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Old April 27, 2012, 05:06 PM   #1
RazorbackMac
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Ruger Mark III not firing reliably

I purchased a NIB ruger mark iii from academy about a year ago. Over the course of the year, I put about 500 rounds through it occasionally cleaning the bore and oiling the what I could without disassembly. One day while shooting, after about 10 rounds, it quit firing. My first thought was the round was a dud so I ejected it and looked at the rear to see no marks of being struck by the firing pin. So I emptied the gun and tried dry firing while paying attention to the trigger pull and I noticed there was no click, as if the hammer wasn't cocked. I decided it might be time for its first disassembly and thorough cleaning so I stripped it, cleaned it up real nice, reassembled and went out to shoot again. It fired 5 or so rounds with no problems and then I was back to square one. I wanted to be thorough so I tried CCI stingers thinking maybe the Federal bulk ammo was loaded too light not producing enough recoil to cycle and reset everything but it fired 2 rounds and then got stuck again. I have tinked with it a tad and I've found that if I pull the mag out an pull the action back and let it slam shut a time or three, it fires a round or two and gets jinky again. Any ideas? I can rule out incorrect assembly, I think, considering I never disassembled the gun prior to the first malfunction and I doubt it was faulty from the factory since it shot 500 rounds without an issue. Could something have worn out already? I'm out of ideas.
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Old April 27, 2012, 06:00 PM   #2
Rogervzv
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It appears from your post that you have never field stripped the pistol and thoroughly cleaned it? If that is the case, that is surely the problem. If you have stripped and cleaned the gun and there are still problems, let us know.
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Old April 27, 2012, 07:50 PM   #3
RazorbackMac
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I did try that already but to no avail... So I turned to the knowledgeable folks on TFL in my time of desperation.
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Old April 27, 2012, 08:50 PM   #4
Gerry
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Maybe the rounds aren't chambering perfectly and the bolt thingy isn't going all the way forward because of it? The fact that pulling it back several times and letting it snap forward makes it work sometimes makes me think that might be the problem, but I might be way off.

Then of course we'd have to figure out why the rounds aren't chambering correctly... but one step at a time.
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Old April 27, 2012, 08:57 PM   #5
crankyoldlady
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You say you have shot about 500 rounds over the past year. How much oiling have you been doing each shooting session? I ask because these guns like to run on the dry side. Better they should be too dry than too wet.

Also, my Ruger likes a clean action and a dirty bbl. If the action gets dirty my pistol gets crabby.
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Old April 27, 2012, 10:53 PM   #6
B.N.Real
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Yea,the magazine is not holding tight enough to the top of it's travel in the grip.

There is a action lever in it that can get to where it does'nt engage and you get all kinds of issyues.

I had a almost new 22/45 MkIII that was a real handful too and sold it.

I bought a Bersa 22 semi auto and now that's a handful.

I'd check the mag and make sure the top of it's in good repair and that you are not accidentally hitting the mag release button while you are firing it.

Also,the loaded chamber indicator needs to be free of gunk.

It's that get's really dirty it will hinder function too.

All it takes is a single bit of grit to fowl things up.

That all has to be cleaned,lubed and moving freely.
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Old April 27, 2012, 11:24 PM   #7
bedbugbilly
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It sounds like it may not be returning to battery completely - which would/should cause it not to fire. Anybody I've talked with about the MK III advises also against "over oiling". I'm not "Ruger Mechanic" but you said that you cleaned it well - are you sure it is reassembled correctly? I'm not questioning your intelligence - the MK III has a reputation for being a PIA to break down and put back together until you've done it a few times. I picked up a MK III Target not too long ago and the salesman was telling me what a great pistol they were (he owns two of them) but he couldn't believe how many were brought back in pieces in a shoebox because the owners couldn't get them back together again.

Again, I'm no expert but I'd suggest that you break it down again, thoroughly clean it - make sure that the LCI, extractor, etc. are cleaned thoroughly - even clean the magazine slot thoroughly to make sure that they seat fully, very lightly lubricate and reassemble. There are several good MK III videos on breaking down and reassembly. Then, try it again and see how it functions. Check to make sure it is returning to battery fully, magazine is seated fully, etc. Then if you are still having problems, give Ruger a call and see what they have to offer in regards to cures. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
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Old April 27, 2012, 11:28 PM   #8
tom234
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Rugers are packed from the factory with preservatives so one needs to completely disassemble, clean. and lube them PRIOR to the first range trip.
That said, have you removed the firing pin and throughly cleaned the bolt ?
Have you made sure the trigger mechanism, disconnector, sear and hammer are free of debris ? Just cleaning the barrel doesn't do much and IMHO is not necessary.
I eliminated my LCI and magazine disconnect and haven't looked back.
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Old April 28, 2012, 12:46 AM   #9
RazorbackMac
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I haven't taken the firing pin out and cleaned it yet so I will give that a go and see where that gets me. I'm glad so many pointed out less oil is better because that may be part of the issue as well, I've probably kept Hoppe's in business over the years due to my ignorance. I'll be back with updates when I can.
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Old April 28, 2012, 06:23 AM   #10
BfloBill
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I would have to agree with several posters that it sounds like you may have over oiled it. If you use too much oil it collects all the crud from the first 500 rounds you said you fired and turns the gun into a jam-o-matic. It can keep the bolt from going all the way into battery or slow down the firing pin, either of which would cause your problem.
I would clean it one more time with one of the many arisol products (every major brand has one) that removes everything (including grease, oil and built up gunk) then lube it with a product made for autos (I like CLP, but once again they all have a version). But be stingy with the lube!!
My money is on gunk preventing the firing pin from operating properly.
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Old April 28, 2012, 01:40 PM   #11
Clifford L. Hughes
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RazorbackMac:

It sound like it's time for you to stop guessing and to talk to Ruger's customer service. Ruger doesn't want non-operating guns out there. Non functioning guns are bad publicity. Ruger will repair you gun free of charge.

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Old April 28, 2012, 02:55 PM   #12
crankyoldlady
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When you strip your firearm and remove the recoil spring, pay particular attention to the recoil spring guide slot. This is a choke point for fouling to accumulate and harden to a coal-like substance. Over time this leads to function problems. Sometimes a dental pick (or similar tool) is needed to dig it out.
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Old April 28, 2012, 06:37 PM   #13
RazorbackMac
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I really like that response Gunny, I think I will talk to Ruger and see what they have to say. Also, thanks crankyoldlady for the advice about the recoil spring slide slot. I'll be sure to keep that clean from now on because the idea of a coal like substance is a real turn off to me.
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