Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A double score on guns and ammo

I had good luck today with firearms and ammunition.  I came across an advertisement from a local resident who was selling two Ruger 22/45 pistols, the older Mk II version rather than the current-production Mark III (which I don't like because it's burdened with a magazine safety, a loaded chamber indicator and other legally-mandated excrescences).  The price was reasonable, so I bought them both.  Miss D. and I now have matching his-and-hers 22/45's, identical to the picture in the first link above.

On the way home, I dropped in at our local firearms dealer to see what they had in the way of .22LR ammunition.  They seem to have access to regular supplies of CCI Mini-Mags, which are my preferred brand for all-round use.  Today they had something I hadn't seen before.

There's apparently a TV program about alligator hunting called "Swamp People" or "Choot 'Em" or something like that (I've never seen it, but then I don't watch TV).  CCI is one of its sponsors, and they've produced this show-branded 300-round pack of their Mini-Mag 36gr. hollowpoint rounds.  The shop had recently received a case of it, and had already sold three out of the ten boxes.  I relieved them of the remaining seven, also at a reasonable price (more than I would have paid a couple of years ago, but very good by today's standards for high-quality ammo like CCI - it came to about 11c per round).  That gives Miss D. and I plenty of ammo to break in our new pistols.  (No, I didn't deprive anyone else by buying it all - the shop will have more in stock within a few days.  That's why I keep going back there.  They seem to have better sources for rimfire ammo than most places.)

Now I have to learn the intricacies of disassembling, cleaning and reassembling the Ruger Mark II pistol.  It has a terrible reputation for being very tricky to put back together.  I guess I've got a steep learning curve in front of me.  If anyone can suggest useful online resources or video clips to make it easier, please let me know about them in Comments.  Also, I may want to mount a scope rail on one of the pistols.  Can anyone recommend a good product for the purpose, or perhaps a good gunsmith to do the installation if necessary?

Thanks in advance for your help.



Darrel said...

Hey Peter,
The biggest problem with Ruger 22's is getting the hammer strut seated properly in the mainspring. you need to make sure the hammer is forward before you try to reassemble the pistol and make sure that the strut does not fall down inside the pistol but rather stays on top of the reassembly pin which also contains the mainspring. If the mark II's are drilled and tapped on the top receiver it is a simple matter to simply attach mount. If they're not, you will need to either do it yourself or find someone to drill and tap them for you. there are some clamp on mounts for the Ruger 22 pistols, but I have never been impressed with them.

best regards,

John Cunningham said...

a bore snake is a quick basic cleaning technicque for the times when one is loath to break a weapon down.

B said...

I agree with Darrel.

Find a manual and FOLLOW THE STEPS PRECISELY AND EXACTLY. It isn't hard, really. You just gotta do the steps in order and as described.

Pay attention to the hammer strut, as suggested above.

I, personally, suggest a rawhide mallet for seating and unseating the barrel/receiver from the frame.

Again, just follow the steps and you will be alright.

Most of the Rugers come with tapped holes for sight mounts. Sometimes they have headless screws in them. In my experience, when mounting the scope rail, Loctite is you friend. Check the screws often, YMMV and all that.

zdogk9 said...


The Raving Prophet said...

Yeah, RTFM and follow it like your salvation depends on it, basically. I had a Mk II 22/45, and the manual of arms was identical in that respect. It was reliable and accurate, but I got tired of having to get out the manual every time I put it back together.

Coconut said...
It's basically firearms as a puzzle game; doesn't account for things like stripped screws and pins that just won't come out, or springs that go bouncing across the room, but it could help.

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

The first reassembly will be a real hemorrhoid; after you've done that the rest will be easy. Pro tip: On the hammer strut gravity is your friend. (hammer back to reinstall the receiver/barrel assembly, forward for installing the hammer spring assembly - release the hammer with the trigger so it falls forward, get the receiver retention pin in, shift the gun so gravity brings the hammer spring strut back to engage the detent in the hammer spring assembly, gently rotate the spring assembly in - you'll feel if the strut engages the detent properly).

More Ruger 22s are worn out by cleaning them than shooting them. James at retired his student use one a few years back after 80K rounds. Ed's Red and plastic bore brushes for the barrel (but not often), a short soft brass brush for the chamber (insert shallowly and rotate gently), old toothbrushes and plastic dental picks for the bolt and chamber faces.

FYI on Ed's Red - it's cheap and good (google it for the formula) but dissolves plastic. Store in metal containers. Used tall olive jars are great for soaking barrels, slides and recoil springs. 15 min soak, then plastic brushes or double-thick patches to swab the bore. Don't forget the safety glasses when handling or using chemicals and good ventilation.

Another tip: get lots of magazines. The 22/45 mags have a different floor plate than other Ruger mags.

Still another: HKS makes a terrific little finger saver for loading Ruger 22 mags, $4 at Amazon.

RE: scopes. Once you find a suitable base, I have a 4X Leupold EER pistol scope I might be convinced to part with. (although 4X might be too much X to start with - 2.5 may be handier). You have my email address (slugs).

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new firearm acquisitions - the Mark IIs are very nice pistols. Yes, detail cleaning is rather bothersome but you don't have to do that every time you shoot by any means.

My brother and I own a pair of them ourselves, his a 6 7/8" Target, mine a 5 1/2" bull barrel. Both are quite accurate. Mine is scoped with 2x Leupold in a B-Square mono mount (clamp). Its held up great. Why this mount - at the time, it was the only mount that allowed scope and factory irons to be accessed without scope removal.

Another possibility is a red dot sight. Friend of mine has one (Bushnell TRS-25 I think) on his Buckmark. He sights it so the top of the dot is the bullet impact point and that strategy works well.

Good luck on shooting.

Jim22 said...

It helps to get the hammer strut to seat properly if you hold the pistol upside-down.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Doing Eexactly what the manual says will usually do it, but I too get tired of dragging the damn thing out. What should be a 10 second evolution stretches into ten minutes sometimes, usually because I think I remember how to do it and I really don't.

Profanity, the viler the better - in copious amounts - usually helps. Throwing inanimate objects against the wall helps too.

Anonymous said...

Way back when, when I was selling firearms at retail, we used to tell people not to strip their Ruger Mark II's. We would show them how to clean the bore, how to scrub out the chamber area, and show them what a bottle of Birchwood Casey gun scrubber could do for them.

We would then advise them that if/when they took it apart to clean it, they were allowed to bring it back in a paper bag full of parts ONE time, and we would reassemble it for them. After that we would charge them $5 for reassembly. I recall one customer who had over forty thousand rounds through his without disassembly, following our instructions. It ran perfectly the entire time.

I use my 22/45 as a trainer, so I have always maintained it in the hardest-to-shoot configuration. No scope, thin light barrel, no trigger tuning. I want it to force me to focus on proper technique, not to be a precision instrument of its own. I find that when I use it consistently, for a couple hundred rounds a month, my shooting with everything else improved rather dramatically.

When I get so that I can shoot clay pigeons at 50 yards consistently with it, then any other pistol I own becomes amazingly easy to use. It may be frustrating for some to have a pistol that is intentionally hobbled and not modified to be easy to shoot, but I find that this focuses my attention on the basics. I have a very nice six and seven eighths inch MKII heavy barrel if I want a precision 22, the 22/45 is just a technique and procedures trainer. It works for me.


Theother Ryan said...

11 cents a round for CCI mini mags is pretty good. Excellent score.

Aaron said...

If you sing and do The Ruger Pokey it will get reassembled properly, most of the time. . .

Uncle Lar said...

The Ruger Mark II 22/45 is a fine pistol.
You will find that the top is drilled and tapped, so adding a picatinny rail is easy. You can get one specifically for the Ruger at Put one on mine then added a red dot optical, very sweet shooter.
All of that series Marks I II, and III go together the same way and are a booger to work on. There are a few YouTube videos that I found quite helpful:
I recently did a trigger job on a friend's Mark III and managed to take the trigger pull from a solid five and a half pounds down to just over three pounds. directions on doing that can be found here:
I can almost guarantee that it will take you several tries to reassemble the gun the first time. Don't worry, you really can't hurt anything. Just take it all back apart and start over paying special attention to the tricks given in the videos.

harpoon223 said...

Congrats on getting the Ruger 22/45. The MkII has another advantage over the MkIII in that, when the gun is loaded, you can simply pull back and release the slide to close the action. On the MkIII, that no longer works and you *have* to use the slide release. I coach women beginners, and many of them have trouble working the slide release with their thumbs, especially on a new gun whose action is stiff.

Putting it back together after disassembly is a well-known problem. Even reading the manual and watching the Ruger video, it's easy to get it into a state where you can't get it either back together or taken apart again. At that point, you need this video:
which shows exactly how to recover from the screwup. This saved me a trip to the gunsmith.

Sherm said...

By one of these. You take out one screw and clean your gun.