Saturday, November 8, 2008

REVIEW: Ruger Mark III Hunter

I love to shoot. I can spend hours shooting on the plinking range or I can spend hours trying to practice double taps with my Taurus PT-92. No matter what, I love shooting as a hobby. Kind of like golf, shooting is a sport/hobby that can be approached in one of two ways. You can be a lifetime hacker or you can constantly try to improve your game. I lean toward the second. I like to try to improve at least one skill a little bit each time I’m on the range. The problem is, shooting can be expensive. Ammo costs are killing me! So a while ago I decided to buy a .22 pistol to enable me to shoot on the cheap.

After weeks of online research, talking to friends and shooting a variety of .22s. I finally decided on the Ruger Mark III Hunter with the 7-inch fluted barrel. It was about $100 more than I had planned on spending (I spent $469), but I justified it by telling myself that I’d recover that cost overrun by shooting one 550 count box of .22 rounds for $15 in place of 5 boxes of .45 for $150! (I still shoot plenty of .45 and 9mm)

The first thing you notice about the Mark III’s long barrel is the weight. It’s a heavy .22 and the extra barrel length makes it a bit nose heavy. The 5.5 inch barrel seemed perfectly balanced. But I was after accuracy with this gun. That extra barrel length would give me a long sight radius with open sights and a bit more muzzle velocity - not to mention virtually no felt recoil.

The gun comes standard with a scope rail, two magazines, gorgeous cocobolo grips and a fiber optic front sight with five replacement fiber optic pieces in both red and green. All that in a nice heavy duty box. For comparison, my friend Bruce bought a Browning Buckmark Camper (reviewed here)that cost $100 less but came with one magazine, no scope rail and no replacement fiber optic pieces. By the time you buy all that, you’ll spend at least $50.

The next day I took it to the range and started shooting. Boy was I disappointed. I was getting a jammed bullet in every magazine. The Remmington bullets were actually bending at the point where the bullet met the case. It happened over and over again. I chalked it up as a break in issue and decided that after a several hundred rounds the problem would stop.

On my way home I had an idea. I stopped by Wal-Mart and bought a box of Federal ammo so I could test it against the Remmington the next day. Back on the range, I loaded one mag with Remmington and the other with Federal. After only four magazines, I realized the problem was the Remmington ammo, not the gun. For some reason my Ruger likes to eat cheap Federal ammo and not cheap Remmington green box ammo. Problem solved.

With the right bullets, the gun shot like a dream. The v-notch rear sight makes for amazing accuracy. Go to your local gun store that sells Ruger Mark III Hunters and try this experiment. Pick up a square notched sighted gun and line up the sights. Then while lined up, move the gun a hair and notice the how the front sight looks as the gun moves. Next, pick up the Hunter, place the bright red fiber optic sight at the bottom of the V, right on top of the vertical white dash mark and move the gun a bit. With the Ruger, it’s immediately obvious that the bright red dot is off line as it comes out of the “v” notch and off mark with the white line. You can tell if you’re .1 mm off! With square notched sights, .1 mm isn’t obvious, 1 mm is but one tenth that isn’t. Try it for yourself. You’ll see.

During the first hundred rounds, the trigger was a bit stiff but quickly smoothed out. It’s now very light and breaks with a confident, light snap. On the plinking range, I find it relatively easy to hit cans at 75 yards out in on or two tries. I can knock spent shotgun shells off of my target stand at 50 feet at will. This gun shoots!

About a month after purchase, I decided to try putting a red dot scope on it. Not knowing if I’d like a red dot or not, I went cheap for my first one. I bought a $29 Tasco Red Dot from Midway USA. Once sighted in, things only got better. After shooting the Tasco, my friend Bruce said, “That kind of takes the fun out of sucking”, as he accurately shot a water bottle at 75 yards.

- Why did I buy the gun? For cheap fun at the range. More shooting for less money. The choice was a combination of reputation, looks and price (The S&W Model 41 is $1,000).

 How long have I owned the gun? About seven months.

- Would I buy it again if faced with the decision? If I had to do it over again, I would buy the same gun. I have no regrets whatsoever.

- How have my feeling changed since I bought it? My feelings haven’t changed much. I still look forward to shooting it.

- Best and worst? Best is the trigger, sights, build quality. Worst was taking it apart. It was a pain to field strip at first but now, it’s not that bad.

Would I recommend the gun? Yes. If you want a .22 for target/plinking on the cheap. This is a great option. It’s not the cheapest .22 you can buy, but the inexpensive ammo will make up for the additional cost of the ammo over a very short time. There are also a ton of modification options out there if you want to improve the gun in any way.

When you mix the reputation of Ruger, the beauty of this stainless gun with gorgeous wood grips and pinpoint accuracy, it’s hard not to love this gun. I find it to be a mixture of beauty, accuracy and fun.


  1. Congrats Kennard on the new Ruger .22 pistol!!! I sure miss my Browning Buckmark Varmint Model .22 with a 9 7/8 inch barrel - I sold it when I needed money - yes, idiot comes to mind with me too. By the way on .22 ammo for it - I never had a misfeed on it - that I remember. One thing it had was an adjustable trigger on it. Mine too, like Bruce's Buckmark only came with one magazine. I ended up buying two more - and I did not sell those. I figured it would give me insentive to buy another Buckmark but this next one is going to be a Browning Buckmark Field model. I have always wanted one and will get one. It is killing me not having a .22 right now. I have an old Victory Model Smith and Wesson .38 on layaway at a local pawn shop - it is in pretty good shape but does not have the original grips. When I finish paying on that I will be saving up for the Field Buckmark. Kennard - I found another blogsite that has some good gun info - especially if you use the search feature on it - look up buckmark pistol or ruger .22 or even check out the info on the Victory Revolver... he has interesting stuff - like you he likes the Ruger .22. Have Fun!!!

  2. Great reply! Thank you for the info.

  3. Great article Kennard! You chose wisely.

    I, too, have found that Remington is not easily digested by any of my Rugers. I'm not certain as to why.

  4. Remington 37-gr hollowpoints remain the most accurate in my old Ruger MKI standard. I purchased it in 1973, used, and someone had added Ruger Target thumbrest grips and Micro target sights. Many a rabbit and squirrel has fallen to it, mostly headshots, out to max of about 40 yds, however as my eyes age I need a longer sight radius. I am still deciding between MkIII and Buckmark. Thanks for the info here!

  5. Hey guys,

    I've done some pretty extensive testing on the ammo brands. CCI and Federal seem to be the only reliable brands.. Obviously Federal has a much cheaper front-end cost, but they are DIRTY!!! I don't mind it though because regardless of the ammo, I clean the gun every time I get done shooting.

    What I found in my testing was that ANY Remington load periodically misfeeds due to the length of the bullet itself. The federal and CCI bullets are longer and tapered more than the remington which are shorter and rounder. The front of the bullet catches the small tang that guides the cartridge into the barrel. The longer/more tapered projectiles slide very easily along the tang while the shorter rounder bullets catch the lip of the tang. I've taken a small round hone and polished the edge of teh tang a tiny bit. I *believe* it has helped but it still jams quite a bit with the remington ammo.

    Ammo brands that have worked fine in my Mark III target:

    *Federal - both cheap bulk and more expensive types
    *CCI - all of the CCI with the exception of the Shotshell cartridges - which I only shot a couple of for pure curiosity.. I don't recommend it and neither does CCI.
    *Winchester Super X
    *Blazer bulk pack

    Brands which had more jams/misfeeds and in some cases failure to fire:

    Remington golden bullet (bulk pack)
    Remington Thunderbolt
    Remington Eley
    Remington Target
    Winchester Bulk "333" box (this one I only shot a few cartridges from a buddy's cache so I didn't really get to test it much)
    American Eagle

    There have been many others tested too but they either a) aren't widely available (imports etc) or b) are costly... none of them really performed any better so I gave up on them.

    Conclusion... as long as I can get the cheap federal 550 pack at walmart (copper "plated"..ahem... dusted with copper ha ha and "hollow-point" which is really more just a little dent in the tip), I'll keep using them. They are cheap, and I've only had maybe 2 misfeeds etc from an entire 550 round box. I don't get quite as great accuracy as I do with the CCI, but for the cost, I'm willing to shoot and shoot and shoot until I hit the target rather than have one trophy-winning shot in a tournament etc. Read- I'm not a competitor.. just like to plink.

    One accessory that I HIHGLY recommend is the Ultimate magazine loader. It makes filling a mag a piece of cake with NO painful thumb. I got mine at Brownell's but I know others have them too.

  6. Awesome comment! Well written. Thank you.

  7. Kennard,

    I'm interested in the Mark III myself. I've seen quotes on-line for over $600. Care to share where your purchased yours for only $469?

  8. Sportsman's Warehouse. This pistol was purchased prior to the "election gun rush" though. I looked at it in December 2008 while purchasing an AR15 and the price was still $469 at that time.


    This is THE place for resources for all things

    I love my Mark3Hunter. Great field pistol.

    1. I love my hunter also, gone through tons of ammo without jams.

  10. I just bought a new SS Mark 3 with 4.5" fluted barrel for $449. I think it's a steal for the quality. I purchased at a gun show in DC yesterday.

  11. I'm a new shooter, so bear with me. A friend hooked me up with a used Ruger Mark II with a long barrel. By aiming carefully, remembering my BRASS instructions, and using only the finest target ammo hand-made by Tibetan monks, I was able to consistently hit the back wall of the shooting range. Sometimes bullets accidentally nicked the edges of the paper target on their way downrange.

    May be I can explain this. I shot everything from a .45 to a 155 howitzer in the Army back in Vietnam and have had some nines in the more recent past. But it's not like riding a bicycle and, to be honest, I was never that good with a pistol anyway. (In-country I carried an M-16, a .45 and my personal fave, an M-79 grenade launcher with the shotgun shell in it. A 40-mm shotgun shell made everyone duck long enough for me to diddy-mao outtta there.)

    I decided the main problems were (1) I was an awful shot anyway and (2) I couldn't see the damn sights. The Mark II had that wide front blade and square notch back, all black, and my eyeballs are not what they were forty years ago.

    So I got rid of that gun and bought a new Ruger 22/45, 6 7/8 (here's a picture:
    for $400 last month at a local gun shop. They knocked off about $50 because I bought another pistol (Colt .45 Commander) at the same time, so probably it went for $450 alone. Plus tax.

    The new pistol had the front fiber optic and V-notch rear sights and I love those. Still, I was not surprised when my shot groups with the new .22 were mostly on the paper but only when using targets about 18x24 inches in size. So next I worked on my shooting hand/grip and footwork. (Yes, footwork. Makes a difference.) To my happy astonishment I got better. After just a few weeks, shooting maybe 100-200 rounds every other day or so (more on that below) I can now drill out the center of a small target. I print my own, six to an 8 1/2x11 sheet, 2-inch with bullseyes that are 3/4 inch. I do not miss the 2-inch circle, half are within the inner ring and half in the (3/4 inch diameter) eye.

    This is at 25 feet, so it's not like I'm going to break any shooting records or impress the rest of you. But my point is, Ruger made a target pistol that really works, out of the box, for an untrained shooter with bad eyes. I'm pretty happy with it.

    Oh, and I bought the T-type magazine loader:
    to save wear and tear on my thumb. Since you have to buy two for ten bucks, I made a friend for life at the range by giving the other to another Ruger owner whose kid was learning to shoot. Now the boy and I happily load up, while more manly men grit their teeth and nurse their bleeding thumbs.

  12. I purchsed my Ruger Mark III Hunter a couple of months ago. It shoots well, except for remmington ammo,2 misfired, 2 jammed, all Remmington. Winchester, CCI, Federal are no problem shooting.

    Field stripping and reassembly are a NIGHTMARE.

    Until now every pistol that I have ever used I could field strip and reassemble quickly and easily. Not this one! This one has a part off of the hammer that has to be in just the right position to reassemble it right, and it is extremely difficult to see this part and even more difficult to keep it in position while assembling the last piece. It calls for a paper clip and a non marring hammer to disassemble it. THE RUGER MARK III HUNTER IS ODD TO DISASSEMBLE AND EXTREMLY DIFFICULT TO REASSEMBLE, but it shoots good.

  13. Hi, I am going to purch ase either a mark lll hunter, or a mark lll 22/45. Do you guys have any suggestions?

  14. well actually jami.they both suck left ones,and on tuesdays they suck right ones.dont buy either one

  15. anonymous is totally right.i took a mark III hunter out and hated it.screw rugers,im sticking to my favorite gun everrrrr,a kel-tec! oh baby, they shoot soooooo goodly.if anyone has a problem with this message...First of all,screw you.i dont care.cry me a river.second of all,my name is cooper number is me and i will shove my foot through the phone and punt you in your nuts.

  16. Update to my long post of February 15, 2009: Have now shot thousands of rounds through the Hunter, After a few hundred rounds the front sight unscrewed itself and fell off. I fixed that with some lock-tight. Meanwhile I still had a problem with the sights. The light-pipe stuff works best in bright sunlight, not in indoor shooting ranges. It's OK and much better than black iron sights but I bought a red-dot sight to mount on top and that REALLY solved my problem. After a few hundred more rounds the front sight fell off again, despite the lock-tight goo in the threads. I picked it up and put it into a baggie in case I want to sell the gun wi8thout the red-dot on it. A few hundred rounds later the REAR sight fell off. I had never adjusted it so it just came loose form the factory setting. Added that to the baggie. After a few hundred more rounds the bolt no longer locked back after the last round. This is a problem on a .22 because the firing pin is not centered but can strike the rear of the chamber—and be damaged—if there's no shell casing in the way. Or so they cheerfully tell me in the manual. neither myself or a gunsmith could quite figure out what happened there and I DO know how to clean it.

    the upshot of all this: I'm looking for a gun that can take my red-dot sight and that doesn't fall apart from regular use. And if it is as easy to clean as my .45 that would be a plus too.

  17. I recently purchased a Mark II and did an extensive ammo test and discovered that mine, like yours, prefers cheap Federal ammo. I'm now using nothing but Federal Lightning from Walmart ($1.50 per box of 50). Here's my ammo test.

  18. What a rude asswipe cooper koehler is! Plenty of big talk when you know you are pretty safe. You are the kind of jerk that gives gun ownership a bad name...probably have a bunch of ugly tattoos too! Grow up dickwad.

  19. Some of you are a little too serious. Anyway,I'm kind of new to this stuff. But I agree, Remington ammo was terrible. I've been using CCI high velocity,and it works quite well.The more rounds I put through the gun the better it gets. I have shot about 1200 rounds. I was told by a gunsmith to soak the mags in kerosene. I also add a little wd 40 to the solution. Believe it or not, it seems to help the whole operation.
    I also use X treme bore solution after each session. I soak the bore,breach and mag slot.I don't disassemble the gun.Then I work the bolt back and forth. I also run a wire brush through the bore and use on a nylon brush on the breach.
    This all takes me about 10 - 15 minutes. It seems to help to keep these guns really clean, which I think is doable without stripping the gun.

    I hope this helps.

  20. Good Review, thanks! I've done similar research and ordered a Hunter last weekend. Should have it in a couple weeks.

    thanks again.

  21. I bought one of these about a year ago. Looks great but too many problems. I've put about 2000 rounds through it and it jams constantly. Ruger sent me a new extractor and that made it slightly better. I sent it to them and it came back jamming worse. Mine is at Ruger right now and they claim it works perfectly, now they want to check the magazines. They claim to have put 150 rounds through it without a problem. I have 6, 2 that came with it and 2 each from different stores. The customer service people are polite, but I know they're jerking me around. This gun rarely fires 2 magazines without a jam. I belong to a pin shooting league and when someone's .22 jams and they disqualify, you can bet it's a Ruger. Just like a previous post, my front sight came loose as well. The holes were full of a nasty black liquid, probably parts wash, thus the screws couldn't be tightened properly. If you're in the market for a .22 auto, buy a Buckmark. I've shot several and the triggers are much better and they didn't jam on any ammo.

    1. You need to check out majestic arms in staten island new york.He is on the internet he makes these upgrade kits that are great. When I bought my ruger I brought it to him brand new and upgraded the factory parts. I shoot hundreds of remington rounds thru it without a jam,all my 8 magazines are ruger.

  22. I own of these Rugers The hunter and the compatition and bought 10 clips,both have about 4000 rounds through them. i have never had a jam I love these guns and am getting ready to buy another one .sounds like some of you guys shoulden,t own a gun .Don't think you know how to take care of one.Please don't hurt your selves it makes us gun owners look bad.

  23. I have had my MK3 for about a year and a half now. I to have had a few minor problems with mine but nothing bad enough to get rid of it. My sights fell off. A little liguid metal from loctite took permanent care of that. It also jammed with the remington crap ammo. CCI's took care of that. I can regularly shoot dime sized groups at 25'. It has taken dozens of squirles at 25yds. To sum it up. Its the best damn 22 on the market as far as I am concerned. My Brother owned the S&W 41. He had to clean it every 100 rnds for it to be accurate. I clean mine when I am really bored. It shoots great all the time. (TIP) Clean it using carburater and choke cleaner. SPOTLESS I TELL YOU. and you dont have to take it apart.
    Shoot straight and often.

  24. I got a Mark III Target. Had the same inital jamming problem, used federal .22,. After 200-300 rounds for first shooting...after a good cleaning...went back and never had a jam again. I think the heavy oil they are shipped with caused the jams. IfI had cleaned the gun before the first shooting, it would have been ok. Also think it is hard to assemble/disassemble...but used to it now. Great Gun!!!!!!!!Love it!

  25. I've had my marklll hunter for over three years now without any hiccup, it has consumed over 10,000 rounds as of this writing. Its the best rimfire gun i've ever had. It shoots right into the eye almost all the time... Assembly/disassembly is hard at first, but if you learned the techinque it is a breeze - thanks to bullseye (pls see his site: GunTalk You can e-mail me at for further info... thanks

  26. I've had my marklll hunter for over three years now without any hiccup, it has consumed over 10,000 rounds as of this writing. Its the best rimfire gun i've ever had. It shoots right into the eye almost all the time... Assembly/disassembly is hard at first, but if you learned the techinque it is a breeze - thanks to bullseye (pls see his site: GunTalk You can e-mail me at for further info... thanks

  27. I have been shooting this gun with a 6 power scope at 200 yards in a 6 inch group from a rest. Show me another gun do that out of the box.

  28. I have a ruger 22/45 mark III, the gun shoots great, but i nearly rip the damn thing in half trying to dissassemble and reassemble it for cleaning, i usually have to beat the pin in and out of the thing and i have had the gun for a year and i just today managed to get the barrell off, and now i can't put it back together no matter how hard i try.

  29. If you are having issues getting the pin in and out, rotate the barrel/receiver a little one way or the other and it will slide right in or out. It took me about 45 minutes to figure this out. Also, you might have to push the hammer all the way forward with a screwdriver once the bolt is IN.

  30. I have the same gun, with a few mods done- a Volquartsen accuracy tuneup kit, removal of the magazine safety, and replacement of the plastic loaded chamber indicator with a stainless steel blank insert. It's a superbly accurate and reliable gun, and great fun to shoot. I've found that CCI MiniMags are one of the best all-around .22LR rounds in all my rimfire guns, providing the best combination of accuracy and reliability.

  31. I agree, great semiauto at a great price, and the best part, NO PLASTIC.

    I've got mine on the way from Davidson's.



  32. I am a new shooter. I have been shooting a 22 revolver. Today we went to the range and I got to shoot my husband's 22 semiauto for the first time and loved it! We went to the gun store attached to the range and I saw the Ruger Mark 3 Hunter and fell in love with it. Now I am going to find someone to buy my revolver so I can go buy the Ruger. I can't wait to shoot it.

  33. I have owned a mark III for about 4 years now and I have fired different brands of ammunition through it. It kind of surprised me when I read that the Remington ammo was the least reliable in many of your Ruger Mark III's. Through my particular gun I have fired 1000's of Remington Gold H.P.'s and not only did they function flawlessly, they were one of the most accurate.

  34. I just got a Mark 3 standard with the short tapered barrel. Shot about 400 rounds of mixed bulk ammo: Remington, Winchester, and Federal. Zero malfunctions, straight from the gun shop to the range. It's the most reliable (and perhaps accurate .22) I've ever shot. A+

  35. Great blog review. This helped me settle on a Ruger MkIII but I found a Talo 5.5 bull barrel stainless for 409.00 on gun broker. I plan on putting either a Bushnell TRS25 red dot tube or a Burris Fastfire II on it so that's why I went 5.5"; for the balance.

  36. Paul shoot them all but the 7in hunter with red dot is the bomb got glocks hks all cals but only 22 is my ruger pony up spend the cash cheap 2 shoot an deadly accurate if u shop u can find 4 479 stainless 2 mags

  37. I recently bought the Ruger Mark III hunter TALO edition:red, white, and blue. I was a little worried because of two things. #1 the field stripping, #2, the pickiness of the ammunition. I have only been shooting for 6 months. My 1st gun was a Sig p229 9mm and this ruger is my 2nd: so the last thing I need is something complicated. HOWEVER, I am not sure if online is the best source for these things. Maybe these reviews are done by ultra picky people or something. I went to the range for the first time yesterday. I fed 3 different types of ammo through it(CCI mini mag, Blazer, and Federal) without a hitch. No FTF, No stovepipe, no nothing except perfect shooting. Probably about 300 rounds of perfection. Also, took the gun down and while I admit it to be more complicated to put back together than my Sig(especially putting back in the spring housing) once I got it, I got it for good and next time it will take me half the time. It is not really that bad. It was kind of fun and put me in a fraternity of other Mark III owners who know. I guarantee, do it once, and you will have no heartburn about it.
    When I bought this gun, I almost bought the Buckmark Contour instead just based upon all the whining over field stripping the Mark III. Luckily Browning only makes a few Buckmarks a year and it was next to impossible to get one, because I love my Ruger and am extremely happy with it after shooting it.

  38. I bought the same Mark III Hunter. I put a Weaver 2x scope on it, because folks said the Weaver rimfire scopes are decent, even if they wouldn't buy a Weaver anything else. They also said the eye relief was perfect for a pistol - something I was worried about. Man, what a crazy, accurate, reliable semi-auto pistol. Don't get me wrong - cleaning this beast will get you cussing a blue streak, but man, what an accurate pistol. I paid $450, flat, for mine, and it outperforms the most expensive pistol I own ($1450). It's just crazy, crazy accurate. And, at about 3 cents a round, you can shoot it all day and not worry about breaking the bank. Last words: fantastic gun!, take down and clean is in the "you gotta be kidding me" realm.

  39. I have the Mark III and im looking to put a scope or red dot type on the gun. I am willing to pay for a good one if there is such a thing. I have read so many pros and cons out there for red dots and scopes im way confused? Does anyone one have a prefrence to one brand over the other or which type they prefer?

  40. i dont have ruger mark 1-3 at the moment and buckmark... in fact i dont have a gun. this is an interesting thread though... makes me wanna buy a ruger!

    1. As you can tell from reading my blog, thank BTW, I have both and I like the Mark III a tad more due to the tons of aftermarket parts. The Ruger is harder to disassemble for cleaning though.

  41. I have had my Mark III hunter since they first came out. It is a great pistol IMO.I have shot 5000 plus rounds and the only issue was to use red thread lock on the front site. Love it shot this more then any of my other guns. Now for the first time I am having some rounds that stove pipe, so I ordered a Titanium extractor I think it has just gotten a little worn from use but for $12 dollars delivered I thought I would give it a try.
    Over all great pistol and looks very good too. I think 2011 was the last year for these at least that is what Ruger shows on the web site maybe they have not updated it. I just saw two use foe
    for 549 each at scheels here in Reno when I picked up a 1022 all weather.
    Cleaning is a magor bitch but I got soom good tips here with the cab cleaner great Idea. Happy shotting

  42. I've just bought a new MKIII Hunter. Really wanted the Competition model but none available so got the Hunter instead.
    Did a complete strip and clean before ever firing a shot, it really needed the clean and lubrication.
    Dis-assembly & Re-assembly not too hard.
    Only put 200 rounds of CCI Mini-Mag through it so far but it cycles fine.
    The rear sight hinge pin keeps coming loose so I need to fix that but otherwise very happy with the gun.


    1. South Mississippi Nurse
      I have a MK I with an 8" AMT barrel (disappoints)
      I have one MK II Slabside SS
      I have 6 MK III SS (one of each model)

      The "jamming" caused by the Remington rounds is for a number of reasons.
      1) the remington round has a rounder ogive on the nose of the Golden bullet, which potentially has more bore riding/accuracy ability, but as with all lead .22 cal bullets, it tends to get gouged as it enters the chamber by the sharp edge left by the machining process. A very simple fix is to diassemble the gun and very gently "twirl" a long shafted #2 phillips screwdriver from sears against this sharp edge. This will slightly dull/burnish the sharp edge and the resulting gouging of the blunter/more squat bullets. This simple act will both enhance accuracy (no gouged leading edges of the bullets) as well as feeding.
      2) Another potential problem area is the bolt. It takes me about 5 hours to polish a bolt. I first start with 500 paper to erase the machining marks and then polish up to 1200 (or until my fingers say "no more". When you can see your reflection- you're there.

      3) Polishing the bolt also corrects the 3rd problem which is short cycling due to too much friction between the bolt face and the frame of the Ruger Marks. The Ruger Marks have much more contact area than does say a Smith model 41 or a High Standard, which rides on 2 rails, so the mirror polish is critical. I have never really been able to satisfactorily polish the inside of the frame ( a brake cyclinder hone would work, but it would have to be done prior to the installation of the ejector which is installed at the factory). The inside of the frame has to "wear in", but this will dramatically shorten the time required and is well worth the effort. I have a very dull 3/32 chain saw file that I try to remove most of the machining marks (and there are always many). Once you get the friction down, this gun never jams.

      Likewise, I polish the feed ramp on any automatic with 1200 paper. Wrap the paper around some round tool /metal rod/or round shafted screwdriver until you can see a reflection. The tool radius should be smaller than the ramp radius. You don't want to re-shape the ramp in any way. You only want to polish it and reduce friction.

      To test whether your gun is gouging the bullet head; place one round in a magazine and insert the magazine and then "rack" the slide and chamber the round.
      "Rack" the slide a second time to extract the unfired round and look for any defects on the bullet head.
      There's your accuracy problem.

      I personally like the Federal and Remington bulk rounds and I think that the Remington round has a stouter recoil that equals increased reliability, especially with older rounds.

      Another tip- 22 rimfire cartridges always have very loose fitting bullet projectiles which can easily pick up moisture and oil. I store all of my 22 cartridges in small fruit juice jars with 1/2 a paper towel in the bottom. Wal Mart has a store brand (I think the name is Great Value) of apple juice with a wide mouth bottle. I buy the juice just for the bottle. Obviously the bottle is washed and dried before use. I'm currently shooting rounds stored in 1989 (that's 23 years ago) and they are funtioning fine.

      The Ruger Mark clips should be disassembled and polished as well. Use molybdenum grease sparingly so as not to pick up dust. The clip should never hang up after that.

      As a gun oil (for the bolt), I use Royal Purple 80-90 weight gear lube which I squirt out of an oil can (Dutton Lainson). Talk about a nice day at the range. Those MKIII's are as reliable as my 1911's. Once past the break in period - they really never jam.

      While diassembled, I put molybdenum grease on the trigger sears. Be careful of the very light trigger pull after that. It's as if you did a "trigger job".

  43. In reply to the many comments about the disassembly/reassembly difficulty on all the Ruger Marks and the 22/45s, here is a simple, well made solution. I installed one on my 22/45 Slab Side years ago and now removing the bolt for cleaning from the chamber end is a snap.

    Chuck Miler

  44. I just bought a Ruger MKIII Talo for $375 today! Lookin forward to shootin steel challenge with it!