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Used Ruger Mark Series Pistols

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by triplebike, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. triplebike

    triplebike Member

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    I have three very popular LGS's near me. I see an awful lot of used Ruger MKIII's & they're going for very low prices. Rarely do I see any used MKI's & MKII's & I have never seen any used MKIV's. I have two MKIV's that I purchased recently that I'm absolutely thrilled with. Is the MKIII a undesirable model? Some of the prices I've seen for the used III's are quite tempting, but I'm concerned as to why.
     
  2. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    I think they are the least desirable of the Mk's. They added a lot of safety features which many people don't want nor like and the IV beats them by having the easy takedown. So, its in a tough spot, not the classic old ones nor the improved current edition. That said, if priced right I would buy one and learn to live with some of the annoying features of the III's.
     
  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Probably because they are a pain in the butt to disassemble and clean.
    Actually it is the reassembly that is the biggest problem
     
  4. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I know it! Ive got a mk3 competition that i told myself when i bought it that it wasnt going anywhere until one of us was no longer able to function. I figured it to be good for a lifetime of plinking and it could be my final 22 pistol. Mk4 came out and i start to question keeping the mk3. Im not doing it though. The takedown is bearable if you learn to do it (there is an insert that can be bought that makes it so you dont have to hold it upright with a mag inserted, trigger pulled and shake it -yes, actual procedure), thinking about the insert. The mag safety is bad on the mk3, dont know about mk4. The loaded chamber indicator on my mk3 has been in the box since i got the gun, its terrible (not sure about the mk4 indicator if present). Other than those couple gripes the gun is fantastic. I wouldnt be concerned of buying a mk3, but it is the least desireable.
     
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  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    The Mark III is certainly the illegitimate child in the Ruger Standard/Mark Series line up. Standards/Mark I's you don't see around much, because they're old enough and well thought of, they don't last long when they come available, and they don't trade hands often. Mark II's are nearly the same - these were considered (and by many still are) the crown jewel of the Mark Series line up. The Mark IV reconciled some mis-steps in the Mark III design, at least ONE, but is immensely popular for its push-button takedown. Aesthetically, I still prefer the Mark II over the Mark IV, but the mag-release location is a great advantage. I've developed a skill for fitting Mark Series uppers to lowers, so I never complain about disassembly or reassembly, nor do my customers. The Mark IV takedown is ready to go, out of the box.

    The Mark I/Standards are typically collector items when they're found, even through they don't typically fetch much of a premium for it. Mark II's and Mark IV's are the ones to own for shooting. Mark III's are redheaded step-children, which largely nobody wants anymore.

    So if you're a guy who knows how to disassemble and reassemble a Mark I/II/III, now's a great time to find great deals on fantastic shooting pistols in the Mark III's.
     
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  6. film495

    film495 Member

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    I recently picked one up and went with the MKII. The profile on the new ones MKIV looks a little different to me, and I wanted one that looked like the original with the standard length tapered barrel. I've taken it apart and assembled it a couple times. It is a little annoying to learn, but now could take it down and assemble it again, taking my time in a couple minutes.
     
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  7. M1key

    M1key Member

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    I have the MKII in six inch standard barrel. Very happy with it.

    None of the other models ever appealed to me and I have owned several. Did not like the 22/45 series at all.

    I have seen an occasional MKII for sale but not very often.

    M
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  8. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    There's nothing wrong with the III guns. You can take out the mag disconnect and make it function like a II.....Disassemble and reassemble problems are repeated over and over by people that do not know the proper way it's done. The truth is it is a simple and painless process once you understand how the pieces fit together.
     
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  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I shoot with a number of Bullseye competitors who converted their MKIII's to MKII's with a Volquartsen part kit. This is the only way to go with a MKIII. Reassembly of a MK1 and MKII is difficult enough without having a magazine safety. Getting that hammer strut to align with the mainspring is frustrating enough without a magazine safety preventing you from getting the hammer forward. It is like the hokey pokey

    Put the magazine in
    take the magazine out,
    put the magazine in,
    and shake it all about.
    You do the hokey pokey
    and toss your Ruger about.

    And, the earliest chamber indicators were dangerous and caused malfunctions. A bud bought a MKIII when they first came out. His pistol would stove pipe several times before the ten round magazine was empty. The chamber indicator rested directly on the rim of the case in the chamber and knocked the case off the bolt face during extraction, resulting in stove pipe jams galore. The fix was to mill off the wing that rested on the rim. In doing so we figured out, if you dropped a loaded Ruger MKIII on the loaded indicator, the force of the drop would be transmitted directly to the case rim, probably discharging the pistol!. That really made us wonder just what whiz kid was responsible for the design of the MKIII, and whether anyone at Ruger had ever shot the things. Ruger had a recall but we had fixed the problem and after seeing Ruger's Version 1.0, bud and I had zero confidence in whatever Ruger proposed for Version 2.0.

    It is obvious that the MKIII was a horrible design iteration, Ruger obviously wanted as few changes to their tooling and production line and came up with this abortion. At some point, they took a simple and successful design and modified it to the point of incompetence.

    I took this to a 2700 Bullseye Match last weekend. Shoots great.

    m7LLcAh.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  10. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    I agree with everything that's been said.

    With the substitution of a few parts, the Mark III can be made to function like a Mark II, but with the advantage of having a 1911-style magazine release. If the price of the Mark III is low enough to cover the cost of the replacement parts, it could be a good bargain.

    I recommend an aftermarket filler piece in place of the loaded-chamber indicator.
     
  11. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

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    After owning (and still owning) and shooting a couple different Mk IIs, I wanted to try a Mk III, but I took one look at it, and decided to pass. The term "Red Headed step child" entered into my mind.... I think Ruger did it to themselves to some degree when they announced the MK IV shortly after the IIIs came out. I regularly see IIIs at rock bottom prices, and IVs are still priced right where they were when introduced.
     
  12. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    The Mark IV's big advantage is the easy take down method. Other than that, it's as bad, or worse, than the Mark III. The magazine disconnect is certainly more complicated. I've retrofitted both my Mark III and my Mark IV with Mark II internals. The trigger pulls on these guns, as they come from the factory, are so heavy and rough that they are unusable for their intended purpose, which is as target pistols.

    Budget about $100 for replacement parts if you are thinking of getting a Mark III or IV.
     
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  13. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Indeed, this is what happens when lawyers start demanding design changes.

    Stamped and plastic parts are what happens when accountants start demanding design changes.

    If you can find a good used Mk II those are the ones to buy. If a Mk III is on the shelf at a price you can’t refuse, you have the makings of a great gun as the others have noted.

    Stay safe.
     
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  14. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Ruger Mk. II 6-7/8" Target Mdl.

    wm_2173406.jpg
    Well worth the trouble finding one.




    GR
     
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  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "The Mark I/Standards are typically collector items when they're found, even through they don't typically fetch much of a premium for it."

    I got one for around $300 in the past year or so. The heel magazine release is just barely annoying. The lack of a hold-open on the final shot is somewhat annoying - the safety serves as the hold-open device, and you have to get good at reaching around to the left side to engage the safety while you're hold the slide open. Reassembling it after a field strip is also somewhat annoying, but it's not actually all that difficult and I don't clean a 22 range toy after every time I put 50 or 100 rounds through it anyway.

    It sure is a sweet shooter, though. I will gladly accept the mild annoyances in exchange for a pistol that points so naturally and shoots so well.

     
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  16. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    I bought my Mark 1 target, 6 7/8 inch heavy tapered barrel in 1976 ( Liberty Model ) to shoot with a local pistol club. Very accurate and eats anything, can't remember ever having a FTF or FTE. After a year of shooting the environmentalists shut our range down in 1977-78 as I remember. So that was the end of my competition shooting. Ive hunted and shot it at another outdoor range from time to time with it. I'd never part with it but the mag release and bolt open on the last shot features on the newer models would be nice. hdbiker
     
  17. Frankl03

    Frankl03 Member

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    I have a Mk III that I put Valquartson trigger and internals in as well a Mk II hammer bushing. Its a 6 7/8 hunter blued. Two lbs trigger. Its very accurate. I have no issues cleaning or reassembling.

    Been tempted to upgrade to Mk IV but then I would have to update that one as well and I would get barely anything for the Mk III so I will just keep it and continue to enjoy it.

    IMG_3720.JPG
     
  18. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    I am a MKII guy. I would not ever consider another model MK .22 from Ruger. Love it, will be passed on to my boy.
     
  19. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    All of the "improvements" on the later MK's, starting with the II, were unnecessary and mostly marketing ploys. Folks at Ruger tried to turn it into a combat gun with the 22/45 and changing the mag release. It's a hunting/target/plinking pistol. You don't need rapid mag changes, bolt hold open devices and so on. In the process of "upgrading" they significantly reduced the quality of the trigger.
     
  20. straightshooterjake

    straightshooterjake Member

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    For years I have been telling people that the issues with re-assembling the Ruger pistols have been overstated, and that anyone can learn to do it with a little practice. Quite a number of people have taken my advice on this subject, and have been quite satisfied with their MK II and MK III pistols.

    However, a couple of years ago, I started telling people that if they don't already know how to assemble a MK III pistol, then they should just get a MK IV. Even if it would only take a couple of hours fiddling to get used to the MK III, why bother?

    I think an informed person can take all of this advice, and make their own decision. If a MK III pistol is heavily discounted, then it could be worthwhile. And if even a minor hassle seems annoying, then just go with a MK IV.

    For myself, I do consider the MK II pistols to be some of the best. But anyone looking at one should consider whether it is drilled and tapped for an optic, and whether they need that. Only a very few MK II pistols were drilled and tapped from the factory. And many people, including myself, do want the option to mount an optic. If you need to have the gun drilled and tapped, that will probably cost more than any "bargain" discount on an older pistol.
     
  21. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    I've owned 3 MK III's, 2 were used and one new gun. The first one I bought was used, heavy barrel model and had the complete Volquartsen trigger kit. Great gun and was easy to disassemble and reassemble but a friend wanted it and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. No, no horse head in my bed, just a good cash offer. Should not have sold it. Second one was new, also with the heavy barrel and I installed the Volquartsen trigger in it. Sold it because it was so difficult to reassemble, too new and not broken in yet and at the time had no use for the gun. The last one was used and again I installed a Volquartsen trigger kit but this one is broken in enough that it is easy to reassemble. I'll keep this one.
     
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  22. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Went to the Local Gun Store today. High Standards and MKI Rugers were ridiculous. I have met shooters who were still using High Standards in 2700 Bullseye Pistol, but the $200 magazines are a bit of a put off. The old timers say they were very popular in the 1970's, which is about 30 years ago. When HS and Victor went bust, the things are unsupportable without laying a lot of cash down .

    There was one blued MKII in the case for $299.99. Light to medium finish wear, not new at all. If the thing had been drilled and tapped for an optical base I might have been interested. I have already gone through this with one blued MKII. Sending it to Ruger for drilling and tapping will ruin around $100. It is not worth the bother. Prices of MKIII's were higher, but they all had more finish than the MKII. There were a couple of used MKIV's and they were the highest priced after the MKI's.

    The LGS did have one new 7 " S&W M41 and one new 5.5" Performance Center M41, the first was $1180, the second $1350. Both had great triggers and I ooh'd and aah'd over them. My eyes were bigger than my wallet though.
     
  23. straightshooterjake

    straightshooterjake Member

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    Your experience is similar to what I have seen recently, and this is why I have been telling people to just get a new MK IV. The prices for used guns that you mentioned are about $100 too high to me. I still look for good deals on MK II and MK III pistols, but if the prices are within $100 of a new pistol that comes with factory warranty, then I will go with the new gun.
     
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  24. whatnickname

    whatnickname Member

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    I’ve got a couple of MKIIIs. They’re a bit harder to do a trigger job on and most folks just leave the magazine disconnect stuff out completely when swapping out the trigger. Volquartsen makes an outstanding target trigger, hammer and sear for the MKIII. Not inexpensive but well worth the money and effort. Of course my hands down favorite is the MKII. You can do an amazing job with the Volquartsen trigger kit in one of these!

    Never have understood all the complaints about re-assembly. Pull the trigger and take your brass punch and position the hammer all the way forward. With a MKIII you will have to put a magazine in to pull the trigger if the magazine disconnect is in place. Remember to take the magazine back out. Hold the barrel in your supporting hand pointed up at a 45 degree angle. Insert the takedown assembly pin into the frame and receiver. If this proves a bit difficult just put a small amount of grease on the pin. Pivot the takedown assembly back into the frame with the barrel still pointing up at 45 degrees. When hammer strut compresses the hammer spring in the takedown assembly you will feel the spring tension. If you don’t feel the spring compress you haven’t captured the hammer strut...just swing it out and make sure the hammer is in the full forward position and try again. It’s really not all that hard folks,
     
  25. sigarms228

    sigarms228 Member

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    I really like my Ruger Standard that I bought new in the mid 70s but it has very limited availability of aftermarket grips and I find the grip on it too small for me and the trigger reach too short also plus I am not so fond of the grip angle. I just bought a new Browning Buckmark Camper UFX stainless at LGS for a great price plus rebate and am anxious to see how that compares as the grip feels much better suited to my hands/fingers, it comes with adjustable rear sight, and there are a lot of options for sights and rails for it.

    I recently had to remove the grips in the picture (made for Mark II/III) because they allowed a pin in the frame to walk out and cause malfunctioning. I was able to drive the pin back in and it works great again but I put factory grips on because they hold that pin in place.

    vjMic0D.jpg
     
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