Sunday, September 2, 2007


Mr. Ruger made some fine guns - affordable, dependable, and built like tanks. I own a couple and like them. One of the favorites is a MK II - since it's a twenty-two it sees a lot of use. Actually T.W. shoots it more than me - lordy but that girl can burn through the rimfire, if she ever takes up benchrest shooting it'll be second mortgage time.

Anyway, it was out at the range Thursday (did I mention T.W. likes to shoot?) and I didn't get to cleaning it until Saturday morning in preparation for T.W. to take co-worker Holly on her first time shooting.

As I was saying, Mr. Ruger made some fine guns, but there is one slight problem with his MK II auto pistol... cleaning it, more precisely, re-assembling it after cleaning is difficult. Wait, not difficult: a devilish, screaming with frustration, swearing, and calling the god's own fire down of the accursed thing - pain in the butt.

Hold the pistol upside down, insert the post of the mainspring housing through the top of the frame, make sure the hammer spur is dangling free and aligned with the little-dimple-that-you-can't-see, then slowly rock the bottom of the mainspring housing into the grip frame, and oops... the little little post from step one has levered its way out so start over. Now pull the trigger (but don't pull it), and hooray, the bottom of the mainspring housing slips into place like it was made to fit (I suspect it was), flip up the little lever to lock everything into place, and pull back the bolt to spread out the oil on the receiver rails... I said, pull back the bolt... why doesn't the ##$%$### bolt go back? Why is the @$@%#@!@*%$$#& gun locked up tighter than a politician's ethics? Okay, jimmy open the little lever and work it back and and forth while gently cursing to remove the mainspring housing, repeat steps one through twenty-seven until some combination of the above results - god knows how because no one else does - in the pistol going back together (n.b. the use of the passive voice is intentional here, because the correct re-assembly of a Ruger MK II is the result of forces beyond your control) and working.

Saturday I took it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together correctly the first time. I have no idea how. I live in fear that this is a sign of the end times.


Tam said...

My tip for most .22 autoloaders (which are not designed for easy field stripping):

Clean as best as possible using gun scrubber, toothbrush, and bore snake after each shooting session without tearing the gun down.

Once a year, take it to your friendly local gunsmith and spring the $30 or $40 for a detail strip & clean.

Unless you just like hair-pulling frustration, of course... ;)

Mike said...

Tam, thanks for stopping by. I read View From The Porch every day, its one of my favorite destinations. Re: the MKII, I think I may have it licked (yuck). Time will tell. Anyway, the nice thing about hair-pulling frustration is it feel so good when it stops.

Pawpaw said...

It's simple. Don't clean the damned thing. Ever. It'll shoot for years before it ever becomes filthy. Then take it to your friendly gunsmith for the $40.00 treatment.

Some guns aren't meant to be cleaned, and I consider the Mark II to be one of those guns.

Mike said...

Hi, and thanks for the visit. I wish I could leave it uncleaned - there's plenty of undone chores around here that I don't feel guilty about, but for some reason a dirty gun weighs on the mind and I find myself waking up at night fearing the thing is rusting away as I sleep. I think I've got the trick to it though.

Robb Allen said...


Here's my story. Bought a MkIII. Went from display case to range. Managed to slice my finger open on the bolt before firing a single shot.

I'm uber anal about cleaning weapons. Took it home, took it apart.

The next day it was at the gunsmith's getting the wobblin' rod straightened out. Not even 24 hours mine and I broke it.

Now, I can strip and clean it and get it back together in about 5 minutes. I need to make a YouTube video to try to help people.

Of course, it's no Glock, but once you get the hang of it it's not that bad.