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The Ruger .22

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The Ruger .22 Empty The Ruger .22

Post by Tim:H11 8/8/2023, 11:46 am

The Ruger MKII (or I, or III.. can’t speak on a IV)

We love them, we hate them, or we shoot them as say “.. eh ..”

This Ruger MKII like any other started life stock and where it went to I don’t know. But in its life it was acquired by a bullseye shooter who sent it to Sam’s for some work. The barrel was relined and test fired for accuracy. It yielded great results. But that’s where the upside ends. 

I acquired it and immediately there were issues. It did not cycle Eley OSP ammunition which has a velocity of 1050 to 1070 give or take. I tried hotter ammunition and it would cycle some but not 100%. So right away my impressions were that it was not ready for a 900 point agg. Certainly not a 900 followed by an EIC match and/or a .22 caliber team match. 

My first guess was to order a Volquartsen recoil spring kit. Perhaps a change in recoil springs would allow the gun to function different ammunition. This did not solve the issue. 

The next thing I investigated was the hammer spring. This gun had an aftermarket mainspring housing in it which often can come with an extra power hammer spring installed. I also had the stock mainspring housing left over that came with the gun. I installed the stock part to test. This yielded failures to fire almost constantly. I ordered a new factory replacement hammer spring from Ruger. Upon changing this spring I found the stock hammer spring to have been cut down drastically. The new spring solved for the light strikes, but the gun still didn’t want to cycle reliably. It did cycle better but seemed to have ejection problems.

I ordered a new extractor spring from Ruger and upon changing that spring out I noticed that the spring that came in the gun was all wrong. It was incorrect in length, diameter and the gauge of the wire seemed different. I still had failures to eject, though they were less often. 

I investigated the extractor and it was certainly worn. I replaced it with a Volquartsen extractor. Today I test fired the gun and it is now 100% reliable. 

The trigger was stiff, crisp, snappy, and heavy feeling when I got the gun. It weighed in at nearly four pounds. For a quick fix I installed a Volquartsen trigger kit. It feels like a long, squishy, roll. Not ideal but certainly usable. It’ll remain this way until I can get around to having a proper feeling trigger doctored up for this gun. 

It may seem like a lot of work but I have come to these opinions or views of the Ruger MK series pistols. They should cycle nearly anything in their stock spring configuration. And when they fail, people who might not know any better do some strange things to the springs. The stock extractor works new from the factory but it is not uncommon for them to wear down and fail. I do feel the Volquartsen extractor is a superior part. The hammer spring is something people fear replacing in these guns. Often, instead of replacing the spring, people replace the entire mainspring housing with one that comes with a new spring installed. These new springs may not be factory spec. A new spring cost $4.00 before shipping. A new mainspring housing runs about $70.00. Think on that for a second. It was not that difficult to change the hammer spring. But the task needs to be approached with care for safety, and patience for success.

What might have started out as a gun that would’ve been great for plinking, small game hunting, marksmanship training or otherwise turned into a basket full of issues on the road to becoming a great pistol. This gun is now accurate, reliable, and ready for a match. 

The question is though - is it worth it? Cost of a gun, plus cost of a barrel liner or new barrel.. plus a trigger job… the springs and extractor weren’t terribly expensive. A Ruger set up for bullseye might cost a lot in the end. But I think a stock gun with a trigger kit gives a new shooter a budget friendly starter pistol. Something they can grow with. In time as they progress they can have it rebarreled. At some point upgrade the rear sight or mount an optic. Perhaps the Ruger is the Springfield Armory Range Officer of .22 caliber pistols? Much like a Range Officer was a gun to learn on and grow with having modifications made as the shooters skill increases, so too can the Ruger fit that space in the .22 caliber world. Other pistol option require a large sum of money upfront where the Ruger allows a shooter to spend a little at a time while they learn. 

Just my take on it. But I’m liking this one of mine and thought I’d share. 

The Ruger .22 8ccbda10
Tim:H11
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Post by javaduke 8/8/2023, 12:47 pm

I think pretty much any gun that is not originally designed for competition (i.e. not Pardini, Morini, Matchguns, etc) takes a lot of work and money to make it competitive. There is a reason why true competition guns are so expensive. To get the same feel and accuracy in a stock gun, like Ruger Mark, or reasonably priced 1911s like Springfield, Rock Island, etc. you would need to spend a considerable amount of money and time. Is it worth it? I say yes, because at the end you get exact gun you want. That is, if you want a gun that feels like Ruger and shoots great. If you want a gun that feels like Pardini, buy a Pardini.
Just my 2c.

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Post by Merick 8/8/2023, 1:11 pm

On the CON side
stock triggers are miserable
take down for mk1-3 is a hassle
ergonomics are nothing to write home about
no dry fire (I have an idea about this but haven't worked on it yet)

On the PRO side
accuracy is good
price is reasonable to very reasonable
magazines and parts are available and affordable
MK IV has totally solved the take down issue
sights and barrel are rigidly fixed
mounting an optical sight is easy

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Post by RoyDean 8/8/2023, 1:33 pm

Maybe I have been lucky, but the original box stock standard Mark 1 which was all that I could afford as a student in 1974 got me up to about Expert/Master, then I got posted overseas and stopped shooting for nearly 40 years. I bought an ANIB Mark IV 22/45 off GunBroker, for $240, put on a Ruger rail n cheap dot, 100% reliable with everything except CCI and HM accurate. I subsequently got Roddy to sort out the trigger at modest cost. It is a great gun. I now keep it as an "on range loaner" for newbies (or Oldies with Model 41 alibi machines🤣😂🤣😂👍).

I love them.

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Post by Tim:H11 8/8/2023, 1:47 pm

Merick wrote:On the CON side
stock triggers are miserable
take down for mk1-3 is a hassle
ergonomics are nothing to write home about
no dry fire (I have an idea about this but haven't worked on it yet)

On the PRO side
accuracy is good
price is reasonable to very reasonable
magazines and parts are available and affordable
MK IV has totally solved the take down issue
sights and barrel are rigidly fixed
mounting an optical sight is easy

Stock triggers on nearly every gun that isn’t an upper level precision gun are miserable. Buy the gun plus trigger kit. That would be the initial cost. 

Ergonomics is a preference.

Take down isn’t a hassle. It is what it is. The disassembly and reassembly of a firearm isn’t a race.

Ruger MKI, MKII, and MKIII are dry fire safe as far as I know. Can’t speak on the MKIV.  

Just a counter to your thoughts. But again this is all preference. My point was it’s a low cost gun for someone to start on. The older ones did shoot really well initially. Government models shot great. I don’t say this is a gun to sell your Pardini, FWB, Nelson, etc. and buy the Ruger. It’s an entry level piece to grow with and keep initial cost low. This is sort of the “working man’s gun”.
Tim:H11
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Post by Merick 8/8/2023, 1:56 pm

Dry fire as in a whole heckin lot of dry fire.  

However stripped bolts are about $30 and I think they could be modified for a short hammer fall/reset easy enough, at least in the mkiv, but I am not totally sure if what I have planned could bear trap in a mk1-3 and make it undissasembelable

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Post by RodJ 8/8/2023, 2:44 pm

Great write up. A few relevant comments.

Recall that in Pistol Shooters Treasury a comparison was reported of M41, High Standards, and Ruger pistol. If I recall correctly all of them were found to be quite accurate, bone stock. 

Unbeknownst to me, I was sold a used Mark II that was locked up and impossible to disassemble. A call to Ruger, told them the truth that it was not mine originally, and they paid shipping both ways and fixed the problem for free. Wish I could remember but it’s a rare situation where the mainspring housing won’t come out. Love Ruger with all my heart.

Easy enough to remove the firing pin to for 100% safe dry firing. Yes, even the dreaded pre-Mark IV’s.

RoyDean “Model 41 alibi machines” was funny. Cruel and uncalled for, but really funny. Rotflmao!

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Post by chiz1180 8/8/2023, 3:17 pm

I got a Ruger Mk I last December, I have not had a chance to shoot it much but, the little I have I have found it to be an excellent pistol. I bought one that was already "bullseye ready" aristocrat rib, aftermarket (Clark maybe?) trigger, and front strap stippling. I think the only real issue with my particular example is that it may be a bit heavy for some. In regards to cost, I have significantly less money in the Ruger than a full conversion set up, and I don't think I could argue that a Conversion, 208, Pardini, ect. shoots significantly better.

The Ruger .22 Img_6610
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Post by rburk 8/8/2023, 9:21 pm

I have a Mark lll 22/45, I installed the volquartsen trigger kit.  You described it perfectly as a "long squishy roll". It did come in at over 2 pounds, it works and is a big improvement over the factory trigger. 

The 22/45 has a polymer frame which I am not crazy about, but it seems to work o.k.  I do like that the grip angle is the same as a 1911, and you can even use 1911 grip panels with slight modifications.

For those of us in CA, the Mark IV target model with a bull barrel is now on the approved handgun roster.  It has an alloy frame.  Turners has them for sale at about $550.  It has been awhile since you could buy any Ruger Mark pistol new in CA.

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Post by only_8_ring 8/8/2023, 9:51 pm

Yes, I agree with "long squishy roll". Over 10k or so rounds, mine slowly loosened up and at one point the trigger weighed under 2 pounds. I had to put the original sear spring back in instead of the volquartsen replacement. That brought the trigger back up to weight.

One other issue with the Mk series pistols is that the firing pin will sometimes break if you dry fire it too much and don't replace the pin with a better one. I dry fired mine about 5k times, assuming that because the manual said it was dry fire safe... well, it wasn't. Luckily the resulting divot in my chamber face swaged out. 

Other than that, my Mk IV has been very good to me. It eats pretty much any ammo and shoots better than I can.

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Post by Jon Eulette 8/8/2023, 11:00 pm

I will/would shoot a Ruger with a good trigger job by me before I would shoot a Pardini. Pardini has lifeless trigger feel. It’s not your friend at 50 yds. Ruger can be your friend 😇
I really like the Ruger once it’s setup.
Jon
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Post by SaraiEsq 8/9/2023, 5:17 am

I have a Ruger Mark IV Target pistol. I installed a Volquartsen exact edge extractor which fixed the FTE problem I had initially. I added a bit of white paint to the iron sights because the black-on-black just was not working.

At some point I will get the Volquartsen trigger.

I'll let you know when I can outshoot her.... :-)

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Post by BEA 8/9/2023, 6:56 am

I have a Ruger MK IV and believe that it is a good basis for a fine bullseye pistol.  Mine is the standard 6 inch barrel with fixed sights.  With this configuration, I can mount an Aimpoint 9000SC on it without the total weight exceeding what I am comfortable with.  Testing it off a sandbag, the accuracy seems to be good. I installed the Volquartzen kit in it and the kit did as advertised, bringing the weight down to 2 1/4 lbs.  My problem is the trigger still feels mushy and I actually like about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs trigger.  Adding weight to it was a little bit of a challenge.  I chose to accomplish this by putting a heavier spring in the top of the trigger rather than by altering the hammer/sear engagement.  My selection of springs that fit in the designated spot was slim.  I also found that the pins that hold some of the ignition parts in place are rather loosely fit which likely contributes to the mushy feel.   Even though the kit contained a new extractor, I am still getting the occasional failure to extract.  The MK IV is super easy to clean.  IMO, if you work the bugs out of it I think it can be a very capable bullseye pistol that has largely been overlooked.

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Post by L. Boscoe 8/9/2023, 10:15 am

I have the Mark IV 22/45, with the Volquartsen trigger-shoots at least as good
as my 41, no problems with just about any ammo save Norma which can fail to
eject on occasion.

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Post by RodJ 8/9/2023, 2:16 pm

SaraiEsq wrote:I have a Ruger Mark IV Target pistol.  I installed a Volquartsen exact edge extractor which fixed the FTE problem I had initially.  I added a bit of white paint to the iron sights because the black-on-black just was not working.

At some point I will get the Volquartsen trigger.

I'll let you know when I can outshoot her.... :-)

Sara, 
For a few extra dollars, Jon Eulette can do a trigger job n your Mk iv lower that I believe you will enjoy better. He did a roll trigger on my SARO and it’s a big change for the better. When I get unlazy my Mk ii is going to him. It’s got a VQ sear but a long mushy pull.  It’s better than stock, but a real trigger job would be better and my guess is will last longer.

PS congrats on shooting your national matches this summer!

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Post by bruce martindale 8/9/2023, 3:05 pm

If you don’t know who BEA is, you would still be wise to listen. If you do, then there’s no question you listen.

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Post by Jon Eulette 8/9/2023, 3:53 pm

Clark Steel Triggers alleviate most of the spongy feel. I believe the aluminum triggers always have a slightly spongy feel even with 2# trigger pull.
Unfortunately Clark stopped selling them. I usually buy every one that I see listed for sale. They’re that good!
Volquartsen from memory calls their sears “vapor honed”. Still has machine marks on sear engagement surface 99% of the time. I stone through it and get smoother surface. Volquartsen triggers feel spongy. I don’t care for their wide trigger, I do narrow them on request.
Ruger with trigger job is very affordable pistol. I highly recommend them. I’ve found that checkered/stippled front and back straps helps tremendously with gripping. Seems to make pistol more gripping friendly and comfortable.
Jon
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Post by BEA 8/10/2023, 10:17 am

The grip on the Ruger can be improved for sure.  Short of stippling, I purchased a set of Ruger grips like the ones that come on the "Competition" model, which are checkered wood with a slight thumb rest and fill the hand a bit more.  The mushy feeling trigger may be due in part to having a roll break that might be a little excessive.  On the positive side, it is consistent and if I focus on shooting the Ruger, I get used to it and think little to nothing of it.  However, if I switch back and forth with my Marvel, just for entertainment purposes, the extra roll is more apparent. My main issue with my Ruger is the occasional failure to eject.  The V extractor helped it for sure but it is not cured.  I have not delved into it. Jon, that is interesting about the Clark triggers vs the Volquartsen.  One thing for sure, the aluminum triggers don't feel good at all.  I have a steel trigger for an older model Ruger left over from years ago when I had my shop, but do not remember who manufactured it, or which MK model it is for.  I will text you a picture.  If you can use it, I will give it to you.  It may have come from Gil Hebard, which means it is likely a Clark.  Evidently I changed a number of them out as I have numerous factory triggers that I tossed into my drawer.  Not sure why I saved them, but you know how it is with old parts.  They just accumulate.  As for working on these Rugers, I defer to Jon.  He has seen more of them than I have.


Last edited by BEA on 8/10/2023, 11:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BEA 8/10/2023, 11:20 am

Thank you, Bruce, for your vote of confidence.  I equally value your thoughts. I have no agenda when it comes to my opinions on equipment.  To each his own, but for those looking for a 22 bullseye pistol, the Ruger deserves to be considered with the understanding that a bit of tuning will be necessary as it comes from the factory.

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Post by Kp321 8/18/2023, 9:36 am

My first pistol was (is, still have it) a Ruger pre-Mk I target model from the mid 60’s. 6 7/8” barrel, adjustable Micro sights. Out of the box, the trigger is almost as good as a Volquartsen kit in a later model.   Don’t know why they can’t do it now.

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Post by L. Boscoe 8/18/2023, 10:37 am

My Ruger 22/45 has a Volquartsen trigger job which does not feel mushy- I got the Ruger wood grips, which really fill your hand, and shot a nice set of groups
yesterday. My only occasional hiccup is failure to eject on about 1 in 100.
I tried an Aimpoint scope on it, too heavy.  Settled on a Holosun.

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Post by Sierra49er 8/18/2023, 10:42 am

Sorry to hear about the work involved to make your pistol shoot accurately for Bullseye.  I have 2 Ruger 22 LR pistols.  The first is a MK I Target with a thumb rest on the grips.  Long barrel and very accurate.  I have shot this one open sight in Bullseye and had a blast for all three matches.  I have probably shot over 7 - 8,000 rounds over its life (Bullseye matches are 1,000+) and have only replaced the extractor about 10 years ago. It is accurate, rugged, reliable and and old friend.  Now for the new one.  It is a MK IV 22/45.  Took it out and shot open sight once, then mounted a Ultradot II on a picatinny rail.  The last mod was a Volquarsten trigger.  Now that rascal shoots like a dream.  It is also accurate and reliable.  I use it now for all three matches at Bullseye.  I'm not at your level, but it is really enjoyable to go out and shoot a competition with a lot of nice fellow shooters, in a very safe range environment (reminds me of the ranges while serving in the Army), and just plain fun. Now if I want to compete, the tools will not be preventing me from it.  

As soon as one feels comfortable shooting 22, then a change to the 1911 for the later matches might be order.

Jus my 2 cents....

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