That 80s Ruger Feeling

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

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

Ruger’s first production centerfire semi-automatic pistol, the P-85, had a lot going on. Using an aluminum alloy frame, stainless barrel, and cast steel slide, the 15+1 shot semi-auto was designed as a combat handgun in an era that had little competition. 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&W 459 and then only recently introduced Sig P226 and Glock 17.

Ruger P-85

Introduced back when Atari was cutting edge, the Ruger P-85 and its descendants were the Connecticut-based gun maker’s contestant in the battle of the “wonder nines.”

More in my column at Guns.com

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