The Venerable Ruger P95

The Venerable Ruger P95

I'm taking this opportunity to write about a classic 9mm pistol that some of you may not know was discontinued a few years ago: the Ruger P95.

Mechanicals

In 1996 the P95 joined Ruger's well-known P-Series auto pistols, which came to life in 1987 with the P85. The P95 was Ruger's first centerfire auto pistol with a polymer frame. It made a big splash and was featured on the covers of many gun magazines at the time, including Shooting Times.

The Ruger P95 was produced from 1996 until 2013, when it was dropped from the company's catalog. It's a recoil-operated autoloader with an external hammer, a 3.9-inch barrel, and a 10-round magazine. Magazine capacity was increased to 15 rounds in late 2005.


Features of the then-new pistol included a blued or stainless-steel slide, double action only (DAO) or decocker mechanisms, a 3.9-inch barrel, a three-dot sight system, and a polymer frame. The frame did not have any metal inserts or steel bearings in its rails and was described by Ruger back in 1996 as being a "magic" injection-molded, custom-compounded, high-strength polymer with long-strand fiberglass filler. It was tested extensively for strength and durability and outperformed other brands of polymer-framed pistols and even steel-framed models for durability. Eventually, Ruger offered a variation of the P95 with a manual safety, and in 2006 Ruger added an integral rail to the underside of the polymer frame.


One of the unique aspects of the Ruger P95 in operation is that when it's fired, its barrel and slide move rearward together for a short distance until an angled surface on the integral camblock of the full-length recoil spring guide engages the underlug on the barrel and cams its breech end downward and out of engagement with the slide. The slide then travels fully to the rear and ejects the spent case. This camblock system was totally new for Ruger back in 1996.

By the way, unlike so many of today's auto pistols that have magazine disconnect safeties, the Ruger P95 will fire with the magazine out.

The P95 was Ruger's first centerfire auto pistol with a polymer frame. Ruger spokesmen called the material "magic," and it consisted of an injection-molded, custom-compounded, high-strength polymer with long-strand fiberglass filler.

Provenance


The Ruger P95 I used for this report is one from my personal battery. It was given to me many years ago, and I've kept it all these years because it marks a milestone in my life. It's the decocker model with matte blue slide.

I've not been a big fan of 9mm auto pistols even though I've owned and fired a lot of them. In auto pistols I've always preferred the .45 ACP or the .40 S&W. Probably my favorite 9mm handgun was a Smith & Wesson Model 547 K-Frame double-action revolver with a 3-inch heavy barrel, but, as I've done so many times, I foolishly traded it off for some other gun more than 25 years ago.

Anyway, I've made a point of hanging onto the Ruger P95, and it and the Astra A-75 that I wrote about several years ago in this column are the only two 9mm pistols currently in my personal battery. (As I wrote in that installment, the A-75 also has an interchangeable .40 S&W slide and barrel assembly.)


specs-p95-pistol-ruger-4

Rangetime

One of the reasons I've never really warmed up to the 9mm Luger round is that I've never been able to shoot it very accurately. Except for that S&W Model 547 revolver and a few of the newest striker-fired DA auto pistols, all the 9mm handguns I've shot have been marginally acceptable in the accuracy department, at least in my hands. Most have averaged well above the classic "4.25 at 25" accuracy standard. Maybe that's entirely due to my not-so-good shooting skills. When I first got the P95, it was no different. But to give it an unbiased appraisal for this column, I took it to the range and fired it with the most modern ammunition available.

Those loadings included brand-new boxes of Federal, Hornady, Winchester, and Fox River ammo with bullet weights and types ranging from 105-grain EFMJs (expanding full metal jackets) to 147-grain JHPs. (By the way, I was able to buy all of that ammunition except for the Fox River stuff at my local dealer's shop the day before I conducted the range session.) Overall average accuracy for the Ruger P95 was 3.79 inches for five-shot groups at 25 yards. Either my shooting skills have improved or the ammunition has gotten better from when I first fired this Ruger P95 18 years ago. I think it's the latter. Anyway, it turns out that the P95 is one of the more accurate 9mm autoloaders I have owned.

accuracy-p95-ruger-pistol-3

Function-wise, the Ruger P95 was 100 percent reliable during the shooting session. I managed to fire close to 250 rounds during that session shooting for accuracy, obtaining the velocity data, and plinking on steel targets, so I'd say the P95 is as dependable as any Ruger firearm, and we are all aware that Ruger firearms are known to be incredibly rugged and reliable.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

James Tarr runs through the 3-Second Headshot drill.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances. How-To

Accuracy: It's All Relative

Terry Wieland - May 09, 2019

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances.

Burris has expanded its top-of-the-line Veracity hunting riflescope line with new 2-10X 42mm and 3-15X 50mm RFP (rear focal plane) models. Optics

Burris Veracity RFP Riflescopes

Jake Edmondson - June 04, 2019

Burris has expanded its top-of-the-line Veracity hunting riflescope line with new 2-10X 42mm...

Considering how popular the .270 Winchester has become, it's a great mystery why more .270 caliber (6.8mm) rifle cartridges  have not been introduced. Ammo

5 Great .270 Rifle Cartridges

Layne Simpson - May 28, 2019

Considering how popular the .270 Winchester has become, it's a great mystery why more .270...

Cutting-edge projectiles provide unprecedented performance in the venerable old workhorse, the .30-06. Ammo

Get the Most Out of the .30-06

Joseph von Benedikt - April 01, 2019

Cutting-edge projectiles provide unprecedented performance in the venerable old workhorse, the...

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

While most new handguns are chambered for the popular 9mm and .45 ACP, interest in .22 LR and 10mm Auto semiautomatic pistols appears to be resurging. Here's just a taste of the many exciting new handguns for 2020. Handguns

24 New Handguns for 2020

Lane Pearce - June 02, 2020

While most new handguns are chambered for the popular 9mm and .45 ACP, interest in .22 LR and...

Just by looking at the Kimber Rapide 1911, you can tell it is built for speed. It has all the bells and whistles that a hot-rod 1911 needs for fast function, and its fit and finish are superb. Handguns

Kimber Rapide 1911 Review

Joseph von Benedikt - June 29, 2020

Just by looking at the Kimber Rapide 1911, you can tell it is built for speed. It has all the...

The Bond Arms Backup 9mm derringer is one of Bond's bestsellers, and it's an extremely well-built double-barreled self-defense pistol. Handguns

Bond Arms Backup Derringer 9mm Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 09, 2020

The Bond Arms Backup 9mm derringer is one of Bond's bestsellers, and it's an extremely...

The painful part about Brian Lohman Manufacturing's new YMIR Model 1911 is that it carries a retail price of $6,999. Not many of us can afford to pay that much for a pistol, but if you think of this gun as being a piece of art, one that you can actually use and then pass down to an heir, then maybe the sting of its price is tolerable. Handguns

Lohman YMIR 1911 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - June 16, 2020

The painful part about Brian Lohman Manufacturing's new YMIR Model 1911 is that it carries a...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Shooting Times subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now