Ruger MKII Target Range Report, Take II


March 24, 2003, 02:12 PM
So, I hauled my new Ruger MKII back to the range for the second weekend in a row Saturday.

Having discovered that it hated Federal Classic High Velocity solids last time, I brought along a couple of different types of ammo and was all ready to enjoy some fun target shooting.

First ammo tried was CCI Stingers. I ran through 50 rounds of it (with 1 jam). Recoil and noice were noticeably higher with this than with normal .22 ammo. Accuracy was good - my brother, who accompanied me, made 1 ragged hole at 7 yards with 9 shots (he experienced the 1 jam with this type of ammo).

Next up was the Federal bulk pack copper-jacketed HP. Last weekend, this had worked perfectly in my neighbor's MKII Target, and we had fed two clips of it through mine with no problems. No such luck this time. We shot ten clips of it, at a rate of 2 jams per clip. Accuracy was a little hard to determine, since every three shots we had to clear a jam. Very frustrating.

At this point I went back into the shop and bought a box of Vipers? Perhaps Velocitators? Some other type of super-high-velocity .22s. These fed better, with 2 jams out of the box of fifty. Accuracy was comparable to the Stingers (at least for my brother... I had put 20 rounds through my new 8mm mauser at this point, and my aim was suffering from muscle fatigue).

Sooo... do I have a flawed pistol? I'm not averse to sending it back to Ruger, but I'd rather not give up my pistol for a couple of weeks if it is something I can fix.

The jams are all the same type - after firing, the spent casing extracts from the chamber but doesn't eject, and gets caught between the bolt and the top of the magazine, preventing the next round from fully chambering as well. Could there be something wrong with the extractor?

One of these days I'll remember to borrow the GF's digital camera and bring it along...

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March 24, 2003, 02:19 PM
Did you clean and lube it first? My MKII when NIB jammed like hell. Took it home, stripped it and cleaned it, and then OVERLUBED it. Shot a box of minimags thru it and cleaned and lubed normally after that. Since then, no probs at all.

March 24, 2003, 02:33 PM
Clean pistol ,paying attention to extracter and chamber .
Very little lube.

Clean the Mag, sometimes these things have a sticky, tacky substance. After inspection and clean of mag , some will suggest a dri-lube if one lubes at all --I didn't. Check mag against mags that work, lips can get bent..etc.

Ammo, IIRC at one time stingers not suggested because case length a bit longer...I've been wrong before.

Personally, for to many years Win X22LR has fed, and worked in more makes and platforms of rimfire than anyother. readily available others have reported same with CCI mini-mags.

Also I use the Win Power Point for hunting, 40 gr HP , this rd also feeds and gives service.

Sounds like clean/lube/mag/ammo problem.

March 24, 2003, 02:53 PM
My Comp Target Mk II has been 100% reliable w/ Federal ammo. The one ammo it doesn't like is Remington. But since you've already tried other brands of ammo w/o fixing the problem, I guess I'd go to looking into the mags. Does it jam w/ other mags? perhaps brand new mags?
Good luck

March 24, 2003, 04:00 PM
Sounds like it is a extractor problem. The fix is to buy one of the Volquarten (I don't know how to spell it) extractor. They fix one of the most common problems with the Ruger MKII. If you are only getting 1-2% jam rate, I think this is about average for a rimfire pistol. Hey rimfires jam, what can I say?

March 24, 2003, 04:26 PM
I had the same problem with my MkII Target. I purchased a Volquartsen Exact Edge Extractor.

After I replaced it I looked at the factory extractor and one corner had already been sorta dulled out and flattened. Haven't had as many jams with the MkII now, cept when it's really really dirty. I also suggest purchased the trigger shield, although you can make one yourself outta a soda can (I'm not that talented). There's a lot of crud built up on the shield after disassembly, I wouldn't want all that in my trigger unit.

March 24, 2003, 05:20 PM
Odd, my Mk II has never givem me much trouble. Jams maybe 1 in 2000 rounds, and I shoot cheap bulk 22lr through it mostly.

All of the jams I've had can be 'splained by the cheap soft lead ammo (bullets getting a bit cocked).

And this is bone stock.

I'd try the complete clean and (very extremely light, I don't even use any lube) lube. As I'm using Ed's Red for cleaning, it leaves behind a very tiny bit of lube (from the ATF) so I don't bother with additional.

wonder if the 22/45 (which is what I have) jams less than the 'regular' Mk II?

Nathaniel Firethorn
March 24, 2003, 05:20 PM
Clean bolt face and chamber, lube with dry lubricant. This will mean :what: :eek: :fire: :cuss: :banghead: field-stripping the gun.

Strongly suggest you read and print out the following page plus all photos:

A new MKII shouldn't have a worn extractor.

- pdmoderator

March 24, 2003, 06:36 PM
Thanks for the update, Dorrin79.

You need some .22LR snap caps, but I don't know if anybody makes them.

Reason I say you need them, is so you can safely hand cycle the pistol with safe ammo.

Seems to me that the casing isn't being ejected at the end of the slide travel, which points to the slide having too much friction or roughness on the rails. That's really hard to evaluate when firing the gun, but it's easy to see if you can hand cycle it. The slide action should be smooth, consistent, and slick, which is much easier to diagnose with the recoil spring left out.

If you don't want to mess with taking it apart and trying to find an elusive problem like that, you can probably just shoot a few hundred more rounds through it to break it in. Shoot the hottest ammo you can find.

Keep us posted! :D

March 24, 2003, 06:57 PM
i just tore it down again and checked-

the extractor seems normal

no deformation or burrs

after putting it back together :cuss:

i tried hand cycling it with some ammo - (pointed in a safe direction)

the slide does feel somewhat rough - it has a sticky spot about half-way back.

but in hand cycling, it extracted all ten rounds without any trouble.

I think i'll just run another couple hundred minimags and/or stingers through it next time i go to the range and see if it self-corrects.

Thanks for all the good info guys, I'll let you know what happens.

March 24, 2003, 07:36 PM
stronger extractor spring fixed these problems in all my mkIIs,
the mkI springs are what i used, it might be worth a try!

Nathaniel Firethorn
March 25, 2003, 05:47 PM
Hope it helps, but my own experience is that it probably won't. Hand cycling won't diagnose the problem.

Here's what to do:

Take a spent .22 casing. Slide it into the chamber, then back out. If it feels rough or sticky, the chamber needs cleaning. Use a brass brush on a thin nylon or stainless rod. You don't need to go all the way up the barrel, just to the end of the chamber. Finish with a Boresnake or similar.

Take the bolt out and look at the bolt face. Any crud there where the cartridge seats can cause failures to extract.

Also look at the little notch in the barrel where the extractor fits when the bolt is forward. Crud there can cause problems too. You can get it out with a toothpick or dental tool.

I went around and around with my Slabside for two months, replaced the extractor with the Volquartsen, tried various lubes, etc. before getting serious about removing all the dirt. That's what helped in the end.

- pdmoderator

March 25, 2003, 05:57 PM
Hey, Blackhawk (and everyone else :D ) -

Check out Brownell's ( action proving dummies, item number 367-022-002 for .22 lr. $6.77 per 50. Hit the Page Down key a couple of times from link included here.

Real brass, real lead, black in color, last a long time!

I love 'em!

March 25, 2003, 06:09 PM
clean the living crap out of it. Gently!

and the dead crap too.

don't spare the solvent.

Then shoot a bunch of mini mags through it.

Then new springs and extractor.

Bore snakes are worth the weight in gold.

All else fails send it back.

Ruger can make one hell of a .22 when they want too.

good luck! -bevr

March 25, 2003, 09:51 PM
Just my opinion, but I wouldn't change any parts at all until I had at least 500 rounds through it. Let her settle in on her own and see if that solves the problem. Keeping it clean is another good tip as well as looking for manufacturing burrs on the mating surfaces. Magazines are also an issue, make sure there's no crud in them. Good luck, My MarkII has been a real good friend for 10 years now.

March 26, 2003, 06:20 AM
I think gunk build up is the most common cause of 22 rimfire problems and rimfires can build gunk ultra fast. Clean it thoroughly!

March 26, 2003, 07:52 AM
You may be suffering a mag-clearance problem.

Place a spent case, in the chamber and drop the bolt on it. Now pull the bolt back *very slowly* and watch the case. Specifically, watch the rim of the case.

If you have this problem, you will see the rim touch the *middle* of the magazine...not the front of it. When you look at it you'll see what I mean.

This problem typically happens when an OnTarget Trigger Shield is installed. Since the mag will rest against the shield, the Trigger Shield acts as a shim and pushes the mag up just a touch. Sometimes it's enough for the mag to touch a case. However, I have heard of a gun that came from the factory with this problem.

March 26, 2003, 07:57 AM
Sorry to be discouraging but I went thru the exact same thing six months ago with a 22/45. I tried a new extractor, used a brass brush attached to a drill to smooth out the chamber, talked to two gunsmiths, called Ruger, polished the bolt with metal polish, used three different types of oil, and cleaned cleaned cleaned, and tried a half dozen different types of ammunition.

NOTHING worked!

Sold the gun.

I took a hankering to a MK II about a month ago but flat did not DARE to buy it, I'm not going thru the disappointment again.

March 26, 2003, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the tip, whitebear! :D

March 29, 2003, 10:04 PM
I was having the same problems as dorrin. So I stripped the gun down to barrel assembly, frame assembly and removed the firing pin from the bolt. Completely degunkafied entire gun, paying particular attention to bolt, and the corners where the barrel meets the receiver, with a degreasing solvent. then sprayed a light coat of tetra 'cleaner and light lubricant' all over the internals. Reassembled. Shot perfectly with CCI blazer, Federal Classic, and Federal bulk ammo.


March 30, 2003, 08:26 AM
I have been bullseye shooting with a MKII Target for 2 yrs. At first, it jammed once in a while, now it performs very well, but must be well lubed. I have just cleaned and lubed with Eezox, I have not had a chance to shoot it yet as snow is still covering the range. The MKII is well made, reliable and accurate. It is a bear to take down the first few times, but becomes much easier after that.

March 30, 2003, 08:58 AM
wonder if the 22/45 (which is what I have) jams less than the 'regular' Mk II?
Braindead, (and all)
That's been my experience. The .22/45, with the mag release where God intended it to be (:D), keeps the magazine in place at the top far better than the bottom release of the Mark II I have.

Next time you field strip it, before you put the barrel back on, slip an empty magazine in and see how little play there is. the Mark II will move back and forth (fore and aft) quite a bit. When the bolt goes foreward , it runs across the top of a loaded mag, it cocks the magazine just enough for the nasty sharp edge on the feed ramp to hang a hollow point or a short round.

A guy I ran across on-line explained all this to me, and sure enough when I checked it out, he was spot on. He suggested I (and anyone else having feed problems) put a dab of hot glue on the magazine up near the top and on the front, to kinda buffer/shim it and hold it in place. According to him, the dab is good for a couple/three dozen or so mag changes.

I never got around to trying it since my MarkII has had other problems.

Tony Z
March 30, 2003, 10:01 AM
I have used my MK II Target in bullseye competition for years, and never had a jam that was mechanical related that I can remmember. Jams from bad ammo yes.
I would say one of the very few weak spots on a Ruger Mark II is the extractor. If the problem persists, ether send it back to Ruger or buy a good replacment extractor.
BTW, I have over 15,000 rounds through mine with only one problem, the extracator broke at about 7,000 rounds, Ruger sent me a new one and its still shooting strong.
Mine likes Remmington Golden Bullets.


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