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I recently picked up a new P345D. Although I have 4 other Rugers in various configurations, I know almost nothing about this pistol except what I've found on this forum. Is the only difference between the P345D and the P345 the decocker? Were they sold either way or did one come out first and then the other? In what years were they produced? I will appreciate any and all info. provided. I have not shot it yet. Thanks
 

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Rugeron, The P345 was Ruger's THIRD centerfire pistol with a polymer frame. It had a thumb safety that when positioned down, it worked like a decocker. A few months after the P345 came out, the P345DC became available with a DECOCKER only ... like yours. The name "P345" came from 3=2003, the year it was designed (introduced in 2004) and of course 45 for 45 caliber. This gun won the "Best Gun" at the 2004 SHOT show. Ruger also had a P345PR ... where PR= Picatinny rail and were available with either a blued or stainless steel slide.

Although the P345 was a step in the right direction, it was poorly designed and had inherent problems. It was the first Ruger pistol to have a magazine disconnect and because of the way it was designed, if you dry fired the pistol without a magazine in place, the firing pin interrupt plunger and/or the firing pin would get damaged and render the gun useless. Ruger's way of fixing the problem was to change the instruction manual where it said "Do not dry fire without a magazine in place". Ruger never did redesign the magazine disconnect so it is very common to find used guns that were dry fired without a magazine in place that are now nothing more than a paper weight. Since the P345 was discontinued in 2012 (decocker was discontinued in 2009) Ruger no longer provides support for these guns and parts are no longer available ... except possibly used parts from non-Ruger sources. Ruger never did have a Recall on the P345s but they sure did have a huge number returned with damaged firing pin interrupt devices.

P345s also were the first Ruger pistols to have a key operated lock built in. These were seldom a mechanical issue ... except buyers hated them.

Because the grips were molded into the frame and were not removable, some people found the P345 fit their hand well while other found just the opposite. Turned out .... P345s were quite accurate if they fit your hand ....not so much if they did not fit.

P345s had a poorly designed magazine follower. The P345 magazine had an 8 round capacity and was the same length as a 7-round 45 ACP 1911 or P90 magazine. This meant the follower leg was shortened to allow for an extra round, however on the last round, the short leg follower would move forward and either jam the gun or prevent the slide from locking back after the last round was fired. Ruger never fixed this problem either but a Wilson 8-round magazine follower for a 1911 would work just fine. A P90, 7 round magazine or just a P90 follower would also work in P345s without the magazine follower issue.

The P345 rear sight was a strange design that was also an access port for the mag disconnect plunger. Because the rear sight base was so long, it would work loose in the dove tail and was not unusual for the rear sight to "launch" when fired and spill out several essential parts.

There were several design issues with P345s ... probably a record for the worst Ruger pistol design ever. Despite that, P345s remained quite popular until they were replaced by the striker fired SR45.
 

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As usual Iowegan, your analysis is spot on with the exception that the P345 was actually Rugers third foray into the polymer pistol arena. It was preceded by several versions of the P95 (9mm) originally introduced in '95 and the P97 (.45acp) originally introduced in '99 and discontinued when the P345 cam out in '04.

I'm fortunate to have one of the P345 safety model pistols that is both accurate and had no issues :)
 

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Gosh... I really like my P345, but after reading Iowegans post, I think I want to cry.

My P345 is very accurate, and perfectly reliable. I did buy it used, and I know absolutely nothing of its dry fire history, but it goes bang every time. I have 9 mags for it, and have never experienced any follower issues. I did replace 2 of my original P90 7 round followers with the 8 round Wilson Combat kits, and they work great. My P345 is one of the last ones made, with the black Eagle in the grip. I can only hope that Ruger did their best on the last ones, and the previous owner didn't dry fire the life out of it.
 

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Gosh... I really like my P345, but after reading Iowegans post, I think I want to cry.

My P345 is very accurate, and perfectly reliable. I did buy it used, and I know absolutely nothing of its dry fire history, but it goes bang every time. I have 9 mags for it, and have never experienced any follower issues. I did replace 2 of my original P90 7 round followers with the 8 round Wilson Combat kits, and they work great. My P345 is one of the last ones made, with the black Eagle in the grip. I can only hope that Ruger did their best on the last ones, and the previous owner didn't dry fire the life out of it.
Weblance ... No crying necessary :). After the initial "click-no-bang" issues were discovered in the early days and the word got out (and into the manual) that dry firing without the magazine was a no-no, it hasn't been much of an issue. In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw a complaint on any of the Ruger forums. Bottom line for me, with over 5,000 trouble free rounds down the pipe (with exception of two FTF in the 1st 50 rounds) I have no worries about it's reliability ;).
 

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I just purchased a Ruger P345 decocker/safety and a new Sig P220 .45 decock only. Our rangemaster and I shot them both one after the other and if blindfolded it would be hard to tell the difference. Both were flawless and accurate at least he was accurate. Do not worry about your P345 if it feels good and if it fits your grip enjoy it is a fine pistol.:):)
 

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weblance, Don't throw that P345 away just yet ... when you get one that works and hasn't been dry fired without a magazine, you probably got a good gun. Ruger's quality control was very hit & miss on these guns. The issues with the magazines are easy to resolve so that's not a deal breaker. Seems some P345s worked exceptionally well and others didn't. I got a "didn't" ..... bought a brand new one soon after they came out. It fit me like a glove and was very accurate but .... this was before the issue with the mag disconnect was noted in the owner's manual .... so guess what? Yup, I ruined my P345 with just a dozen or less dry fires. The symptoms are easy to diagnose .... click no-bang when you pull the trigger and not the slightest hint of a dent in the primer. I sent my P345 to Prescott and got it back a few weeks later ... supposedly repaired. It worked fine for about a box of ammo then went back to the click no-bang syndrome .... this time there was no dry firing at all. Further, the slide would not lock back after the last round fired. This time Ruger replaced the slide and got it running again .... but not for long because after a couple boxes of ammo, my rear sight launched .... the plunger and spring were never seen again. Back to Prescott, AZ for the third time. After quite a hassle, Ruger replaced the gun with another P345 so I left it in the box and sold it brand new, never fired. I have no clue if it worked or not.

I thought I was the only person to send a P345 back to Ruger three times but if you go back in the forum archives, you will see many owners experienced similar problems. I guess one of the reasons why I got so snarky in my previous post was ... my gun failed miserably and being a gunsmith, I couldn't repair it because Ruger wouldn't sell or give me the new parts to get it running again. It's not like I hate Ruger .... in fact I have a safe full of various Ruger revolvers, pistols, and rifles .... I'm one of their biggest fans .... except for the P345.
 

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With only the most respect Iowegan, The following quote is directly from your referenced link regarding the P95 making it the 1st polymer centerfire Ruger.
Introduced in 1996, the P95 incorporated a number of changes from earlier P-Series pistols; including a shorter 3.9" barrel and a new frame made of fiberglass-reinforced polyurethane, based on Dow Chemical's "Isoplast".[3] This reduced the weight of the pistol by 4 ounces (110 g) and reduced manufacturing costs. Chambered in 9mm Luger. Unlike other polymer framed handguns on the market at the time of design, the P95 had no metal inserts in the frame. The high strength polymer allowed the slide to ride directly on the polymer frame rails which simplified manufacturing and further reduced production costs.
 

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Buck, You are absolutely correct ... the P-95 indeed had a polymer frame .... some senility here!! Over the years, I owned at least one of every Ruger P-series pistols and totally forgot about the P95 being an exception. Thanks for catching my mistake.
 

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Buck, You are absolutely correct ... the P-95 indeed had a polymer frame .... some senility here!! Over the years, I owned at least one of every Ruger P-series pistols and totally forgot about the P95 being an exception. Thanks for catching my mistake.
No worries Iowegan (I get one right every now an then). In the bigger picture, with the wealth of information you've committed to memory over the years you have likely forgotten more about firearms than I have ever learned :).
 

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weblance, Besides being old and forgetful ... I don't read so well either. Sorry about the P95 and P97 mistakes .... I edited the above posts .... any others?
 

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weblance, Besides being old and forgetful ... I don't read so well either. Sorry about the P95 and P97 mistakes .... I edited the above posts .... any others?
Nope, no other edits needed. And certainly no apology needed either. Having your knowledge on tap is a great benefit to all of us here. We can give you a pass every once in a while... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to all who responded to my post. Guess only time and shooting will tell me if I got a good one.
 
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