Ruger MK III fractured hammer


February 21, 2007, 01:29 PM
Since I frequently leave the action attached when cleaning, the subject of the attached photo didn't come to my attention until I decided to change sights, and pulled (hammered :barf: ) the action off. (I have since filed and refinished everything so that hydraulics or sledgehammers are not required :D ).

What I found:

Imagine my surprise. The gun functions flawlessly. Hasn't skipped a beat.

I sent the photo to Volquartsen, and they were super. Told me it had probably been heat-treated too hard, and are mailing a replacement. Nice people.

I was wondering if anyone else has encountered anything like this. I can't figure out how a mainspring could do it.

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February 21, 2007, 01:40 PM
The gun functions flawlessly. Hasn't skipped a beat.
Ha... Not surprised.

As for what could have caused it, I have no idea. And I've never seen or heard of anything even remotely similar.
I can tell you though, that Photobucket automatically "tags" your pics. No need to img them yourself. ;)

Hooray Photobucket! Hooray Volquartsen! Hooray Ruger! Hooray for Everything!!

February 21, 2007, 02:21 PM
Wow, that's a new one on me for sure! :eek:

Can you give us a side view as well?

February 21, 2007, 02:33 PM
It was a VQ hammer yes? Interesting. Thanks for posting.

February 21, 2007, 03:05 PM
I'm waiting for the new comp hammer to arrive. When I yank this one out, I'll take a full set of photos and post them.

From my conversation with VQ, it sounded like this is not an unknown thing (given that they said they did not need this one back, and said that it was probably an incorrect Rc (hardness) issue). So, possibly a "batch error?"

I'm hoping to be able to follow the hammer pin out with a drift punch, simply drop the new hammer in, and push the hammer pin back. I really don't have a screaming desire to put all of the little parts back. :uhoh:

Let you know how it works out.

Again --- the gun works fine --- but I suspect that the situation would eventually wreck the sear.

February 21, 2007, 03:14 PM
Wow thanks I have the same kit from them and will be checking my mkIII tonight. Thanks very much.

What ammo are you using?

February 21, 2007, 09:20 PM
I generally use relatively low-velocity ammo (shooting at 50 feet), like Federal Gold, Eley Pistol, Biathalon, etc. I've also shot Thunderbolts and Stingers, which should be no problem. More recently, I shot about 30 rounds of Aguila SuperMaximum --- which should still not be a problem, but is pretty "zesty." I doubt that it's an ammo issue.

February 21, 2007, 09:23 PM
a 22 would never fracture something as rock hard as a ruger as the above posts it must of slipped through inspection with a bad part

February 22, 2007, 02:09 PM
Here are some more views of the removed hammer:

On removal, it appears that the strut pin was peened in place with too much force, stressing the right hammer leg. Not too much flex in stuff that's hardened like that! :eek:

If anyone's interested, this is what a disassembled Mk III looks like :D :

(Minus the mag release and Trigger Pivot Retainer.)

Not exactly a 1911. :D

February 22, 2007, 02:27 PM
Great Pictures. I agree with your assesement. I recognize most, but not all, of those parts from my sear install. I am glad that bunch of parts is sitting in front of you and not me !!

February 22, 2007, 02:34 PM
Hah, and I even know which one of those parts to trim to disable that bedamned magazine safety :evil:

February 22, 2007, 06:20 PM
New hammer isn't here yet, and I want to use the gun tomorrow. Soooo --- back in with the (gritty, creepy, heavy) stock hammer.

Hakko Panorama sight is back on, just for a change. Usually it's an ATN Compact. (The sightline is a bit high --- but the view is spectacular!)

You really have no idea how nice the trigger/sear upgrade is until you've put it in, then had it out, then back in again.

The only :cuss: :fire: :mad: :cuss: :banghead: thing about the assembly is getting all of the hammer/bushing/disonnect/spring stuff aligned while jiggling the sear and the hammer strut and making sure that none of the pins fall out. While standing on your head and reciting the manual --- backwards. :D

One sure way to convince yourself that the takedown annoyance is blown out of proportion is to completely disassemble the thing --- then reassemble it --- then disassemble it --- then reassemble it.

Makes cleaning seem like a breeze. :D

February 22, 2007, 08:05 PM
Nice looking pistol. Can you answer a couple questions for me?

What type of grips are those?

What effect do you notice from a different hammer? I thought the sear made all the difference. Do you get light stricks with the new hammer?

Thanks. I really like the Rugers and am still learning.


February 22, 2007, 09:41 PM
If anyone's interested, this is what a disassembled Mk III looks like :

I could have sworn they look like this. ;)

February 22, 2007, 11:59 PM
Indiana --- kinda makes your head hurt a little, doesn't it? :D I assume you like it a lot too, if you enjoy doing that with it :D . That's a II --- no mag disconnect --- or are you hiding it?

12many --- those are Hogue wraparounds. They're Mk IIs, but they fit fine. I have a few pistols with the same grips, so they all feel very similar. I tried the thumbrest cocobolos, but my hand doesn't feel right with a high rest, and these are ambidextrous. O h--- and they look neat. :D

The "competition hammer" has lightening holes, and is lighter in weight. I believe the speed increase makes up for the mass decrease. Light strikes? No. I think I've had perhaps three or four failures out of about 3000 rounds, probably due to either 22-filth or ammo. The thing runs like a sewing machine --- even with that fractured hammer.

And, yeah, when you put a magnifier on the stock hammer vs the VQ, the VQ grinding is smoother and the sear notch is crisper. Now that I have the VQ sear in and the original hammer back in (until the replacement VQ gets here) you don't need to be an expert to feel the difference.

(Tomorrow will be the first day out with the compensator. I don't really expect too much from it --- but I like rapid-firing sometimes, and for some reason the barrel length (?) gives more flip than I'd like. Not a lot, but a 3" bull at 50 feet gives me enough trouble with my mid-life eyes :uhoh: .)

Tom C.
February 23, 2007, 04:40 PM
Perhaps you should consider replacing the MK III hammer with a MK II hammer and getting rid of the mag safety. It does simplify assembly and disassembly.

February 23, 2007, 04:43 PM
Perhaps you should consider replacing the MK III hammer with a MK II hammer and getting rid of the mag safety. It does simplify assembly and disassembly.

All you have to do is take a dremel tool and grind off one tab. Takes far longer to re-assemble the gun than to do the actual cut. The next time I have mine apart I'll take photos and post 'em.

February 23, 2007, 05:48 PM
The mag safety doesn't bother me that much. That stupid little key does. Does anyone actually use those things? Probably about as much as the cable/padlock that came with your XD, right?

Back to The Hammer:

1) After receiving the second set of photoos, Nic V feels that the problem was still a metal flaw, and not a staking problem.

2) After 400 rounds at the range, it becomes immediately apparent why I put the VQ parts in to begin with. The VQ sear and trigger combined with the stock hammer make for a gritty, creepy pull. Unless you're competent enough to do your own trigger job, I'd say the VQ accurizing kit (or at least, sear/trigger/hammer) is a must. The gun goes from excellent to great.

3) After chasing the Hakko dot, I put the ATN back on. Unfortunately, the crappy trigger pull can't do the sight justice.

4) The compensator doesn't make a world of difference --- but it does make a difference. Almost imperceptible flip. I watched a friend shoot it off hand, and if the muzzle moved 1/8" it was a lot.

Now --- where's that replacement hammer, Nic????

February 23, 2007, 06:07 PM
Thanks for the info.

I have just the sear and I thought the improvement was great. Maybe I will have to try the trigger or hammer.

51Cards, if you had to select just one, the VQ trigger or VQ hammer, which would you select? I already have the VQ hammer and VQ grips.

February 23, 2007, 10:44 PM
Hammer. The trigger has takeup and overtravel adjustment, but that does not compare to a crisp, "creepless" break.

February 24, 2007, 07:21 AM
Good post. Will take a look at the VQ hammer next time I remove the barrel from my Hunter.

The "hard" part of reintalling the hammer was getting all the parts lined up with pin. I'm too much of a fumble-fingers to do it easily. Ended up using a small screwdriver to hold them in place while I put in the pin.

I've done the VQ trigger/sear/hammer upgrade on a MKIII Hunter. The results made a nice shooting pistol a much better shooter. I've since done the VQ trigger/sear upgrade on my 22/45. I really have to concentrate to notice the difference between the upgrades. I'd recommend either upgrade for a MKII/MKIII. But only if the owner wants almost no pretravel and a crisp trigger in the 2-2.5# range.

March 24, 2008, 05:48 PM
Ze- Where is that picture you promised? :D


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