Ruger 9mm 1911

Some of you long-time readers may remember my 1911 love affair began with a Ruger. It was the original .45 ACP all steel commander-sized Ruger that caused me to totally re-evaluate my understanding of the 1911 platform. Prior to having that particular pistol in my hands, I just didn’t understand why the 1911 continued to be so popular when there are so many excellent newer designs available.

If you’re interested in my discovery back then, you can read about it here, but today I want to talk about the most recent Ruger 1911 and why I have decided to add it to my carry gun rotation on a regular basis.

Even though I’m a firm believer in the .45 ACP cartridge for personal defense, arthritis is taking it’s toll on my hands and shoulders to the point I carry a 9mm about a third of the time. Continuing developments in 9mm ammo make me more comfortable with the 9mm’s ability to get the job done.

Ruger 9mm and 45ACP 1911sThe Ruger 1911 LW CMD has been one of my favorites. When Ruger announced they were coming out with a 9mm version of that handgun, I put my name on the waiting list because I knew it would be popular and that I should evaluate one for the benefit of my students.

I bought the first one that came into our shop and the other two sold almost immediately. We ordered more as soon as we could.

It came with black rubber grips. Those didn’t appeal to me, but I’ve got a drawer full of 1911 grips (try Amazon.com) so I swapped out the grips. That’s the 9mm at the top in the picture. The one on the bottom is my .45 ACP LW model. As you can see, they changed the color scheme slightly, but everything else looks pretty much the same. The trigger is the same, the sights are the same. The cocking serrations are slightly different, but other than that, it’s really hard to tell the difference.

Some things I noticed when holding the gun and checking it out:¬† 1) it is easier to rack the slide on this gun compared to my other 1911s and most of the double-stack 9mms I have. 2) it has some side-to-side motion in the slide that I thought might affect accuracy. It doesn’t. 3) it was very difficult for me to load rounds into the magazine. So difficult, I couldn’t do it with out res0rting to my UpLULA.

Today, after our License to Carry class had finished shooting and we were packing up to go back to the shop I told my instructors I had 4 magazines loaded. Some were loaded with ARX and some were loaded with 124 Grain Gold Dot JHP. That’s the heavy end of the spectrum and the light end of the spectrum as far as 9mm rounds go. We hung a target and pushed it downrange approximately ten feet.

I shot the first magazine, resulting in 10 shots (I had one in the chamber) in pretty much the same hole. The target was approximately 10 feet away. Each of the instructors at the range with me picked a different aiming spot and emptied a magazine with the same results, one ragged hole. The gun did not care if it was 80 grain ARX rounds or 124 Grain Gold Dot HP rounds. It handled them all the same.

The three guys who didn’t own the gun, each placed an order.

Here’s what I know about the magazines. I don’t think Ruger has made the wisest choice in selecting who makes their magazines. They work, but they don’t load well and in my .45 Ruger 1911, I can’t make the slide go forward with an empty Ruger magazine in it. I told their product manager about it and he didn’t seem to think it was an issue to be concerned about (meaning, probably they have a contract and are committed). I solved that problem by buying some Colt magazines to use with the Ruger. In the .45 platform they hold an extra round even with the flush base-plate, so they have become my go-to source for .45 ACP 1911 magazines. The Colts work in everything.

When I discovered the loading issue with the 9mm magazines, I ordered to 9mm Colt magazines. They’re easy to load. When we shot today, we shot with two of the Ruger magazines and two Colt magazines. As far as shooting goes, the gun didn’t care. They all worked the same. It’s just that the Colt magazines are much easier to load.

The shooting experience was pleasant. One of my instructors who previously didn’t like the Ruger 1911s (he’s a Springfield guy) said this one shoots much better in his opinion.

I believe this is going to be a mainstay. I know mine will be on my belt often.

Author: David Freeman

Professional dedicated to training and equipping people to live safely in a dangerous world.

3 thoughts on “Ruger 9mm 1911”

  1. I can honestly say, I had no expectations of greatness when I heard about this pistol coming out. After shooting it today, and having shot a few other 1911 9mm pistols and equivalent, I was stunned with the accuracy and the lack of recoil even with 124grain Speer gold dot. The gun came out of no where and I’m so glad it did.

  2. I’ve had the Ruger LW 9mm since January. I’ve yet to have the first problem. There were numerous issues in the first 50 rounds, or so, but once properly lubed the gun has run flawlessly and doesn’t really care what I feed it – including a bunch of steel cased ammo. I have changed the rear sight to a Wilson Combat U notch, I’ve left the front sight alone as it seems to work just fine. My 60-year-old eyes prefer the wider, more coarse rear. I intend to round butt it with a Ed Brown jig and bobtail MSH and that’s it. The trigger has only gotten better, the gun functions fine and I can live with the rubber grips. If I change my mind about grips, like many 1911 owners – there’s plenty to choose from right at home. For the money, the Ruger SR1911 series is well-built and a great value like most of their products. I like it so much, I’ve been tempted to try some of the other variations from them — and spend the $$ difference buying ammo.

    1. I’m still loving mine. As I mentioned in the article, the Ruger Commander, the original steel one is the one that won me over to the 1911 family. I now have the lightweight commanders in both .45 ACP and 9 mm. I usually carry the .45 but on days when I just feel like a nine, the Ruger 1911 LW Commander is most often the choice for me.

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