Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Guns and Gear Review #24: Ruger P89 9mm pistol

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here.

I know it's been quite some time between my last entry to the site, but that's because I really haven't had the time or energy to write a review. I've got plenty to review now, but I just got sort of burnt out with reviewing and writing entries, so I decided to take a break for a bit. I'm still in the midst of that break from writing, but I decided I at least owed it to y'all to update the site at least one more time before disappearing into the shadows again.

Today's review is of my latest firearms acquisition, a Ruger P89 in 9mm Luger (or NATO or Parabellum or 9x19 or whatever name you want to call it).

The Ruger P series started out with the P85 in the 1980's. After a few years and one recall to fix a safety issue, the P85 eventually was replaced by the P89. My particular gun was built sometime in 2004 or so, so it's not an 80's gun as I originally thought. Ruger actually continued making the P series until about 2009 or 2010 when the SR series took over. Now Ruger has released the "American" series of pistols onto the market and the SR series will probably be less focused on by the company. I wonder how long the SR series of pistols will be made before Ruger decides to drop them like the P series.

I traded my RIA GI Tactical 1911 to a friend for this gun and I think I got a pretty good deal. The reason behind the trade is my friend was looking for a 1911 to practice gunsmithing on and I wanted to try a 9mm. So we met up at our usual trading spot, swapped guns and I became the second owner of a shiny stainless steel Ruger P89. It's officially a KP89 because it has a stainless steel slide on top of the aluminum alloy frame. Ruger likes to differentiate between their standard blued models and the stainless ones with a K in front of whatever model it is. For example, a blued GP100 is just a GP100, but a stainless one is a KP100. Same gun, different model designation in the Ruger books. It makes no difference, really. For some reason, the stainless guns are worth more on the used market as well, but not by much.

Anyway, I got my P89 and went to work buying ammo for it along with some extra magazines. I even put a set of Hogue grips on it to make it a little more comfortable in my hands (I've mentioned before that I have rather large hands and most gun grips feel a little small to me). I love the ambi safety/decocker and the ambi mag release. I wish my Glocks had that, but I've gotten used to switching my shooting grip slightly to release the mags with the factory release. The sights are little banged up, but given that this gun is an older model, it's to be expected. They're not quite as easy to pick up, but a little brightly colored nail polish or one of those paint pens you find at many hobby stores works to brighten the sights up.

The P89 is kind of a heavy pistol, but it was designed as a duty gun and not something you'd carry concealed on a daily basis. Although, if you have a good holster and strong belt set up, you should have no problems. Heck, there's guys who carry heavy 1911 pistols all day and they seem to have no issues. For me, the P89 will be a range toy since I've got my Glock 21 for carry purposes. As soon as I can get a better holster for my Glock 41 (the long slide version of the Glock 21) that'll hold the G41 and Streamlight TLR-1s I have mounted on it, I might carry that one as well.

Overall, I'm happy with the trade I made. If I get the urge to buy another 1911, I might buy another Rock Island Armory or maybe one from another maker.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.