Editor's Note: Yesterday, Ruger announced the release of their newest SR1911, a beefed-up 10mm model. Today, Tactical Wire editor Rich Grassi has his first impressions on the new release.
The new 10mm SR1911 was shot with four loads for accuracy and velocity.
A few weeks ago, we received advance notification of a new pistol release by Ruger. They've taken their popular SR1911 pistol and rendered it as a full-size steel pistol in 10mm. First we'll take a quick look at the cartridge, then do a brief overview of the new gun.
The 10mm was proposed by Jeff Cooper as a cartridge that would drive a 200 grain bullet at 1,200 feet per second. Such a load would be appropriate for engagements at fifty yards and would be worthwhile for hunting, assuming a proper bullet. In the mid-1980s, his dream was nearly realized by the Bren Ten pistol, a variant of the CZ-75. Unfortunately for history, the FBI-Miami shootout resulted in blaming equipment for what was seen as operational failure. Brave cops died in that engagement but that wasn't the fault of a caliber, bullet construction or other equipment concerns.
More interested in gear solutions, the FBI glommed onto the 10mm. It takes a considerable pistol to handle the load and the FBI bought just such a pistol – for people who didn't wear uniforms, had to conceal the guns and often resulting in folks who left them in briefcases or desk drawers.
The range results were critical failures too. The properly loaded 10mm was a handful. The 10mm was downloaded to the point that Paul Liebenberg, who'd been working on the "Centimeter" cartridge on his own before moving on to S&W, saw the chance to advance that shorter cartridge – one that would fit in pistol frames meant for the 9x19mm. The .40 S&W was born, became a popular cartridge for police, it was adopted by the FBI (in an even lighter form) and had a long run before the 9mm ascended.
Shooting the SR1911-10 from the bench was exciting. The 10mm is a real thumper.
The Ten didn't die. It was resurrected by the GLOCK 20, Colt brought back their Delta Elite and while the caliber wasn't "top of the mark," it continued in existence in much the same way its revolver counterpart, the .41 Remington Magnum, had.
A 10mm built on an SR1911 frame was a gift to a Ruger associate, someone who'd been a Centimeter aficionado. Realizing that the conventional 1911 format is not strong and heavy enough for a constant diet of real
10mm ammo, they kicked around how to make the SR1911 strong enough.
They've done so in spite of the fact that the SR1911-10mm has a recoil spring rated at 18 pounds and a hammer spring rated at 30 pounds, the same as on the SR1911 45 Auto.
A note about springs: the hammer spring (also known as the main spring) not only drives the hammer forward in ignition, but it retards the unlocking phase of the cycle of operation; the recoil spring serves to drive the slide forward and to lock the gun in battery.
So keeping springs the same, what did they do to further dampen the shock to the 106 year old design?
They did what makers of sub-compact 1911 type pistols do: they used a bull barrel, no barrel bushing and a full length steel guide rod. That adds weight. In the Browning delayed blowback, the barrel and slide move back together to the point the action is 'unlocked.' That extra weight helps slow things down.
The high figure for Federal Premium 180 gr. Trophy Bonded was over 1,300 fps. It's a serious hunting round.
That five inch bull barrel is nitrided to minimize the potential of wear. Rubber stocks by Hogue are comfortable, just a bit sticky to help you keep a grip. As Mark Gurney noted that, so stocked, "full power loads don't make the gun feel like you are hanging on to a wood rasp when you are shooting."
The rear sight is adjustable and, along with the front sight, is black. The rear sight looks like the Bomar sight of old.
I took the new gun to the range for a quick exam in advance of its release. I shot ten feet from the chronograph and 25 yards from the targets. Four loads were tried: the new(er) Federal Trophy Bonded 180 grain, Federal HydraShok 180 grain, the Winchester Silver Tip 175 grain and Hornady XTP 200 grain rounds.
The Trophy Bonded was the velocity champ and the Hornady XTP was the accuracy champ. The top three loads in accuracy were very close to the same, around two-inches. The Federal HydraShok load is fairly light and reminiscent of 10mm loads sold to some police agencies in the early 1990s.
Table: Accuracy, average velocity figures for the SR1911 10mm Auto Model 6739
Federal Trophy Bonded 180 1270 2 ¼"
Winchester Silver Tip 175 1247 2"
Hornady XTP 200 1080 1 7/8"
Federal HydraShok 180 987 3"
The magazine capacity of the new 10mm is eight rounds and the gun weighs in at just over forty ounces. Standard features for the rest of the SR1911 line – like the integral plunger tube and titanium firing pin – are part of the new gun's feature set. A good field gun generally, its uses also include hunting. The suggested retail is $1019.00.
It looks like Ruger has released another winner. If a powerful, flat-shooting semi-auto gets your attention, take a look at the SR1911-10mm.
-- Rich Grassi