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Old January 10, 2013, 06:21 PM   #1
steveNChunter
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Ruger "Mark" series .22s

I've decided to start looking for a .22 handgun to use as a trail gun/small game/plinker and such. Im mostly a rifle kinda guy so this has been a learning experience for me.

Ive pretty well narrowed it down to the ruger "mark" series. I really like the mark III .22/45, and they can be had new for a little over $300. But before I go buy a new gun, I want to look around at the used stuff and get a general consensus of which of the "mark" series might be the one to look for between the standard automatic (a.k.a. mark I), Mark II, mark III, and any certain variations.

Keep in mind Im not looking for fancy or expensive, just a straight shooting reliable ruger. I dont wanna go much past that $300 mark so I know that takes several of the fancier ones out of the picture, but thats ok.

So, what should I be looking for?
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:04 PM   #2
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For me the MK II was the high water mark of the Ruger MK series. It does not have the loaded chamber indicator, nor magazine disconnect that the MK III has, which at times can at the least me a nuisance, and at the most be problematic to function. The good news is that you can remove the LCI, and mag disconnect with a few aftermarket parts, and a little of your or a gunsmith's time. The alternative is just finding a nice used MK II.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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Yea Ive heard nothing but good about the MK II. What should I expect to pay for a plain-jane MK II in decent shape?
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
For me the MK II was the high water mark of the Ruger MK series. It does not have the loaded chamber indicator, nor magazine disconnect that the MK III has, which at times can at the least me a nuisance, and at the most be problematic to function. The good news is that you can remove the LCI, and mag disconnect with a few aftermarket parts, and a little of your or a gunsmith's time. The alternative is just finding a nice used MK II.
I have the Mark III. Can you explain why you would want to change the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect? I'm not sure I understand the advantage of modifying the pistol.

I have only shot about 1,000 rounds through it as it is a new pistol. My only other experience with a .22 pistol was a Colt Woodsman Match Target - so, I have no other comparison for understanding what difference the changes would make in the Mark III.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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Hard to improve on perfection

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For me the MK II was the high water mark of the Ruger MK series.
I have owned all three generations and can see why you would feel this way. As for me, I just see trade-offs and all have good and not so good features. ..

Quote:
Keep in mind Im not looking for fancy or expensive, just a straight shooting reliable ruger.
Then the MK-I Standard should suit you just fine; that is if you can find one. Within each generation, there are variables. I like Goverment model that is no longer made. Just look for the best deal in the entire family.
My least favorite, are the 22/45's ....

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Old January 10, 2013, 08:03 PM   #6
steveNChunter
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In response to the above post-

What are the specific cons of the 22/45?

It just looks like a plain MK III to my untrained eye.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:11 PM   #7
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I have 3 Mark series 2 MarkII's & a MarkIII all are 22/45 and they all work great. Never had a problem with the loaded chamber indicator or the mag disconnect. I won't ever give them up for anything else. My MK3 is the lite and is a great woods/packing gun.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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Sythetics

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What are the specific cons of the 22/45?
Primarily one; Sythetics but hey, it's your money and certainly you call ..

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Old January 10, 2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Yea I agree its not as pretty and the one with synthetic molded-in grips is downright ugly. But I already have a really nice .22 pistol that doesnt see the light of day very much. Its a colt woodsman that my great grandfather bought new in the 50's. It still looks like a new gun and it will probably still look new when Im an old man. I cant bring myself to carry that gun. Thats why Im looking for a ruger MK and "fanciness" isnt an issue.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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My wife and I both have Mark IIIs and enjoy them. I have a Target model with a Tactical Solutions upper and my wife has the Hunter. We put Volquartsen triggers in both. They are fun, reliable, and very accurate. We've had no problems with either pistol. In addition, I shoot competitively and use my Mark III to warm up prior to matches before switching to either my 9mm or .45 ACP match pistols.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:58 PM   #11
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See post #2. He hit the nail on the head.

I have owned two MkIIs (one blue, one stainless) and a Stainless MkIII Hunter. All were bought used.

The two MkIIs cost me $250 and $300 respectively. The MkIII was too good to pass up at $350. However, I didn't like the sights (specifically, the rear sight) or the trigger (although that may have improved with time) but all the "lawyer crap" was a deal breaker. Sold it to a friend for what I paid, and we are both happy.

Quote:
Can you explain why you would want to change the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect?
Adding more parts that do not directly contribute to the function, reliability or performance of a mechanical device is almost never a good idea. Adding parts to mollify lawyers...likewise but even more so.

The LCI, the mag safety and the Mickey Mouse wind-'em up safety key are perfect examples.

There was nothing wrong with the MkII, as is evidenced by the fact that they hold their resale value quite well. As far as I am concerned, the only functional improvement of the MkIII is that they moved the mag release to a 1911-ish position. If Ruger had stopped there, I might still own the MkIII.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:09 PM   #12
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I have the Mark III. Can you explain why you would want to change the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect? I'm not sure I understand the advantage of modifying the pistol.
The LCI can contribute to malfunctions (failures to extract, IIRC) because of the way it rubs against the cartridge casing. But, in fairness, it's unlikely to be an issue unless the pistol is already very dirty.

The mag disconnect prevent magazines from dropping free on their own because of how the disconnector "switch" (for lack of a better term) drags against the magazine.

I don't have any specific objections to either one (in a target pistol, at least), in fact they're probably a very good thing to have if you're using the gun to train new shooters. I tool them both out of my MkIII simply because they don't offer any benefit to me.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
So, what should I be looking for?
A Browning Buckmark!
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:56 PM   #14
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I just picked up my Mark II Target locally for $275. Range was closing, and in a rush my very FIRST magazine grouped into a 2" Shoot-N-C at 7 yards. I'm very pleased with this find.

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Old January 10, 2013, 11:07 PM   #15
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I have two Mark II,s and a Browning Buckmark, but the Browning I can't even remember having out. I love the Rugars so much.

Even at two, I almost bought the new lightweight one - kind of gold aluminum looking barrel. Why would I want a third one, I don't know but they are great solid guns and ever so accurate.

The fancier ones (I have an nra engraved one etc..) could be a little over your budget, but I would just look around for a s.s. one. And you don't need the extra long barrel, my 4" tapered is just as accurate as the longer bull in s.s.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:39 AM   #16
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I have a Mark II Stainless Target, and 3, Mark III 22/45s, a Target, a Threaded Barrel, and the LITE. I have removed the Mag disconnects from all 3 22/45s, and done the Slingshot mod. I like the 22/45s best because of the grip angle, and the weight savings. My Mark II Target weighs 42 oz. My LITE weighs 22 oz. The Mark III Target is in the middle at 33 oz. The heavier pistols are good for accuracy, but for plinking and general woods bumming, the LITE really shines. Its a few dollars above your $300 threshold, but worth it, I paid $359 for mine. That 20 oz savings over the all metal Mark II/III really makes a difference. The LITE is still exceptionally accurate. There are a couple others I will recommend, The Ruger SR22P(17 oz), and the Bersa Thunder 22(19 oz). Both of those are 10 shot, DA/SA, exposed hammer, and with very good sights. I have both, and feel they are equals. They both lose a little accuracy from the Mark pistols, but for plinkers, are just as fun, maybe even more fun than the Marks. They are accurate enough for small game hunting, and pop can ventilating.
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Old January 11, 2013, 06:56 AM   #17
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Bought this yesterday $369 I loved how lite it was. Can't wait to shoot it, but this is my 4th Ruger. Great guns.

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Old January 11, 2013, 07:57 AM   #18
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I like the Mark II's - have a Mark II Target. These things are tanks, will last multiple lifetimes, are accurate, and reliable if you keep them clean. I would have liked to have seen some refinements to the Mark II to smooth out the gripframe to upper receiver/barrel connection, keeping it all stainless and less the extra safety doo-dads of the Mark III.
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Old January 11, 2013, 08:06 AM   #19
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I've owned all three (four if you count the 22/45 as different) and I can't really tell a dimes worth of difference in them. I'd look for the one I could find the best price on, but I wouldn't cross the aisle at a gun show to buy one over the other otherwise.

I ALWAYS look used first. I picked up a 1960 standard auto (AKA MK 1) the day after Christmas, with the box and manual for less than $200.00 out the door.



My wife has a MK II that she's put thousands of rounds through. Any problems were fixed with a drop or two of oil.



I don't have pictures of them anymore, but I have owned both a MK III standard, and a MK III, 22/45. Same as my wife's, the only trouble I ever had with them was when they got REALLY dirty. A drop or two of oil fixed them short run. A good flushing with Gunscrubber (poly safe) took care of it long term.

You will hear people say they are hard to dis/reassemble. They're not hard. They do require you to follow the directions, TO THE LETTER. Especially important with the MK III. Like reading the Bible, every word is important.

Or do like I do. Just flush them out with Gunscrubber (the poly safe version is safe for all) wipe them off, put a drop of oil here and there, and leave it alone otherwise.
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Old January 11, 2013, 08:39 AM   #20
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My NIB, unfired MK II 50th Anniversary edition. Bought in new 1999.





I do shoot my other three MK II's, however. Great pistols.
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Old January 11, 2013, 09:28 AM   #21
steveNChunter
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Well Im definitely gonna check out all the local used stuff. If I can find a good used MK for less than the new 22/45, ill go that route.
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Old January 11, 2013, 11:58 AM   #22
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The 22/45 has a more traditional American grip angle.
If you're used to Glocks you'll probably prefer the regular mk1/2/3, but they do have a much steeper grip angle than most other pistols.

Something else to think about.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:04 PM   #23
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I just bought a mk.III 22/45.

A couple of points:

The mag disconnect is kind of a pain. It makes it harder to get the mags properly seated and prevents them from dropping free. I plan on removing it.

The target barrel plus the polymer frame does make it a bit front heavy. I prefer the 1911 style grip angle but the all metal "luger" style grip while heavier overall is more balanced IMO. I haven't held a "lite" version but I imagine it would be better balanced and lighter overall.

The loaded chamber indicator, in addition to being ugly, makes cleaning the chamber a bit of a pain. I haven't experienced it causing and feeding or ejecting issues but I have only run a couple hundred rounds through it.

There are 2 versions of the 22/45, one with molded grips and one that has removable grips. I would try and get the one with removable grips, unfortunately there where none available at the time. I have seen some kits to add grip panels to the molded one but you have to drill into the existing frame. I did not mind the feel of the molded grips so I just got that one.

I got it for $270 at a LGS new.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:46 PM   #24
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I own 3. 1 MKII Hunter stainless that I paid 250 otd. The other 2 are MKIII 22/45 which used also cost me 250 otd and my very first gun which cost me around 300 new at the time.

You should just get them used and in good condition. They way they are build, you would have a hard time breaking them.

You will find them used from 200 to 300 in good to great condition.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:40 AM   #25
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The Mark III 22/45 is a reliable, inexpensive gun. I've fired at least 5,000 rounds through mine. Tack driver. The Mark III is better and feels more substantial, but more expensive. Of the two, I'd get a Mark III,stainless, with 5.5" bull barrel.
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