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Ruger P (Series)

United States (1985)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Ruger P (Series) Semi-Automatic Pistol.

 Entry last updated on 10/19/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Ruger P (Series)  
Picture of Ruger P (Series) Semi-Automatic Pistol

The Ruger P name designates a line of modern, semi-automatic pistols available in various chamberings.

Despite competition from all sides of the small arms market, Sturm, Ruger & Company has made quite a name for themselves alongside powerhouses Colt, Smith & Wesson and others. Founded in 1949 and based out of Southport, Connecticut, the company has built a long-standing tradition of solidly-made pistols and long guns for military, security, civilian and sporting use around the world. One entry, the Ruger P-series, was marketed from 1985 until 2013 and, despite its stout, bulky appearance, made itself known to be a solid, reliable semi-automatic pistol and a slew of variants followed the base, proven design.

At its core the P-series was another incarnation of John Moses Browning's original recoil-operated, locked breech, tilting barrel action seen in the Colt M1911. The Ruger offering arrived in Single-Action (SA) and Double-Action (DA) forms with ambidextrous manual safeties. The sights (of a 3-dot type) were fixed over the slide with an oversized, side-mounted ejection port seen at the design's midway point. The trigger loop was oblong in its general shape and suitable for gloved firing.
The various models introduced invariably produced various chamberings: 7.65x21mm Parabellum, 9x19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Feeding varied depending on chambering and ranged from 7-, 8-, 10- and 15-round count magazines, these inserted into the base of the pistol grip. Outward finishes on the guns included a blued steel , stainless steel, aluminum alloy, or polymer look.

The P-series eventually found favor with police elements, some military forces, sporting shooters and some civilian markets.
Ruger P (Series) Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United States
Year: 1985
Type: Semi-Automatic Pistol
Manufacturer(s): Ruger - USA
Supported Mission Types
Frontline Infantry
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Attachment Weapon
Internal Design, Weight and Dimensions
Firing Action: Semi-Automatic; Short Recoil
Available Caliber(s): 7.65x21mm Parabellum; 9x19mm Parabellum; .40 S&W; .45 ACP
Ammunition Count / Feed: 7-, 8-, 10-, or 15-round detachable box magazine depending on chambering.
Weight (Empty): 2.16 lb (0.98 kg)
Overall Length: 200 mm (7.87 in)
Barrel Length: 114 mm (4.49 in)
Sighting Assist: Iron Front and Rear.

Operating Performance
Muzzle Velocity: 1,250 ft/sec (381 m/sec)
Typical Range: 164 feet (50 m; 55 yd)

Operators List
Iraq; North Korea; United States

Model Variants
• P-Series - Base Series Name
• P85 - Double-Action/Single-Action trigger; manual safety
• P85 Mk II - Improved safety
• P89 - Upgraded P85 Mk II; DOA available
• P90 - Scaled-up P89 model; .45 ACP chambering
• P90SE - Carbon steel slide; matte gray receiver; stainless steel accents.
• P91 - P89 model chambered in .40 S&W
• P93 - Compact 9mm form; 4 inch barrel assembly; revised slide
• P94 - Mid-sized compact 9mm form; 4.2 inch barrel
• P944 - Based on P94; chambered for .40 S&W
• P95 - 3.9 inch barrel; new polymer frame; lighter weight design.
• P95PR - Model of 2005; Picatinny rail support
• P97 - Based on P95; chambered for .45 ACP; adjustable rear sight.
• P345 - Model of 2004; integrated key lock; chamber indicator; magazine disconnect.