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Old 05-24-2019, 05:41 PM
Georgian Georgian is offline
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Default New to me early P85



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I recently won an auction on Gunbroker for a like new Ruger P85 for $250. The handgun's serial number denotes it was within the first 2,500 production guns, and was probably one of the last P85s to roll off the line in 1987. I finally got a day off work and picked up my new (to me) P85. So far, I am really pleased with this old wonder nine. It does have an early Ruger two-piece barrel, but that did not seem to affect accuracy.

I ran about 200 rounds of mixed ammo through it today, consisting of Wolf 115gr FMJ, Fiocchi 115 FMJ, IMI 115gr JHP, and some Hornady 135gr Critical Duty. I benched the handgun at 7 and 10 yards. Shooting in groups of 5, the pistol appears to be printing slightly right of my point of aim, but it pretty close to POA/POI overall for me. It seems the pistol likes Wolf and Fiocchi. While shooting groups, the first shot of each string was double action.

The five shot groups are as follows:

7 Yards
-Fiocchi 1 1/2''
-Wolf 1 3/4"
-IMI 2"
-Hornady 2'' and 2 1/4"

10 Yards
-Fiocchi 1 1/2"
-Wolf 2 1/2" (1 1/4" without flyer)
-IMI 2 1/2"
-Hornady 1 1/2"

As you will see in the pictures, the early slide release on this pistol is quite large, which caused me to inadvertently activate it several times while at the range, causing two to three failures to return to battery. As a result, I have ordered the updated shorter slide stop from Numrich. I also believe the magazine springs in the two magazines that came with the handgun need replacing, so new springs are on order.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:42 PM
Georgian Georgian is offline
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:00 PM
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wldrbob wldrbob is offline
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I shot over 20 thou rounds through one I had. pretty reliable wish I still had it
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:38 PM
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Lost Woods Survival Lost Woods Survival is offline
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I just bought a stack of grips for it, Not even have one
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:19 PM
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3Jfamily 3Jfamily is offline
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My first handgun was a P85 MKII. It was a great gun. Wish I still had mine as well.
I remember there was a recall for the early model P85's.
YUP... https://ruger.com/P85Recall/index.html
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:55 PM
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Damascus7 Damascus7 is online now
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The Ruger "P" series pistols were some of the most underated pistols ever made. Excellent firearms and build like a tank. I had a P89 and sold it. Like others here, I really wish I still had it!

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:34 AM
223shootersc 223shootersc is offline
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P85 was my introduction to the Wonder 9 and it was a tank and reliable. Never had one problem to this day.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:02 PM
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I bought mine back early on. Mine starts serial with 302-. I had to send it back and they reworked something and stamped it with MkIIR on right hand side safety lever. Perty sure yours is not stamped, you may need to send it in.
BTW, I have only had one issue with mine messing up, and that was when I
reversed the recoil spring unknowingly, like an IDIOT ! It eats everythang I feed it. And I wasnt very accurate with it till I started shooting a 45. I guess that gun taught me how to hold on the correct way. When I picked my P85 back up, I was deadly!!
Anyways, I luv mine still.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:41 PM
kayakjohn kayakjohn is offline
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ive had my P85 now.... must be at least 20 years; found it at a pawn shop i think i paid $250 or so? i bought some 30 rnd mags just for the hell of it. that pistol is great, given its age and how heavy it is. if im out of ammo & throw it at someone itll knock them on their ass. i got a good uncle mikes hard plastic holster and a Bianchi mil-spec flap holster . it stretched to fit the ruger vs the beretta it was made for.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:15 PM
whirlibird whirlibird is offline
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They certainly ain't light, but they are built tougher than pretty much anything else out there.

I have been sorely tempted to pick up a couple of the older metal frame Rugers, because of the robust design.

One of my old coworkers broke his Glock, and while it was away, he dug out and carried his old P89. When he came in to qualify with it again after probably 10 years, he hadn't even cleaned it, just shot the ammo in it. I made a comment about the amount of crud that flew off it when it was fired, saying that it looked like it had been in the bottom of a grain bin.
He said close, in the tool box of his tractor. The whole time and he hadn't touched it in over a decade.

They may not be the most ergonomic, lightest, most accurate, but they work.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:03 PM
Late2Prep Late2Prep is offline
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I seem to remember some testing done with the P85 where the slide was cutaway on one side and the barrel plugged with a bolt.
I think these are scans of the original article.

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph...t-pics.539662/

Fairly certain that the Glocks I have had would not survive.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:41 PM
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Rockwell Torrey Rockwell Torrey is offline
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Ruger P85, solid piece of kit. The early ones had an issue with the firing pin chipping and an issue with the FP safety. Updated ones are marked on the safety, right side MKIIR. Ruger will do this for free if it doesn't have that stamp.

Springs need updating, don't reverse the recoil spring, it will last another lifetime!
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:20 AM
Georgian Georgian is offline
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Well I adjusted the sights slightly and I am extremely surprised with the accuracy of this P85. Most people do not believe these guns are capable of being shot accurately, and articles written about the gun at the time it was released showed mediocre accuracy. Unless I just happened across an above average P85, I am more than satisfied with this handgun. I am including several target pictures since adjusting the rear sights.

7 yards, full magazine


10 yards, full magazine


25 yards, full magazine


7 yard groups; top group was Rem 115gr FMJ; right group Fiocchi 115gr FMJ; bottom group IMI 115gr HP; left group Wolf steel 115gr FMJ; stickers were 3"
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:08 PM
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Palma Palma is offline
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Loved my P90 .45, wish I had kept it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:37 PM
AZ_HighCountry AZ_HighCountry is offline
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P85 is still a good gun. Solid. I shoot mine and often carry it in the back country.

A good thing to keep in mind is it was once an issue handgun for the SEALs. Don't remember for how long but they did carry it for awhile. If it was good enough for them then it is good enough for you.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:10 AM
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Goodwrench708 Goodwrench708 is offline
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Love my P94
Yes they are heavier...bulky.
But dependable
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:01 PM
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0002S 0002S is offline
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I remember when they came out and they where relatively cheap in their day. Big SOB's.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:05 PM
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I had a very early one. Holding it felt about as comfortable as holding a brick. The slide cracked just behind the extractor cutout after about 300 rounds.

I traded it in on a new Sig P226. I have run thousands of rounds of very many types of 9mm ammo through the Sig. I have never experienced a malfunction of any sort. It is very comfortable to hold and shoot. It fits my hand perfectly. I still have it. It has West German proofs and is stamped “Made in West Germany”.

I am a huge fan of Ruger revolvers, especially the security six series and SA Blackhawks, but I simply cannot warm up to their semi autos
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:23 AM
Nomad, 2nd Nomad, 2nd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0002S View Post
I remember when they came out and they where relatively cheap in their day. Big SOB's.
Still are.

I picked up one a couple weeks ago for $250.
I normally max out at $225, but it's SS, and came with the box and 2 mags.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:50 PM
Herd Sniper Herd Sniper is offline
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A fellow firearms instructor once said, "Long after mankind has vanished or left this world behind, the cockroaches will be having duels with Glock and Ruger pistols." He believed that Rugers were that durable and long lasting pistols.
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