Ruger isn’t going to wait for next year’s biggest industry expo, SHOT Show, to launch five new models of handguns before the year is up. The company is adding new models to their hugely successful SR1911 series and their LCR family of revolvers. in .45 ACP and .327 Fed. Mag, respectively. They are also launching a new Mark IV Lite .22 LR pistol, a new .44 Special GP100 and an 8-shot Redhawk in .357 Magnum.
The Mark IV is Ruger’s newest standard in rimfire pistols. The Mark IV design draws on the style and proven functionality of earlier Mark series handguns but comes with a suite of improved features. One of the biggest new features of the Mark IV is its fast and headache-free takedown for easy maintenance.
The newest Mark IV sports the same push-button takedown with a flashy bronze flame-fluted alloy barreled receiver. It’s the first Mark IV “Lite” model with a compact threaded barrel, black target sights and a Picatinny rail for optics. The rail is factory-installed and removable.
Another weight-saving feature of the Mark IV Lite is the use of a molded polymer frame. Because the Mark series uses a tubular barreled receiver that contains the bolt, the frame is a stress-free part that can be made with lightweight materials. The frame has deep checkering on the front- and backstrap for a positive grip and uses 1911-style grip panels.
The included grip panels are checkered polymer and the grip frame is scalloped to accommodate shooters of all hand sizes. Altogether the pistol weighs just 25 ounces unloaded and comes with two 10-round magazines. Like the other Mark IV pistols, it is chambered for .22 Long Rifle.
It also features oversize ambidextrous safety levers and uses drop-free magazines. Other specifications include a 4.4-inch barrel that brings the overall length to just under 8.5 inches. It’s 5.5 inches tall and 1.2 inches wide.
Next up is the new SR1911 Target. The Target is a full-size .45 ACP all-stainless 1911 designed as an entry-level competition pistol. It uses a crisp Series 70-style trigger for improved accuracy out-of-the-box and is machined to accept Bomar sights. Included are fully-adjustable black target sights.
Another competition-minded touch is the use of machined G-10 grip panels. G-10 grips provide a solid purchase on handguns without being as aggressive as machined aluminum or skater tape.
The SR1911 Target features all oversized controls including the ambidextrous safety levers, slide release lever, and beavertail safety. The ejection port is also oversized and lightly contoured to ensure reliable ejection and operation. The trigger is adjustable and skeletonized along with the hammer for a fast lock time.
Both the barrel and barrel bushing are machined from the same bar stock which can provide a better base level of accuracy. The Target also has an integral plunger tube and swaged link pin for improved durability and longevity. Even with their competition guns, Ruger wants their products to last.
Next is Ruger’s newest LCR. At first blush it’s a standard LCR with all the features shooters have come to love about this family of lightweight concealed-carry-friendly revolvers. The new LCR has one major thing going for it: it‘s chambered for .327 Federal Magnum.
Ruger fans have been begging for an LCR chambered for this powerful and versatile cartridge for years. The .327 Fed. Mag can be loaded to true magnum cartridge levels while firing a light, low-recoil projectile perfect for the LCR frame. Like .357 Mag. .327 Fed. Mag. can shoot other non-magnum cartridges as well.
Another benefit is that the cartridge is smaller in diameter than .38 Special and .357 Magnum. This LCR is a six-shooter, not a five-shot revolver like the standard models. It measures 6.5 inches long by just 4.5 inches tall and has a 1.9-inch barrel.
The .327 Fed. Mag. LCR is built on the Ruger’s heavier-frame chassis but is still very light at 17 ounces unloaded. It also uses the standard double action only trigger system with a round hammerless outline. It uses the same pinned ramp front sight and integral U-notch rear sight.
The .327 Mag LCR is just the first of three new Ruger revolvers. Next is a new mid-size GP100 chambered for .44 Special. Ruger has produced several styles of large-frame .44 Magnum revolvers but this is a little different. Most commonly the GP100 is chambered for .357 Mag.
This makes the new GP100 a soft shooter with cowboy loads for fun and sport, and for defensive use there are plenty of hot .44 SPL loads out there, too. No doubt reloaders will also come up with a few “Ruger only” .44 Special loads as well.
The new .44 SPL GP100 has a fully shrouded 3-inch barrel, brushed stainless frame and non-fluted cylinder, fiber optic front and adjustable rear sight. The revolver comes factory with a Hogue Monogrip boot grip.
And finally, Ruger is adding a large-frame 8-shot Redhawk chambered for .357 Magnum. It’s a big little snubbie with a short 2.75-inch barrel that still manages to weigh in at 44 ounces unloaded. With 8 shots at hand and fast reloads thanks to a cylinder cut for moon clips this is a flexible revolver that could easily take on a lot of jobs from self-defense and home protection to certain revolver games and other sports.
Like the new GP100 the Redhawk has a brushed stainless frame and fully shrouded cylinder. It has a ramped front sight with a red insert and smooth and slender Altamon hardwood grips. With its overall weight, slim grips and short barrel it should handle well and soak up the recoil from the hottest full-house loads.
With new products like these it’s clear that Ruger is listening to their customers. These guns definitely interesting even if they’re not for everyone. For the right Ruger fans, one or more of these guns is downright tailor-made just for them. And it goes to show how flexible Ruger can get.
Like all of Ruger’s products these new handguns are competitively-priced even if they have a few premium features here and there. The Mark IV Lite has a $559 MSRP and the SR1911 Target and .327 LCR list for $1,019 and $669 respectively. The .44 Special GP100 has a suggested price of $829 and the Redhawk $1.079. Of course real-world prices are always less, especially with Ruger products.
Remember, you can shop for Ruger products here at GunsAmerica.com: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=ruger