Ruger P-89/85/95


October 31, 2006, 05:02 PM
I am going to purchase a Ruger P series in 9mm, but I have a lack of overall knowledge on the variations within the P series line.

As I understand it, the P-85 is a second generation variation of the P-89, correct? If so what was changed?

I know the P-95 is the latest variation.

Lastly, is there one series that is better/superior to the others?


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October 31, 2006, 06:36 PM
The number designates the year the model was designed so the P85 came before the P89. The P89 is the P85 with some improvements. Ruger doesn't make the P85 any longer so unless you are buying used? The P95 is another beast all together but you can't find many bad reviews on them. I own a P89 and LOVE it!!!!

October 31, 2006, 07:21 PM
I had a P85, I loved everything about it, except the horrible DA trigger pull. It shot everything, accuracy was good.

October 31, 2006, 07:41 PM
I have a P-94 in 9mm.

I'll +1 to the heavy "first pull".:cuss:

It's a great gun, though. Very accurate and points well. Not a single jam thus far.:cool:

lee n. field
October 31, 2006, 07:42 PM
As I understand it, the P-85 is a second generation variation of the P-89, correct? If so what was changed?

Backwards. The P85 was first, replaced by the P-89, which has some minor differences.

I know the P-95 is the latest variation.

The P-95 has a plastic frame. The other two you mentioned are cast aluminum. (Don't worry about it being a casting. Everything, or darn near, that Ruger makes is a casting, and it hasn't proven to be a problem.)

If it was me, and I was looking for a 9x19 and a Ruger, I'd probably go with the P95.

October 31, 2006, 08:07 PM
I have an old P85 my dad bought right around the time they came out, it had one recall with the early models (mine included) involving the decocker. The gun is a BEAST. I carried it briefly just before I feel in love with glocks.

The older ones had very good accuracy, the newer ones seem to throw a little bit larger groups, but nowhere near innaccurate.

I always preferred their aluminum frame guns as it just feels better to me than their polymer frames.

October 31, 2006, 08:24 PM
I have a P89 and it's a great gun. I occasionally carry it, but its size often makes this impractical. It's the most accurate gun I have, has never malfuntioned in any way. Oh, by the way, I find that heavy DA trigger pull very comforting when it's shoved in my waistband. That first shot is only going to go off if I want it to.

October 31, 2006, 09:13 PM
Differences in P85 to P89...

The slide stop on the original P85 was positioned below the bottom edge of the slide, and its wide, grooved thumb-engagement surface extended backward above approximately a third of the depth of left-side grip panel. The current slide stop sits notably higher on the gun with its thumb-engagement surface well above the top of the frame and angled inward over the frame’s beefy top shoulder, almost even with the bottom of the manual safety lever. And it extends about a quarter-inch less far back. The reasons for the design change were to streamline the gun’s profile and to reduce the amount of the slide stop’s outward protrusion, which was found to cause a bit of drag and resistance with some holster designs.

Barrel manufacturing design has also improved. Original P85 barrels were of two-piece construction with the barrel and the square breechblock pressed together and then welded. It was a time-consuming and expensive manufacturing process. Current barrels are cast one-piece with broached bores.

Also notably better than the original is current P-Series trigger pull quality due to internal changes in the sear/trigger engagements linkages and parts configuration. The sear pivot pin has been reduced in size from original models, and the trigger bar has been thickened and the hammer-spring seat pin has been enlarged. The new mechanism also involves a bearing and slave pin to hold the sear-blocker lever spring assembly together as a coherent unit. The overall result is a distinct smoothing of the trigger pull due to the bearing’s considerable reduction of friction in the sear assembly’s operation.

Safety function is always critical to all Ruger designs. A substantial improvement was introduced with the P89 group of guns that modified the position of the firing pin when locked in the “Safe” position. The change eliminated the possibility of any transfer of energy from the hammer to the firing pin during the decocking procedure, which ensures the safety of the pistol even in the rare event of a broken firing pin. This modification was undertaken after it was discovered that with the original P85 safety design a broken firing pin could possibly become positioned such that depressing the safety/decock lever might strike the broken end of the pin in such a way as to cause the gun to fire. The new design eliminates this possibility, and Ruger has widely advertised an offer to provide a free factory safety modification to the owner of any P85 pistol made between 1987 and 1990 who wants the same new feature incorporated into his gun. If you have a Ruger P85 from those years and have not done it already, I recommend you call Ruger at 800-424-1886 and make arrangements to return your gun, even though no injuries have resulted from an older broken firing pin.

November 1, 2006, 08:32 AM
I have a P89 with FIVE 15 round mags. I LOVE the gun just for shooting, it has never jammed a single round on me. But I just purchased a S&W 908 for carry so I am going to sell my P89 since I have no need for two 9MM.


November 1, 2006, 09:49 AM
i just traded for a p89 i love it reliable and more accurate than me it is big but no bigger or heavier than a sig p226

November 1, 2006, 10:03 AM
I have a P95 DC that I use as a loaner training gun and as an open carry belt gun when working at the shop/range.

It is/has been totally reliable thru 25K rounds or so. Trigger has smoothed up nicely thru use, and I really have become attached to "old beasty".

November 1, 2006, 10:16 AM
P85 sarted out the designations. Ruger P85s had reliabilty problems as other will post or have already. Then came the P85 II which addressed the first P85 problems. Upgrades and changes had it become the P89. P93 is a 3.9 barreled metal frame pistol. The P94 in 9mm. is the 4.25 inch barreled pistol. P95 is the polymer frame with a 3.9 inch barrel.There are P85 users who get good sevice. So a decision should be made on which model fits you and fills your needs. For example, I own two P95s because of small hand fit. The other models, except the P93,94, have thicker grips, making reaching the trigger harder for myself. Since reliability,dureability, and accuracy are all pretty could picking a model is a personal choice. P93s and 94s in 9mm. were dropped from the catalog and are now used gun market material. Have had excellent service from the P95s. If looking for a CCW over the bigger P89, then it would be an excellent choice. Polymer frames being lighter than metal framed ones just means carrying less weight is easier for day to day carry.

November 1, 2006, 11:45 AM
I've had this P85 for quite a few years. It has been the most reliable auto I've ever owned. Even before the upgrade it never failed in any way period with all kinds of ammo, both factory and reloads. Granted it's not a tack driver but at 8 to 10 yds more than adequate for a self defence gun. The trigger has gotten better with age. It is a bit chunky but I've never had a problem concealing it. If I was going to buy a newer one I would go with the P95 because I've shot a friend's quite a bit and really like it. A whole lot of folks like the P89 too regardless of some of the badmouthing Rugers get from owner of other brands.

November 1, 2006, 12:36 PM
nice grips on that p89 bakert what type are those

November 1, 2006, 01:55 PM
I really appreciate the replys.

I have a Glock 17 (1st Generation), a German made Sig P-226 with the blued slide, a Pre-B Cz-75, an Astra A-80, a Star BM, Benelli B-76, and want to add a Ruger 9.

I just bought a 99+% P-95 with the stainless slide, in the box, with 2 magazines on Gunbroker, for $255.00 plus shipping and FFL fees (total of $295.00 OTD).

Input from you guys helped me make the decision. Additionally, I have been shooting for over 25 years, reload, and have had LOTS of pistols. I know Rugers are the workhorse of guns, and from reading your feedback, I am confident the P-95 will be as reliable, if not more reliable, than anything I currently own or have owned.

November 1, 2006, 10:51 PM
tbredw725, on that P85 the grips are a pair of the dicontinued Uncle Mikes. I like 'em. Not sure who but I believe somebody still makes similar grips for the P series pistols.

schmeky, I think you'll find that P95 is one nice and reliable pistol.

November 1, 2006, 11:10 PM
Good reliable guns, just not my thing. I have a P85MKII and can not seem to bond with the gun. Can not stand the trigger pull double or single. Pony up and spend the money on a Sig if you want DA/SA.

November 1, 2006, 11:12 PM
Another great thing about the Ruger P-series autoloaders is their brute strength. Per Ruger, they can handle a steady diet of +p and +p+ ammunition. I have a P-89 that produces 1400 fps.+ with handloads using +p cases and Silver Tip bullets with no signs of excessive pressure ( i.e. badly flattened primers, primer extrusion around firing pin indent, etc.). I have fired hundreds of these with no problems. I would suspect that the polymer-framed models, especially since they lack any significant amount of steel in the slide rails within the frame would be more suseptible to premature wear from the hotter loads, although Ruger rates these acceptable for +p and +p+ use as well. The P-95 was chosen a few years back for tank crew use in the U.S. army, another indication of their value.

November 2, 2006, 12:21 PM
Schmeky. Have you been over to or ? Those are two of the Ruger forums. The .com is my favorite one. Good solid knowledeable people over there. Don't mind the few trolls. Good advice and good times discusing Ruger subjects. Give us a range report. Like the National Inquirer, we just have to know.

November 2, 2006, 04:56 PM
Those Uncle Mikes grips are nice, I luckily have a set and will be installing them on a P90. I like Ruger P series guns in 9mm, except for poor triggers.

November 2, 2006, 11:46 PM
Question -- why do the P85s/P89s not have slide serrations? I've noticed that the P94/P95/P97s do have them.


November 3, 2006, 10:03 AM
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