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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fourth time's a charm, right? :)

The Mark I was good. The Mark II was better and, for a long time, about as good as I figured it was going to get. Then the Mark III came along and made more things wrong than they fixed - the stupid magazine disconnect safety and loaded chamber indicator, namely. And I did own a Mark II 22/45 for a while a few years ago, which shot great but felt extremely top-heavy and, as the whole Mark series has been, had that God-awful field strip/reassembly process. (The Mark III's is even worse with the stupid mag disconnect safety.) That, and the safety lever and slide stop were both button-shaped and a little awkward.

Then, this year Ruger must have finally gotten their heads screwed on correctly, because they finally came out with this beauty:



Aside from the fact that it's freaking gorgeous, IMHO (stainless with nice wood grip panels gives me the warm n' fuzzies), they did away with the most notorious "feature" of all of the previous Mark series pistols: they made the field-strip and reassembly process as simple as can be. Push a button, and the thing hinges open like an AR-15 so you can pull the bolt right out and then lift the upper receiver off the lower. DONE! No more "tilt the gun this way, now invert it, now spin in a circle three times, now say KLAATU BARADA NIKTO" nonsense. And unlike the S&W Victory, there's no need for an Allen wrench, either, nor do you have to worry about that screw backing itself out if you don't snug it down enough - it just clicks back together, easy-peasy.

Yeah, it still has a magazine disconnect safety, but it no longer complicates the field-strip process, and best of all ... the mags don't get hung up in the grip anymore! Push the mag release and them suckers come shooting right out of there. Guess they added some kinda spring-loaded doohickey in there to eject them. The whole "gun won't fire without a mag in place" issue is inconsequential to me on this pistol because it's not exactly intended for carry purposes (concealed or open), nor would it be an ideal home defense gun for most. (I mean, you COULD use it for either role, but still ... WHY?)

The safety levers and slide stop are now actual levers and feel like "proper" bits that are much easier for my thumb to find and actuate. They also made the lower frame in one solid piece now, instead of a segmented mess with that stupid pointy takedown thingymadoohickey in the back, so it feels and looks sooooooo much nicer now - smooth, solid, secure.

Anyway. Wanted one ever since I first heard about 'em coming out, and finally found a place that just got a shipment of several models in today. Got to handle and compare them side-by-side - everything from a basic "Target" model with an aluminum lower frame and a beefy bull barrel to a top-of-the-line "Hunter" model with stainless everything, wood grip panels, fluted bull barrel, and fiber optic front sight. I originally had intended to go for the basic model, which was around $419, but I didn't like the feel of the grip and the safety levers were WAY harder to work than the other two more upscale models - it would stick about halfway up and you had to reeeeeally push to get it up the rest of the way. The Hunter model's safety is smooth and easy to move but clicks securely into Safe or Fire, and the nicely finished wood grip panels feel (and look) much nicer than the base model's checkered plastic. Surprisingly, even the basic bull-barreled Target model felt nicely balanced and light, and the Hunter even more so.

Sooooo ... yeah. The Hunter came home with me today. Go big or go home, right? Er, well ... go big while going home? I dunno. Whatever. Anyway. Can't wait to get it to the range to see how well it works. Hopefully it won't do like the S&W Victory and try to self-destruct by firing out-of-battery repeatedly. Otherwise, I have no expectations of problems because it's pretty much just a refreshing update on a very old design that has more than proven itself to be reliable and durable over several decades.

Anyone else got one? Or considering one?
 

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Very, very nice! I am sorely tempted, though not long ago I broke down and got a 3 which I then converted back into a 2 (at some expense). About the only justification would be to do away with the annoying cleaning takedown which is hard to justify the 700 or so I have in it now :(

I would have to look at it long and hard to see if my hammer/trigger/guts can be moved....
 

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The disassembly/reassembly was the worst part about these Rugers. It looks like they might have fixed that.

I hope they also fixed the problem of them jamming when they get dirty. I know some people have Ruger examples that fire just fine when they're dirty. But the ones that I own, and that my friends own, all tend to turn into jam-o-matics after shooting for a while. I always take a spray can of Breakfree CLP and some Q-Tips to the range when I'm shooting one of these pistols. It really helps to clean them out mid way through a long shoot. Another handy item to have is a stiff straight brush (I use an old cleaning brush from an electric razor). Those brushes are good for cleaning off the gunk that quickly builds up on the loaded chamber indicator, further causing jams.

In my personal experience, these pistols work well when they're clean, not so much when they're dirty. Ruger compounded the problem when they put that stupid loaded chamber indicator in there. Hopefully the new Mark IV's won't have that problem-causing and useless part, but I'm guessing that they will. Still, it's good to see Ruger bringing these nice pistols up to the more modern and reliable standards of their Buckmark and Victory competition. They've always been very accurate and fun to shoot. And built like a tank (at least the all-steel ones).
 

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My old mk 2 (the real one) wouldn't jam no matter how dirty. It also was 3/4 or more worn out though. The new one, that LCI was nothing but trouble. I disconnected it and glued it shut and that stopped it from causing jams when dirty but it still collects gunk rather badly. The new one has not jammed much (some, mostly misfeeds) but it is less reliable and it does seem to be impacted when dirty more than the old one was. I expect that to clear up eventually, maybe 3 or 5k more rounds. Its practically new, I think its not quite to 2k rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fortunately, there's no loaded chamber indicator on these, or at least not one that I've seen. That left side of the upper receiver is nice and bare like the old Mark I's and II's, which is how they were able to put this nice printing along the side (call it weird, but I really like the font they used):



The magazine disconnect shouldn't affect its reliability as far as it getting dirty, so as long as it's overall the same deal, I'd expect it to be as reliable as a Mark I or II, just with a MUCH easier takedown, since that's more or less what it's evolved into being (plus a mag disconnect safety).

I generally don't put any more than about 200 rounds or so through any of my .22's in a shooting session, largely because it's been such a pain to get .22 LR over the past few years and I'm reluctant to shoot it in large quantities like I once did. And of course, as soon as I get back from the range, I ALWAYS clean my guns thoroughly (and inspect them for wear/damage), so I'm not worried about trying to put a thousand or so rounds through it before cleaning it.

FWIW, I don't recall the Mark II 22/45 that I owned as having ever once jammed. If it ever did, I might've been limited to a specific kind of ammo, but even then, I don't remember anything of the sort. Trigger was good, reliability was good, balance was poor and takedown/reassembly was crap - pretty much the Mark II in a nutshell. :)
 

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Good deal that they got rid of that LCI! Very smart move on Ruger's part.

I shot my Mark II a while back, after a long time in storage. I had been shooting my new Victory almost constantly (I love that gun!), and that had displaced the Ruger. Anyway, I shot the Ruger again not long ago and it was like, "Wow, this is really a great gun too!" And it is. Just finicky to reassemble, but you can learn how to do that and practice at it a little. If I keep round count to about 100 per range trip then it doesn't typically jam.

I looked at it and was remembering how it was the first gun I bought myself, with my own money, with no help/advice from anyone else. So it's got a special place in my heart. Because it is a meaningful gun to me, I recently made the difficult decision to pass it along to my son. So he is now it's owner and caretaker. I feel good having given something of sentimental value to my son, and he feels good that I entrusted him with something I care about. It's not valuable as in money, but it's valuable to both or us in other ways.

Maybe I'll check out this new Mark IV when it becomes available locally. We recently bought a Mark III 22/45 (my wife's gun). That's a nice pistol too, but has the same tendency to jam when dirty as my son's Mark II. Maybe even more so. The Mark III works best if we feed it CCI MiniMags or Aguila Super Extra. Those rounds are more jam-resistant.

But I'm certain I'll pick up a Buckmark before I pick up another Ruger. Both the Buckmark and the Victory clearly eclipse the existing Rugers in every way. It will be interesting to read reviews of the new Mark IV to see if it's now competitive with the other two. I'm hoping it will be, so we have another choice. Choice is good!
 

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Heh get back to me on design screw ups when you change the grips on that buckmark lol. I love our buckmark, but 5 or 6 gizmos fall out of the gun when you do that, and getting them back in place while getting the grip on correctly is "entertaining" ... for whoever is watching, that is. Granted, you don't have to do this very often, but what was they thinking? Its a great platform.

I took the mag "safety" thing out of my mark 3 build. It affects the trigger pull, so it was removed. I have nothing against it in principle, but this is a target gun, and the trigger is critical (esp after sinking $$ into upgrading it!).
 

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Yeah, that mag "safety" is a problem too. Not only does it affect the trigger, but it make the mags so they won't drop free and complicates the reassembly process.

Our mag safety is gone too. It was like $10 for the replacement part. Worth its weight in gold.
 

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it will be closer to perfect when it has a threaded barrel
There will be nice looking clamp on mounts available soon that eliminates the need to thread your barrel.

As for this new Mk IV, I had a Mk 1 ruger the ancestor of this new gun. Bought it for 25.00 from a friend of a friend etc. This was almost 40 yrs ago when I was 19 or 20.

It was a tool box gun or what ever you call something you keep in the garage or trunk or under the seat, don't oil and don't give much respect. It had more rust then blue finish left and the extractor was long gone. It would still extract about 98% of the time though and it, just worked.

Nice shooter but hell to take apart. Mine had the 4" skinny barrel, if it had the fat target type barrel I would have kept it and refinished it.

Never thought too much of it but had it with me once when sighting in my deer rifle and decided to try it out on pop cans at 100 yds, was surprised when I could easily hit them, and, more often then not. WHAT? OK you crappy looking rusted little bugger, I might have to clean you up and then give you a bit o respect...

I sold it 2 yrs ago for 150.00. It was pretty beat. I sold it expressly to buy a 10/22. Now, not so impressed with the 10/22, the one I got is a jam-O-matic. Even with factory mags.

Friends tell me you need to put another 3 to 5k rounds through it to break it in, OK, but it is not going to be easy having to clear jams every 5 shots. It could be I just am feeding it crap ammo but with .22 it is take what you can find so buying "good" ammo at supreme prices, that is not going to work for me.

Think I'll dump her and get me a CZ varmint bolt action. Or, maybe, I'll just buy one of these Mk IV's.....

This new Mk IV really looks cool. It is going on the list of guns to buy sooner or later. Maybe sooner....

Was liking it just based on looks and the new take down feature then watched a video of the hickok45 guy [link below] blasting away with this new Mk IV. What impressed me was his follow up shots, he could hit things he was shooting at rapid fire almost as fast as he could pull the trigger. I guess that heavy barrel helps with that. Just looked super fun. Rabbits look out!

I can see owning one of these with can and Vortex venom red dot sight. No rabbit or squirrel would ever be safe again, in chelan county...

https://youtu.be/HjsMSToXO60
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I absolutely friggin' LOVE my Mk4 Hunter. Shoots comfortably and with ridiculous accuracy and reliability. The one and only minor issue I've had with it thus far is that the front pin of the rear sight keeps backing itself out after 50 rounds or so; I just use the base of one of the magazines to push it all the way back in, and it seems to stay put for another 50 to 100 rounds. I dunno, I might try tapping the pin out a bit and putting some blue Loc-Tite or something on it before tapping it back in. Otherwise ... absolutely perfectly happy as heck with it. Expensive? Yes. But without a doubt the best semi-auto .22 LR pistol I've ever owned so far and worth every penny? Absolutely. :)
 

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Are there any differences between this new Mk IV and the older Mk II or Mk III except the disassembly? Does the Mk IV get rid of the useless and problem-prone loaded chamber indicator of the Mk III? Does the Mk IV use the same mags as the Mk III/II/I? Why Ruger changes mags between these Mk series pistols I'll never understand. Or is it just the 22/45's that use different mags and not the Mk III/II/I's, I can't remember? Is the Mk IV barrel user-replaceable? The Victory has that, which I guess is nice in theory, but the barrels are too expensive for me to consider replacing on a plinker gun (at most a lower-end target pistol). Evidently the Volquartsen barrels aren't any more accurate than the OEM S&W barrels, but they add either better aesthetics (personal taste) or lighter weight. I would also like to hear how the new Mk IV does in the jamming department. My Victory has a big advance over my Mk II and Mk III when it comes to jams. The Rugers do, frequently. The Victory doesn't, ever.

I think I will get the Buckmark Hunter next - I loved shooting Wizard92's at Phideaux's. But before long, I think I'll probably have one of these Mk IV's as well - especially since I gave my Mk II to my son, and the Mk III is technically the wife's gun. I do prefer my Victory over our Mk II and Mk III, but who knows about the Mk IV? I need to go shoot one. I like 22 pistols!
 

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No loaded chamber indicator, yes same mags as MKIII, improved controls including ambidextrous safety. Jamming, jamming???? The only time my MKs don't run like little sewing machines is when they go too long between cleanings. That will no longer be as much of an issue with the MKIV for obvious reasons:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Changes between the Mk III and Mk IV:

1. MUCH easier push-button field strip/reassembly;
2. No silly loaded chamber indicator;
3. Magazines now squirt out freely when you push the magazine release (and it still uses the same Mk III magazines);
4. Safety is ambidextrous and is an actual lever instead of a weird button-thingy;
5. Lower frame is a solid milled piece of metal instead of being two (or more) sections put together. With the stainless models (such as the Hunter), the lower is stainless, and on all others, the lower is aluminum;

There's a few other little changes here and there, but those are the major ones.
 

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Those are some significant improvements. I will definitely have to check out one of these new MK IV's. I'm thinking S&W's Victory, Brownings Buckmark, and Rugers own SR22 might have finally forced them to step up their game on the Mk pistols.

ral357 said:
The only time my MKs don't run like little sewing machines is when they go too long between cleanings.
My Mk pistols do start jamming when dirty, which happens a bit over 100 rounds from a squeaky clean and appropriately lubricated state. Unfortunately, I usually shoot many more than that in a range session. I take BreakFree CLP and Q-tips to the range when shooting a Mk II or III pistol. When it starts jamming, spray some CLP into the action and swab things out with a Q-Tip. For the Mk III, which adds the stupid Loaded Chamber Indicator, I added an electric razor cleaning brush to the mix. Those brushes are just right for reaching in there and scrubbing down the LCI area that gets caked with grime. While this range cleaning is not difficult to do, the Ruger Mk II/III pistols are the only guns I own that require it. Everything else just shoots forever without the need for range-side cleaning.

My Victory finally experienced it's first jam. I was shooting and shooting it without cleaning to see just how dirty it could get and still function 100%. If failed right at 750 rounds. I had a second failure somewhere around the 800 round point. So I cleaned it (it was indeed filthy at that point!) I usually clean the Victory after every other range trip, but I wanted to test it so I just let it go for a while. I could NEVER get that kind of jam-free round count out of a Mk pistol. Sorry, it just doesn't happen in my experience. Maybe the Mk IV will improve on that.
 
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