Shooting Wire

News | Friday, September 30, 2016

Ruger American Pistol Compact

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) is proud to announce the addition of the Ruger American Pistol Compact model. This new model is chambered in 9mm Luger and is available in both Manual Safety and Pro model configurations. See the feature in the Shooting Wire.

Savage Arms AXIS II in Stainless and Hardwood Options

The Savage Arms AXIS II package rifle line has increased. Savage has added to the series with new stainless barrel and hardwood stock options. Caliber options include the popular 6.5 Creedmoor.

Federal Premium Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Tip 223 Rem

Federal Premium offers its Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Tip offering in 223 Rem, which has proven itself as one of the most effective cartridges available in this caliber. The .223 Rem Trophy Bonded Tip bullet retains more than 90 percent of its weight, penetrates deep, and shoots flat and accurately.

Sightmark Solitude LRF Binoculars

Sightmark's Solitude LRF Binoculars are built rugged enough for fist-full-of-dirt adventures with features like hermetically sealed IP67 waterproof, fogproof and dustproof protection and a rubber armored body.

High Threat Concealment at AUSA 2016 Show

Army veteran-owned and -operated High Threat Concealment will be attending the 2016 annual meeting and show of the Association of the United States Army. The meeting will be held 3-5 October at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

High-Tech Training - Next Week on GunVenture

It's man vs. machine, next week on GunVenture! Join VATA Group trainers Greg Lapin and Destin Mounts as they travel to Tennessee for some high-tech training using interactive and mobile Marathon Targets' robotic targets.

Colt Lightweight Commander- Next Week on Guns & Gear

Next week on Guns & Gear, it's the modern Colt Lightweight Commander pistol- with more features and less recoil. Plus, the ambidextrous Ruger American Pistol, with interchangeable grips; the Mossberg Flex System with combo packages for your Mossberg 500; some range time with SureFire suppressors, and tips from the pros.

First Person Defender

On this episode of First Person Defender, a concealed carry course instructor is put to the test when a confrontation between neighbors escalates to violence. He'll have to keep a cool head to keep himself, and others, safe.

Survival Guide for Gun Owners - This Week on Gun Talk Radio

It's survival tools and techniques, an amazing gun cleaner, giveaways, promos and more, this week on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk® Radio, the original nationally-syndicated radio talk show about guns and the shooting sports.

Creedmoor Sports Sponsors The Creedmoor Cup Matches

Creedmoor Sports, Inc. is honored to announce that it is the signature sponsor of the upcoming Creedmoor Cup Matches, being held October 12 to 16, 2016, at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, Phoenix, Arizona.

DNA Kinship Study to Identify Fallen Soldiers from Past Conflicts

Parabon NanoLabs announced a call for participants in a research study. DNA samples from distant relatives will be analyzed to develop kinship and ancestry algorithms and associated laboratory methods to identify personnel lost in past conflicts. The enhancements made possible by this research will assist in the identification of the toughest missing personnel cases by "matching" DNA from distant relatives to that of deceased Service members, including those from long past conflicts, such as World War II.

Crosman National Field Target Series Enters Final Week

Over 250 matches have taken place in the Crosman National Series, all sanctioned by the American Airgun Field Target Association including 12 major regional "AAFTA Grand Prix" events. Randy Ebersole leads the series going into the final weekend.

AcuSport's Range Program Manager Joins Lead Management Workshop

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is pleased to announce that Doug VanderWoude will be joining the growing list of experts speaking at the association's fall Lead Management and OSHA Compliance Workshop, taking place October 16-18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

NSSF Praises Bipartisan Introduction of Export Control Reform Act in House

The National Shooting Sports Foundation praised the bipartisan introduction of the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6176, as well as the companion Senate bill, S. 3405, and called on Congress to pass this sensible pro-business and trade-enhancing legislation.

Hogue Inc. Limited Edition Knives available on website

Hogue is pleased to announce a new selection of Limited Edition Knives that are being offered on their website

State and National Youth Shooting Sports Leaders Gather in Milwaukee

Thirty-seven key leaders from 15 states attended the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) second annual Advisory Academy, a two-day meeting focused on developing state and local level leadership, sharing best practices, and providing "grass roots" input to the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP).

Hogue Inc. Limited Edition Knives available on website

Hogue is pleased to announce a new selection of Limited Edition Knives that are being offered on their website

CCRKBA: Anti-Gunners Already Exploit Mall Tragedy

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has expressed relief that a suspect in the horrible incident at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington is now in custody, and offers its heartfelt sympathy to the victims and their families for their painful loss. At the same time, however, the gun prohibition lobby is already trying to exploit the tragedy via an e-mail message in which it vowed to end what it alleges is "an epidemic of gun violence tearing our communities apart."

Wilson Combat's Shooting Team Scores Big at IDPA 2016 National Championships

Wilson Combat is proud of our shooting team's latest results from the 2016 IDPA National Championship held September 13-17 in Cresson Texas.

SureFire P3X Fury Intellibeam

SureFire, LLC is shipping the new P3X Fury Intellibeam. SureFire's proprietary IntelliBeam Technology is an intelligent sensor and microprocessor-based system that continuously evaluates the environment and adjusts light output, from 15 to 1,000 lumens, based on your surroundings.

Alien Gear Holsters Offers Additional Holster Fits

Alien Gear Holsters is now offering holsters for the Ruger American and the Smith & Wesson M&P 45 Shield. Both handguns are compatible with the customizable 'Cloak Mod' OWB Paddle Holster and the concealable 'Cloak Tuck' IWB Holster Series.

The Safariland Group Appoints Gettys VP and GM of VIEVU

The Safariland Group today announced that Tarey Gettys has been appointed as Vice President and General Manager of VIEVU.

Laser Plinking Kit Now Available at Bass Pro Shops

LaserLyte®, innovators in firearms laser technologies, proudly announces their Laser Plinking Can Kit is now available at Bass Pro Shops stores and online.


A Compact American

The Ruger American Pistol was the first real effort by Ruger to make a military capable striker fired service pistol. The original gun, a PRO model, was discussed in this service and in our Tactical Wire early in the year. A seventeen shot, soft-shooting 9mm pistol, it had a unique feel overall – from gripping surface to the slide treatment to the recoil management, to the trigger.

The PRO version is different from the Manual Safety version by virtue of the existence of a manual safety on the non-PRO version. Instead of covering old ground, let's look at the newly released Compact version of the Ruger American Pistol that was just announced late Thursday.

It's a 12+1 capacity 9mm pistol with a barrel just over 3 ½" that weighs in at just under 29 ounces empty. Yes, it's heavy. To get a comparison over "like" pistols, I scoured the websites and made a comparison table – it appears below:

Table 1: Comparisons


Ruger ACP




17 (extended)


17 (Extended)


12 (standard)


12 (standard)

Slide Material

Stainless Steel



Barrel Length




Grip Frame

Glass filled nylon



Slide Finish

Black Nitride

Not stated



Wrap around








Novak LoMount


Steel low profile


28.75 oz

23.65 oz

21.7 oz

Overall length












The service size Ruger American is behind the Compact in this shot.
I compared it to the Glock 19 – self-identified as a "compact" and the S&W M&P9c. I didn't compare it to the Glock 26 as the manufacturer identifies it as "sub-compact." It's closer to the Smith & Wesson M&P9c than the Glock.

The RAPc is smaller than the G19 and holds fewer rounds with the single 12-round magazine supplied. The new gun is also packaged with the 17 round magazine of its larger brother and a "boot" is included. Simply slip the boot over the 17 round magazine and there is no unsightly gap between floor plate and the bottom of the frame.

You also don't pinch a finger when inserting a magazine – either magazine – into the American Compact. Like the service-size gun, three grip modules (back strap with palm swells) are included. The gun has the Novak Low Profile carry sights with the "3-dot" pattern thereon.

Speaking of similarities, the Compact has the bilateral magazine release buttons and slide stops. The mag buttons are easily reached with either hand and, like the larger gun, the magazine release isn't accidentally released by virtue of having two release buttons. I found it handy.

The slide stops are less handy as they are hard to reach. It's also unlikely you'll accidentally activate the slide stops with your grip – and unlikely you'll prevent either from working when they're supposed to. You don't get something for nothing.

I've heard all the stuff about the gripping surface being "Walther-like" or "HK VP-like." Could be. I've not spent time with either of those products. It is unique to my experience. The single-action trigger is fine, I just need to learn to manage it. I would likely add Talon Grip or the like to the gripping surfaces of the frame to get more adhesion.

I found the Compact to be remarkably handier than the service size gun, but that's a bias: I generally find the shorter handguns to handle better for me and find the longer guns to be no more accurate in my hands. The compact is a good fit in the Blade-Tech Total Eclipse holster that arrived with the service gun. Neat thing about that holster is the ability to make it an inside-the-waistband rig, which makes it appropriate for the shorter slide/barrel of the Compact American.

Feeling like this was going to be a walk in the park, the first item at the first range outing was an attempt at "The Test" – 10 rounds, 10 seconds from 10 yards from ready, fired on a B-8 repair center. It was a disaster, with 9 hits low below the bull. I quickly determined that the sights were configured to cover the point of impact with the white dot on the front sight – not cutting the bull in half with the top of the front sight.

Off-set made that a disaster. Setting up for accuracy, I found that the gun was hitting between just under five-inches to 6 inches low at 25 yards. Using a neck hold on the 50-yard IPSC steel target, I put six hits on the silhouette, something that one shouldn't have to do with 9mm.

On that first trip, I fired three loads for accuracy. I found some occasion of the auto-pistol "4 + 1" tendency where one round out of a group would be a flyer. The accuracy was nothing to sneeze at for a service pistol.

Table 2: Accuracy


Avg. Group

"Best 3/5"


Federal Micro HST 150 gr.

3 ¾"


Mild load

Black Hills 124 gr. JHP +P

2 ½"

1 3/8"


Hornady Critical Duty 135 FTX  

3 ½"

1 ¾"


After a failed attempt at the Wizard Drill – one point down, but slow on two strings – I worked on singles from the holster concealed under a somewhat clingy shirt. Nine reps gave me times from 1.76 seconds to 2.35 seconds. I tended from the long time to the shorter, with some variation up or down. Generally, with practice, the times got shorter.

A return trip saw me work the Vickers 300: Using the NRA B-8 repair center, fire 10 rounds from five yards one handed using the non-dominant hand; follow that with 10 rounds from ten yards, dominant-hand only and finish with ten rounds from 20 yards using both hands. Mindful of the tendency to hit low, I covered the bull with the front dot and hoped for the best. I had one "7" get away from me at ten yards, otherwise we had 9s, 10s and Xs, ending with 293/300.

I fired American Eagle Syntech from 25 yards and noted the low hits even though I covered the top of the ISU 10-ring with front sight. I worked a 7 ½" steel round swinging plate from 7 yards using the Syntech ammo. I wasn't surprised at the lack of spall returning from the steel target from the plastic-jacketed rounds.

So far, it's zero stoppages and shooting everything from the cheapest range ammo to pricey defense stuff.

Of the two, I'm thinking the Compact has a broader appeal – due to widespread lawful concealed carry.

-- Rich Grassi

Sep 30-Oct 1
Oct 15
Atlanta, Indiana 46031, USA
Oct 7-16
Ben Avey Shooting Facilities, Phoenix, AZ
Dec 6-11
CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Talladega, Alabama

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