The best shooters in three gun competitions use 9mm semi-autos and Ruger’s competition model of the popular Ruger American Pistol is proving to be one of the best pistols for competitions.
I recently had the opportunity to test the Ruger American on the competition course myself, and it was easy to see why this 9mm luger has earned its remarkable reputation.
Most of my personally owned pistols are intended to be used for self-defense or concealed carry. The differences between the preferred features for a great pistol for concealed carry vs. a great competition pistol are significant. There’s no question that the Ruger American Pistol Competition looks and feels nothing like my super-light and low-profile Beretta Tomcat. I would not expect the Ruger to be my everyday-carry-pistol any more than I would expect the Tomcat to rise to the challenge of gun competition. At first glance, the two could not be any farther apart in appearance.
The Ruger American Pistol Competition stands out from the crowd with its Mil-spec Picatinny rail and aggressively styled and textured grip. The matte black finish and functional slide serrations are more than just good looks. Everything about the appearance is stylish and functional. The dimensions, 8.3” long with a 5.6” height, feel good in hand with a good balance to the weight when loaded. The American Competition tips the scales empty at just over 34 ounces. Any of you who have gone shooting with any of the popular compact pistols, like the SigSauer P239, will notice a difference with this meaty shooter. The upside to all of that weight is reliable and solid stainless steel construction and generous 17+1 ammo capacity.
There’s no doubt, the American Pistol Competition 9mm is another very reliable pistol from Ruger. My 3 gun competition weapons all get plenty of use. While I was testing this Ruger I put more rounds through it than the day is long. Feed and fire were what this competition pistol was made for, and there were zero issues all day long.
With the stakes of failure being a public affair, great steps were taken to ensure accuracy with ease by Ruger. A serrated rear target sight is fully adjustable and is paired with a fiber optic front sight. Most, including me, take advantage of the drilled and tapped slide to mount smart optics for effortless target acquisition. That Picatinny rail that looks so good provides plenty of space for adding lasers, or lights, to improve accuracy even more. If all of the accessories and choices get too overwhelming, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources out there to teach new shooters about topics such as choosing reticles or lasers.
Considering that the Ruger American Pistol Competition is meant to be used with the addition of accessories, the MSRP price of $579 is pretty reasonable. The real-life price is generally less than five hundred bucks, and for a 3 gun competition pistol, it’s nice to not have to pay an arm and a leg for this piece of the equation. Heck, my AR-15 accessories cost more than this Ruger does. The quality, reliability, and accuracy of this luger are all worth that kind of money.
At the end of the day, it was easy to see why the Ruger American Pistol Competition 9mm is a top choice for 3 gun competition shooters. This American-made quality, high-capacity, accurate-as-the-day-is-long pistol, is an affordable and appealing pistol. All in all, perfectly suited to the 3-gun competition use it was intended for.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.