Accuracy issues with my Ruger P89


August 29, 2007, 01:50 AM
I picked up a used P89 earlier this year. It has been extremely reliable (no failures of any kind!!) but I can't shoot it to save my life! (hopefully I won't have to test that :p)

I've tried a number of different types of commercial ammo and handloads. I've tried loading it with 115 gr, 122 gr, and 124 grain with various levels of bullseye, unique, and power pistol. Best I can get is maybe 4 inches at 10 yards, though it has been more like 5 or 6 inches, with even worse flyers. It also shoots consistently to the left (I drifted the site some, but it would need to hang WAY off the side to be dead on)

I put Hogue grips on the gun to no avail.

I don't think that its me, but admit I'm not sure. I've shot Sigs and S&W 1911s and can put shots one on top of each other. I'm also extremely accurate with my S&W 686. I really don't like to blame a gun, but I"m starting to think there might be a problem with mine, especially given all of the talk on the forums about how accurate the P89 is.

Can anyone recommend any specific type of grip that might work well? I've tried a whole bunch, with different grip strengths, and none of really worked much better than others. Is there anything on the gun taht I can check that might be off/out of alignment?

What has peoples' experiences been with Rugers warranty and customer service? I looked on their site, and it looks like they may charge me for a repair. Does anyone know how that works? I was under the impression that they had a no bs lifetime warranty like S&W.

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Steve C
August 29, 2007, 02:24 AM
Check the barrel to see if locks up relatively tight when in firing position, check the sights to see if they may be loose. Next clean the barrel, a lead or copper fouled barrel can produce poor accuracy. Often severe leading can not be seen when looking directly down the barrel.

To eliminate shooters error have someone else that's a known good shot try your pistol or shoot off a bench rest to see what the pistols accuracy is with most shooter induced factors minimized. If the groups are significantly smaller then work on the shooting not the gun.

August 29, 2007, 02:27 AM
Saw some guy at the range shooting his P89, he was all over the place. I was too, with my P95.
These things are hard to be accurate with.

August 29, 2007, 02:54 AM
Thanks for the quick responses. I'm pretty sure the gun is clean. I've cleaned it numerous times, and there is no trace of copper or lead (at least not to my eye).

Gudel, have you or your friend been able to get better groups shooting from a rest or bench? I keep seeing people claiming excellent accuracy, and always wonder if thats just shooting from a ransom rest or actual use.

August 29, 2007, 03:03 AM
TT, I haven't done bench/rest shooting. I don't have a problem shooting better group and actually hit my targets with my HK/Glock/92FS. I gave up on that gun.

August 29, 2007, 07:04 AM
The serations on the front of the trigger guard are there for a reason!!
Try placing your left index finger there when you shoot!!
I was all over the place with mine until a nice chap at the range clued me in!! ;)
It's all good now!!! :)

August 29, 2007, 07:07 AM
I had a Ruger P-series once and I too couldn't hit squat with it. The doggone thing was too fat for my hands to get a solid grip on. ( I have somewhat small-ish hands )

Traded it off for a Glock and never looked back..

August 29, 2007, 07:53 AM
+1 on benching it to see what you get.

The P89 has the worst trigger of the current Ruger P-series lineup. It's heavy and not smooth.

That being said I can still put 10 shots into under 2 inches at 7-10 yds with mine. But it took a lot of practice to get there :).

August 29, 2007, 08:02 AM
Yeah, it was the long sloppy trigger pull that was doing me in on my KP89DC. Traded it in on an FN Hi-Power, got immediate better groups.

August 29, 2007, 09:11 AM
When I bought my p90 I could'nt hit the Great Wall of China from two feet away either. But after a little practice (mainly dry firing) I was able to do 2 to 3 inch group at 25 yards all day long and last week I was putting 8 rounds well inside a 8'' bull at 50yards.

August 29, 2007, 10:13 AM
IMO the trigger on the P-series (345 excluded) is probily the WORST OOTB, they are built like tanks however and RARLY EVER break. None of this however means you shouldnt get good groups with it, I have to agree with cleaning the barrel really good using a nice bore solvent like hoppes or sweets 762 to destroy any hiddin fouling.

August 29, 2007, 10:41 AM
I have no trouble with accuracy with any of my 5 Ruger autos

I was too, at 1 yard! heh. The only ruger that is accurate that I have, are the 22, if there isn't any problems with reliability.

August 29, 2007, 10:51 AM
The P89s I've rented over the years have not turned in the stellar accuracy of any of the Ruger .45s I've owned (several P90s, a P97, a P345)... probably why I never bought one. The P89 was Ruger's first centerfire automatic and it was designed with the US military contract in mind. Thus, rough and loose, but reliable.

+1 to the thorough bore scrubbing and general cleaning Steve C recommended, and then +1 to extensive dry-fire practice VZENMN suggested.

If all that fails, don't give up on Ruger. Just trade it for a P94 or P95.

August 29, 2007, 11:16 AM
take your UNLOADED P89 hold it in your hand,put your finger from your other hand in the end of the barrel and see if it wiggles around.if it's sloppy there is no way for it to be accurate.I read an article years ago about the P89 pistol,and the article said there was two kinds of P89's,accurate ones,and non accurate ones.and if you had "non" model,really wasn't much you could do about it. jwr.
PS: I have an accurate one.

August 29, 2007, 11:54 AM
A friend of mine had a P89 that he couldn't hit squat with. He let me try it, and I couldn't hit squat with it. He then sold it (cheap) to another friend of ours, who also couldn't hit squat with it. No idea what the deal was, but that was a very inconsistent gun. We're not the finest marksmen in the world, but that thing made everyone who shot it look like a dope. Some guns are just not right...


August 29, 2007, 11:58 AM
The P89s I've rented over the years have not turned in the stellar accuracy of any of the Ruger .45s I've owned (several P90s, a P97, a P345)

Indeed the .45's are a different animal. I've got all three and they are all tackdrivers.

From what I hear the P95 9mm's are similar. I don't own one.............yet......

August 29, 2007, 11:00 PM
I've had my P89 new since 1994. It used to make decent groups with no problem and wasn't picky with ammo. I packed it away for several years, got it out, cleaned it, and took 'er to the range. It shot down and to the right. I couldn't come close to the bullseye at 7 yds.!

I think Steve C. might be barking up the right tree. I've used copper solvent on the barrel, and plan on shooting it tommorrow. Wish me luck.

August 29, 2007, 11:28 PM
Consistently low and to the left?

August 29, 2007, 11:36 PM
If leading and/or copper fouling was the culprit, wouldn't the phenomenon popup in a myriad of other guns as well? Seems odd that the P89 is the only gun to experience such an accuracy detriment from some fouling...:uhoh:

August 30, 2007, 04:51 AM
Triggers on P series Rugers generally SUCK. My 2 40S&W versions were very inaccurate. My 9mm types such as P95's and P89's and P85s(though a very late production stainless one) have all been quite accurate dispite the triggers. It's been hit or miss for me on the 45acp versions.

One I shot was very accurate, one, a range rental though, was terrible. Others I own are ok. I like Uncle mikes grips on the P89 myself. The trigger and shape of theses guns may not be for everyone though and they obviously are not near as nice as guns like Sig Sauers but for the money they are very servicible.

I own a P97, P90, P85, and a P95. I would consider selling the 45's and maybe even the P95 though. The P85 is a keeper and I'd like to add a P89 again. My 1st P944 is long gone and I can't wait to sell it's P944 stainless DAO brother soon.

August 30, 2007, 11:00 AM
I had one of the very early P85s. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. I blamed the gun, and admittedly it did have a mediocre (at best) trigger. A shooting buddy who knew the gun bought it and shot it with much more than acceptable accuracy. I tried the gun again and worked with it and realized that it was me and not the gun. That's not to say that there aren't problems with accuracy with guns, but often, even with a less than optimal trigger, it takes work to learn how to shoot a particular gun. Maybe this P89 is a crappy shooter, or just maybe the shooter needs to figure out how it needs to be fired to optimize accuracy.

We expect a lot right out of the box, but I maintain that the gun and shooter is a system and the two must work together. The gun probably isn't going to change all that much, so it is up to the shooter to adapt himself to the gun and it's particular characteristics. That may take some work and a bit of experimentation. It may or may not happen. I think a lot of guns get pitched that could have been fine shooters with more effort. While I do agree that it is a reasonable expectation that a gun shoot well right out of the box, that isn't always a reality and varying degrees of work is required to make the pairing work.

As it turns out my P85 was shooting low and to the left because a lousy trigger was "causing" (there I go blaming the gun again) me to pull rather than squeeze. I was mostly shooting Sigs at the time and the difference was huge. Once the gun was gone and I was able to work with it with nothing invested in it I found a gun that I never would have sold. And, the trigger did improve with time and shooting.

That may or not be the case with any gun, but I think that it's something to consider.

August 30, 2007, 11:18 AM
A few months ago at one of the indoor ranges I frequent a fellow was having trouble shooting his P345 at 7yds. Overall he was all over the place but he was throwing half his shots to low right. We talked for a bit and I gave him some pointers on grip and trigger control. He was using too much trigger finger and his grip was sloppy. Within a couple of magazines he was chewing out the center ring. I got to shoot his P345 and he got to shoot my P90. That range trip convinced me to buy a P345 later on too.

September 1, 2007, 01:33 AM
The P345 seems like it has a very comfortable grip but I wont own one due to the integral lock. Are the triggers any better than P90's/P97's?

September 1, 2007, 09:41 AM
The P345 seems like it has a very comfortable grip but I wont own one due to the integral lock. Are the triggers any better than P90's/P97's?

Right out of the box my trigger was way too stiff. I had a hard time even cocking the hammer. I installed a lighter mainspring from Wolff (two pounds lighter than factory, IIRC) and the trigger is now quite nice.

September 1, 2007, 11:40 PM
Consistently low and to the left?


September 2, 2007, 03:30 AM
I was too, at 1 yard! heh. The only ruger that is accurate that I have, are the 22, if there isn't any problems with reliability.
Nope, more like 15-25 yds as that's the range of distance where I shoot the most. :)

Now, I can say that I shoot my P89, P95, and P944 the best, but that is because I shoot them the most when I head to the range (My P90 I don't shoot often but when I do take it out, after shooting a few mags though it I can hit spot on, and my new-to-me P93DAO I haven't mastered the DAO trigger on it yet but I'm definately improving after dry firing the hell out of it, and now the heavy DAO trigger doesn't seem so heavy...only got it a month ago and I've only taken it to the range twice since then)

Anyways, my point is, accuracy is in the shooter. I mean I'm as accurate with my Rugers as I am with my fancy euro hi-power :)

September 2, 2007, 06:40 AM
I think a lot of the problem with th P89, as far as accuracy, stems from the rather large grip. I replaced mine with a Hogue Mono-Grip &it helped me a lot. I like to shoot steel targets. I tried several re loads & found that 5gr's of Power Pistol under a .147gr FMJ works very well. While testing some 45ACP loads at the range yesterday, I put the P89 on the rest & shot 2, 3 round groupes with it. Both were 1" @ 25yds. I'm happy with that. :)

September 2, 2007, 07:38 AM
The P345 seems like it has a very comfortable grip but I wont own one due to the integral lock. Are the triggers any better than P90's/P97's?

I think they're about the same. The internal lock is a drag, but I think the odds of it failing are longer than the odds of me actually having to use the gun. (I hope :)). I just got a P97DC a couple weeks ago and when I get more rounds down the pipe with it to ensure it's reliability it may start getting more carry time than the 345. For me the 345 wins in the carry dept because of it's size. It is extremely easy to CCW. I did a size comparison post with pics and measurements at TFL here (

Sorry to hijack. :)

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