I have personally fired over 500 rounds through the Ruger American Pistol and I have witnessed over 180 people firing 1,045 rounds with a total of 1,545 rounds through the 9mm and 815 through the .45. During that time, two negative issues as well as some potential issues were discovered.
My first impressions video (below) was short, instead of spending what little time I had talking about the gun and giving info that is easy to find on the web, I elected to put as many rounds through the Ruger American Pistol as I could in about an hour.
Issue 1. During my shooting, the back strap came loose, but I was not sure if it was on securely to begin with, so I elected to not mention it in the first impressions and bring it up later after I had more time to test it in a more accurate manner.
I found that the back strap was not properly locked in place from the factory. When the back strap came loose, it created a gap between it and the frame at the point where the webbing between the thumb and index finger contact the firearm. This caused one of the shooter’s hand to get chewed up pretty good as the thin skin was between the two points. After tightening it properly, the issue did not occur again in the next 950 rounds fired. Based on that finding, I would suggest checking to make sure that the back strap is securely in place if you purchase a Ruger American Pistol.
Issue 2. One of my students who trains on a regular basis and has a very aggressive grip inadvertently released the magazine on the .45 American Pistol while firing just 5 rounds. With the distance that the magazine releases are extended and the crispness of them, I do not doubt that others will experience this problem, but I can’t say for sure.
I nor any of the other shooters experienced any issue with the thumb knuckle rubbing the handgun as the review from the Military Arms Channel mentioned, but with the contour or the lack there of, it is less comfortable than other guns of the same class. I will also 2nd the comment from the Military Arms Channel and add that Ruger seemed to have had the R&D budget run out on this gun somewhere near the rear of the gun.
Slightly contrasting the findings of MAC, my Ruger American Pistols do not shoot left, they came pretty much dead on at 15 yards from the factory. I would also like to add that changing the gun’s placement in the hand has absolutely zero effect on where the bullet strikes if the sights are aligned and the trigger is pressed in a manner that does not disturb said sights.
Overall, I think Ruger is off to a pretty good start, I’m not changing out any guns for the American Pistol, but I am glad to see them in the game and I believe that if Ruger listens to the shooters and corrects some of the issues at the rear of the gun, the Ruger American Pistol can become a solid performer at a great price.