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GUNS Magazine October 2011 Digital Edition - Page 62

After yeArs of rumors, ruger’s government model is finAlly here in the centenniAl celebrAtion of this storied pistol. B John Taffin y the time I appeared on earth’s terra firma, colt had been producing sixguns for over a century, while Smith & wesson had been at it for over 80 years. During my lifetime, some of my greatest shooting pleasures have been afforded by Smith & wesson .357 Magnum, .44 Special, and .44 Magnum double actions. At the same time, I have looked upon the colt Single Action and new frontier as virtual single-action sixgun perfection. A large part of my sixgunning heart and soul belongs to sixguns from these two old-line companies. However, my feelings about Ruger are slightly different. Ruger’s first 1911, the KSR1911, has been long anticipated and comes in the centennial of the 1911. The left side of the Ruger SR1911 (below) exhibits all the standard operating controls. While Colt and S&W were already legends long before I was born, Ruger’s first pistol did not arrive until I was 10-years old. I did not pay much attention at the time, however the .22 Single-Six of 1953 would be my first sixgun in 1956. Then came the Blackhawks in .357 and .44 Magnums, both of which I had by 1958. So, it is easily concluded that I grew up in sixgunning style with Rugers. I learned to shoot with the .22 Single-Six and to reload using the .357 and .44 Blackhawks. Everyone surely knows we are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Colt 1911 .45 ACP this year. Ruger’s first .45 ACP arrived more than 40-years ago, however, it was not a semi-auto pistol but an auxiliary cylinder for the magnificent .45 Colt Blackhawk. It would be another 20 years before Ruger produced their first semi-automatic .45. Ruger’s P90 was nowhere near a 1911. Instead, it was a larger and bulkier double action. Like all Rugers, it was built to be bull strong and reasonably priced. My early P90 fed virtually anything; it’s totally reliable, shoots accurately and, if there is a downside, it is harder to conceal than the much flatter 1911. No less an authority than the late Colonel Askins who opined the Ruger P90 as the finest .45 semiauto ever produced. It may not be easily concealed, however as a rugged outdoor pistol for use in all kinds of weather and situations, I find it hard to beat. It’s just not a 1911. Ruger has produced several variations on the basic P90 theme and then with the arrival of the polymer-framed P345 in 2004, Ruger’s .45 ACP was downsized considerably making it an excellent choice for concealed use. Although it still was not a 1911. Rumors abounded for many years about whether Ruger was actually going to produce a 1911. Dan Wesson, Taurus, even Smith & Wesson had a 1911—all God’s children had a 1911—except Ruger. Now, after all the speculation and guesstimating Ruger has officially joined the 1911 family fold. The historic announcement on April 18, 2011 made it one of the only good 62 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2011

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