In Praise of a Discontinued Gun


July 6, 2014, 11:21 PM
For almost twenty years, I have NOT been without a Ruger .45 ACP of some stripe, but for reasons Iíve long forgotten, about a decade ago, I sold my well-loved P90 and bought a P345. And Ė donít get me wrong -- I like the P345 a lot. Itís lighter than the P90 and certainly more compact, with no appreciable loss of accuracy. My only complaints are that it pulls point-of-aim off to the side the tighter I grip and the very-flat safety is hard to find on the draw.

This week I picked up another P90 and I canít remember why I ever let it go. This thing points PERFECTLY in my big paws, both with Hogue finger-grooves and the stock Zytel panels. Itís well-balanced, not too heavy, not too long (although I confess that it is bulky,) and it's as accurate as my 1911s. The alloy frame saves weight to compensate for the over-built slide-and-barrel assembly, and it goes BANG every time I pull the trigger, regardless of bullet configuration Ė 185-grain hard-cast semi-wadcutter target rounds up to 255-grain heavy-thumper loads. Is it as refined and slick as a SIG or a high-end 1911? No, but it is as reliable, and itís prettier than a Glock, and has a better trigger than any of the other plastic pistols out there (P345 included.)

Best feature for me? The quaint trigger-guard hook to let me place my weak-hand index finger, like I was taught to shoot back in the 80s. And I snagged it off an on-line auction for less than $300, shipping included.
And you know what? I fell in love with it again so hard that I put in a bid for another one, same seller, no reserve. Because you never know when youíre going to need a tank-tough, eight-round, traditional double action, semi-automatic .45 that groups like an IPSC target gun.

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July 7, 2014, 09:39 AM
A local shop has a P97 for sale, but wants almost $450 for it. I had a P90 once too and I know they are great shooting guns. I've been on the lookout for a good price on a nice Ruger 45 for awhile. I guess I'd better check those online auctions again.
Congrats to you on a good find.

July 7, 2014, 10:16 AM

Glad you like the Ruger P series as you can have my share of them. Never cared for the overall shape and feel of the guns; probably because unlike you I have rather small hands and the Rugers all felt too big and bulky whenever I handled them. When they came out with the new SR series I was somewhat more interested as they now had a much comfortable and ergonomic design to them. Tried an SR9c at the range and I was hooked. Bought one and have been very pleased with everything about it. Enjoy your P90.

July 7, 2014, 10:49 AM
Sometimes you find the perfect gun. It fits your hand perfectly. You almost don't have to aim to hit the target. Then you go and ruin it.
You fall for the marketing of the latest and greatest. You listen to your range buddies that tell you that you're not cool with your perfect gun.

If you find that perfect gun keep it no matter what. Buy, sell and trade other guns. But the perfect gun stays.

and when somebody asks what you're doing with that old thing, let your target answer for you.

That's why I have a 1911 and always will


July 7, 2014, 01:41 PM
Author & tactics instructor; Massad Ayoob wrote a few LE industry articles about how much he liked the Ruger .45acp models. He compared them to Ford F150s & said the guns could be very accurate.

Ayoob used the P90 & the 345 .45acp on duty adding that a few small PDs near where he lived issued the Ruger P345 series to patrol officers with + results.

July 7, 2014, 04:11 PM
Friend of mine has a p89 in 9mm, nice shooting gun with great accuracy.
After shooting my polymer guns, the brick like Ruger feels like an old school Oldsmobile compared with some plasticky import ride. I'm thinking of the Nissan I had in college - went to change the tire and the jack went right through the jack point.

July 7, 2014, 04:41 PM
Too often, we let a pistol that just feels right slip away because something "newer and better" arrives. a 50 year old gun that you can hit with will serve you better than the latest, high tech, racy looking mega-blaster that you couldn't hit beyond contact distance with. The old adage of "you can't miss fast enough to catch up" comes to mind.

I have larger hands, and the P-series, along with the full-size R series guns feel just fine in those hands.

While it is interesting to listen to the various "too bulky" or "just ugly" comments, I've always found that the looks took a distant LAST place to accuracy, reliability, and durability. A pretty pistol is useless if it doesn't hit the target.

July 7, 2014, 08:19 PM
Carried a P85 that was issued to me back in the day, and currently have a P95. That latter one does very well in my hands these days, probably better than I am.

Those P-series guns are indeed rugged.

July 8, 2014, 02:28 PM
P90DC is my next pistol. I'm sorry to have let some go by.

July 8, 2014, 02:59 PM
Is it bad that every time I think of the Ruger P90, I think of Antonio Bandaras in Desperado?
It was a ridiculous movie, but for some reason the gun will forever be linked with that movie for me (the way the Mini 14 is linked with the A Team for the previous generation).

I have always wanted one. The one I held once felt great in the hand, and just oozed rock solid durability.

July 8, 2014, 09:27 PM
I keep an eye (and wallet) open for the P90 at all times.

July 8, 2014, 10:25 PM
I owned a P97 for awhile but didn't reload then and couldn't afford to feed it. Accurate & reliable but just too expensive for my budget. i stuck to .38 Special & 9mm for a long time after that.

Now that I reload, I have a Rock Island 1911 in .45 for carry but I could see getting another P series .45 for a range toy.

Blue Brick
July 9, 2014, 03:12 PM
by Dick Metcalf
Technical Editor
Shooting Times
Category: Gun Reviews

August 24, 2001

Ruger's .45 ACP Polymer Auto Pistol

by Dick Metcalf
Technical Editor, Shooting Times
Shooting Times
Category: Gun Reviews

August 3, 2001

Rugerís .45 ACP P90 Turns 10

July 9, 2014, 06:22 PM
Ruger makes some good 45's for sure. Some of the most underrated. I love my SR45

Big Mike
July 9, 2014, 06:46 PM
boomer, good job, I also have a deep appreciation for the Ruger P-series pistols. Time to go watch Desperado!

July 11, 2014, 05:32 PM
a 50 year old gun that you can hit with will serve you better than the latest....

True, but I'm still looking for an internal extractor for a Browning High Power so that I can start shooting it again.

Sometimes switching to the latest is not a happy choice, but a necessary choice.

July 14, 2014, 05:46 PM
True, but I'm still looking for an internal extractor for a Browning High Power so that I can start shooting it again.

Sometimes switching to the latest is not a happy choice, but a necessary choice.
Amen to the P90 praise; the P345 isn't bad either. I have and appreciate both.

But discontinued models suffer from parts non-availability. I've heard the P90 suffers from magazine latch spring breakage issues. Try finding a replacement online. They're not there. I've had them on B.O. from Midway for months now.

So go easy slamming those magazines into your gun. When that little part gives up, it may be a long wait before your baby is functional again.

July 14, 2014, 07:42 PM
Got to love the P90.
Not for its looks.
Bought mine when they first came out and after a few decades still not a failure.

The pistol will fire anything and never a feed or extraction issue.
Accuracy is very good.
It works dirty and covered in mud

If I was stranded some where and had to have and use one .45 that had to work everytime it is the P90.

It is blocky and hard to hide.
If I ran out of rounds I could beat a rabid horse to death with it if I had to.

It is not as pretty as my 1911s but dependability has a charm all its own.
Still looks better than a glock.

July 15, 2014, 04:43 PM
I have been shooting P Series Rugers since a P85 back when they first became available. I currently own an early P89 and a P90. Built like a tank is often said and quite right.

I am one of the few that find the guns to be downright attractive.

Joe the Redneck
July 16, 2014, 08:55 PM
I shot one only once, maybe 20 years ago. I really liked the feel of the trigger. Odd as it seems I remember it to this day.

July 16, 2014, 08:59 PM
I had a DC89 but I sold it cause it was too big for me to CCW. It did shoot lights out.

Go For Broke
July 16, 2014, 09:55 PM
Where are the discontinued guns? Not much here except Ruger drooling.:D

So my favorite discontinued gun?

S&W M-58.

Without looking it up, what do you know about its specs?

July 18, 2014, 11:29 AM
Mine is the S&W 3913 LS.

July 20, 2014, 12:22 PM
Perhaps all the Ruger drooling is due to the fact that the OP was talking about a P90?

While the P-Series Rugers seemed to attract the "experts" ire, just about everyone who had one liked it. Many, if not most, would like to get another one like what they had, as well.

In S&W, they haven't made a revolver that I thought was anything but an over-hyped, and over-priced, piece since the Model 57. For a semi-auto, the Model 39-2 just seemed perfect in my hands. Probably why I still have it.

Different people, with different sizes, along with different experiences and expectations, never seem to consider that others often feel that guns they don't like, and make disparaging remarks about, fit them better than the "perfect" gun they sing about.

July 22, 2014, 07:57 AM
I have a Star PD 45. A small powerhouse , no longer made . Never had any problems with it. Worth looking for one .

July 22, 2014, 04:37 PM
I stumbled into a good deal on a P90 myself today. I got it with 2 mags and a cheap holster for $350, and they threw in a box of Win. FMJ. It's a later, decocker model, which is just fine with me.

July 22, 2014, 08:11 PM
Nice deal on that p90. Some would say the decocker only model is more desireable, if that's the one you got.

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