The Best Ruger Handguns of all Time

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Ruger is one of the most prolific American gun manufacturers on the market, and with good reason. Their guns are almost universally known for their high quality, durable build, and robust quality. 

That’s also not to mention that they offer a wide variety of different kinds of handguns as well, from .22 pistols to semi-automatic pistols to single action revolvers to double action single action revolvers and so on and so forth. 

With that said, here are the greatest Ruger handguns of all time as voted by you:

#1 Ruger Blackhawk

The Ruger Blackhawk is a single action revolver that comes in a variety of different offerings, based on calibers, finishes, and barrel lengths. The weapon is essentially a beefed up Colt Peacemaker with a few notable differences, including adjustable target sights and no half cock feature, meaning that the cylinder is freed when the loading gate is opened.

Historically, the Blackhawk was meant to capitalize off of the massive success of the Single Six revolver, chambered in .22 LR. The Blackhawk can handle a wide variety of different calibers, including .357 Magnum, .45 Long Colt, and .44 Magnum.

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#2 Ruger Mark IV

If there is one single handgun that Ruger is the most well known for, it’s this one: the Ruger Mark series of .22 pistols. These pistols have been in continuous production since 1949, and are the most successful .22 pistols ever made. These pistols closely resemble the Luger and Nambu pistols (this was intended by Bill Ruger) and feature a unique design: a blowback action with a cylindrical bolt that is located inside of a tubular receiver, which means that these pistols function more like a .22 semi-automatic rifle than most .22 pistol.

The most recent iteration of the Ruger Mark Series today is the Ruger Mark IV. These pistols feature a vastly improved field stripped system, a lighter trigger, a redesigned bolt stop, drop free magazine release, and an ambidextrous thumb safety. They are also available in a wide variety of different barrel lengths and finishes. Standard magazine capacity is 10 rounds.

#3 Ruger Single Six

The Ruger Single Six is a .22 LR single action revolver, heavily based off of the original Colt Single Action Army revolver. The Single Six is the most popular rimfire revolver on the market today and has been ever since its release in the 1950s. Available in a number of different finishes and barrel lengths, the Single Six is also available in ten shot and nine shot versiojns as well.

Beginning in 1973, the Single Six began to be released with a safety feature from Ruger in the form of a transfer bar on the mechanism. This made it safe to load all six shots into it, because before, the hammer of single action revolvers would rest over a loaded bullet and post a safety issue. Furthermore, the Single Six will not fire unless if the trigger has been pulled.

#4 Ruger SR1911 and SR1911 Commander

The Ruger SR1911 and SR1911 Commander pistols represent Ruger’s take on the 1911. The pistols are built with a Series 70-style firing system, a flat mainspring housing, longer trigger, beavertail grip safety, and adjustable sights. They are most commonly available in a matte stainless steel finishing for superior durability and rust and corrosion resistance in contrast to bluing.

#5 Ruger GP100

If the Ruger GP100 has one thing going for it, it’s this: it was designed from the beginning to be able to handle an unlimited number of full power .357 Magnum rounds. In contrast to this, many other magnum revolvers are designed to fire only a limited number of rounds before they will need to be set down to cool off, or else they can run into problems like the cylinder locking up.

Available in either six or seven shot configurations, the GP100 is without question one of the most durable and overbuilt .357 Magnum double action revolvers on the market today. It features the traditional Ruger push button cylinder release on the side of the frame, and is available in both blued and stainless steel configurations. Barrel length options ranges from three to four to six inches.

#6 Ruger LC9s Pro

The Ruger LC9s Pro is Ruger’s entry in the enormously successful single stack 9mm pistol market. Designed for concealed carry, the original Ruger LC9 proved to be popular but also had many things that people disliked considerably, such as a gritty trigger pull, a thumb safety, and a magazine disconnect. The Ruger LC9s Pro has a much lighter trigger, no thumb safety, and no magazine disconnect feature.

The weapon carries 7 rounds of 9mm Luger in the magazine and also incorporate adjustable three dot sights. It’s a very streamlined weapon that is easy to conceal, and would be a good choice as either a CCW or as a backup weapon.

#7 Ruger Security Nine

The Ruger Security 9 bares more than a passing resemblance to the LCP II. Even though the action behind the weapons are not the same, the Security 9 does indeed look like an LCP II that has been increased in size and made to chamber and fire the 9mm Luger caliber. With fifteen rounds of 9mm in the magazine, the Security Nine features a slide release, manual safety, and magazine release on the left hand side of the pistol.

It does use a double action only configuration, but the trigger is still relatively lightweight at only around six pounds. Ruger also sells the Security Nine at a very low price, so those who are not able to afford the American would still have an option for a Ruger semi-automatic 9mm pistol.

#8 Ruger P-Series

The Ruger P series were a line of numerous semi-automatic pistols available in the 9mm Luger, the .40 S&W, and the .45 ACP calibers. They were produced continuously from 1985 up until 2013. Older, used models in good condition can be found in great abundance on the used market, and often for very good prices. As a result, the Ruger P series remains popular with those seeking a quality pistol on a budget.

The P series is almost unanimously regarded as being incredibly rugged and overbuilt pistols, as is typical with almost all of Ruger’s firearms. At the same time, they are also undeniably bulky and not the most attractive pistols on the market, but then again, neither is the Glock.

#9 Ruger LCP (and LCP II)

The Ruger LCP is one of the most popular and successful concealed carry pistols ever made. Released in 2008, it’s an incredibly small pocket pistol chambered for the .380 ACP caliber. The main reason for the success of the LCP is the fact that it is incredibly easy to conceal, even though the long and gritty double action only trigger received criticism.

In 2016, Ruger unveiled an upgrade called the Ruger LCP II, which features improved ergonomics and a single action only trigger. Both the LCP and the LCP II use six round magazines.

#10 Ruger LCR

The Ruger LCR is a snubnose revolver meant for concealed carry and to compete directly with other guns like the Taurus 85 and the Smith & Wesson J-Frame. Available in different calibers such as .357 Magnum, .38 Special, and 9mm Luger, the LCR’s most notable feature is its polymer frame to reduce weight, whereas most snubnose revolvers will have an all metal frame. Total weight is just seventeen ounces.

Ruger also offers the LCRx version, which comes with an exposed hammer so you can cock the revolver to fire single action if you so choose. The LCR also comes in both two inch and three inch barrel configurations as well.

#11 Ruger American

The Ruger American is a relatively new pistol from Ruger, released in late 2015. The pistol is available in both full size and compact variations. It has a polymer frame and is available in both 9mm Luger and .45 ACP. It utilizes a Browning-type locked breach, short recoil action. It also features a barrel cam system, designed to reduce recoil. The pistol also has interchangeable backstraps, a steel chassis to further reinforce the polymer, a Picatinny rail to mount lasers and accessories.

#12 Ruger Redhawk

Following the massive success of the Ruger Blackhawk, Ruger decided to make a double action version, similar to their Security Six and later GP100. The Redhawk is one of the most durable and reinforced double action revolvers on the market, being to larger calibers like .45 Colt and the .44 Magnum as the GP100 is to the .357 Magnum.

The main appeal behind the Redhawk is the fact that it can handle much larger pressures of bullets than revolvers in the same category, such as the Taurus Raging Bull or Smith & Wesson Model 29, are able to handle. As a result, the Redhawk is extremely popular with hunters and handgun reloaders.

#13 Ruger SP101

The Ruger SP101 is a snubnose revolver that is built like a tank. Firing either the .357 Magnum or .38 Special calibers, it is also available in two inch, three inch, and four inch barrel length variations, with a five shot cylinder. As with the GP100 and Redhawk, the SP101 really is overbuilt in order to handle firing virtually an unlimited number of full power rounds through them.

#14 Ruger SR Series

The Ruger SR series was produced from 2007 to 2019, in the forms of the Ruger SR9, the Ruger SR40, and the Ruger SR45, and in both compact and full sized variations. The SR pistols were designed to replace the P-series, by being modernized with a striker fired mechanism and a polymer frame.

Notable features of the SR series include a red loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide, and a frame mounted thumb safety. The polymer frame is reinforced with fiberglass for superior durability. It also came with a firing pin indicator that prevented the weapon from being fired if dropped.

#15 Ruger Vaquero and New Vaquero

The Ruger Vaquero was originally designed as a fixed sight version of the Ruger Blackhawk. It’s a single action only revolver that looks incredibly similar to the Colt Peacemaker revolver, with the main difference being that the Vaquero is a bit beefier and further lacks the half cock feature, as the cylinder is freed by simply opening up the cylinder.

Later, Ruger decreased the frame size of the Vaquero with the New Vaquero, which has much more similar dimensions to the Peacemaker. The New Vaquero is today offered in chamberings such as .357 Magnum and .45 Long Colt. It’s also a very common sight at cowboy action shooting events.

Written by Sgt. Gunner

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