The Ruger 22/45 is a semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co. since 1992. The 22/45 combines elements of the Ruger Mark III, Colt 1911, and the Nambu Pistol into a pistol intended for use in competition shooting.
History[edit | edit source]
The Ruger 22/45 was originally announced in 1992, combining elements of several firearms. One major issue with Ruger's .22 LR pistol line was the grip shape, as well as the use of older materials. The 22/45 countered this, using a polymer grip frame to reduce weight, as well as an aluminium receiver. Also significant was the change of the grip shape, which was modified to closer match that of the Colt 1911, the most popular pistol in competitive shooting.
The 22/45 remains in production to this day, produced in a number of variants with other accessories. With a traceable lineage back to the 1940s designs of the Nambu pistol and Ruger Standard, the 22/45 remains a popular firearm, and one which has become key to Ruger's catalogue.
Design Details[edit | edit source]
The 22/45 is a two-part design, in which the grip frame and trigger are manufactured from a Zytel ® polymer, while the receiver and barrel are manufactured from aluminium. The aluminium is aircraft grade for both strength and lightness, meaning that the 22/45 weighs as little as 1.4lbs (0.65kg), making it one of the lightest pistols on the market today.
The 22/45 uses a blowback action, similar to the Nambu pistol of Imperial Japan in the Second World War. This means that the potential for misalignment of the sights through the movement of a slide (which most .22 LR pistols use) is avoided. The barrel has six rifling grooves with a 1:16 inch ratio twist, and is threaded to accept a silencer or other barrel accessories.
Numerous safety mechanisms are also fitted to the 22/45. As well as a conventional manual safety to lock the sear, the 22/45 is fitted with a loaded chamber indicator and a magazine disconnect, intended to prevent accidental fire if the magazine has been removed, but a round still remains in the chamber. The ejection port has also been designed with user safety in mind, angled and contoured to prevent ejected casings from hitting the user.
Ammunition[edit | edit source]
The Ruger 22/45, as the name suggests, is a .22 caliber pistol, chambered to accept the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. These are fired from a ten-round magazine, which slots into the grip. A magazine release button can be found on the left side of the frame, above the trigger guard.
Variants[edit | edit source]
As with many target pistols, the 22/45 has a number of factory-made variants for sale, which cater for various other users' tastes.
Ruger 22/45 Lite®[edit | edit source]
Essentially the current basic version of the 22/45 currently offered by Ruger. The barrel shroud can either be finished in anodised cobalt (producing a contrasted finish) or an anodised black to match the frame.
Ruger 22/45 Target[edit | edit source]
A cheaper version of the 22/45, with a steel upper receiver, rather than aluminium. The Target is fitted with a 5.5 inch barrel (although a 4 inch option is also available) and Weaver style scope mounts.
Ruger 22/45 Threaded Barrel[edit | edit source]
Sold with a marginally longer 4.5 inch threaded barrel. This design allows for more aftermarket muzzle accessories to be added to the 22/45, and is also fitted with two Picatinny rails for added customization.
References[edit | edit source]
- Sweeney, Patrick, The Gun Digest Book of Ruger Pistols and Revolvers, (F+W Media, New York: 2007), pp.67-8