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Old April 1, 2010, 12:38 AM   #1
4D5
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Ruger MKII target stainless steel find

Well I was at one of my favorite gun stores last week and saw this MKII. It has not had a well cared for life, but not too bad given its age. These are getting hard to find so I pretty much knew I wanted it even if it had some issues provided the price was right.

I gave it a good look over, there are some cosmetic abrasions on the barrel, the front sight has some scratches and the rear sight has some wear marks on the side. Couldn’t tell too much about the chamber as it was pretty grungy. I made an offer and it came home with me

Got it home took it apart and gave it a good cleaning. With the breach face clean I can see an ever so slight firing pin strike. It does not appear that the chamber has any damage. I took it out and put 50 rounds through it and only had one failure to fire but attribute that to the bulk ammo. I haven’t had a chance to check it’s accuracy but may get to this weekend.


DOB ~ 1991
MKII target Stainless steel
1 magazine
No box or papers





Last edited by 4D5; April 1, 2010 at 12:40 AM. Reason: fix pic link
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Old April 1, 2010, 08:43 AM   #2
armonfire
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Nice, I am on the lookout for one of those as well.
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Old April 1, 2010, 10:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
These are getting hard to find
Ummm... built from 1982 to 2005... millions of them...

Getting hard to find?

I think you bought a GREAT PISTOL. Terrific purchase.
Hard to find -- not so much.
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Old April 1, 2010, 11:24 AM   #4
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that is my favorite pistol I own. Looks to be in good shape to me and I would take a MKII that has been dragged behind a truck over a MKIII. Now I need a 6 7/8 to go with a holster I have.
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Old April 1, 2010, 11:27 AM   #5
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I would take a MKII that has been dragged behind a truck over a MKIII.
Why is that?
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Old April 1, 2010, 01:20 PM   #6
Walt Sherrill
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If you can see a light firing pin strike in the chamber area, you need to consider replacing the firing pin stop -- as the design is NOT supposed to allow chamber strikes.

I had a similar Ruger with the slab-sided barrel years ago. nice gun.

They shouldn't be that hard to find -- as there were plenty built (It may just be that nobody wants to sell theirs...)
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Old April 1, 2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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I like my Mark II.

A friend bought a Mark III. An early one. The loaded chamber indicator rested on the rim of a chambered cartridge. Which meant if you dropped the thing onto the chamber indicator, the pistol would fire.

The indicator also caused rounds to fall off the bolt face during extraction. He had lots of stove pipe jams.

A friend of mine milled off the interferring part and now the pistol functions perfectly.

However, given that you have to have the magazine in the pistol to lower the hammer, disassembly can be confusing.
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Old April 1, 2010, 03:27 PM   #8
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Looks just like mine that I bought new, not long after they showed up in the stores. Great shooter. Mine likes both American Eagle and and both Mini Mags.
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Old April 1, 2010, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
A friend bought a Mark III. An early one. The loaded chamber indicator rested on the rim of a chambered cartridge. Which meant if you dropped the thing onto the chamber indicator, the pistol would fire.

The indicator also caused rounds to fall off the bolt face during extraction. He had lots of stove pipe jams.
Thats weird, My MKIII has functioned 100% through 4 and a half 550 round Federal Bulk packs. Maybe it's the early ones that had trouble, not sure when mine was made.



Quote:
The loaded chamber indicator rested on the rim of a chambered cartridge. Which meant if you dropped the thing onto the chamber indicator, the pistol would fire.
I'm not sure where you came up with that, but it's not ture at all. I just spoke to Jullian at Ruger recently about this same concern and he told me there is no way that it would possibly fire. It was specificly designed not to fire when dropped.


Quote:
owever, given that you have to have the magazine in the pistol to lower the hammer, disassembly can be confusing.
It's right there in the manual, whats there to be confused about?
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Old April 1, 2010, 11:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for the comments.

I also have one I bought new some time in the early 90's.

Quote:
Getting hard to find?
or...

Quote:
(It may just be that nobody wants to sell theirs...)
Well at least around here. Last one I saw a year ago looked like someone tried to drive pins etc out with a punch and hammer, what a shame.

Quote:
Looks to be in good shape to me and I would take a MKII that has been dragged behind a truck over a MKIII.
Same here, I won't buy a MKIII with the loaded chamber abortion on the side, same goes for the new S&W revolvers with the LOCK HOLE in the side.
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Old April 2, 2010, 08:31 AM   #11
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I simutaneously owned a MkII and a MkIII.

Both pistols when first purchased exhibited the "Ruger Stovepipe" problem, which I corrected by some slight filing of the left side magazine lip.

After that, they both functioned identically and perfectly.

I removed the MkIII's magazine disconnect safety gear, replacing the hammer with one from a MkII, adding a Clark oversized hammer bushing, and a washer to take up the extra space vacated by the disconnect junk.

Essentially, I ended up with a MkII with a loaded chamber indicator and push-button mag release.
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Old April 2, 2010, 09:20 AM   #12
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As others have said you can essentially convert a MK III to a MK II but will still have the goofy LCI there even if you disable it. I think it looks horrible. I also do not see why you need a push button mag release on a .22LR target/plinking pistol. The MK III is a downgrade and that's why I'll be keeping my three MK II's. While they may not be "hard to find" they are commanding a premium used and people are tending to hold onto them.

Ruger needs to offer a MK II "classic" and designate it a "collector" item to get around the liability stuff now that they have installed that crap on the MK III. Colt was able to reintroduce the Series 70 using this tactic.
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Old April 2, 2010, 10:56 AM   #13
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[ The MK III is a downgrade]
How is extra features on the same gun a downgrade?
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Old April 2, 2010, 11:34 AM   #14
Citizen Carrier
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Quote:
How is extra features on the same gun a downgrade?
Depends on whether or not you consider those features to be improvements.

Like catalytic convertors or "New Coke".

For example, I don't particularly need a loaded chamber indicator. When I chamber a .22 like this, I don't put it down again until after I've emptied the magazine into whatever target I'm shooting at.

The push-button magazine release is arguably an improvement. Although for the short time I had a MkIII I don't remember it really speeding up my reload times. Nor did I encounter any situations in pin matches where I needed to tactically drop the empty magazine with a loaded one already on the way in my left hand. I certainly did not need the added speed in rimfire bullseye. Or plinking.

The heel-type release worked and was adequate. I couldn't use my MkII magazines in my MkIII. Additionally, the thumbrest target grips the MkIII came with didn't make that mag release button readily accessible to begin with. I had to shift the gun in my hand to positively activate it with my shooting hand thumb. Never had to shift (rotate) a MkII to the left to activate the heel release.

I don't consider the magazine disconnect safety to be an improvement. I consider it one of Mark Twain's "all the modern inconveniences". It complicates field stripping slightly, and it complicates detailed stipping greatly when I want to add a VQ sear and other internals.

The general consensus is that the Mk II was Bill Ruger's gun. The Mk III was Ruger's lawyer's gun.
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Old April 2, 2010, 12:44 PM   #15
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Like most things, we are talking about the evalution of a mechanical device. There was a time when Buckskinner converted percussion locks back to flintlocks. When some shotgun shooters did not care for the new steel and prefered the old Damascas. When the new compound bows came in, folks shooting the recurves did not like them at all.

It's hard to improve on what is close to perfection which is the case in the Ruger MK family. There are always trade-offs. What was wrong with the Auto model or MK-I ? Not one darn thing and in fact, I am still very happy with mine. I find good and not so good in all of the generations but overall, they are still great shooters. I don't like the dirt catcher indicator but sure like the H-Viz sights and fluted barrels.

I never tell a man what to do with his money or wife !! ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old April 2, 2010, 01:12 PM   #16
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What was wrong with the Auto model or MK-I ? Not one darn thing and in fact, I am still very happy with mine.
I would argue that the changes from the Mk I to the Mk II were the result of customer demands or suggestions.

Namely, 10 round magazines instead of 9 rounders. And a bolt that locks to the rear when the gun fires empty.

I've always had the impression the Mk III's changes from the Mk II format were NOT the result of customer suggestions or demands. They likely came from the marketing department of Ruger.

Basically, what can we do to get our .22 semi-autos to appear in gun magazine articles again?

Some things they got right, I suppose. I wouldn't mind having a fluted bull barrel model either. Think they look sharp and would look even better if I could polish one to high luster instead of matte.

Other things...not so much. For example the first thing I'd get rid of on a fluted Mk III would be the fiber optic front sight. I like a solid blade front sight, preferably undercut on the backside to reduce glare.
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Old April 2, 2010, 03:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
The loaded chamber indicator rested on the rim of a chambered cartridge. Which meant if you dropped the thing onto the chamber indicator, the pistol would fire.
I'm not sure where you came up with that, but it's not ture at all. I just spoke to Jullian at Ruger recently about this same concern and he told me there is no way that it would possibly fire. It was specificly designed not to fire when dropped.
As I said, this was an early Mark III. The loaded chamber indicator rested on the rim of the cartridge and stuck out the side of the pistol. My friend, who got his undergraduate at MIT and Phd at Stamford, agreed with my assessement that a direct strike on the loaded chamber indicator would transmit the force of the blow onto the cartridge rim.

After we took his indicator to a Class III manufacturer, and he agreed with our assessment, he milled the projecting part of the loaded chamber indicator off. It was both a safety and function improvement.

All of us agree that the chamber indicator was a kluge.

Later, my Phd friend received a notice from Ruger and a newly designed loaded chamber indicator.

Which he did not install as his Ruger MkIII was now functioning perfectly.

Except it is still a PITA to disassemble.

I am not ever getting rid of my MarkII as it is a better pistol.
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Old April 2, 2010, 04:02 PM   #18
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Slamfire, I didn't mean to pick apart your post the other day, I had a ton of rude customers at lunch and was not in the best mood.

I had the very same concern about the LCI, and Jullian, who is Rugers gunsmith, assured me this was not cause for concern. I dont think Ruger is in the business of making unsafe pistols, just look at the billboard on the GP100. I do agree that Ruger is not the same after Bill died, but I dont see any real world problems with the MKIII over the MKII.

I think the "upgrades" are only to satisfy Rugers lawyers, but I find them to be an improvement, minus the huge warning they put on the guns these days.
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Old April 3, 2010, 07:32 AM   #19
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Citizen nailed it. If I didn't already have three MK II's and I was in the market for a NEW .22 auto, I'd go Buckmark instead of MK III specifically due to the LCI and mag disconnect. The mag release is a wash for me and not a deal breaker.
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Old April 3, 2010, 08:41 AM   #20
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I think the magazine release is a neat idea, but it's almost entirely offset by the fact that there are already eighteen billion Mark II magazines out there and available but the Mark III uses a new design.

I also am from the camp that the heel release magazine doesn't bother me a bit. That could be because I'm used to it and all the quality rimfire pistols I've used have the same method -- I can see where someone who has only ever owned and shot center fire semi-auto's would find the idea hard to swallow.

The other "features" also make it a no brainer, none whatsoever, in which pistol I would choose. Fact is, I bought my KMK512 back in '94 before the Mark III was introduced, so I didn't have to make the choice.

Were I buying again now, or recommending to a friend, I would spend more money to get a hardly used Mark II from the used market rather than spending less for a box-fresh brand new Mark III. Not that a used Mark II actually costs more (I don't like it does), just that in my opinion, it's a much better pistol all around.
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Old April 3, 2010, 11:11 AM   #21
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I've got that same gun (KMK-512) and you'll love it. And they are getting hard to find, as most that have them just aren't willing to part with them. I know I'll never sell mine. It was bought NIB in 1989, simply because I wanted a more refined version of the RST-6 I had bought 10 years earlier; another gun I'll never sell. Enjoy!

Edit: That particular ammo gives me the absolute most trouble of any I've tried in any gun. (Underloaded rounds) It seems to be a regional thing, though, as many have said it is the best. Certainly not in the Detroit-metro area. YMMV.
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Last edited by Stevie-Ray; April 3, 2010 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Ammo note
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Old April 3, 2010, 06:51 PM   #22
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Nice. Enjoy it! I have three MK II's and consider every one a find. My biggest problem is saying no to more of them
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Old April 3, 2010, 07:30 PM   #23
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I've got that exact gun. Loads of cheap fun to shoot. By the way, after cleaning it did you have any trouble getting it back together?
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Old April 3, 2010, 11:38 PM   #24
Sevens
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Quote:
Edit: That particular ammo gives me the absolute most trouble of any I've tried in any gun. (Underloaded rounds) It seems to be a regional thing, though, as many have said it is the best. Certainly not in the Detroit-metro area. YMMV.
Cheap rimfire ammo is a radically mixed bag. I can't imagine that the lots you get are all that different than the lots of it I get in the middle of Ohio -- and that stuff is my go to load for my KMK-512, circa '94.

I can't get the pistol to choke on that ammo and I can shoot 1.5-inch groups, two handed at 25 feet with it.

My "bad luck load" in cheap rimfire fodder has always been Remington. Cheap Winchester has given me issues also, but Remington is the only one I specifically avoid.

FWIW, our Wal-Marts around here have recently jacked the price of that Federal 550-count box -- it went from $15.47 to $18!
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Old April 4, 2010, 02:42 PM   #25
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My "bad luck load" in cheap rimfire fodder has always been Remington. Cheap Winchester has given me issues also, but Remington is the only one I specifically avoid.
Here, Remington GBs are the only bulk load that has NEVER failed me. With Winchesters, I have had precious few, and though many seem to badmouth it, even it has been far better than the Federal. And if underloaded to the extent that many of my Federals have been, ANY gun will choke, as it has no choice. Even if it did fully cycle, I would have to stop to check the barrel. When a .22 sounds like a cap gun, you have a problem.
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