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Friday
Jan062012

Ruger SR40c Review

Ruger has built a pistol series (SR) with a desirable set of features. The overall fit and finish of the SR40c is excellent. Available in either stainless-steel slide or black Nitron, the pistol features satin rounds and polished flats, with front and rear serrations for easy operation. The three-dot sights are of a rugged, black, metallic construction with a dove-tailed rear sight featuring a click adjustment screw for height. The frame, trigger and magazine release are all made of high-performance glass-filled nylon. The new SR40c is almost identical in size, feel, and weight to the SR9c, 9mm pistol.

The external safeties include a trigger safety, and an ambidextrous thumb safety that blocks both the slide and trigger from moving. The thumb safety is very sleek, but easy to disengage or engage. The SR40c has a visible loaded chamber indicator. The bar-shaped indicator, it’s located on the top of the slide, behind the chamber opening, it’s painted bright red on both sides and includes the words “LOADED WHEN UP” .

The slide locks open on an empty magazine, and the pistol will not fire if dropped, or if a magazine is not in place. I’m not a fan of this feature, as the round in the chamber will not fire, when you drop the magazine for a combat reload.

The size of the loaded chamber indicator appears to be over the top for experienced hand gun owners. But if you follow Ruger’s suggestion of running your fingers across the top of the slide in the dark it makes sense. The indicator rides just high enough that you can feel there’s a round in the chamber without opening the slide. When the SR40c is cocked, the rounded tip of the striker is visible via a port in the rear slide plate. This provides yet another way to check the status of the pistol.

The SR40c is a pleasure to shoot. Many have found .40 S&W pistols in this class to be snappy or uncomfortable to work with. This is not the case with the SR40c. The expected level of recoil is present, but the pistol design mitigates it. The recoil goes back not up. The grip feels terrific in my hands, similar to the single stack Glock 36, .45 ACP subcompact. The frame is smooth and slightly curved to let the thumb and trigger finger slide right into place. The texturing on the front strap and side panels provide just the right amount of roughness for the other three fingers to grab on to. The SR40c features a reversible rubber back strap to grip the palm effectively for shooters with different size hands.

The SR40c features three configurations for its steel magazines. The 15-round magazine with the grip extension sleeve worked nicely to make the grip feel like a duty-sized pistol. The nine-round magazine fitted with the finger extension felt just as good without any pinching or nibbling of the ring finger that some extensions can cause. Since the grip frame provides plenty of room for a full two-finger grip, the gun still felt comfortable and controllable with the flat magazine base in place on the nine-round magazine, but I liked the extension better. The D-shaped ambidextrous magazine release buttons are checkered and accessible, but more difficult to release than any other pistol that I own (Glocks & Sigs). You really have to press hard from either side to get the mag to drop.

It took some practice to get used to the SR40c trigger because it felt lighter and faster than most striker-fired pistols. I found this action to be my favorite feature on this pistol. The most oft-heard comment about the SR40c at Gunsite among the writers, reviewers, and instructors was how soft-shooting the pistol felt in the hand. Recoil is not painful at all, and the weapon is very quick to get back on target between shots

Most Glocks have 5-pound 8-ounce trigger, with a travel stroke of 1/2 inch, and a little over-travel at the end of the stroke. The SR40c has a 6-pound 4-ounce trigger, but the travel stroke is only 3/8 inch with no perceptible over-travel. So even though the SR40c is just a little heavier in the trigger, its smooth feel and shorter stroke distance make it feel crisp and quick. In other words, it is an excellent trigger for an out-of-the-box striker-fired pistol.

The SR series pistols are excellent choices for beginning marksmen and those new to firearms. I know of 3 novices that shot both the Glock 26 and either the SR9c or the SR40c. All three preferred the Ruger, especially the trigger action and grip.

When it came to feeding the SR40c, it was content with everything I stuffed in the magazine. I tried a variety of practice-grade and full-metal jacket rounds, and they all fired and functioned without any hiccups. I haven’t had a single malfunction over two sessions, firing 250 rounds.

Accuracy testing proved to be challenging. I am not a hunter and have never adjusted fixed sites. Out of the box the pistol shot high and to the left. Windage adjustment is the most challenging and I wish the gun was sited better at Ruger.

The slim, contoured grip and overall ergonomics of the pistol are top notch and comfortable to work with. The trigger is excellent from the first shot forward. And the mix of magazines and magazine accessories are ready to go for concealed carry or for home defense. Best of all, the gun proved to be utterly reliable with all of the ammunition tested.

The SR40c is a very nice pistol available at a very reasonable price (you can find it for less than $450).

Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.; Ruger.com
Model: SR40c
Action: Striker-Fired Double-Action Only
Caliber: 40 S&W
Slide Finish: Stainless Steel or Nitridox Pro Black Alloy Steel
Frame: Black High Performance Glass-Filled Nylon
Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot
Barrel Length: 3.50”
Overall Length: 6.85”
Height: 4.61”
Width: 1.27”
Weight: 23.40 Ozs., Unloaded
Capacity: 15+1 Rounds, 9+1 Rounds
Twist: 1:16” RH
Rifle Grooves: 6
Accessories: One 15-Round Magazine with grip extension sleeve, one 9-round magzine with flat and extended base, magazine loader, lock
Suggested Retail Price: $525.00

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