The Ruger American Pistol Competition is a competition ready version of Ruger's signature polymer frame, striker-fired handgun, conceived as an entry-level alternative for IPSC and USPSA Production shooting
The Ruger American Pistol Competition is somewhat of a sleeper on the market, having officially been launched at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, when most jurisdictions were under a rigid lockdown and gun shops, distributors and shooting ranges were closed.
And yet, there is more to this pistol than it meets the eye: Ruger's new striker-fired autoloader is a great alternative for those shooters who are looking for an entry-level competitive tool for IPSC and USPSA Production shooting that will provide good out-of-the-box performance wothout breaking the bank – perfect for first-timers and occasional range dwellers who want to give practical shooting a try.
The Ruger American Pistol Competition is an entry-level, competition shooting version of the Ruger American Pistol, first introduced at the 2016 SHOT Show and now a staple in Ruger's production, with numerous full-size and compact versions available in 9mm and .45 caliber.
The Competition version shares the same fiberglass-reinforced nylon frame with a rigid, one-piece, precision-machined, black nitride, stainless steel chassis with integral frame rails and fire control housing, also offering a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail for accessories and a modular wrap-around grip system allowing palm swell and trigger reach adjustment to fit a wide range of hand sizes.
The Ruger American Pistol Competition handgun is a fully ambidextrous design, with the slide stop lever and magazine release button located on both sides for out-of-the-box right-hand and left-hand user compatibility. The disassembly lever is the only control to be located on the left side only.
The Ruger American Pistol Competition model also features a trigger safety and a light double-action, pre-tensioned striker system; a powerful striker spring is provided, for positive ignition without a heavier trigger pull.
Each Ruger American Pistol Competition handgun comes from factory with a Nitride-finished, stainless steel 127 mm / 5" barrel, featuring a slow 1:16" rifling to enhance accuracy with lighter weight match bullets. The barrel cam distributes recoil forces over a longer period of time to reduce felt recoil.
The American Pistol Competition feeds through double-stack, nickel-Teflon coated magazines offering a capacity of 17+1 rounds in 9mm Luger and 9x21 IMI; no other calibers are available for the Competition model as of today. The pistol is performance-tested for sustained use of +P ammunition.
The slide of the Ruger American Pistol Competition model is machined out of black nitride finished stainless steel steel, and is ported to reduce weight. A fully adjustable, serrated rear target sight and fiber optic front sight provide rapid target acquisition; the slide is also drilled and tapped for direct mounting of micro red dot reflex optics using #6-48 mounting screws. An inspection port allows for visual confirmation of a loaded or empty chamber.
Standing at 211 mm / 8.31" in overall length and 960 grams / 34.1 oz. in weight when empty, the Ruger American Pistol Competition is interesting as a market alternative for price and performance. The only real downsides of the design are a fairly long trigger reset and the direct installation system for optics, which only allows the use of mid-tier MRD sights of similar footprint; however, the American Pistol Competition model was specifically conceived as an entry-level competition tool, to allow shooters to experience what IPSC and USPSA have to offer before passing to higher tiers, and under that point of view, it is definitely a winner.