Maintaining the target quality Ruger Mark II, with thoughts on the Standard, Mark III and and 22/45 models.
by Wendell Dwight Deaner
When shopping for a .22 caliber auto-loading handgun there are many to choose from but none of the current offerings can compare to the Ruger Mark I, II and III pistols. I’d love to have a pristine Colt Woodsman or one of the old High Standard autos but they are history. Browning makes a good one in the Buck Mark. Why they call it that since we are not hunting deer with it is a mystery. There are many 1911 clones chambered for the venerable .22 long rifle and there are shorties, including Ruger’s own LCR, however, reasonably priced full-sized auto guns with barrels at least five inches long are rare in today’s market.
What happened to the art of bull’s eye pistol shooting with only one hand? I guess it’s been relegated to old farts like me. The official explanation is it’s dead because it doesn’t play well on TV. [Editor’s note: While participation has waned, conventional rifle and pistol competition is still highly contested and supported by the service teams. Camp Perry continues to host the largest national marksmanship championships in the United States.] Maybe that’s why we enjoy it. I like to get away from the squawk box and computer now and again. A competitive rig for this discipline can be a high dollar proposition but a Ruger Target model will get you in game.
The specimen I have in the shop is stamped “Ruger .22 cal Long Rifle Mark II Target” on the left side of the gun’s tubular bolt housing and “Government Target Model” on the right. It sports a nice pair of wooden target grips with a thumb rest on the left side for right handed shooters. The grip appears to be Ruger factory, since it contains an escutcheon on the right side with the Ruger logo in black and silver. It is a hefty gun for a .22, tipping the scales at two pounds, fourteen ounces unloaded and sans magazine. A substantial 5-½” barrel measuring 0.973” thick with no taper is installed. The adjustable, square notch rear sight is dovetailed in. The front sight is also square and hooked at the rear to aid against the glare of sunlight. In use it forms a Patridge sight picture. It is attached to the barrel with a single screw.
Read more in our October 2014 issue. Back issues are available.