First Video Previews of Ruger American Pistol Released

The first photos of the new Ruger American pistol have been released, and now the first review and shooting videos are coming out on YouTube, as well.

First, GunsAmerica released an unboxing/teaser video of the American:

BurstReview has released a somewhat promotional-esque overview of the new handgun, including some of the stats and features that could make the gun more competitive than previous Ruger offerings:

The above review is, so far as I know, the first major shooting review of the American pistol released to the public. BurstReview fired about 350 rounds through the gun, and was apparently pleased with the results. Notably, the reviewer commented that the gun’s “Medium” backstrap runs smaller than normal for most interchangeable backstrap, with the “Small” size being very small for those shooters such as women who made need a particularly small grip.

824warrior released four shooting videos of the pistol shot from a first-person perspective:

The Ruger American carries many features that have raised speculation about it being the company’s entry into the US Army’s Modular Handgun System program. Given the gun’s emphasis on a moderate price point, as well as its modular chassis construction, ambidextrous controls, and interchangeable backstraps, this seems fairly likely to me, however only time will tell.

EDIT: DownrangeTV has a good overview, including embedded video, of the new pistol written by Ed Head, who’s been testing the pistol throughout its development.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Jack Morris

    The extra small modular grip option caught my attention. The only handgun that’s ever fit my hand perfectly is the Walther P22. Unfortunately, that gun is utter garbage. It’s nice to see major gun manufacturers are starting to cater to us “carny” handed folks.

    • Joe

      Amen. The submission with the shortest trigger reach wins.

  • TheMaskedMan

    Kinda looks like the Canik TP9 (which is itself a P99 without finger grooves).

  • TheMaskedMan

    I also noticed the case has an extension for a threaded barrel. I wonder if that will eventually be a factory offering?

  • Nicholas Chen

    LOL Nathaniel I was going to post the Burstreview video. You beat me to it!

  • john huscio

    Wonder if ruger will try to break into the international law enforcement market with this pistol…..I could see possible sales in a lot of places….

  • Michael

    had one in my hands today and it was completely underwhelming and the trigger was terrible you pulled and then pulled more and maybe it would drop. It was like holding a Glock that got aborted in the third trimester only to be found in a waste management facility only to be put back together by a blind monkey.

    • Michael

      ambi controls were a nice touch though

      • A Fascist Corgi

        Why does everyone like ambidextrous controls so much? Unless you’re left-handed, how do they benefit you in any way? I know that a lot of tactical firearm instructors say that ambidextrous controls are absolutely crucial since your primary shooting hand might get injured in a gun fight. But that’s a load of BS in my opinion. To me, ambidextrous controls add unwanted bulk to the gun. I can see why ambidextrous controls would be desirable for the military. But for civilian shooters, they’re simply not necessary.

        • Prax

          A large number of injuries suffered in gun fights are to the hands. Given that, in what way is desiring to be able to manipulate the weapon with either hand “BS”?

          • A Fascist Corgi

            The only control on a handgun that really matters in combat is the magazine release (I’d personally rack the slide by pushing it into the side of my body). All you’d have to do to press the magazine release while holding the pistol with your left hand is to use your index finger or your middle finger. That’s not the huge deal that tactical firearm instructors make it out to be.

        • “Why does everyone like ambidextrous controls so much? Unless you’re left-handed, 10 percent of the population, plus you if your dominant hand goes bad for some reason, or your left hand happens to be closer to your gun, or you’re holding something in your right hand, how do they benefit you in any way?”

          I dunno, seems like you answered your own question, to me.

    • Twilight sparkle

      The ergonomics were much better than glock, and while I initially thought it was ugly it’s starting to grow on me. I found the trigger was different from glock but equal everywhere except for the long reset; however, the semi long reset could almost be a good thing since this is a police style pistol with no safety and police aren’t known for having very good weapon handling skills. The Novak sights were one of its best features being simple and easy to pick up quickly. It’s a good gun for someone’s first handgun or a military/police gun but for people with more expierence it doesn’t have a role.

  • Riot

    They need to come up with a proper name for
    “I just got a ruger” “Which one?” “The american one”
    “They’re all american you dunce”

    • JSmath

      I’m actually really disappointed they decided to use the same name as their bolt rifles.

      Seems like they’re trying to ride the success of the rifles, as though the pistols wouldn’t stand on their own merit. Or that anything else they came up with wasn’t as good as using the same thing. At least add on something to distinguish it – Ruger American Defender — something!

      • Pretty sure they went with the “American” name to butter up Army brass.

        • JSmath

          Fair point and completely valid. ‘Cuz ____

  • Bullphrog855

    It looks really good in the hand, which is weird giving that it’s ugly out of it.

    It actually may be growing on me a bit.

    • Edeco

      Makes sense to me; being in hand obscures about 60% of the plethora of different textures/patterns/fonts and also that muffin-top over the grip, thereby making it less dazzling to behold.

      • Bullphrog855

        Or in a safe or plastic case, I bet it looks amazing in in those.

    • JSmath

      I wasn’t impressed by the initial images, but I wasn’t bothered by its appearance either. I think reading or hearing that the reason the grip looks that way is because it is swappable really takes the edge off. Everything that seemed like stupid and gimmicky shapes with no purpose, ended up making a lot of sense:

      There’s that eye-displeasing trigger-stop cast into the trigger guard/frame. The oblong shape behind the mag release keeps you from accidentally pressing the oversized mag release. The triangle cut out of the bottom of the grip gives you something to grip onto if you ever need to strip the mag (out of a pouch or out of the gun!).

  • derpmaster

    So Ruger built a Walther. Cool I guess?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Walthers have high bore axis tho.

      Ruger built the FNX/FNS.

      • Rick5555

        The FNS is a really sweet shooter. That’s never been giving its fair share of attention. I think this Ruger looks more like a VP-9. Someone posted a pic of both models side by side. In a pervious article in the comment section about the Ruger American. The FNS and FNS(c) is my EDC most of the time. I highly recommend them. Can’t speak for the sister model FNX. But heard good things.

  • Carl

    Gotta love how there are already people doing reviews on this gun. Great, you had the gun for all of 26 minutes, I guess you are good to do a review now.

    • The gun has actually been in the hands of reviewers off and on for a couple years now.

  • R H

    Man, I usually don’t say stuff like this…but that BurstReview guy is really insufferable. That wasn’t a review, it was an infomercial! “Super rugged ultra overbuilt reliability! Ran OVER 300 rounds without failing! This pistol will single-handedly make America great again!”

    • TheMaskedMan

      Be wary of “reviews” that come out less than a day after a product is announced.

      • R H

        Seriously! If I wanted to see some dude with an ego use unnecessary adjectives, I’d go watch Trump speak. One of the things I respect about Tim from Military Arms Channel is that he’ll do the unboxing or first impressions video to satisfy those who want some information about a product when it first comes out, but he’ll also wait until he has thoroughly evaluated the product before doing a full review or recommendation. Before this article, I’d never heard of BurstReview, but after this video I sure wouldn’t take any of his other “reviews” seriously.

      • nova3930

        Any “review” where the guy hasn’t had enough time to put a few hundred rounds through it over a couple days probably isn’t worth much…

    • Nicks87

      Apparently anybody can make a video about guns these days and call it a review. This guy meets plenty of the requirements on the mall-ninja checklist too. Operator hat with morale patches, Mechanix gloves, His gear is clean like it just arrived from amazon the day before he made the video, lots of rapid fire shooting without actually showing where the rounds are hitting and over use of superlatives are all indications of douchebaggery.

    • Riot

      Also he loves the sights way more than the gun

  • A Fascist Corgi

    A pistol this ugly has to be cheap if you want it to sell well. But judging by the MSRP, I don’t see too many people picking this pistol over the competition (like the M&P). If the street price was under $400, then I’d see a ton of people buying it. The only niche I see this pistol filling is a full-sized 9mm pistol that has extremely small grips that could fit female hands.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Can someone point out where the serial number is?

  • DanGoodShot

    I don’t know why everyone is beating up on this gun. It looks like a decent piece. I won’t past judgment either way until I’ve had the chance to handle one. Then again, my edc is a vp9 so that would be my basis for judgment.

  • MySpin1776

    Is it just me, or does this look similar to the Smith & Wesson M&P

    • Anon. E Maus

      – 9mm
      – Short recoil, locked breech
      – 17 + 1 capacity
      – Striker fired
      – Safety trigger, no manual safety
      – Interchangeable backstrap

      The only potential difference I can think of is the frame, does the Ruger American Pistol feature a steel skeleton in the plastic frame like the M&P does, or is it all plastic like the Glock?

      It feels pretty much like Ruger decided “we’re gonna make one of those too”, and there’s nothing wrong with that, this concept has it’s genesis in the Glock, and lots of designs copy the Glock. Personally, I think the M&P does what the Glock does but better.

  • tenmillimeter

    I’m interested enough to rent one at my local indoor range and do a side by side with my current EDC. If it fits the wife’s hands then that might be a done deal right there.

  • Treyh007

    Wow……. Never seen this guys reviews before, not to bad but definitely a cheese ball!

  • Kelly Harbeson

    That music was annoying as hell! Couldn’t even understand what you were saying.

  • RantGirlRants

    Okay, I got to shoot one of these, and all I can say is Nope Nope Nope. Every time I pulled the trigger, the left corner of the frame under the back of the slide hit my thumb back at the knuckle. Changed the backstrap and it still did it. I have slim hands with long fingers and I can just imagine what some of the guys shooting this thing are getting who have big hands.

  • Dondgeon

    ^Mac’s is the most honest/realistic impression I’ve seen so far.

    Guns America even used the idiotic phrase “GAME CHANGER” in their write-up. Come on.

  • R H

    Thank you! You really do a great service for the firearms community! And even though I momentarily wanted to hate you for bursting my VP9 bubble, I hope you continue to put out the awesome vids.

    • Military Arms Channel

      The VP9 killed me man, I loved that pistol for a year and I still own and shoot one… and because of my over the top antics I own one that’s not really in good shooting shape. The water test failure shocked me and is what soured me on the gun. I expected more. What you didn’t see is that I cleaned, lubed and retested the pistol 3 times in the water dunking test with the same results. A simple water dunking caused what I believe hydraulic pressure in the striker channel to prevent ignition. Once wet and a bit silty, the gun never ran 100% again until it as thoroughly cleaned. I still shoot it better than any other polymer framed striker fired pistol and I will always keep my VP9, I just won’t carry it for self defense anymore. And man, that does suck. Thank you for the support. Oh, and tomorrow I’ll release a video of a Canik doing things the VP9 couldn’t do… that’s because haters told me no pistol would pass such a simple test. A $300 Turkish pistol spanked it.

      • R H

        I also really enjoy shooting it, and it seems to just fit my hand like a glove. Luckily I never planned to carry it for defense, but when you spend the money on an HK you expect reliability. Would you happen to have a USP or a P30 you’d be willing to put through the same tests? Also did you post a video about what you didn’t like about the Sphinx? I usually carry a Glock 19, but I’ve considered purchasing a CZ P07 and letting Cajun Gun Works do their magic on it.