Ruger® Custom Shop® SR1911® 9mm Competition Pistol

by Boge Quinn

photography by Boge Quinn

September 28th, 2020

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Doug Koenig has established himself as one of the top competition shooters America has ever produced; his prowess with a pistol is legendary, his match wins are legion, and he even has a long-running TV show to his credit. When Ruger approached Koenig to headline their shooting team and asked him to design the pistol that would take him and the Ruger Shooting Team to victory after victory, Koenig didn't mess around: the pistol Koenig designed for Ruger has no compromises, and is everything that could be desired in a serious competition pistol. 

Jeff and I first saw the Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 at the 2018 NASGW show in Pittsburgh, PA, and we were very impressed from the start. The pistol just exuded quality upon viewing and handling, but it is not until one actually shoots the pistol that one fully realizes what the Custom Shop SR1911 really is. 

Any quality competition pistol begins with a quality base pistol, and the Ruger Custom Shop starts out with Ruger's wonderful stainless SR1911 pistol. Although I own semi-auto pistols of many makes and designs, I consider myself a "1911 Guy", and I can honestly say that the SR1911 is my favorite 1911 pistol; also, my favorite carry 1911 is my SR1911 Lightweight Commander

The Custom Shop SR1911 is a beautiful pistol, but that only scratches the surface; starting with a full-stainless SR1911, the Ruger Custom Shop concentrates a lot of effort where this effort is not seen, but where it is vitally important. The barrel is hand-fit to the frame, the barrel lugs are hand-fit to the slide, and the frame and slide are hand-fit together; this yields a very tight, yet smooth and reliable action, offering the perfect balance of accuracy and 100% reliability. The frame is stainless steel, finished in black nitride, while the slide is similarly stainless steel, finished in a matching black nitride with polished sides, which gives a really attractive two-tone finish to the pistol. 

Detailing is everything one would expect from a custom-made competition pistol costing much more than the SR1911 Competition Pistol's price. The front of the frame is checkered very nicely at 40 LPI (Lines Per Inch), and the thankfully-flat mainspring housing is similarly checkered at 40 LPI; coupled with the aggressively-textured Hogue Piranha G10 grip panels, this makes the pistol feel very solid in the hand. A slippery pistol is very much not to be desired in either a competition or Social Work situation, and sweaty hands would pose no problem here. The top of the frame behind the trigger guard is relieved so as to allow the pistol to ride a bit lower in the shooter's hand, effectively lowering the bore axis relative to the hand and reducing muzzle flip. The base of the frame features a generous mag well, which is only barely wider than the width of the grip panels; this adds speed in reloading without compromising the ability to conceal the pistol for defensive carry, and also gives the pinky finger a very nice place to rest. The polished sides of the slide sport fore and aft serrations for ease of racking; these serrations are very attractively configured in a "K for Koenig" arrangement which visually echoes the lightening "K" cut in the trigger. The trigger itself is lightweight aluminum, featuring a flat face and an adjustable overtravel stop, and is wonderfully smooth and creep-free in operation, releasing consistently at 3.4 pounds on my scale. The hammer is Commander-style and lightened, nestling perfectly into the upswept beavertail grip safety, which features a generous "bump", allowing one's strong-hand thumb to properly "ride" the thumb safety without fear of the palm not properly actuating the grip safety. The extended ambidextrous thumb safety is hand-fit, solid and positive in operation, and not extended so obnoxiously so as to make holstering or concealing the pistol a problem. The magazine release button is nicely checkered and extended, but again not so extended so that holstering becomes a problem.

The sights on the Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition Pistol are superb, consisting of a light-gathering fiber optic front sight coupled with a fully-adjustable low-mount rear sight. The front sight's fiber-optic rod is set into a square post ramp, offering a great target-style sight picture with the added benefit of a luminous green dot; the fiber-optic dot is great for lower-light shooting conditions, while the square post ramp is finely serrated to reduce glare in higher-light shooting conditions. The rear sight blade is generous in size, precisely notched, and is also finely serrated to reduce glare. The result of all this is a sight picture that is quick and easy to pick up in a wide variety of lighting conditions.

The Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition Pistol comes with a generous assortment of accessories: a very nice Ruger Custom Shop-branded hard case; Certificate of Authenticity; Custom Shop window decal; Custom Shop challenge coin; Custom Shop-branded prop rod; Custom Shop-branded polishing cloth; Ruger-branded bushing wrench; sight adjustment tool; lock; instruction manual; and two ten-round Ruger magazines. The magazines feature a slightly-extended base pad; just enough of a base pad to make the magazines smack home easily, but not enough to make the magazines hard to carry or conceal.

The SR1911 Competition Pistol was a joy to shoot. The pistol ran perfectly, eating up any and all ammo I fed it. Reliability was 100%, with zero malfunctions of any kind using a variety of ammunition types. Furthermore, the positive feel of the pistol, coupled with the ease of acquisition and speed of the sights, made it a breeze to shoot with speed and accuracy.

Specifications - Ruger® Custom Shop® SR1911® 9mm Competition Pistol

Model / UPC #: 6766
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Barrel: 5 inches, 6-Groove, 1:16" RH Twist
Slide: Stainless Steel, Black Nitride Finish w/ Polished Sides (Two-Tone)
Frame: Stainless Steel, Black Nitride Finish, Checkered Grip Front & Mainspring Housing
Weight, Unloaded: 41 ounces
Overall Length: 8.67 inches
Overall Height: 5.63 inches
Grip Panels: Hogue® Piranha G10
Front Sight: Fiber Optic
Rear Sight: Adjustable Target
Trigger: Aluminum, Flat-Front, Adjustable for Overtravel
Trigger Pull: 3.4 pounds
Magazine Capacity: 10+1
Magazines Supplied: 2
Accessories Provided: Ruger Custom Shop Hard Case, Decal, Certificate of Authenticity, Challenge Coin, Sight Adjustment Tool, Bushing Wrench, Prop Rod, Cleaning Cloth, Lock, Instruction Manual
MSRP as of September 2020: $2,499.00 US

At $2,499.00 MSRP as of this writing, the Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition Pistol is obviously not inexpensive, but those of us who have shopped-for or bought custom competition pistols know that a custom pistol can cost far in excess of Ruger's suggested retail price. With a street price of probably $2,000.00 or less, the Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 is as good as any high-dollar pistol I have ever fired, is backed by Ruger's legendary customer service, and really is a bargain considering the full set of features offered.

The Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition Pistol is match-ready right out of the box. I am no hot-shot competition shooter by any stretch of the imagination, but I found the pistol extremely easy to shoot with accuracy and speed. Ruger offers similar versions of their Competition Pistol in either 9mm Luger or 45 ACP, so a variant of this excellent pistol is available for a wide range of competition disciplines. As well-designed as the SR1911 Competition Pistol is for competitive shooting, it remains also a very good fit for defensive shooting. For Social Work, with proper loads, one could scarcely go wrong with either the 9mm or 45, and the Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition Pistol would be a great choice for either competitive or defensive shooting.

Check out Ruger's extensive product line at: www.ruger.com

Ruger's current Custom Shop offerings can be seen at: www.ruger.com/micros/customShop/

To find a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at Lipsey's: www.lipseys.com/

To order online, click on the GUN GENIE at Davidson's Gallery of Guns: www.galleryofguns.com

Order ammo online at Lucky Gunner: www.luckygunner.com; Buffalo Bore Ammo: www.buffalobore.com, and Double Tap Ammo: www.doubletapammo.com

Hogue Grips: www.hogueinc.com

For a great variety of holsters from a great American company, check out Simply Rugged Holsters: www.simplyrugged.com

Boge Quinn

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The Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition Pistol comes with a generous assortment of "goodies".

 

Pistol comes with two 10-round magazines.

 

 

 

 

Boge tried the SR1911 Competition Pistol with a variety of different ammo types. Function was perfect.

 

 

Some of Boge's favorite 9mm defense loads (top to bottom): Buffalo Bore P+P 147-grain JHP; Buffalo Bore +P+ 115-grain JHP; Double Tap 77-grain Solid Copper Lead-Free HP; Double Tap +P 115-grain Bonded Defense.

 

 

WWII-style "Tanker Rig" from Simply Rugged Holsters.