“The Devil Went Down to… Arizona!” to help William Ruger make the MK I

MK IV

Many of us were truly elated to see that Ruger had come out with their MK IV pistol that disassembles at the mere push of a button. Sadly, this answer to all of our problems… had a problem. It was recently recalled and has many consumers scratching their head again looking at competitor’s pistols like the Smith & Wesson Victory. Fairly easy disassembly, but it does require a tool.

With all of this recent press about the hatred for complex disassembly procedures a satirical story was posted by one of our own TFB commenters. It has made its rounds through the internet before, but if you are hearing it for the 1st time it is pretty funny, all things considered.

As the legend goes…

Many years ago the Devil met with Saint William of Ruger. Appearing before him in a stink of sulfur he proclaimed… ‘Behold! I will give you the best .22 long rifle pistol you have ever seen! Never fail… Never jam… Never quit on you. In exchange, I will gladly accept your soul.’

Saint William of Ruger said, ‘I would like to know how it works.’

The Devil proceeded to show him how it worked, how it operated, and how it came to be.

Saint William of Ruger asked, ‘How does this thing come apart?’

The Devil said, ‘For that I am going to need your soul.’

Saint William of Ruger said, ‘I’ll figure it out…’

Fatal last words…

In all seriousness, hopefully Ruger can get their recall put behind them and all the MK IV pistols that are in circulation appropriately corrected. So far, the Ruger MK IV has shown quite a bit of promise for an ease-of-use, target pistol.



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.


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  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    Not just the Mk1

    I fought with a LCS9 the other day for 10 minutes before swallowing my pride and youtubing it… Then I fought for another 5 minutes before it came apart.

    Ruger.

    • Jared Vynn

      What was giving you trouble with it? I got mine apart on my own fairly quickly.

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        First I had to figure out what held it together. Then once I found the pin I had to figure out how to get it out. (I figured that no modern handgun would require a tool to disassemble, right? That would just be ridiculous) Then I had to find a tool small enough to punch out the pin (I wasnt at my house so I didnt know what tools were around; I ended up using an AR firing pin) and then discovered that it wouldnt come apart without engaging the magazine disconnect. I finally got it apart and vowed to never buy a LC9S.

        I probably exaggerated the times a bit because things seem like they take forever when youre cussing at them, but its certainly a lot more complicated than a Glock or M&P or Sig.

        • Jared Vynn

          It is a little more complicated than the others but I found mine shoots and handles better for me as well as conceals better (except for the Sig P938, that conceals a little better). But whatever works for you is the important part.

        • Havok

          Did you buy it used? I only ask because the owners manual is pretty easy to read. As far as a tool to take it down, the chamber flag that comes with the gun is very handy for pushing that pin out.

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            I second Havok. Why did you not immediately go to the owners manual? Surely the gun came with a tool to use to push that pin out. Why were you in an unfamiliar place the first time taking the gun apart? I feel like you stacked the odds against yourself and blame the gun for the outcome.

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            It belongs to a friend of mine. I was supposed to be showing her how to clean it. I dont know where the owners manual was that day.

  • G B

    Buddy of mine really liked his 22/45 right up until the barrel caved in. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5534df76b661a34df1b610a0b4784e11c07c0da5ce43219f1648feedc07c5af1.jpg

    • Jared Vynn

      Never seen that before. I would guess a manufacturing defect.

    • PK

      That’s a new one to me! Is it ringed all the way around the bore? That can happen when a bullet gets stuck and another is fired, but I haven’t seen it pop a piece off the side like that before.

    • iksnilol

      Just fire a blank or two through it to straighten it out.

    • Drew Coleman

      That’s weird. Did Ruger take care of it?

      • G B

        I’m not sure, it happened recently and he’s currently out of town. I’ll ask him when he gets back. It’s a pretty crazy defect/problem. In person you can actually still see the rifling on the part that is caved in.

        • CountryBoy

          These barrels are bored, so they wouldn’t “cave in”.

          You had a squib, followed by a live round.

    • CountryBoy

      Caved in? Looks more like he had a squib load, and fired the next round without realizing the squib was still there. The next round pushed everything out and damaged the barrel.

      Had the same thing happen to a 10/22 my son was firing; he noticed the sound difference. It too damaged the barrel, about 1/3 back from the muzzle. Funny thing is the rifle is still a tack driver and the damage didn’t make a bit of difference.

      But I’ll never use that Remington cheap 22LR Thunderbolt ammo again, as we found the problem. One round’s brass case was incompletely formed, allowing the powder to leak out and leaving only the primer to push the bullet (like the Aquilla subsonic ammo).

      Not the fault of the gun, and we never bothered to replace the barrel.

      I don’t think anything “caved in” here at all, but you had a misfire with your ammo.

  • allannon

    Well, ol’ Saint Bill apparently got taken on that deal, because my mkIII 22/45 jams any time I try to feed it round-nose hollow points. Seemed to be fairly common with early-release models. Ruger, of course, somehow couldn’t replicate the failure.

    Dad’s mkII is reliabe as the sunrise, though.

    I’m tempted by the mkIV, but my experience with the mkIII is making me leery.

    • Jared Vynn

      I have used a lot of various ammo in my mkIII 22/45 without issue, including lead round nose. Have you tried different magazines?

      • mazkact

        I love my MK3 after removing the mag disconnect and LCI. With LCI gone it gives one a nice slot to blow gunk out with compressed air.

      • allannon

        Not in a while; I bought a couple more mags a while back (probably, oh, ’05 or ’06). They shot the same as the ones that came with it. I tweaked one a bit (filed the follower to a higher angle and filed the feed lips), which helped but didn’t eliminate the problem.

        Since it eats any ball without problem, I just gave up and left it for target use. I’d be more likely to go to the 10/22 for a skunk or rat anyway.

    • M.M.D.C.

      My MKIII is very reliable. Eats pretty much anything. So much so that I can go for pretty long periods (thousands of rounds) between cleanings.

      And, FWIW, the disassembly isn’t that bad. No, it’s not as simple as a Glock, but it isn’t so bad that I wouldn’t buy another one.

      • Jared Vynn

        I haven’t taken mine apart yet, thousands of rounds and at most I threw it in my ultrasonic cleaner for a bit and oiled it up with CLP after.

  • Vitsaus

    Ruger has had about a half dozen recalls in the last decade, few point that out. Essentially every new firearm they launch is not yet ready for prime-time and yet they get a pass every time.

    • Nicks87

      I love my GP100 and my SP101 but outside of those two pistols I’m not really all that interested in anything Ruger makes. I’ve heard good things about their AR15s but you can build one for the same price with better parts.

      • Mr. Katt

        Those two plus their Blackhawks (and Redhawks), the 10/22 and the Mark I and Mark II pistols . . . you can keep the rest

        • comatus

          Those seven, plus the Bearcat and the Convertible Six, and the old Mark I rifle, and the Vaquero and Bisley, and the Red Labels…you can keep the rest.

    • derpmaster

      Better track record than Kel Tec, where product testing and mass production commercial sales are the same thing.

      • Shankbone

        To be fair, Kel Tec has done some R&D for Ruger. 😉

    • Rob

      So does Sig.

  • Tim

    Sent my band-new, never shot mk IV stainless target in for the new safety last week. We’ll see how long the turn-around is.

    • Nick Z.

      Ruger’s target turnaround was one week from date of receipt. Got mine back right on schedule.

  • It Is Irony, Of A Sort

    “Saint” William Ruger: the man who put his 30 pieces of silver in three 10-piece bags.

    • DW

      Because no honest man needs a bag holding more than 10 pieces

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    I don’t know why people are surprised. it’s practically a tradition for each new Ruger product to experience a recall.

    • koolhed

      Yep. Like GM cars…

      • tiger

        Ruger, is more AMC than GM.

      • Ted Eng

        If you look at the government lists of recalls, Ford has more recalls than Chevrolet/GM.

    • tiger

      Yep, I never have had much love of Ruger products.

  • Drew Coleman

    The Mk III is really not at all hard to take apart – you just have to actually pay attention. Compared to a Sig or a Glock it is complicated, but I’ve never needed more than a few minutes to get it apart and together.

    • Cymond

      Agreed, except the magazine disconnect makes it dramatically worse. I have one I modded to remove the disconnect, and one I haven’t modded yet. The difference is night & day.

  • Tym O’Byrne

    My Blackhawks work well, just saying….

    • Blake

      …and? What does that have to do with a completely different product being recalled?

  • feetpiece _

    Ol’ Bill made other deals with the Devil like suggesting the 10 round limit to the Feds and being a prude domestically while arming Latin America.

    Some folks look at that kind of bloodletting for profit as rather “Devilish” behavior.

    • Jared Vynn

      Glad he’s gone and Ruger has been moving in a different direction.

      • Michael Gallagher

        Exactly.

        Two best days of Rugers Corporate Life, the day Bill founded it and the day he died.

        For their sake, glad he and his influence are dead…

        • Dave

          Stupid comment. Start your own gun manufacturing concern then get back to us, ‘k?

  • Jeremy Hendricks

    For MKIII models, a mag disconnect eliminator bushing is basically a must-have and makes disassembly a much simpler process. Plus, it allows your mags to drop free instead of having to pull them out. Best $9 you’ll spend on the gun.

    • margot aspen

      Absolutely! I’m not enough of a pro to do my own smithing (even though, if you can manage the takedown, you’re on your way), so it cost me $80 to have the $9 part installed, but it is night & day difference. But I really want an enhanced bolt grip now. Hmmm. So, I can turn this $400 – 22/45 light into an $800 museum piece. Yup, that’s why I’m a SIG woman.

  • FightFireJay

    Good news, maybe someone at Ruger finally sold their, ahem, well you know… the Mark IV is once again shipping!

  • JASON B

    No thanks I will stick with the MKII. Even some of the funkier MKIII threaded barrel models. Though I hate the loaded indicator and the unsightly cut it makes in the barrel. Yes they are a PITA to take put back together. Even after you have done it hundreds of times over the years. I think the MKIV is ugly and the quick disassembly system ruins the lines of a beautiful gun.

  • Mr. Katt

    Still have a Mark I from the 1960s and a Mark II from the 90s . . . Once I got the hang of it, I have never had problems with taking ’em apart or putting ’em back together. I’ll pass on later experiements

    • mazkact

      Agreed, as a kid I could take MK1’s apart. I never understood all the gripes about the standard then 1,2 and 3 series take down. I reckon folks are trying to disassemble after imbibing.

  • Cyrus Freeman

    Not sure what the fuss is about…I can take my MKI and MKII apart and reassemble them blindfolded. Yes, there was a bet involved, but tbh, the guns are dead simple, dead reliable, and not that hard if you have opposable thumbs.

    Also, say what you want about Bill, but how many recalls were there in his day?

    Yeah.

    Lots of Rugers in my house, old and new, and there always will be.

  • But the Mk. I was designed at the Sturm, Ruger & Co. facility in Southport, Connecticut…

  • mazkact

    Yes Ole Bill was a Fudd but he was also a mechanical genius .

  • Ro

    early in life had a choice between a Ruger and a High Standard……never looked back, even though the HS doesn’t have any rifling left, still a better pistol than the Ruger ever was…..we miss you High Standard….

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    And right after that, the Devil called Bill home to Hell, where he belongs.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    I had a Mark 1. I’m the exception to the rule of their being reliable, good firearms. That gun would not feed. Period. I tried a half a dozen magazines and bullets and sent it back to them twice. I had that gun through the latter eighties and early nineties and even after I worked on the ramp and had a real gunsmith work on the ramp it was still a piece of crap.

  • scaatylobo

    I have owned a Ruger MK2 for many,MANY decades.
    AND soundly cursed the putz that designed it ,whenever I went to clean it.
    Anyone that owns one fully grasps that reason.
    And then S&W comes out with a MUCH better version that came apart with a button = THEN and only then did Ruger do the same.
    Shame on them for not addressing that REAL issue many decades sooner.
    And Bill Rugers seemingly anti gun B.S. is too annoying to address.

  • Richard Hilton

    Now that part about ” Never fail… Never jam… Never quit on you.” is really funny. The MKIII I have is a joke whatever you do don’t try to feed Remington Golden Bullet from the bucket thru it. I have never seen a gun jam so much in the 50 years I have been shooting. And don’t try to use it in a timed event if you try to hurry putting the magazine in it will get stuck every time then you have to fool around with the magazine to get it unstuck and carefully push it in or it gets stuck again. And the great Ruger customer service told me don’t worry it just needs to wear in. Of course it gets stuck on the new design magazine release but no worries as long as they don’t have to admit it is there problem then it’s not a problem. So I went back to a 22 pistol that actually does work reliably I use my Browning Buckmark it really does do what it is supposed to feeds anything I out in it and has never failed me so the Heck with Ruger.

  • René Marquardt

    If you want to know HOW the Ruger Standard came to be, look at a Baby Nambu.

  • Majestic Engineering sells the solution to the problem. If I ever buy another Ruger 22 pistol, I will absolutely fit it with the Majestic Engineering replacement for the pin that holds the bolt in the receiver. It is a two piece unit that you unscrew the top with an Allen wrench and the bolt just slides right out. I was so frustrated with the 22/45 that I had that I traded it in for another firearm as soon as I managed to get the damn thing back together. I liked the gun, but the bovine excrement hoops you have to jump through to disassemble it and then reassemble it weren’t worth it.

  • allannon

    Most HP .22 is round, basically a hemisphere with a hole in it. Some (Remington Yellowjacket comes to mind) is more conical.

    The latter type seems to feed fine.