The Ruger of yesterday is dead. Gone are the overly derivative designs of the 1980’s, and the stagnant rifle development surrounding the Mini-14. Now the little ranch rifle comes in suppressor-friendly 300BLK, and Ruger offers not only an AR-15, but also a long range precision rifle — which made quite a splash.

Following in the footsteps of the rifle’s clandestine announcement comes the newest product from Sturm Ruger, the Ruger American Pistol. Available in both 9mm parabellum and .45 ACP, the new locked-breech, striker-fired semi-automatic handgun feeds from a detachable box-type  nickel-Teflon-coated magazine containing either 17+1 rounds of 9mm or 10+1 rounds of .45.

RugerAmerPistol02SAMPLEOn paper, the new handgun seems awfully similar to Ruger’s last attempt to capture the polymer-framed, striker-fired market: the SR9. But the new American Pistol differs in a few key aspects that help set it apart.

The new pistol includes features like a dovetailed slide equipped with genuine Novak Low Mount post-and-notch 3-dot sights. Or the addition of a modular backstrap system that includes three different-sized options. Though one thing is noticeably abset: a .40 S&W chambering – though given Ruger’s new lean manufacturing model, is likely the result of poor .40 S&W pistol sales, as opposed to mechanical or design restrictions.

The first thing most shooters notice when handling the Ruger American Pistol, is the grip. As a small-handed shooter, I found the medium backstrap very comfortable. This is great news for smaller shooters and women alike. Another interesting aspect of the design is the inclusion of an ambidextrous magazine release and slide lock – showing that Ruger happily caters to Southpaw shooters.

RugerAmerPistol03SAMPLEWhile our time with the pistol has been limited, the pistol already shows great promise. After 350 rounds of ammo, the Ruger hasn’t experienced a single malfunction yet, across five varieties of ammunition. Also, when fired from sandbags, the pistol proved very accurate – achieving groups under two inches at 25 yards.

Both the 9mm variant and .45ACP model retail for $579. Ruger began shipping these pistols out a few days ago, and they should already be at local gun stores, or arriving soon. Stay tuned for a full, in-depth review in the near future.

This story has been updated with a review video.