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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. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    The beauty of the Ruger Mark series is that it doesn't require a gunsmith to do an adequate trigger job. A layman can get a good trigger pull by substituting a few parts. I like a 2-3 lb.trigger that breaks cleanly. With my Mark I, I got that right out of the box. (The only improvement I made to my Mark I was to change the "holster-ripper" front sight to a ramp, made by a now-defunct company called "Sport Site.") With each subsequent iteration, the Marks have needed more and more parts to be removed and/or replaced (mostly because Ruger listens to its lawyers as much as it does to its customers). The Mark IV, on the whole, is a good gun. It just needs to have its misbegotten magazine-disconnect mechanism removed (which generally involves replacing the hammer), and the sear and trigger replaced. Basically we're returning the firing mechanism to the Mark II layout.

    BTW, the stock trigger, besides being a sloppy fit on its pin, has a little nub on the back that engages a notch on the magazine, supposedly to lift the magazine into positive seating as the trigger is pulled. This "solution" to a non-problem unnecessarily adds to the weight of the trigger pull.
     
  2. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I think any of the mainstream .22 pistols out there (Ruger Mk. series, Browning Buckmark, S&W Victory, and Beretta Neos), will serve you well as a trainer, provided it has a fairly decent trigger. Still a great way to go if you're just starting out (or restarting your shooting regimen), and a good way to focus on your shooting technique.
     
  3. Cooter Boolit

    Cooter Boolit Member

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    Which model Mk4 did you buy... i`ve yet to see a Mk4 at any gunshop come with the mount. I agree with you about the filler screws... what a joke.
     
  4. Cooter Boolit

    Cooter Boolit Member

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    I dont know about the rest of you guys, but i would much rather train a NEW shooter with a gun that has an excellent trigger vs a shiddy trigger. And to people that dont know any better and are brand new shooters, that i`ve trained, surely know the difference after i let them shoot a pistol with a crappy trigger AFTER they`ve shot one with an excellent trigger. Look at it this way, if you have an open mind... why would you teach someone to drive a car with bad steering issues vs a car that drives and handles great. Bring the best training aids to the field, your going to have happier less discouraged students. Working with excellent tools will always boost their confidence levels. This is why i suggested that the OP take a look at the S&W Victory, its shoots far easier than a ruger Mk4 right out of the box. The Victory also breaks down for a good cleaning much better than the Mk4 (and the victory certainly breaks down much better than any previous Mk series before the Mk4) The Mk4 is a ok pistol, but there are much better choices out there that are cheaper. Look at what the stainless Mk4`s cost vs a stainless S&W Victory.
     
  5. Cooter Boolit

    Cooter Boolit Member

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    Yes correct, the earlier ruger Mk4 pistols do have a recall... mine falls under that recall but i`m not sending it back to ruger. I dont use the safety on it anyway.
     
  6. Cooter Boolit

    Cooter Boolit Member

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    You obviously haven`t shot a victory yet vs the mk4. I didnt have to do anything to the victory out of the box. It was leaps and bounds a much nicer gun to shoot vs the ruger. I`m not hating on ruger here, as i do own ALOT of mk series, but when someone let me try their victory at the club one day, i was very impressed with it. It felt 10 times better in the hand, it shot absolutely great, never had a single malfunction, and it cost half of what i paid for the mk4 stainless model. Icing on the cake was that victory factory trigger. Try one, you wont believe how nice the victory is.
     
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    There's a buttload of exaggeration going on here - the quality of a single action trigger between one model to the next makes almost NO appreciable difference for a new shooter. It DOES make a big difference when you talk about a DA trigger, or a striker fired DAO against a single action trigger, but once you're in the class of "best triggers," the pound or so of extra weight or a little over travel, a bit of creep, or a bit of grit doesn't put off a new shooter at all.

    I've trained a lot of new shooters - this isn't speculation - when you put them side by side, they can feel the difference in a good trigger and a heavier one, but when you put a Mark IV in their hand, they have no paradigm which clicks in their mind, "this trigger sucks."

    The Mark IV trigger "sucks" to a lot of us experienced shooters, just like driving a Honda Civic sucks to a guy who has been driving a BMW the last decade of his life. But that 15yr old kid taking their driving test won't know the difference, other than knowing a Honda is a cheap car and a BMW is a sweet car...

    The only time a new shooter notices is when they put them side by side and purposefully compare the two for FEEL. The REAL TEST, however, is on the target. I have NEVER had a new shooter make a substantial improvement by shooting one of my "Volq'd up" Mark II or III's compared to the base models. They can feel the difference, just like a 15yr old kid can feel the difference in the leather seats in a BMW compared to the cheap cloth in a Honda, but when it comes to the on-road experience - the shots on target - the targets don't lie. Those of us who drive a lot, aka, experienced shooters, will feel the difference in handle on the turns, so we'll turn in MORE groups without fliers or slightly smaller aggregates with a better trigger, but it's not life changing.

    So us "gun guys" can lie to each other and speculate that the lack-luster factory Mark IV trigger makes some meaningful difference for a new shooter, but it doesn't. Been there, done that. Guys gotta stop acting like the Mark IV is "unshootable" without a Volq sear. And $25 to make that 15min change really isn't worth complaining about anyway.
     
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  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Take your extremisms and absurdisms elsewhere. You can scare off newbies with your rhetoric, but your bias is clear to anyone who has actually handled the firearms.

    There's a burden and a luxury which comes with being an instructor - we need to have loaner guns in different models to allow students to test drive. I have a pair of Victories which I use as "loaners" in my new shooter courses - which is the only reason I own them. In that fleet I have a Mark IV, 3 Mark III's, 2 older Mark II's, a 22/45 and a Lite, a U22 NEOS, the Victories, and a pair of Buckmarks. I have the option of pulling out my M41 if I so desired, and used to have a Woodsman I'd trot out to show folks what was available on the used market. So yes, I've fired them side by side, and have allowed many other shooters to do so with my firearms.

    The Victory does have a better trigger out of the box and for someone who likes everything else about the Victory, it's a great pistol. For someone, like myself, who doesn't like the grip of the Victory, I can get a better trigger for $25 for the Volq sear - let alone a $7 solution to drop in a Mark II bushing to eliminate the mag disconnect. I've not seen a Victory shoot as well as the Mark series, and for my hand, the Mark series is a better fit, so Mark series pistols with Volq sears, wolff springs, and Clark bushings are what I shoot for myself.
     
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  9. pintler

    pintler Member

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    IMHE, triggers vary a lot from individual gun to individual gun. You can read a review where the author found the Model 666 trigger to be great/horrible, and find that your Model 666 trigger is horrible/great.

    My wife's bullseye gun is a MkII with the Volquartsen setup. I bought a MkIII 22/45 and am happy with the trigger as it came. YMMV.

    By way of calibrating my opinions: my bullseye scores run in the 850's (out of 900 - not winning any matches but not last either), campaigning a Model 41 and a Jim Clark 1911, so it's not like I've never tried any decent triggers. I ran matches for years, and a lot of folks would ask me to try their trigger and suggest whether replacement was warranted. In general, most target-ish 22 pistols come out of the box with triggers that ... aren't likely to be a beginning (or intermediate) shooters biggest problem area.

    YMMV, of course. If you want a better MkXX trigger, the Volquartsen kits work well. A blanket statement that MkXX triggers always need replacement doesn't agree with my experience, though.
     
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  10. SmA SiG

    SmA SiG Member

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    Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I have gotten a lot of insight and clarity.

    I work long hours and will have a tight schedule to fit in range time and gun care. I don't want to customize a Mark IV and tinker with it's trigger. I want a 22 trainer I can enjoy out of the box. And if the possibility arises down the road to change it's trigger, then why not.

    I have narrowed down my options to the Ruger SR22 or the Mark IV Lite.

    Out of the box without any modifications, which is a better trainer? With the idea that I'll eventually go back to using the guns I mentioned in my first post (Glocks, USP, Sig 228, etc.)

    Thanks again for the insight.
     
  11. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    A blued Target model. I bought it about a year ago, and it came with the rail mount. This Ruger mount can be installed in one of two ways -- either the stock rear sight is left in place, in which case the rail overhangs the front of the receiver, or else the rear sight is removed, and the rail is flush with the front of the receiver. (In contrast, the Tandemkross rail is flush with the front of the receiver even with the rear sight left in place.)

    Incidentally, my Mark III also came with a rail mount (with a Ruger logo), but it was a Weaver rail and not a Picatinny rail, and was not reversible (in other words there was no option to mount it with the rear sight removed, so as to avoid the overhang beyond the front of the receiver). The Mark III came with a nice fitted plastic case, while the Mark IV came in an inexpensive cardboard box.

    It doesn't surprise me that Ruger discontinued the rail (and the case) as a standard feature. Manufacturers (especially in the car industry) often delete features during a production run, for the sake of cost savings. Or, they make formerly standard features extra-cost options. Clearly, then, Ruger listens to its accountants as much as it does to its lawyers. Yes, Ruger listens to its customers, but that seems to be on the customer-service side more than on the design and production side.
     
  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Get the Mark IV Lite.

    You're going to get a lot of advice to match the form factor to your primary - In my experience, this is bad advice with the exception of the most critical competitors, or for anything more than dynamic draw practice (see below). For the rest of us, a Target style like the Mark IV Lite will offer you the best training opportunity.

    I can share a (relatively) recent DIRECT experience with a student who brought their own SR22 to a class this past fall. Despite being relatively experienced with the SR22 (few thousand rounds over a couple years), she failed the qualifying CoF twice with the SR22 - just slipping one or two shots outside of the scoring area, which was a test most folks would agree should be easily passed. I offered her ONE more chance to shoot, using a Mark III from my Loaner box - first run, first time ever handling the Mark III, she passed the qualifier with ease, cutting her groups in less than half. There's a gap in precision, and a gap in shootability.

    I have two SR22's, one a purple frame and one a threaded barrel (with Warlock II can). They're fun pistols, I prefer the M&P 22 better, but when it comes to strategic practice, the Mark IV will be a much more productive investment for you. The "combat style" pistols in 22LR don't really offer any better precision than a good centerfire pistol of their type (a LITTLE better with a fixed barrel, but not really). The ONLY advantage I have seen PROVEN with a combat style 22LR practice pistol is when it perfectly matches the size and shape of your primary, AND ONLY THEN when used for dynamic training with the duty holster - which can be practiced almost equally well with snap caps and your primary itself. Alternatively, the target style 22LR's have shown themselves to improve marksmanship.

    Combat style 22's do offer cheaper training ammo than centerfire ammo, so they do have that advantage, and they're a lot of fun for running and gunning high volume with low cost. But target style 22's offer the same ammo cost savings as combat style, but with an extra advantage for training quality - removing any alibis for shot placement doesn't let the shooter cheat themselves in practice, so you'll save money on ammo, and get better practice out of fewer rounds (or more AND better practice with the same round count).
     
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  13. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    I have trained my children and grand children and will do so with my great grand children. All with a 22 to start with. The first item on the training agenda was gun safety and proper handling. The primary guns were a Ruger Single Six, Ruger Mark ----, a Browning & a S&W auto. Regardless of which gun is used the basics are the same and accuracy can be learned easier with a 22.
     
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  14. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Another vote for the Mark IV. I've shot an SR22, and while it was fun and may more closely mimic some personal defense handguns, the accuracy just wasn't there for me. I'd rather practice with something that will give me great accuracy, so I know my potential when I move to centerfire handguns.
     
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  15. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    If they ever get it working properly it will have a place. I'd suggest using an earlier MK until all of the recalls, current and future are dealt with.
     
  16. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    What does not work about a MK IV? Sure, they had a minor recall, but have taken care of owners quickly.
     
  17. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    On recall #2. Problem seems to be related to plastic parts wear. For a training handgun that will be subject to a higher than average round count this does not bode well.
     
  18. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I must have missed a second recall. What plastic parts are wearing?
     
  19. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Some sort of detent ball. It's plastic. On earlier MK's they were steel.
     
  20. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Are you talking about the safety recall? That is the one I know of. What is a second recall?
     
  21. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    General disclaimer: If you carry a handgun for serious purposes, as police officer, guard, or as an armed citizen who has a good reason to carry, you should restrict your carry gun to one gun or at the most two guns very close in design and feel (an S&W Model 10 and a Model 36, for example).
    And for a licensed citizen, nothing exotic, valuable, or antique. If you use the gun, you will lose it, at least for a while; losing a plain Glock is bad - losing a $6500 custom pistol is worse, and pointless.

    And practice with those gun(s). If you are a collector, fine, but there is no place in your carry holster for that Colt Paterson or WWI souvenir Mauser. Some folks will argue that their "instinct" will tell them that they are carrying the Glock instead of the BHP but that is a way to die, fumbling for a non-existent safety. Practice with your carry ammo as much as possible. Don't shoot light wadcutters at the range, then carry super hot loads on the street. (Yes, the unexpected blast of hot loads can be so distracting as to ruin your accuracy, maybe for the rest of your life.) Practice to hit the target under stress and at reasonable ranges. Any defense shooting is likely to be at close to arms length, but it won't hurt to know what your gun (and you) can do at 50 or even 100 yards.

    As for a practice gun, reload for the carry gun if possible. If you prefer a .22 for practice, choose one as close as possible in design and feel to the carry gun. If there is nothing close, you might consider changing the carry gun to one with a small bore clone or a .22 conversion kit.
    .
    Jim
     
  22. Cooter Boolit

    Cooter Boolit Member

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    Or you can just buy a victory and do nothing to it but load it and shoot it all day without having to buy any aftermarket mods. Just because the victory dosent fit YOUR hand, surely doesen`t mean that it wont fit someone else`s hand and shoot it better than you, which is MOST likely WHY you dont shoot it as well as a ruger mk series, because you openly admit that the victory dosent fit your hand, so there is no REAL reason for you to come in here and say what you said.

    I`m a firearms instructor as well, your not telling me anything new here. So the "Take your extremisms and absurdisms elsewhere + rhetoric" is out of line sir. I own MANY ruger mk`s, probably ALOT more than you, and almost every one of them had to have aftermarket parts to make them shoot better... the victory i have, shoots just as GOOD as ANY ruger i have in my gun safes right out of the box, so it sounds like to me, YOU seem to be a bit bias more than i am. If your a pure ruger fanboy, GREAT, but dont come in here and tell me i`m scaring away people that want to hear others say what they`ve learned about a newer firearm vs an older firearm.

    The S&W Victory hasn`t had any recalls either, i cant say that about the rugers though.

    Have a great day...!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  23. Cooter Boolit

    Cooter Boolit Member

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    IF you have to buy a ruger, forget the SR22, get the Mark IV Lite, the MKIV Lite is a FAR better gun than the SR22 by leaps and bounds.
    Cant go wrong with a SIG228, very accurate out of the box.
     

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