First Shots: Ruger American Competition Pistol

posted on June 3, 2020
Today's First Shots video centers on the new-for-2020 Ruger American Competition pistol, released early in 2020. This competition-ready pistol is based on the Ruger American pistol, which we've seen in a standard format, kind of a duty size gun, as well as a compact format for concealed carry. This one takes it to the next level with competition-level features, like a high-visibility fiber-optic front sight paired with a fully adjustable, serrated rear sight. Also, for those who prefer a mini-red-dot optic on their competitive pistols, the Ruger American Competition comes pre-cut for such an optic. This particular model is cut for a Burris, Sightmark, Vortex or similar-footprint miniature optic.

In order to enhance ergonomics, you get several different backstraps. These are full, wrap-around backstraps that extend the length to the trigger as well as adding some palmswell area to fill the grip in your hand. It's also more aggressive texturing than other Ruger American pistols. All controls, at least the ones that matter, are bilateral - slide stop release and magazine release can be activated by either side. 

On the slide are lightening cuts, which help the Ruger cycle faster. Since the barrel isn't ported, this is not a recoil-reducing feature. The pistol is chambered in 9 mm and it comes with two 17-round magazines. The barrel is 5 inches long, which adds in welcome sight radius for greater accuracy. One interesting note on this gun: The barrel is actually rifled at a 1:16-inch rate, rather than the faster 1:10-inch 9 mm rate. Ruger did this to tune the Competition to lighter, competition-style bullet profiles.

MSRP on the Ruger American Competition is $579, which includes two magazines and three backstrap inserts (small, medium and large). For more information on this new pistol and other Ruger American handgun offerings, visit


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