TFBTV: Ruger American 9mm Pistol Review

In this episode of TFBTV, James reviews the Ruger American pistol. How does this new polymer handgun fit into the already crowded full size polymer pistol market? Is there room for the American or is this pistol not offering anything new? James finds out in this episode.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • TC

    I bought a Ruger P85 when they first came out, it felt like it was trying to climb up out of my hand when I shot it. That cured me of wanting any Ruger semi auto pistols. Is the frame on the ‘murican’ cast, like the old P85’s were? I do like my old Ruger Blackhawk, though.

  • DMZ

    Never forget that the advertising tagline for this gun is literally “Anything else would be un-American.”

  • olivehead

    I’m no expert, but my impression was that the RAP trigger was closer to an XD trigger than Glock. IMHO the RAP trigger is to a Glock trigger what a Glock trigger is to a PPQ trigger. YMMV

  • I wonder if it will be commercialy successful. The SR9 was a good gun but was outshone by a lot of its also excellent competitors like S&W and Glock

    • M.M.D.C.

      Hard to say. I think Ruger sold plenty of the SR pistols in spite of the recall and a fairly saturated market but they were introduced during the Great Panic. I’m trying to remember something like this that has flopped and I’m getting nothing.

    • barry

      I previously owned an SR9, and it was a good pistol. The recoil was subjectively lower compared to my Glock 17. Also, it was easy to stay on target (one of my more accurate pistols, in my hands at least). The reasons I let it go was the following:
      1. The grip was too thin even with the adjustable rubber piece. I felt that I could not get as much contact as I wanted.
      2. The tolerances were looser (slide to frame wiggle) than my other pistols, making it feel like a sub par product. It was looser than my glocks, HK, Beretta, M&P; but about as loose as the Smith and Wesson SD9 and Taurus.

      3. Extra mags were pricey (around $40, which I don’t mind if it were an HK, strange right?)

      4. It is hard to find a holster for it (full size, not the SR9c).

      Again, it was a good pistol; but after comparing with the competition, it just didn’t hold up as a keeper for me.

  • derpmaster error on this article too

  • Beetlejoose

    Can anyone tell me where to go to subscribe to the TFB newsletter ????
    OMG !! The pop up is worse than a Nigerian porn site !!
    Seriously- I can’t even enjoy the site anymore

    • TC

      Those Nigerian Porn Sites are pretty bad, huh?

    • nadnerbus

      Every damn website has that crap now. Can’t even scroll to the bottom of the article before it spams you for something. I get the damn newsletter anyway, and it still spams me.

    • adblock plus

      • M.M.D.C.

        Sites like this one rely on ad revenue for income. Ad blocker will eventually kill independent sites like this one and we’ll be back to big corporations controlling the content we’re ‘allowed’ to see.

        • DIR911911 .

          then they should learn to be less intrusive or blocked is what they’ll get , two way street.

          • M.M.D.C.

            Some of the ads are aggressive, I hate the intrusive ones too.

            There is an ongoing discussion about this on a couple of the blogs I follow (two out of the three, actually) and the issues of revenue, advertising and exactly what ads show up on a site seems to be somewhat difficult problem. It’s affected youtube channels as well, if I’m not mistaken. When the money dries up, the lights go out.

            Perhaps someone familiar with the mechanics of the internet could comment, but, from what I have read, ad blockers are an existential threat to the small “Mom and Pop” sites. For those three sites I pause my ad blocker.

          • Swarf

            Until the sites that want me to pay to see their content via ads solve the problem of rampant malware hitching along with their ad content, they can get bent.

            The onus for that is in them. It is my job to protect myself.

        • Ken

          My ad blocker is saying that 38 ads were blocked for this page. There’s a difference between supporting the site with ads and having to wade through so many ads to get to the content you actually want to see that it’s not worth it. It’s a perfect way to drive viewers away.

        • Wanderlust

          They wont if people whitelist them, I whitelist every site I enjoy and frequent, otherwise its on all the time because I just dont know about or want to risk the random unfiltered attacks that can come through 3rd party adds. I whitelist this site for example.

      • SirOliverHumperdink

        uBlock origin>adblock plus

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Adblock plus started a paid whitelist, so advertisers could pay to skip the blocking – F THAT.

        UBlock Origin is a far better blocker. No self playing videos, no ads or banners of any kind. And it has the best “picker” for blocking custom elements. It’s the only way to roll.

      • USMC03Vet

        Don’t forget Ghostery to stop the trackers. 17 on this page alone.

        *vanishes like a ninja*

    • USMC03Vet

      It’s ridiculous because not only does it completely disrupt the entire use of the browser while on a mobile device, but on every page of the domain there is already a newsletter sign up box. #MakeTFBGreatAgain

  • 2hotel9

    I really don’t like the non-hammer and no safety fad. Which is why I bought a SAR K2P. I have fired a couple different models of Ruger pistols recently and I just did not like them, they didn’t feel good, recoil was not as easily controlled and the shot groups were a bit erratic. The K2P is quite smooth to fire and groups very nicely, and you just can’t beat the price.

    Oh, and yes, that popup is really aggravting, especially since I get the newsletter to begin with.

    • FightFireJay

      Glock and the Ruger American Pistol have 3 safeties built into the trigger lever. A 1911 typically has 2 safeties, one on the grip lever and one on the thumb lever.

      • 2hotel9

        Yep, no hammer, no safety, no thanks. And don’t ever put glock brand glock in the same paragraph as 1911. Hell, not even the same page.

        • DaveP

          Yeah, it’s not nice to deprive 1911 fanbois of their social-signalling ops.

          • 2hotel9

            Good thing I don’t have a 1911.

          • DaveP.

            Nah, you just signal like one. Must wanna belong to the “cool kids table”.

          • 2hotel9

            “signal like one”? Is that like a “microaggression”? Am I trampling people’s safe space when I joke about colts and glock brand glocks? I hope so, safe spaces need to be trampled, even among gun owners.

        • L Cavendish

          most LEOs don’t want the safety…one more thing to go wrong
          good thing you have choices…right?
          Glocks keep going…and going…and going…and fire just about anything…not as finicky as the 1911

          • maodeedee

            I have both and neither are finicky But both have had some tuning done to them. My 1911 is a basic GI 1911A1 but with wolf springs, Wilson extractor and slide stop and match barrel and bushing and most of the time the only reason 1911”s are finicky is because of the magazine and a Wilson mags takes care of that problem plus adds one more round.

            My Glocks are a 10mm and a model 23 mid size in 40 caliber with 357 sig and 9mm conversion barrels, 3 guns in one and both Glocks have trigger jobs and steel recoil spring guides.

            There are no best guns or worst guns, there’s just people who know how to use whatever they’ve chosen and people who haven’t trained enough with what they’ve got to be any good with it no matter how good the gun is.

          • L Cavendish

            without tuning,,1911s are KNOWN to be finicky eaters of ammo…
            you no longer have the base models of either,,,
            but that is good…we have many and varied choices…

        • maodeedee

          I’m OK with either a hammer or striker but a DAO pistol does not need a safety any more than a DA revolver does. The only safety that can be relied on is you brain once you’ve had enough training so that it’s instinctive to keep your damn booger hook out of the trigger guard until the moment you nuzzle engages the target.

    • Dr. Buchenrad

      I agree. I prefer a hammer fired gun with a single action mode. Those are definitely the minority these days. Your choices are pretty much limited to 1911, Beretta, Sig, fnx, and not much more than that. That and I’m not a fan of slide mounted safeties so Berettas are out. I guess that’s why I’m such a Sig fan.

      I did shoot my friends Sig p320 the other day and I must say it’s pretty nice for a polymer striker gun.

      • 2hotel9

        I tried a bunch of different pieces over the last year, looking to replace my Walther P1. Like SIGs, Walther’s newer pistols are nice just no hammer. A friend had a SAR full size that I really liked and starting checking around, reading reviews and whatnot, bought the K2P back in February and love it. Son is going to get one soon and I am getting one for Wifey for her birthday.

    • Bear The Grizzly

      It’s not really a “fad” when it’s in the majority.

    • Darrel

      I also do not like the no safety, no hammer fad. While we are at it, I also dislike these cased ammunition and smokeless powder fads. Everyone knows that black powder is coming back after these fads die out.
      By the way, I just got this new 1851 navy black powder revolver. It’s amazing. I will be getting one for each member of my family. Could tfb do a review or it?

      • 2hotel9

        Wow, I really peed in your wheaties. You get this upset about everything, or just when people snicker at your glock brand glock?

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Not a bad video James. “Murican” wasn’t funny after the first time, but more importantly… Please try to not point guns at yourself tho, 1:10, maybe more, I skipped around a lot.

    • DW

      He actually did not. Watch the video again.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        You sure?

        Photo 10 seconds before finger on trigger. Proper muzzle disipline is not difficult.

  • BattleshipGrey

    James, well done again. You keep the details, likes and dislikes rolling while keeping things funny and light-hearted the whole time.

    Of Ruger’s semi-auto pistols, this is probably one that catches my eye the most. Not only does it look more aggressive than anything Ruger’s done, they’ve finally done away with a bunch of “feel good” options that aren’t needed. Especially the loaded chamber indicator… the people on the highway by the range could probably see that!

  • FightFireJay

    I had to stop at “ambi safety”. The model being reviewed does not have ANY safety levers other than the trigger.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      He meant slide release and said saftey. Not the biggest issue with the video, I’m sure you could have found something if you kept going 😉

  • 2hotel9

    Hey, Alex? How about a review of SAR pistols? I have had mine a couple of months now and really like it. Lot of traffic through TFB and I think a lot of guys would be interested in a well made, lower cost handgun.

  • M.M.D.C.

    I’m not trying to defend TFB or anybody else. Just making an observation based on what a couple of different bloggers have said and what I have seen here and there in the internet, so there’s no need to get all up in my face about it.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I wasn’t really hopping on you. Just the mentality that it’s ever OK to annoy customers on any site. Given the choice of X or Y site, I’ll intentionally go to the one with fewer ads… But I run blockers so it really doesn’t matter to me I guess. Cheers!

  • RickOAA .

    The ‘Murican feels generic to me. Not a bad effort, though. I like James’ reviewing style. He’s alright, that guy.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Yea, it just wasn’t necessary. Once peppered in the video that most people miss would have been good. Carnik Con would nail this, a joke that most people will miss is always funnier than one repeated.

    Overall it was a good video.