View Full Version : Help Me Decide Please
OK. I have been torturing myself with this for weeks now on what model 22 rimfire pistol to buy. Well it turns out my wonderful state will only allow me a very short list of approved weapons in the first place so I have decided to buy a Ruger Mark III.
My question: Which Ruger model would you suggest and why between the "TARGET" OR "HUNTER" model. I like the 5.5" bull barrel styles.
This gun will strictly be used for target shooting to help improve my skills and not any kind of CCW.
Thanks for any help.
Well, browsing through my 2010 Ruger catalog, it looks like the main differences are:
Grips - Target model will have checkered plastic grips, Hunter models have fancy wood grips. You can buy your own grips later; this is an easy upgrade if you can handle a screwdriver.
Front Sight - Target models have a plain black front sight, Hunter models have the HiViz plastic insert that gathers light and seems to glow, showing a bright colored dot on the rear edge of the sight. For hunting in low-light (dawn/dusk) conditions, this MIGHT be useful, but not for formal or informal target shooting. I've seen many of these light-pipe-type sights break if the gun is banged against something; they just aren't as durable as regular sights.
Barrel - Target models have bull barrels (thick, round tube with smooth sides). Hunter models have fluted bull barrels; they take a bull barrel, and cut lengthwise grooves in it. The resulting barrel is nearly as stiff as a bull barrel, but lighter, which is important if you are carrying a gun for long distances when hunting. Not as important for target shooting only. Note: I do not see a 5.5 inch barrel option in this catalog for the Hunter models; only 4.5" and 6.88" (6 and 7/8ths inches). If you really want a 5.5" barrel, then the decision has been made for you; only the Target models are available in that length.
Price - Hunter models look to be about $100 to $200 more than the Target models. There is a Competition model that is more $ than the target, but still cheaper than the Hunter; it has a slab-sided bull barrel and the fancy wood grips.
Personally, unless you see one or more of the Hunter options that you simply can't live without, then the Target models seem to be a much better value, and will do everything a person needs in the area of improving marksmanship skills.
Hope this was helpful.
Oh this is awesome, what a great response and just what I needed.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write it up.:supergrin:
One more question please; I also see a model 22/45 during my readings and research...is this the same gun as the "target" or "hunter" models?
Kind of confused on that one...
The 22/45 is a variation of the MK-III that uses a plastic/synthetic lower receiver instead of a metal one. The original Ruger Standard Model .22 pistol (very similar to the current Mark-III) had a short tapered barrel, and was styled to look kinda-sorta like a German Luger pistol. To get this look, Ruger had to use a relatively sharp angle on the grip. Some folks don't like the "feel" of a sharp grip angle, preferring a more gentle angle, and the 22/45 was offered for those folks. It approximately copies the grip size and angle of one of the most popular centerfire pistols ever made, the 1911 Government Model in .45 ACP caliber (sometimes called the Colt .45 auto). Thus, the model name: 22/45, a .22 that feels like a .45 in your hand.
Most of the 22/45 models have the grips molded into the receiver, and they cannot be changed (I think there is now one sub-model of 22/45 that you CAN change the grips on, but it is not in my early 2010 catalog).
The top half of the 22/45 is exactly the same as the various models of the Mark-III, so you can get a 22/45 set up like a Hunter model or a Target model (they call the target-styled 22/45s the "22/45 Bull Barrel" models). If you go to the Ruger website, they have pages for all their various models of MK-IIIs and 22/45s. If you find the one you like, copy down the Ruger catalog and model numbers, and your dealer should be able to order it if they don't have one in stock.
Link to the Ruger MK-III page:
Link to the Ruger 22/45 page:
Click the photo of the basic model you want on either page, and then click the Models tab on the top of the next page, and you'll see a list of sub-models that are available. If you hover your mouse over each line in the model options chart, the photo will change to show you what that model looks like.
I own an older MK-II 22/45, and I like it very much. It is accurate, reliable, and virtually rustproof for outdoor use due to the stainless steel and synthetic materials.
Good luck with your shopping!
I just now noticed your location in your profile, so I suppose I should also include a link to the MA Approved gun list provided by Ruger. It looks like most, if not all, of the MK-IIIs and 22/45s are on the approved list.
Holy ***** what are you a Ruger historian or something???
Those were two incredable write-ups!
Thank you. And YES, my state Sucks when it comes to firearm complience!
Glad I could help.
I just did a LOT of reading about guns, especially Rugers, back when I was a youngster.
I guess some of it stuck. :supergrin:
Join us over in the Rimfire Forum/Club here at Glock Talk if you want to talk .22s.
Lots of Ruger rimfire fans over there, too!
Ya I guess so....Well anyway today I got to find the time to visit three different gun shops in my area and was able to view/hold/talk to the salesman about many different Mark III models and have decide to go with the Mark III Target, 5.5" bull barrel, stainless steel.
I just hope I like it when I get to the range and start shooting it....if I don't I will be back to haunt all of you !!!:rofl:
I have noticed a big difference in price between the Mark III Target and the 22/45...why is that they seem very similar?
I believe the 22/45's synthetic lower receiver is much less expensive to produce, which is the major difference. The 22/45 is also less popular with many folks who want to extensively customize their pistol (now, or later); for instance, changing the feel of the pistol by trying new replacement grips in different sizes and shapes. Some replacement parts will only fit/function in the MK-III guns, not the 22/45s (slide release lever comes immediately to mind).
More popular = higher demand = higher priced, in my experience. If 22/45 guns are slow movers, a shop owner will discount them even more, leading to an even larger price difference with the more popular guns.
OK sounds good. By the way, thanks for all your advice, looks like we are the only two to visit this section...LOL:rofl:
I have 2 Mark IIs in the thin 'pencil' barrel. I like the lighter weight for woods carry. Anyway, just figure out how to dis-assemble the gun properly & you will be O.K.. This guy named 'Iowegan' on Rugerforums.net sells these 'gun guides' on the Ruger Mark series. I bought one recently & it was well worth it. They go well beyond the owners manual. I had already changed an extractor on 2 and cleaned one for a buddy when he fell into a sandy stream while trapping. His Mark II was submerged and had sand inside the action that HAD to come out.
I have a Mark III Target and love it. :)
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