Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ruger MKIII 22/45 Range Report

Okay, okay, I'll stop talking about the Ruger 22/45 after this post... at least for awhile.  In my last post, I stated I would have a range report for this pistol as soon as I got done shooting it.  My wife and I were able to get out with some friends, amazingly, without our kids!  My buddy Darren and my good friend Amy needed to break in a couple of pistols they just purchased, and Lindsay and I needed to break in this Ruger 22/45.  The theme this evening was zombies because the range was having a run on these cool splatter zombie targets.  Since the 22 lr round leaves a rather small hole, the splatter around each hit was nice.

For the first 200 rounds, I wanted to run some high quality ammo through the pistol.  This way, if there were malfunctions, I would not be so quick to blame the ammo.  I ran CCI Minimag ammo, which is nice and powerful when compared to the Federal bulk ammo I brought out to test.  Apparently, my wife made the command decision to commandeer one of the 2 magazines I had and used it for herself.  Okay, fine.  Both of us took turns sending 10 shots apiece down range.  My wife knows to report anything out of the ordinary, and I watched much of the shooting to see if there were any issues.  It's nice to actually see the gun in action, especially when it is your wife sending head shot after head shot into zombie skulls!

Accuracy is fantastic.  We were easily putting down 2-3" groups at 7 yards right out of the box, with a stock trigger.  The trigger feels smooth.  The take-up didn't feel gritty at all, and the let off was crisp with no perceivable overtravel during firing.  Now, I know there is some overtravel because I could gauge this on the bench.  As the CCI Minimag ammo started to get low, I could see my groups shrinking ever smaller as I started to get accustomed to the sights, the feel of the trigger and learned the hold.  At 7 yards, this gun shoots dead nutz center.  All tiny groups were shot right where we wanted to put them with very few errant shots.

When we switched over to Federal bulk ammo, our groups opened up a bit, but that's to be expected when you are shooting crap ammo.  The bulk ammo isn't as consistent as the CCI ammunition, nor is it as clean.  In fact, a lot of the ammo in the batch we shot seemed to be a bit overpowered.  This usually isn't the case.  Normally, we get under powered cartridges.  Some of this ammo was hot enough to blow the cylinder door open on Lindsay's New Heritage revolver.  All in all, however, bulk ammo shot well enough for my balance of speed and accuracy style of shooting.  Unfortunately, I couldn't put that to the test because the indoor range we went to does not allow rapid fire of more than 3 rounds at a time.  That sucks, but what can you do?

Out of nearly 400 rounds sent down range, we experienced only one failure, and happened to get in recorded with my video camera.  It wasn't the fault of the gun, but rather the cheap bulk Federal ammo we were running in it at the time.  The gun itself handled every other round without a hitch, so I can only assume bad ammo was to blame.  I pulled the round out, inspected it, saw a primer hit, and loaded it back in and shot it.  I've had primers do that before, so it's nothing new.

The sights on this gun are adequate for casual shooting, but Lindsay and I were discussing how much better it would be with a set of Hi-Viz or Williams Fire sights instead.  The solid black front sight and blade seem to be okay for me.  I'd definitely prefer something like 3-dots or the fiber optic type, like what came on Lindsay's Ruger 10/22.

At this point, I'm satisfied.  I was almost giddy at the range because I was enjoying this pistol so much.  We let our friends shoot it a few times as well, and they were impressed.  They might just buy one too.  Hell, I might just buy a second one just because it's such a fun gun.

10 shot grouping with federal bulk ammo at 7 yards.  Not bad for a stock trigger and sights.  
The slingshot mod seemed to work most of the time, however, it felt more natural to reach up and press the bolt catch lever down, like my Beretta.  I also noticed Lindsay favored that method to, as she could just reach up with her reaction hand and manipulate it with her thumb.  Easy money.

I never tested the magazine disconnect removal modification, but if that didn't work, the gun would never run anyway.  On the other side of the coin, magazine removal was a breeze since the MD is long gone.  Magazine release was smooth as butter.  Getting the magazines loaded was easy as pie.  Both mags handled without a hitch.  I'll need to buy a lot more of those guys to keep this weapon fed.

One last note before the video: We shot 200 rounds of CCI minimag ammo at a price of $8 per 100.  That's $16.  We also shot about 200 rounds from a 525 value pack of Federal ammo.  That's about $7 worth of ammo.  For this trip, minus the range fee, ammo costs were only +-$23.  That's not bad.  Shooting 400 round of 115gr 9mm practice ammo would have cost us $112 or more.  In order to save more money, we plan on getting a family membership at the range because it is $250 up front, and no range fee or surcharge when you come in to shoot.  We calculated that the membership would pay for itself in 7 range visits if we both went.  When Lindsay gets her .22 pistol, we plan on getting out at least a couple times a month together to go shooting, so a membership would pay itself off in about 3 months.


-James


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