The Ruger P series are a line of centerfire semi-automatic pistols made by Sturm, Ruger & Company. The P series pistols were designed for military, police, civilian self defense and recreational use. The designs are largely based on the Browning action found in the M1911 pistol, but with minor variations, generally related to the safety mechanism and the barrel-camblock interface. Reviews have considered them rugged, reliable, and strong, though this strength comes at the price of bulk and a blocky appearance.
The P series are short recoil-operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistols. They utilize a SIG P220 type locking system, and a 1911 style tilting barrel. The P series were made with a traditional double action/single action (DA/SA), or double action only (DAO) trigger mechanism.
The standard models have an ambidextrous manual safety/decocker located on the slide; when the safety lever is lowered to the safe position, the firing pin is cammed into the slide away from the hammer, the trigger is disconnected from the sear and the hammer is decocked. The decocker models have no manual safety; instead, when the lever is lowered it only cams the firing pin into the slide and drops the hammer, when the lever is released it springs back to the normal position. The DAO models have no manual safety or decocker. All models feature an automatic firing pin safety that blocks the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled fully rearward.
The pistols make extensive use of investment cast parts and proprietary Ruger alloys. Nearly all internal parts, including the barrel, are stainless steel; while the slide and ejector are carbon steel. The P85 through P944 use an investment cast aluminum frame, while the P95 and later models use a fiberglass-reinforced polyurethane frame.
The 9mm and .40 S&W versions use double-column box magazines; the 9mm has a 15 round capacity, and the .40 has a 10 round capacity. The .45 ACP versions use single-column magazines holding 7 rounds. All P series of the same caliber use a similar magazine design, however slight modifications have been made to at least the 9mm guns so that not all P series magazines will function in all P series frames. Ruger did not keep track of the magazine models so an older magazine may not secure in a newer frame. The Ruger Police Carbine also uses P series magazines. The P series pistols have an ambidextrous magazine release located behind the trigger guard, it can be pushed forward from either side to eject the magazine.
The P95 and earlier models have fixed, 3-dot sights; while the P97 and P345 have windage adjustable 3-dot sights.
The Rugers' P-series of centerfire pistols began from the model P85. All P-series pistols were designed with the main goal - to produce high quality, reliable and affordable service and personal defence pistols.
The P85 was designed in 1985, and entered the market in 1987. It had some design flaws, such as not too comfortable controls and average accuracy, so it was replaced by P89 in 1991.
Iternally, all P-series pistols are recoil operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistols. All P-series pistols use SIG-Sauer P220 type locking, when one massive barrel lug locks into large ejection port on the slide; All P-series utilise Browning-style tilting barrel: All models prior to P95 use M1911 style link system, while P95 and P97 use linkless system, where barrel tilts when its cam interoperates with another cam, located at the rear of the recoil spring guide.
The original P85 had only one trigger variant: traditional double action with ambidextrous safety that also worked as decocker when activated (blocking the firing pin and trigger and then lowering the hammer). Since introduction of the P89, Ruger offered three available versions of the trigger mechanics - Double Action (same as in P85), Double action with decocker only (the firing pin is locked by means of the internal safety that is actuated unless the trigger is pulled all the way back), and Double Action Only (no manual safeties at all, after each shot hammer came into lowered position and must be cocked by long trigger pull). Automated internal firing pin safety is present in all modifications, regardless of the manual safety options.
Frames of all pre-P95 models are made from aluminium alloy, and P95 and P97 frames are made from polymer. Slides are made from steel in all P models or from stainless steel in all KP-marked models. Grip panels on pre-P95 models are made from polymer, and are integral with the frame on the P95 and P97.
Sighst are dovetailed and has white dots for increased visibility.
In general, alll P-series pistols are extremely sturdy, capable of continuous firing of high-pressure +P loads without any damage to construction. They often referred as "built like tanks", and, when speaking about P89s and P90s - "the bricks with the triggers", because of somewhat rough external appearance. This was slightly improved with P93 and later pistols that featured more streamlined slides.