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MK II or MK III?

This is a discussion on MK II or MK III? within the Ruger Rimfires forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; For many years I've wanted to buy a Ruger standard type .22 and now I'm finally in a position to do it. So, originally I ...


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Old September 25th, 2013, 06:59 AM   #1
 
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MK II or MK III?

For many years I've wanted to buy a Ruger standard type .22 and now I'm finally in a position to do it. So, originally I was looking at the MK II, but now there is the MK III and I'm wondering if there are any significant differences? I will probably buy used, so should I just go for the best deal on either gun?...your thoughts?



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Old September 25th, 2013, 07:30 AM   #2
 
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I have the 22/45 MKIII. Not crazy about the trigger. The magazine dis-connect is a PITA.
Has a flag on the side to show you have a round in the chamber and a built in key lock. I try to ignore all that. In my opinion it's overkill. Other than that it functions well.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 08:24 AM   #3
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I have both a regular MKII and a MKIII Target. I think the MKII trigger is a little better, but that might just come with age.

The MKIII has the magazine disconnect - I have already removed that. I like the MKIII Target sights better.

The reason I purchased the MKIII is because you can mount a rail for an optic. The MKII would need to be drilled and tapped - I decided I did not want to go through that.

Both are nice guns.

If you don't want the rail, then I really like the MKII and would purchase based on condition and price. MKII or MKIII - either should work fine.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #4
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gwbasley, Yes, there are some significant differences between a MK II and MK III. Going back to the original Ruger Standard Pistol (fixed sights) and Mark I (adjustable sights), these were basic pistols with limited features and many safety issues. The bolt was not designed to lock back after the last round was fired. The thumb safety was dual purpose ... besides being a safety switch, it could also be used to manually lock the bolt back. This creates a safety issue when loading a fresh magazine because the pistol had to be charged with the safety in the FIRE position. Further, removing a 9 round magazine required operating the magazine release on the butt of the pistol .... another safety issue that causes the muzzle to be pointed in unintended directions while loading or unloading.

When the Mark II was released, Ruger solved one of the prime safety issues. It is equipped with a bolt lock-back feature that can be manually operated by pushing the Bolt Latch up while holding the bolt to the rear .... or .... the bolt will automatically lock back after the last round fires. This design changed the safety switch where it has nothing to do with holding the bolt back. When loading or unloading, the safety switch should be placed in the SAFE position to reduce the risk of an accidental discharge. Ruger also increased the magazine capacity from 9 to 10 rounds. Handgun scopes and Red Dots started getting popular so in the last few years of production, Ruger drilled and tapped the receiver and provided a Weaver style scope base with all adjustable sight model MK IIs. Also during the last years of MK II production, Ruger introduced the 22/45, which was a polymer frame pistol with exactly the same upper receiver as a MK II. The 22/45 solved another safety issue ... the magazine release. Instead of being on the butt, it had a push button magazine release located just behind the trigger that was a "drop free" design ... much like a 1911. 22/45s also had an 18 degree grip angle (molded in grips) that is the same as a 1911. All adjustable sight 22/45s were drilled and tapped for a scope and included a Weaver style scope base.

To comply with CA and MA gun laws, Ruger had to redesign the MK II and 22/45 so they were forced to add more safety features. All conventional and 22/45s were designated "MK III" due to these safety modifications. The first is a "Loaded Chamber Indicator" (LCI) that extends from the left side of the receiver when there is a cartridge in the chamber. The second is a "Key Operated Lock" (KOL) that totally disables the pistol when locked. The third is a "Magazine Disconnect" (MD) that prevent the pistol from firing unless a magazine is in place. The fourth added a "Magazine Release" (MR) button behind the trigger, just like the older 22/45s.

In my opinion, three of the MK III's added safety features are nothing but "Band-Aid" engineering where a good solid design was modified in an inferior way to make MK IIIs CA and MA compliant. The LCI functions well but is ugly. The KOL is pretty worthless for most gun owners ... especially if they store their guns in a safe or don't have children to contend with. The MD is a terrible design ... because it puts pressure on the magazine, you must still pull the magazine out manually ... no better than the old manual butt release where the muzzle gets pointed in unintended directions when loading or unloading.

Even though the MK II "Lock-back" was a safety modification, it does enhance operation and was done with sound engineering. I think this is an excellent feature. I also think the new style MK III MR is great, however to make the magazine "drop free" the MD must be removed.

IMO, if you can live with the butt magazine release, the later production MK II (D&T for a scope) is the best model. If you like polymer frames with molded in grips, the older 22/45 has the new style magazine release without the LCI or KOL.

I own two MK IIIs ... primarily because of the magazine release. I disabled the MD in both guns. I left the LCI in place .... some people replace it with a non-functioning "blank". If you don't like the KOL, you can replace the safety and mainspring housing with MK II parts (hard to find). The added MK III safety features do work so you don't have to modify the pistol unless you can't live with them.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 09:26 AM   #5
 
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I have Mark3 Hunter. I have been having a problem with the bolt lock, the bolt doesn't lock back after the last round was fired. Took the gun apart to examine it, found that the bolt and the bolt lock had been damaged, I replaced the bolt lock. Bolt locked back for a while and then didn't. Sent gun to Ruger, they replaced the bolt assembly and bolt lock. They told me that the problem was solved. After 100 rounds it stopped locking back again and the bolt lock was damaged again. Just sent it back to Ruger again yesterday.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 02:42 PM   #6
 
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I'll just add on to what Iowegan mentioned with this post I made a number of years ago. Ruger Mark Series

R,
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Old September 25th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #7
 
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Ruger MK11

I have owned an MK11 for over 10 years now and have put approximately 65,000 rounds through it. If properly cared for (cleaned after each use, proper ammo, and proper storage) an MK11 will provide years of service. The only drawback is it is somewhat difficult to reassemble after cleaning. As far as buying used...you may want to rethink that. You can still buy new for about $450. I hope you enjoy shooting either one that you choose.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 04:35 PM   #8
 
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MKII. I don't like the "safety" features on the MKIII.e.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #9
 
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I have 6 MKII's no MKIII's, I don't care for the chamber indicator so I'll never buy one .I have shot a MKIII a few times and worked on one for a friend .I think the MKII is much easer to reassemble then the MKIII but I only stripped the MKIII down one time .Don't get me wrong the MKII is not easy .The break down and reassembly has to be done in certain steps once you learn that it's a piece a cake .When you get one and have any problem with it just ask here and you will get the help you need .I bought my first MK before the internet days so when I broke mine down the first time I worked on the reassembly for about 2 hrs and had to set it down for a while or else it was going to go through the window .The next day with a fresh mind I was able to see what I was doing wrong and had it back together in about 20 minutes have had no problem since then .The MKII is my favorite gun to shoot and work on now .I love to customize the MKII's now .I have put well over 80000 rounds through my MK's and they are still running strong .Treat them good and keep them clean they will last a life time .But when it comes down to it it is a personal preference .Iowegan broke it pretty good on the difference .Good luck
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Old September 25th, 2013, 05:01 PM   #10
 
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[QUOTE=brightleaf;1167014]I have both a regular MKII and a MKIII Target. I think the MKII trigger is a little better, but that might just come with age.

The MKIII has the magazine disconnect - I have already removed that. I like the MKIII Target sights better.

The reason I purchased the MKIII is because you can mount a rail for an optic. The MKII would need to be drilled and tapped - I decided I did not want to go through that.

Both are nice guns.

I have a MKII (10"bull Bbl.) & loved it from , day one
SHOT MANY 22 ACTION SHOOTS WITH IT.
I think the Aimpoint on top, gave a little edge to me winning a couple.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #11
 
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I have the Mark 3 22/45 but have the Volquartsen Mark 2 Accurizing kit installed, this gets rid of the magazine safety and gives much better trigger pull. Got the Tactical Solutions pac lite barrel. Its super.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 06:35 PM   #12
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MK II is by far the best.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #13
 
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lowegan...thanks for the excellent post. I have a much better understanding now. I see I must do some modifications, namely the magazine disconnect. I would also like to make the trigger more like my 1911's. Is this something the average person can do without having a nervous breakdown or should I find a good gunsmith? I do appreciate what I am learning on this thread. I readily admit my lack of knowledge.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 08:11 PM   #14
 
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My Bull Barrelled Mark II has a much lighter trigger pull (no mods to mine) than any of the 1911s that I've fired ... except for one mod'ed by a local gunsmith for precision shooting. I much prefer the lighter pull of the Mark II. Got mine back in the 80s.

The only problem I had with my Mark II was the bolt was manufactored in two pieces. The piece that you pull the bolt back with 'fell off' after many years of service. Ruger replaced with a solid bolt at no cost. Will never have that happen again. Like a new gun now .

As for disassembly/reassembly I never have had a real problem with it. I've only had to take it down to remove the bolt. I never had to go any further with mine.


I've 'resisted' buying a Mark III because of all the silly safety do-dads... And really I don't shoot much semi-auto anyway... But I do like the look of the 'hunter' models for a semi-auto that is.

Last edited by rclark; September 25th, 2013 at 08:15 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 07:54 AM   #15
 
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Don't let the fact that most Mark II's were not drilled and tapped for a rail scare you as there are several rails that can be installed which attach very securely via the rear sight dovetail. Many forum members use them. If you don't need a red dot or scope you are good to go.
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