Ruger Mkll "Government model"?


model 649
September 22, 2005, 10:12 PM
Anyone know why the Ruger Mkll pistol with the 6 7/8 bull barrel in blue is called a "Government model"? I looked at a used one this evening, couldn't tell wether it had been fired.(Gotta think it was, though.) Bore was spotless, and the feed ramp was unmarked, as well the mag was still cleanly blue at the feed lips. Very few light marks on the gun Nice price, nice gun, and now its mine. (I can't be in my favorite gun shop unescorted for long :D ). Hopefully it's a good shooter. Were these used by some Gov. agency? (Dept. of varmint harassment?)

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September 22, 2005, 11:52 PM
Pics, pics! Show us pics! :D

September 23, 2005, 01:18 AM
I think the US armed forces have acquired some as training pistols. I have the 5 1/2" SS version. I like the 22/45 grip angle better but I will not be selling my MK II anytime soon.

September 23, 2005, 05:44 AM
The Govt Target Model is a variation designed for a military contract. I assume the military used them as training guns. The pistol is just different enough from their regular target models to be it's own catalog variation.

I have one and I really like it. I don't have a "regular" Ruger MK II target model to compare it with though.

September 23, 2005, 10:29 AM
Yes, it was used as a trainer for the military. They are fun guns. I have a MKII in stainless with the 5 1/2" bull barrel and my brother went with the Government model. His is a little front heavy compared to mine, but is a sweet shooter....and he got it for $175 or so back in the late 80's....I think that was when they first started to sell that model to the public??

September 23, 2005, 01:27 PM
From what I remember, the Goverment models were different because during assembly, the barrels were aligned with a lazer. Friend of mine has one and it's a shooter!

September 23, 2005, 03:20 PM
The government models were required to meet a certain specification for grouping. They come with a test target, at least mine did from the factory.

September 23, 2005, 04:18 PM
Yes, my book Ruger and His Guns mentioned the laser sighting in at the factory.

model 649
September 23, 2005, 04:37 PM
Cool! So, the sights were aligned with a laser? Hmm. I was thinking of replacing the front blade with a fiber optic unit. I also see there are lots of aftermarket goodies for these pistols. (Similar to my 1911 goodies.) I can see more money in motion!

Seven High
September 23, 2005, 09:20 PM
If I remember correctly the Ruger was used in Vietnam, with a silencer attached by special forces to take out sentrys and dogs.

September 23, 2005, 11:23 PM
Seven high, You're right. The MarkII govenment model was used by some Special forces for purposes like that. Remember one gun writer, a former Special Forces officer talking about its use.

September 24, 2005, 06:26 PM
I believe the High Standard silenced .22's were the ones used in Vietnam. The military used silenced High Standards since WWII. I don't even think the Ruger Mk II Government Model, as a specific model, was developed until after Vietnam. (Earlier Ruger Mk II.s did exist, just not that model).

The silenced Smith & Wesson Model 39 was also used in Vietnam. I've heard it refered to as the "Hush Puppy."

September 24, 2005, 08:27 PM
I've got one my buddy sold me 10 years ago for $100 . . he had put about 10k rounds through it and said it wasn't very accurate (said he 'shot it out'). (never cleaned it). I gave it a good through cleaning and now it shoots better than I can. I've probably put another 10k rounds through it in the last 10 years. (don't keep track)

Have a good one,

1911 guy
September 24, 2005, 09:44 PM
The military did and does use the mark II on once in a while. If I can dig it up I've got a picture of a wall board we set up for a PR event showing some of our goodies. A Ruger .22 was there, as well as some Mo' Betta' stuff. The model is different than most Mark II's in that the barrel is not tapered.

model 649
September 24, 2005, 10:27 PM
Okay, I looked around a bit and found some good info here:
Its an article on the history of the Ruger .22's. According to this article, the "Government model" came out in 1986, and was indeed sold to the government as a target and training pistol. I'll post pix once I get this one "dolled up" a bit with parts I've got on order for it from Ruger, which, incidentally, had the best prices on sights and grips. The best mag price I've found is from Midway about $17.00 a copy. Man, there's a raft of goodies out there for these pistols :D .

September 25, 2005, 12:12 AM
If I remember correctly, there were two things that made the government model different. First, as someone else noted, it was laser aligned and test fired at the factory to insure the gun was within the military's spec. Second, the barrel has a 1-15 twist rate. All the other versions have a 1-14 twist rate, except the Mark II Competition has a 1-16 twist rate and a machined crown.

September 25, 2005, 02:36 AM
Though I have not yet gone this route I have read that it is cheapest to get the magazines directly from Ruger, but in its separate parts. Comes to less than $10 a mag. The shipping is less than $4 no matter how many parts you get. Here is a thread about the subject with the part numbers.

September 25, 2005, 07:40 AM
The "Hush Puppies" were not Rugers but High Standards as mentioned.

As an aside, the Ruger MKII .22 was absolutely the most popular pistol among Army officers back when I was in 1981-85. So many officers in our squadron owned one that I never bought one. On many Sunday afternoons we would go to the range on post and have impromptu shooting competitions. As I recall they were around $150 at the Rod & Gun Club. Almost everyone I know who is serious about pistol marksmanship owns a .22, often a Ruger.

I used a Colt GC Mk IV as we could buy surplus issue .45 ACP from the R&G Club for $5 per box. But I digress.

Seven High
September 25, 2005, 10:18 PM
Both the High Standard and the Ruger were used in Vietnam, in a silenced version to take out sentrys and sentry dogs. There were silenced submachine guns used as well. The Ruger had to be the Mark 1 version which was being produced during that time period.

September 26, 2005, 05:41 PM
Graystar, so do you think the 22/45 version of the comp model also has the same features of the MKII? Mine seems to have the special crown but I don't know about the rifling.

Got the 22/45 for $230 4 years ago as opposed to about $400 for the MKII version. Ruger manual basically told me though that while my 22/45 was drilled and tapped, don't expect them to include the scope rings at the price I paid for the gun!

model 649
September 26, 2005, 09:01 PM
Holy Moly! A Mark ll forum??? WOW I'm impressed (and I'll register, too :D ).

September 26, 2005, 09:05 PM
Graystar, so do you think the 22/45 version of the comp model also has the same features of the MKII? Mine seems to have the special crown but I don't know about the rifling. I don't know for sure, but it would seem reasonable that the rifling is the same.

model 649
October 6, 2005, 10:25 PM
Okay, got the grips and the sight today, so here's the dressed version of the new (to me) Mark 2 Government (as promised).

December 17, 2009, 11:11 AM
What would a new Government Model NIB be worth these days? I have had it for 20+ years and never shot it.

December 17, 2009, 11:30 AM
Its worth what you can get someone to pay for it. :neener:

December 17, 2009, 12:42 PM
Shortly after its introduction in January of 1987, The American Rifleman did a report on the Ruger Government Target Model pistol. I found the following from this article:

"Ruger's Mark I and Mark II pistols have been used since the 1950s as .22 rimfire training guns by the U.S. military services.
A current version of the Mark II is replacing earlier service pistols by Ruger and other makers, and Ruger is now offering it for commercial sales.
The Ruger Government Target Model is in most respects identical to the Bull Barrel model, except it has a 6 7/8" barrel instead of the 5 1/2" tube of the older gun...The gun is rollmarked "Government Target Model" behind the ejection port where the military guns are marked "U.S."
The manufacturer states the Government Target Models are targeted using a patented laser sighting device at the factory. Government acceptance standards require that 10 shots must fall inside a 1 1/4" circle when fired from a range of 25 yds., and a test target is packed with each gun. Alsopacked with the pistol is a facsimile government technical manual..."

In October of 1987, Shooting Times author Dick Metcalf reported:

"...In essence, this new gun is a 6 7/8" bull-barrel version of the Mark II Target Model with higher profile adjustable sights...Created to meet U.S. military specifications for match-grade pistols, it has been chosen as the standard target and training handgun of the U.S. Armed Forces, replacing earlier models from Ruger and other manufacturers previously used for those purposes. The new civilian version of the Ruger Government Model (catalog designation 'MK678G') is identical to the military version, except the 'U.S.' stamping over the serial number is not present and the rear right side of the receiver is stamped 'Government Target Model.' From the domestic consumer's point of view, however, the most notable quality of the new gun is its accuracy...
Every Government Model .22 auto that leaves the Ruger plant is first targeted to military accuracy specifications via a special pistol laser sighting device...These specifications require 10 consecutive shots from a machine rest at 25 yards, all of which must fall within or cut the edge of a 1.25 inch bullseye. The target for each gun that's shipped with it is signed by the Ruger employee who tested the gun. That's the minimum required. If the test targets I have seen are any indication, the Government Models being shipped are considerably better.The test target for Shooting Times' review pistol measured less than one inch in extreme spread-10 shots in one ragged hole..."

On 1-30-91, my brother received the following letter from James Van Ness, Ruger Service Department Manager:

"This is in reference to your letter concerning the difference between the 5 1/2" bull barrel Target Model pistol and the GovernmentModel pistol.
...The basic difference is that we do target the Government Model at 25 yards with CCI Green Tag ammunition to insure it shoots a 1 1/4" group. This is not to say that you might not get the same results with your 5 1/2" bull barrel, but it would not have to in order to meet our manufacturing specifications.
The Government Model also has a heat treated chamber which allows us to hold it to a slightly tighter specification..."

I shoot my own Government Model at Bullseye competitive events and have found its accuracy to be on a par with my Smith & Wesson Model 41 and its reliability slightly better ( which isn't to say that the Smith is unreliable; only that the Ruger is more tolerant of ammunition variances). On the other hand, the trigger pull on my Model 41 and others that I have shot, is a level higher than any Ruger .22 target pistol that I've shot in the past (going back to my U.S. Air Force pistol shooting days in the early sixties).

December 17, 2009, 03:10 PM
I have the stainless slab-side, bought it used a year ago at a pawn shop with base, rings, and leupold m8 2x eer scope for $500 out the door. It is quite possibly the greatest handgun made by a man. Bracing my hand against a bag (though I ought to try sometime with a sled) I've put 4" 100y groups with it. I'm sure with more magnification or a better rest I could tighten that up.

Jim K
December 17, 2009, 04:00 PM
Ruger's use of the term "Government Model" was basically the same as Colt's. It was a means of designating a civilian pistol identical to that ordered on a government contract. Neither makers' "Government Models" were actually used by the U.S. government.

The Rugers made on a government contract have the letters "U.S." on the top of the receiver ring. Some may have been used in clandestine operations, but the original purpose was to arm those engaged in top secret missions called (are you ready for this?) winning matches. They were used primarily by military pistol teams.


December 17, 2009, 10:03 PM
I have a stainless version I picked up NIB about 4 years ago. I am glad I saw this thread, reminds me not to go having holes drilled in it.

I still think my Smith 41 is more accurate, but the Ruger Government is a winner.

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