Ruger’s Launching the New American Compact Pistol


The American Compact is offered with and without a manual thumb safety. (Photo: Ruger)

Ruger has made a new addition to the American family of handguns, the American Compact pistol. The Compact is offered with or without a manual thumb safety in 9mm Luger. Like the full-size Duty models, the Compacts are striker-fired service pistols with passive trigger safeties that take down without needing to pull the trigger.

The American Pistol series is one of Ruger’s newest flagship products. It is their latest and most modern entry into the service pistol market. The new Compacts are ideal for backup or concealed carry.

The Compacts have shorter slides and grip frames with 3.55-inch barrels and a 12+1-round capacity, standard. They are also compatible with full-size 17-round magazines with a grip extension. Ruger is also offering the Compact with 10-round mags for states with capacity restrictions.


Here is the thumb safety model. The Compacts are fully-ambidextrous with mirrored controls on both sides. (Photo: Ruger)

The Compact models share all the same features as the full-size Duty models including all-ambidextrous controls, interchangeable polymer grip assemblies, and a short, crisp trigger pull. The pistols also have full-length rails for accessories like lights and laser sights and the slides are cut for 3-dot Novak LoMount Carry sights.

Each pistol ships with a small, medium and large wraparound grip and two nickel-Teflon-plated steel magazines. Depending on the package, the guns come with one 12- and one 17-round mag or two 10-rounders. Additional magazines and different sights are available directly from Ruger.

Ruger announced the American Pistol series in late 2015. The series is built to compete with other current-generation service and duty pistols with features in high demand with military and law enforcement users.

Unlike Ruger’s other centerfire pistols the American series makes the thumb safety optional and the guns lack a magazine safety. The slides and barrels are constructed from stainless steel and the slides have a black nitride finish. The frames are glass-reinforced nylon with a steel subframe that provides full-length slide support.


The Compacts are shorter but the same width as the Duty models, narrowly larger than many single-stack pistols with lower capacities. (Photo: Ruger)

See Also: We Shoot the Ruger American Pistol

The Compact is shorter in length and height at 6.5 inches long and 4.5 inches tall, but is the same width at 1.4 inches wide at the controls, less than 1.2 inches wide at the grip with the small grip and just a hair over 1 inch wide at the slide. They’re also lighter at 28.7 ounces unloaded. The Compact magazines have extended floorplates for a full four-fingered grip without adding extra material that could print when carrying concealed.

The full-size Duty models are chambered for 9mm and .45 ACP. Time will tell if Ruger has a .45-caliber Compact in the works as well. They carry the same sticker price as the Duty models with a $579 MSRP. Real-world prices are often around $450 or less.

Ruger has just started shipping the Compact models but widespread availability is right around the corner. For now, both Compact and Duty American Pistols can be found here at

Shop for Ruger American Pistols on

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • BIGKIELBASSA October 12, 2016, 1:22 pm

    Did I mention California is run by idiot hippie tree hugging Bruce Jenner wanna bees ? Guns have to be on an approved list so Ruger has to spend millions to make a special model just to satisfy the friends of getting high and Jerry Brown ? Move out of Corn hole fornia… Let it fall into the ocean and drown all of the hippie trash and left wing terrorists… My heart goes out to the good decent law abiding California gun owners . They are the ones getting screwed .. Move out if you can . Arizona or Nevada welcome you .. We ❤️ law abiding gun lovers here . 👍🏼🇺🇸

  • BRASS October 7, 2016, 7:24 pm

    Good thing I’m a function first, form second kind of guy, because this is one ugly gun.

  • Dan October 7, 2016, 7:48 am

    WOW – I just checked the website of the California-allowable handguns. Would you believe that Ruger had ONE 9mm that is allowed to be sold in this crappy state? 20 more months until I leave this pit!

    • JJ357 October 8, 2016, 5:35 pm

      Yes someone needs to sue because this is severely limiting your second amendment rights. I asked to see the new Sig Sauer 320, Evidently it’s banned in CA also. SO SICK of this whiny state who decides what I can and cannot do with my time and my money. I can’t wait to leave either. The State of Jefferson which is the Northern 6-11 counties and Southern Oregon’s 6-10 counties actually made it on the ballot last year. We are all tired of San Francisco and Portland deciding what rights the rest of us get.

  • Cadeyrn October 3, 2016, 7:13 pm

    Huh. That looks almost exactly like my beloved Steyr M9A1. Sure, there’s a bit of flashy molding on it, and it lacks Steyr’s signature pyramid sights, and it lacks the securing spring for the takedown lever, but the overall look and appearance is suspiciously familiar…

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