Today, shooters are blessed with a wealth of
new semi-automatic pistols from which to choose. Most of the
popular centerfire pistols on the market today were not even
available ten short years ago, excepting the excellent 1911.
Even the Glock, which has been
available in the US for three decades, is relatively
"new" in the world of guns. Now, a polymer-framed
striker-fired pistol is the norm, as the things work, and work
well. Improvements in the manufacturing processes make quality
pistols less expensive, in real money, than they have ever been.
Featured here is the new American pistol from
Ruger. Ruger has had great success with their line of American
rifles, and it seems that they got everything right with
this newest striker-fired American pistol. Not built to a price
point, nor to be the cheapest pistol on the market, the Ruger
American still represents a good value in a world-class pistol.
The pistol is not called "American"
to differentiate it from Ruger's other pistols because of
nation-of-origin, as all Ruger firearms are made in the USA.
Instead, the American is what an American pistol should be;
Rugged, reliable, accurate, a good value, and competitive with
the best pistols of its type from anywhere in the world. Little
details make a difference to me, and on this Ruger, I think they
got the details just right. No one thing jumps out at me as
revolutionary. Inside, it does have the recoil cam which reduces
felt recoil, but I have never been very sensitive to recoil. To
some, this might make a big difference in pistol selection. To
me, it is the combination of the details of the little things,
like not having to pull the trigger to disassemble the pistol,
as is required on some competing designs. This pistol is very
easy to disassemble and to reassemble. Nothing to align. No
fighting the recoil spring. Just lock the slide open, drop the
mag, and rotate the disassembly lever. Then just grasp the slide
and move it rearward slightly, and it slides right off the
frame. Just as easy to reassemble. Little things like using
steel instead of plastic for the trigger and the sights. I like
how the pistol sits low in the hand, and with the medium grip
installed, it points very naturally for me. The trigger pull is
dang-near perfect for such a pistol. Smooth, light, and with a
short, positive reset. The pull weight measures 5.75 pounds on
both my Lyman and Timney trigger scales, but feels lighter. I
like the ambidextrous magazine release, so even right-handed
shooters can release the mag using the trigger finger, which is
easier and more-natural, once one gets used to doing it that
way. I like the steel-bodied nickel-Teflon plated magazines, two
of which are included with each pistol. I like the stainless
steel black-nitrided frame insert which carries the load and
houses the fire control group. I like the design of the sights;
not necessarily the three-white-dot pattern, but the Novak
design. I like the black-nitride finish on the stainless steel
slide. I like the ambidextrous slide lock. I like that the
accessory rail is 1913 Picatinny spec instead of some convoluted
proprietary rail. I like the fact that the trigger does not
pinch my finger. I like the texture on the grip. It is coarse
enough for a positive hold, but not abrasive to the hand nor
specifications for the American Pistol are listed in the chart
below. Weight is listed in ounces, and includes the empty
magazine. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull
is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman
digital trigger pull scale and confirmed with my Timney
mechanical trigger pull scale. Height includes sights and
magazine base with the magazine in place. Maximum grip width is
measured across the grip frame palm swells, with the
medium-sized grip module installed. Maximum width is measured
across the ambidextrous slide lock levers. Trigger reach is with
the medium grip module installed.
||9x19mm (9mm Luger)
|Weight w/ Empty Magazine
|Magazine Disconnect Safety
|Manual Thumb Safety
||1913 Picatinny Spec
||Hard case, cable lock,
instruction manual, decals, three grip modules, wrench
|MSRP as of January 2016
fired the American Pistol with a variety of ammunition over the
chronograph to check velocities, with the results listed in the
chart below. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet
weights are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint
bullet. DPX, Buffalo Bore
Lead Free, and Double
Tap and Barnes Tac-XP
are hollow nose homogenous copper bullets that are made
by Barnes Bullets. Guard
Dog is a FMJ with a soft plastic core to promote rapid
expansion. FP is a frangible, pre-fragmented flatnose bullet.
FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet. FMJ-FN is a full
metal jacket flat nose Buffalo Bore Penetrator bullet. PB is Pow’RBall,
a specialty bullet from Cor-Bon. Glaser is a pre-fragmented
bullet. Velocities were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above
sea level, with an air temperature of thirty-seven degrees
Fahrenheit, and a relative humidity of seventy percent.
Velocities were recorded at ten feet from the muzzle.
Lead Free HP +P
Lead Free HP +P+
|Double Tap FMJ
|Atomic HP +P
|WCC NATO FMJ
|Cor-Bon JHP +P
|Cor-Bon DPX +P
|Cor-Bon JHP +P
Shooting the American Pistol was a real
pleasure. Recoil is soft. Ruger says there is a recoil-reducing
cam that attenuates felt recoil, and whatever it is, it works.
Even Buffalo Bore 124 grain +P+ ammo is soft-shooting. While the
9x19mm cartridge is easy for most shooters to handle, some can
not, but there is simply no pain at all inflicted in firing this
pistol. Every cartridge tested fed, fired, and ejected
flawlessly. There were no failures or stoppages of any kind.
Accuracy was very good. Slow-fire standing at
seven yards, shooting an entire magazine of CCI Blazer Brass FMJ
into one ragged hole was no problem. At twenty-five yards from
the bench, groups measured from a low of 1.25 to a high of 2.75
inches spread for five shots, depending upon the ammunition.
This American pistol is match-accurate, if the ammo is up to the
In the paragraphs above, I listed a few
things that I really like about this pistol, but it is the culmination
of all those details that makes this pistol a great pistol. It
is difficult to quantify; to put into words, but perhaps it was
summed up for me when my wife of 36 years handled the pistol.
Lots of guns come through here; sometimes several in a week's
time, and she doesn't usually get excited about any of them. To
her, guns are just tools. If something needs a hole in it, she
will pick up a gun and fire it, but does not shoot just for the
pleasure of it. I saw a different look on her face while
handling this pistol. She liked the feel, the weight, the
balance, and the operation of the weapon. I didn't think much
about it, but in response to my Facebook post on the American
Pistol, she stated, "I like
this gun. As many pistols that have come through this house...I
really like this one. Feels great in my hand. Love the way it
breaks down (disassembles ~ jq). Think I'd like to own
one...Jeff Quinn, can you make that happen?" I think I can
make that happen.
have shipped in quantity by the time you are reading this. They
are on dealer's shelves, and at hundreds of public ranges across
Check out the extensive line of Ruger
firearms and accessories online at www.ruger.com.
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the American Pistol online, click on
the GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
order quality ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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