I have owned many handguns in my life. Small guns, big guns, medium guns, pocket guns, rifles and more. I purchased a Ruger P97DC hoping for a good .45acp pistol that was fairly inexpensive. I quickly drove to the range with my new purchase and here is what I found out about the Ruger P97DC…
The feel of this gun is nothing spectacular. It is a little on the heavy side and in no way should be considered for a conceal carry weapon. This Sturm & Ruger pistol fit my over sized hands just fine while the pistol was not being fired. Upon loading a few rounds and taking a few test fires I soon found that this pistol was a bad match for my hand size. I am not sure why, but when shooting this handgun that after about 5 or 6 rounds the magazine would fall out. I am not sure if this was due to my finger hitting the ejector button, or just a loose magazine pin, but I found this to be extremely annoying. This gun had a considerable amount of kick when firing and I would not want my wife to handle this gun. I never felt that the gun would fall out of my hands upon fire, but the kick is noticeable.
I am not a sharp shooter. I have qualified for my conceal carry permit so I do consider myself a fair shot. The Ruger P97DC made me feel fairly incompetent. The closest groupings I could put together was around 8 inches at 10 yards. I can normally shoot 5 inch groups with my Springfield XDM. As with any handgun the further out I moved the more misses this gun had. None of my misses were so bad that I would fear using this gun in a self defense situation, but I certainly would prefer a different pistol in those situations.
As I stated before, this gun is not a conceal carry weapon. I found this gun to be extremely cumbersome even in a holster. Unless you have extremely large pockets you will never fit it in your pockets. This gun is more suited to be a home defense weapon.
Reliability is where the Sturm & Ruger company has made their name with this particular line of pistols. I fed approximately 1000 rounds through my pistol in just under an hour and had only failure to eject. If you take away the magazine falling out I could have easily shot this gun repeatedly without fail. I have since put around 5000 rounds of ammunition through this particular pistol and have had no problems.
I found the Ruger P97DC to be extremely easy to field strip and clean. The instructions included with the gun were not even needed to break this pistol down. Keeping the P97DC clean is very easy. The accessibility of the barrel, ejector ports, and various pins make this gun extremely easy to maintain.
My overall opinion of the Ruger P97DC is that Sturm & Ruger could have built a better gun. I rarely shoot this gun and it is far from my favorite weapon. I keep this gun in the gun locker only because of its reliability, and because it is my only .45. I much prefer my Springfield XDM and my Glock.