Ruger’s 1980s P-Series Pistols ::


Ruger P series pistols

Introduced back when Atari was cutting edge, the Ruger P-85 and its descendants have been the Connecticut-primarily based gun maker’s contestant in the battle of the “wonder nines.” (Photo: Richard Taylor/


Bill Ruger had currently created a name for his organization by 1985 when it came to rifles, revolvers, and rimfires– then came the P-series pistols. 

Despite the fact that Ruger had missed the boat on the U.S. Air Force’s pistol replacement trials in the late 1970s, and the 1st couple rounds of the Army’s stick to-on trails to phase out the M1911– all of which had been won by the Beretta 92– by 1985 organization had a double-stack 9mm that would show up for the postscript XM10 pistol trials.

Ruger’s 1st production centerfire semi-automatic pistol, the P-85, had a lot going on. Working with an aluminum alloy frame, stainless barrel, and cast steel slide, the 15+1 shot semi-auto was created as a combat handgun in an era that had tiny competitors. Double action/single action with an oversized trigger guard and an ambi magazine release, the P-85 was comparable to early “wonder nines” like the S&ampW 459 and then only lately introduced Sig P226 and Glock 17.

In contrast to the Glock, the Ruger pistol was hammer-fired and had molded G.E. Xenoy grip panels. Working with a four.five-inch barrel, weight was 32-ounces all round.

A short recoil-operated, locked-breech pistol that was more modern than guns like the Browning Hi-Power, the Ruger P-85 was U.S.-made answer in the late 1980s to European imports like the Beretta 92, CZ 75, Glock 17 and Sig P226.

A brief recoil-operated, locked-breech pistol that was much more modern day than guns like the Browning Hi-Energy, the Ruger P-85 was a U.S.-created answer in the late 1980s to European imports like the Beretta 92, CZ 75, Glock 17 and Sig P226.

Ruger P85

Just about more than-engineered, the P-series guns are beefy, with effortless to operate surface controls. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

The terrible news on the Army contract was that Beretta created it a clean sweep on the XM10 trials, repeating their earlier wins, which kept the P-85 out of the hands of the U.S. military. On the other hand, in 1987, Ruger presented their new gun to the public with a (recommended) retail price tag when introduced of $305, total with a plastic case and spare magazine. They proved well-known in the customer market place and even saw some brisk police sales in its day.

A redesign and subsequent retrofit led to the P-85 MK II series in 1990 which in turn morphed into the P89 soon after 1992.

Ruger P89 pistols

The P-89 and stainless KP-89 replaced the P-85 and remained in production till 2009. As common in a handgun initially created for a military contract, the lanyard ring in the heel was normal all through most of the series production (Photo: Richard Taylor/

Other caliber solutions followed on the very same platform such as the .45ACP P90 and stainless KP90 in 1991 followed by the P91/KP91 in .40 S&ampW.

P90 Ruger

The P90 was a .45ACP upgrade from the 9mm P85/89 guns. The eight+1 capacity gun was developed for a quantity of government contracts in addition to customer sales (Photo: Richard Taylor/

The 9mm pistol was also presented in a shortened variant, making use of three.9-inch barrels, as the P93/KP93 as effectively as the P94/K94.

By 1995, the aluminum frame was swapped out for a polymer one particular to save a couple of ounces and the P95/KP95 was born. Although the P-85 under no circumstances suited up for military service, the later P95 was sold in smaller numbers to the U.S. Army for secondary service and quite a few have been also later adopted by the post-Saddam Iraqi forces.

Ruger P95

The polymer-framed Ruger P95 was introduced a decade into the P-series run. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

An work to slim the downright chunky pistol series came about in 2005, some two decades soon after the P-85 was initially created. This resulted in the P345 which deleted the lanyard ring, featured polyurethane grips and a slimmer frame as effectively as bringing the alternative for a dustcover-mounted accessory rail. The swan song in P-series improvement, the gun would hint heavily at the later SR-series pistols that Ruger would place into production in late 2007.

Ruger P345

In the Ruger P345, you can see how the original idea had morphed into anything that was closer to the SR pistols that would replace the line starting in 2007. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

Steadily, the P-series disappeared from Ruger’s catalog altogether, with the P-95 lingering on till 2013. Nonetheless, it was a great run that the organization has followed up on with not only their SR-series pistols but also the much more present Ruger American and Safety-9.

Ruger P series pistols

The P-series guns looked kinda clunky but earned a reputation for reliability and durability. In all, they have been in industrial production for more than 25 years. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

Nonetheless, these seeking for an inexpensive and hardwearing pistol would be effectively-served to grab an old Ruger P85, P90, or P95 ahead of nostalgia kicks in and they endure the price tag enhance that comes with collectibility.

Ruger P series handguns

And we usually have a good choice on hand in the Vault of Certified Utilized Guns. (Photo: Richard Taylor/




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