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I'm looking for my first .22LR handgun and I settled on getting a Ruger Mark III series because of price and Ruger's reputation on making a good 22 handgun.

This handgun is going to be for basic target practicing and helping out a few family members get started in the hobby. I wanted to get one of the cheapest Ruger makes but they must have at least six in my price range. So I don't know which model I need/want.

The top three on this page are in my price range:

Ruger 22/45 Mark IIIRimfire AutoloadingPistols

or the bottom two on this page:

Ruger Mark IIIRimfire AutoloadingPistols

So many different models within the same price range. Are there any "real" differences between these models? Can anyone help me decipher the different models?

Thanks!
 

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The major difference is the type of grip. The 22/45 and the standard grips have a different angle. The 22/45 is supposed to simulate the 1911 .45 grip angle that a lot of people like, including myself. The standard grip is at a greater angle to the site plane (if that makes sense, compare the angle of the grips in the pictures). The best way to determine what you like is to handle as many as you can in your local shops, and choose whichever feels best. Get what feels good, and you can't go wrong with a Mark III.
 

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Hokie's right, the grip is the major difference. One thing to remember, the first pistols you linked do not have interchangeable grips, whereas the bottom two do. I have the Mark III Hunter, which has wooden grips that could be changed out if I chose to do so, but I really like the feel. They make rubber grips that have thumb supports that some folks like because they do so much target shooting with them. Also, look at the barrel length. Mine is 5.5" which is well-balanced; when you start getting to the 6" and longer lengths, you tend to drop the end of the barrel after shooting it a lot. It's just how the gun is balanced in your hand. If you are going to have ladies using it, they might prefer to use the shorter barrel length because it will be easier for them to hold steady. I absolutely love my Ruger MK III Hunter -- the best thing about shooting it is the cheap bullets! You made the right decision on a Ruger 22. The only bad thing is cleaning it -- it is terrible to take apart and put back together, but you can spot clean it after you shoot and that will help tremendously. A friend of mine who does that says he can go 20,000 rounds between "take apart" cleans by spot cleaning after he goes target shooting. Anyway, good luck!
 

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I like the 5 1/2" bull barrel models with adjustable sights too.

I have the MKIII Stainless.

But if those are the only ones in your price range, I'd go with the 3rd one down in the first link. The P512MKIII.
 

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I like the 5 1/2" bull barrel models with adjustable sights too.

But if those are the only ones in your price range, I'd go with the 3rd one down in the first link. The P512MKIII.
+1

P512MKIII

I love mine.
 

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The P512MKIII is also what I'm looking to get. The P4MKIII is the same gun with a 4 in. bbl. The P512 goes for $269-299 around here.

Jim
 
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