Ruger P345 Review

The Ruger P345 was first released in 2004 by the Sturm, Ruger & Company. It’s the newest and the last gun to be released in the Ruger P-Series. The Ruger P-Series is a line of pistols produced between 1985 to 2013. As well as the P345, this line includes the P85/P85 MKII, P89, P90, P90 DC, P90 Special Edition, P91, P93, P94, P944, P95, and P97.

The Ruger P-Series pistols have a reputation for being trustworthy, durable, and rugged. They tend to sport a stocky, well-built frame, which indicates the stopping power that they possess. However, this takes away from the sleekness of their appearance.

Aside from some minor changes here and there, the P-Series designs are largely similar to the Browning action that is used in the M1911 pistol. These pistols are all double-action, recoil operated semi-automatics.


History And Reception Of The Ruger P345

ruger p345While the Sturm, Ruger & Company released the Ruger P345 in 2004 (the same year that they discontinued the P97), there were actually 500 P345s produced by TALO Distributors, Inc. towards the end of 2007.

These P345s are Distributor Exclusive editions, tagged with serial numbers from 1 to 500, along with some other unique features, such as new 24k-gold details, as well as a blued-steel slide.

The P345 never exactly sold very well. It’s thought that the clunky appearance of the former pistols in the P-Series has held the P345 back from reaching mainstream acclaim. However, it’s unfortunate that the P345 is often categorized with the rest of the P-Series, since the P345 boasts several improvements in design.

Unlike its predecessors, the P345 is easily concealable and does not possess the same bulkiness that the P-Series had become known for. On top of this, the comfortable grip of the P345 is a major improvement over former pistols in the P-Series. Owners of the Ruger P345 swear by its durability, reliability, and value.

In 2013, the Ruger P345 was discontinued by the company, as they turned their focus towards their newer Ruger SR-Series. It was replaced by the SR45.


Ruger P345 Specs:

  • Caliber: .45 Auto (ACP)
  • Action: recoil operated semi-automatic
  • Length: 7.625 in
  • Width: 1.2 in (with slide lever)
  • Height: 5.75 in
  • Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.25 in
  • Rifling: 6-grooves, 1:16 in RH twist
  • Trigger: double-action
  • Sights: White 3-dot, fixed front, drift adjustable rear
  • Weight without magazine: 26.8 oz
  • Weight with empty magazine: 29.4 oz
  • Weight loaded (1+8 rd magazine): 35.7 oz

More About The Design

As mentioned above, the P345 does not have the same clunkiness that the other pistols in the P-Series are known for. Both the frame and the grip are noticeably slimmer, which makes it comfortable to hold, especially for a .45 caliber pistol.

Ruger P345

The P345 sports a polymer frame, with polymer slide rails. The all-polymer slide rails are unique because polymer-framed pistols usually have either metal slide rails or metal inserts to protect the slide rails from being damaged by the recoil.

However, because of the ‘camblock system’ of the Ruger pistols, the slide and barrel recoil is transmitted through the bulk of the frame, rather than impacting the slide rails. In the camblock system, the guide rod is attached to a cam-ramped lug on the backside, in lieu of the traditional ‘falling block’ that is use in most semi-auto pistols.

This cam-ramp halts the recoiling barrel’s backwards motion. It transmits this energy into the well-built upper frame, thereby taking stress off of the slide rails. This way, the P-345 can get away with using all-polymer slide rails without running the risk of them being damaged.

On top of this, there is an extra set of rails that creates a tighter space between the slide and the frame on the fore-end. This reinforces the slide while also providing better dust/dirt protection. The Ruger P345 is simple to strip down and clean, and it should come with helpful instructions from the company.

The magazine is interchangeable with the P90 and P97. The gun is notoriously reliable, and is able to shoot at any angle and handle a variety of both handloaded and factory ammo without any sort of malfunction or misfire.

The trigger action of the P345 is the standard DA to SA. The SA pull is a little heavy than some might like, but the DA pull is lengthy and relatively smooth. At the end of the day, there is not much to complain about when it comes to the system.

Other Features

The Ruger P345 comes with a magazine disconnect safety feature. This feature prevents the pistol from firing when the magazine is not inserted. Since many gun-related accidents are caused from people not knowing that a gun without a magazine can still have a bullet in the chamber, this precaution is well-received by many.

However, some people have been frustrated about not being able to continue firing when pre-releasing the magazine. The magazine holds 8 rounds, so the P345 is a nine-shooter with one in the chamber.

ruger p345 featuresThe Ruger P345 has several other safeties, including the ambi-thumb safety, the keyed lock, the cable lock, the firing-pin safety, and the loaded chamber indicator. When the thumb safety is up, then it is off/safe. When it is down, you can slip in the key (provided by Ruger) to lock it up. This will leave the gun off until you go back and unlock it.

The P345 also comes equipped with a bobbed hammer spur and a built-in Picatinny accessory rail. The p345 is user-friendly for both lefties and righties, as it has an ambidextrous slide mounted decocking lever and the safety is also well-positioned for either hand.

The Ruger P345 has an ergonomic grip. It’s a very comfortable gun to hold, especially when compared to the other pistols in the Ruger P-Series. Not only is it lighter and slimmer, but the P345 is a lot smoother all-around, as the other pistols in the P-Series have a reputation for being a bit ‘pokey’.

There is a stainless steel finish, and the ergonomic grip is checkered black synthetic. The rear sight is fixed and windage adjustable.

Power

shooting targetThe Ruger P345 uses the .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) handgun cartridge that was designed by John Browning in 1905. The .45 ACP is known for being one of the best combat cartridges, as it unites excellent accuracy with solid stopping power. The recoil of the cartridge is also rather mild, considering the force of the shot.

One of the reasons why the .45 ACP is known for being so successful against human targets is that the big bullet usually enlarges when bone is struck. With hollow-points, this attribute becomes even more potent.

With all that being said, the .45 ACP has tested to have a middling amount of power in terms of the energy scale, which means that the .45 ACP bullets are unlikely to over-penetrate. This quality, combined with the .45 ACP’s strong stopping power on human targets, makes the .45 ACP a popular choice for police use.

In fact, the .45 ACP is considered a ‘protector of the protectors’. Although the popularity of this cartridge began in the civilian market, it has quickly made its way to the holsters of several police officers, and continues to grow in popularity amongst law enforcement officials.

Compatible Accessories

There aren’t too many aftermarket accessories that are compatible with the rugged P-Series pistols. That being said, there are a few basic things you can add to this firearm, though most of them will need to be hung from the built-in Picatinny rail.

On this Picatinny rail, there are several kinds of sights that can be mounted, including the Stingray SR1 Universal Small Rail Mounted Laser Sight, and some of the Tritium Tru-Dot Night Sights.


Final Thoughts

All in all, the Ruger P345 is a great choice for anyone looking for a practical self-defense pistol. Unlike the other pistols in the P-Series, the P345 is easily concealable since it is less bulky. On top of this, the P345 maintains the same level of consistency and reliability that the Ruger P-Series is often praised for.

The fact that police officers swear by the .45 ACP is a good indication of its self-defense ability. Furthermore, the amount of safeties that the gun possesses makes it a safe household option. The combination of impressive stopping power against human targets, mild recoil, no tendency for over-penetration, and lack of malfunctions makes the P345 an appealing option.

Of course, the gun has been discontinued, but there are still plenty out there for purchase. It’s certainly the best product in the Ruger P-Series, since it maintains all of the good qualities of the previous pistols in the Ruger P-Series, while omitting some of the bad qualities.

Alex Joseph is an avid bow hunter and father of two boys. Originally from Tacoma, Washington Alex now resides in California.

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