This is a discussion on MKIII Barrel length HUNTER 6"7/8 VS 5.5" within the Ruger Rimfires forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Is there any reason a slight difference in barrel length might be better or worse? I am going to look at some guy's MKIII and ...
I've got a 5.5 22/45 Mark III Hunter and I get great accuracy from my pistol. I think the 6 7/8 would probably give you more accuracy shooting iron sights as it gives a longer sight radius, but if you're mounting an optic to it, that won't matter. I would think the two would be equally as accurate or if there was a difference, it would be negligible and easily eradicated by other factors such as your own shooting style, flaws in the ammunition, recoil, etc.
I'm guessing you won't go wrong with the 5.5, but if the 6 7/8 is what you really want, then you might consider waiting on one to come around so that you're not wishing for the longer barrel in a couple of months. Of course, you could always get both and have a matching set...
It's going to come down to which one feel best in your hand. I'm sure you can find a gun shop around you to to an 'A' - 'B' comparison.
I have the 6 7/8 Hunter and really like it. I've shot a friends 5.5 and can't tell that much difference in accuracy, but.....I can shoot the 6 7/8s better. Don't know if its the gun or me.
Good luck in trying to pick one over the other. Either one is a winner.
Barrel length alone has little to do with the accuracy of a rifled firearm. All things being equal, a shorter barrel has the same potential for accuracy as a longer one. There are other factors that are more relevant to a particular shooter's ability to shoot accurately, which is the true measure of accuracy for each of us. First, the longer sight platform of a longer barrel does provide a longer sight radius, and thereby, the potential for more precisely aligned sights, when using iron sights, but provide no such advantage with single focal plane sighting systems. Perhaps the greatest issues with regard to barrel length in sporter pistols have to do with balance, carry, and speed of acquisition. The latter are exceptionally personal and can only be measured by personal comparison. Given the investment, I would recommend that you compare them in hand, side by side, if at all possible. Balance is a nebulous issue, too. If you're looking for a point-and-shoot pistol with speed being the objective, you may need a more compact barrel length. However, such "nicely balanced", or "fisty" guns, while ideal for combat shooting and plinking, are not the first choice for precision shooting. I see people complain that certain guns are "muzzle heavy". I don't want a muzzle heavy gun when I'm running a combat course, but if I'm trying to glue a front sight to X-rings or toppling distant silhouettes, I'll take muzzle heavy over fisty any day. When you do your comparison, be honest with yourself and take your time making your decision, on the basis of what your particular use will be.
I have the 6 7/8 fluted barrel and love it. It just seems to feel right in my hand. And when I do everything correct, I have dead centered the bull eyes at 10 yards, Makes an old man feel good. Plus going through a couple hundred rounds at the range does not cost an arm and a leg. A very enjoyable day. Enjoy what ever the final decision will be. Both are fine guns.
I have the Hunter with the 6 7/8 barrel with a red dot sight. My other Mark III is a 22/45 with the 4.5 barrel. Both are great shooters, but the Hunter is more a target pistol and the 22/45 is more of a plinking pistol.
I've a 1986 vintage Mark II Government Target with 6-7/8 barrel that I recently fitted with Hi-Viz MK III Hunter style sights. The stock trigger is glass-like at 2.4 pounds, with absolutely no backlash (achieved with the standard adjustment screw). I've had my turn at most of the finest target .22s made and have experienced no other pistol like it, at any price. Accuracy can only be classified as Olympic grade, and the reliability with anything I have tried in it is 100%. From all angles, the Mark III Hunter is essentially the latest generation of the Government model minus about 3 ounces of fluting, which speaks a lot for the Hunter's heritage.
I have a 6 7/8" Hunter and it is ridiculously accurate!! Love the look and feel of it as well. I do wish I had a smaller .22 sometimes as a pack gun so I will be buying a SR22 in the coming weeks that should fit the bill perfect.
Well thanks all! I ended up buying the 5.5" so I now have both haha. A blued 6 7/8 and a 5.5in steel. They're both amazingly awesome guns and I couldn't have passed up the deal I got on the 5.5in...it was astonishing.
Don't feel bad. We have a MKIII Competition with a Pro Point on it and I've been doing some serious whining to the husband to add an MKIII Hunter or other MKIII with a shorter barrel so we have an MKIII that is a little handier and that we can use with iron sights. These old eyes ain't what they used to be, but I still love shooting iron. Besides, can't have too many MKIIIs, right?
Last edited by North country gal; February 5th, 2012 at 10:47 AM.
I've got those old eyes you're talking about. I've found the V-notch rear with the Hiviz lite pipe front works wonders and allows me to shoot my long 6-7/8" MKII barrel with ease, which I didn't think I could still do with a long barrel, and it gives me back a long sight platform I had to stop using 20 years ago. Handy, heck no. It takes me half a minute to get it up and out of the holster! My best buddy just picked up his long MKIII Hunter and it works out identically, but with all the new do-dads.