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Ruger MkIII 22/45: review article at ModernSurvival.net, and pics added

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Dirty Bob, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    I've been wanting to get a .22 handgun for quite a while. Ammo's cheaper and more available, and a .22 is a wonderful tool for polishing skills and for introducing novices to handguns.

    I did a lot of reading at RimfireCentral.com, as well as the Ruger Forums and other sites, and decided on a Ruger autopistol. The question was: which one? I looked around for MkIIs, but they're in short supply. A local dealer had the MkIII 22/45 with the 4-3/4" tapered barrel for an OK price. I found that this is no longer listed in the Ruger website. This, combined with the knowledge that this was likely the lightest Ruger autopistol out there, convinced me.

    This is a blued .22LR autopistol, with a polymer lower frame. The actual receiver, and the part with a serial number, is a one-piece barrel and action. The bolt reciprocates in the rear part of the steel tube, while the lower frame holds the action parts such as hammer, sear and trigger. Slide release, magazine release and safety are in the same approximate locations as in the 1911 pistol, and the grip angle mimics the 1911. This particular model has fixed sights, though most Ruger autos have adjustable sights.

    The gun came with two mags, a padlock (!) to put through the bolt, and a key for the internal lock. Absent in this one is the base and screws for an optical sight. The mount is standard with most of the Ruger MkIIIs, however.

    I finally got to shoot on a rainy, windy day, as the rains tapered off. Not ideal conditions, but a bad day at the range beats a good day almost anywhere else!

    I shot about 200 rounds, of three ammo types in the brief time I had between the rain stopping and the end of the day. I mostly fired Winchester and Federal bulk ammo, as well as 20 rounds of CCI Mini-Mags. I had field-stripped the pistol and wiped the bore beforehand to remove the excess oil. I lubricated the bolt with a teflon-based liquid similar to Break-Free. I've since switched to grease in that area, out of personal preference.

    Functioning was better than expected. I had about 5 failures to eject, causing jams, all with the bulk ammo. I was able to clear them easily. This is expected with a new pistol: I was surprised I experienced so few. If the problem continues, I'll try removing the Loaded Chamber Indicator, which protrudes into the action and may be contributing to the FTEs.

    Accuracy was very good, when I managed to do my part. I'm not a great pistol shot, and the wind didn't make things easy. Best group at 7 yards was 8 rounds into a hole the size of a dime, but then I "threw" the last two out, opening the group to the size of a quarter. The trigger was a bit heavy, but this may improve with break-in.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the Ruger and plan to keep it for a very long time. Recommended for anyone needing a good .22, either as an understudy for a 1911, or just for practice and/or enjoyment.

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    The 22/45, like any of the Mark I-II-III series, is a good gun. My only problem would be that it's a III instead of a II. I lucked out, and got my regular Mk II before the IIIs came out.
     
  3. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    Congrats on your MkII ! :)

    Fortunately, many of the "problems" with the MkIII can be undone. The Loaded Chamber Indicator can easily be removed and the parts kept in a baggie in a safe place, in case the gun is ever sold. The Magazine Safety can be disabled with a little work. The process is spelled out in several threads at RimfireCentral.com.

    I might take out the LCI. The narrow slot in the receiver tube would pose no problem as far as strength or function. I'm still thinking about the mag. safety. It complicates stripping and reassembly somewhat, and I don't ever consider a closed pistol to be "clear," so I don't need a mag. safety to keep me safe. In fact, I think it can foster lazy gun handling and a reliance on mechanical safety features rather than on good practices.

    If I'd found the right MkII, I probably would have grabbed it, but this was a configuration I was looking for. I just wish I was a better pistol shot! More practice!

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob
     
  4. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    .22 rimfire is a blast. You should get an Ultimate Cliploader, which makes loading those ten round mags really fast. In the time you can load five rounds into the mag by hand, you can probably load five whole magazines with this thing. I've got one for my Buckmark and it makes those value packs just disappear.
     
  5. yam350

    yam350 Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    Hi Dirty Bob. Just having a look at this thread and you mentioned gun lube, when I lived in N.Cal a few years ago I met a guy called Greg Conner a real nice guy who had invented what he called SLiP 2000, it is an amazing lubricant and worth having a look at.
    http://www.slip2000.com/
     
  6. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    The LCI doesn't bother me. The magazine disconnect, DOES. I've heard of people using Gorilla Glue to deal with that sucker.
     
  7. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    The disconnect -- if I understand correctly -- can be replaced with MkII parts, or a couple of stainless washers can be used to fill the space it vacates. I haven't read any details just yet, but I don't think it's supposed to be very difficult. The LCI, on the other hand, is downright easy, and there seem to have been cases in which it interfered with extraction and/or ejection.

    Regards,
    Dirty Bob
     
  8. elkhills

    elkhills Loaded Pockets

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  9. Sharpdogs

    Sharpdogs Uber Prepared

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  10. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    The Ruger is a fantastic little gun. I bought a standard model back when they were pretty new on the market and going for 39.95. Now 42 years later, it's still my favorite gun. It gets shot every range trip, and I can't even begin to guess how many rounds have been down the tube. It's the standard 4 5/8ths taper barrel. My kids learned to shoot on that gun, and two grandkids have learned as well. Doesn't have much blue left, but it gets cleaned and taken care of.

    With a little care, it will last you a lifetime of shooting. If it were my only gun, I wouldn't feel bad about that. In fact, I've had a lot of guns come and go, but I'd never think of gettng rid of my Ruger standard model. When I did a downsizing of my guns and other stuff, the Ruger was one of the three handguns I kept.

    I'd put at least 1000 rounds through it before I'd start fooling with it. They only get better with age and shooting.
     
  11. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    Very good advice, as always. I was planning to go 500, but I'll reach 1,000 rounds in not that long. They really are great little pistols, and that was a very good anecdote you shared. The only "bad" thing about the gun is that I've already been thinking how cool it would be to find an all-stainless one with a bull barrel, when I have some funds available again.

    And Jackknife, you're one of the reasons I picked up this .22 pistol. I was reading your accounts of owning and shooting .22 handguns, and how you met your wife at an outdoor range in our home town (the range I frequent is shown partially in the photo above). I realized that it had been years since I fired a .22 pistol, and that I needed to rectify that issue ASAP! It's been a very nostalgic experience to shoot a .22 again.

    Hey, that cliploader looks like a cool product! Loading magazines can be a chore, although emptying them is extremely easy.

    BTW, according to my kitchen scales, the pistol is just 26 ounces with unloaded magazine in place!

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob
     
  12. DB

    DB Kilted Moderator

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    I LOVE my MkII 22/45. It was the first handgun that I purchased when I turned 21. Not one regret about getting it. It always comes to the range with me, regardless of what else I bring. I've put thousands or rounds through mine, and it still runs flawlessly for me.

    Love that speedloader! I thin I'm going to have to invest in one of those...
     
  13. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

     
  14. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    I've looked at (and drooled over!) the 617 and other Smith & Wesson .22 revolvers, but the price has kept me away. I need to save my pennies because they are something special. I've never heard anyone speak of selling a S&W .22 with anything but regret. They tend to sell very fast, both on the used and on the new market.

    Another .22 that would be great to find at a low price is a stainless Single Six, with both cylinders. The .22LR is a wonderful practice and recreational caliber, but the .22WMR has earned a lot of respect over the years, as a varmint caliber, for some hunting, and even as a defensive caliber. I'd rate it up there with .32 Magnum and some of the other popular trail gun calibers. Curiously, even when just about every other ammo type was almost impossible to find, I still saw .22WMR on the shelves at Walmart and gun shops.

    For now, though, I'm really enjoying the 22/45. Field stripping and reassembly is a bit tricky, but nowhere near the problem for me that I might have expected from reading Internet posts. I'm getting the hang of it, and soon it will seem easy, I'm sure. I just followed the instructions in the manual.

    Also, the safety is much better than I've encountered on some other .22 pistols. I spent time with the 1911A1 as my personal weapon in the Navy, and I find the safety is right where my thumb "looks" for it. It's very easy to sweep off the safety as the gun comes on target.

    I've also heard complaints about the narrow profile of the grip. It is a very thin grip, but with so little recoil from the .22LR, it's not a problem for me. I find it pretty comfortable, but I may -- sometime in the future -- convert it to use 1911 stocks, and make a pair out of Pakkawood or some interesting hardwood. This would be more to personalize the gun than to fix any real problem.

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob
     
  15. tennvol

    tennvol Empty Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    I love mine, but hate taking it apart and putting it back together. Now you need a Tactical Solutions Pac-Lite and a can for it :)
     
  16. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    I think the Pac-Lite barrels look great, but I wonder if I want the Ruger to be any lighter than it already is. According to my kitchen scales, it's 24 ounces without the magazine! With the Pac-Lite, it would be down under 20 oz., and I doubt I could hold it as steadily as I can now. It would look cool, though!

    I like my Ruger. I keep it in a safe when not in use, and in a good holster at the range. I don't want to put it in a can! ;) (kidding!)

    Actually, in the area of accessories, I'm looking at the Select Carry Pack, by 511 Tactical, as a possible carry holster for hiking. Carried slung over one shoulder with a pair of ear buds coming out of it, I think it would look pretty harmless. Anyone have any experience with this item?

    Regards,
    Dirty Bob
     
  17. goforbroke

    goforbroke Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    I actually bought a Mark II competition target model in stainless steel last week. Its so much fun to shoot! Been looking for a .22 for a while and I came across this Mark II at a great price and decided to snatch it up. I kinda knew they were built like a tank, but jackknife just gave me further reassurance.
     
  18. therealdc

    therealdc Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    At the last gun show I picked up a Stainless MK-II w/ the bull barrel for $225. I had been looking for years and this was by far a good deal.
     
  19. adaman04

    adaman04 Empty Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: I like!

    Nice gun. I bought the 4" adjustable sight bull barrel 22/45 last Christmas. It's a fun little shooter. Enjoy it!
     
  20. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Ruger MkIII 22/45: review article at ModernSurvival.net, and pics here

    Update:
    I've written a review of the MkIII 22/45 at modernsurvival.net. It's out there for free for a short time, if you care to read it.

    I've included two new pics below. The second -- of the loaded chamber indicator (LCI), as it looks with a round chambered -- was not included in the article.

    I have removed the magazine disconnector and replaced it with two #10 stainless washers (reduced in diameter to fit). I also completely removed the LCI, which took about 10 seconds with a strong magnet. I pressed in gently on the LCI and used the magnet to pull its pin out of the bottom of the receiver tube. Now I have a narrow slot in the side of the receiver tube. Through it, I can see a tiny wink of brass if a round is loaded.

    The reason I removed the LCI completely is that I didn't want the metal blade of the LCI riding on ammo and empty shells as they go in and out of the chamber. I could have removed the blade from the LCI, but that would give me the illusion of the LCI, without it working. If a safety device is disabled, I don't want it to appear to still be there.

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob (pics are below)

    [img width=640 height=600]http://api.photoshop.com/home_70f7cd42f7da41fdb31eb5e75d48812a/adobe-px-assets/ad122251243d4577bbb7e5199e8a099e[/img]

    [​IMG]