December 2013

Two Big 45 ACP Pistols: Glock 21 Versus Ruger’s SR45

These are hand-filling sidearms for the carrier who doesn’t mind going big in size or power. One ticked along with nary a problem, while the other failed with one ammo and had other concerns.

On our plate this month are two fairly big pistols. They are an old standby, the Glock 21 (about $600), and a newer Ruger SR45 with an MSRP of $529. Both were big, hand-filling handguns, capable of packing a devastating punch with anything from classic 230-grain hardball to the lightest-weight, super-expanding bullets. The Glock magazine held 13 rounds and the Ruger held 10. These larger-than-normal capacities gave the guns sizeable grips. The Glock offered the shooter a caved-in back strap to help get your hand around it, and the Ruger resorted to thin side panels. Both guns had polymer frames and steel slides. It looked to us like Ruger copied the Glock’s trigger, but added an ambidextrous safety. The Glock 21 had only its trigger safety, which has proven effective for a long time now. We tested the two guns with Winchester 185-grain BEB, Lawman 230-grain hardball, and with Cor-Bon 185-grain jacketed hollowpoints.

Both guns came with loading-assist devices that slip over the magazines. We didn’t find them necessary with the normal magazines for either gun, but on the 26-round extended magazine that came with the Glock, we’d have used it if we wanted to fully fill that long thing. Here is what we found.

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