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Ruger MK III Hunter -- 6-7/8 vs. 5-1/2 barrel

This is a discussion on Ruger MK III Hunter -- 6-7/8 vs. 5-1/2 barrel within the Non-XD Handguns forums, part of the Other Handgun Talk category; I am looking at buying the Ruger MK III Hunter 22/45 pistol, but it does come in the two fluted barrel lengths. Obviously the 6-7/8 ...

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Old 11-20-2008, 08:17 AM   #1
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Ruger MK III Hunter -- 6-7/8 vs. 5-1/2 barrel

I am looking at buying the Ruger MK III Hunter 22/45 pistol, but it does come in the two fluted barrel lengths. Obviously the 6-7/8 is going to be more accurate, and I am assuming that most folks on the forum own this one. For the same price, why would I want the 5-1/2 barrel? Does anyone own this one, and if so, why did they choose it? It says it's a "Distributor Exclusive." What does that mean?

Thanks for all the good advice. I decided to get the 5.5 barrel -- it does feel more balanced in my hand!
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Last edited by becket; 11-21-2008 at 02:53 PM. Reason: New information
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:36 AM   #2
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I disagree with your statement that the 6-7/8" barrel will be more accurate than the 5.5" barrel. Both of those pistols will offer outstanding accuracy potential and I would bet you that 99% of shooters would not notice a perceptable difference in accuracy between the two. Where the accuracy difference can be slightly improved by a practiced shooter is the slightly longer sight radius of the longer barreled model.

It is all about which one "fits" you better. I'd try to get my hands on both versions and see which one suits you best in terms of balance, pointability, etc. The longer barrel does tend to throw the balance of the pistol off slightly because of the additional muzzle weight. One of the reasons that Tactical Solutions offers their aluminum sleeved top ends for the Ruger and Browning pistols is that you get a long barrel, with a longer sight radius, but you actually reduce the weight of the pistol by using one of their units and improve the balance of the pistol.

My advice again, is to try to get your hands on both the 6-7/8" and the 5.5" models and see which you prefer. Also, if you can get your hands on a 22/45 frame or used model, you can always upgrade to the longer Tac Sol top end which will give you the best of all worlds in terms of accuracy, weight reduction, and balance.

Pac-Lite Barrels for the Ruger - Tactical Solutions
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORD View Post
My advice again, is to try to get your hands on both the 6-7/8" and the 5.5" models and see which you prefer. Also, if you can get your hands on a 22/45 frame or used model, you can always upgrade to the longer Tac Sol top end which will give you the best of all worlds in terms of accuracy, weight reduction, and balance.
Pac-Lite Barrels for the Ruger - Tactical Solutions
The above advice - to handle each and see what you prefer - is the best advice you will get on this subject.

However, I would suggest you also handle a Ruger Mark II or Mark III to compare with the 22/45. I prefer the MKII and it's revised MKIII over the 22/45. I could give you a whole lot of reasons especially including grip options and such, but at the end of the day it comes down to preferance which again goes to advice above. Try them both out and see what you like.

Regarding bbl length. I got the MKII with the 6 and 7/8" tappered bull bbl. It was what I could afford at the time. I really wanted a 5.5" bull barrel, but I couldn't afford it. Well after many years - and no problems with the MKII - I sent it off to Volquartsen and got a 6" bull competition barrel and it shoots like a dream. I also had them do the trigger job. It is amazing. So when you get bored with the old gun there are always things that you can do to jazz it up.

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:37 PM   #4
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I have been shooting my 5.5 inch bull barreled 22-45 for over 10 years and never wished the barrel was an inch or two longer.

Seriously!

Either length ought to do really well for you. I have no plans of buying another 22 pistol because for 10 years plus, this 5.5" 22-45 has been stellar.

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Old 11-20-2008, 03:17 PM   #5
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I have the 5.5" and I really like how it balances. I don't think I would any more length up top. Get what feels best to you.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:56 AM   #6
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Bump for the 5.5" bull barrel. The balance is excellent.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:29 AM   #7
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I always get great advice from the Forum. To be honest, the 5.5 model truly does feel the best to me. Even though it's called "the Hunter," I don't envision ever using it for that (unless some "varmint" causes trouble for me), just for target practice. Ammo for the 9mm and 40 S&W is kinda pricey, especially if you want to shoot 100 rounds of each once a week, and I could save money and gun wear if I was shooting 100-200 rounds in the 22LR and 50 or less in the others. I've heard that Rugers are HORRIBLE to break down and clean, but the beauty of this stainless MK III is that it can go in an ultrasonic cleaner once you remove the grips. The store where I do business offers this service. One of their gun clerks I met said he shoots 20,000 rounds in his Ruger between cleanings. They showed me how you can give it a "limited" cleaning without breaking it down, so that will have to do. What do you think about the ultrasonic cleaning of pistols?
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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You're right about the Ruger breakdown compared to probably just about anything else. You need to follow the procedure outlined in the manual EXACTLY. Make sure you read it through several times before you attempt it, and make sure you read along as you do for the first few times.

When the manual says to point the muzzle straight up or straight down - DO IT. There's a pin inside the back of the grip that requires gravity to fall into the proper place during reassembly and these directions are to make sure that it's where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. If it's out of position when you complete a certain step the whole action locks up. Reversing the procedure at this point becomes essentially impossible, or at the very least difficult without damaging the gun. Ask me how I know this .
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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What I will ask you is "Were you able to fix the situation without damaging your gun?" As a novice and complete gun neophyte, I am already too intimidated to even try to disassemble my Ruger. The XDMs have me totally spoiled. The dealer said they could not count the number of times that people had brought Rugers back to them in numerous pieces in a box. They also said that the Ruger is the primary reason they purchased an ultrasonic cleaner. Even they don't want to put them back together. They also said that if someone does bring them a Ruger to clean, that it usually takes about two weeks before they will get it back. Just curious, how long does it take the experienced Ruger owner (i.e., you) to clean and reassemble their gun?
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Smith & Wesson pre-model 30, 32 S&W Long
Remington 870 Express 12 gauge 18.5" bbl
Remington 870 Express 20 gauge, 18" bbl
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:10 PM   #10
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I have torn my 22/45 down to every pin and spring a few times. It isn't fun, but it gets easier every time. I am not one that often uses directions, but the Ruger is an exception. Keep the directions with you, and follow them. If you do, you will be fine.
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