Ruger MKIII 22/45 Review

by Richard (Guest Author)
(Tulsa, Ok)

Before the Ruger MKIII 22/45, I have been through several 22 pistols from the Taurus PT22, Walther P22 and the Smith and Wesson 22A1. As much as can be found on the internet about 22s being horribly unreliable, I simply do not find that to be the case...each of the pistols mentioned above have been perfectly reliable in every way for me.

Still there was just something missing. Whether the trigger operation (DAO, DA/SA) or location of the controls (safety), none of which failed, they just were not perfect for what I wanted in a 22.

Now we move on to the Ruger MKIII 22/45. This is 22 perfection. Based loosely on the overall feel and operation of the 1911, you have a SA trigger, and safety and slide release that should be perfectly familiar to 1911 shooters.

My local dealer had the target model, bull barrel with adjustable sights for 256 brand new so I snapped it up quick. Got home and thought about cleaning it but was lazy so I just ran a swab down to barrel, grabbed some ammo and off to the range I went.

All together with the Federal bulk ammo, CCI Blazer bulk, and some CCI Mini-Mag I started with a bit over 500 rounds. Fortunately the 2 magazines that come with the gun are easy to load...the thumb button on the side of the magazine is big and easy to operate so you don't have to ruin your thumb over lots of loading. After a while it gets a bit uncomfortable, but not too bad.

Accuracy is nothing surprising, typical of a good 22 pistol, off hand at 50 feet it will keep all rounds in the 10 ring. I don't do much in the way of bench rest shooting so I cannot tell you which rounds were the most accurate. Recoil is almost non-existent. As already mentioned, controls are similar to a 1911, so the safety and slide stop of the Ruger MKIII 22/45 are easily operated without shifting your grip much, one difference being that the bolt can be operated with the safety engaged, and this gun will not fire without a magazine.

I put all 500 plus rounds through it. Reliability was perfect to the point of being boring. The last couple hundred rounds I was just loading as fast as I could and sending them down range just to shoot it all up. The gun was quite dirty by now but just chugged right along.

I think it is common knowledge that when it comes to 22 auto pistols, Ruger is hands down the most durable around. You hear the stories of folks who have older ones (50 years old or so) and the guns continue to be fired today, rarely if ever cleaned and just keep going, round after round.

Ruger states that standard and high velocity ammo are to be used, and to avoid hyper-velocity. I don't think a few Stingers will hurt it by any means, but as I recall the Stinger dimensions are actually a tad different than other 22lr rounds. Also over time they can probably batter a gun more than is needed. No need to use them anyways, plenty of excellent standard and high velocity rounds available.

So, is there anything not to like about this gun? Well maybe a couple of small things. The first is the loaded chamber indicator. It is on the opposite side of the ejection port and does not get in the way by any means, but it is prominent. I don't mind having the indicators on my guns, but if they all disappeared I would not mind at all. First off you should never trust an indicator. You should always (ALWAYS) verify your gun's status visually. I think some people tend to trust the indicators and this could be dangerous. I will say it again; always check visually.

One other thing that you hear about this model: Taking it down for cleaning and putting it back together can give some people fits. You hear/read of people using wooden blocks to beat on the gun to get parts off or back on. Yeah, the Ruger MKIII 22/45 is built to last.

Anyways, please to not attempt to beat up your gun to maintain it. Two options are, number one, just swab the barrel, clean the feed ramp and add a touch of oil to the slide/bolt and you will probably be fine. Our indoor range here has a couple of rental 22/45s and they never take them down. They just use a quick swab and oil and they keep working year after year.

If you want to take it down for proper cleaning (never a bad idea) then I recommend this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPN87hRgbE

The guy shows you the proper steps and not once does he ever have to smack it...a must see for all Ruger 22 auto owners.

We are almost done here, just a couple more small things. I have to mention carrying this gun. I tend to only buy guns I can also carry concealed and this one is no exception. It's not small, but it is narrow and I wore it out yesterday while going to the book store and grocery shopping. IWB was pretty comfortable and is as concealable as a typical 1911...just a slightly large t-shirt and its easy as can be.

If you are in the market for something affordable to shoot, want it to last for several hundred thousand rounds or more of trouble free shooting, this is as far as you need to look.


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May 18, 2014
rifling NEW
by: Anonymous

three years ago in june 2011,i bought a 22/45 ruger target model pistol fifteen months later i got the gun apart only to discover the barrel was not rifled .i sent it back to distributer they sent it to rugers maintance shop in september i received a new pistol in early december 2013 the pistol works perfectly .i now have approximately4000 rounds through it i love it.

Apr 24, 2014
Grips NEW
by: Anonymous

I put the overlay grips on my 22/45 and am completely happy with how it turned out. They did not include the installation instructions or screws. What I did was use the screw holes in the new grips as a template to mark where to drill the holes. I used a 6/32 tap and 1/4 inch 6/32 screws and it turned out perfect. As far as the tear down and reassembly goes, if you install the hammer bushing kit it will make the procedure easier but after you do it a few times its not really bad at all.

Apr 24, 2014
Grips NEW
by: Anonymous

I put the overlay grips on my 22/45 and am completely happy with how it turned out. They did not include the installation instructions or screws. What I did was use the screw holes in the new grips as a template to mark where to drill the holes. I used a 6/32 tap and 1/4 inch 6/32 screws and it turned out perfect. As far as the tear down and reassembly goes, if you install the hammer bushing kit it will make the procedure easier but after you do it a few times its not really bad at all.

Apr 23, 2014
22/45 NEW
by: Richard

I purchased a 22/45 without the changeable grip panels and I like everything exept the breakdown and the grips.
I've read of a dealer that has overlay grips at TTCustoms but have read some bad reviews about him. I bought the 22/45 as a back up for my ruger competition mk III.
I would really like to get some overlays for them. Does any of you know of another dealer for these type of grips?

Apr 22, 2014
Good for everyone NEW
by: Anonymous

I agree with everyone. This gun doesn't quit. I don't think I've ever had a jam where it wasn't the ammo's fault. I've brought it to the range with people spanning from expert to the very green-est novices. Couple good video reviews out there of her. Link included.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irlvixQVBrg

Apr 19, 2014
22/45 troubles NEW
by: Ed Toupin

If this happened after you took it apart, you need to do it again. You probably didn't get the hammer in the correct position. Check on the net for a site that will explain this clearly. You will have trouble taking it apart the way it is now. If that goesnt work, take it to a good gun store. They will help, and show you how to reassemble it correctly.

Apr 19, 2014
Any suggestions NEW
by: Gerrard

Me again, I almost forgot to ask if anyone has any suggestions about what to do about my Mk III 22/45 feel free to let me in on it because I feel pretty bad about this one. Incidentally mine shoots, (when it did work) just fine as well as feed and eject but now and all of a sudden its like it just has a dead-trigger. Seems like it will go rearward about a few millimeters and then just stops. Any help will be greatly apriciated (sp?) thanks...

Apr 19, 2014
My 22/45 NEW
by: Gerrard

I feel pretty bad about my 22/45. I have always wanted one of the Ruger Mk I,II,III (whatever, the Luger-Looking .22;s) So I finally bought a MkIII-22/45 for more than I have read people have paid for theirs on here ($360!) I told a boss of mine who loves guns about it and he said he bought his daughter one for her 21 st B-day and it was the biggest dog he ever owned, I said "what! Are you kidding me!" And he said the thing "never would work" and he contacted Ruger and they told him it was a magazine problem so they sent him 2 new magazines for it and it still wouldn't fire, feed or eject and he said he gave up on it and sold it to someone and he gave me the two new magazines they sent him. So I got a Bushnell 'first strike' sight for mine and loaded up the four mags I had and went to the range and it fired 3 mags and totally stopped on the 4 th. one. Its as if the trigger just went dead, wont snap or anything, it just barely moves rearward a few millimeters and stops, and I feel totally screwed.

Feb 08, 2014
grip gripe NEW
by: jreisland@hotmail.com

don't like the grips, they are not big enough for a big hand. I ordered the overlay ty grip panels from Dominic Custom. I think that will correct that problem. The gun shoots great and take down/reassemble isn't that bad once you done it.

Jan 13, 2014
ruger mark III 22/45 NEW
by: Anonymous

I had problems with failures to feed and was told to take a emory board to the plastic magazine follower and lightly polish it. What a difference that made. I have not had a jam since.

Nov 09, 2013
Ruger Warranty NEW
by: Anonymous

I am have a 15% jamming issue with my Ruger 22/45. I called Ruger and was told anything over one year old is no longer under warranty. The ruger is so unreliable I am afraid to shoot it.

Any ideas?

Oct 12, 2013
22/45 Jams NEW
by: MacsRuger

After reading the write up on the 22/45 I must comment. I have now owned my Mark III 22/45 for about 2 years now. At the time of the purchase the sales clerk advised me that it would take about 500 rounds to get it operating freely. I expected the gun to be tight somewhat at first but not to the point of 1-2rounds jamming out of each clip. It just so happened that I had brought three different brands of ammo with me to the range. I wanted to try each and then settle on what I would purchase and use regularly. Remington Gold Tip, CCI Hollow Point & Federal Hollow Point. After shooting about 250 rounds I decided to stop for the day. I called the gun shop where I purchased the gun to discuss the jamming issue. I was told to clean it up good and try it again. Cleaned it was. Next trip again I went thru 250-300 rounds. Again I had jams and jams. Frustrated I was. A great little gun I had. So I thought. Third trip to the range. Same issue only I had purchased 2 additional clips. Thinking and under the advise of a friend I changed ammo and used the two new clips... Same issue. By now I have exceeded 1000 rounds and with 5 types and brands. No luck.... Ruger was contacted, the gun shipped. Ten days later the gun came home.
Packed in the box with the gun was a spent casing and a note that the gun was test fired, correction made and test fired again.
A week later I returned to the range with 300 rounds and 4 clips. Standing ready to lock and load then proceeding to wear out a new target I began to fire. At round 8 the first round jammed. It was a failure to clear the spent casing from the receiver before the next round was sent up the ramp and caught the casing of the fired round. Well I have read about replacing the ejector but have not done so yet. I will but I think Ruger has a problem that they feel will go away if ignored. I have not gone away yet. I purchased a like Mark III like this onefor my son-in- laws father. I must have purchased an exact mate. It has the same problem. So let'sjust not say that these little fellows were not born with this problem because the internet is full of the same issues for the Ruger Mark III 22/45 pistol.

Aug 04, 2013
Ruger MK I,II,III and 22/45 NEW
by: David Watson

Bought my first Ruger.22 MKI in the early 80s and got my daughters 1 on their 16th birthday.(load 1 in magazine and you have a single shot) As they got older,they loaded more) We have shot 100s thru each with no problems with occasional cleaning. I also have a 22/45 and a SR22. I would carry any of the six I own for self defense. I read the dissembly and reassembly instructions. After a few times, it became easy. All the Rugers are omniverous and will "eat any ammo" fed them. If you do not have one (or more) you are missing a real treat!

Aug 04, 2013
Ruger MK I,II,III and 22/45 NEW
by: David Watson

Bought my first Ruger.22 MKI in the early 80s and got my daughters 1 on their 16th birthday.(load 1 in magazine and you have a single shot) As they got older,they loaded more) We have shot 100s thru each with no problems with occasional cleaning. I also have a 22/45 and a SR22. I would carry any of the six I own for self defense. I read the dissembly and reassembly instructions. After a few times, it became easy. All the Rugers are omniverous and will "eat any ammo" fed them. If you do not have one (or more) you are missing a real treat!

Aug 04, 2013
Ruger MK I,II,III and 22/45 NEW
by: David Watson

Bought my first Ruger.22 MKI in the early 80s and got my daughters 1 on their 16th birthday.(load 1 in magazine and you have a single shot) As they got older,they loaded more) We have shot 100s thru each with no problems with occasional cleaning. I also have a 22/45 and a SR22. I would carry any of the six I own for self defense. I read the dissembly and reassembly instructions. After a few times, it became easy. All the Rugers are omniverous and will "eat any ammo" fed them. If you do not have one (or more) you are missing a real treat!

Jul 15, 2013
Danny chavez NEW
by: Anonymous

Best .22cal pistol auto I have ever owned .

Jun 16, 2013
respond NEW
by: McintyreClaire24

When you are in uncomfortable position and have no money to move out from that, you will have to take the mortgage loans. Because that would aid you unquestionably. I take consolidation loans every year and feel myself good because of this.

Dec 16, 2012
1911 perfection NEW
by: SFC B

Perfect training device for those who carry 1911s very accurate and goes bang everytime. Quality is top notch. Allows you to train like you fight at a fraction of the price A+++++
SFC B 7th grp

Sep 10, 2011
Ruger 22/45 is the perfect plinker
by: A.J.

I purchased a Ruger 22/45 (with a bull barrel) for $259.00 out the door and I have never had more fun shooting a handgun. A Marine by profession, when it comes to pistols, I shoot the Beretta 92FS, but we all know how expensive even the cheapest 9mm can cost you (I shoot about 200-300 rounds a week). So the Ruger 22/45 solves the ammo problem, and in return, improves my accuracy on my military handgun.

An important note: even with the cheapest of bulk ammo, this gun does not jam (but keep it clean and lubricated). I have shot over 3,000 rounds in the short time I've had it and not one round has jammed or mis-fed.

Lastly, while the disassembly/reassembly is not fun at first, read and re-read the manual and you will soon be able to do this quickly. I recommend the Ruger 22/45 for anyone who loves shooting.

Sep 27, 2010
22/45 Mark III slab barrel
by: Bob

I'm a mechanic by trade and could not breakdown and put together without a lot of trouble, so I did it again and again to get it right. Finally the pistol would NOT come apart. The dealer I bought it from said NEVER take it apart to clean it is really bad to put together again. I'm NOT going to own a gun I can't completely clean so, IT'S GOING BACK TO ARIZONA for a factory tear down. NO GUN SHOULD BE SOLD BY A DEALER telling you to only run a patch threw the barrel and leave it uncleaned. Bought Friday, shot Saturday, tried cleaning Sunday, returning to factory MONDAY. I will say it never misfired or jammed (300 rounds shot). Like the three dot sights (like my Glock 23) and the wife loved NOT shotting 40SW ammo. She didn't care for the loading of the mags so I've got a $28 plastic loader on order (will load 22/45 mags in 3 seconds).

Apr 09, 2010
Ruger 22/45
by: Ed

I have the previous generation of 22/45 that I bought new about 17 years ago. Overall, it's a fine pistol. One of the reasons that I bought it is because of the relative correlation to the 1911 (same rake angle, control positions, etc), and I could practice for a much lower cost than .45 ACP. My experience has been mixed with this pistol. It is reasonably accurate, but I've had some FTE's and FTF's over the years, especially when the gun gets too dirty (mostly, cases get stuck in the chamber). Since this is purely a recreational firearm for me, it's not a big deal, and the malfunctions are not frequent. The other knock against the gun is that it is a BEAR to disassemble AND reassemble.

Overall, I like the gun, and it's fun to shoot.

Apr 01, 2010
you got lucky
by: Anonymous

my new mk111 can't go through a 10 shot magazine without jamming 1 2 or 3 times.its the standard model,,I just gave up and put it away for good,got screwed out of around $300,,I will never buy another ruger 22 auto pistol.the mk1 and mk2 ..work fine,,I sent a single six back becuase it shaved leas,,and a mk11 slab side back to remove a big tool mark gouge from underneath the barrel,,,never had any problems with the 10/22 or there centerfire revolvers..

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