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Old February 23, 2013, 06:38 PM   #1
steveNChunter
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Ruger MK III failure to fire

I've put about 200 rounds through my new Ruger MK III target, the first 50 or so went smooth as silk, after that I have a fail to fire almost half the time. When it happens the trigger feels free like its not pulling against anything and I have only seen one round that didnt fire that had been struck. I must assume that was the ammo's fault. All the rest of the rounds that I ejected after the fail to fire had not been touched by the firing pin. I can pull the bolt back and forth and eject and insert the mag a few times and it will fix it for a shot or two, then fail again. Ive tried CCI, Winchester, and Remington ammo, all with the same results.

What would cause this?

Has anybody seen this problem in a new MK III?

Should I try to fix it or send it back to Ruger?
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:25 PM   #2
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I'm going to take a guess and say it sounds like it needs to be given a good cleaning. New Rugers come packed in a heavy oil that will slow down the firing pin, especially after it starts to get some unburned power and "crud" in there. I'd give it a good cleaning, or at least spray it out with good polymer safe Gunscrubber and oil with a light oil and see how it does before I worried too much.
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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I agree with the cleaning, one thing, if you have never dissembled and reassembled a MK Ruger before check out the following video. It can be difficult the first time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh5eylgiNcI
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Old February 23, 2013, 09:24 PM   #4
steveNChunter
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It feels kind of like the bolt hasnt cocked whenever it doesnt fire. Could the oil and unburnt powder be causing that? I have never taken one apart but I will follow the directions that came with the gun and watch that video as well and see if i can solve the problem with a good cleaning. I was able to take my Colt Woodsman apart and back together pretty easily and people say those are a pain so maybe I can get the hang of the MK III as well. Thanks for the advice.
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Old February 24, 2013, 06:57 AM   #5
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That would be my guess Steve. That oil they use is pretty thick. I'm a firm believer in fix the simple thing first. Clean it and see if that helps. If not, you're not out of anything. Just take your time, and don't be afraid to wack it with a rubber/wooden/platic mallet as needed.

Watch a video, there are a lot of them, and follow the directions. You'll be fine.
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:38 PM   #6
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Old February 24, 2013, 09:29 PM   #7
steveNChunter
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Well I took the plunge this evening and took it apart. It was indeed pretty nasty. The hammer was so stiff and gritty I could barely move it back and forth. I sprayed everything down with gunscrubber and dug out all the nooks and crannys with a toothpick. I worked with the hammer awhile, spraying and working it back and forth till it finally freed up considerably. I don't know what Ruger puts in these pistols from the factory but its about as thick as wheel bearing grease. While I had it apart I disabled the LCI so that won't be causing any problems in the future. I would like to get a filler piece for it one of these days. I also put the barrel and mainspring housing back on and off a few times to free it up for future teardowns. I was able to get it back together with only one hiccup. I tried to put the mainspring housing in without getting the hammer de-cocked. Now I know, put the mag in, pull the trigger while pushing forward on the hammer, and its there. Other than that it went like clockwork. I dry fired it a few times and it seems to be working properly every time now. I'll shoot it tomorrow to be sure. The reputation these pistols have for being such a pain to dis/re-assemble is a gross exaggeration. Now that I've done it once and have the pistol somewhat broken-in, I think I could almost do it with my eyes closed. I dreaded it for nothing.
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Old February 24, 2013, 09:33 PM   #8
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Congratulations. It is a tempest in a teacup isn't it?

I think that will take care of the problem. Have fun with it.
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Old February 24, 2013, 09:43 PM   #9
steveNChunter
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Yea I believe its cured. I'll make sure tomorrow evening and let ya know for sure. I bet Ruger gets alot of calls or guns sent back for this reason. I know I'm not the only one who doesnt take a brand new pistol completely apart and clean it before I've shot 50 rounds through it. Wouldnt you think they would put a maybe lighter oil and less of it in there? I don't understand, but I guess thats why they make the big bucks and I have to watch youtube videos to learn how to disassemble their guns.
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Old February 25, 2013, 07:51 AM   #10
CajunBass
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It's always a good idea to clean a new gun, although I admit that I don't always do it either. There might be bits of grit and metal left inside from the manufacturing process plus most of them do use a fairly heavy grease/oil because they have no idea how long the product might sit in a warehouse or a dealers shelf before being sold.

Wait 'till you buy a milsurp. They could mold a statue out of that cosmoline they pack those things in.

After reading all these posts lately about the MK III, I decided I needed another one myself.

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Old February 25, 2013, 10:30 AM   #11
Skans
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You're not providing enough information. When you are experiencing the problem and you pull the trigger do you hear a "click" - i.e. internal hammer hitting the firing pin? Or, do you pull the trigger and NOTHING happens - something like this: press trigger......press trigger......press trigger - "boom".

I had a problem with my Mark II similar to the situation I described above. With a round chambered and the internal hammer cocked, I could never predict if/when the hammer would be released when you pressed the trigger. And, it didn't matter how hard you pressed that trigger either. The pattern was something like this:

press trigger...press trigger.....press trigger - "boom" press trigger- "boom" press trigger....press trigger....press trigger....press trigger "boom"

The problem was that the little plunger that sits on top of the trigger (internal) was FILTHY. I had to fully disassemble the fire control parts to get to the trigger and the little plunger/spring that the trigger presses against (I'm doing this from memory - so details might not be exact) That little part was caked with grime, even though the rest of my gun looked spotless. Once I cleaned these parts and reassembled, my Mark II was back to functioning flawlessly again.

The problem with the Mark II, Mark III is that no one ever completely disassembles them to clean the trigger parts. It's bad enough to take these things down to get the bolt out and clean that. By the time you've finished cleaning the bolt and getting to the other parts you can reach, your gun LOOKS clean and now you have to try and get it back together. The problem is there is no way to clean that little plunger that sits on top of the trigger without completely disassembling that part of the gun - I was shocked at what I saw when I did this, and yes, I cursed Ruger for making a 22LR pistol that is so dang hard to clean. Fortunately, you don't have to do this very often.
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Old February 25, 2013, 03:18 PM   #12
steveNChunter
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Skans- I could hear a little "click" when I pulled the trigger. Not as loud as the "click" when its dry fired though. As stiff and gritty as the hammer felt when I took the gun apart before I cleaned it, I believe it was my problem. It freed up ALOT after spraying it with gunscrubber and working it back and forth several times. I'll shoot it later this evening to be sure.

Cajunbass- I've got the exact same model as yours. Mine is about to have a Tru-glo open red dot and Hogue grips. Do you like the BSA you have on yours? I have that same sight on a shotgun and I thought about putting it on my mk III but I was afraid it would be too bulky. Looks good on yours though.
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:40 PM   #13
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Well I got out in the yard and shot 30 rounds through it and not one fail to fire. I would've had about 10-15 out of 30 before. I learned my lesson that a little cleaning goes a long way, no matter how new or how many rounds through it. How often should I plan on taking it apart to clean it? 500 rounds? 1000 rounds? When it starts to give trouble?
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:09 PM   #14
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Steve, glad you found the problem and figured out that the Mk III aren't the mechanical nightmares they're touted to be.

As far as future cleaning goes, 22RF ammo is notorious for being kinda dirty, so I would recommend using oils sparingly. Better bet is to choose one of the new "dry" lubes, like Hornady One-Shot, Hoppe's equivalent, or others of that ilk. I've found that going to those, greatly increased the time between cleanings. FWIW, I use my Mk III for bullseye and don't have to tear down and clean except after about 1500-2000 rounds.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:18 PM   #15
steveNChunter
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I'll get some of that for my next cleaning. Is it like graphite? I didnt put any oil inside the pistol when I cleaned it. Figured it would make things worse in time. Just sprayed some gunscrubber to push the gunk out and some scraping with a toothpick.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:24 PM   #16
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Steve, they're not graphite at all, but most either use silicons or a combination of proprietory waxes to provide the lubrication. Much easier to clean and keep the powder fouling from building up.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:41 PM   #17
steveNChunter
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Sounds good Ill pick some up.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:43 PM   #18
Dave P
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"How often should I plan on taking it apart to clean it?"

I vote for hundreds of rounds. And I have not removed my barrel for a few years. Just take the grips off, and spray it down once a year. Should be fine.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:06 AM   #19
CajunBass
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Steve, I like the red dot. I had the same sight on a 22/45 several years ago, and although it looks somewhat awkward, it's not.

How often to clean one? I don't know. I don't worry about it. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. Just depends on how I feel and what else I have to do. I'll at least wipe them off because I don't want the soot all over my hands. In the past I have very seldom stripped them down, just sprayed them with gunscrubber and put a couple of drops of oil on the bolt and trigger assembly.

The one I bought was tight, so I sat down with it Sunday morning and stripped it down and reassembled it over and over, about a dozen times. Not only did I learn how to do it quickly, I loosened the parts up a lot. About all it takes now is a screwdriver handle to tap the mainspring back in. The upper/lower just pull apart/push back together. Practice makes it easy.

For lube, I just use whatever I happen to have handy. Break Free, gun oil, three in one, whatever.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:08 AM   #20
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In normal use, I just spray mine down when it starts acting up - that'll get me through a range session until I can sit down and take the thing apart. I have only had to take the grip frame completely apart to get to the trigger parts once in many years.
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