After some delay, probably due to brisk demand for 22/45s, I snared a pistol for a range test.
This Ruger grabs the eye. With a nod to 1911s in its name, it hardly resembles the Spartan pistols carried by U. S. soldiers in the Great War. But beyond the bling, it’s a working pistol (albeit with a fixed receiver, blowback-drive bolt and no exterior hammer, its function differs a great deal from the 1911’s!). The blue anodizing and scalloped shroud neither contribute to nor impair operation. Of course, the alloy upper and polymer frame pare weight to not much more than half that of a standard 1911.
The Lite’s checkered grip panels, and its serrated forestrap and checkered backstrap, aren’t exact replicates of a .45s, but they deliver a good feel and a secure grip. The bolt strips .22 LR rounds from a 10-shot magazine. It’s a good magazine, with a button to depress the follower for easier loading. It holds an honest 10 cartridges, too, with space to spare. A magazine must be in place for the pistol to fire. The bolt stays open after the last round.
The bolt’s cocking ears (grooved as on Nambus) are easy to grasp, courtesy rear receiver bevels. A manual side safety button locks the sear. Ruger has also engineered “an unobtrusive internal lock that locks the safety” for storage. The loaded-chamber indicator, a thin bar on the left receiver wall, protrudes slightly when there’s a cartridge up the spout. You can see the bar at a glance while aiming, and feel it without changing your grip.
The pistol’s square-notch rear sight adjusts for windage and elevation. The front sight is a heavy blade with a very slight slant to its smooth face. I found these sights easy to use under high clouds—ideal light for iron sights. On a sunny day, fine striations to kill glare would be useful. New for the Lite in 2015 is an installed top rail, so you can attach an optical sight. Earlier models were drilled and tapped.
At the range, I fired over sandbags with five types of ammunition: Remington high-speed solids, Winchester high-speed hollowpoints, Eley Match, Federal Ultramatch and PMC standard-velocity solids.