Author Topic: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol  (Read 39580 times)

Offline Heavy G

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Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« on: August 24, 2009, 08:04:00 PM »
Well, I shot my new Ruger Mark III yesterday and thought I'd give y'all a review in case anyone is thinking about getting one.

Get one.

Here is the gun:



Kind of a Luger looking thing.

The Mark III is very well balanced.  It points supremely well.  It's not heavy but not too light.  It has the same grip angle as a 1911 .45 and has the controls (slide release, magazine release, safety) in basically the same place as a 1911 (so I'm told; I don't own a 1911 so I can't verify this).

The gun is smooth and solid.  Smooth action with only 4 jams (out of 350 rounds of various kinds of dirty .22LR so that's not bad).  The Mark III is solid.  No rattles.  In fairness, I should say that the gun is new so it's tight.  But this thing is put together well.

The sights are good.  Since it's the Target model, they're adjustable.  I think adjustable sights on a practice gun is a big plus.  I don't need adjustable sights on a full-sized handgun that I will only shoot occasionally (and hopefully never because I have to use it).  Accuracy isn't my number 1 concern with a full-size. 

That's because I can practice for thousands of rounds with a .22LR pistol.  Cheap.  Sights and trigger.   Sights and trigger.  Repeat a few thousand times and you'll be amazed how you can pick up any semi-auto and shoot it way better because you've practiced with a semi-auto .22LR.  Same thing with a full-sized revolver after practicing with a .22LR revolver.  You'll be amazed.  And that's the main reason to get a Mark III: to practice for using a full-sized semi-auto pistol.  I can feel my 9mm shooting getting better and better the more I fire the Mark III.  But all work and no fun is no good.  The Mark III is way fun too.  And wouldn't be a hunting pistol for small game.  A Mark III could be a self-defense gun in a pinch (it's only a .22LR).  It's not concealable really but you know the first rule of gunfighting: "Bring a gun."  A .22LR is better than nothing.

OK, back to the review.  The trigger is great.  Light and crisp.  (It's the second best trigger on a gun I own.  The best is a S&W Model 63 in .22LR--that trigger is like butter.)  Given the price of this gun (you’ll need to keep reading until the bottom) I didn’t expect much of a trigger.  I was very happy with it.

Accuracy is great.  Here's a group of 10 shots at 25 yards with a rest:



This was after only about 200 shots had ever been through it and I was still learning how to shoot with it.  Not bad.  This group was with Aguila Match Pistol 38 grain lead round nose.  It's not fancy ammo at about $35 a brick (which is 500 rounds).

Another thing I like about the Mark III is the loaded chamber indicator.  It's a little bar that juts out a little bit when the chamber is loaded; it's easy to see when you're handling the gun or about to shoot.  At first I thought it was a "lawyer feature" to reduce liability.  But it's actually pretty handy.  And it doesn't get in the way.

My Mark III seems to take many kinds of ammo (you know how finicky .22LRs can be).  It took el cheapo Federal Champion Value Pack (the blue box with 525 in a brick), Aguila Super Extra 38 grain, and did very nicely with the Aguila Match Pistol 40 grain mentioned above.  Interestingly, the Mark III wouldn’t fully cycle with Winchester Subsonic.  I guess that’s because, as a subsonic round, it has less powder so there is less gas to cycle the action.  So I would predict that a Mark III wouldn’t work with underpowered .22LR ammo.

There are a few little things I don't like about the Mark III.  The first is the magazine.  It is dependable, which is the most important thing.  But to load it, you have to push down on a single button.  Some magazines like this, the S&W 422 comes to mind, have two buttons so you can grab them with two fingers instead of one, which is more comfortable.

Also, the magazine goes into the mag well in a slightly weird angle.  I quickly got used to it, but I like being able to jam a magazine in without having to think about it.

Another thing I dislike is the takedown method.  It has an odd way of disassembly and reassembly.  Nothing worse than an AR-15, and I got used to that, but I can say that I’ll be doing a full takedown to clean this gun less often than I do for other guns that are easier. 

I got the blued Target model with a plastic hand grip.  It's fine but the stainless steel with wood grips would be amazing.  But my blued version is perfect for what I got it for: affordable practice on a semi-auto pistol.

Besides being balanced and solid, the next best reason to get a Mark III is the price.  Mine was $289.  And that was at not-known-for-their-prices Cabela’s.  It was marked "used" but had never been fired and was new in box.  I've seen the stainless steel models with wood handles for $370 or so.  But you can get a very, very good .22LR semi-auto pistol for practicing for under $300. 

And it's fun.  Get one if you can.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 10:05:47 AM by Heavy G »

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Goatdog62

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2009, 09:23:45 PM »
Great write up HeavyG. I have fired the Mark II before, but not the III.

the pics didn't show, but probably my computers fault.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009, 09:54:43 PM »
Pictures should be fixed now. 

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline punkndisorderly

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 06:01:28 AM »
I currently own a MkIII, and owned a MKII previously and I'd like to expand on this review a little. Great review by the way!

First, I absolutley love the MK platform as well. My MkII purchased used gave me tens, if not hundreds of thousands of rounds of enjoyment with so few malfunctions I can't even remember one that wasn't due to a dud round. Great balance, great feel, great accuracy, and the best out of the box trigger I've ever felt.

My MKIII gave me a heap of problems out of the box. After an extended 3 month trip to the factory, it works great. It has performed exactly like the MKII I owned previously. Everything I liked about the MKII carried over. However, the new features that were added don't really add anything to the pistol for me. If anything they detract. I don't like the chamber indicator. Being a range gun, I don't feel it's really needed and it adds nooks and crannies to clean around in an already tight space. The magazine disconnect is another bad addition. Again, not something I felt was neeeded and it makes takedown more involved. It adds steps to a takedown and assembly process thats already a bit on the involved side. It also requires a magazine on hand to strip and assemble.

Don't get the impression that I don't like the MKIII, its still everything I liked about the MkII. It just adds some stuff that takes away slightly from a great package.

As far as the magazines, I've found that if you rest the magazine base-down on the shooting bench or other flat surface, it makes it much easier to hold down on that button while loading.

Offline Movinfr8

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 12:51:58 PM »
If you own a Ruger Mk1,2 or 3 you need this:

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1299

it makes a day of shooting much easier on the thumbs.Now if I just had an extended safety on mine!!

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 01:04:10 PM »
Thanks.  +1.  I just ordered a couple.  What a great idea for a product.

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline Serellan

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 04:48:57 PM »
I love my .22/45.  My only critique is that it is a real pain to field strip and reassemble infrequently.  I find I have to look up instructions every time.  Much less intuitive than say a Beretta 92 w/.22 conversion on top (although ultimately cheaper).

Here's mine:

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Offline joemommapoo

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009, 02:41:04 PM »
I just ordered one with a 5.5 inch barrel (shortest barrel allowed for hunting around here).    I traded in my sig mosquito for it. 

Here is the best disassembly video I have seen for it.

Ruger MK III Disassembly / Assembly

collegeb

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 12:01:59 PM »
The model I had was probably one of their earlier productions. The pins had no head like a nail, so a few of them started to come out after a few hundred rounds. This made my gun very difficult to disassemble. So after a few calls to Ruger it went to AZ, and they worked all the bugs out. The manual I was initially provided had a step missing, as noted by the tech person on the phone. I still like the MKII better than the MK III .22/45, but the MK III .22/45 has become easier to take a part and put together now that i've done it a few times. This video is great though.

Offline chad234

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 08:13:36 PM »
Great review and some nice shooting. The MK is a great platform.

Goatdog62

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2010, 06:23:25 PM »
I finally bought a Mark III 22/45 a couple weeks ago, a blued Target model. After zeroing the irons I mounted a Bushnell 1x25 Trophy Red Dot. What a great optic. It cost me $124 but it was fantastic to use on that pistol. It is a very accurate pistol and I did some seriously fast multi-target engagements.

Took me a little while to disassemble and reasemble it. Hitting it with the rubber mallet to knock the barrel off was a first for me (but what was recommended).

Very happy to have one in my collection.

Offline chad234

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 09:32:07 AM »
I understand there is an aftermarket accessory that makes stripping the MKII easier but have no experience with it myself.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2010, 10:03:58 AM »
Having shot quite a bit from the MKI/II platform, I can honestly count on one hand the number of times I have detail stripped one. Typically, I am very OCD with regard to cleaning my guns after hunting or range trips. But honestly, these run so reliably I typically give them a good hosing with a spray cleaner, hit the dirty areas with a toothbrush, run a bore snake through a few times and then dry and very lightly oil.

I have been looking for a MkII with the slab side, 5" bbl.

My dad has a MkII with 10" bull bbl - almost no recoil at all, just a tack driver.

Not many would argue with the Mk_ being the best 22 pistol available.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2010, 10:08:31 AM »
Having shot quite a bit from the MKI/II platform, I can honestly count on one hand the number of times I have detail stripped one. Typically, I am very OCD with regard to cleaning my guns after hunting or range trips. But honestly, these run so reliably I typically give them a good hosing with a spray cleaner, hit the dirty areas with a toothbrush, run a bore snake through a few times and then dry and very lightly oil.

I have been looking for a MkII with the slab side, 5" bbl.

My dad has a MkII with 10" bull bbl - almost no recoil at all, just a tack driver.

Not many would argue with the Mk_ being the best 22 pistol available.

It's funny that you mention this because I was just thinking about this. 

I disassembled my Mk. III for the first time and it was an unpleasant experience.  But I don't think I needed to do it.  I shot about 1,000 rounds through it and the action and grip were almost clean.  (I BoreSnake the barrel after every shooting session, of course).

I think I'll clean it about once a year (again, BoreSnaking after every session) if that.  Maybe every other year.

I might just see how many thousands of rounds it takes to gum it up and then disassemble accordingly.  I'll let you know what I find out.


You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

swamp man

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2010, 05:51:08 PM »
Great writeup!

 I've had my stainless 22/45 target model for several years and it gets used more often than anything else in the arsenal....very reliable and more accurate than I am. Definitely, it's a bit of a pain to break down, but isn't too much of a hassle with some practice. On the homestead, a good .22 handgun is a valuable tool, for sure, and the Mark serise pistols are hard to beat.

 A shootin' buddy of mine picked up one of the little Wather models a while back, and after an  afternoon of plinkin' with .22 pistols, I was absolutely unimpressed with the Walther and he was ready put it up for sale to fund a Ruger.

Offline ridge rover

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2010, 08:43:41 AM »
You can get some real purty grips for that pistol! I've tried the purty with a thumbrest and Volquartsen grips. I put my Volquartsen grips back on! They are more bulky, but you get a much better grip!
aka "Survival Sully"

Offline chad234

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2010, 09:00:14 PM »
I have Volquartsen grips on my MKII 5.5" Bull Barrel. They feel awesome.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010, 09:39:24 AM »
I just ordered a Volquartsen magazine loader for a Mk. II/III. 



Ordering info: https://www.volquartsen.com/products?q=ultimate+clip+loader

I'll let you know if it works.

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Goatdog62

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2010, 11:11:18 AM »
I just ordered a Volquartsen magazine loader for a Mk. II/III. 



Ordering info: https://www.volquartsen.com/products?q=ultimate+clip+loader

I'll let you know if it works.

They work wonderfully! I should have mentioned this earlier. If you don't want to spend all day loading .22, get one of these. They rock. I can fill up 5 mags in less than a minute. There is a learning curve, but a smart guy like you can figure it out. ;)

Offline D Haught

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2010, 07:04:27 PM »
I love MKII's but when I picked up a MKIII and saw that loaded chamber indicator that was it for me. No way will I buy a MKII, I HATE the loaded chamber indicator and have heard of many malfunctions since I started looking into them more. Mostly though I just hate screwing up the clean lines of those cylindrical receivers. KISS applies to the previously wonderful ruger line of target pistols. Might be just as good of a shooter but I'll never know.
I've been trained to ignore PAIN!!!


Offline Lunk

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2010, 03:17:32 AM »
A MkII 22/45 with the 5 inch bull barrel was the first firearm I ever bought. I had several friends take me to the range over the years and had always wanted to buy a firearm but there were so many choices I couldn't make up my mind what one I wanted. Then a friend told me I had to try his Ruger. About 3 magazines later I new what firearm I was going to buy. I went in the next week and ordered one.

I've run tens of thousands of rounds through that pistol over the last 10 years and frankly I can't think of a firearm I've used that I like more. It just works. If I take it to the range I will probably burn a 500 count brick through it while I'm there. Every time. It's just that good.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2010, 11:10:44 AM »

I just ordered a Volquartsen magazine loader for a Mk. II/III. 



Ordering info: https://www.volquartsen.com/products?q=ultimate+clip+loader

I'll let you know if it works.


It works.  Like a dream.  Super simple to use.  I went through a brick in about an hour. 

One little thing, though.  The tenth round doesn't usually seat in there.  So I run with nine-round mags.  It makes the brick last longer ... about 3 minutes longer. :D

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline shawn

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2010, 01:06:51 PM »
I find the clip loader to be to large, especially in the field. I use these:

http://www.rimfiresports.com/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=RSC&Product_Code=BW06&Category_Code=VC2

I have like four of them, one in each place I use my 22/45. It is super small and fits in you pocket.

Shawn


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Offline Heavy G

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Re: Review of Ruger Mark III (22/45) .22LR Semi-Auto Pistol
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2010, 11:21:28 AM »
One thing to add to the review: I planned on using the Mk. III for a kid training gun.  My 15 year old girl, who is normal size and has normal sized hands, found the action a little hard to rack and the magazines a little hard to load.  Not hard because it took too much force, but hard to put her hands where they belong to do these things. 

This will change with practice so I'm not worried (the Mk. III has one of the easiest actions and magazines to load).

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP