Ruger P89

Updated 1998/06/15
Ruger released a line of aluminum-framed handguns a few years back. The P89 is (IMHO) the best gun in the line. Its a 9mm double action handgun with a decocking lever. Mine has a 4½ inch barrel: Ruger makes versions with shorter or longer barrels. The slides on the whole line is steel, blued or stainless. Stainless doesn't belong anywhere near guns, so mine is blued.

Being a pre-ban gun, I've got two 15-round magazines for it. I tell you, 15 rounds is very handy. Don't leave home without it. You can still find magazines pretty cheaply at the gun shows. Non-factory magazines seem to have very poor paint jobs. I recommend taking them apart and sanding down the paint. Either completely remove the paint and powder coat them, or sand and buff to a high gloss.

I've handloaded almost every round I've put through this gun. I have yet to find factory ammo that comes anywhere near the accuracy of my slap-together handloads.

Speaking of which, here's my best handload for this gun. Use it. Have fun. If it blows up in your face, it's your fault.

    Powder:    SR4756 5.4gr
    Bullet:    Speer Gold Dot 124gr HP .355"
    Crimp:     1/4 turn
    Brass:     Fireformed Winchester
               annealed to 380 degrees.
    Primer:    Winchester WSP
    Length:    1.1"

These are low-pressure, low power loads. They don't have enough oomph to properly cycle a gun fitted with a recoil buffer. But on the other hand, they've got almost no muzzle flash or breach flare. I can consistantly get 3" 15-shot groups at 37 yards, and I'm a rather poor shot. I figure with that accuracy, I can put a bullet in someone's eye at close range while they're moving. Who needs power?

I'd like to work up a higher power load so I can try out my recoil buffer, but I haven't had a chance to yet. Yet another one of those many projects.

Jon Paul Nollmann