Ruger MKIII Feeding Issues-Is it my mags? (pics)


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Sam Mars
February 12, 2009, 01:09 AM
I have a Ruger MKIII with Paclite upper. Ever since I got the gun (bought Ruger Brand new, never shot original barrel, and just put the Paclite upper on) I've had feeding issues. When you load up the mags it seems like sometimes the top bullet is cocked up and sometimes it's sitting horizontal. See attached pics and they are pretty self explanatory. Sometimes when the top round sits horizontally it appears to jam right into the feed ramp and split right in the middle of the bullet. This can happen in the start, middle, or end of shooting a full magazine. Take a look and give me your thoughts. Is this a common problem?

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guajiro
February 12, 2009, 03:01 AM
I had the same issue recently with my buckmark which uses simmilar mags. The second mag I bought for the gun would cause the same failures while the original mag was flawless. What I discovered was that the lips on the bad mag were slightly closer together compared to the good one. Get some needle nose pliers and make small adjustments to the lips untill the rounds start to rise at an upward angle. Worked for me. I cant seperate paragraphs on my new phone yet. Sorry

jjohnson
February 12, 2009, 09:04 AM
Okay, let's make this easier. Use a little logic.

You said "mags," not "mag."

If you have more than one, mark them with a scribe,piece of tape on the bottom, dot of nail polish on the base plate, whatever. The idea here is to be able to ID each one when you take it to the range so if it's one or more bad mags, you know which ONE (or x) is causing problems.

I have Ruger autos (MKI and MKII) that HATE the Winchester Dynapoint ammo. I have no idea whether it's the hollow point profile or something else, but they ALWAYS fail to feed just like your pic- and I mean 7 or 8 shots out of 10 - so those cartridges I shoot in a revolver. So - have you tried other brands of ammo? You don't even have to try expensive stuff, just lay your hands on some Federal, CCI, Remington - and keep track of which brand does what.

Okay - so at this point you've isolated two of the very likely causes of the problem without breaking a sweat.

If there's no change, try cleaning your pistol. Have a close look at the feed ramp (you know, the little thing that leads up to the chamber like a little sliding board). What's it look like? Is there a burr or some other defect that would cause a bullet to drag as it's stripped out of the mag and jammed onto the ramp towards the chamber?

Okay. That's three very likely causes. If it's still doing it after isolating each of these, come back here for more advice. Make sure you post the results, please.

I mean it - do let us know, okay?

BENELLIMONTE
February 12, 2009, 09:14 AM
I own a Ruger MK 3 Hunter and have had similar issues. The one thing that always remedy the problem for me is keeping the pistol very clean around the feeding ramp and chamber. I own several brands of .22 semi autos : SigArms Trailside, S & W 22A, Browning Buckmark and my Ruger is much more prone to FTF if you don't keep it very clean.

Pilot
February 12, 2009, 09:40 AM
I have three MK II's and none of them have had any feeding issues. This is unnacceptable. Change mags and if that doesn't help send it back to Ruger to make it right. The Ruger are NOT typically ammo sensitive. Mine shoot cheaper stuff just as well, never any feeding problems.

ssjones
February 12, 2009, 09:45 AM
My MKII sometimes doesn't want to chamber that first round. Picked up another Ruger mag on Sunday (new) and it does the same thing. In fact, the old mag is smoother and fits better (click into place w/o wiggling).

Baneblade
February 12, 2009, 05:02 PM
I had the same problem with a new MKIII using factory mags with the factory bull barrel. The problem is with the magazines, not the gun. I had to smooth out the mags with a stone so the follower would always push the rounds up at an angle.

I focused on the side slot where the knob rides and thoroughly cleaned the magazines. So far that has worked. I have only used bulk ammo in it so far. Usually the cheapest stuff Wal-mart has.

jocko
February 12, 2009, 05:10 PM
try the original ruger barrel and see what happens. If it is OK, then it is the Paclite.

Not sure ruger can be concerned about an after market upper..

ssjones
February 12, 2009, 07:09 PM
Baneblade:
Any chance you can pop up a picture of the area you smoothed?


I had the same problem with a new MKIII using factory mags with the factory bull barrel. The problem is with the magazines, not the gun. I had to smooth out the mags with a stone so the follower would always push the rounds up at an angle.

I focused on the side slot where the knob rides and thoroughly cleaned the magazines. So far that has worked. I have only used bulk ammo in it so far. Usually the cheapest stuff Wal-mart has.

neededausername
February 13, 2009, 04:02 AM
I've found that when I lightly put my magazines into my MKIII this happens sometimes, when I put them in with a little bit more oomph seems to clear it up.

Six
February 13, 2009, 09:04 AM
I had the same exact issue shooting Winchester X-Pert bulk packs, switched to Federal Bulk for a dollar more and it cleared right up and I haven't had a FTF in several thousand rounds.

The X-Perts however would lie so low that they'd frequently get spiked on the bottom of the feed ramp. The only way I could get them to feed semi-reliably was to train the tip upwards before inserting the mag.

Before you start grinding or polishing, have you tried different ammo in it? How do MiniMags do?

Also, the mag-safety of the MKIII keeps a little bit of downwards pressure on the magazine, give it a tap after inserting it to ensure it's seated and locked.

ArmedBear
February 13, 2009, 10:12 AM
I have three MK II's and none of them have had any feeding issues. This is unnacceptable. Change mags and if that doesn't help send it back to Ruger to make it right. The Ruger are NOT typically ammo sensitive. Mine shoot cheaper stuff just as well, never any feeding problems.


Ditto.

I have a 22/45 (Mark II version) and a Mark II Competition that I use for match shooting.

Neither one of them EVER gives me any trouble, and I am not good about keeping them clean when I shoot them twice a week or more. They don't need to be kept really clean.

If they don't work, they're broken. The design is about as flawless as anything ever made.

That said, what did you do with the original barrel?

Is the Pac-Lite a barrel change only, or a whole upper change?

ssjones
March 30, 2009, 10:33 PM
I continued to have problems with that new magazine. I found and completed this modification to the magazine. I'm hoping to have a chance to shoot it again on Wednesday evening.
http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/10/mkii-magazine-tweak.html
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XCkTSf0swcQ/SPK_sAA9VmI/AAAAAAAAEMo/6Qwv3ayFpiM/s1600/rugerMK2magazineTWEAK.jpg

The Lone Haranguer
March 30, 2009, 10:51 PM
[E]ver since I got the gun (bought Ruger Brand new, never shot original barrel, and just put the Paclite upper on) I've had feeding issues.
I would put the original parts back on and see if it functions then.

midiwall
March 31, 2009, 06:49 PM
Kindofan old thread, but...

The thing that stood out to me in the OP's pics is that he's using lead bullets. Our Ruger MKIII 678 HATES lead bullets. We'd get a VERY similar feed issue at least once per mag.

Since switching to copper plated rounds, we've seen maybe two stove pipes out of 1,000 rounds. Totally unrelated problems.


side note... It'd be nice if the OP came back to join the discussion. :(

Indifferent
March 31, 2009, 07:24 PM
My experiance (maybe you might learn a little)
Almost 100,000 rounds.
Only feeding issues I had were when I tried running Winchester and Remington ammo. HORRIBLE! So I ran through the 10 bulk boxes of various Win and Rem ammo that I had. Dummy me, the feed ramp was all banged up and was starting to not feed all types of ammo. So I fixed it, with a file, with sand paper, polishing cloth and compound. Now it feeds everything, it still will hick up everynow and then on Win or Rem ammo.

I only use CCI and not a single problem.

Hopefully its the ammo and not the mags.

preston817
October 20, 2009, 11:23 PM
I finally purchased a MK III Hunter a couple of weeks ago and immediately (round #1) experienced a feed ramp jam with bullets I have fired flawlessly out of a MK II. (Yes they were lead hollow points, but so what.)

The MK II was never picky about needing the "right brand" of ammo.

I found that there is quite a bit of info posted at many sites about problems and fixes for feed / ejection problems. These are largely correct and are likely related to the same problems where the mags or lips are not quite at the right height.

I have posted photos and a summary here:
http://www.prestonsdocsonline.com

To the point, the front mouths of the MK III magazines are cut deeper than the MK II mags (at least the 3 that I have) and now there is nothing to start many types of bullets properly on the feed ramp.

Note that the MK II magazine shown in my photos is about 20 years old.
I compared new Ruger MKII and MK III magazines at the gun store a couple days ago.
I found that the new MK II mags also have the mouth cut deep like the MK III mag that I show.
This suggests that the same stamping die pattern may be used for the body of the both MK II and MK III mags with a second stamp for the MK III to form the side release tab, trigger cutout, etc.

In any case, the old style MK II mag will feed virtually any type of ammo, while the MK III mag is picky (as well as many of the newer MK II's by the number of people reporting problems in various forums).

Preston

midiwall
October 21, 2009, 12:13 AM
To the point, the front mouths of the MK III magazines are cut deeper than the MK II mags (at least the 3 that I have) and now there is nothing to start many types of bullets properly on the feed ramp
Wow... NICE find Preston!

ssjones
October 21, 2009, 08:41 AM
I have two magazines, one from 1980 and a recent purchase. The mouth on the new one is indeed cut deeper. I modified the rear lips on both and each seems to function similarly. My stove pipes are now down to 2-3 in 100 shots fired. The new magazine also also doesn't seat in all the way and I have to make sure it is fully engaged or it won't cycle a bullet. I'm not sure if that is related to the deeper cut or other.

wilkersk
October 21, 2009, 06:02 PM
I've had several .22LR pistols. And, each one has had similiar feeding problems. Usually more so with some types of ammo than others.

It seems to me the common denominator in all this is 1)C.O.A.L. and 2) lead vs plated.

.22LR, ammo seems to have OALs that vary a lot, despite the fact that the bullet profiles mostly are very similiar. Also, some unplated lead bullets seem to be fairly soft.

I've found that the American Eagle brand, made by Federal, usually feeds pretty well through most of my pistols. While the CCI LR and LR minimag seem to be consistant in my 10/22, but not in my pistols.

One thing I'd definitely look at is the feed lips on the magazines. If you have a mag that seems to feed better than others, mic out the feed lips and adjust your other mags to match.

Hope this helps.

preston817
October 22, 2009, 12:24 AM
Sure, before I ever posted any of this, I fired ~300 rds of Federal ammo (all that I had on hand) over a couple of sessions with no problems whatsoever. Same with a 100 CCI ($9/100) a few days later.
The gun itself is excellent - just what I expected - but only if you use the "right ammo".

I did a complete dissassembly and cleaning after each session in just to check how the sear and other parts are breaking in. Also checked the mag / extractor pin clearances as per the numerous posts in this and other forums related to FTF and FTE. Everything here is good. "Dry" lubes are often a good choice also.

When I started looking at why does a MK II fire these "cheap rounds" flawlessly, I found the simple difference in the mags shown in the pictures.
The old style MK II mags help the tip of whatever bullet onto the feed ramp. The higher front lip of the mag prevents any chance of interference between the bullet and the feed ramp (when the magazine is seated properly.)
Note that the rim of the top bullet in the mag can easily and often be "cammed over" onto the bullet below (regardless of the OAL) as the magazine feeds.

The right bulk 22LR ammo has been hard to find in my area for many months now. The problem is, once we start talking ~$8/100 for 22LR, I'm getting really close to the price of my 9mm handloads - and half the price of my 45's.

Shooting only certain types of ammo is by far the most common solution for this problem (including Ruger's from the feedback that I have gotten so far.) My point is, this doesn't have to be the case - these MK series guns can reliably fire a wide range of ammo types just like Bill Ruger intended.

At some point in recent years, an engineering change for the stamping dies was approved to cut that extra 1/16" to 3/32" of metal from the front lip of the mags. This now allows feed ramp jams for certain types of bullets where it was impossible before.

I think Ruger should seriously take a look at this - maybe even recall a lot of the newer mags.

I guess there's about as fat a chance of that as keeping BO out of my health care, and dating Catherine Zeta-Jones.

chris in va
October 22, 2009, 01:18 AM
Older thread, but I'll throw something in.

Had the same issue with a new MkIII 22/45. Hollowpoints would jam on the feed ramp, sometimes shaving off a 'smiley' of lead. Ruger sent me a new bolt (why?) which of course didn't fix the glitch, but I sold it and picked up an older 22/45 that fed flawlessly.

stampedeproject
December 10, 2009, 07:57 PM
Just an FYI. Took Bullseye's advice and some advice of other posts elsewhere and removed the chamber indicator actuator and the mag safety. Still have a few jams and stovepipes with the same CCI Mini-Mags, but maybe 1 in 100 vs 1 in 3.

Vern Humphrey
December 10, 2009, 08:43 PM
I had the same exact issue shooting Winchester X-Pert bulk packs, switched to Federal Bulk for a dollar more and it cleared right up and I haven't had a FTF in several thousand rounds.
Had the same experience with both my Colt Woodsman and my Colt Service Ace Conversion Kit. I like the Winchesters for their authority on small game, but now reserve them for my rifles and revolvers.

Shoktroop
December 11, 2009, 10:17 PM
I have done a test of sorts. When using LEAD ammuntion like Winchester Super X after only a few rounds it started to jam. REASON: Lead is softer than COPPER and starts to build up on feed ramp causing the feed process to come to a screaching halt. I switched to copper jacketed ammunition and have no such issues. I own a ranch in California and I shoot about 550 rounds of Bulk Federals a week with no feed issues.

stampedeproject
May 15, 2010, 10:09 PM
Mark III jamming issue fixed

Converted to a Mark II by removing mag safety and ground down the chamber indicator so nothing protruded into the internals. Works like a champ now.

Old Shooter
May 15, 2010, 11:11 PM
try the original ruger barrel and see what happens. If it is OK, then it is the Paclite.

Not sure ruger can be concerned about an after market upper..

True. The OP only had that one post, I wonder if he fixed his problem or went elsewhere.

JDGray
May 15, 2010, 11:20 PM
True. The OP only had that one post, I wonder if he fixed his problem or went elsewhere.

One post, and almost a year and a half ago!!! Hope he got er fixed:D

wilkersk
May 16, 2010, 11:17 AM
===removed====

Wow, talk about being raised from the dead!

Roccobro
May 16, 2010, 03:06 PM
Necro-threads... the consequences of harping on new members to use the search function~!

Justin

englishj
December 30, 2010, 09:55 AM
First of all, many thanks to all who have posted here. After weeks of trying, I've finally solved my MKIII feed problem by making the clip modification shown in the preceding post. Prior to that, I'd try cleaning, various types of ammo, and removing the loaded chamber indicator -- all of which had no effect whatsoever. I went to the range yesterday and ran 200+ rounds through the pistol with flawless feeding. Before that, I would be lucky to get three rounds without a misfeed, failure of the bolt to completely close, etc.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ruger MKIII Feeding Issues-Is it my mags? (pics)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!