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Is the Ruger Mark IV a Good Trainer?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by SmA SiG, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. SmA SiG

    SmA SiG Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm fairly experienced at the range. I worked private security in my last line of work and had a regular weekly visit to the range.

    I trained with 9mm pistols, specifically:

    Beretta Cougar, Sig 2022, Sig 228, Glock 19, H&K USP Compact. I really enjoyed these pistols but no longer have them.

    I am planning on "restarting" with a .22 so I can improve and remove bad habits I may have developed from my past training. I think jumping straight into a 9mm might not have been ideal.

    Is a Mark IV a good option?

    My concern about the Mark IV is that according to the reviews it is a very accurate gun. So if I train with it and then go to one of the guns mentioned above, will my shooting accuracy degrade because I'm used to the very accurate Mark IV?

    If not the Mark IV, what do you recommend I should get in order to improve my accuracy?

    Thanks
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Any trigger time is better than no trigger time.

    I recommend MK pistols for anyone that wants more handgunning time on a budget.
     
  3. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Handgun accuracy is a product of the inherent mechanical accuracy of the individual firearm, the quality of the ammunition and proper technique of the shooter (grip, sight alignment and trigger control). If you train with an accurate handgun and learn and utilize proper technique it will carry over to any other handgun. Realize that many service grade handguns will not have the inherent accuracy of a gun like the mark IV, but realize that learning proper shooting technique with the Mark IV will maximize your accuracy with the service handgun.
     
  4. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    The Ruger MK IV is a good gun without a doubt. I do find that the triggers on a MK IV are horrendous to my liking and installed a Volquartsen trigger accurizing kit, problem solved.
    Yes it would make a good gun to train with.
     
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  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I've been instructing handgunners since the 90's, and I've come to conclude this universal truth: Your first handgun should be two handguns - the primary firearm for your purpose, and a "target style" 22LR pistol, like the Ruger Mark Series of pistols. I recommended the Mark II when it was the current manufacture model, recommended the Mark III when it was the current flavor, and I now recommend the Mark IV. I'm working now to swap out the Mark II's and Mark III's I've had as loaner pistols for my courses to let students handle and see the new cleaning method.

    When you consider the "ballisto-economic" view of a training pistol like the Ruger Mark IV, it becomes very simple. You'll spend less range time and less ammunition cost to achieve a higher level of performance, so the pistol will pay for itself.

    I'm sure someone will chime in and claim they buy scrap lead and cast their own 9mm or 38spcl bullets and load over 1 kernel of HP-38 and get it cheaper than shooting 22LR, but there's a reality to how many hours are spent reclaiming, casting, and sizing which destroys that conversation as a matter of valuation of labor hours. There's also a reality - the Mark series pistols (or Buckmarks, Woodsman's, Victory's, U22 NEOS's, etc) will be more accurate than a combat style auto pistol, which takes away any alibis a shooter might create for their lower cost 9mm plinking loads. A shooter gets a lot more out of testing themselves with a pistol with less forgiveness. When I shoot a palm sized group at 25yrds with an SP101 .38spcl, I can say it's the sight radius and the short barrel and it sure sounds plausible... If I do the same with a Ruger Mark IV, there's no blaming the pistol... A Mark IV will keep you honest, either you can shoot or you can't - because the pistol can.
     
  6. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    9mm isn't that hard to learn on and if you've already put thousands of rounds downrange going back to it shouldn't be a problem.

    If you want to buy a Mark IV it will be a useful way to get back into shooting and the ammo is very cheap. There is nothing wrong with a Mark IV and the majority of people on this site are enablers so you probably won't get much push back. I routinely bring a .22 to the range and shoot it along with numerous other guns. The .22 is nice break after putting a box of larger, louder, more powerful rounds downrange.

    There are probably 100+ 9mm out there that are worth recommending. If your just looking for a range gun that narrows it down some. If your strictly concerned about accuracy that also narrows it down some. If I was making that decision I'd probably go with a Colt 1911 in 9mm.
     
  7. wally

    wally Member

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    The Ruger is fine, but for your purpose I'd look to one of the .22lr "analogs" of the gun you plan to use for real. Say the M&P 22 if you want an M&P 9 etc.
     
  8. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I'll share my own experience, 10 years ago my only handguns were a Glock 23 and a USP .45, and I was not a good shot with a handgun. I even bought a .22 conversion kit for the Glock hoping more trigger time would help me but it didn't. I ended up selling the Glock 5 years ago, bought a Browning Buckmark and put several thousand rounds through it in a summer before picking up a centerfire handgun again. My groups were probably 1/4 the size by the end of the summer, so I'm a believer that a target style .22 handgun will make you a better shot.

    Since then I've also picked up a Ruger MKI, and between it and the Buckmark I still spend at least 50% of my handgun practice time with rimfire.
     
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  9. Cooter Boolit

    Cooter Boolit Member

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    I`ll add my 2 cents too... OP, take this for whats its worth if your looking at 22 pistols...
    I`ve owned a ton of ruger mk series pistols thru the years, even bought the new stainless target mk4 when first it came out last year. BUT not without some small downfalls along the way with rugers mk series. The mk series are good pistols, but there are certainly others to choose from. Personally i dont care for the triggers on the rugers... they need severe work to make them feel right. There is alot available for rugers, and they`ll need it to make them run decent in my opinion.

    I bought a S&W Victory 22 last year. Since then, i`ve not shot any of my ruger mk pistols again. The S&W Victory 22 felt far better grip wise, far better balanced, had a MUCH better trigger (and is adjustable), way better sights, just as accurate, sometimes better than the rugers depending on ammo type used. The S&W Victory also comes with a picatinny mount with the gun so that you can mount a red dot sight on it, rugers dont give you a mount anymore. Not a deal breaker by any means, but its nice that S&W sends it with the gun. And the S&W victory is not expensive. The victory is all stainless, breaks down decent, and the barrel also comes off the receiver for super easy cleaning, ruger does not. And keeping a 22 pistol clean between shoots, is a must...!

    Ahhhhhhhhhh, the fussy 22 ammo dilemma... most 22 pistols suffer with this, and boy have my rugers had an issue with ammo. So far, there hasnt been any 22 ammo that this S&W Victory wont shoot. I have had ZERO issues with 22 ammo failure to eject or perform in the victory pistol, i cant say that about the rugers i own. The only ammo the victory wont shoot is the CCI Stinger`s, wont even fit in the mags. The CCI Stinger`s should be kept for the 22 rifles in my opinion.

    Other than that, shop around, shoot a few, decide what best fits your needs. I would steer away from used, you wont know what might be good or bad there. The 22 is the most shot pistols in the world, some get traded off due to feeding issues, you dont want that gun, trust me.

    If it comes down to deciding on a 9mm to train with, look at the S&W M&P shield, its recoil is very soft. I own several new shields, didnt spend more than $300 for any of them except for the shield performance center models that i own. The glock 19 is a decent one too, but its gonna cost you some big money for one of those new, and sometimes its a learning curve with glock on how to shoot them well.

    Anywayyyyyyy.... good luck to you... hope you find something and your happy with it.
     
  10. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    A Ruger MK does need work for a good trigger, but not "severe" work. A drop in VQ sear will make for a good pull if you do not mind the pre and post travel.... To get rid of those, I put set screws in the factory trigger to adjust the travel out.

    As far as what the last guy said about a Ruger needing something or another to make them run decent....I have never had one that didn't run fine on factory parts.
     
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  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    If swapping for a volq sear constitutes "severe" action work, I don't know how anyone could ever change oil in their car...
     
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  12. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I agree that, out of the box, the Ruger Mark IV needs work to lighten the trigger. (The factory 5 lb. trigger pull is not acceptable for a .22 target pistol.) Regarding the Volquartsen accurizing kit, note that 95% of the benefit comes from installing the Volquartsen sear alone. You can save money by buying the sear instead of the whole kit. The other major improvement that should be done, IMO, is to discard the magazine disconnect mechanism. It's nothing but trouble. Substitute a Mark II hammer, or use spacers with the factory Mark IV hammer. As for the trigger itself, I prefer the Clark steel trigger. A tiny bit of filing at the corners of the trigger opening in the frame might be necessary to install it.

    I have all the Mark series, that I bought new as they came out. Strangely enough, the only one that did not need trigger work, as it came out of the box, was the Mark I from 1972.
     
  13. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    My Mark IV, bought last year, came with a rail mount. Maybe they discontinued that. I have to admit that the Tandemkross rail mount is better than the Ruger factory mount.

    My nitpicking observation, though, is about the filler screws supplied by Ruger in case you don't use a rail mount. The Ruger filler screws don't have a mushroom head, so they go below the surface if you over-tighten them. Proper filler screws are mushroomed so that they stop at the surface. The top of the screw should be slightly domed. (You can selectively pick screws so that all the slots line up.)
     
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    It is my considered opinion that shooting rimfires, be it in a rifle of pistol, will improve your marksmanship abilities. I have been shooting Smallbore Prone for the last eight years, even though I had been shooting centerfire for decades, my scores and X counts went up after shooting Smallbore prone. Recoil and muzzle blast mask flinching and trigger pull errors. This is true for rifles and pistols.

    This is the print out from a Bullseye match at CMP Talladega. The shooter is a Bullseye National Champion. This is what he did with a 22 LR, Bullseye style (one hand) for the 50 yard stage and the National Match Course. This guy is amazing. The ten ring is 4 inches at 50 yards and 25 yards. At 25 yards you shoot timed fire and rapid fire. His rimfire scores, like everyone else's, are better than the centerfire scores.

    OamtSYz.jpg
     
  15. pintler

    pintler Member

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    The MK series are a good choice. I personally prefer the 22/45, which is the same gun with a 1911ish grip. Handle both if you can.

    "will my shooting accuracy degrade because I'm used to the very accurate Mark IV?"

    Shooting an accurate 22 is probably the easiest, cheapest way to develop the skills of trigger control, sight alignment, stance, grip, and so on. Those skills will transfer to any gun you shoot.

    If you can find a Bullseye Pistol (AKA Precision Pistol) match nearby, give it a try. Shooting one handed magnifies your mistakes, thus making them easier to find and fix. Once you're fixed the bad habits, that will transfer back to two handed shooting.
     
  16. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    I really think it depends on what the OP's end goal is for practice/training. If it is just accuracy - as in hold, trigger control, sight picture, and getting smaller groups, then a MKIV is great for low cost range training. But, it sounds like there is a lot of familiarity from the firearms listed and a previous weekly range visit. If the end goal is to train more of the carrying/handling of a firearm - as in draw, instinct shooting, rapid fire sight picture, tac reloads, reholstering, etc - then I would get 22LR handgun that doesn't have a target style grip and is closer to something that would eventually be carried. 22LR pistols are good for training basic skills, but they are unable to help train for recoil or regaining a sight picture after a shot.
     
  17. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...the triggers on a MK IV are horrendous..." The triggers on all new firearms are horrendous. All new firearms require a trigger job out of the box.
     
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Honestly, I've come to believe that the "perfect" triggers most shooters claim to need so desperately are just a big ol' shiny crutch. They do help you make more accurate shots, but they do so by letting you get away with worse technique.

    What most shooters REALLY need to become better shots is lots of quality time with the opposite of a top flite bullseye trigger job: A good old fashioned 8-10 lb double-action revolver trigger. That shows you whether you're doing things really right, or you're getting away with sloppiness.

    And after getting really good with that DA revolver you can pick up almost any auto pistol and do just fine without complaining that it doesn't have the 3.5-lb glass-rod break you've dreamed of.


    If you "need" a better trigger than the factory unit on my Ruger Mk II in order to shoot accurately, you either have WAY higher standards for accuracy than I do, or you're kidding yourself.
     
  19. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I like a better trigger...
     
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Sure, who doesn't? But it isn't needed and in training I think it can be a bit of a distraction.
     
  21. IowaWinter

    IowaWinter Member

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    I have Stainless Targer Mk IV, and I love it. It's actually my favorite handgun to shoot.

    Being able to spend a few hours at the range each week burning through a (relatively) cheap bulk box of .22lr is not only fun, it's a great way to get in a bunch of practice of your handgun fundamentals without spending 17cpr+ on 9mm.

    You could get a S&W Victory or some of the more entry level Buckmark pistols for less, but the takedown on a Mk IV is absolutely effortless, which keeps cleaning from becoming a chore. Since .22lr target pistols like to run clean, cleaning them is important, and if you can't be bothered to clean yours you won't take it out and shoot it, and if you never take it out and shoot it because you don't want to have to clean it later, there'd be no reason to buy it in the first place.

    So yes, I'd say get it.

    Be aware though that they are subject to a recall- if you buy a new one there probably won't be an issue, but the first run of them could fire without the trigger being pulled if you tried pulling the trigger with the safety half on, then later flicked the safety to fire. I couldn't replicate it with my gun, but since they were offering a free magazine if you sent your grip frame (which is the non serialized part, so it was legal to send via USPS) in for retrofit. Ruger covered the entire cost of the recall and got it done pretty quick too. You can tell if yours has the new safety by looking for an "s" in the white dot that shows when you have the gun on safe.
     
  22. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    I can't shoot any handgun with that heavy a trigger pull worth a damn. In fact, I can't understand what the use of a double-action trigger is at all, unless for use in an emergency when there's no time to cock the gun by hand. If you need the gun to be in a high state of readiness, carry it cocked and locked. (I realize the "modern" designs don't let you do that, which is why I'm partial to the 1911.) Double-action revolvers also have terrible ergonomics, at least for the size of my hands. I can shoot an SAA better than any double-action revolver.
     
  23. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Although the recalled guns that were retrofitted by Ruger have the little "s" on the white dot on the safety, there are reports that new ones currently on dealers' shelves -- that unquestionably have the improved safety -- may not necessarily have the "s" marking. You can go by the serial number to be sure.

    A very high percentage of the Mark IV's have had Volquartsen sears (or Mark II sears) installed, and the magazine disconnects removed. There's no credible evidence that the safety issue ever affected these modified guns. Mine is so modified, and I didn't see any sense in undoing the modifications, sending it in, and then doing the modifications all over again -- all to address a non-problem.
     
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  24. IowaWinter

    IowaWinter Member

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    Good to know. It's interesting that they did that, you'd think they'd want a consistent, easy to identify change rather than relying on people looking up serial numbers.
     
  25. zb338

    zb338 Member

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    It takes a real expert to shoot well with heavy triggers. Guys like me do well with glasslike
    triggers, so why not put them on? They are not that expensive in general. Most gunsmiths
    today can do really nice triggers.

    Zeke
     

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