Saturday, October 23, 2021

Guns: Ruger Mark IV Target review - The easiest button to button


Ruger's "Standard" series of Nambu-inspired .22 caliber pistols have been around since 1949.  Bill Ruger famously started with 100 orders for the pistol, and it's since become one of the most popular .22 handguns in the world.  

I liked the gun, but the Mark III and all prior models required an elaborate process to disassemble the frame.  The procedure was easy to screw up and made cleaning and maintenance a tedious chore. Well, it took over 60 years and some 21st-century engineering, but the latest model, the Mark IV, has been redesigned so that the gun comes apart with the push of a literal button:

Fit and Features

Apart from the simplified takedown and the new modular nature of the upper half of the MKIV (which, don't get me wrong, are huge selling points), the Mark IV doesn't fix what ain't broke. The pistol still has the same pleasing Luger-esque grip angle and styling, holds 10 rounds in a single-column magazine, and works reasonably well (but not perfectly) with most bulk pack .22 ammo. 

I tested the all-stainless steel "Target" model. The 5-1/2" bull barrel made the gun relatively heavy but also fairly accurate.  The trigger and sights were fine enough for everyday range use, but a serious target shooter is probably going to want to upgrade with something like a Volquartsen. This is one of the most popular, if not the most popular .22 handgun on the market, so there's a ton of aftermarket support.

Range Report

I haven't had much access to .22 target ammo during the pandemic, but the Mark IV was reasonably precise even with standard range fodder.

20 rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at 25 yards:

A tight 10 round group of CCI Stingers at 15 yards:

10 CCI Stingers at 25 yards:

Winchester bulk pack at 15 yards:


The Ruger MKIV is an almost totally successful redesign of an all-time classic. This would be a great gun for a novice shooter, except for the price - well over $500 in today's market. That's a big chunk of change for a beginner, so if you're just starting out in shooting or know someone who is, you might want to look at one of the less-expensive polymer-framed options out there. If you have the coin though, this is a pretty easy recommendation.


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Pigpen51 said...

I bought a Mark IV 22/45 brand new 2 years ago. Price was 278$. No doubt that gun is now worth more used than it was brand new. It is just unreal how the price of guns and ammo have gone crazy, with the crazy leftists in power.
I have enough ammo for myself, but I did sell my brother 2 boxes of FMJ 9mm 115 grain bullets about 8 months ago, for 10$ each, exactly what I paid for them. I didn't want to sell more, to keep myself from getting too low, but I would not let him pay more than I did, either.
I have noticed that my Mark IV is also ammo sensitive, as far as accuracy, but at 15 yards or less, they are mostly the same.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

Thanks for the comment Pigpen51 - yes, everything is 2 or 3 times more expensive now than it was even a couple of years ago. Hope we get back to normal soon.


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