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

Discussion in 'Non-XD Handguns' started by becket, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. becket

    becket XDTalk 100 Member Founding Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  2. ORD

    ORD XDTalk 1K Member

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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
     
  3. Chapie+

    Chapie+ XDTalk 2K Member

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    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.

    Chapie+
     
  4. Brickboy240

    Brickboy240 XDTalk 25K Member

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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.

    - Brickboy240
     
  5. mhillsing23

    mhillsing23 XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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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.
     
  6. EvilElmo

    EvilElmo XDTalk 100 Member

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    Bump for the 5.5" bull barrel. The balance is excellent.
     
  7. becket

    becket XDTalk 100 Member Founding Member

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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?
     
  8. EvilElmo

    EvilElmo XDTalk 100 Member

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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 :(.
     
  9. becket

    becket XDTalk 100 Member Founding Member

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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?
     
  10. mhillsing23

    mhillsing23 XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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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.
     
  11. EvilElmo

    EvilElmo XDTalk 100 Member

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    Yes, with some help from my father-in-law we were able to disassemble and properly reassemble the Ruger, with no damage that I can tell. We didn't use force to free anything so I don't expect any problems, and I haven't had any. The exploded parts diagram in the back of the manual was very helpful.

    Now that I've been through it a few times I can break it down in just a few minutes. It's definitely not as simple as the XD, but after you've doen it a couple of times it isn't hard. After it's apart I don't find it to require any more cleaning than I do to any other gun, but I tend to be a little obsessive about keeping mine clean. When it comes time to reassemble I still read along in the manual though just to be safe.

    Overall it's a great gun, it's just got a somewhat involved breakdown. If you follow the manual you shouldn't have a problem. I just didn't pay as much attention as I should have that first time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  12. DeadEye-Want2B

    DeadEye-Want2B XDTalk 100 Member

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    I've had my Ruger MIII "hunter" 22/45 5.5" stainless fluted barrel for 4 yrs. now. I definately HAVE to use the manual to field strip the thing. It took me an hour to read and follow the first time. So now I just use Break Free Powder Blast and "deuch it". :p
     
  13. Delija

    Delija XDTalk 4K Member

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    I realize this is an old thread - I came across it in a search for something else, but saw the question so I figured I'd give my answer.....

    With my old and well broken in MK II that I can take down and reassemble without any tools, I can take it down in under 10 (maybe 5) seconds and put it back together in about the same time - maybe a second or two longer.

    I have a new MK III which is the first Ruger MK pistol I ever bought new - (I think I've had about a half dozen or so older Ruger MK I and MK II pistols over the past few decades) - - the new MK III is very tight and I need to use a heavy plastic mallet to get the pin (bolt stop that's also holds the MSH in place) out. So needing to use that tool (mallet) plus a punch (there's a gadget called a "Pistol Pal" that is a Delrin punch shaped to fit over the convex pin) it takes me about 20 seconds to take the gun down and a maybe few seconds more or less to put it back together. I suppose over time I'll be able to get the pin out and back in with my bare hands and it will be as quick as the older guns I've had and have. (or maybe not)?? - this is not only my first new MK pistol, but my first stainless one so maybe it's not as soft as the blued steel??? Or maybe Ruger is just purposely making the guns fit tighter - I haven't heard of anyone being able to field strip an MK III without using some force - and they've been around now for about 10 years so maybe it's going to stay tight forever :confused: I've read that people have had problems with older Ruger MK I and II guns where the upper and lower fit got too loose and they needed to use shims to get them tight again, so maybe this is Ruger's answer to that problem (which I never experienced - even though some of my Rugers were 25-30 years old when I got them).


    Another issue with the MK III is that back when this thread was more current the MK III pistols were newer to the public. They come from Ruger with a magazine disconnect which requires some extra time to field strip the gun and reassemble it. (a few extra steps are required - like removing and then re-inserting the magazine at different times during the process).... But since then, it seems that most people just get rid of the magazine disconnect with a replacement hammer bushing (they cost about $10 and are made by at least 5 or 6 different companies I can think of off hand) and that makes field stripping a lot faster (basically makes the gun function just like a MK I or MK II). Faster and more simple.

    Peace,
    D.
     

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