR pistols) involves sticking your finger down the magwell with the slide locked to the rear to push the takedown lever.  The Ruger manual says “do this with a pencil” in case the slide unlocks and slams your finger in-between the breech face and barrel.

The Ugly

  • The safety: This has got to go.  On the SR40, when you’re holding the gun properly the safety recoils directly into the web of your thumb.  This hurts.  After 500 rounds, it produces blood, and 1500 consecutive rounds I was wearing a triple-wrapped bandage on my thumb.  The safety design either needs to be changed, or deleted entirely from the gun.
  • And speaking of things that need to be deleted from the gun, my greatest “Ugly” is the magazine disconnect safety.  That has got to go.  Magazine disconnect safeties have no place on a combat pistol, a self-defense firearm, or a competition pistol.  It is in fact possible to bump the ambi-magazine release and partially eject the magazine.  The round will still chamber, but the gun goes dead.  Not okay.

The Final Word

I don’t like the SR40 nearly as much as I like it’s smaller brother, the SR9c.  That being said, the SR40 would be a good choice for someone looking for a range gun, or a .40 S&W carry pistol.  There are plenty of videos online about how to delete the mag safety, and the SR40 does do the most important thing that a carry gun should do: it shoots, and it shoots every time.  While I think there are improvements Ruger could make to the design, I would still recommend the SR40. Overall, it takes 4th place on my list of .40 S&W polymer pistols, and of the guns on the list it does have the best price point.

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Comments (29)

  • coconut oil stores

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    Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one!
    It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

    Reply

  • rick

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    i love this pistol, accurate as hell, love the sites, love the grip, no problem with the saftey. i dont know what this guy is talking about?! i shoot i.d.p.a. with this pistol and i have had no problems with it, easy to clean, take down is no problem.

    Reply

  • Locksmith Miami beach

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    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your web site in web explorer, may test this? IE nonetheless is the market chief and a large component to people will miss your wonderful writing because of this problem.

    Reply

  • Beezel

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    I wish Ruger would bring back the P94 .40 S&W. I loved those Rugers. Had all three stolen from me and now I can’t find one that isn’t abused since they are now discontinued.

    Reply

  • scooter

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    this review post and who ever did it full of shit and needs to check themselves cause you good sir dont know jack shit

    Reply

  • kevin

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    i bought my SR 40 in Jan of this year, love the way it felt in my hand, good grip!
    One thing i noticed about the gun right away was the slop in the magazine in the gun. So i took this gun to the range last week, first time i run shells through it. Winchester 180 grn jhp bought at walyworld. I didnt get through the second magazine when my SR broke in my hand! the magazine release button fell out hitting me in my hand and a piece of sheared metal followed. Took the gun back to the store where i purchased it and they boxed it up and sent it back to Ruger. hope to get it back soon, loved the way it shot the first 20 times….

    Reply

  • Joe Smith

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    I have been searching for either a SR9 or SR40 pistol in the used [2nd tier markets]. I see quite a number of SR40′s for sale around $400 with everything. However; Never a 9mmp – SR9!

    The gun guys down in Phoenix, AZ tell me that the SR9′s are great but that the SR40′s are Nothing but Trouble ! They say; ‘ Don’t Buy One ‘ ! If you want a .40 cal; Buy a FNH FNP.40 ! They Work and Every Time !!! So I bought one ! And, Yes, they run circles around any other of the .40cal pistols, especially the junk Glocks ! And, don’t get me going on how bad Glocks are!

    The best 9mmp that I ever owned is the’ Star BM 9mmp scale of the Colts Govnt model bar none!!!
    I have three of them, they All Work and Well too ! Ruger like S&W and others are into these Plastic Junk Guns now ! So be careful out there ! Joe-

    Reply

  • Kevin

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    Love my SR 40! Great carry gun. I bought mine new shot it the first time and the magazine release button broke! Sent it back to Ruger and it was fixed! Sense then I have put several hundred rnds through it and it has functioned flawlessly! Was pissed that it broke but I wanted to give the gun a chance. Glad I did! My model 23 Glock stays in its hiding place in the kitchen and I carry my SR 40 . I like the idea of one in the chamber and safety on. Don’t have that choice with my Glock!

    Reply

  • Nick

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    You’re holding the pistol completely wrong if the safety is impacting your thumb! I’ve shot nearly 500 rounds and never had an issue like this. Not like I’ve got tiny lady hands or grizzly bear paws either.
    I’ve even seen another review that the person pictured their injured hand. You’d have to be completely oblivious how to properly hold a handgun to get hurt by the slide/safety. It’s physically uncomfortable and unnatural to hold this SR40 in such a manner. This is by far my favorite semi-auto I’ve ever shot, let alone owned. Always accurate and reliable, even to 50 yards, just in case you need to hit a longshot of a perp running away with your property.
    Ruger built a SAFE, RELIABLE, ACCURATE, and ASTHETICALLY pleasing gun, bottom line!

    Reply

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