William Batterman Ruger was born on June 21, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York and died on July 6, 2002 in Prescott, Arizona. After WWII Ruger became one of America’s most prolific gun designers and his innovative production processes made Ruger® Firearms one of the country’s most successful firearms manufacturers.
Ruger’s foray into firearms manufacturing began in 1949 with the introduction of a semi-automatic pistol chambered in .22 rimfire. Drawing from the Japanese Nambu pistol of WWII, Ruger produced a sleek pistol reminiscent of the classic German Luger. This new gun was known as the “Stand
ard.” It is often now referred to as the “Mark I,” a reference to the target model introduced in 1950. The “Standard” was produced in various forms until 1981. It was somewhat revolutionary in the fact that it didn’t use a reciprocating slide, instead the bolt was housed in a cylindrical receiver and the bolt was the part that reciprocated during firing. It proved to be a very efficient system and it was and is the basis for all the models of the Ruger .22 pistol.
From 1982 to 2005, an updated model of the “Standard” was marketed as the Mark II. The Mark II has a slide stop and was available in stainless steel. Several barrel option were available including “bull” barrel models in various lengths. One of the more interesting uses of the Mark II was the suppressed model used by U.S. Navy Seals.
The Ruger® Mark III was an evolution from the Mark II. The magazine release was moved from the bottom of the grip to behind the trigger, making the pistol compliant with standard manual of arms for nearly all American and most foreign produced semi-auto pistols. Mark III pistols also had adjustable sights, provisions for scope mounts, magazine disconnect, a keyed internal safety lock, and a new contour for the ejection port. Production of the Mark III models ended just a few months ago in December, 2016.
The Ruger® Mark III is a very good pistol that comes in many models. It is accurate, reliable, and offers good value for the money. There is one bug-a-boo that haunts this handsome gun; cleaning it can be a real chore. Actually, it isn’t the cleaning or the disassembly of the gun that causes problems. It is reassembling the gun that can be a nightmare for owners. Often, after hours of trying to put the gun back together, owners simply give up and take their pistols to a gunsmith. Finally, those days are over.
Ruger® has introduced the Mark IV, its newest iteration of Bill Ruger’s classic .22 pistol. This gun has all the great features of the Mark III, but a redesign makes cleaning and lubing the gun almost unbelievably simple. Just push a button on the back of the frame, rotate the barrel, remove the bolt, and separate the barrel from the frame. All this can be done in seconds and more importantly, after cleaning, the gun can be reassembled in the same amount of time. All these operations are done without tools.
In recent years Ruger® has responded to the wants and needs of American shooters and hunters. The new Mark IV is just another example of the company’s commitment to its customers. And the best thing about the new Mark IV just might be YOU can clean it yourself.
Be safe and good shooting.