It’s sometime in the so late ’90s on one icy night in ~ 1 a.m. And also you just put that embarrassing secondhand Dodge dynasty you acquired from your parents right into a ditch. You contact the one girlfriend in college you understand with a 4WD pickup who’ll come rescue your ride in the center of the night and also not phone call anybody who’ll tell your parents. He reflects up and also rescues you. Pop quiz: What pistol remained in an Uncle Mike’s nylon Sidekick holster and also wedged between the driver seat and console the his truck? Yup. An alloy-framed Ruger P-series autoloader. Being a perpetually broke college college student who depended upon pulling friends out of ditches because that beer in the winter months, that was probably a 9mm, since 9mm wolf was cheaper than .45 Anything. And also that way it was probably a Ruger P89.

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Ruger’s P-series that double-action autos, of i beg your pardon the P89 is the third variant ~ the P85 and P85 Mk II, was originally intended to contend in the military’s handgun competition in the ’80s, but by the moment it was ready, the Italians currently won the contract.

It do a pretty large splash commercially, though, since it gave Ruger an entry right into what was then the hottest group of handgun, what the pistol magazines of the time referred to as “Wondernines.” (I’m not making that up. Occasionally they also printed it in the write-up blurbs top top the cover.) These to be double-action, double-stack 9mm Para pistols, and also you weren’t an ’80s or ’90s action-movie hero there is no one.


Because that frame and slide space finish-machined indigenous castings, the Ruger P89 appreciated a large price advantage over that is closest domestic competitor. You might just about buy 2 P89s for the price of a smith & Wesson 5906. MSRP for a stainless KP89 about the rotate of the millennium was $525 and a blued Ruger P89 to be $475, yet street prices for the latter were regularly closer to three bills. Bruce Willis can not have used one in Nakatomi Tower, but it was the everyman handgun the its day.

Like many Ruger offerings, it gained a reputation for integrity such that any time the P-series guns get carried up in gun forums to this day, you’ll get civilization waxing nostalgic about them. “They may have been large and ugly, however they sure worked!”

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Curious to see if they really were that trustworthy or if the rep was just hazy nostalgia from a misspent youth, us inquired around and wound up obtaining one, together with a couple of magazines, native a dealer in exchange because that $200. (Actually, 11 ounces of silver, but that’s one more story.)


About the Ruger P89

Is the reliable? Well, this instance chugged with two instances of assorted ammunition with zero maintenance and also zero malfunctions of any kind of sort. It was even reasonably shootable when one acquired used to its eccentricities.

For instance, regardless of using tricks prefer inletting the fixed panels right into the frame, the actors construction makes for hand-filling size … if you can palm a basketball. If you can’t palm a basketball, your hand will likely be over-filled. This is a huge pistol. The with to the cause in double-action mode is a stretch because that all however the largest paws.

When her finger finally does reach that DA trigger at the finish of a lengthy journey, it’s greeted through a cause pull that, even on this well-worn sample, procedures north the a dozen pounds. At the very least it’s smooth and doesn’t stack; revolver companies know how to do DA triggers. The best thing about the double-action traction is that you only need to do that once and also then you deserve to reach the cause like common for succeeding shots.


Normally, complaints about high-bore axis are overblown. For many shooters, the result of the bore axis elevation on Pistol A matches Pistol B in separation times is shed in the statistical noise. No the Ruger, though. The slide is a huge casting, and the shape of the backstrap ensures that stated massive casting is positioned well over your grip. Together it slams back and forth under recoil, you notification it; it’s prefer shooting a shake Weight.

The Awesome

It’s actually as dependable as the legends claim. The Ruger P89 had ambidextrous controls prior to ambidextrous controls were cool. Magazines room plentiful and also still cataloged by Ruger.

The OK

that 2 pounds that steel and aluminum, even before you include the brass and also lead. You relegated to the bargain bin for holsters. Aftermarket upgrades room negligible.

The Awful

Yes, that reliable. Yes, it’s capable of good accuracy through practice. However it’s going come be difficult to CCW since it holds to the old bill Ruger motto, “No moral man requirements a handgun smaller than a canned ham.” even the Ruger American feels prefer a hi-point acquired a facelift and a trigger job.

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Like Ruger’s classic double-action revolvers, the P-series autos never use 1 ounce of steel where 2 ounces will execute the job simply as well. Still, if you can uncover a much more reliable double-stack 9mm semi-auto pistol 보다 the Ruger p89 for $200, buy it.


Ruger P89

Rating: 4.5 the end of 5 stars Purchased From: A reclusive Montana FFL that didn’t desire to be called Caliber: 9mm Luger Weight (unloaded): 32.8 ounces Capacity: 15+1 ring Length: 7.75 customs Barrel Length: 4.75 inches Price Paid: six 1-oz. Austrian Philharmonics and also five arbitrarily 1-oz. Silver bars (just under $200 in ~ time that purchase)