Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ruger MKII - After All These Years - Still A Pain In The Arse

I've had a Ruger MKII for many years now. Not sure how long, I'd guess since the mid eighties; no not the 1880s but sometimes it seems like it's been that long. It's a really fun gun to shoot. My version is a MKII with 5 1/2 inch blued steel target barrel, alloy frame and adjustable sights. I've had a lot of fun with it and my son Brendan has gotten to shoot it a few times in free states outside of the communist republiKa of NY. The thing is, as many of you know, the Ruger MKII can be a pain in the arse to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning and maintenance.

Now, I have been taking care of mine for many years but I probably only take it apart for cleaning about 4 to 6 times per year. You would think that in the past (I'm getting up to find the receipt to see when I bought it) 30 years (yes I found the receipt) I would have gotten pretty adept at taking it down and reassembling it. But no, I have not been able to burn the takedown steps into my little gray cells in all that time and often need help remembering the required steps. The takedown is really pretty easy, just remembering the steps required is not. Anyway, a quick look in the manual or a quick look at my online Ruger MKII disassembly video and I can get it done in a Jiffy. If I don't have access to them, I can usually figure it out, just takes a bit longer. of course, if mine was a new Ruger MKII, it would be a pain in the arse regardless of having the manual or not because the housing latch would be nearly impossible to operate. Mine though is well broken in as far as that goes and the latch comes out pretty easily.

Reassembly is another story. The reassembly steps are pretty easy to remember because it pretty much goes in reverse with just a couple of things that you need to remember as to parts placement to get it to go back together right. Still, even though I did both a disassembly video and a reassembly video on YouTube and I usually sit down to watch my own very informative step by step reassembly video when doing it, I can still have problems getting it back together. I just cleaned the darned thing and it took me at least 10 to 12 attempts to seat the bolt stop pin correctly so it did not pop right back out as soon as I started to seat the main spring housing. I paid particular attention to making sure the hammer and hammer strut were in the proper position each time - well at least each time but one. When I finally got the bolt stop to stay put, when I swung the main spring housing into the backstrap, the gun looked assembled correctly. Nope, not a chance - a quick test showed that it would not function because I did not pay attention to the hammer strut that one time and it was seated in the wrong position. So, I took it apart again, slapped it back together figuring it would not take yet once again and holy horse doody everything fell into place perfectly, truly easier than pie. This happens way too often; not everything just falling and snapping into place but the doing it over and over and over again before I get it right. That holds even when I follow my own advice in the Ruger MKII reassembly video that I made and that other folks have said was the trick to help them getting it done (even though it is very detailed and overly long at almost 13 minutes).

I am not the only one who thinks that Ruger MKI and MKII pistols are a pain in the posterior. (I cannot speak to the MKIII, never even held one let alone took one down or put one back together.) There are plenty of us in the world who all think likewise. Yet, we keep them and love them because they are fun to shoot and at least used to be fairly inexpensive. (I have no idea what they go for today but I got mine for about $180.) Maybe too, we love them because they are a bit of a challenge to we who love such a thing or whom some consider to be we the easily challenged ;>). Anyway, I still have mine and its been one heck of a long love hate relationship. Wow, I just realized how ancient I must sound, I have owned this gun for over 30 years and it's not the one that I have owned for the longest either. Jeesh - it probably should be about time for my daughter or son to think of making some grandkids so I am still alive and kicking when they are old enough to learn to shoot - don't ya think! I'll have to start dropping hints, at least to my daughter who is married. Maybe I should hold off with my son since he isn't married yet.

As for gun cleaning, I'm still not done. A few more pistols to go for tomorrow. Then that will be it except for the one long gun I forgot about - my Remington 870; it's around here someplace.

All the best,
Glenn B

More Gun Cleaning Today,...

...isn't it ever over! I've been cleaning my pistols, this evening, in anticipation of the Seventh Annual Northeast Bloggershoot this coming weekend. Been taking my time at it and so far, I have cleaned only four of them so I still have several handfuls to go.

Exactly as I just left it to do this blog-post. Before anyone asks,
yes that is a bottle of vodka, right next to the water and no I am not imbibing
while cleaning guns. I know a lot better than that. I do have it to look forward to
once I am done with all of my gun cleaning chores. Later for a vodka/fruit smoothie!
I am happy I decided to clean them now and did not wait even one day longer. One had some very light rust a forming (or maybe it was dirty oil) but it wiped right off with a solvent soaked cloth. Another, a Beretta 92FS, was dirty as all hell because I shot it a lot recently and was lazy and did not clean it right after shooting. I rediscovered a hard to see spot, on the inside of the frame, that had three grooves that were filled with caked carbon fouling and I do mean filled. I must have forgotten to get those grooves last couple to few times I cleaned that gun. That fouling would probably
explain a few failures to cycle properly last time I shot it. Man oh man was it dirty in general but especially in those spots. The two other guns were pretty much spotlessly clean but I still gave them the once over for good maintenance.

I almost cannot believe it is only 6 days and a wake-up before we leave to head up to the sooperseKrit location for the Seventh Annual Northeast Bloggershoot, then one more day until the actual shoot. I am looking forward to it and so is my son, as I think is his girlfriend. I am looking forward to seeing both of them shoot more than me shooting although I am sure to have lots of fun blasting away at whatever targets we set up.

A couple to a few full auto guns are promised to be there and I have ammo for at least two of them. That should be some fun shooting. I am bringing along a decent supply of binary bang stuff that we will mix once there for some really fun targets. Not too much in one container though, the folks sharing their range with us have neighbors. Then again, I guess our bangs can be at least as loud as the cannon blasts that start and end the shooty goodness of the day.

Enough keyboard jabbering, I've got to get back to pistol cleaning. I have those on the table and more to go.

All the best,