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Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting

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Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting

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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

Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting

Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for 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.

Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting
Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting
Team Ruger shooter Beth Walker with the Ruger American Pistol Competition

Team Ruger shooter Beth Walker with the Ruger American Pistol Competition

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.

Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting
Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting
Ruger American Pistol Competition, the entry level handgun for Production shooting

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.