Goodness, has it been 17 years already? In 1991, not too long after Ruger started production of their first pistol chambered for the .45 ACP, I was the first on my block to run out and buy a Ruger P90. Rated for +P loads, weighing in at 34 ounces, it has a 4.5 inch barrel, stainless steel slide, anodized aluminum frame, double action / single action; mine came with a safety decocker. It is a reasonably light carry, easily fits in a winter coat pocket, and the large trigger guard accommodates a gloved trigger finger.
Initially I was concerned that I might wear it out so I called Ruger and asked for advice on longevity. An engineer said to shoot the hell out of it, that if I could break it they sure would like to know how I did it. The engineer went on to say they had sent a bunch of the pistols to gun ranges to be used as “loaners,” and that after thousands of rounds, and no cleaning, all of the pistols were still sound. After a blowing few thousand rounds through mine, many of them +P loads, I felt secure that my P90 would last a lifetime. I also felt secure that if it did break, Ruger would be around to provide repairs.
Little has changed on the design of the P90 over these many years; I was told that they eliminated the nub on the guide-rod, and they updated the magazine capacity from seven rounds to eight. Since my pistol guide-rod is of the original design, and supposedly, is not interchangeable with the new ones, I ordered a few extra guide rods and recoils springs at Ruger’s incredibly low prices. (NOTE: There is some confusion as to whether or not there was actually a change made to the P90 guide rod.)
The best pistol for the .45 ACP is the one designed for the load, the model 1911. That said, I wanted to have a double action .45 ACP pistol available and the Ruger P90 has been it since 1991. I’ve had the money and several opportunities to buy a SIG 220, but never felt it was that much better than the Ruger to be worth the expense.
Ruger still makes the P90 today, even though they have one or more newer models chambered in .45 ACP. Mine has been a great utility gun, one that I will keep for as long as it is in condition to shoot, which likely will be until the end of my days.
James A. Zachary Jr.