Back in the mid-1980s when Ruger introduced their first centerfire semi-autopistol, the double-action 9mm P85, it opened the door for a succession of other developments that followed. The P85 had one or two birthing pains that led to the re-vamped P89, which was well received by Ruger fans and others who liked the performance that came with the reasonable price tag. Both pistols were designed with the typical Ruger approach that merged function, durability and efficient manufacturing processes. So much so, that there was some law enforcement interest among those who floated their own hardware because the guns were relatively affordable on a cop’s salary. But they were sizable platforms, big and blocky, and some potential buyers passed for that reason.
Other calibers and variations followed, still on the large side, until Ruger brought out the even more refined P93 and P94 models. With rounded contours, shorter barrels, and a trimmer package, the new P-guns were in my opinion more visually appealing, felt great in the hand, and created a little less bulk on a duty belt or in the hand. Function remained a given, pricing was still great, and the guns were built to last. What would come next would be a significant change to the series. Whereas previous models had featured alloy frames to keep down weight, a new offering would employ a modern polymer frame. This pistol, the P95, took the series to the next level.
I covered the P94 when it first came out and liked what I found. It was a great improvement over the earlier Ruger pistols in handling and looks. The P95 now carries on the same overall profile with the rounded Art Deco snout somewhat reminiscent of the great streamlined locomotives of the 1930s, white 3-dot sights with pinned front and dovetailed rear, huge ejection port, beefy external extractor, slide-mounted ambidextrous safety/decocker, rowel-type hammer, ambidextrous magazine release levers, smooth trigger and 15-round magazine (or 10-rounders for those governing bodies that reject anything higher). The frame, which Ruger describes as a glass-fiber reinforced polyurethane material, has been updated from earlier 95s with a pebble-grained grip texture and an accessory rail up front that was added in 2006. Otherwise, it’s essentially a P94 with a non-metallic frame, and if you knew those pistols you know this one.
The P95’s no-snag three-dot sights are easily visible, and the slide-mounted safety/decocker is shown engaged in the down “safe” position. Ambidextrous controls are lefty-friendly, with decocker and magazine release levers identical on both sides.