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  #1  
Old 01-12-2017, 05:09 AM
Silver78
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Mark IV vs. Mark III vs. Mark II



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When the Mark III was released I remember that a lot of Mark II owners still considered the Mark II to be a better design overall because some of the safety features that Ruger added to the Mark III were considered undesirable.

Now we have the Mark IV with it's easy disassembly design. A clear advantage. So what's the verdict? Is the Mark IV better than all prior versions?

Edited to add:
As someone who has owned more than a few guns over the years, I am a former Mark II owner. The Mark III never gave me any reason to consider it, but the Mark IV looks like a possible buy. Just want to get some input from the hive before putting up the dollars.

Last edited by Silver78; 01-12-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2017, 05:38 AM
fourbore
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I will bite. I have a MkI and III, only know the II by reputation and handled a couple of IV. So, for what it is worth:

Mk IV is first. Excellent takedown trumps any other feature. I examined one this week with the worse trigger ever! The trigger and mag disco are an easy Volquarson $100 fix then you have a perfect mark pistol with no loaded chamber indicator and the mag disco fixed with a trigger kit.

Mk II, is 2nd with no mag disconnect and improved controls over the MkI, and no chamber indicator. I dont have one yet. I trust the RFC chit chat. I understand some were drilled and tapped.

Mk I, 3rd with nice trigger, no chamber indicator and no disconnect. I dont mind the controls, but MkII is better. I have a last year target model, bone stock.

Mk III, 4th, with awful loaded chamber indicator makes this the worse. Also has a mag disconnect. The trigger on my slab side, seems better than the current IV hunter. Dont know if this is typical or a random variable. You can fix a trigger, the LCI can be removed, but it is a big negative. My MkIII is stock. And take down is miserable on all except the IV. I forgot to add, the MkIII is drilled and tapped for a base, this might bump the gun up one level if that feature is needed.

Last edited by fourbore; 01-12-2017 at 09:25 AM. Reason: scope mounting
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2017, 07:57 AM
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It's probably a little early to be making this determination, need a little time for the MKIV to get in the hands of a lot of shooters and get a track record on them. The ease of takedown on the MKIV is obviously an advantage, and it also utilizes a completely different grip frame assembly made of either aluminum alloy or solid stainless steel versus the stamped steel grip frames on earlier models. The MKIV will probably need the aid of some aftermarket components to get the optimum trigger pull set just like the earlier models, but, can a better pull be attained with the MKIV than the older models, or not? I'm afraid we just need a little more time.

Last edited by wproct; 01-12-2017 at 08:45 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2017, 08:04 AM
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I had a MkII 22/45 in stainless with a 5.5 bull barrel and now have a MkIV Stainless Target.

The MkII had no mag disconnect and no loaded chamber indicator but the trigger pull was pretty creepy and draggy if not too hard at 3.5 pounds (after a lot of rounds). I never upgraded the action. It had the legendary difficult disassembly and reassembly and, finally, being left handed, the safety was pretty much inaccessible and the action could not be "slingshotted". Mine was one of the last ones made and was factory drilled and tapped and came with a scope rail so mounting a red dot was easy.

I never owned, or saw any benefit in the MkIII, so I have no experience with them.

The MkIV was so much better that I bought one immediately. The simplicity of field stripping and reassembly, the ambi safety and the ability to slignshot the action were too attractive to pass up. The factory trigger pull was as bad or worse as my MkII and the mag disconnect was a nuisance but not nearly as obtrusive as in the MkIII. It did not include a scope rail but I transferred the one from my MkII and there a lot of suppliers for new ones. As mentioned above, a $100 Volquartsen Accurizing Kit transformed the trigger pull and got rid of the mag disconnect.

My vote: The MkIV by a landslide.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2017, 10:39 AM
RCrosby257
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Best Mark?

I've lost count of the MK I and II I've had going back to late '60's. Currently have a Mk. III, Talo Slab Side and a Mk. IV blue Target. Sure, I don't like the LCI, button controls and complex take down of the III, but it's so accurate and the trigger pull now so sweet, that I'm reluctant to let the IV take over completely.
I see NO reason why the Mk. IV trigger shouldn't be every bit as successful in upgrade as any of the other Rugers. As for the mag. disconnect, I already got rid of that. Easy enough to do.
If I was starting out fresh, I'd go with the Mk. IV without hesitation.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2017, 06:57 PM
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For me there's no contest. The Mark IV "is the gun", takedown trumps everything, the one piece grip frame is another strong point. Ruger will sell more MkIV's than any other.

I've purchased the Hunter and I'll be getting the target and maybe the 22/45
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2017, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjc View Post
For me there's no contest. The Mark IV "is the gun", takedown trumps everything, the one piece grip frame is another strong point. Ruger will sell more MkIV's than any other.

I've purchased the Hunter and I'll be getting the target and maybe the 22/45
This
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2017, 09:45 AM
SGW Gunsmith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wproct View Post
It's probably a little early to be making this determination, need a little time for the MKIV to get in the hands of a lot of shooters and get a track record on them. The ease of takedown on the MKIV is obviously an advantage, and it also utilizes a completely different grip frame assembly made of either aluminum alloy or solid stainless steel versus the stamped steel grip frames on earlier models. The MKIV will probably need the aid of some aftermarket components to get the optimum trigger pull set just like the earlier models, but, can a better pull be attained with the MKIV than the older models, or not? I'm afraid we just need a little more time.
BULLSEYE! I've had just about every version of the Ruger Mark I, II, III & 22/45 cross my bench over the years, so I've collected a ream of notes concerning just about every issue that these pistols could possibly present. As time allows, I'm trying to get all that info computerized.

wproct, is correct. There are just a few versions of the Ruger Mark IV that are now in some "experienced" owner hands, and we'll soon see how these pistols hold up to some of the tortious activity the less experienced owners will put these pistols through. How do I know that? I've seen some Ruger Mark pistols put through things that make my knees weak over the 45+ years that I've been involved with 'em, so I expect the Mark IV will also.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:42 AM
Bill T
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I have 2 Ruger Mark II's, a Mark III, and a new Mark IV that I purchased a few weeks ago. If I were buying a Ruger Mark pistol today knowing what I now know, and didn't have one, the Mark IV is the only one I would consider. There is simply no reason to struggle with the horrible disassembly and reassembly procedure with the other models.
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2017, 07:24 AM
Silver78
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Since a couple of the experts pointed out that we needed more time I let this post age a bit.

Has enough time passed to make a determination on the Mark IV yet? Is it a winner or are there problems that make the Mark II and Mark III more desirable?
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2017, 08:00 AM
Bill T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver78 View Post
Since a couple of the experts pointed out that we needed more time I let this post age a bit.

Has enough time passed to make a determination on the Mark IV yet? Is it a winner or are there problems that make the Mark II and Mark III more desirable?
I'm not hearing of any reoccurring issues that are plaguing the new Mark IV. Mine runs great, and disassembles and goes back together just like they show. Not one complaint. I'm not saying a bad one can't get out once and a while. That can happen with any weapon from any manufacturer. But I would certainly feel safe buying another. Which is exactly what I intend to do.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver78 View Post
Since a couple of the experts pointed out that we needed more time I let this post age a bit.

Has enough time passed to make a determination on the Mark IV yet? Is it a winner or are there problems that make the Mark II and Mark III more desirable?
Except for the takedown/reassembly improvement, most of the MkIV's internals are the same as earlier versions so I don't see why they shouldn't be just as durable as the MkII and III guns. Even the magazines are the same as the MkIII.

My MkIV, is now 6 months and a couple of thousand rounds old and has been great.

BTW, I've noticed that many posters here and even Ruger's ads emphasize the ease of takedown of the MkIV. Actually the takedown/field stripping of the earlier guns wasn't all that difficult and nearly any owner could do it. The real problem solved by the MkIV was putting the d#$&%d thing back together!
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2017, 08:31 AM
Bill T
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I have heard some complain that the fitting of the upper to the lower assembly was not as tight as they would like. But that does not effect operation or accuracy. It's no different than the AR-15. Many military issue M-16's actually rattle because of the loose fit between the upper and the lower, because of so much disassembly and cleaning the typical military weapon goes through. However these guns can still deliver acceptable accuracy.
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2017, 09:10 AM
jon p
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Talking in 55 years

I have owned MANY ruger MK I, MKII and MKIII pistols. they came and went and because of the takedown trouble I have only owned 1 gold lite MKIII recently. when the MKIV target stainless was introduced I had to have one, and gold lite went to the gun shop for a trade. I was lucky enough to find one, $500. ruger has taken all the un liked features of these pistols and rolled the fix into the MKIV! brilliant ,RUGER R/D! great job.
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2017, 10:17 AM
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Sorry... No Sale

If I were to give letter grades to the mark pistols based on NIB configuration and design quality, they would receive:

RST/MK1 = C
MK2 = B+
MK3 = D
MK4 = B

Pushbutton takedown doesn't matter to me at all. I take down my MK2/MK3 models in a few seconds, as is.

The MK4 still has the mag disconnect (which I hate), and lacks the MK3 safety lock (which I love).

The MK4 22/45 frame is still polymer. And the blued models have been downgraded from steel to aluminum. I like blued steel frames - not aluminum.

The finish of the MK4 is not as durable and easy to repair as it was on previous models.

Can the MK4 be upgraded/modified to be (somewhat) better? Sure.

But, for my money, I'd still buy the MK2. Still the best out of the box model IMO.
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