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The Preacherman said, "My advice to you is to get yourself a gun, then learn how to shoot."
The Politician said, "My advice to you is to get yourself free of superstitions and weapons, then learn how to trust in me."


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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ruger P90

1/1/2015 EDIT:  This was initially written in September 2008.  At the turn of this new year I decided to read what I wrote a bit over 6-years ago and see if I still felt the same about this old horse.  Yeah, I believe I still do.  I'm leaving the original post intact;  please add 6-years to any mention of time.

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.


Timbo said...

Just happened to run across your post whilst seeing if anyone did custom work on the P90, and I can only say my experiences mirror yours. I have had my pistol since 1995 and I actually have shot the hell out of it, to include a year-long 1000 round no cleaning (and I mean no cleaning: I didn't even field strip it to inspect it) test in which it performed flawlessly. Good, vastly underrated gun in my opinion.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there, timbo.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for sharing your experiences with the P90. 1000 rounds with no cleaning is a darn good torture test.

Take care.


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine in Africa has one of these, along with well over a dozen spare mags and some other vital spare parts. Along with a plentiful supply of .45 ACP ball ammunition, he reckons it will see him through to his deathbed. His has been 100% reliable since 1995.


Brit BG

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Brit, thanks for the comments and for stopping by.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

I once owned the Ruger model 90 , yes a very nice and well built weapon but recently I purchased a used Ruger model 97 also calibered for the .45ACP , I liked the model 97 much better , felt better in my hand and did not feel as bulky as the model 90 , also liked the decocker much better on the model 97 so I sold my model 90 and kept the model 97 ! Guns are like automobiles you just have to find the right make and model that fits you the best !

Anonymous said...

I have 3 p90's and my first was sold outta stupidity. but i still have the twins! ive been trying and researching if someone makes a better recoil spring. im just going to install original ruger parts but thought lemme look around