Ruger SR1911R Upgrade

Working Ruger’s take on a Browning classic.

by RK Campbell

I recently had the call to work on an upgrade of the 1911 handgun that’s a newcomer compared to those from Colt and Springfield. The Ruger SR1911R is a government-length .45 ACP appearing similar to other 1911s. Like many modern 1911 pistols, it comes from with factory enhancements like good sights (Novaks), an extended safety, beavertail grip safety, and accessory rail. As with many solid Ruger pistols, the frame is cast while the slide is forged steel. Another improvement over the original military specification is a permanently-attached plunger tube. Other than the lower-quality Llama (which suffers poor metal and no spare parts; I’ve seen two broken examples within the past year) Ruger offers a well-made improvement.

The first question my customer and I had was part interchangeability. While it was hoped quality aftermarket parts such as from Ed Brown and Wilson Combat would present little obstacle to upgrading, the only guarantee I could initially offer was to exchange the recoil spring! I’d like to assume the same for magazines, but an Auto Ordnance 1911 with a propriety magazine and a finicky polymer-framed “rail gun” have given me pause on that blanket recommendation. Despite certain brands releasing in recoil and the possibility of base pads interfering with a magazine chute unless checked and fitted, I’ve enjoyed excellent parts adaptability with Colt, Springfield, and Rock Island handguns. I didn’t have such experience with the Ruger SR1911R.

1911 handguns have been built for many decades at many different companies with many grades and degrees of tolerance.

Read more in the August 2017 issue.

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