Ruger Mark I vs. Ruger Mark II


July 23, 2004, 11:50 PM
What are the differences between these two pistols? I believe the only difference is that the Mark II has a last shot bolt hold-open, but I'm having a hard time finding anything to verify that online.

Is it possible to use a Mark II upper on top of a Mark I lower?

Or are the two completely different?


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July 23, 2004, 11:54 PM
I know that the magazine capacity was increased to 10 rounds with the MKII.

Wil Terry
July 24, 2004, 01:32 AM
The first RUGER 22 pistol was THE STANDARD model. After that came the first change ie: THE MARK I pistol.
' MARK " is the English way to denote a change.
After the STANDARD and the MARK I came the second change, THE MARK II.
Now we have the third change, THE MARK III.
NO, I do not know why the 22/45 wasn't designated with a MARK number as it sure as shootin' was a quantum change.
The changes from THE STANDARD and THE MARK I to the MARK II were a larger magazine capacity, a better trigger, relief cuts at the bolt...and I'll be damned if I can remember the rest...oh yeh, the safety engagement was changed, and a last-shot-bolt-hold-open was added. There were some minor changes in the geometry of the innards too.

July 24, 2004, 01:45 AM
I don't believe the uppers and lowers on the Mk 1 and Mk II will interchange. Call Ruger to find out for sure.

July 24, 2004, 10:18 AM
Okay guys I found a good link right here (


The Ruger Standard Model .22 auto was an instant success. By the day the operation had to spend the last dime of the original $50,000 investment with which the two partners began, there were 100 guns ready to leave the factory to fill prepaid orders (Ruger refused to cash any customers’ checks until the pistols were made). The first production pistols shipped in the fall of 1949. From that moment onward, Sturm, Ruger & Co. has been sustained with profit from sales, never borrowing a cent. Sturm died in November of 1951 from viral hepatitis, and Bill Ruger ordered the color of the company’s logo forever changed from red to black.

No sooner than the Standard Model .22 auto was on the market, new versions, variations, and small design modifications and refinements also began to be produced. The first major addition was the Mark I Target pistol, which was announced in December of 1950. It was mechanically the same as the Standard Model gun but had a tapered 6 7/8-inch barrel, a Patridge front sight blade undercut to reduce glare, a “Micro-adjustable” rear sight, and an improved trigger with stops to reduce slack and overtravel. In September of 1952, Ruger also introduced a Mark I Target Model with a 5 1/4-inch tapered barrel. It was manufactured only in limited quantities until 1957. Today it’s a collector’s item.

Next to appear (in late 1954) was a six-inch version of the fixed-sight Standard Model, otherwise exactly the same as the 4 3/4-inch gun (these two configurations are still offered as the “Standard” format today). The 5 1/2-inch Bull Barrel Mark I Target Model was introduced in 1963, and the bull-barrel style has since become the most popular of the target-sighted guns

Ruger decided to add a bolt lock to the gun so that the bolt would stay open after the last round in the magazine was fired. This lock would be actuated by the magazine follower button when it reached the
top of the magazine, and it would be on the left side of the frame for right-handed use. The original magazine button was on the wrong side. So when the time came to make new forming dies for the frame, they were changed. The new feature would appear as part of a comprehensive redesign and upgrade in 1982.

The new generation of Mark II pistols would have the same list of variations in terms of barrel styles and sight systems but also included several new mechanical features. There was the new bolt lock. There were twin scallops, or recesses, at the rear sides of the receiver to allow easier grasp of the ears of the bolt when cocking. There was a further redesign of the magazine, giving it a 10-round capacity instead of the previous nine. Most significantly, the safety was redesigned so that it locked only the sear instead of both bolt and sear. This allows the bolt to be pulled to the rear for visual inspection of the chamber and loading or unloading while the safety is engaged instead of requiring the safety to be taken off to inspect the chamber. Other improvements included a better designed trigger pivot retainer (a music wire spring instead of a lock washer), which makes it easier to disassemble and reassemble the gun.

July 24, 2004, 02:02 PM
The Ruger MK II is EASIER to dissassemble then the Standard Model? My Gawd, you must have needed an engineering degree to strip and clean the Standard Model then. I had thought of picking up a Standard Model at some point, just for the heck of it, but so much for that.

Jim K
July 25, 2004, 12:45 AM
Hi, Trebor,

That business about easier disassembly was referring only to removal of the trigger pin. On the old models, the pin was held in by an E ring inside the frame. A special tool or a thin screwdriver was required to remove it and it was easily lost. Plus people who didn't know better tried to drive out the pin and bent the frame.

The Mk II uses a spring wire in a notch, which allows the pin to be tapped out and reinserted without a special tool.

The field stripping of the old and newer guns is identical and, IMHO, not that hard.


Paul "Fitz" Jones
July 25, 2004, 01:59 PM
Anyone wanting to know of Ruger grip panel modifications between the Standard, Mk1,2 and 3 can contact me.

I have a half dozen Ruger Standard and MK1 thumb rest wood grips in my Fitz archives. And one Palm swell plate model left which design we patented in 1924.

July 25, 2004, 11:32 PM

Thanks for the info on the Standard Model. I won't be scared away from it now when I run across one at the right price. Since I don't detail strip my guns, that isn't going to matter to me.

I still find the Mk II to be a PITA to field strip though. It's the only gun I own that I have to pull the manual out for EVERY SINGLE TIME I take it apart. Of course, since it's a .22, I don't tend to strip it as much in the first place, so I tend to forget the "Trick" in between times.


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