View Full Version : any way to loosen a Ruger Mark III?

August 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
[Didn't want to resurrect the existing thread about this, so I started a new one. Sorry if that's bad form.]

Anyway, I spent 2.5 hours taking apart and then reassembling my new 22/45 Mark III Hunter last night. I could not believe how incredibly difficult it was to get the barrel off. The gentleman who posted in that other thread, and said that it took 50 whacks with a mallet, wasn't kidding. I must have hit it at least that many times, with varying levels of force. When that didn't work, I gave it about a half dozen really serious whacks, before it finally came off.

Reassembly was just as much of a pain... The barrel wouldn't slide back far enough to let the mainspring housing bolt get through the holes. So, I had to whack it backward -- which was a bit scary, because my frame is plastic/polymer (not metal), and I was sure it was going to break. (It didn't, thankfully.)

Then, getting the mainspring housing pin back in was a chore (because it was so tight). And, unless you hold your mouth just right, the pieces don't fit back together.

Is there *anything* I can do to relieve this tightness, short of taking it apart 20-30 times? :-) Seems like the only thing that can possibly be making it that tight (the barrel, anyway), is the small, rectangular tab on the frame that slides into a corresponding slot on the barrel. I can't fathom how/why it's so tight, though.

(I was glad to find this forum and that thread, by the way. I thought it was just me.)

August 14, 2009, 01:00 PM
I've owned one and worked on several others and NEVER had to apply that kind of force during assembly or disassembly.

August 14, 2009, 02:30 PM
I guess that makes me unlucky or you lucky. :-) The other thread has similar tales of woe in it, so I don't think my story is unusual. One guy reported that he's down to about 3-4 whacks to get it apart, down from a dozen or so.

August 14, 2009, 05:16 PM
It's so tight because in time it's going to get loose. That said you apparently have a really tight one. A very small amount of fitting on the locking lug may be in order but only a very small amount needs to be taken off with a fine cut file. Apply some black magic marker to the engagement surfaces and reassemble and the disassemble and look to see where it has rubbed off. Take just two or three strokes with a file and reassemble/disassemble again and see what you got. I hope you are using a plastic or rawhide mallet. Don't be afraid of smacking the barrel assembly when it won't move, you won't hurt it. If all of this is over your head send it back to Ruger after calling to tell them what your problem is. They're usually very good with customer service. In time you will become very proficient at tearing this thing down and putting it back together. It just takes time and repetition. Some people never figure it out.

Dave P
August 14, 2009, 05:56 PM
tight is better than loose.

August 14, 2009, 06:48 PM
I agree completely with Dave P. Mine's still pretty tight after many break downs. I'd rather have it that way than rattling around. My msh was very tight initially and needed a dowel to remove it. Now I can snap it in/out by hand. The receiver/frame fit is still very tight and does require a rubber mallet to take it apart or put it back together. After a few strips it becomes second nature.

August 14, 2009, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the confirmation, guys.

Indeed, tonight, it took me only about 30 minutes to get it apart and back together. Still required a few solid whacks with the mallet (rubber, yes :-)) to get the barrel off and back on, but I was able to get it done because I kind of knew what I was doing. Still a little worried about whacking the (plastic) frame, but I guess it's made for that...

The MSH is still a pain because of the need to get the hammer and hammer strut into the right position. Getting easier, though.

Anyway, thanks again!

August 15, 2009, 11:29 AM
1. Yes it gets easier over time. You'll start to see very slight wear marks where you *might* want to *lightly* stone, or just be patient.

2. Ruger Mark series will shoot fine very dirty, I only clean every 1000-2000 rounds or so, maybe hit the chamber with a brush every 500, never clean the bore. Dry lubes help keep it clean.

August 15, 2009, 08:38 PM
Try "wacking" on the steel bbl. instead of the frame. A rubber mallet will not generate very much force. Most is its energy is lost when it rebounds. You might try a tenite or plastic or rawhide hammer/mallet. You might not need to remove any metal from the engagement lug. I think you're just not delivering enough force to get it to move. It will loosen up in time.

August 15, 2009, 09:32 PM
I had a mark 2 ,5 1/2 bull barrel I fired probably 20,000 times.the barrel was so loose it would rock from side to side about an 1/16-1/8 turn.It still functioned perfectly,and was as accurate as the day I bought it.

James K
August 15, 2009, 10:02 PM
Maybe this is news, but you don't need to take off the barrelled receiver to clean that gun. It is quite enough to remove the bolt and clean it and the bore just as you would if the receiver was part of the grip frame (like the Colt Woodsman).

True, removing the mainspring housing and bolt stop pin can be a pain the first few times, but they will loosen up or you can do some careful polishing and burr removal. But just leave the barrel and receiver alone.


August 16, 2009, 01:35 PM
Maybe this is news, but you don't need to take off the barrelled receiver to clean that gun. It is quite enough to remove the bolt and clean it and the bore just as you would if the receiver was part of the grip frame (like the Colt Woodsman).

I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person thinking that same thing. I own a MKII - have for years, have never felt the need to go that far; removing the bolt lets me clean all I need to..........

August 16, 2009, 08:39 PM
It's funny that you guys mention that, because that's exactly the conclusion I came to. :-)

Went out yesterday and shot a bunch through it, then decided to clean 'er up. Amazingly, the MSH pin came right out. Cleaned everything through the rear, without removing the receiver. Then, was able to push the pin right back in.

The only remaining hurdle is remembering the steps to get the MSH back in (that business with moving the trigger, then moving it again, then making sure that the spring is in the right place, isn't all that intuitive to me).

Anyway, went out and shot it again today, and decided to see if my luck would hold. It did. So, the pin is, officially, user-serviceable without a mallet... Except for giving me better access to the hammer assembly -- which seems largely reachable with a toothbrush and some compressed air -- leaving the receiver on seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

And FWIW, I'm a happy camper, because the gun is awesome. My wife is a new shooter and was hitting 3" groups with it at 7 yards (this was, I think, her fourth time ever holding a gun).

The one other thing that seems to be plaguing me now is a series of FTFs today. One mag in particular wasn't lifting the head of the round enough to get it onto the feed ramp. You could slide the mag in, pull back the bolt and see the round sitting there, flat -- and know that it wasn't going to feed. The other mag worked mostly perfectly. Wondering if Xavier's magazine tweak:


will help this. Seems related, yet not quite.

Anybody had this problem?

[Just realized I hijacked my own thread...]

August 23, 2009, 08:46 PM
After about 500 rounds I decided to disassemble mine and see what all the fuss was about (regular Mark III target bull barrel), afterall, I saw a handful of videos on youTube where guys were tearing them down and putting them back together in minutes, with ease.. well I found that likewise, my copy has an unbelievably tight fit. Both the bolt retention pin (took a wooden dowel blow to get it out) and the upper receiver/engagement lug. I mean, it's absurdly tight. I pounded the rear of the upper with a 2' length of 2x4 while holding the frame as I don't have a non-marring hammer. Did the same to get it back on. Getting the retention pin back up through the receiver and bolt was another chore that took at least 30 minutes.. although getting the hammer/pin in position wasn't bad.

So, that's one. Haha.. maybe another 40 and it'll loosen up? I actually went through about 10 iterations of pounding the upper on, then banging it off, then pounding it back on.. thinking it might get a little better. Never did. Maybe it went from 4 strong blows to 3.

*looking back, I'm never taking the barrel/receiver off again, there's no reason unless something breaks. You can thoroughly clean everything by just pulling the MSH and bolt and blasting it with gun scrubber. Lightly spray a little rem oil in there and yer done.