Another solid addition to the P-series, which was first introduced in 1987, the Ruger P345 follows the tradition of being a rugged and stout firearm excellent for outdoor carry and holster carry, but is more compact and chambered for the epic 45 ACP cartridge. With reference to the earlier models, the new P345 has resolved the bulk of the issues with earlier designs, rendering it much more concealable for discreet carry. The grip area has also been modified to enhance feel and aesthetics. Some features like the magazine release has been placed just behind the trigger guard on the left, which can be easily reached by the thumb of a right handed shooter, preferred by most shooters.
The Ruger P345 has been designed with a comfortable grip to compliment its polyurethane frame. The grip has a mold that fits perfectly in the human hand. The double action trigger reach is approximately 2.8 inches, which is consistent with the reach on a 1911 style pistol. The single action mode with the trigger reach on the Rugers is about three-eighths of an inch less.
The barrel measures slightly over 4 inches, and the overall length of the gun is about 7 inches and a height just over 5 inches. The most significant changes in the bulk of the pistol can be seen in the width which is 1.15 inches; quite slim for a double action pistol that holds a chamber for 45 ACP cartridges and a magazine that can hold eight of these cartridges. The slide thickness is slightly over an inch and the underside frame just in front of the trigger has a Picatinny rail which can be used to hang accessories like lasers if desired.
The P345 has adjustable sights for windage, with a three dot configuration. The hammer is modified for hassle free cocking, and benefits of the slide release have been mentioned earlier. An important inclusion is the lock which is practically invisible, although some shooters find them irrelevant; others prefer them due to certain laws pertaining to security of firearms. Another safety feature is the magazines disconnect safety, unless the magazine is fully inserted the gun will not fire. Some complain that the gun cannot be fired in the middle of a magazine change.
Shooting the Ruger P345 with a variety of ammunition proved that the weapon is realizable, the double action pull measured about eight pounds and five ounces while a single pull measured approximately six ounces. The gun has been tested at a variety of angles to bring out malfunction, but has held its own in all tests. Recoil is brisk but manageable with the light weight pistol and rapid drills are easy to perform.
Dismantling the P345 for cleaning is easy and comes with a detailed instruction manual. As we can see, the gun is very comfortable in the hand and it seems to be quite reliable. With the 45 ACP, recoil is mild and getting back to the target is hassle free while the locking systems provide additional safety.