clean new MKIII target pistol


March 29, 2009, 03:56 PM
I just purchased a brand new 5.5" bull barreled Ruger MKIII Target pistol with the Hi-Vis sites. I was advised by the dealer I bought it from to not take the pistol apart, "leave that for the gun smith" and just clean the barrel and whatever i can clean with a brush.

What is everyone's take on this? I have seen video's on how to take apart the Ruger, while tricky, it doesn't appear to be that hard.

What do all of you do with a new Ruger? Take it apart and clean it or just do what the dealer advised?


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March 29, 2009, 04:02 PM
All I can say is:



March 29, 2009, 04:05 PM
Your dealer must be the only gunsmith in town maybe?

March 29, 2009, 04:11 PM
I ruger is complex to strip down the first couple of times, but like anything it gets eaiser with practice.

March 29, 2009, 04:13 PM
The Ruger Mk pistols aren't that hard to disassemble/assemble ONCE you figure out what you're doing. However, they can be EXTREMELY frustrating until you get the hang of how to get the hammer strut aligned in the notch in the mainspring assembly.

I doubt that he was trying to play games/lie to you. He was probably just trying to save you some frustration based on the experience of having several other customers who were unable to re-assemble their guns without help. If you're mechanically inclined, you'll have little trouble figuring it out. If you're the type of person who has a hard time changing a flat tire, I'd suggest you heed his advice.

March 29, 2009, 04:36 PM
Like I said, it doesn't look all that hard, just need to do it a few times before it becomes natural.

I was just wondering if it was OK to shoot it if you haven't cleaned that part of the gun.

If it will be OK, i'll probably just leave it until after a couple of times to the range. But that could mean 1,000 rounds. It is a 22 after all.:D And I do have an "Ultimate Clip Loader" on the way.

March 29, 2009, 04:46 PM
You could just clean the bore and shoot it until it really needs cleaning before stripping it down. It may be easier, and cleaner, to sit down with one of the videos you mentioned and get the disassembly procedure down now though. Just a thought.

March 29, 2009, 05:43 PM
The MK III is slightly more complex than the MK II due to the magazine safety. You have to insert and remove the mag I believe twice during the process. I only have MK II's, so you'll have to check. There are many videos on Youtube that walk you through.

Its not hard, you just have to follow the procedure.

March 29, 2009, 06:25 PM
I just bought the 22/45 MKIII. Did a pefuntory clean, bore snake and Hoppes 9 and out to the range. Had some feeding troubles, so needed to do the field strip. I have a MKII, and have field stripped it a few times.

I of course used my old MKII book, not the MKIII book, so I had a heck of a time. The strut won't lock without the mag in the gun, and I wasn't putting the mag in.

The good news is that the strut is now broken in. I have a light mallet with rubber on one head and plastic on the other. Ideal for a solid tap to seat the strut.

Do not hesitate. Here's another good guide: is fun.

March 29, 2009, 07:25 PM
And get rid of the mag safety as soon as possible. :) I found a step by step guide to removing it and replacing it with two washers but can't find the URL. Anyway it was pretty easy, I couldn't find washers of the exact size so I made them in the lathe out of 303 stainless, then installed them. Supposedly you should be able to use off the shelf washers. I went to the hardware store and couldn't find any exactly right.

March 29, 2009, 09:04 PM
Get a degree in mechanical engineering, it will help.

March 30, 2009, 03:09 PM
And I do have an "Ultimate Clip Loader" on the
That thing rocks. It always draws ooo's and awww's at the range. Give it a _light_ spray with oil before you fill it, then a spray of the rounds as they sit in there each time you do.

March 30, 2009, 03:27 PM
Get a degree in mechanical engineering, it will help.

I have a degree in mechanical engineering, it doesn't help that much with this.

I have a .22/45 and even though I do clean it after every range use it usually involves some cussing.

March 30, 2009, 03:39 PM
If you have two hands and a pea size brain you can do it.I can take mine apart and reassemble it two times in five minutes,give it a try you'll like after a while.Too many people make Too big a deal about the wrong things.

March 30, 2009, 04:04 PM
Check out the video in the link below... it takes a little practice to do quickly, but it is not really that hard as to require a gunsmith.

Just follow each step exactly as it shows you and you will be fine.


March 30, 2009, 05:27 PM
Ruger apparently uses preservative rather than lube for storage purposes. Most recommend completely disassembling, cleaning and lubing before the 1st trip to the range. This avoids initial problems due to sticky preservative and other debris.

Average Joe
March 30, 2009, 07:32 PM
Its not really that hard. The first time may take a while, but after that it is pretty simple..

March 31, 2009, 07:04 AM
The Gunguide video ( KBintheSLC posted is a great help.
Once you get the thing disassembled, clean out and lube the hammer strut hinge thoroughly.

Another helpful video HERE ( (includes an example of how the strut should SOUND when you are putting things back together and can't see the inside)

Follow your manual's instructions carefully, paying particular attention to magazine insertion/removal steps. I found having MrsBFD read the steps to me helpful the first few times - you may want to copy and enlarge the pages if you don't have any help.

Don't be afraid to use a non-marring hammer at a few points - but be careful to avoid knocking the rear sight out of alignment if you miss.

It really will get easier each time you do it, both because the tolerances will loosen up a bit, and because you will gain proficiency. After a few times, you should know how each step should feel, and can use that feedback to aid in taking the mkIII down and/or rebuilding it.

April 1, 2009, 09:48 AM
It isn't so much a problem with knowing what to do and when, you will learn that after some practice.

The reason it irritates me is because upon reassembly of the mainspring housing, on my .22/45 the mainspring's cylinder looking part refuses to go up all the way through the bolt and requires a little persuasion with a mallet and brass punch. I know they aren't supposed to require that, but mine does. This is where the :cuss: usually happens for me.

April 1, 2009, 10:46 AM
My traditional mkIII target needs the same treatment, I just added a small non-marring hammer to the gun toolkit.
It does get easier every time - one day I'll be able to strip and re-assemble by hand, hopefully.

April 1, 2009, 01:22 PM
My Ruger MKII has never been disassembled in 15 years of ownership. Never had a problem with it, even when running cheap ammo.

All I've ever done is run a bore snake thru it and shoot some brake cleaner into it once in a rare moon. I do oil it sparingly.

The Ruger MKXX pistols are way overbuilt for the .22lr. You don't need to baby it.

April 1, 2009, 01:44 PM
In my experience, the trick to getting the bolt stop pin back in there easily is to make sure your upper receiver and lower grip frame are well connected. This can require a bit of tapping with a rubber/plastic mallet. As the gun gets older, it will not require as much hammering.
Check the bolt stop pin hole to make sure it is circular... not oblong. Also, make sure the hammer and strut are not in the way, and follow the mag insertion/removal instructions exactly.

I know it sounds ugly, but once you do it a couple of times, it is not bad at all.


April 1, 2009, 03:25 PM
He didn't teach you the secret handshake? When I got mine, I was lucky enough to come across an old timer that took pity on me & showed me the light. It took a couple more times, but once you get it, it's easy -- be patient -- you've got a great pistol!

April 4, 2009, 11:10 PM
Well I took it apart and regretted it. Manual suggests using a wooden rod and non marring hammer. Man they weren't kidding. I watched the videos, and I would love to see them take apart a brand new Ruger and watch them have as much trouble as I had.

Light taps with a hammer my ass!!! Getting the barrel off I thought I might break something.

Anyways, got it apart cleaned it and put back together and fired 450 rounds the first trip. I love this gun. AWSOME!!!!

Anyone else have the Hi-Vis sight nearly fall off? Looks like I'm going to have to use some sort of lock-tite to make sure the screw doesn't come undone.

April 4, 2009, 11:45 PM
RE: Hi-Viz sights.

Mine are tight, but I've seen enough fall off of all makes and models of guns on their first range trips to know to check them for tightness. For some reson it just seems like all manufacturers have a tough time tightening that one screw. Weird.

Otherwise, I just picked up a mark III a week or so ago and yes, the initial teardown and reassembly was a little odd (mag in, mag out, mag in, squeeze trigger, stand on one foot, pat belly, rub head, hoot like an indian, etc. . .):p

As was said, a rubber mallet really speeds things along and after the bolt pin finally starts to loosen up it gets a lot easier. I removed and installed the pin about 20 times just for the sake of loosening it up so I can do everything with the mallet and not need a drift.

Other than that, i love the thing. It'll put as many magazines as I want into 2" at 15 yards.

April 4, 2009, 11:58 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention, the "ultimate clip loader" works WONDERFULL!!!!!


Aka Zero
April 5, 2009, 12:37 AM
"ultimate clip loader".... only costs 1.5 mags. And is like having 50 loaded mags at all times. It's that fast.

Also took my mark apart the other day to give it a good cleaning. Few thousand rounds through it. Mallet the barrel on, and off. But other than that, pretty easy. just googled around for a guide with pictures. Lost the link though.

April 11, 2009, 02:01 AM
I have cleaned my gun for the 2nd time and I noticed some heavy scratches that removed the bluing (showing bare metal) on the barrel in the 2 places where there is contact with the frame handle.

Is this common? If so, I'll just get some blue touch up and be done with it. Or is this not normal. The gun broke apart a lot easier this time, but I still had to use a rubber mallet to break it apart. I can't see using your hand pressure to reassemble the gun. Still too tight.


April 11, 2009, 02:16 AM
"...and regretted it..." Getting 'em apart isn't difficult, but as you've found putting 'em back together is. Fortunately, fiddling with it until it does go back together works. The barrels are press fitted on. It's not necessary to remove the barrel for regular cleaning either.

April 11, 2009, 02:57 AM
It's difficult the first time. Once you figure out what you're doing, you'll wonder why you had trouble in the first place.

April 11, 2009, 03:24 AM
I'm more worried about the bare metal. And just wondering if it is common and not to worry about it. Or should I contact Ruger about it.

April 11, 2009, 07:02 AM
You just have to do it , ive done mine about five times, first time I was sweaten , You get use to it. First time just stay relaxed and dont have anything else on the agenda in case you have to do a redo.

April 11, 2009, 12:48 PM
My experience: NEVER EVER EVER take a new gun shooting without disassembling it and thoroughly cleaning all the cosmoline out. I had one brand new $600 gun go bad on me because I did not clean it out. :banghead: Thankfully, being a Springfield, they paid for shipping and fixed it free of charge. Still, do NOT take a chance. Anyway, just MHO.

April 11, 2009, 12:49 PM
I'm not worried about taking the gun apart, I've got that part down.

I'm worried about the bare metal. Is this something I should be concerned about?

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