Firearm: Ruger 57 (MSRP: $799)
Ruger’s new 57 pistol brought a word not normally associated with the 5.7x28 mm round: affordability. Before Ruger offered its take on a handgun chambered in this unique round, only one other concealable handgun was available, the FN FiveseveN, which retails for about triple the price of the Ruger. At the time of the Ruger 57’s launch, only the CMMG Banshee series gave FN’s offerings any competition, and while the Banshee line did offer a large-format pistol, it’s hardly an option for concealed-carry.
Now, yes. The Ruger 57 is, well, a little on the larger side for concealed carry, but not terribly so. It is a fraction of an inch longer than a Government 1911, and a little more than a half-inch longer than the Glock 17. Weight-wise, it’s significantly lighter than the 1911, coming in at 24.5 ounces empty, which makes it only a couple ounces heavier than the Glock. Bottom line here is that if you can carry a G17 or a 1911, the Ruger 57 isn’t going to present any difficulties.
Which, of course, brings us to the next big question: Why on earth would you want to carry a pistol in 5.7 mm? It’s definitely an unconventional choice, which is one of the reasons to consider it. Let’s face it: we’re in the middle of a significant ammunition crisis right now, and any comments about 5.7 being expensive are overshadowed by 9 mm selling for more than $1 a round. Our Handguns editor has long opined about having a handgun in an unconventional caliber for times like these, and if you’re carrying anything from Ruger’s American line or LCP, you’re already familiar with the operating system. It’s a savvy hedge against ammunition shortages to have something like the Ruger 57 as a backup.
Of course, having 20 rounds of centerfire ammunition at the ready without an extended magazine is pretty neat, too. The 5.7 mm often gets knocked as little more than a centerfire .22 Mag. out of handgun-barrel lengths, but it’s both more accurate and inherently more reliable given the centerfire construction. Besides, it’s fun, offering less recoil than hot 9 mm and a muzzle flash to rival the .357 Mag.. There’s a good deal to be said about a pistol you can just plain have fun shooting, and the Ruger is awfully good fun.
Whether it’s a hedge against ammo shortages, wanting something unusual in the armory, or just having fun, the Ruger 57 is worth a look.
Holster: Galco Concealable Belt holster (MSRP: $134)
One of the drawbacks to an unconventional firearm is there are often few sources for holsters and related gear. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Ruger 57, as high-quality options like the Galco Concealable Belt holster are readily available. Constructed of premium steerhide, the Concealable Belt holster is designed to contour to the hip to minimize printing when carried strong-side, outside-the-waistband. A slight, butt-forward cant allows a fast presentation and easy reholstering.
The Concealable Belt holster is available for right- or left-handed shooters and in black or Havana color. It is not compatible with red-dot optics, so if you’re considering adding a red-dot sight to your Ruger, other holsters will need to be considered.
Knife: CRKT/Ruger High Brass (MSRP: $49.99)
Since we had a Ruger 57, we figured we’d match the knife to it as well. Offered as part of a collaborative effort between Ruger and CRKT, the High Brass offers a 3.2-inch, 8Cr13Mov steel drop-point blade in a 3.6-ounce total weight. CRKT’s proprietary OutBurst assisted opener allows one-hand opening with a thumbstud, and a liner lock keeps the blade firmly in position. Glass-reinforced nylon scales offer solid purchase, and a pocket clip allows tip-up carry.
Thin, light and it matches your firearm. Add in an affordable price and an extremely easy to open blade and you’ve got a great choice for an EDC pocketknife. The CRKT/Ruger High Brass pocketknife combines form and function seamlessly.