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New to me early P85

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Old May 24th, 2019, 12:16 PM   #1
 
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New to me early P85

Well 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 May 24th, 2019, 01:41 PM   #2
 
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Nice looking P85, and thanks for posting pictures. Did you get the original box with this gun? I have one too in stainless and have placed a fiber optic front sight on it.
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Old May 24th, 2019, 01:45 PM   #3
 
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I like mine, bought her new and she still answers when I call on her

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Old May 24th, 2019, 02:30 PM   #4
 
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It did come with the original P85 box. I honestly was quite worried that the gun would print huge groups, as I have read from many sources the two piece barrels were not as accurate as the single piece barrels. Those groups really surprised me. Overall, the handgun appears to have been bought and stashed in someones gun safe; it allegedly came from an estate sale somewhere near Spokane, Washington, so who knows.....
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Old May 25th, 2019, 04:58 AM   #5
 
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Wow...congrats on the new toy! Looks clean too! Good find!
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Old May 25th, 2019, 05:24 AM   #6
 
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Old May 25th, 2019, 02:36 PM   #7
 
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The flattening on the barrel sides is extremely interesting. I know that Ruger had a technique for tightening the accuracy of the P85s, but other than it being called a "pinch" technique, I didn't know what it involved. I suspect that the barrel bushing might be internally modified as well, but that's speculation on my part. Yours is definitely exhibiting exceptional groups-great by any standard, but particularly a bit unusual for an early P85.

I would definitely keep the OEM slide release, even if you decide to change it out to the newer, flatter one/ Ruger went to the flatter piece due to the possibility of the aluminum frame being dented by the one you have it if there was too much force exerted on the slide release (i.e., by it being used as a hammer??).

Has Ruger done the factory upgrade to the firing pin safety on yours? It's free, and the safety lever is then stamped with a "Mk II" as I recall.

Also be aware that these earlier P85s use a specific magazine, as Ruger did a later modification on the P89s that necessitated a revised magazine (although many report that either works well). Call Ruger and check before ordering would be my suggestion.

Your P85 is in magnificent shape-enjoy.

Best, Jon

Last edited by JonRugerInWA; May 26th, 2019 at 06:22 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 04:29 PM   #8
 
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Thanks Jon. I too was wondering about the flats on each side of the barrel. The MKIIR upgrade has not bee done with this handgun. It appears it was an estate sale gun that was purchased by the original owner and just sat in the safe. I was extremelyt concerned the gun would shoot patterns, not groups, based on the research I did on the early P-85. Although it does shoot slightly to the right, the accuracy is quite acceptable for a duty/self defense role.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 04:49 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgian View Post
Well 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.















Nice pick up ... are you planning on having the safety upgrade done to it?
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Old May 26th, 2019, 06:24 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgian View Post
Thanks Jon. I too was wondering about the flats on each side of the barrel. The MKIIR upgrade has not bee done with this handgun. It appears it was an estate sale gun that was purchased by the original owner and just sat in the safe. I was extremelyt concerned the gun would shoot patterns, not groups, based on the research I did on the early P-85. Although it does shoot slightly to the right, the accuracy is quite acceptable for a duty/self defense role.
I looked at your groups-slightly tapping the rear sight to the left should nicely center things up.

Best, Jon
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Old June 15th, 2019, 02:33 PM   #11
 
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Nice!
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Old June 15th, 2019, 07:18 PM   #12
 
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Old July 7th, 2019, 06:18 AM   #13
 
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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 August 8th, 2019, 02:51 PM   #14
 
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Very nice early P85

Nice P85 indeed. I have never seen one of the early ones in person, and did not realize the two piece barrel looks quite different from the later barrel. I wonder what the flutes running down the sides of the barrel are for?
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Old August 9th, 2019, 12:41 PM   #15
 
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Nice P 85 congrats.
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