The Gun Designed by Politicians

Tam is having issues with her Ruger Mk.III 22/45. I shoot the Hunter version of the same pistol when I do metallic silhouette, which is a few times a month. The loaded chamber indicator and magazine safety are problems in this design, if you ask me. I haven’t had Tam’s specific problem, but I’ve had other weird malfs that resolve themselves when you remove and re-seat the mag. The magazine safety is just a bad bad idea, for a lot of reasons, and the loaded chamber indicator (also a bad idea) makes the chamber very difficult to clean. The LCI will get gunked up over time, which always makes me nervous, because the smooth operation of the spring on the Mk.III LCI is critical to prevent a strike on the LCI flag from setting off the round (such as if you drop the gun).

I chose to solve the problem of fussy internals by getting a Volquartsen trigger kit. It doesn’t get rid of the two bad features, but it’s much much better than the factory Ruger trigger, and I’ve yet to have any serious problems with stoppages and the like. It helps make the Mk.III into a pretty nice shooter. They also have a kit for the Mk.II as well. I would highly recommend.

I understand that Ruger wants the Mk.III line to be legal in as many states as possible, but my suggestion for Ruger would be to either go back to the original Mk.II design, or at the least make the LCI and mag safety easy to take out. In computer user interface design, it’s a given that you never want to cripple your advanced users for the sake of novices. That philosophy can be applied to pistols too, I think. You can’t really beat the price point of the Mk.III and Mk.II for what you get, and with the addition of the Volquartsen kit, can be just fine for competition use. It’s a shame that anti-gun politicians have turned this flagship brand in American shooting down such a wrong path.

15 thoughts on “The Gun Designed by Politicians”

  1. I do like the 22/45 we got, 6″ bull, seems pretty accurate, and so far has been pretty reliable. I don’t hit any range near as often as I would like though, so it doesn’t have much of a chance to get really fouled.

    I’m old-school enough I would never rely on an LCI, instead, every time I pick it up IT IS LOADED until I confirm it is not and clear it.

    That mag safety, though, I really don’t like. I can understand in the hands of law enforcement, if you end up in a struggle you could often hit the mag release if you can’t keep it out of the bad guys hands, therefore making it useless to them. Not for me though.

    I may have to dig around and see about how to disable it without causing any other problems.

  2. Oh, and that hex-key lock, I don’t think I could find that right now if my life depended on it. :)

    Pulled it out of the box, said “What the heck is that?” Read the manual, and promptly decided it was useless to me.

  3. OFF main TOPIC
    “In computer user interface design, it’s a given that you never want to cripple your advanced users for the sake of novices.”

    Unless you are Sony, which has announced that a download-firmware-update to their PS3 system will remove the ability, in place since 2006, to run Linux. Which ability is used by, among others, the US Air Force.

  4. That’s probably because the PS3 is a loss leader for the games. There’s a community of users that were using PS3s to make cheap computational clusters by putting Linux on them. I suspect Sony wants to put the kibosh on that. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes to get around it. I would bet not long.

  5. I’d like if they went back to the Mk2 action and dropped the LCI, but please keep the mag release where it belongs.

  6. Yet another reason why I won’t own a Ruger. If it’s not a piece of junk with crappy QC, it’s loaded up with lawyer.

    Screw ’em. I’ll buy my guns from real manufacturers.

  7. Removing a factory-installed safety system is not something I would do, from a legal standpoint, unless you’re blessed with having 12 bona fide gun owners on the jury.

    Heck, you might as well be shooting hand-loaded ammo!

  8. Incidentally, it probably goes to show that I have no idea what the LCI indicator on anything I own looks like when a round it chambered. I have *never* looked at them while a round it chambered; admittedly because the only time I have a round chambered is slightly before sending the bullet downrange. I know what they look like unchambered because I’ve seen them after I pull the slide back to check that it is in fact unloaded.

    And I *hate* having to have a magazine around to do anything with the trigger (such as decock) for the P22. Hate it hate it hate it.

  9. Packetman:

    The Mk.III is probably the last gun I’d pick up for self-defense. I would agree for a gun carried or kept ready for such a purpose, however.

  10. Someone at Tam’s already posted links to my comments over at Jay’s from a few weeks ago, The only thing required to remove the mag disconnect is to replace the Mk III hammer bushing with a MkII hammer bushing (cost me $5) and toss the mag disconnect parts. Here’s a link to how I did it:

    Benefits of removing the mag disconnect are that you don’t need to do the silly “insert mag, remove mag, insert mag, remove mag” dance when field stripping. Even better, the mags now drop free easily, you don’t need to pull them out, and you don’t need to install the $20 volquartsen mag ejector which causes other problems.

  11. I made that same suggestion to Ruger at the NRA convention last year. The rep just grunted and gave be a dirty look. Seems clearly they are tired of hearing that suggestion and have no intention of changing. I have no idea how their stock price made it back up in to the $12 range.

  12. Yet another reason why I won’t own a Ruger. If it’s not a piece of junk with crappy QC, it’s loaded up with lawyer.

    Screw ‘em. I’ll buy my guns from real manufacturers.

    Some real ‘Murrican who bought his gun from a real manufacturer decided to keep six beans in the wheel of his Blackhawk, dropped it out of his pick-’em up truck, and it’s been downhill ever since.

  13. You don’t even have to replace the Mk III bushing with a Mk II one; it’s literally as easy as removing the mag disconnect and re-assembling the gun. I did this with mine and it’s been 100% problem-free for about the last 2k rounds. The thing is a ton of fun to just shoot all day long!

  14. Either sell it and get a Mk II, or remove the mag safety and get a Tactical Solutions Pac-Lite upper to solve the LCI issue.

    A thousand curses upon the Mk III. (That’s only a couple more than the Mk II gets when I try to put them back together.)

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