Part II of our reviews of the Ruger SR series moves to the Ruger SR40. I’ve discussed this pistol previously at Gun Nuts Media (click here for the review) but I wanted to give the CTD readers a more comprehensive look at the Ruger SR40, using my “Good, Bad, Ugly” format that I run over at Gun Nuts. One thing to remember is that “bad” features aren’t actually really awful, just things that I think need improvement. The “Ugly” is the category for stuff on a gun I just don’t like at all. So let’s take a look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Ruger SR40.
- The trigger: after spending a tremendous amount of time shooting nothing but DA revolves, it’s really put the issue of “trigger pull” in a whole new light for me. I’ve also become obsessed with how positively a trigger resets; I want to feel the trigger go “click” under my finger as I let it forward so I know I can shoot again. The SR40′s trigger has a great reset, which means you can run the gun very fast. At a training class, I shot almost 2000 rounds through an SR40 and was getting splits in the high teens on certain drills.
- The Grip: the gun points very well. The grip angle and adjustable backstraps allow you to adjust the gun to get the bore axis very low relative to your hand, which helps cut down recoil on the snappy .40 S&W cartridge.
- Reliability: the SR40 was boringly reliable. I have fed all kinds of different .40 ammo, and even after several high round count, fairly abusive classes, it continues to run. I also haven’t cleaned it in over 2000 rounds.
- Ergonomics: this is a very easy gun to shoot and carry. As mentioned above, it sets well in the hand, is light, thin, and easily concealed.
- The sights: On the SR series, the factory sights feature a rounded profile and a fairly narrow rear notch. They’re not great for competition shooting or self defense, and I’d get them replaced with a Novak rear sight and a fiber optic front, or if this your carry gun I’d get a set of XS Sights.
- No forward cocking serrations: the SR9c features forward cocking serrations to aid in press-checking the gun. The SR40 does not, and I miss them when I press check my SR40.
- Disassembly: taking down the SR40 (and all the SR pistols) involves sticking your finger down the magwell with the slide locked to the rear to push the takedown lever. The Ruger manual says “do this with a pencil” in case the slide unlocks and slams your finger in-between the breech face and barrel.
- The safety: This has got to go. On the SR40, when you’re holding the gun properly the safety recoils directly into the web of your thumb. This hurts. After 500 rounds, it produces blood, and 1500 consecutive rounds I was wearing a triple-wrapped bandage on my thumb. The safety design either needs to be changed, or deleted entirely from the gun.
- And speaking of things that need to be deleted from the gun, my greatest “Ugly” is the magazine disconnect safety. That has got to go. Magazine disconnect safeties have no place on a combat pistol, a self-defense firearm, or a competition pistol. It is in fact possible to bump the ambi-magazine release and partially eject the magazine. The round will still chamber, but the gun goes dead. Not okay.
The Final Word
I don’t like the SR40 nearly as much as I like it’s smaller brother, the SR9c. That being said, the SR40 would be a good choice for someone looking for a range gun, or a .40 S&W carry pistol. There are plenty of videos online about how to delete the mag safety, and the SR40 does do the most important thing that a carry gun should do: it shoots, and it shoots every time. While I think there are improvements Ruger could make to the design, I would still recommend the SR40. Overall, it takes 4th place on my list of .40 S&W polymer pistols, and of the guns on the list it does have the best price point.