6 Most Common Ruger American 45 Problems And How To Fix Them

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I recently had the chance to spend quality time with the Ruger American 45. And let me tell you, it was an eye-opening experience. While I generally had a good time shooting, I couldn’t help but notice a few issues during my time at the range. 

So, what did I find? I ran into a handful of common Ruger American 45 Problems like ejector issues, slide jamming, trigger complications, striker issues, double feeding problems, and even some chamber problems. 

Don’t worry, though. In this article, I’m going to delve into each of these issues, explain why they happen, and give you solid fixes for each one.

Overview of Ruger American 45 & their Solutions

ProblemsQuick Fixes
Ejector ProblemVisit a gunsmith for extractor or ammunition issues.
Slide JammingYank the slide back to release.
Trigger ProblemClean the trigger assembly with a gun-cleaning kit.
Issue with the StrikerClean the clogged ejector and striker channel. Keep them dry.
Double FeedingManually remove and replace the jammed magazine.
Chamber ProblemUse a flashlight to inspect the chamber and barrel for issues, then troubleshoot.

Top 6 Ruger American 45 Problems & Solutions

1. Ejector Problem

Ah, the stovepipe issue, my first problem with the Ruger American 45. While out at the range, I noticed the spent casing sticking out like a sore thumb after firing. 

The slide couldn’t return to its position, making the pistol unusable until cleared. This isn’t just annoying; it’s a reliability concern. 

You don’t want this happening when you need your firearm the most. I observed that the issue could be due to various factors like low-pressure rounds, faulty ammo, or even a bad extractor.


So, how did I fix this? First, I tried the tap-rack-bang technique. Make sure to tilt your pistol 90 degrees to the right when doing this. It lets gravity do some of the work, helping to eject that stubborn casing.

 But let me be real; that’s more of a quick fix. For a long-term solution, I took the pistol to a professional gunsmith. 

They usually sort out extractor or ammunition issues; in my case, it did the trick. Trust me, a visit to the gunsmith can make your Ruger American 45 as dependable as ever.

2. Slide Jamming Problem

Let’s talk about another issue I encountered while spending time at the range: the slide jamming up. 

The slide wouldn’t budge, and I noticed the guide rod sticking out about 1/8 inch. I mean, if the slide doesn’t move, the gun is pretty much a paperweight. This is something that can happen for a couple of reasons. 

One reason might be the guide rod itself acting up. Another common issue is accidentally hitting the slide stop with the support hand during a fire sequence. It’s sort of a training problem, but stubborn and sticks around.


Now, let’s get to the fix. The guide rod sits close to the barrel, so I cut a 1/2-inch gap in a 2-inch wide PVC pipe to make space. Yanking the slide back to release it did the trick. 

If you’re under stress and your fine motor skills aren’t at their best, manually pressing the slide stop isn’t the best idea. In fact, if this is a recurring issue, you might even consider removing the slide stop altogether to avoid this inconvenience. 

So there you go, a couple of fixes to make sure your slide stops jamming and starts sliding.

3. Trigger Problem

Next on the list is the trigger jamming issue. Trust me, nothing ruins your day at the range faster than a jammed trigger. 

In my hands-on experience with the Ruger American 45, the trigger sometimes gets stuck. It’s super inconvenient, especially if you’re in a situation where you’re counting on your firearm to function properly. 


Alright, how did I tackle this? First things first, I cleaned the trigger assembly. Before you roll your eyes, sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. A little bit of proper cleaning can go a long way. 

Get yourself a good gun-cleaning kit and go to town on that trigger assembly. Don’t skimp on it; make sure it’s nice and clean. In my case, this solved the issue, making the trigger action smooth again. 

So, before you take your gun apart or ship it off to a gunsmith, try giving that trigger a good clean. You might just save yourself a lot of hassle.

4. Issue with the Striker

Okay, let’s talk about a real mood killer: the striker issue. In my time with the Ruger American 45, I noticed that after firing just a round or two, I’d hit a snag. At least once per magazine, the gun would fail to fully eject the rounds. 

I started paying close attention and realized that the problem was with the striker pin sticking out, preventing the new round from sliding up. 

Plus, I started to see dimples on the bullets, a clear sign of a striker issue messing up my shots.


So, how do we deal with this annoying problem? The first step is to clean the striker. I pulled out the clogged ejector and gave it a good scrub. 

The next move was to get into that striker channel and clean it out. Oh, and here’s a golden nugget for you: don’t oil or lubricate the firing pin or its channel. Keeping them dry is the way to go.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but trust me, it’s essential. Doing this did wonders for me. The striker problem vanished, and my rounds started ejecting like they should.

5. Double Feeding Issue

Now, let’s get into a vexing issue: double feeding. You might have noticed this if you’ve fired about 18 to 20 rounds with the Ruger American 45. It’s when a new round tries to barge in behind the one that’s already in the chamber. 

Yep, two’s a crowd in this case. From what I could tell, the slide just couldn’t go back into the battery because the next round was jamming against the base of the chambered cartridge. 

I quickly realized this was a magazine problem, likely due to worn-feed lips or a weak magazine spring.


So, what to do? First, take out that pesky magazine and rack the slide to remove the chambered round. Pop in a new magazine and rack the slide again to chamber a fresh round. Sounds easy, but there’s a catch. 

The magazine won’t just fall out when you press the release button; you’ll have to manually remove it. That means pressing the magazine release and pulling downward with your support hand. 

I won’t lie; it might take some effort, especially if the second round has jammed things up. But following this process, I sorted out my double feeding issue for good.

6. Chamber Problem

Let’s dive into another issue that’s pretty much a headache: rounds only partially entering the chamber. Yep, you heard that right. You’d have to rack the slide and fuss with the magazine to clear the trapped round. 

The problem seemed to pop up from my own trials because of a clogged extractor and recoil spring. If you’re using MagTech ammunition, expect the same issue. 

I also found that cracks on the chamber surface can make matters worse.


The first thing you’d want to do is disassemble the pistol. Grab a reliable flashlight and start inspecting the chamber area. You’re looking for obstructions or any surface fractures. If you spot something, there’s your culprit. 

Also, don’t forget to inspect the barrel exterior for any irregularities. Got a burr? Time to troubleshoot. Lastly, pay special attention to the placement of the recoil spring and guide when you’re reassembling your pistol. 

This actually fixed the chamber issue for me, and it’ll probably do the same for you.

FinaL Verdict

Look, every gun’s got its ups and downs, and the Ruger American 45 is no exception. I’ve given it a solid run and bumped into some issues like ejector problems, slide jams, and trigger problems. 

Thankfully, most of these problems have straightforward solutions. A trip to the gunsmith, some DIY fixes, or even basic cleaning can go a long way in enhancing reliability. 

These hitches don’t make the Ruger American 45 a deal-breaker. They make it a work in progress. With some attention and care, this pistol can be as reliable as you need it to be.


Does the Ruger American have a safety?

Yes, it features an internal, automatic sear block system and ambidextrous manual safety.

Is 45 auto and 45 ACP the same caliber?

Yes, 45 Auto and 45 ACP are the exact same cartridge.

Is the 45 caliber obsolete?

No, the 45 caliber isn’t obsolete; it remains a popular choice for personal defense and shooting sports.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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