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Old September 11, 2008, 05:04 PM   #1
mikenbarb
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Need advice on a Ruger MKI

Im looking to get an older Ruger MKI and first, Im wondering if they have any common problems with them or parts that wear quickly or break often. And I am also wondering what the best system of mounting a scope would be. I see they have a type of saddle side mount but would like to try and stay with regular top mount bases if possible.
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Old September 11, 2008, 05:33 PM   #2
Slopemeno
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Sweet guns. Other than the usual complaint of "the bolt doesnt lock back" and finding mags, they're amazing shooters. The Target models, bull barrel or otherwise are a great value.

As far as the scop mount, B-square makes a slip-on mount that I've used on a friends gun with success. Not as pretty as some of the more high-end mounts, but the gun was incredibly accurate with an Aimpoint and a rest.

I'd look for a clean Mk-II myself. Easy mag availability, easier takedown than the Mk-III's, and I like the ability to use the slide release, both from a safety standpoint and ease of use.
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Old September 11, 2008, 06:04 PM   #3
mikenbarb
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You can get mags from a few different places I have seen and I saw that mount system your talking about and didnt care for it much. I will have to look around and see whats out there.
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Old September 11, 2008, 11:07 PM   #4
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There is no such animal.

Ruger used to produce a semiautomatic pistol in 22LR chambering called the Ruger Standard Auto. After about 30 years, they introduced an improved model called the Ruger Mark II Semiautomatic Pistol. Notice the names, there is no Mark I.

There used to be scope mounts available that replaced the left grip panel and had a Weaver-style base on top. I am not sure who made it. If I were to guess, I am sure I would be wrong.

Magazines for the Standard Auto are available from Ruger and Numrich.
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Old September 11, 2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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Older Mk I

Be (somewhat) aware of the age of the Mk I you are looking at. The very early guns (1950s/60s) have the magazine follower button on the opposite side of the magazine than later guns. The "red eagle" (because the Ruger emblem on the grips is red) guns are this way.

The pistols can be picky about magazines. Some feed flawlessly, while others, identical in appearance will not work well. And some guns are somewhat picky about what ammo they will feed, but then what semi auto .22 isn't to some degree or other?

I have had one of the target versions 6 & 7/8" taper barrel with adjustable sights for nearly 30 years. Fine gun. I have not tried to trick it out, it is bone stock, including the trigger pull (which is not bad -not a match grade, but not bad).


One word of warning, unless you like frustration, DO NOT TAKE THIS GUN APART! While it comes apart fairly easily, unless you know the trick, AND do it in the proper order, it is very difficult to get back together.

You can clean the gun well enough to keep it running just fine for decades without detail stripping it. If you must take it down, do your research, otherwise you will wind up with a gun and almost goes back together.

My son-in-law borrowed the gun, and was told NOT to take it apart. As youth will, he though he knew better than I, and the gun was returned months later by my shamefaced daughter, in a grocery bag, in pieces. He had taken it apart to "clean" it (which was totally un-needed) and spent the next few months trying to get it back together, and of course, would not ask for help. It took me a couple of hours before I could remember the trick to it, as the last time I took it apart was a couple of decades ago!

It really isn't that bad, but unless you know the trick, it is very difficult to discover it by accident. We love to tinker with our guns, and take them down (for cleaning, of course) and put them back together, marveling at the machining and the ingenuity of the design. But the Ruger .22 auto is one gun best left alone in that regard.

As for a scope mount, there is a clamp on type (I have never used it), but I hear it does well enough. Or you could get a good gunsmith to drill and tap the reciever and fit a mount (which might have to be custom made, I don't know if anybody is selling mounts for the Mk I), possibly a mount for a Mk II or III might be adapted. Myself, I'm not a big fan of scoped pistols, except for the single shots like the T/C Contender.

The only thing missing on a Mk I is the fact that it does not lock open when empty (you can lock the bolt back with the safety, but it does not do it on its own). Many (most?) semi autos today lock open when empty, but there are many models that do not, including many rifles. If not having this feature bothers you tremendously, buy a different gun.

I understand the Ruger Mk II/III does lock open when empty, but my Mk I has never failed me, so I have never had a need for a newer Ruger .22 auto.
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Old September 11, 2008, 11:51 PM   #6
Slopemeno
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Actually, once you get the hang of it the majority of the lower is really pretty easy to take apart. If you REALLY want to beat you head against the wall for twenty minutes or so, take the heel mag release apart.
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:54 AM   #7
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Scorch,

My bull barrel target model that I've had since I got it used in 1968 has "MARK I" stamped on the left side of the receiver. I also have a new magazine still in Ruger packaging that I picked up last fall. Ruger also has Mark I printed on the packaging.


Mikenbarb,

You used to be able to get magazine followers for the Mark I that cost you a round of magazine capacity but had a step that pushed up between the magazine lips to hold the bolt back. I got two in aluminum from Ron Persans (no longer with us) and a couple in molded plastic at a gun show on another occasion. Worthwhile, IMHO, if you can still find them?

The only problem I've had with the gun is the bolt gradually peened a burr in the back of the frame that interfered with function. I had to chamfer the inside of the back of the frame with a file. Disassembly is not really a big deal. To reassemble, you have to angle the gun to dangle the hammer strut down so it picks up the center of the mainspring plunger when you close it, but with practice you can disassemble the barrel from the frame and put it back together again in under a minute. Taking the trigger out for replacement (which I did to get an overtravel stop) requires knowing to look for the recessed snap ring on the left end of the pin through the front of the frame. It is on the inside.

My copy is a tack driver and has cleaned its share of targets and won its share of matches over the years. I recommend CCI Standard Velocity ammunition for the best combination of function and accuracy in it. I've tried about every brand of match and super match ammo in it, including ammo intended both for rifle and for pistol, but nothing I've tried yet did any better in my gun than that standard CCI round. I've had some hollow points shoot the very tightest groups, but they've always produced a flier at least one round out of ten. I might look at some of the RWS subsonic hollow points sometime and see if they are more consistent? The longer barrel time using CCI Green Tag did not seem to help the gun shoot, though, so I am not optimistic about the potential of the subsonics.
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Old September 12, 2008, 09:42 AM   #8
mikenbarb
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Scorch, Yep. Its stamped MKI right on the side of it.
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Old September 12, 2008, 11:22 AM   #9
dutchy
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When I was in charge of my club's guns, I bought 3 Rugers. Mark I or II I do not remember. Bull barrel. We bought german wooden target grips, and they just did their job, always, never a problem (until 1 got stolen).
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Old September 12, 2008, 12:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
My bull barrel target model that I've had since I got it used in 1968 has "MARK I" stamped on the left side of the receiver. I also have a new magazine still in Ruger packaging that I picked up last fall. Ruger also has Mark I printed on the packaging
Also confirmed by what I have.

As far as a scope mount, I currently have a B-Square, two Weavers and two Burris. Weavers are good and stout but pad the contact area on the barrel at the front ring will mark the barrel. The burris makes a more compact sleek look and is the better looking of my three. The B-Square is a clam shell type, made of aluminum. Not too heavy but bulkier than the Weaver and Burris and a stout platform. The B-Square that I have is in silver to match S.S. barrel or silver scope. I have been thinking about selling it. While shopping, let me know if you might be interested.

Might also add that these MK-I's are getting harder to find as well as used magazines. The MK-I, has features that I like over the others. Simple and straight forward. I own and have owned quite a few and love shooting them all. They surely will outlast me !!!

Be Safe !!!
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:21 PM   #11
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The first pistol Ruger made was just called the Ruger Automatic Pistol. Then they came out with a target version they called the Mark I, and began to refer to the original type as the Standard Model.

Later, the Mark II and Mark III came out, and some people began to call the Standard Model the Mark I, which is not correct.

FWIW, my Mark I bull barrel will shoot as well as my S&W Model 41, and that is nothing to sneeze at.

Jim
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Old September 14, 2008, 03:51 PM   #12
rrp
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Mark I

I have had a Ruger Mark I target pistol for many years and have never had a problem with it other than with the old thunderbolt ammo with the edge on the bullet. They would fail to feed because that edge would hang up going into the chamber. It is probably the best shooting handgun I have ever fired. Very accurate and reliable. It has fired many,many, bricks of ammo through the years.
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Old September 14, 2008, 07:36 PM   #13
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Parts

All the parts are still available. If anything were to break, easy to get replacements and keep spares around. My MKII broke a recoil spring after only like ten billion rounds or so...

http://www.e-gunparts.com/products.a...l=1910zMKI&MC=
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Old September 14, 2008, 08:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
The first pistol Ruger made was just called the Ruger Automatic Pistol. Then they came out with a target version they called the Mark I, and began to refer to the original type as the Standard Model.

Later, the Mark II and Mark III came out, and some people began to call the Standard Model the Mark I, which is not correct.

FWIW, my Mark I bull barrel will shoot as well as my S&W Model 41, and that is nothing to sneeze at.

Jim
Jim ain't kidding.

I used to buy up old Standard Models, re-work the triggers and put a stop in them. Then I would clean up the crown and file & drift the OEM sights until they would stay on a D cell battery at 50 yards from the bench. (Eyes were a little better in those days..) The end result was a target-grade hunting pistol with a great trigger and indestructible sights that could always be counted upon to work and shoot where it looked. They were as reliable as the sunrise, too.

You can almost always find a chain-store load that would run and shoot great in these pistols; usually for me it was Federal bulk HP's.
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Old September 16, 2008, 09:22 PM   #15
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Mine had a little trouble reliably feeding after a couple million rounds or so but I buzzed a little metal on the tab on the bottom of the bolt that strips the shell off the mag and cleaned it up and polished it and no further problems. Dunno if this was a common problem. It could have been the new style mags, I don't remember. My guess is that if it was the mags, I decided to mod the bolt so the new mags would function. It was years ago, so I can't remember for sure.

The mags are interchangeable between the older and newer. Just gotta pop em apart and switch the tab. Plus you get the extra shot (10vs9) If you are looking at an old one, something to be aware of is the grips are not the same, so be nice to them! The bolt pattern is different.

I'm quite fond of mine. Voles and gophers are not.
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Old September 17, 2008, 12:02 AM   #16
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I got a Mark I Target about 35-years ago and have never had to do anything to it because of a problem. About 15 or 20 years ago, I went to a Volquartsen trigger/sear/spring kit -- sweet. A MWG scope mount (engages dovetail) is fine for low mass scopes. I have a bottom dollar red dot on it now. It has the tapered 6 3/4" barrel and isn't in the same league as my S&W M-41.
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Old October 4, 2008, 08:21 AM   #17
John McHenry
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I have all three..... Mark I target (the newer version), Mark II competition target (slabside) and a Mark III target w/ fluted barrell. I just noticed that of the three, the Mark I is the only one that is not drilled and tapped for a scope (or red dot) mounting rail. I have never had any luck with clamp-on or slide-on type mounts, so I think the best way to go is to purchase a genuine ruger sight mount rail and have a "real" gunsmith drill and tap your Mark I to accept it. That will allow you to have a very solid way to mount any type of optic sight you choose where it will hold zero, and minimize any problems you might have.
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Old October 4, 2008, 03:55 PM   #18
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I have a Standard from the 50s and a new Mk III Target in stainless. They are very accurate.

The only thing about the Standard is that ONLY RUGER FACTORY MAGS work. Don't waste a dime on aftermarket mags. If the seller is including any original mags get them all, I would pay $25 ea if necessary because even new ones do not seem to function quite as well as the 50 year old one I have (that's right, ONE).

Also, I think the recoil spring finally needs replacing as it fails to feed occasionally.

It does not like Remington .22LR ammo. Way too many misfires. Maybe needs another firing pin spring, but works fine with Federal and Winchester and CCI.
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