My Ruger SR45 Saga – New Isn’t Always Perfect

If you’ve been a consumer for any period of time, you know what I’m about to say. Just because you bought something brand new, you have no guarantee of perfection. I’m sure that Rolex even let’s a loser get out the door occasionally. Gun makers are no different. In just the past few years, we’ve seen some pretty major recalls by some very iconic brands in the industry–and we’re about to see the biggest ever with Remington.

One of the many problems the author experienced with the SR45 was constant feeding jams.

One of the many problems the author experienced with the SR45 was constant feeding jams.

Well, this is the story of one gun that never should have shipped from the factory, but did. And my luck, it was the one I bought. Yep – bought it over the counter at the local gun store just like you do – it wasn’t a loaner or a review gun (except that every gun I touch is a potential ‘review gun’) but one that I decided I might like to own.

I’m not going to tell the whole story here – that’s what the video is for. Watch the video. But I will give this much away: As much as I might judge a company by its product and initial quality, I give equal (if not more) consideration to how they handle problems. You can fix a gun, or a lawn mower, or a car – you can’t fix a bad customer experience. In the video I’ll show you and tell you everything that was wrong with the SR45 I purchased, and then I’ll show you and tell you how the Ruger customer service team handled it.

Get a fresh cup of Joe and watch the saga!

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Greg W. January 18, 2019, 12:18 am

    I’ve given my SR45 a name.
    I call it Mr. Jam-O-Matic.
    It loves the name and lives up to it quite well.
    It is every bit as reliable as a politician’s promise

  • Jerry Crosley December 15, 2017, 12:52 pm

    Currently I own Colt, Sig, Browning, S&W, Ruger, and H&K handguns. My carry for daily use is H&K although I rotate my carry gun every month or so, to keep ergonomic memory sharp. I have had all of these brands require return to the factory in one model or another over 55 years of hand gunning. If I don’t feel good about a firearm, it gets sold immediately. If it doesn’t work right, it gets fixed, then sold if I don’t trust it. Handguns are not target guns for me. I trust each of them with my life or I don’t own them. For my two cents worth, my SR45 works, is accurate, and does everything I expect of it. Makes me sad to hear about some of the experiences in this thread, but doesn’t put me off on Ruger products. Every company has its own unique issues, Or so I’ve experienced.

  • G September 1, 2017, 9:31 am

    I worked at Ruger, at the Prescott plant where that gun was made. The people in Production have to hit a certain number every day. The gun they produce doesn’t even have to work to count toward their quota. They have no incentive to do it right and every incentive to make it a problem for Customer Service. When a gun that doesn’t work makes it to the range for testing (and every Ruger is tested) the gun gets sent back to Production. Most often Production doesn’t do anything to address the problem unless it’s a gun that goes full-auto. The guys in the range tag out a lot of guns. A lot of those guns make it back to the Range with the same problems. Those problem guns eventually get shipped because Production just can’t fix their own mess. Sometimes, everything comes together. I feel sorry for the people in Customer Service.

    And yes, wrong parts get installed… worn parts get installed. But, at least Production makes their quota and shareholders are told how many guns were produced. Notice I did not say how many guns were produced that work. Did I mention I feel sorry for the people in Customer Service?

  • James F. Gerrity March 17, 2017, 5:14 pm

    I have a Ruger SR 45 through which I have put only about 50 trouble free rounds. That said, I have the same complaint about the outside of the barrel being chewed up and as the reviewer showed and, like him, I see no rough areas in the area of the slide through which the muzzle passes. Also marked up (like the reviewer’s) the chamber outside is roughed up..Called Ruger – They said if it’s shooting ok it is normal. I will say the fit of the guide rod spring is snug to the underlug of the barrel. My only other problem with Ruger was with a Vaquero where a timing failure caused the cylinder to bind up. As with others, Ruger fixed it in three weeks.

    So, I do not have failure to feed, failure to go fully into battery, failure to eject, etc. What I do have is a sense of unease as I look at the muzzle and chamber end of the barrel,

    That’s about it. Gun goes “bang” again and again like it is supposed to. I guess I ought to shut up.

  • Nate March 14, 2016, 6:49 pm

    I have owned an SR-45 and have stubbornly been trying to get it 100 percent since I bought it. First outing with I experience 50% light primer strikes, which kinda burned me. Ruger customer service was awesome, sent the gun in. They replaced the entire slide assembly and fired 50 test rounds through it. I have always had issues with the magazines not locking to the rear, falling out after a few rounds. I have sent back 6 magazines and have gotten new replacements every time, but the magazine eventually end up failing after a short amount of time. The final straw was when I used it for a handgun tactics class. I ran it hard for 500 rounds. It had 3 double feeds by the 200 round mark using Winchester white box FMJ ammo and I lost track of how many time the mags fell out expectantly. Accuracy is amazing, and it feels good in the hand. But it is not ruggedly reliable, and I think the safety sucks.

  • Calvin December 20, 2015, 9:04 pm

    Hey guys. I have a new SR.45 and I have only put a few hundred rounds though it and no problems. The mag drops now with the slid locked back. It even goes into battery when the trigger is pulled all the way back. I own several guns, colt, ruger, sig, yes even a hi point, and Taurus semi and 6 shooters both. The sr45 is my 2nd favorite gun, right after the colt commander .45. I hope everyone has good experiences with this gun like I have.

  • Lawrence October 27, 2015, 8:48 pm

    I too had major issues…ftf…ejection… you name it…Called up Ruger customer service about a year after I purchased the pistol, 10 days later my sr45 returned better than new.all new internal parts… all new..everything…..feed ramp was cut and polished ….the rest of the pistol also seems to have been massaged into good working conditon..the result a happy Ruger owner… better then new Sr45…better than my SS sig 1911…..well let’s not get carried away…700 rounds later not 1 issue at all..white box winchester range ammo…winchester pdx1 hollow points work great with this pistol… that’s my 2 cents ….

  • James Reed January 4, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Why would anyone buy a gun and keep it if it is faulty. This gun if what we are shown is real is a piece of junk. It was never inspected before it left the factory and is probably assemebeled from rejected parts.
    I would return it immediately and if the gun was not repaired would never again buy from them.
    A few years ago I returned a muzzle loader to Thompson Center. They never apologized for the fact that I could not load the rifle. They returned the gun to me and I rejected it and UPS sent it back. Someone called me from the factory and I told them to keep the gun. I lost a lot of money doing this. Cabela stole most of the free accessories that should have come with the gun. I will never deal with either company again.My advice is to guitt buying from such people. I am vocal in my travels and bad mouth both Thompson Center and Cabelas every chance I get
    Jim Reed
    By the way I sent a letter to Dick Cabela and he never answered. he has since passed but somehow the company he founded is still in business.

  • James Reed January 4, 2015, 12:36 pm

    Why would anyone buy a gun and keep it if it is faulty. This gun if what we are shown is real is a peice of junk. It was never inspected before it left the factrory and is proabaly asembeled from rejected parts.
    I would return it immediately and if the gun was not repaired would never again buy from them.
    A few years ago i returned a muzzle loader to Thompson Center. They never apologised for the fact that I could not load the rifle. They returned the gun to me and I rejected it and UPS snet it back. Someone called me from the factory and I told them to keep the gun. i lost a lot of money doing this. Cabela stole most of the free accesories that should have come with the gun. i will never deal with either company again.My advice is to guit buying from such people. I am vocal in my travels and bad mouth both Thompson Center and Cabelas every chance I get.
    If you have patience for such companies keep buying from them? I don’t!
    Jim Reed
    By the way I sent a letter to Dick Cabela and he never answered. he has since passed but somehow the company he founded is still in business.

  • Scott December 13, 2014, 11:49 am

    The magazine on the Ruger SR1911 will not drop free with the slide back either. Yet, it too, will drop free easily when the slide is forward.

    • Justin Opinion January 2, 2015, 12:20 pm

      Scott – I have a Ruger SR1911CMD and love it – it’s one of my favorite range toys, and I consider it one of the best gun values on the market today. I’ve never experienced a failure of the mag to drop free from it (even with the silly safety stickers they put on them). You should consider asking Ruger to look at yours. Just goes to show though, even though they are mass produced (sort of), there is a lot of room for individuality in firearms.

      • Scott January 4, 2015, 7:06 pm

        I agree on the SR 1911 being a terrific gun value and it is also one of my favorite range toys. I have checked a few of these at various gun shops, and found the same sticky mag problem on every one that I have checked to date. I actually never worried about it too much. If I did ask Ruger to check it out, that would make 5 out of 7 Rugers that had to go back! I think I’ll probably just continue to help it out with my other hand, as I’ve always done. No problems ever with any kind of ammo, and very accurate!

  • Mark Ritter December 9, 2014, 4:01 pm

    Who’s to say that someone w/access to this pistol didn’t “rebuild” THEIR personal pistol w/the parts from this (formally) new pistol? Unless there has been drastic changes w/Ruger’s QA/QC, there’s no way that pistol would have made it to the public IMO. There’s definitely more to this story than meets the eye…

  • Scott December 9, 2014, 7:20 am

    4 out of 7 Rugers that I bought had to be sent back! (Not a good average) Customer service is fast and great! Although my single six convertible came back with the same exact problem that it was sent in for.(the 22 mag. cylinder would not rotate due to the rounds not seating far enough). They supposedly repaired this, and test fired, and sent it back in exactly 1 week turn around. The only thing is, the condition was unchanged! I sent it back again, took 8 days, came back perfect. Mini-14, constantly jammed, came back working nice. 10/22, constantly jammed, they replaced bolt and entire trigger group, now works okay, still not the best 22 semi rifle that I’ve owned. Now LCR 9mm, spits powder back, burning my face with every round fired! The others all took just over a week to get back. The LCR was just received by them yesterday, we will see.

    • Scott December 18, 2014, 6:17 am

      The LCR came back in 13 days. They changed the pawl and the front sight. (It was also not shooting to point of aim). They sent back the original sight, a target showing a 1 1/2″ 5-round group on center at 7 yds, and an additional pack of three moon clips! What more could you ask for! Good company and service. I haven’t tested it yet for the powder spitting issue.

  • shootbrownelk December 9, 2014, 4:02 am

    I have no problems with any of my rugers, a 10/22, a Ruger American rimfire and a Ruger Super RedHawk. They’ve all been tough guns, not breakage prone. And while I have no experience with Ruger’s Customer Service, I sure do with Remington.
    The first time was with a late 70’s model 700 BDL that I had TWO unintentional discharges. Both happened when I loaded the weapon and closed the bolt. I had my finger well off the trigger. I called Customer Service, and got some creep that told me the gun was fine…I pulled the trigger. Pure B.S. They did nothing for me, except hang up abruptly.
    The second time I had the misfortune of having to contact Remington, it was about a NEW model 700 BDL that I just bought. I couldn’t get the gun to group no matter what I tried. Took it to my gunsmith who checked it out. His diagnosis, the barrel was “Out of Round” the worst he had ever seen.
    He handled Remington for me, sent the rifle in..and was told later that they had inadvertently installed reject barrels on a lot of 700’s in .375 H&H. They said they’d re-barrel and send the gun back. Well, 3 months later and still no gun…I went out & bought a Winchester model 70 in .375. Hunting season was looming, and I couldn’t count on Remington to deliver as promised.
    A week after I got back, the gunsmith called and said..come down and look at your rifle! My supposedly “re-barreled” rifle was in fact, a brand new rifle. Took them almost 4 months, and they send me a NEW gun? They could have done that in 4 days! There is a silver lining in this dark cloud. The Winchester 70 is twice the rifle the Remington 700 is. It has a nice crisp, AND safe trigger/safety. Remington can go pound sand. And I installed a Timney trigger/safety on my 700, something that Remington should consider…seeing as how their trigger/safeties are junk and dangerous. Rant Over!

  • David A. O'Connor December 8, 2014, 5:01 pm

    I too am sorry to see that you have multiple problems with your new Ruger. I own a lot of Rugers (Rifles and pistols) and, so far, have had no problems. I do wonder why you would run the slide forward with your hand instead of letting it travel under full spring pressure by itself. Dare I say that could be the problem with your slide not going into battery. I teach all of my students to rack the slide back briskly and let go. That seems to be the way most manufacturer’s recommend. Of course that does not absolve them from all of the other problems you have. Lol. Anyway, good luck with all of your future purchases.

    • Justin Opinion December 8, 2014, 7:05 pm

      David – When I ease the slide forward, it is specifically to test the spring. You should be able to ease the slide of a semi-auto pistol to less than an inch from ‘home’ and let it go – and it should go fully into battery every time. Failure to achieve that is a sign of a worn or damaged recoil spring. Or in this case, a sign of who knows what. But just to set the record straight, I’ve fired a gun once or twice before this one. It seems you may not have watched the entire video to see me demonstrate the failures to feed. I would have pulled the slide back another 10 feet and let ‘er rip if I could have!

  • DaveGinOly December 8, 2014, 4:17 pm

    The invoice said that the guide rod and spring had been replaced. You didn’t disassemble the gun again to show these parts and whether or not they fit as you thought they should (as I thought too). I suspect that the new assembly fits tightly, and that many of the malfunctions you experienced were directly related to what were probably the wrong guide rod and spring in the gun. With the loose fit that you showed, it would cause two main problems: 1.) insufficient power overall to drive the slide forward; and 2.) loss of acceleration as the slide neared going back into battery, with insufficient power remaining (or no power at all, because the guide rod assembly was too short) to reliably drive the slide back into battery mechanically (I suspect that when the gun was going back into battery it was due to inertia, and not spring power – an operating spring should be powerful enough to force a slide into battery without having to rely on inertia – as when performing a “press check”).
    Tell us about the new guide rod assembly!

    • Justin Opinion December 8, 2014, 6:59 pm

      DaveGinOly – The new guide rod and spring (which I did neglect to show) are the same as the original, and do not fit tightly. You actually have to take care when re-assembling the slide onto the frame to keep it aligned right. I still scratch my head at the engineering there, but since I am not an engineer I can’t offer any practical argument.

      • DaveGinOly December 9, 2014, 1:23 am

        That’s interesting. How does it react to a “press check”? Does it go back into battery? With a loaded chamber indicator, a press check is not necessary, but all guns I’ve ever done a press check on went into battery on the power of the spring at near full-extension, i.e., not much power at all. With the problems you were having with cycling and feeding, I thought for sure it was a guide rod assembly problem. Maybe it was the wrong spring? Still, it doesn’t make sense to me that the guide rod assembly doesn’t fit tightly. Now I’m wondering about how the thing actually works!

  • Jon December 8, 2014, 2:41 pm

    I love all my Rugers, especially my SR40C’s(that’s right “S”- as in four of them). I don’t own an SR45 but if Ruger will ever take the hint from one of my many repeated emails and release an SR45C I plan on loving a couple of them as well. Havng never fired the SR45C I can’t speak from experience with it but having experience with the SR40C and SR9C I CAN say that I LOVE the platform. I’m actually hoping to come across a 9MM barrel and try a caliber swap from SR40C to SR9C as I do with my Glock 27’s and 33’s to either the other caliber or 9MM.

    Unless Ruger gets around to an SR45C though, my next Ruger will most likely be a Vaquero in 45 Long Colt. Something about that thing just calls to me.

  • michael garrett December 8, 2014, 2:35 pm

    i have 19 ruger firearms all varieties. have had problems with 3 . ruger will make it right. they always have and quickly. great company.

  • Hank December 8, 2014, 2:26 pm

    I also have an SR45. The first time at the range with less than 50 rounds thru it the magazine latch broke. I contacted Ruger and received a return authorization and a pre-paid return label. From the time I dropped it at the shipper to it coming home was less than a week. Wow. The pistol works as great as I expect a Ruger to, and my first experience with Ruger repair in over 40 years of Ruger ownership was as good as anyone could expect.
    I have every expectation that they will do the same for everyone else.

  • Russ December 8, 2014, 12:41 pm

    I had a similar experience with Remington.
    I also held the same attitude as you.
    In the end a good company will make things right.
    It’s just such a hassle and gut wrenching experience to go through.
    I think the good standing companies should do a little extra for you because of your trouble and time wasted.
    Maybe by giving you a case of ammo, or a custom carry case, even a voucher for a big discount on your next purchase would be nice, just something to show you care for your customers.
    In my case, Remington, after failing 3 X to fix my problems, they ended in sending me a brand new rifle that someone high up in the company quality checked to insure it was perfect.
    I was happy with my rifle ( still ) and their dedication to putting out a good product, but that took 3 months to remedy.
    I feel your pain with that Ruger, and wouldn’t settle for anything but perfection at this point.
    Having your attitude, one that is loyal and optimistic, is the best way to deal with a good company in order to get what you paid for.
    I still think Ruger owes you a better if not brand new pistol, and should do you one better by giving you some accessories or discounts on them.

  • Bhagwan Shree Rajhneesh December 8, 2014, 12:10 pm

    My first major handgun purchase as an adult was a Ruger P90DC. I was not fond of it. Ruger sent me three barrels and none of them fit. It went off twice while I was decocking it. It was just cheap, heavy, huge and a dozen other things I didn’t like, that weren’t Ruger’s fault. I sold it back to the dealer I bought it back from, because of the accidental discharge thing. My wife was just getting into shooting and I didn’t want her picking the pistol up, pressing the DC lever and it going off. Her hands were big enough to handle a Kimber Eclipse.

    My neighbor loves Ruger revolvers and long guns. Personally, I will never buy another Ruger product.

    I have two simple axioms–.45ACP=Kimber 1911 A1 (10mm, too.) Any other caliber=Walther. I am not that impressed with Glock, but some of the their long slide pistols are great and I own a couple. Glock’s are way too picky about what kind of ammunition they will eat and won’t eat any reloads. Self defense=12ga/00 buck.

  • Kivaari December 8, 2014, 11:55 am

    It can happen. The first Ruger P85 that came through my hands I sold to a friend. Shortly thereafter, he returned. The locking lug/chamber area had separated from the rifled portion of the barrel. I sent it to Ruger and it returned with a new solid barrel. I don’t remember how long it took, but it did not seem like a long time. Ruger was fast. HK took over 6 momths to replace the barrel on an MP5. Beretta never responded to many complaints. Some work done by Beretta was horrible.

  • Larry December 8, 2014, 11:14 am

    I had a P90 that was a wonderful gun but so damn big that I hardly ever carried it. Sold it & got a P345. I know, a weapon everyone loves to trash but this gun has been flawless, shooting every piece of crap 45 I put thru it without any malfunctions. I run my old fat body all over the range, shooting as I go, one shot, two or three quickly & every shot goes to center mass. What a fine weapon even though most think the 345 is junk. Sorry, I’ve still not worked up the courage to buy a striker fired weapon.

  • Dan Hughes December 8, 2014, 11:08 am

    I am sorry to hear you are having problems with your SR45. I bought the exact same gun in December 2013. I love this weapon and I have had none of the problems you are having. Guns are in many ways like cars. Occasionally somebody buys a lemon, even the big name cars and trucks sell a bad one every now and then. I like this gun for the way it feels and shoots and it is my everyday CC weapon. I am glad I don’t have any of the issues you are having and I hope Ruger makes this right for you.

  • John L December 8, 2014, 9:48 am

    Ouch! My .45 is a Ruger P90 purchased in 1993. Has been flawless. This video was painful to watch. Thanks for sharing your experience. Ruger has a good rep for following up problems, looking forward to your update video.

  • Lt. Donn December 8, 2014, 9:25 am

    This is so unfortunate, but considering that Ruger produced more firearms in 2014 than anyone, it is understandable…from simply a volume standpoint. What I would want to see is: Ruger taking the firearm and sending it to Quality Control for measurement etc. to see exactly where it is out-of-spec & use this info to enhance overall QC…and then, pull a new one from the “line”…test it and send this “new” replacement to the customer.

  • Earl Lasko December 8, 2014, 9:16 am

    If i had bought a gun that looked like that out the box it would have gone back the dealer NOW. I wouldn’t have shot that gun once let alone 100 rounds, it’s wonder it didn’t blow up. I own many rugers from 22 ‘s to 44 magnum and love them all.I think there’s more to the story.

  • Ken December 8, 2014, 8:36 am

    Hate to see a problem with any gun. I own several handguns, Ruger, Smith, Tarus, Glock, Kel tec and others.
    I do have a SR45, and I have a good one. I am not a lover of plastic guns or striker fire guns, but have several. The SR45 is by far my favorite that falls in this group. I have put over 1000 rounds through mine, multiple types of ammo, and zero problems. I have no issue carrying this gun for protection. I have a few that I like, but would not carry, as they can be picky, etc. This one just works. It also fits my hand good, and shoots good for me.
    With that said, I understand your post and know there will be a trust issue, no matter how well they fix it. Hope it is repaired/replaced to your liking, as this is really a good gun. I have had great customer service from Ruger in the past, and hope you get the same. That is something that they have always taken pride in, so will look forward to seeig how it turns out.

  • Mitch December 8, 2014, 8:22 am

    I have no experience with this model gun, but do have 2 Ruger American rifles that are very well build, have good ergonomics and are very accurate. But after seeing this, I would hesitate to buy a SR45. I have a FN X-9 that have have put a couple of thousand rounds through, and have never had one failure to feed, fire or eject, with about 12 different brands of ammo, some inexpensive, some medium price, and a few higher end rounds.

  • Joesph Gallagher December 8, 2014, 7:38 am

    Regarding the Ruger SR45 review (Justin Opinion), clearly, there was a lack of effective quality control as it relates to this specific weapon. My concern — if this particular firearm escaped the quality control process, how many others may also have been sent downstream and sold to other customers. As the reviewer points out, Ruger has an excellent reputation, however, the real issue is just how well Ruger handles this matter through their customer service group. I hope there is some follow up regarding the customer service experience.

  • joe valdez December 8, 2014, 7:26 am

    I own many Rugers,Berettas, Glocks, Tisas, E.A.A., Springfield, Canik S&W, etc. The SR45 is one that I do own. I’m sorry you received one in that condition. I have over a thousand rounds through this weapon. Mine fires flawlessly. I’m happy to see Ruger address your problems. I have run all types of ammo through this weapon trying to make it jam. It has eaten through everyting with no problems. My only complaint is the magazine disconnect as I’m not a fan of this feature. I knew this weapon had that feature before I purchased it. I like mine so much that it is my carry weapon in states that have a 10 round magazine capacity restriction. Good luck. I know from past experience that it will be impossible to ever trust this weapon to that kind of use. By the way, nice video. Very well done. Thanks for pointing out the good as well as the bad.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend