Ruger Mark III is Officially DISCONTINUED… You Now Own a Collector Item! (Maybe in 30 Years)

Mark III

You may or may not have heard that Ruger unveiled a much desired Mark IV pistol recently. It mends the number one problem that has plagued many Ruger shooters over the years. You now can field strip the pistol without the need of watching several YouTube tutorials. With the simple push of a button, you can “pop the hood” on the Ruger Mark IV for easy cleaning and troubleshooting. Now that this heavily-requested Mark IV is on the market the Mark III is no longer needed. At least that is what Ruger is quietly saying on their website.

If you are on the Ruger website you can navigate through a few pages and see for yourself. On their homepage, you can click on their Menu and select Customer Service. On the new page you can select Serial Number History and Instruction Manuals. Finally, you can select Pistol Instruction Manuals & Product History. There you can see that all of the variations of the Mark III are “Out of Production” as of 2016.

What this basically means is whatever Mark III pistols that are still left at distributors and gun shops are it. If you really want a Mark III before they are gone, your time is limited. An image of what you will find on Ruger’s website can be seen below.


Mark III

A lot of people have speculated as to why Ruger finally made an easier to dis-assemble rimfire pistol. The best conspiracy theory without getting an official statement from Ruger is the Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory prompted Ruger to create the Mark IV. With the easy takedown on the Victory many people believe the new Mark IV is Ruger’s response to compete.

So for now you may not own a collector item, but in 30 years, who knows. Hang onto your Ruger Mark III pistols and you might have something pretty desirable!

The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


  • SpazC

    Doubt the MK III will be highly collectible with all its lawyered up “features” .

    Now the only way you’ll get my MKII target is prying it from my cold, dead, hands.

  • Drew Coleman

    The Mk II/III series is not hard to field strip at all. I really don’t understand the fuss.

    • McThag

      Easy to take apart, a bit fiddly to reassemble with the added fun of not really knowing what you did THIS time that caused the process to work or not.

      • Drew Coleman

        It’s almost always the hammer strut wasn’t in the right spot when swinging the mainspring housing closed. Once you understand where it goes and why, it’s super easy.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Well, super easy is when you don’t have to worry about where the hammer strut is oriented in the first place. The Mk III isn’t nearly as bad as certain people make it out to be, but the Mk IV is plainly the superior design because is actually is super easy to disassemble and reassemble.

          • Nashvone

            I’m not a fan of having to insert a magazine during the cleaning process of any firearm.

      • DaveP.

        That, and ripping a thumbnail trying to flip out a recalcitrant spring lever. Good times.

        • Paperclip is attached to my AR15 sightpost adjuster specifically for my 22/45.

          • mazkact

            I keep a paper clip in my wallet, I was once a mullet wearing McGiver fan, don’t ask 😉

        • mazkact

          You get major Stephen Hunter points for the use of “Recalcitrant”. 🙂

      • Jeff Smith

        This x 1000000.

    • lawbob

      The III’s are a bit trickier because of the mag disconnect (having to insert mag/fire etc. to drop the hammer).

      To you point, once you “understand” what’s going on, they are a piece of cake.

      • uisconfruzed

        Replace the firing group with a Volquartzen MKII (not III) group. The trigger’s great, disconnector’s gone & it’s easier to assemble.

  • McThag

    Well, if my 1957 made Standard ever breaks, I might be in the market… But it’s just not breaking.

  • J.T.

    I’m not surprised the regular Mark III models have been discontinued. I am surprised that they discontinued the 22/45 models without a replacement on the market first.

    • johnson184

      I’m betting the Mark IV 22/45 will be shown at SHOT and then released shortly after… if they aren’t already shipping. That’s what I’ve been holding out for at least.

      • HSR47

        Yeah, if they come out with a threaded MKIV 22/45 lite, I’ll be first in line to buy it when it comes in.

  • lawbob

    They took them off their web site when the Mark IVs came out, almost immediately.

    I thought they might keep the 22/45s in production until the Mark IV 22/45s and Lites come out but not to be.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    The good new is we should be seeing a MKIV Lite!

  • Disarmed in CA

    List of Ruger .22LR chambered auto-loading pistols currently on California handgun roster:

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Or they’ll be collectable if they’re 100% stock, which literally no mkiii is.

    • Nashvone

      Do I get bonus points for saving the stock parts?

  • Rabies

    Just waiting on the competition model.

  • Jeff Smith

    I’m not sure I’ve ever cursed as much as I did the last time I tried reassembling my MKIII 22/45. It was the second time doing so and it took a solid 2 hours and no less than four YouTube videos.

    • Cymond

      Oh dear.
      I must say, I’ve never had THAT much trouble with mine, except for the time I replaced the hammer with one from Majestic Arms and the trigger & swear with Volquartsen. Upon testing, the disconnector didn’t work, so the trigger was dead with the hammer back. I had to remove the grips and drive out the hammer pin before I could get it apart.

      The worst assembly experience I ever had was with a 1970s Stoeger Luger. I literally spent about 4 hours trying to get all the pieces in the right place at the same time long enough to shove the action back into the receiver. For a while I was scared that I would never do it, that I had totaled the pistol. After I managed to get it together, I swore that I would never disassemble it again. I’ll just dunk the whole thing in a bucket of kerosene if I ever shoot it enough to need cleaning.

      • Jeff Smith

        Haha! That Luger sounds like a headache!

        I’m still not 100% sure of what I did wrong with my MKIII. I was doing everything right (according to every video I’d watch), but the mainspring lever (or whatever it’s called) simply wouldn’t go back into place. I did something right finally and it popped back in.

        • The Brigadier

          We have all gone through that with Mark IIs and IIIs. You hold it above your head and move it slowly hoping the freely swinging lever will fit in its unseen groove. That pistol was stolen and I never replaced it because of the hassle of cleaning it.

    • Ed Forney

      Had the same problem. What idiot engineer came up with that take down ???

      • Ed Forney

        But it’s accurate as H*** !

        • Jeff Smith

          I won’t argue there – I love it, but it’s a nightmare to clean!

    • Humpy

      Lmao, Took me a lot longer than that, I’ve never disassembled that bastard again.

  • tony

    can’t stop progress

  • Cymond

    I guess it’s now or never to finish that Paclite upper that’s been collecting dust for the last 6 years!

    And I still really want the grey 22/45 Lite with the hole filled barrel shroud.

  • Darhar M.

    Good thing I find my MkII & III Bull Barrel Target models I own to be easy
    to take apart and reassemble. Might also be because I have done it over a thousand times.
    Hard to say….

  • 22winmag

    Queue up the Armslist scammers and Gunbroker gougers!

    • Porty1119

      Gunbroker prices are sort of hilarious. I’m a Marlin fan starting out a levergun collection, and the prices people ask for CBS’d 336As and Ws are nothing short of comedic, and that’s before we get into the 1894s.

  • JoshCalle

    Never really liked my Mark III Hunter, the front sight shot itself loose until it was able to do a complete 360. Since it’s still a pretty gun and seems to be in an odd barrel length I couldn’t find on the web site I didn’t have the heart to sell it, but maybe in 30 years.

  • Vizzini

    Heh. I have a Ruger Mark II and never got around to not thinking of the Mark III as “that new model.”

  • Mattblum

    Like my MKIII. I’ll be dead before it becomes a collectors item, but it will pass a whole lot of rounds before then!

  • Pat Riot

    I look like Clutch Cargo and my Mk 1 is terrible to disassemble.

  • John

    >What this basically means is whatever Mark III pistols that are still left at distributors and gun shops are it.

    And most likely they will stay there for years, gathering dust. In Terra Pax Requiem.

  • Geoff Timm

    I’ll stick with my MK. II thank you, I have enough magazines for it. Geoff Who still misses his old MK I.

  • jerry young

    Well it’s about time Ruger makes their guns user friendly, my first encounter with a Ruger was a student brought one into our CCW class and ask for help tearing it down and cleaning it which he never did before, according to the instructions you had to use a mallet to beat the thing apart and then back together and it was that tight of a fit we used a wooden mallet, I own a 22/45 lite besides being picky on which ammo runs best you have to be a contortionist to reassemble the darn thing, taking it apart isn’t the hard part and you no longer need to use a hammer on it, I finally got the hang of it after many tries while standing on my head with my left hand in my right rear pocket all while turning the gun upside down and shaking it to align little parts and many tries I can now reassemble it in two or three tries instead of 30, don’t get me wrong I love to shoot it, it’s very accurate and as long as you run the ammo it likes I can shoot all day without a hiccup, I may have to retire my 22/45 into the bowels of my safe with all my other outdated toys and pickup a new version

  • LazyReader

    It’s a collectable if it’s rare………….Rare.
    I feel like a certain comic publisher right now thinking they can sell us the same issue with a different cover over again….*COUGH* Marvel

  • Anon. E Maus

    I’m fine with that, but what I do want is the old tapered/turned down barrel of the original, that would make the Mk.IV perfect.

  • Humpy

    Lol, after the first and only time I ever disassembled my Ruger Mkll, I vowed never again to do that!, what an incredible pain in the ass it was.
    Now I just use a can of spray brake cleaner, followed with a spray down of WD-40, which I then wipe off all the excess, any leftover WD-40 evaporates in a couple days, I then clean as usual, and lube with some quality gun oil.
    I do remove the grips before the spray down however.

  • James Kelly