Review: Ruger SR1911 Custom Shop

Review: Ruger SR1911 Custom Shop

Photos by Michael Anschuetz

The SR1911 Last January, 18-­time Bianchi Cup champion Doug Koenig made gun-­media headlines when he left Smith & Wesson to become the team captain for Ruger’s new shooting team. One of his first tasks was to develop an SR1911 that could win matches. This is the gun.

Custom-Ruger-SR1911-4
Doug Koenig uses his namesake SR1911 competition model to demonstrate a stage of cardboard silhouettes and steel poppers. He never seems to miss.

Ruger launched its version of the 1911 in 2011, and has been at it ever since. Officially named the “SR1911 Doug Koenig Competition Model,” this pistol has all the makings of a hand-­built race gun. By February, Koenig already had prototypes and was making tweaks after each practice session.

“New and accomplished competition shooters alike will find this pistol to be one of the finest, feature-­rich competition pistols available,” Koenig said. “This firearm was designed to win.”


Custom-Ruger-SR1911-7
Koenig’s design incorporates every enhancement found on a tuned competition 1911 such as sights, magazine funnel, flat trigger shoe and EGW’s Ultimate Trigger Kit.

The stainless steel frame and hand-­fit slide are tight yet slick. They’re finished in black nitride, while the slide slabs have been polished for a two-­tone appearance.


Chevrons on the front and rear slide serrations compliment the one on the aluminum trigger. I figured they were related to the letter “K” in Koenig’s name, but Ruger said it was just a happy coincidence.

Custom-Ruger-SR1911-5
To Koenig’s spec, a high grip for improved recoil control was added to this SR1911 design by way of the arched cut at the back, under the triggerguard.

The trigger shoe is flat, which is a nod to a current trend. Some like the feel of flat triggers; I’m indifferent. It measured 4 pounds to fire on our gauge.

A nice detail that serves as evidence of Koenig’s input is the high cut for the middle finger behind the triggerguard. This feature encourages a higher grip and more control than conventional 1911s without it. Control is aided by 25 lines-­per-­inch (lpi) checkering applied to the frontstrap and flat mainspring housing. The grip panels are Hogue’s G10 Piranha with a nicer-­than-­normal, black-­stainless Ruger medallion imbedded. The grips are very tactile, but not too aggressive.

Custom-Ruger-SR1911-1
Cocked-­and-­locked, the ambidextrous thumb safety features an extended ledge. The hammer is lightened, also.

The controls are pronounced and easy to reach including the checkered magazine release button, beavertail grip safety with speed bump and memory grooves, and a wide, ambidextrous thumb safety. As an aside, I love these thumb safeties — even on my carry guns — because I tend to push down on them with my thumb to help manage muzzle flip due to recoil more effectively. On this 9mm, strings of rapid fire transitions are so much fun. Combined with the trigger work, the control that this pistol offers helps it shoot like a bullet hose.


While testing this Koenig-­designed pistol, I found Easter eggs. I’ve always associated Ruger with “safety” in the way that some people regard Volvo. Besides the obvious safety features 1911s are known for, this Custom Shop model offers them subtly. For example, I almost missed the “READ INSTRUCTION MANUAL BEFORE USING FIREARM” warning. I knew it had to be somewhere on the gun (because it’s a Ruger), so I searched for it and found it lightly laser engraved under the dustcover as if the guy who did it was ashamed for having to scar an otherwise handsome pistol.

Custom-Ruger-SR1911-2
The front sight features a green fiber optic; the serrations knock down glare. The rear sight is fully adjustable.

The sights on the Koenig model were zeroed out of the box, and the green fiber optic was bright. If you prefer red, contact Ruger; they’re happy to send you a replacement red fiber-optic tube for free.

The square-­notch rear sight is black and without dots. The best part is that it’s fully adjustable for windage and elevation using a thin, flat-­head screwdriver. The typical sharp, square corners at the top have been beveled to keep this otherwise classic target sight from snagging shirts like the old BoMar sights used to. The result is a rear sight that looks something like a tombstone. Between the sights are long serrations, which are both functional at preventing glare and good looking. Even the shooter’s view of the front and rear sight blades are serrated for the same purpose. Nice.


Especially nice are the two, 10-­round Metalform magazines with angled basepads that integrate perfectly into the Techwell magazine well. Though there appears a gap between the front of the magwell and the frame, you’ll find that it goes away with a magazine inserted. This gap accepts magazines with extended basepads that have a pronounced toe. The act of reloading is extremely positive, quick and easy.

Custom-Ruger-SR1911-3
The magazine funnel is so generous that it’s intuitive to locate during a reload without having to look at it.

I can’t praise Techwell magwells enough. Allow me to note that Techwell even makes magwells for Ruger’s popular PCC 9mm carbine. (techwearusa.com)

If you’ve been thinking about getting into the competition scene, these two models from Ruger’s new Custom Shop are winners. The 10/22 would be great for Rimfire Challenge, and Doug Koenig’s Ruger SR1911 will have you hammering steel and punching the A-­zone out of cardboard silhouettes like a pro.

Custom-Ruger-SR1911-6
Notes: Accuracy is the average of five, five-­shot groups fired from a sandbag rest at 25 yards. Velocity is the average of five shots across an Oehler Model 35P chronograph.

“Our customers are craving high-­end performance products based on our popular, standard model,” Ruger President and CEO Chris Killoy told G&A. “The Ruger Custom Shop will deliver these products to market.”

I can’t wait to see what comes next. 

Ruger SR1911 Custom Shop
Type: Recoil operated, semiautomatic
Cartridge: 9mm
Capacity: 10+1 rds.
Barrel: 5 in., crowned, supported
Overall Length: 8.26 in.
Weight: 2 lbs., 9 oz.
Grips: Hogue Piranha G10
Finish: Blackened stainless
Trigger: 4 lbs., 1 oz. (tested)
Sights: Fiber optic, green (front); Adj. target (rear)
Safety: Ambidextrous, manual thumb lever; beavertail grip
MSRP: $2,500
Manufacturer: Ruger Firearms, ruger.com
336-949-5200


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

A group of competitive shooters talk about new products from Aguila , the Aguila Cup, and everyone's favorite new guns launched at the 2019 SHOT show.

A New Season of G&A TV

A New Season of G&A TV

In this new season of Guns & Ammo TV, we introduce two new series and bring back a viewer favorite - Camera's Don't Lie. We look at long-range tech and see how to make shots previously thought impossible. Next we visit ISS Prop House in Hollywood.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of the 94 Winchester rifle.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box racehorse ready to help you win 3-Gun matches. Here's why. Reviews

Savage MSR 15 Competition Review

James Tarr - May 21, 2019

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box racehorse ready to help you win 3-Gun...

Here's the latest competitive intel on what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why. Rifles

Top ARs in 3-Gun Shooting Today

James Tarr - May 14, 2019

Here's the latest competitive intel on what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why.

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of Mossberg, Tikka, Savage, Howa, Bergara, Weatherby and Remington. Rifles

Starter Rifles for Under $1000

Aaron Carter - May 09, 2019

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of...

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle. Historical

The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle

Kyle Lamb - January 12, 2018

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

Daniel Defense has expanded their product offering with the introduction of the DDM4 PDW AR pistol. Compact and easy to transport, the DDM4 PDW can be relied upon for home and personal defense. SHOT Show

Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW Pistol – First Look

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - January 23, 2020

Daniel Defense has expanded their product offering with the introduction of the DDM4 PDW AR...

The Rock Island Armory EFS is a California compliant stainless steel 1911 with double diamond checkered wood grips and a snag free dovetail ramp. SHOT Show

Rock Island Armory 1911 EFS - First Look

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - January 28, 2020

The Rock Island Armory EFS is a California compliant stainless steel 1911 with double diamond...

Tom Beckstrand visits the SIG Sauer Academy to learn more about the development of the SIG MCX Rattler in 5.56 NATO with Mike Joslin, SIG Sauer's assistant rifle product manager. Handguns

Guns & Ammo TV: SIG MCX Rattler 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo Staff - May 29, 2020

Tom Beckstrand visits the SIG Sauer Academy to learn more about the development of the SIG MCX...

Hi-Point has announced the YC9 9mm – YEET Cannon G1 – version of their current C9 pistol model. SHOT Show

Hi-Point YEET Cannon G1 YC9 9mm

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - January 23, 2020

Hi-Point has announced the YC9 9mm – YEET Cannon G1 – version of their current C9 pistol model.

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now