Like Rodney Dangerfield, the Ruger P-Series pistols “can’t get no respect” since being introduced in 1985. Here’s how to customize them.
by Paul Mazan
When shooters discuss Ruger pistols, they are generally described with words like “rugged” and “reliable,” with mention that they just don’t break. Those are very highly regarded attributes for any handgun to have. Words you never hear when describing these pistols are “extremely accurate,” “elegant,” or “beautiful.” In fact, despite over a million of them having been manufactured and sold, if you look for aftermarket accessories, you’re going to be disappointed.
I wondered why that was so. With that many pistols around you would think there would be plenty of sources for improved triggers, decocking levers, magazine wells, match grade barrels or drop in accuracy jobs. About all I’ve been able to find are grips from Pachmayr and Hogue, Wolff Gunsprings and a few sight sets. Are the guns so well made that nobody can come up with better accessories? No. Actually, the guns seem to be bought by folks that don’t shoot them a lot and have little interest in customizing them. Manufacturers that have tried to offer accessories were unable to sell enough of them to be profitable, so the unforgiving laws of business have left aftermarket parts pretty much unavailable. It would seem that most of those million pistols are sitting in nightstand drawers, just waiting to be called to duty.
To satisfy my own curiosity, I checked shooters at our local public range the last several times I was out there. Despite the range being full and more folks waiting for spaces to open up, I was unable to find a single shooter firing a Ruger P-Series. A couple showed up at a zombie shoot I attended but I just don’t see many of them being used. What I did find in my search for accessories was factory parts. Both the auction sites and parts houses all seem to have a plentiful supply of Ruger factory parts. I guess that means that if I want a customized Ruger P-Series pistol I’ll just have to break out the tools and do it myself.
Read more in our September 2013 issue. Back issues are available.