Ruger Adds A Thumb Safety .45 To The American Lineup

In a move that will likely appease 1911 shooters looking for a polymer framed compact .45 with a thumb safety, Ruger has added a thumb safety to the American .45. While manual safeties aren’t really my thing, I understand that many shooters appreciate the redundancy when first starting out in the hobby or those that have been around guns for a good while that require a manual safety on any firearm they own.

While the want for a thumb safety isn’t wrong and adding that option for those that want it is admirable, it may not be for everyone.

The Ruger American has been around since late 2015 and was designed with input from law enforcement and military all over the Unites States. Ruger wanted to build a pistol that was loved by those who rely on one to get through their day safely and hopefully the rest of the market would follow. Sadly sales aren’t as good as they could have been and the American has been clearanced out by several online retailers much to the elation of Ruger pistol fans. Frankly, I think that the American is a fine handgun that dosen’t get near enough attention for the price bracket it lives in.

MSRP is a bit high at $579, but street price on the American pistols frequently falls under the $400 mark when shopping around.

You can learn more about the new thumb safety model by visiting Ruger’s website.





Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Co-Director for TFBTV. He is a verified gun nerd and also podcasts at The Firearms Podcast. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially overly modified plastic handguns, precision rifles, and AR based things. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • USMC03Vet

    “was designed with input from law enforcement and military all over the Unites States”

    I’m going to need a source for this because anybody that regularly shoots wouldn’t design a back slide well that uncomfortable.

    • Ebby123

      I would also like to see some citation on that. Excuse me for not taking Ruger’s marketing dept’s claim “LEO LOVES THIS GUN – TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT!” at face value.

  • valorius

    I really like the looks of these pistols. I’m a huge fan of Ruger overall. Never owned a Ruger that didn’t work fantastically well.

    • Anonymoose

      I’m a huge fan overall too, but their old P-series were really clunky and the SR-22 pistol is terrible.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Most people that buy the SR-22 like it, sounds like you had more than a few issues. Care to elaborate?

      • valorius

        The P series were definitely big heavy pistols, but they worked great. My cousin had a P-85 that was extremely reliable.

  • LazyReader

    Really like the aesthetic appeal for this new pistol. Wish the rest of it’s lineup had those stealth angles.

  • Bison “FANatic”

    I love thumb safeties. I also lock my car while it’s parked in my garage so maybe what I do won’t work for you.

  • Mark Horning

    Name one thing that the Ruger American 45 does better than the Ruger SR45.

    Go ahead, I’ll wait…

    Still waiting…

    Yeah… Been waiting for an answer to that since they 1st came out. The SR45 is lighter, more ergonomic, and has a better trigger. Same for the SR9 vs the 9mm Ruger American.

    There is essentially, no reason to ever buy a Ruger American when Ruger already makes a better poly framed striker fired gun for less.

    • Mmmtacos

      The only real thing that bothered me about the SR9/40/45 is the safety is incredibly annoying. Most times I would do an overhand “powerstroke” of the slide to rack or release it my finger would suffer against the edges of the safety.

      My two cents:

      1. Shouldn’t have made a Ruger American. Should have made an SR gen 2 (or whatever cool marketing term they want like “M2.0”)
      2. Use the slide release and safety (when applicable) from the American
      3. Use the serration pattern from the American (and put it forward too)
      4. Keep the ergos of the SR series, not the bad ergos or the hideous design of the American’s grip
      5. Improve the ability to field strip the SR series
      6. Make the SR rail an actual 1913 rail like the American

      I suppose I wanted something of a hybrid when it comes to it. My chief complaint of the SR series were the controls. Otherwise I thought it was great. Instead of improving on a good design Ruger went and designed a completely new gun, and I honestly don’t understand why. Definitely one of their poorer decisions, and they tend to make a lot of good ones in my mind. Maybe they’ll correct things with a gen 2 American.

      And yes, the design of the grip on the American and the LCP is god awful ugly.

      • Stuki Moi

        2.0 is the way to go these days. With serious consideration given to obsoleting as little of the aftermarket as possible.

        Both from the perspective of the immediate owner with an investment in sights, holsters, triggers…..

        And the perspective of aftermarket providers who needs some assurances that what they are considering tooling up for, won’t be obsoleted next year.

        Striker fired Poly is not a wide open frontier with no fixed points anymore. New developments needs to be made with an eye to how they fit in to the existing ecosystem. Even if that may not always be 100% ideal from a greenfield product design POV.

      • Banana Xango

        The American series is redundant and nobody that owns a SR series has ever liked shooting one. It’s like they went back a step in the design just to delete a few things like the loaded indicator and (until now) slide safety. But the SR40c has some of my favorite controls so it’s really down to the shooter’s hands. Blame it on me being left-handed, it’s a big reason I chose it. They’re stupidly easy to break down already, at most they would just add a lever like a Sig instead of a push-out takedown pin.
        I’m sure a few people were waiting on the SR45c to pop up but the American took that instead.

    • WPZ

      The American series has larger and easier to use cocking serrations- the gun is easier to rack. The SR’s gripping area is short in a vertical sense.
      This comes up fairly frequently in our Intro and second-level classes and causes trouble for a lot of less-experienced shooters.
      I also think, based on what I’ve seen in those same classes, that the American is a better fit for larger hands.

  • Anonymoose

    “and all of the thumb-safety .45s produced so far were stolen on from train in Chicago”

  • Edeco

    Able to fly undetected, smallest radar cross section of any current firearm.

  • mazkact

    Everyone needs some place to put their thumb but folks with huge hands have a hard time with ambi safeties

  • john huscio

    Maybe it works well, but its damn ugly.

  • Bucho4Prez

    I think it will take more than an afterthought manual safety to get Walt Longmires money…

  • DunRanull

    Having carried both the P95 and the P89 as duty weapons and maintaining the P95 as a “go to”… I gotta say that I do not understand the sniping at the P-series. Affordable, reliable, low-maintenance pistols built to last… Ruger has made some very useful pistols over the years and Ive owned a few.
    Am not familiar with the SR pistols, must google and educate myself! Altho I carry a Glock I am not excited over the plastic pistols. However that may be I am excited by this new offering by Ruger… I like a positive safety on my pistols.. have been considering selling my Glock 21 and getting the Springfield XDm with the grip safety. Now I have another pistol to consider- plastic fantastic with a thumb safety that I can utilise or not, makes carry a lot safer, IMO… The price is certainly competitive and MADE IN USA to boot.

  • Joe Schmo

    But these guns are garbage… They don’t need a safety, they need to be thrown in a dumpster and launched into outer space.

  • WPZ

    I pretty much only carry guns with manual safeties. Not necessarily to prevent my having an accidental discharge, but to render the gun unusable to a wrong person who’s taken possession of it, whether with criminal intent or childish mischievousness.
    It’s a “lock” that I can disengage in a split second without affecting my first shot in the slightest.
    For a lifelong 1911 shooter, it’s so transparent it’s almost forgotten.