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Old 05-19-2011, 06:54 PM
Joe C Joe C is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,277
Fire Control Parts:

The mainspring housing appears to be made of stainless steel that has been blackened. It sports sharp checkering with enough meat left to remove the checkering if another treatment such as stippling is desired. It is loose in the frame and should be tightened. The mainspring itself appears to be a 25 pound spring which is a bit strong in my opinion but is probably needed in order to allow the firing pin, which is titanium, to set off the primer consistently.

The grips safety appears to be a stainless steel MIM part. There is a lot to be desired in having it blended to the frame. That being said, the frame tangs have not been overcut as to make it unsightly if it were dressed up a bit. It has been set in such a way as to allow for minimum pressure to release it while still engaging and has the relief cut on the arm to allow it to be removed without removing the mainspring housing.

The thumb safety appears to be a carbon MIM part. It functions as it should. It does hang over the edge of the frame when disengaged but does not reveal the access hole when engaged. This is a small problem that could be fixed either by blending and re-bluing it or welding it on the inside and refitting it to the frame.

The sear spring is of the standard variety and has not been modified on the ends of the fingers for smooth function.

The hammer appears to be MIM. It does have a positive half cock notch. The hooks of the hammer are .0265” long and undressed. The distance from the outside of the pin hole to the primary hammer flat is .200” which is within the acceptable range of .200”-.205” for good geometry.

The sear appears to be MIM. The oal measures .768” which may appear a bit short. However, the distance from the pin to the engagement surface measures .455” which should be long enough to allow for the primary surface to be cut and polished to a correct angle as it is currently in the rough as is the rest of the sear.

The disconnector appears to be MIM. It is unpolished and measures 1.305” which falls within the proper specifications. The slide does stall slightly on the disconnector due to the lack of the MCP disconnector cut in addition to having a great deal of pressure on the middle leaf of the sear spring.

The hammer strut is a rough stamping and is rubbing both the sear spring and the mainspring housing. This part would be suitable to use if it were corrected and dressed to clean up its appearance.

The trigger itself is of excellent quality. The fit of the shoe is good both vertically and horizontally. The bow protrudes into the frame and is not polished. This allows the bow of the trigger to rub against the mags as the trigger is pulled affecting the feel and weight of the trigger pull.

The trigger pull from the factory on this gun is a crisp 4lbs 14oz. There is sometimes a bit of a click when the trigger is starting to be pulled which is probably due to the unfinished surfaces of the hammer, sear, disconnector and trigger bow. This is nothing that could not be fixed with a proper trigger job.

The firing pin is appears to be titanium and has a tip diameter of .093” which is considered the standard .45acp diameter. It could be replaced with a standard steel firing pin.

The firing pin plate is fit much better than on other production guns. While it is not “match” tight, it is not sloppy loose either and does not allow the extractor to clock or move fore and aft.

The mag catch does not appear to be MIM. It appears to be made by a popular parts maker of whom I will not name but whose parts I know very well and feel are of excellent quality. The nose of the mag catch does hit the mag follower during cycling which can cause accuracy and reliability issues.

Sights:

The rear sight is of the Novak variety and the bottom of the cut measures .185” from the top of the slide. This would prevent installing another style of sight without installing a Dutchman and re-cutting it. There are adjustable sights for this cut made by KFS which helps for those desiring adjustability.

The front sight .210” high and is a bit shorter in length than a traditional sight being cut forward to the rear of the dovetail with a forward raked angle. It has a white dot which corresponds with the dots on the back of the rear sight. It has been relieved on the sides and there is no gap between the sight and the slide unlike some recent production guns.

Grips and Screws:

The grips are very nicely done cocobolos that have been checkered in the double diamond fashion with a boarder on the front and back. They sport the black Ruger logo coins in them. They are held on by hex head grip screws which is a nice touch in my opinion.

Overall Appearance:

To be totally honest with you, I like the look of the gun. The slide has a nice bevel on the bottom edge that is not commonly seen on production guns in this price range. The rear cocking serrations are just enough. The finish is very even. The front of the slide is slightly beveled, unevenly, but beveled none the less. My gun did come with a very slight ding on the trigger guard and front strap, but it is not a huge deal considering the cosmetics I have seen on other production guns. I like the memory bump on the grip safety. The grip safety could have been blended a bit better, but again; it is a production gun and fits a lot better than others. The thumb safety pad is pretty flat, but at least it is extended and serrated evenly.

Opinions:

Over the years I have had the “pleasure” of evaluating nearly every maker of production class 1911’s on the market in some form or fashion as well as many guns built by other custom smiths. Most would say that I tend to be a bit too critical. However, I take my work very seriously as I feel the consumer deserves the best product for their money especially when said product may be used to save a person’s life someday.

There are a few reservations I have regarding this pistol as a professional custom pistolsmith. On one hand I am very happy that Ruger decided to laser engrave the markings on the gun as it makes it very easy to remove the logos on the slide and the warning on the bottom side of the dust cover. On the other hand, the serial number seems to be engraved rather lightly which would most likely prohibit sanding and polishing the frame. That being said, there is nothing wrong with an all blasted matte finished stainless steel gun in my opinion.

Another reservation is that the plunger tube is integral to the frame. Is it really an issue? Probably not, unless you happen to crush it in such a way that it renders the thumb safety in the up position and inoperable during a desperate time of need. Which begs the question, have I ever seen one crushed? Yes I have. But it is very rare and because of its rarity I would not consider it a downfall of the gun. It is much better than having a plunger tube that has not been staked properly that comes loose after a couple of hundred rounds.

To some the MIM parts may be a concern. I can say that over the years, on particular makers’ guns, I have seen MIM thumb safeties and mag catches break. I have personally never seen a hammer, sear or disconnector break. I have seen guns with MIM sears go tens of thousands of rounds with excellent triggers though. Again, this would not be as much of a concern to me if I were considering purchasing this pistol as would the oal of the sear.

My opinion on the sights is really more of a personal matter. I have never cared for the Novak style of cut or sight. Personally I wish Ruger had simply done a GI cut as it would have given the end user the option of having whatever they preferred put on the gun. But then for the price one can’t be too picky and as aforementioned, there are options out there if adjustable sights are desired.

I would say after inspecting and measuring this gun that for a retail price of around $650.00 +/- (the price I have been seeing on the market) this gun is well worth the money. Are there things that need to be corrected or changed? Yes, but that is the case with all the production class guns being built. There is only so much a company can do and still have a gun that is affordable. But, it appears from this example that Ruger has built a gun that is a solid foundation for either a casual plinker or an everyday use gun, provided some changes were made, in my opinion. If a side by side comparison of popular production guns priced under $1,000.00 (and certainly below $700.00) was done I feel the Ruger would be the winner. And yes, I love the fact that it is a series 70 gun! Your experience may vary.

Next up I will be taking the stock gun to the range to function fire it as it came with a variety of ammo ranging from standard ball ammo to modern day hollow points and wadcutters. I see no point in ransom rest testing the gun in this configuration as there are a number of factors, not the least of which is the trigger pull, which would adversely affect the results.

Thank you for reading my review. Feel free to leave comments or questions and I will get to them as time permits.

Respectfully,
__________________
Respectfully,
Joe Chambers
www.chamberscustom.com
"Obsessibly Reliable, Accurate and Beautiful"