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Posted: 10/31/2006 12:20:50 PM EST
I just got off the phone with a Ruger rep. in AZ. Found out that they have had a bad batch of manuals sent out. Seems that they where not correct in how the Pistol is to be disassembled,And to be reassembled. They are sending me out a new updated book. I'm looking forward to seeing the new one.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 8:12:12 PM EST
Is the correct one up on the website?
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 8:15:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2006 8:19:34 PM EST by twonami]
guntest just recently ripped apart the Ruger mkIII in a review/test due to it being a PITA to assemble/reassemble. Could be because the manual was messed up?



From GT:
Ruger Mark III Competition
.22 LR No. KMKIII678GC, $555

The biggest changes we could ascertain between the new Ruger Mark III Competition and its many predecessors are the safety upgrades. We counted four safeties altogether. There’s the standard on/off thumb-activated safety at the left rear of the frame, the magazine disconnect, a loaded firearm indicator on the slide (new), and an actual key lock that locks the safety into place (new). Of the four, the only one that disappointed was the one that Ruger’s touting the most, its loaded-gun indicator. The device is narrow, though clearly marked in upper-case letters with the words "LOADED CHAMBER INDICATOR," and is flush to the rounded slide housing when the gun is unloaded. If loaded, the toggled bar sticks out, revealing a bit of warning orange and the word "LOADED" on top of the stuck-out edge. But there’s so little orange—what’s there looks accidental—and sticks out so little, it’s easy to miss. We feel the entire edge—top and end—of the portion that sticks out when the gun is loaded, should stick out more and be totally painted in warning orange.

Safeties are all well and good, but are there any other reasons to choose this Ruger, especially at more than half a grand retail, when there are always a plethora of used Rugers to be had with considerably less cash outflow?



Putting the Ruger back together required as much force as the disassembly did. Here one of our testers hammers the barrel back into alignment with a soft mallet—hand pressure alone simply didn’t cut it.

We’d have to say no. This gun functioned fine, as flawlessly as the others, though we didn’t initially think it was as accurate; groups were less than desirable for the first 200 rounds, but on our third hundred, suddenly sucked together. It seemed the gun needed a little breaking in, not unusual for any gun, and particularly for .22s. But we didn’t like the way the gun felt in the hand while firing, or its recoil and tracking pattern.

Our first criticism is that the grip is too narrow front to back (the 6-inch max circumference reading in the spec box was taken around the grip’s fattest point, which includes the thumb rest—as the hand never really grips this part, take that spec with a grain of salt). Paired with grips that have a one-sided thumb rest that force the hand into one position only, our main test shooter couldn’t get her trigger finger correctly on the trigger without pulling that finger significantly away from the off-side grip. And it doesn’t take a Camp Perry winner to know that if

you’re hooking your finger through the trigger, things are not going to go well. Big hands are going to have lots and lots of trouble getting comfortable with this gun.

The Ruger, we felt, is better balanced than the Browning. At 45 ounces unloaded, the weight fell to the front, but not so tip-forward as the Browning’s, thanks to the all-steel frame. With its 6.88-inch barrel, it had more weight distributed directly in the front of the hand than the Browning, and as a result it was nearly rock steady when held in the traditional, one-handed bullseye stance. But it didn’t shoot comfortably. In addition to vibration on recoil—we could feel the recoil through the whole gun, rather than just the muzzle jump we felt on our other two in the lineup—it tracked up and to the left. It also didn’t settle back in the hand or the rest well at all. We just couldn’t fire and have the sights end back where we started, and serious shooters should find this disturbing in the rapid-fire sequences of competitive tournaments. Complicating the matter more, we didn’t feel the rear sight provided enough space in the framing of the front sight, further reducing our ability to reference a consistent aiming point on the target.



The Ruger shot tightened groups when we used match-grade Eley ammunition. In fact, after about a 200-round break-in period, the Mark III Competition shot all the test ammunition more accurately.

Controls on the Ruger left something to be desired. The bolt close, for instance, is wedged between the top of the grip and the top of the frame, which flares outward to meet the rounded receiver/bolt housing. It will be hard to access for large hands/thumbs. The safety can be easily flipped off with the hand in the shooting position, but could not be flicked back on without moving the hand far out of position, thanks to its very rearward position on the frame and the huge hump in the grip thumb rest. The grip design proved to be problematic with the magazine release, as well, which is right next to but far below the rise in the wood. We did note that the magazine release worked flawlessly, though it didn’t always shoot the magazine completely out of the gun as the Browning did. The magazine did have a thumb follower button that was prominent enough to be helpful in loading the magazine, but it must be noted that the magazine on the new Mark III Competition is not interchangeable with other .22 pistols of older generations, nor vice-versa.

The final below-par grade went to the trigger. We felt there was an inordinate amount of travel/slack before we could get to the tension. At 3.75 pounds, it was spongy and actually felt heavier than that; we were surprised at the consistent scale reading. There was also substantial overtravel after the break.

Controls are one thing, and subject to personal preference as far as positioning goes. It was the disassembly and the user’s manual that nearly earned the Mark III a complete "F." Ruger .22 semi-auto pistols have always been notoriously difficult to take apart and put back together. One of our test shooters, who worked behind the counter of a retail gun shop for a number of years, can recall more than a few customers coming in—some repeatedly—with Mark I’s and II’s that simply could not be put back together by the average gun hobbyist. The new Mark III proved to be no exception. We even took it to one tester who has had years of practice taking these pistols apart and putting them back together, and he just about put this gun in the circular recycle bin. He even at one point exclaimed, while trying to get the bolt to drop out, "What do I have to do next, hop on my left foot while pulling the trigger three times and saying ‘Mother may I?’ before this thing will let go?!"

The answer, it turned out, was very nearly a yes. Disassembly/reassembly of the Mark III is some evil combination of the Hokey-Pokey and Simon Says, with the devil running both shows simultaneously. An example from the 4.5 pages of instructions for these tasks: At some point approximately half-way through the disassembly production, the user is supposed to reinsert an empty magazine, point the muzzle toward the ceiling, and pull the trigger, all to get the bolt to drop out the back end. We don’t care how familiar one is with handguns, no one would ever guess that such actions would be part of the disassembly process. You cannot take this gun apart by feeling your way through it. The manual is mandatory. You will also, on more than one occasion, wish you had three hands, and you will need a vise grip, a soft mallet, a drift pin, and a flat-tip screwdriver, none of which are included with the gun.

Not scared yet? Try putting the III back together, because this process is not the reverse of what it took to get it apart. There are half a dozen warnings about aligning this part or that part just so, and some of these are beyond important, because it’s just not a matter of getting the gun back together—it’s a matter of not completely ruining the gun when you do. Case in point: Step number 5 in the reassembly lineup tells the user to "BE CERTAIN" the firing pin stop, a very small part that the user has never been instructed to remove in the first place, is still in the bolt. We assume this implies that it can fall out on its own, but the worst part of this is that should this pin disappear and the user not notice it, the first time he or she next fires the gun, "… the firing pin will fly forward so far as to irreparably dent the rear end of the chamber of the barrel, making the pistol useless." All because the user was missing an engineering degree.
We also didn’t appreciate that some of the nomenclature isn’t explained in the manual. For instance, where the manual explains the new Mark III magazines and why they’re different from other Mark-series mags, it explains that the Mark III mags have a new "trigger lock window and protrusion" and then directly references a page further on that will explain what this is. But the referenced page contains no such highlighted illustration with a caption, no explanation of what it is or what it does. In fact, there’s no reference to it at all. If we’re not supposed to use other Ruger .22 magazines with this gun, and this "trigger lock window and protrusion" is the feature that differentiates the mags one from another, shouldn’t there be some visible illustration of just what this feature is?

ETA:I never found my mkII to be difficult to take apart and reassemble but I also thought the mkIII was similar in construction,
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 8:59:15 PM EST
I'm not sure if the manual for the Mark III is messed up. But i couldn't get the barrel appart from the grip. I don't have a "rubber hammer" but i did push/pull and tapped it with a few of my school books. But nothing happened... i cleaned it the best i could but i couldn't get the barrel appart...

Is this what you guys are talking about? if so what is the correct way to take the barrel off?
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 9:08:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By YaMaMa:
I'm not sure if the manual for the Mark III is messed up. But i couldn't get the barrel appart from the grip. I don't have a "rubber hammer" but i did push/pull and tapped it with a few of my school books. But nothing happened... i cleaned it the best i could but i couldn't get the barrel appart...

Is this what you guys are talking about? if so what is the correct way to take the barrel off?


don't feel too bad. I never broke it down that far. After I bought it I pulled the bolt out and cleaned it good and then put it back in. Ever since all I ever do is run a boresnake through it and maybe add some oil. Yeah I get a feed issue every couple hundred rounds but for a plinking gun I am find with that. And it helps me teach my gf how to clear a jam.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 9:12:39 PM EST
to remove a barrel on a mkII you need to tap it with a plastic faced mallet where the bolt comes out while supporting the barrel and pistol. It make take a few good whacks to knock it loose
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 5:48:23 PM EST
Collen @ Ruger in AZ. told me they had a misprint in the Mark-III manual.This was in the take down and putting it back together. And that they where going to be sending me out a new manual ASAP. After trying to get the pistol back together for 2 days i was almost ready to throw the thing out the window. And on Monday i called and she walked me throught it 3 times. And the manual i got was wrong. I real like this pistol, and can group a soup can top at 20 yards off hand. And i shake BAD. We had it on a sand bag rest tonite. We where using old CD's as targets. And at 50 yards they where breaking nice. All open sights.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 4:28:29 AM EST
I really like mine. Once you disassembe it 2 or 3 times then you no longer need the manual. It was a PITA the first time I did it.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 4:19:29 PM EST
PITA, yes and 3 fingers, and one nuckle. I had friend try to take my III down tonite. He owns old II and a new II. After me ROFLOL. I final took it away from him before he threw the it down range and fired on it with his AR. Its a tuff nut to crack if your not up on the code.
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