New Member with a Ruger MK question

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by jeveretts, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. jeveretts

    jeveretts New Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    I was considering buying a .22 pistol, my son is in the Army, and quite a gun nut, he recommended I get a Ruger MKIII Standard. I was going to buy one, they seem to me in the low to mid $300's where I live.
    But, interesting enough, I came across a guy locally, who is a friend of a friend, and a gun collector. He has a NOS MKI, serial numbered around 1966, this is a standard model, still in the box, unfired, with all the papers and manuals and stuff as new, been parked in a safe since new. He wants $375 for it. I don't have a problem with the price, and I certainly think it has a lot more 'cool' factor than a brand new one.
    I would like to know opintions on the MKI vs the MKIII, I know it doesn't have a bolt lock at last round, nor does it have the loaded chamber indicator, but it is as reliable? Especially with modern ammo?
    This is a gun I plan to shoot, at the range, I fully intend to put some rounds through it, I am not a collector, I just like old things, especially if they are as good, or better than the newer things :)
  2. glens67

    glens67 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    Middleton, ID
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012

  3. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    Chicago IL Area
    It seems a shame to take a gun from 1966 that has never been fired as a range gun. Never the less they made millions of these so It's not really an issue. I have shot both models and you should be happy with both...
  4. jeveretts

    jeveretts New Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    I hear ya, it does seem to be a shame, I am slightly apprehesive about it, but I am not interested in owning a tool that can't be used, and since it is priced similar to a new one, especially once I pay sales tax and the background check, they are essentially priced the same.
    That being said. I had a Remingon .22 Semi Auto rifle, a browning designed bottom eject that is dated around 1920, my grandfather bought it new at the hardware store when he was a kid, I recently gave it to my son, and bought myself a Henry .22 (AR-7), all I can say, is the 95 year old Remingon is so much of a better rifle than the new Henry it is astounding. They rounds go exactly where you put the sights, it never misfires, it never misfeeds, it is pushbutton reliable with even the cheapest of ammo, the new AR-7 on the other hand, with bulk Remington ammo, misfeeds about 1 out of every 30 rounds, 1 out of every magazine with American Eagle ammo, and the best it can do is around 6" at 50 yards, where the Remington puts around 3" at 50 yards.
    I am kinda thinking a lot of manufacturers aren't putting the same kind of care into their products that they did in years past, so new for new, I am really leaning to the MKI over the MKIII, unless somebody tells me about some sort of glaring problem with the MKI's
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  5. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    NorthWest Florida
    Bear in mind that Remington Rimfire ammo is the worst junk ever...a quick search turns up more headaches than you can imagine.

    The biggest headache with the Ruger Mark series is the breakdown & cleaning...itsa PITA.
    Browning Buckmark is a lot easier...same for the High Standard semi-auto's based on the Woodsman design.
    For my money, I'd go with a HS or Browning...better track records as well.
  6. jeveretts

    jeveretts New Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    Thanks Shrek, Glen, and GVW, I am going to go for it, the cool factor is way off the chart for me. Here are some pics, hope you enjoy them as much as me :)

  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Ooooh man, that is purty!
    I'd hate to be the one to start it's shooting career since it's survived this long unfired...but on the other hand, it's a shame to leave it sit unused for the purpose it was built for! One heck of a dilemma...I wish it was mine. :)

    BTW, your little beauty is not a MkI. It's a Ruger Standard.
    The MkI is the adjustable-sight, adjustable trigger version
    It wasn't until the MkII was introduced in the early 80s that both the fixed and adjustable sight models were called "Marks".

    Also, you've probably found out already that the 1970 and earlier Std/MkI use a 9-round magazine instead of the 10-round. Also the mag follower button on your 9-round mag is on the right side.
    In 1971, Ruger modified the frame to add the last-shot bolt hold open lever and the mag follower button was switched over to the left side. That button is used to operate the hold-open lever...that's why it switched sides. can still use the newer mags in your pistol though. You just need to disassemble the mag and flip the button over to the right side and then they'll work just fine.
    To hold your bolt open for cleaning/etc, you flip the safety to the Safe position with the bolt retracted.

    I had a 6" Standard just like yours shortly after I was out of college. It was a late 60s model and had it's share of holster wear but it was a superb little plinker.
  8. prof_fate

    prof_fate Former Guest

    Jan 20, 2012
    Western PA
    The mk 2 mags will work in mk1 guns, the mk3 mags will not.
    there are 9 and 10 round mags for the mk1/mk2.
    the mk2 has the slide hold open on empty mag -AFAIk there is no way to make a mk1 do that - there were mags out at one time that allowed that to happen - perhaps that is the 1971 change Bindernut speaks of - but this is the first I've heard of it. The mk2 came out in 1982.

    I have a 1978 Mk1 Target and the bolt does not stay open on the last shot, the mag button is on the right and the frame is notched in the grip so it can only be on the right. You can check your serial number here

    Get one of these as it will making loading your magazine MUCH easier.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  9. CJ_56

    CJ_56 New Member

    Feb 24, 2012
    SE Ohio
    I hope I can reach you before you buy the MkI. I absolutely love the MkII's and MkIII's. The MkII is especially great IMO. But I've never shot a MkI that I liked. I've never shot one that was accurate either and I've shot a lot of them. My friend has a MkII that is the most accurate pistol I ever shot. My brother had a MkI that I couldn't hit anything with at 20 yards. The MkII is accurate to 75 yards shooting 1" targets. I actually think the MkIII's are a little less accurate. But nothing I've shot beats the MkII although some guns do come very close.

    There are just lots of nice guns that will shoot better than a MkI. I hate to burst your bubble here. They are nice looking and dependable. But if you want accuracy look elsewhere.
  10. jeveretts

    jeveretts New Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    Well, looks like it isn't going to happen. Private sale, and the seller wants copies of my drivers licence and personal info, not really cool with giving my info to a random guy. On the other hand, my LGS has a new MKIII standard with a 4.75 barrel in stock for $299, Think I might as well get a new one then, that way I don't have to worry about scuffing it up or anything either :)
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  11. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Welcome aboard jeveretts from the "GREAT STATE OF IOWA"! You have a very nice looking pistola!
  12. prof_fate

    prof_fate Former Guest

    Jan 20, 2012
    Western PA
    Not sure the law where you are, but here all handguns need to be transferred via an FFL dealer.
    So why not go to the FFL and do the exchange there?

    It's not a good idea to buy/sell person to person without good proof of who's who - you don't know if the gun you're buying is hot, used in a murder or other crime, etc. If you sell one and don't do the transfer and it ends up being misused then the heat comes back on you. CYA.
  13. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    That's too bad, but I would feel the same way about giving personal info for a private sale. It could just be that the person selling the pistol just wants the info to to cover his butt in case the cops & ATF come knocking on his door saying that "his" pistol was involved in a crime. these days, giving out personal info to a complete stranger (even to a good friend) can get yourself in trouble with all the identity theft BS that goes on these days.

    That new MkIII will treat you just fine too...and you don't have to feel guilty about starting out with such a nice clean vintage machine.

    My post was a bit incomplete. Had just got off of work and my brain was already starting into "it's bedtime" mode. :) I'll fill in the gaps now.

    In 1971, the Standard/MkI frame was redesigned to switch the frame slot and mag follower button over to the left side.

    This was done because the original stamping dies for the frame pieces supposedly wore out and it was time for new ones.
    (That's the story in Ruger collector circles anyway...I'm not sure I quite believe the fact that they only used one set of dies to stamp all of those frame pieces made from '49 to '70 but it is possible I suppose...that is the accepted history anyway.)

    The new style frame also allowed them to add the bolt stop lever (last shot hold open) feature...but you are correct that bolt stop wasn't added until the the MkII was introduced in '81 or '82.

    The 1971-newer frame is called an A100 frame. You'll find A100 stamped underneath the grip panel on the left side of the frame.
    Besides the follower button/slot change, the lower grip screw location was changed, and the medallion on the grip was changed from the right side of the gun to the left side. Grips are not interchangeable between an early model and an A 100 model.
    Easy rule of thumb to remember...the mag follower button has to be on the opposite side as the grip medallion.

    Besides that late-60s Std and a couple of MkIIs I also had a Bicentennial MkI, which was an A100 frame. The button/slot was on the left side like the MkII.
    '71-up mags were always easier for me to load...I'm a lefty and I'd hold the mag in my right hand and use my right thumb to pull the follower down as I stuffed the mag with my left hand.
    On the early pistols, my mag load procedure was opposite and I always had a stinker of a time loading those mags. That's one reason why my early Std got traded off.

    Your MkI sounds interesting. That sure sounds like it should be an early frame...but I'm sure you've verified the serial # since you posted the history page link and you know it's a '78 model.
  14. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Yup, some states are like that. We're fortunate here in ND and don't have that restriction on private sales.
    A lot of people around here are enlisting the services of an FFL holder to do 4473/BG-check transfers when they have a private auction sale though.
  15. prof_fate

    prof_fate Former Guest

    Jan 20, 2012
    Western PA
    OK...mine is Mk 1 - says so on the receiver area in big print.
    Medallion is on the right grip (as you'd hold the gun). Mag button is on the left (may have gotten that backwards in my earlier post...had the gun upside down).
    I've not take a grip off to see the A100 stamping.

    I like the pistol very much and it's very accurate and reliable. My only annoyance is that the bolt doesn't say open on an empty mag. At least it can be dry fired without damage. I've heard that there were mags available that would hold it open...not sure if htat's true or what was different about them.

    It's funky to field strip but not terrible once you get used to it though. I've never knocked the barrel off the frame.
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