The Ruger P-series pistols originated in Ruger’s attempt to develop a pistol to compete in the US military’s trials to replace the venerable Model 1911 pistol. While Ruger failed in its attempts to win the trials, losing to the Beretta 92, its P-series pistols went on to become popular pistols on the civilian market.
The first pistol in the series was the P85, introduced in 1987. It was quickly followed by the upgraded P89. A .45 ACP version of the pistol was introduced with the P90, and subsequent models followed over the next several years. Production of all variants was phased out in 2013 in favor of newer pistol models developed by Ruger.
The P-series pistols relied on investment castings for their production, allowing Ruger to build a strong, rugged, reliable pistol cheaper than having to use expensive machining processes. The P-series pistols developed a reputation for being strong, reliable service-type pistols.
Advantages of the P-Series Pistols
The Ruger P-series pistols have a reputation for being built like tanks. Their alloy frame saves some weight versus steel pistols, while overcoming some of the uncertainty about the longevity of polymer-framed pistols.
The P-series pistols initially retailed for under $300, and even 30 years after their introduction can still be found for that price. Many pistols will come with extra magazines too, and spare magazines can be purchased for around the same price as Glock magazines.
3. In the Sweet Spot
Only a few years after being discontinued but not being far enough out that availability is diminished, the P-series pistols are in a sweet spot, with pricing of pistols and magazines remaining low and availability remaining high.
Disadvantages of the P-Series Pistols
1. Size and Bulk
Because they’re built like tanks, the P-series pistols have the heft to match. They can be a good choice for a service pistol, but for the most part are too bulky for everyday concealed carry.
2. Parts Availability Will Diminish
In all likelihood spare parts will become less available over time. If you buy a P-series pistol make sure to lay in a good supply of spare parts.