Rugers Official Announcement of the Ruger American Pistol

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After several day of leaked photos and a few videos Ruger made its official announcement today of the American Pistol. The press release has a heavy emphasis on military and police use as well as consulting with many military and police trainers input into its design.

Ruger refers to a recoil reducing cam with a low mass slide which spreads the recoil impulse over a longer time. Interesting to be sure but until we get our hands on one we can only speculate as to the configuration. This is a full size service pistol in both 9mm and 45 acp. This is a bit unusual since most new pistols start out in one caliber with a second and possibly third coming later. It appears Ruger is covering the bases for a possible entry into competition for a future military pistol.

Ruger describes the frame as having a one piece fire control unit, chassis, in stainless steel. This makes me think of the SIG 320 with the ability to change the chassis over to a smaller frame if needed. Just speculation on my part so we shall see as things develop.

I did expect this pistol to ship with three mags but it ships with two. The 9mm capacity is 17 with the 45 acp holding 10 rounds.

The suggested retail price is right in the same ballpark as the SIG 320 and Glock at $579.00. More details are below in the Ruger press release and specs.

Details of current models

Details of current models

Ruger American 45 acp

Ruger American 45 acp

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to introduce a new line of full-size duty pistols. Designed with the latest U.S. Military standards in mind, the Ruger American Pistol™ is built to perform in the harshest conditions. A true American innovation, this new pistol is a revolutionary platform for Ruger.

Ruger polled law enforcement and military trainers throughout the country to determine the form, function and features of this firearm. The resultant new pistol combines a recoil-reducing barrel cam (which better spreads recoil over time) with a low mass slide, low center of gravity and a low bore axis to provide better balance, less felt recoil and less muzzle flip than comparable pistols.
The Ruger American Pistol also features a pre-tensioned striker system, which allows for a short takeup trigger with positive reset, and a modular wrap-around grip system that adjusts palm swell and trigger reach to fit a wide range of hand sizes.

“The Ruger American Pistol is the most advanced semi-auto pistol we have ever produced,” noted Ruger CEO Mike Fifer. “Rugged, reliable, and a great value in the finest Ruger tradition, the Ruger American Pistol is ready for duty anywhere in the world. Our customers deserve the opportunity to ensure their security with such a well-engineered pistol from an American company they can trust – Ruger,” he concluded.

Every Ruger American Pistol is built on a rigid, one-piece, precision-machined, black nitrided, stainless steel chassis with integral frame rails and fire control housing. Additional features include genuine Novak® LoMount Carry three-dot sights, a stainless steel slide with non-reflective, black nitride finish, a one-piece, high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame and a mil-standard 1913 accessory rail.

Available in 9mm Luger and .45 Auto, the 9mm weighs in at 30 ounces with a 4.20” barrel and the .45 weighs in at 31.5 ounces with a 4.50” barrel. Both ship in a hard case with replaceable grip modules and two, nickel-Teflon® plated steel magazines (17-round for 9mm and 10-round for .45 Auto; 10-round magazines are also available for the 9mm where required).

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Ruger American Pistol website



Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Laserbait

    My dealer already has my order for a 9mm version. I already have a SR45 that shoots great. Depending on how it fits my hand, I’ll probably get the 45 variant as well.

  • Some Guy

    I have been tempted for some time to try a SR45. Now I’m glad I held off because I really like the look of that RAP 45.

    • AlphaNumeric111

      Looks a lot like an HK VP9.

  • Bigbigpoopi

    All the leaks and no one racked the slide for the damned trigger pull?

    • Laserbait

      Realguns has a full review of it – it’s a 2 stage trigger, and the striker is fully cocked. He said he was impressed with the trigger.

    • No nothing I’ve seen yet. It does seem they are rather proud of the trigger with a shorter reset and pull distance.

    • Between 5-6 pounds, based on the reviews that have already come out.

  • Why only 10 rounds for the 45? Glock and Springfield hold 13.

    • Ken

      Grip must be too skinny for a true double stack, like the M&P 45 which also holds ten.

      • True enough—

      • TheMaskedMan

        Yep. I’m guessing that Ruger is marketing to the military, and a true double stack .45 is going to be quite large for many people. They probably wanted it to be comfortable to as many users as possible.

      • mosinman

        maybe the Frames are cast in the same mold and that’s why it can only fit 10 .45s but 17 9mm rounds

        • Ken

          I guess we’ll find out when we get to hold the 9mm and .45 side by side. A .45 does require a slightly longer frame than a 9mm does, but they could well just make the exterior dimensions the same.

          • MR

            I’m guessing they’re pandering to the AWB states first, on the 45ACP version. The 9mm will likely be the bigger seller, so they offer the 17 rounder that was likely developed for the military trials, as well as the ten round mag for AWB states. The free state mag for 45ACP will probably only hold another three rounds, so they test the waters with a mag that’ll fit all markets (though the handgun probably won’t get on the California roster).

        • Ken

          I got to compare both side by side this past weekend. The .45 grip is longer than the 9mm as is expected, so it’s not the same frame. However, it did appear that the grips are the same width, so the .45 is not a true double stack.

          I did not find the grip all that comfortable, but that was just with the backstrap that comes attached.

          • mosinman

            oh ok, thanks for the info

      • richard kluesek

        Maybe it uses magazine interchangeability with the SR 9 and SR 45 series which have a slender grip and the same capacities. If so many consumers already owning these may opt for the American as an additional sidearm. As well, would holsters also be transferable ?

    • Dracon1201

      We need to see some fatter .45s. The funny thing is, those Springfield aren’t even that fat!

      • Edeco

        Yep. I tried a FNX45, not bad at all. No longer see the need for the pseudo-double-stack for myself.

        • Dracon1201

          I have an FNX45. I too saw the light. Good choice!

      • iksnilol

        I saw measurements of those Para P14-45s, they were actually thinner than singlestack 1911s. Only difference was that the grip was more square so it “felt” thicker to people.

      • Curious_G

        Not sure who “we” is, but It certainly wouldn’t be competitive with the MHS program since one of the goals is to fit more people. You can add bulk to a grip but you sure can’t remove it.

    • They likely opted for a staggered magazine as opposed to a true double stack in order to improve ergonomics. The staggered 10 round .45’s are generally thinner and more comfortable to hold for most shooters when compared to a full double stack ala Glock 21.

  • Dracon1201

    That is suprisingly sexy and futuristic looking! I may be in for one. Just hate the low capacity of the 45. They need to make a “fat” frame 45 version.

  • “Designed for Military”

    Translation: “This is what we submitted for the MHS programme”

    Which means that the design is at the least, competitive, as it looks to meet all the requirements of the solicitation.

    • Yep sure sounds like it—–

    • Ruger stands to be able to seriously underbid their competition for MHS, meaning this entry should really spice things up.

      • Curious_G

        Why do you say they will be able to seriously underbid the competition? Just trying to understand the basis for the comment.

        • JK

          I’m not seeing it.

    • BTW, yes it is officially an MHS gun:

  • john huscio

    Now I think it kinda looks like a rugerfied five seven….

    • JSmath

      I think it looks like a black SR9 that’s trying to be more like the FNS and P250.

    • AlphaNumeric111

      Basic shape looks a lot like an HK VP9.

  • Drew Coleman

    It looks like it may be modular like the Sig P320. The manual shows the fire control group as a separate part, and it’s serialized.

  • tony

    an optional thumb safety would be nice

    • Bear The Grizzly

      That’s what the SR line is for.

  • nanoc

    Wonder if they will make a version without the stupid writing on it? I can read the manual to find out if it has a magazine disconnect or not. Also why mark the frame telling me to read the manual? Why not just include a tag with the information on it.

    • schizuki

      One word:

      Lawyers.

    • GrumpyCat

      It could be worse. Can you say, “Grip Zone”?

  • schizuki

    Sharing a name with their budget rifle line seems a curious choice. I thought it must be a budget pistol when I first read it. Poor marketing.

    • MR

      Might end up at a “budget” price level, depending on how much they inflated the MSRP.

  • Lance

    Hope since its Ruger it have a decent trigger pull.

  • John

    Is that a slide stop for lefties? Interesting. Well, I like the way it looks, Ruger has had a few issues in the past with rolling out new pistols like this. I hope they THOROUGHLY vet this BEFORE releasing it to the public. I am a customer, not a beta tester.

    • MR

      Now I’m curious what the other side looks like. I’d ASSume there’d be a matching slide stop over there, but it seems odd not to see a picture posted.

      • John

        It’s on both sides. I saw a review yesterday.

  • Twilight sparkle

    I got a pic of my father holding the frame of one at gander mountain, the serial number was in a slightly odd location at the back. The associate and I thought it looked like you might be able to swap things out like on a sig 250. I wasn’t able to get many pictures because I didn’t have much time with the gun. I do remember the trigger felt like a more refined sr series trigger, it was less plasticky feeling.

    • JSmath

      I strongly believe modularity, as being able to swap slides and barrels out like on the 250, is one of the requirements for the MHS — which above is indicated by TFB writers that the American pistol is participating in. Deserves further investigation, I’ll leave it to them.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        It’s not. Technically.

        The MHS reqs only call for different grips to fit shooters and a compact variant to be available.

        Now, if whoever selecta has any sense at all and IF any of the actually-modular guns perform as well as the other options, then they would be foolish to not give the modularity a little extra weight to a decision – considering how the mil could utilize replaceable frame and components.

        But we’ll see!

      • Curious_G

        You don’t have to guess or have an opinion about what is in the RFP. That would be public knowledge.

  • Bob

    Another FUGLY from Ruger. Logos, names, warning labels. What ever happened to subtle elegance in firearm design? Do we need another polymer pistol?

  • nobody

    With the possibility of Ruger using a single frame for their 9mm and .45 ACP pistols (due to the low capacity of the .45 version), what are the chances of a .22 TCM conversion kit?

    • Low but possible. It would have to be the .22 TCM 9R to work in the 9mm magazine, or there would need to be a custom magazine created for the .45 frame.

      • MR

        If it’s popular, RIA might eventually release a conversion kit for it. That is, if they ever get around to releasing the Glock 17 version.

  • Santa Claus

    Don’t like the so called safety

  • C.

    Improved SR9?

    • richard kluesek

      Good sensible point. Perhaps some interchangeability ?

  • Looks like a Strike One and a Lorcin had a live child. That said, Ruger makes really good pistols at a great price.

  • StBernardnot

    Looks like a “block”.

  • Full Name

    Over the years, Ruger has become my favorite gun maker. They make good guns, cheap.

  • LazyReader

    She’s a beauty.