Handguns > Semi-Auto

Ruger SR45 Pistol

The latest addition to Ruger's striker-fired pistol line proves that double-stack .45s can be comfortable to shoot.


Right now one of the most popular choices in personal-defense firearms is the polymer-framed, striker-fired semi-auto pistol. Modern designs of this handgun type have proven to be lightweight, easy to operate and reliable. Introduced in 2007, Ruger's line of SR semi-autos, such as the SR9 and SR40, has become a popular choice for modern pistol owners. This year the company is adding an eagerly anticipated version of this pistol chambered in the all-American .45 ACP, aptly named the SR45.

One trait that makes the SR pistol series likable right out of the box is the styling. I heard one shooting expert call a particularly famous line of striker-fired pistols "soul-less guns." Needless to say, plenty of plastic pistols, while reliable, aren't exactly easy on the eyes. The SR45, on the other hand, is a two-tone semi-auto showing sleek lines with some thoughtful touches.

Like the other SR pistols I've handled, the fit and finish of the SR45 was top notch. The slide is rounded (not square) with polished flats and a satin top. The muzzle end of the slide is nicely curved and cut. A loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide provides both visual and tactile indicators when a cartridge is in the pipe. The blued-steel Novak sights are of the three-dot variety with an adjustable rear sight. The stainless-steel barrel is 4.5-inches, with traditional six land-and-groove rifling that will work with all bullet types, including cast lead.

Removing the slide reveals a recoil assembly consisting of a flat-wire spring captured on a polymer guide rod by a metallic rod base. The slide rides on aluminum rail support blocks molded into the high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame. The trigger and ambidextrous magazine release are also nylon. The external safeties of the SR45 include a trigger safety and an ambidextrous thumb safety. The thumb safety blocks both the slide and trigger from cycling.

Translating a successful pistol design to accommodate a larger caliber is not always a successful process when it comes to handling qualities. For those with smaller hands, holding a double-stack .45 can feel like squeezing a 2x4. Although dimensional changes to the SR45 frame were necessary, Ruger did a good job of keeping the pistol's grip shape hand friendly. 

Rather than fattening the grip to brick-like proportions to accommodate a 13- or 14-round magazine, this one was slimmed down to a comfortable 10-round capacity. The top of the grip frame is rounded with a generous beavertail extension to protect the shooting hand from slide bite. The grip is checkered on the front and sides for positive purchase. Half-moon dimples, extending from the magazine release to the opening of the magazine well on each side of the grip make it feel even slimmer. The back strap is a soft rubber strip that can be removed and flipped over to give the user a choice between a straight backstrap, similar to a 1911, or a bit of a palm swell.

At the shooting range, the SR45’s grip design, barrel length and 30.15 ounces of weight worked together to keep the muzzle flip controllable. The pistol reliably fed, fired and ejected a variety of practice- and defense-grade .45 ACP loads. The reliability needed for a defensive pistol was right where it needed to be. Formal accuracy testing, conducted from the bench at 25 yards, kept five-shot group sizes right at the 2.5- to 3-inch mark, demonstrating solid accuracy as well.

The ambidextrous magazine release is a good size and can be reliably operated from the right or left side with either a thumb or index finger. The slide stop and thumb safety are sleek and small, especially if you are used to the boat-paddle shaped safety of a modern 1911. Although the thumb safety was easy to disengage with a downward sweep of the shooting hand thumb, it was fairly tough to re-engage in the same manner. Again, 1911-ers may not like it much.

The trigger proved to be quite good, but a bit different from what might be expected in a striker-fired pistol. It was smooth and grit-free in its operation, tipping the digital trigger gauge at 6 pounds, 8 ounces. This would be a bit heavy for this kind of gun except for its relatively short travel distance and crisp break. What makes it unusual is the lack of play in the trigger. Many pistol triggers can be pulled part way through their arch of travel and then released without the gun firing. Some shooters prefer this freedom of movement in case a “shoot” scenario suddenly changes to a “no shoot” situation. With the SR45, the trigger starts right at the break point. This means that once the short trigger stroke begins, the gun goes off. This trigger design resulted in easier accuracy at the range, but it would need to be treated like a light single-action trigger in the field.

Since the SR45 is a duty-size pistol with more than an inch of tactical rail space, it provided a good opportunity to test drive the new TLR-2 HL laser/light module from Streamlight. The HL in the name stands for high lumen, and they're not kidding. The C4 LED technology combined with a TIR optic produces a concentrated 630 lumen beam. A toggle switch allows the user to switch quickly between this blinding light source, a bright 640-660nm red laser or to use both at the same time. Two 3-volt CR123 lithium batteries keep the light running for 1.25 hours, or the laser only for up to 45 hours.

As accurate and reliable as this pistol, caliber and laser/light combo proved to be, it may seem too big for concealed carry. The good news is that Springtac Holsters continues to expand its holster systems for accessorized handguns. Springtac recently released a modular shoulder holster harness that not only makes it possible to carry a full-size gun with a laser/light unit attached, but to do so painlessly as well. The harness supports Springtac’s 3 inch and 5 inch standard belt holsters. The holster just snaps into place. A stiff support arm located under the holster transmits much of the pistol's weight to the user’s belt, which significantly reduces the pressure on the neck and shoulders. This system is fully ambidextrous and can be configured to support one pistol, a pistol and spare magazines or two pistols. It was surprisingly comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Ever since the first SR 9 mm pistol hit the market a few years ago, customers have been asking for a version in .45 ACP. The SR45 does not disappoint. The accuracy is better than one would expect from an off-the-shelf polymer-frame pistol, and the SR45 proved to be reliable with a variety of ammunition. The attention to ergonomic and cosmetic details makes this a .45 that is merciful to aesthetic sensibilities as well as to shooter's hands and wrists. The SR45 is a solid defensive option for both seasoned shooters and those who are just getting started.

Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.; www.ruger.com
Model: SR45
Action: Striker-fired double-action only
Caliber: .45 ACP
Slide: Brushed stainless steel or black nitride alloy steel
Grip Frame: High-performance, glass-filled nylon
Sights: Adjustable three-dot
Barrel Length: 4.5”
Overall Length: 8”
Height: 5.75”
Width: 1.27”
Weight: 30.15 ozs.
Capacity: 10+1 rounds
Twist: 1:16” RH
Rifle Grooves: 6
Accessories: Two 10-round magazines, magazine loader, hard case, lock, manual
Suggested Retail Price: $529

SR45 Shooting Results

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35 Responses to Ruger SR45 Pistol

mark wrote:
July 25, 2014

I sure love mine, got a blued sr 45 slightly used, slide was a little dinged up so sent it to Ruger, they are Bluing it for me free of charge, plus when i got it at the gun shop they only gave me one Mag, so Ruger sent me a new one :) Again free of charge, i will never own anything but a Ruger firearm because of the great quality and great customer service, you just can't go wrong with a Ruger

Jamee Stenkamp wrote:
April 18, 2014

I have 2 SR .45's, brand new, both cleaned very well after buying them and before shooting them, one jammed on the 4th shot and the other jammed on the 6th shot! Tool the apart and cleaned them and fired again and both jammed consistently all day! Fired a total of 300 rounds and they jammed every mag! What am I doing wrong?!! Never had my smith jam!

Marcus Jasper wrote:
March 27, 2014

Love this gun i had tha black one no problems just went and got the stainless steel one last friday out of 50 round only two ftf took it apart cleaned it and put 200 rounds down her no problem i love this gun i have a gen 4 23 and 21sf and they are now retried dont get me wrong glocks are good but rugers are better

caclark74 wrote:
February 17, 2014

I also wanted to add that I conceal carry mine with a MDJ hybrid IWB holster with no issues. Very comfortable to wear when standing, sitting or walking. I picked up a black oil tanned holster on Ebay for 40 dollars.

caclark74 wrote:
February 17, 2014

I purchased the SR45 last week and had a chance to shoot 40 rounds of Blazer .45 ACP through it with no issues. Awesome control and very low recoil. I dismantled the slide, spring and barrel and gave everything a good cleaning and oiling with some Hoppe's before shooting it for the first time. The pistol fired smoothly and effortlessly. I'm very satisfied with my purchase.

Podup wrote:
February 07, 2014

I just purchased a M&P .40. I thought of getting a.45 but the Glock grip was too large, the SDm too expensive and the M&P and Ruger hold only ten rounds. I think 15 .40s beat ten .45s and the ammo is cheaper.

Nick wrote:
January 17, 2014

I was looking to get a Remington 1911 and saw the SR 45. It shoots great and the trigger is great. Its not mushy like my Glock 35, but its not 3.5lbs either. Not a jam yet. I got it for $399- 300 less than the Rem, so I bought a Mk 512 too.

David wrote:
August 11, 2013

I initially had some issues with the new SR45 that I bought a few weeks ago, but they have all been worked out now. One of the mags would fall out of the gun when it was fired. My LGS was where I was shooting and where I purchased the gun, so they swapped out the faulty mag. Problem solved. I had several FTE in the first 150 rounds, and after that, it worked perfectly. I have shot 350 rounds through it so far. The SR45 really surprised me with it's accuracy. It is one of the most accurate pistols that I have ever fired, and I have shot tons of different handguns over the years. I got mine for $419, and I am very happy with it.

MHudd wrote:
August 06, 2013

So far my favorite gun is my SR40C, a 10 rd. SR45C could change my mind!

Newton wrote:
August 01, 2013

I got my SR45 about 2 weeks ago. It failed to feed a couple of times out of 100 rnds. I cleaned it good that day and went back to the range last week. It operated flawlessly. I only shot rounds I had loaded. I lov it.

roger ruger wrote:
July 31, 2013

I bought the sr/45 before the sr/1911 became avail'ble in my area.Xcellant arm in every aspect. my mistake was to show my son-inlaw. Am now looking for a new sr/45

Donald Green wrote:
July 23, 2013

I am a retired USAF/CATM instructor and wanted to learn more about stricker-fired weapons. I am also a handloader. The best way and the safe way to do this was the purchase of my SR45. I have seen two glocks BLOW UP in one match!

John wrote:
July 23, 2013

I have just found my new carry love the sr45 execellent group on the first shots out of the case.

Kelly M. wrote:
July 23, 2013

Last week I commented on my intention to purchase an SR45. Using the VersaCarry IWB system, the weapon's flush fitting slide lock and take-down make it more comfortable to carry than any of my 9mm pistols. I am headed to the range tomorrow morning to fire it along with my .45 carbine.

Scotty wrote:
July 23, 2013

Right out the box fired over 600 rds flawlessly. No more recoil than my FS92. Comfortable carry in a belly band. Very happy happy happy!

Mike wrote:
July 22, 2013

Anyone having issues with sr9 ejecting? Sent back once already and still jamming

russ in ohio wrote:
July 21, 2013

i recently got an SR45, I like it very much. balanced well and slimmer than a 1911, first round down range was a surprise. but after i got use to the trigger pull, it is great. the SR45 will cycle almost as fast as my 1911 making follow-up shots a snap. muzzle flip is tamable.

Kelly M. wrote:
July 15, 2013

I learned to shoot on a Sig and a while back purchased an entry level Ruger P95 just to have an extra 15+1 9mm. It's reliable, accurate and easy to shoot. I've been looking at 1911 variants for a while but after seeing, holding and reading the reviews of the SR45, I've finally found my next gun. Thank God for all the Glock fans as it will make my acquisition of an SR45 much easier.

dale wrote:
July 09, 2013

I own the sr9c,sr9,sr40,sr40c,sr22,sr45,sr1911,sr1911 commander and have never had a FTC malfunction. Something I can't say about some other brands I have owned.

billybob177 wrote:
June 17, 2013

I finally got a hold of my sr45 in late April. Had to pay full list because of the demand. Love the fit in my hand. My fingers are too beefy for the block gen4. With the flat back strap I was able to replicate the posted accuracy figures. Not as much kick as I had feared. Happy happy happy!

Gunner wrote:
June 12, 2013

SR45 looks good. Tired of Glock heads...gen 4 sucks get over it.

Laserbait wrote:
June 10, 2013

I bought a SR45 several weeks ago, and I have put through over 500 rounds through it now. It has digested everything without fail. I have used LRN, Gold Dots, Gold Sabers, Lead semi wadcutters, FMJ's, Winchester silvertips - everything that I could get my hands on. I have yet to have a failure with it. There was no "break in period", it just worked perfectly out of the box.

travis wrote:
June 09, 2013

I had the sr9c and the sr40. Both were sold due to multiple ftfs. Glocks are much more reliable as well as m&ps.

Jack R from MD wrote:
June 08, 2013

Too much non-constructive chatter here! Take a noobie to the range, for Pete's sake.

Jeff Pauly wrote:
June 07, 2013

I can understand some just looking to performance not looks. Then again if that was all, we wouldn't see so many copies of the 1911. A handgun has to feel good to the hand, and this is something different to every shooter. I'll check this one out.

rockinpianoshooter wrote:
June 07, 2013

jimmyjet,..the beef is in your head ,...the glock is 1.28" while the SR 45 is 1.27"

FRED wrote:
June 07, 2013

I'm glad there are some who like Glock's ,that leaves more SR 45's for the majority of us. I had 2 Glocks and couldn't wait to dump them!

Mike wrote:
June 07, 2013

The obvious questio is, will there be a SR 45c?

Geralg wrote:
June 06, 2013

I sure wish it came with a larger mag. That is the whole reason I use polymer weapons the larger cap mags. Just have to wish that some Mag mfg makes a larger cap mag.

jimmyjet wrote:
June 06, 2013

Where's the beef? Iguess we know now, it's in the grip of the SR45. An inch and a quarter? You gotta be kidding me. I'll stick with my Glocks or M&P's.

gary wrote:
June 06, 2013

I can't wait to get my new plastic Ruger. There is nothing like the smell of plastic when you fire a pistol....so light and no need to worry about rust....EVER!!!

George wrote:
June 06, 2013

I purchased the first one I saw and have been very happy with it. Shoots well and feels good in the hand.

Joel wrote:
June 06, 2013

"soul-less guns" Perhaps he was referring to that popular polymer striker fired gun. The one with outstanding reliability, durability, and accuracy. The one which owners feel will always serve them, like a loyal mutt from the pound who won't win any awards, except in the owner's heart. By saying "soul-less guns," the speaker may have revealed his predisposition toward the aesthetic.

Rick wrote:
June 05, 2013

Just ordered mine last Saturday. Can't wait to get it to the range.

jeff wrote:
June 05, 2013

I wanted a sr 1911 forever but seeing sr45 in person made me think one getting this felt good wish I woulda waited on getting my sr22 I woulda got 45 instead btw sr22 is nice to 45 is next on my list :)