Ruger has introduced a new handgun into their family, the Ruger 22/45 Lite Blue. The BlueSheepDog crew will be seeking out this new handgun at SHOT Show to get some more pictures and hopefully get to shoot one at the Media Day at the Range. Based upon the very popular Model 22/45, the new Lite Blue is immediately distinguishable from its cousins.
The Ruger 22/45 Lite Blue lives up to its name with a deep blue anodized receiver that really peeks my interest as a great gift for a cop. The exterior of the barrel has a very distinguishable “shark grill pattern” side vents, that not only provide a unique appearance to the pistol, but also reduce overall weight.
The Ruger 22/45 models base their grip design on the classic Model 1911 grip. The grips are made of precision-molded Zytel polymer for added comfort when shooting. The Ruger 22/45 Lite Blue will maintain all of the regular 22/45 features while reducing weight and adding features:
- Aerospace grade aluminum frame
- Overall length – 8.50″
- Barrel length – 4.40″
- Threaded barrel – 1/2″ – 28, with included thread protector
- Weight – 22.73 oz. unloaded
- 10-round magazine capacity
- Twist rate – 1:16″ RH
- Patented loaded chamber indicator
- Internal cylindrical bolt construction
- Push lever manual safety
- Internal lock to secure safety in place during storage
- Magazine disconnect safety
- Adjustable rear sight
- Fixed front sight
- Weaver style Picatinny rail for red dot optics
- Tapered bolt ears
- Contoured ejection port
- Included – (2) magazines and hard pistol case
- MSRP – $515.00
Shooting a .22 cal. handgun has been a popular method for instructors teaching new shooters, but also for seasoned shooters to maintain the shooting fundamentals without going bankrupt on ammo. Although .22 LR rounds have spiked in recent years, they are still available for around $50 for 500. Compare that to 9mm for about $15 for 50, and it’s still not too hard to see a benefit.
I really appreciate the addition of the Weaver style Picatinny rail to add red dot optics. I think that holographic sights are going to make a huge push into the handgun market, even for every day carry pistols and not just competition or target shooting pistols. Personally I would love to have a small holographic sight on my Glock 22 duty pistol. I think the rapid target acquisition would far outweigh the added height and holster modifications.
The blue receiver stands out as a “cop’s gun” to me. The shark ribs do add a unique design, but I have to admit that they will likely just be a source of unwanted extra cleaning. Going all the way to the chamber tube of the barrel was a bit much for me. I think the pattern is fine, but would have been more appealing as just a partial indention, rather than a complete removal of metal from that area.
What do you think of the new Ruger 22/45 Lite Blue? Do you use or train with .22 LR firearms at all to save money and get more trigger time?
UPDATE: I got to shoot a Ruger 22/45 Lite Blue at the SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range (formerly Media Day at the Range). The weight is incredibly light, even with a loaded magazine. The trigger was crisp with very little creep when pulling or resetting. Shooting was very fun. Despite the lesser weight, I still could hardly feel the pistol go off (felt about like holding a hammer and letting it free fall onto a nail from about 1 inch – very light). Accuracy seemed good at 15 yards, but the reactive paper targets were already covered in markings making exact groupings difficult to identify.