ruger 22/45 is a brick


September 14, 2008, 03:22 PM
I recently got a ruger MKIII 22/45 and am going through the learning
process here. I've already shot it and am amazed at how accurate
it is "out of the box" but I'm having trouble with assembly/disassembly.

I have successfully assemble/disassembled it a couple of times but
right now, it's a "brick". Basically, after cleaning and reassembling, the
mainspring wont swing out more than a half inch. I presume this means
the hammer is jammed in the cocked position. I've come across a bunch
of great posts (here, at guntalk-online and all pretty much
saying the same thing; with the magazine in, tap the muzzle (on some
non-metalic surface) or shake vigorously while holding the trigger down
to get the hammer to fall.

So what do you do when none of this works??!!


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September 14, 2008, 03:57 PM
Try it again. I use the guntalk directions ( and don't have problems. You can assemble the 22/45 so that it is deactivated, and I assume that's what you've done. If you have the manual, it tells you how to fix that. My advice would be to take it apart, and try again.

It's a pain, but when you get the knack down, it ain't bad.

September 14, 2008, 04:00 PM
Put a magazine in the gun, pull the trigger and then smack the muzzle (SMARTLY!) on a padded surface (carpet works good). If you just smack the muzzle down it won't work. If hammer is cocked the trigger must be engaged to release it.

My advice would be to take it apart, and try again.

He likely can't. Assembled the way his gun is right now the mainspring won't come back out to restart the process.

WNC Seabee
September 14, 2008, 04:21 PM
EDIT: I should say that my experience was EXACTLY what the OP describes the first time I cleaned this gin. I "successfully" got it back together, meaning all the parts were in place, but it didn't work. I also assume I had the hammer in the wrong position.

I bought this same gun from a friend recently and the first time I cleaned it, I managed to render it totally inoperable for over a week. Not to mention 2 nasty cuts and some serious abrasions. Somehow, I still don't know how, I managed to get it working again. I got it back in operation by, I think, removing the magazine, holding the bolt back and using a pen to push on the hammer. Don't know if this actually worked or if it was just dumb luck. I vowed to never clean it again, just a bore snake and whatever I could manage with a q-tip.

Well, after ~ 1,500 rounds, I started to get FTF and decided to give it another go.

This time, I laid the manual out in front of me and just took it step by step. All is well, and it was actually pretty smooth. The parts to pay particular attention to are when the manual says "point it up/down".

September 14, 2008, 04:30 PM
I think you're right. After posting that, I went and got mine... try what the redneck said. :)

September 14, 2008, 06:59 PM
Thanks to everyone for the responses. As it turns out, with some additional tries, I finally got it apart.

But this has happened enough times and only seems to fix itself at random that I'm looking for an alternative to banging the muzzle to uncock the hammer. One web posting implied that perhaps I could use a hooked tool to pull down the sear. Can this be done from through the magazine well?

Or perhaps my assembly technique is wrong. When disassembled and I pull the trigger, the hammer only goes up from the horizontal to about 30 degrees. That doesn't appear to be sufficient for the mainspring hook to go through the grip assembly.

I push the hammer up to a full 90 degrees (ie perpendicular to the barrel) while assembling and in fact one of the online videos shows someone using
a screwdriver to push the hammer up once the receiver is on the grip. But
it's not clear how far up he's pushing the hammer.

Is this incorrect? What steps can cause the hammer to be in the wrong position for reassembly?

September 14, 2008, 07:38 PM
You want to push the hammer fully forwards (90 degrees) with a tool before installing the mainspring housing. Anything less than that will cause problems.

The hooked pick method is really for Mark II pistols. Trying to do it with the molded grips on in a 22/45 is tough, even tougher with a Mark III as you need a second tool to push the magazine safety hook up at the same time your releasing the sear.

Bullseye (

September 14, 2008, 10:05 PM
might be you need to polish the sides of the hammer, especially around the bushings so it swings more freely.

September 14, 2008, 10:40 PM
The sharp rap on a padded surface works. You may not release the sear on the first try and it may take several repetitions.

On reassembly, use a tool to move the hammer 90 forward. The "tool" can be anything handy that will fit into the opening: pocket knife, key, screwdriver, bolt stop pin, pencil. My selections is whatever is handy. When you get the hammer fully forward, insert the bolt stop pin and start putting the mainspring into the grip. Just before the mainspring is fully inserted, invert the pistol with the muzzle straight up and close the mainspring. This prevents the hammer strut from taking a dive behind the cross pin. If you get resistance pushing the mainspring in the last 1/2", you've seated the hammer strut correctly, if not, don't close the latch. Just open the mainspring, ensure the hammer strut is not behind the cross pin and repeat the process.

Bullseye's instructions, with pictures, are much clearer than mine.

September 14, 2008, 10:57 PM
It's one of those things that once you have it down, it's easy, but it's hard to explain to someone else.

I have Mark IIs, and I never smack the barrel's muzzle against anything with a magazine in for fear of damaging the magazine. The Mark III, however, has a magazine safety that pretty well means that you have to have the magazine in.

Another thing: I don't normally take one of these guns apart until I've loosened the datgum thing up by shooting it awhile. As Jeff Cooper said, more damage is done to .22LRs by cleaning them than anything else.

A fellow walked into a gun shop years ago with his Ruger all taken apart and in a bag. He hadn't shot it at all and it was one hell of a gun to get back together! The guns store owner had once worked for Ruger and he couldn't put it back together. I had plenty of time that day, so I used the gunstore owner's rubber mallet and eventually got it back together, but I told him to take a walk around the block. I didn't hurt the gun at all, but it wasn't very pretty.

So shoot it a lot before you do a complete breakdown. I know some folks can't go to bed if their Rugers aren't totally pristine, but it's one of those things you should learn to resist. I've done it so often now I think I could take apart and put one back together if it were welded! But I've really come to love the design on those guns.

September 15, 2008, 10:24 AM
The Ruger .22 auto-loader pistols can be well....a large pain in the butt the first few times you take apart/reassemble.

My MKII is still pretty tight, I have to 'bump' the reciver/barrel assembly off & on with a small rubber mallet. Yeah, getting all the pieces/parts in the right place while putting back together is sometimes a real trick.

However, after you do that several times, it DOES become easier. And ya gotta like the MK-1/2/3 series for what they are...relatively inexpensive (NOT cheap..there is a diference) .22LR handguns that work well.

September 15, 2008, 12:08 PM
I got my MkIII 22/45 in the exact same state where I couldn't open it and it wouldn't dryfire. Sent it back to Ruger and they sent it back working. Fires fine but I aint cleaning it except for the bore until it just won't fire anymore. Spooked. Yeah the little beast is accurate.

September 15, 2008, 01:45 PM
I used to save the boxtops from 550 rd bulk golden bullets, to see how many rounds I could put through the thing without cleaning. It got to the point that I couldn't close the case, so I broke down and cleaned it. :D

September 15, 2008, 02:06 PM
It helps to polish the big pin a little but it's most important that the holes through the grip and the receiver are lined up perfectly.

The other difficulty comes in getting the hammer strut into the spring (and not stuck behind the pin through the frame or caught on that ledge above the mainspring opening. If the strut goes in the right place you'll know because the lever will get closer than if the strut is out of place. Once it's going right push the pin all the way up before trying to close the lever even if it needs a whack. When everything is right the lever will close and the lock lever will too and you'll be happy.

I've done it a bunch of times with my two Mark II's and it still makes me need to take a walk and leave it sit a while sometimes. That pistol, as great as they are, can be one of the biggest PITA's in gundom.

Whatever you do avoid changing the mainspring!!! A new one comes in a Volkswagen (sic) trigger kit but my best advise is to leave the original in the gun. That Volks spring is weaker anyway and sometimes causes light strikes with Remington ammo in one of my pistols. I wish I'd never changed it but I don't want to do that job again so it stays.

And that is the sum of my Ruger knowledge and experience pertaining to the Mark series pistols....................tada.

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