Range Report: Ruger SR1911R

uger SR1911R/TruGlo combination

Ruger has expanded its line of 1911 handguns considerably since the introduction of the original SR1911 a few years ago. There is a steel frame Commander version, lightweight Commander .45, and now an SR1911 9mm Commander. These handguns have proven to be reliable, accurate, and a good value. They are service grade and deserve the attention of anyone interested in a quality 1911 handgun.

uger SR1911R/TruGlo combination
We are ready for action with the Ruger SR1911R/TruGlo combination.

The good features of the 1911 include a low bore axis, straight to the rear trigger compression, grip frame that fits most hands well, and the hard hitting .45 ACP cartridge. The Ruger SR1911 is well made of good material. I like the tight slide to frame fit and attention to detail. The barrel is well fitted. When a barrel has slop in its fitting, the firing experience isn’t all it could be and accuracy suffers as well. A well-fitted barrel and barrel bushing reduces the pistol’s clunky feel when cycling. Good fitting reduces the tendency to eccentric wear.

Ruger has introduced a 1911 with a light rail in the SR1911R version. The Ruger SR1911R wears Novak Lo Mount sights. It doesn’t get any better for combat sights with an excellent sight picture and low snag profile for concealed carry. The SR1911R features a properly fitted slide lock safety. Operation is crisp and the indent positive.

The custom-grade grip safety features a memory groove paddle. This benefits those that use the thumbs forward grip that sometimes allow the palm to rise from the grip safety when firing. The grip safety releases its hold on the trigger about halfway into compression. If the grip is relaxed, the pistol will not fire. The trigger action is crisp and smooth with little take up and no creep.

1911 pistol barrel bushing
The barrel bushing is tight enough for accuracy but only finger tight for field stripping.

The slide lock and magazine release operate properly. Overall, the pistol exhibits good fit and finish. The dark coating is non reflective and well suited to a modern service pistol. This black nitride finish offers a low-key appearance compared to stainless steel handguns.

The SR1911R is a rail gun affording shooters the option of mounting a combat light. For home defense and other qualified users, the light is a great option. The pistol is supplied with two Ruger magazines. These magazines are well made and functional. Each is stamped with the Ruger logo.

I supplemented these magazines with 8-round units from MecGar during the firing test. In short, the SR1911R is a modern handgun with credible improvement over early 1911 handguns. The handgun is also based on one of the most capable handguns of all time, the Government Model 1911 .45.

TruGlo light and laser combination

TruGlo Tru-Point

A good choice for any rail gun for home ready is the TruGlo Tru-Point light. TruGlo offers good value for the money, and this unit proves you do not have to pay several hundred dollars for a credible combat light. The Tru-Point incorporates both a laser and a combat light into the unit. The laser may be used for training in dry fire while you attempt to hold the pistol steady as the dot races about the target. The laser may also be used as an aiming device. The illumination is most important in my opinion. The laser and the light may be activated at the same time or individually. The TruGlo Tru-Point and Ruger 1911R are a good match.

To begin the evaluation, I first lubricated the pistol along the long bearing surfaces. Next, I loaded the magazines with the American Eagle 230-grain FMJ, an affordable clean burning practice load. I holstered the piece in my DM Bullard Chocolate Elephant skin IWB holster, drew and fired at man-sized targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards.

The low bore axis and straight to the rear trigger compression provided good results along with the Novak Lo Mount sights. With limited muzzle flip, the pistol is controllable in fast pairs. Firing a number of drills including the Bill Drill, firing six shots as quickly as possible at seven yards; the Ruger gave good results.

The sights are properly regulated for the six o’clock hold with 230-grain ammunition. The Ruger SR1911R is a formidable defensive handgun, whether carried concealed or for home defense. I often carry a steel frame 1911 when weather and clothing permit—the Ruger SR1911R is a credible choice. There is no more effective defensive handgun for those that practice.

I tested the Ruger further with a standard ‘outdoors load’ I carry in the field. This consists of a Hornady 230-grain XTP over a stiff charge of Unique for 920 fps. Recoil is strong, but the load is accurate, hits hard, and has long legs for long-range use. The balance of expansion and penetration are excellent.

I fired the pistol at small targets at known and unknown range from 20 to 100 yards with excellent results. This builds skill and familiarity more than paper punching. Naturally, the Ruger performed well.

I also fired the pistol from a solid bench rest at a long 25 yards to test accuracy. The SIG Sauer 200-grain JHP is an accurate, hard hitting loading that gives good accuracy in .45 ACP handguns. The Ruger functioned well with this load and gave the single best accuracy testing of the firing session.

I also fired the Gorilla Ammunition 230-grain JHP FBI specification loading. This load meets or exceeds FBI specifications for penetration and expansion. Results were good to excellent with this load exhibiting good accuracy.

Accuracy Results, 25 yards, Five-shot Groups

Ammunition Group Size
SIG Sauer Elite 200-grain V Crown JHP 2.5 inches
Gorilla Ammunition 230-grain JHP FBI 2.8 inches
Federal American Eagle 230-grain FMJ 3.0 inches


Bullet Powder Speed Groupsize
Hornady 185-grain XTP/WW231 Powder 890 fps 2.6 inches
Hornady 230-grain XTP/Unique Powder 920 fps 2.85 inches

After firing some 400 cartridges over the course of two weeks, I found the Ruger SR1911R reliable, accurate, and fast handling. The results show the pistol is reliable and accurate enough to bet your life on. The Ruger SR1911R is well worth its price.

With a combination like Ruger and a 1911, it is hard to go wrong. Do you own or carry a Ruger 1911? What recommendations would you share with other readers? Share your answers in the comment section.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (23)

  1. I have been waiting for a Ruger Lightweight commander with factory night sights. I would take one in 45 and 9mm. Ruger produces the Night watchman and the Lightweight Commander. Just need to stick them together.

  2. I own an SR1911. I LOVE it. My dad and I have quite a variety of S&M M&P’s, but I prefer shooting the 1911. I have the best accuracy with it on single shots. The recoil doesn’t feel much more, but my repetitive shots are no where near are closely grouped as with the 9mm’s, which I get. I still love it and have it ready for home defense 24/7.

  3. With the tried and proven design, there is little that can be done to improve upon this weapon, save build it strong and make the weapon tight. Ruger has again done it well. I carry the steel Commander series .45 as a duty weapon, and am well pleased with its performance. The stainless is low maintenance, durable, and functions well with whatever load I feed it. Right out of the box I fired over 500 rounds of 230 gr RN lead reloads as “break-in” rounds, and suffered zero malfunctions. Duty loadings are the Sig 230 gr or the Hornady XTP in 185 gr, and still no problems. I bet my life on the handgun regularly, and will continue to recommend it for serious handgunners.

    1. Start at 6.5 grains and very carefully work up in one-tenth grain increments.

      Your 1911 should be good for 7.0 grains without problem.


      due to unsupported case head.

      this is a great outdoors load.

  4. I own a brace of LTW Commanders, one in .45ACP, the other in 9MM. Love them both. They are fine pieces and represent exceptional deals. Most all Rugers do.

  5. Any word if ruger is going to come out with a 9mm sr1911r? Im in the market for a 9mm 1911 with a rail thats under $1000.

  6. I own the SR9, the SR1911 .45, and the Ar15. I have had no issues with any of them! I have short fingers and a wide gand so i had to try many guns to get comfortable!! Weight, performance and action are superb! I do own other equipment but perfer Ruger.
    Obviously i am sold on Ruger.

  7. Hi, Bob,
    At the risk of sounding ignorant, why would someone want sights regulated for a 6 o’clock hold for anything but a bullseye gun?

    1. When sighted for the 6 o clock hold the pistol is dead one at 50 yards giving troops a fighting chance at longer range. This was the originally military specification. When firing bullets lighter than 230 grains the bullet will striker lower.

      Thanks for reading

    2. Bob, I do a little bullseye shooting, and I understand the concept, but why would Ruger stick to the milspec on their sights, when, to my knowledge, this is NOT a military piece. This pistol, as issued, will strike unacceptably low at normal civilian combat distances, and is rather useless unless the buyer replaces the sights or handloads to reduce velocity and raise the POI. My wife’s Kimber Eclipse and my Glock 20, both in 10mm, are dead on at normal civilian combat distances with factory sights.

  8. I bought a tru point laser light combo a month ago and took it to the range to get used to the extra weight on my glock and the light disassembled it self in less that 100 rnds

    1. Phil, after reading your comment, should I assume that you would NOT recommend the Tru Point to anyone else?

    2. I returned the light and they sent me a new one and I haven’t taken it to the range yet but I can let you know if this one holds up

    3. Thanks for the useful info. I will take a look at it when I get around to my local gun shops, but comments like yours will help me make a better decision as I am in the market for a couple of new lights. But I agree with one of the other guys, make sure everything is good and tight and give it another try.

    1. Ruger SR 1911’s are sold in the $700-750 range for the Commander models (at least around me). I own three, stainless commander 45, lightweight commander 45, and 9mm commander (which is also lightweight). I love them. My two favorites will chew any ammunition I feed it: The 9mm Commander model shoots very well with light recoil and it is always accurate. I’ve put thousands of rounds through mine with no problems. The stainless commander 45 is also pleasant. It’s heavy enough that the recoil is minimal. I also clean and oil my sidearms after every trip to the range.

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