I will be completely honest right out of the gate. I had basically zero interest in the Ruger American Pistol Competition model. That probably stems from the general lack of interest I had in the American pistol lineup in general, which likely stems from my extensive trigger time with the SR-series of pistols. That all changed yesterday.
Shooting the Ruger American Pistol Competition Model
I was attending the Shooting Sports Showcase, where Ruger was exhibiting several products. I had mostly stopped by to see the new Marlin 1895 lever action rifles. However, the Competition model of the Ruger American pistol did catch my eye. I figured I could toss a few rounds at the plate rack and then write the pistol off. Boy was I wrong.
While this isn’t a full review, I ended up doing a bit more shooting than just “tossing a few rounds” at a plate rack. I went through at least a box of ammo and then some, since none of the Ruger employees felt like stopping me. The 17-round magazines are also thankfully easy to load. I’m fortunate that I’ve shot enough competition guns that I can get a feel for a good or bad gun without burning through 500 rounds.
The Ruger American Pistol Competition is Good
Right off the bat the first thing I noticed on the Ruger were the sights. A high visibility green fiber optic front sight pairs nicely with the fully adjustable rear sight. The rear is blacked out and nicely serrated. This results in a very uncluttered sight picture that’s perfect for shooting fast at speed. Like any decent polymer pistol these days, the American Competition is also red dot ready. It’s direct milled for sights that use the popular Burris FastFire footprint, so you have plenty of options for mounting red dots.
However, the really surprising factor on the Competition gun was the trigger. Again, my experience with Ruger’s polymer pistols was extensive on the older SR-series. Those guns had triggers that are best described as “functional” in that they worked. The new Competition gun in the American line? That’s a completely different story. My extensively calibrated trigger finger gauge estimates the trigger in the 3.5lb pound range. It has a smooth pull with no stacking at the break. It’s almost as if someone engineered the gun with an excellent “rolling trigger” break in mind.
Again, like any decent polymer pistol on the market, the Ruger American Pistol Competition features interchangeable backstraps. The test model had a medium backstop, however I would have preferred a slightly larger grip. That’s a personal complaint that likely doesn’t affect most end users. The gun itself features plenty of surface contact area for grip. Plus, the design of the takedown lever is such that it can be used as an impromptu thumb rest to help control the gun in recoil. I’m certain that’s an intentional touch.
Although I came into my experience with the Competition model somewhat skeptical, I ended it with positive thoughts. After all, the most important factor in a gun is that it’s easy to shoot well, and the Ruger certainly ticks all those boxes. I found the gun available online for around $500, which makes it a really attractive option. At that price I’d certainly recommend it to someone looking to get into IDPA or USPSA shooting.