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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