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Ruger Mark IV 22/45: Evaluation and Upgrades

Milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, Jack Daniels and Coke — some issues simply appear to be made for one another. We have now an addition to that record: rimfire pistols and suppressors. The previous is a superb instrument for schwacking varmints, reasonably priced plinking on the vary, and educating new shooters the best way to use a pistol; the latter enhances every of these features.

With a suppressed .22LR pistol, you possibly can management the pest inhabitants discreetly with out alerting everybody who lives close to your property, plink safely with out ear safety, and introduce these new shooters to a weapon that’s quiet and fewer intimidating to make use of. If you happen to personal a rimfire pistol, it’s simply the number-one accent we’d suggest.

That stated, there are nonetheless a number of drawbacks to putting in a suppressor in your pistol. At the beginning is the method of shopping for one, which includes filling out an NFA Type 4, paying for a $200 tax stamp, and ready a number of months for the paperwork to clear. Till America is ready to abolish the NFA and its unconstitutional restrictions on listening to safety units, there’s nothing we will do to keep away from this course of. The opposite draw back is the truth that the suppressor will add size to your pistol, making it much less compact, transportable, and discreet — this one is one thing we will alleviate.

Measurement Issues

By chopping a pistol’s barrel to a shorter size, its dimension and steadiness will be largely (if not totally) maintained as soon as a suppressor is added. This has been a comparatively widespread modification for house owners of Ruger’s well-liked Mark IV .22LR pistols, but it surely requires paying a gunsmith roughly $200 to chop and thread the barrel. The entrance sight may even must be relocated in the event you anticipate to make use of the iron sights once more. This everlasting modification voids the pistol’s guarantee, and relying on the size and the standard of the gunsmith you select, may result in unexpected reliability issues.

Another choice is to buy an entire alternative higher and easily swap it onto your Ruger Mark IV decrease. A number of aftermarket corporations provide threaded Mark IV uppers starting from 3.5 inches to 2 inches, and a few embody Picatinny rails or micro red-dot mounts as nicely. Nonetheless, these uppers can value $150 to $400, and the shorter variants might not have the ability to cycle correctly with sure forms of ammo. They’re additionally serialized elements, so that they have to be shipped to a licensed vendor, and also you’ll doubtless need to pay switch charges upon arrival. It’s nonetheless not a perfect resolution.

All this demand for a brief, suppressor-ready Mark IV didn’t go unnoticed by the product growth workforce at Ruger. In late 2022, Ruger representatives confirmed up at RECOIL’s CANCON occasion in Georgia with a pre-production prototype of a Mark IV 22/45 mannequin with a 3-inch threaded barrel, no iron sights, and a Picatinny rail optic mount. We didn’t comprehend it on the time, however this could go on to turn out to be the brand new Silencer Store unique Ruger Mark IV SSH.

Photo of a Ruger Mark IV as viewed from behind.

Above: This Sightmark crimson dot provides huge area of view for daytime capturing, and its night-vision-ready brightness settings work nicely alongside the infrared weapon gentle.

A Higher Host

Ruger and Silencer Store teamed as much as launch the SSH, which stands for Silencer Store Host — it’s a totally warrantied, factory-built platform for mounting your favourite rimfire suppressor. It’s based mostly on Ruger’s present Mark IV 22/45 Tactical, which options adjustable iron sights, Picatinny rail optic and lightweight mounts, a 4.4-inch threaded barrel, and the basic 1911-style 22/45 pistol grip. For the SSH bundle, Ruger eliminated the underbarrel gentle mount and iron sights, and chopped the barrel all the way down to solely 3 inches.

The SSH is accessible in three end decisions: normal blued end, flat darkish earth Cerakote, or olive drab Cerakote. MSRP is $749, however on the time of writing this text, it’s out there straight by way of Silencer Store for $559.

The SSH seen in these pictures was basically an impulse purchase. I went in to an area vendor, The Taking pictures Vary in Queen Creek, Arizona, for a routine transaction and ended up strolling out with an SSH order on the books. Ever since capturing the prototype at CANCON, I had my eye on it, and though they didn’t have the FDE-finished mannequin in inventory, they put in an order for one. A number of days later, I picked up my new pistol.

Photo of the Volquartsen Competition bolt.

Above: The Volquartsen Competitors Bolt consists of three recoil springs: diminished energy with a darkish end (put in on this photograph), normal energy with a silver end, and additional energy with a gold end.

I already owned a JK Armament .22-caliber modular suppressor, so I instantly threaded it onto the Ruger’s brief barrel. For the reason that gun has no iron sights, I additionally put in a Sightmark Mini Shot A-Spec M2 reflex sight and headed to the vary for some preliminary impressions. With normal velocity Federal 36-grain .22LR ammo, it ran flawlessly as anticipated.

My JK Armament suppressor will be configured with as much as 9 baffles, so I experimented and located that 5 felt like the perfect compromise between sound discount and size. This provides roughly 4 inches to the SSH’s 3-inch barrel, leaving it at a really manageable dimension, and whereas it’s not whisper quiet, it’s comfy to shoot with out ear safety.

In normal kind with a suppressor and red-dot sight, the SSH was a enjoyable little pistol, not too completely different from its 22/45 Tactical siblings. It didn’t want the rest … however the large aftermarket help for the Mark IV was too tantalizing to disregard. So, I dove into the realm of upgrades.

Photo of the Ruger Mark IV with a JK Armament modular suppressor.

Above: I paired the 3-inch barrel with a JK Armament modular .22 suppressor. 5 baffles is sufficient to cut back sound considerably, however I can set up the remaining 4 to maintain it even quieter.

Constructing a Area Blaster

The primary order of enterprise was to revive one thing I feel Ruger by no means ought to have deleted: the sunshine mount. The addition of an infrared weapon gentle and night time imaginative and prescient goggles turns this from varmint management weapon right into a straight-up varmint assassination machine. Groundhogs and possums won’t ever see what hit them. Past that, capturing this pistol whereas sporting NVGs is an efficient technique to practice with out blowing cash on costlier calibers. Sadly, a 22/45 Tactical manufacturing facility gentle mount can’t match on this stubby barrel, so I needed to get inventive.

An organization known as Efficiency Providers makes a Mark IV gentle mount that attaches to the barrel with a 1-inch ring clamp, but it surely’s $60 plus delivery, and I figured I might make one thing equally efficient utilizing an inexpensive Picatinny rail scope ring. After spending $13 on a Monstrum Tactical 1-inch Picatinny ring mount on Amazon, I unscrewed the rail section, filed down the alignment tab, and drilled a brand new gap to safe it in a cantilevered place on the ring (reasonably than centered, because it initially was).

Then, it was so simple as tightening the ring onto the barrel and sliding on a SureFire X300V white/IR gentle. I’d say this setup is even secure sufficient to maintain a laser zeroed as soon as all of the {hardware} has been threadlocked and torqued.

Subsequent, I made a decision to swap the rubberized Ruger-branded grip panels to one thing with extra texture and sturdiness. These Hogue Excessive Collection grips are created from robust G10 materials — the identical stuff as my favourite pocketknife deal with scales — they usually’re machined with an aggressive Piranha sample that feels nice within the hand. Hogue provides a number of completely different colours, however I went with plain black to match the remainder of the gun’s coloration scheme.

Photo of the left side of the Ruger Mark IV.

For some mechanical upgrades, I turned to one of many greatest gamers within the rimfire aftermarket world: Volquartsen. Their Mark IV Accurizing Package replaces most of Ruger’s unique set off elements with extra exact, CNC-machined, and wire-EDM-cut elements. The equipment features a new disconnector, goal hammer, hammer bushing, goal set off, and set off plunger and spring.

The result’s a set off that snaps like a glass rod at 2.25 kilos, and it additionally has two tiny screws to regulate pre-travel and over-travel (see sidebar for particulars). Putting in this Accurizing Package was positively extra advanced than your common Glock or AR set off set up, however with a set of needle-nose pliers, a small metallic decide, and a little bit endurance, it’s very doable for a mechanically inclined proprietor.

The unique bolt was changed with an entire Volquartsen Competitors Bolt, which encompasses a super-slick black DLC coating and an prolonged charging knob for racking the bolt extra simply. This CNC-machined bolt is constructed with a handful of Volquartsen upgrades, equivalent to their Precise Edge Extractor, SureStrike Firing Pin, and Recoil Rod and Spring Package with three spring choices. The usual silver recoil spring mimics the manufacturing facility spring fee, the gold spring is meant to be used with high-velocity ammo, and the dark-colored spring permits the usage of most subsonic ammo (it additionally reduces recoil barely with supersonic ammo, although .22LR has nearly zero recoil within the first place).

Lastly, I picked up Volquartsen’s Prolonged Journal Launch and Base Pad Package. It consists of two machined, black anodized aluminum baseplates for the manufacturing facility Ruger mags. These don’t enhance journal capability, however they do add weight and assist the skinny metallic mags drop free for quicker reloads. Subjectively, they give the impression of being cool too. The equipment additionally comes with a knurled magazine launch button; along with being simpler to press, it causes the magazine to take a seat increased within the pistol’s body. The corporate says this improves feeding by stopping the bolt from sliding over rounds within the journal.

Photo of magazines and the magazine well of the Ruger Mark IV.

Above: These machined aluminum Volquartsen baseplates assist the magazines drop freely for quicker reloads and add a contoured edge to maintain the shooter’s palms in place on the grip.

Set off Adjustment

Unless you do lots of competitors or precision rifle capturing, you is probably not conversant in the best way to regulate a set off just like the Goal Set off included in Volquartsen’s Accurizing Package. This set off provides changes for each pretravel and overtravel.

Pretravel is any motion from the resting place as much as the purpose the place the shot breaks. This consists of take-up or slack (set off motion earlier than assembly the resistance of the sear) and creep (set off motion after assembly the sear as much as the break level the place the hammer drops). Adjusting pretravel makes it quicker and simpler to foretell precisely how a lot the set off have to be pressed till the gun will go “bang.”

Overtravel is motion of the set off after the shot breaks till it bodily can’t transfer any additional again. Decreasing over-travel makes it quicker and simpler to return the set off to its reset level, permitting the gun to be fired once more.

Photo of right side of the Ruger Mark IV.

Above: Prolonged Journal Launch and Base Pad Package. It consists of two machined, black anodized aluminum baseplates for the manufacturing facility Ruger mags. These don’t enhance journal capability, however they do add weight and assist the skinny metallic mags drop free for quicker reloads. Subjectively, they give the impression of being cool too. The equipment additionally comes with a knurled magazine launch

Right here’s a abstract of the best way to regulate pretravel and overtravel with a Volquartsen Mark IV set off:

  1. Make sure the gun is unloaded and protected. Take away all reside ammo from the world.
    Tip: If you happen to’re not comfy dry-firing your pistol a number of instances on an empty chamber, insert a .22LR snap cap. Ruger says on web page 14 of the handbook that “the Ruger Mark IV will be dry fired however a snap cap is strongly beneficial for something greater than occasional dry fireplace observe.”
  2. Use the included 1/16-inch Allen wrench to show the pretravel screw (positioned on the prime of the set off) clockwise in small increments till the set off is unable to reset, dry-firing and biking the bolt repeatedly with every adjustment.
  3. As soon as the set off is “useless” and won’t reset, flip the pretravel screw counterclockwise slowly till the set off resets. You’ll hear a faint click on.
  4. Use the identical Allen wrench to show the overtravel screw (positioned on the face of the set off) clockwise in small increments till the set off is unable to interrupt, dry-firing and biking the bolt repeatedly with every adjustment.
  5. Flip the overtravel screw counterclockwise till the gun is ready to dry fireplace usually.
  6. Cycle the bolt and dry fireplace once more. Maintain the set off down and cycle the bolt, then slowly launch the set off till you hear and really feel it reset. Repeat a number of instances to make sure it’s working usually.
    Tip: For improved reliability, don’t attempt to eradicate 100% of pretravel and overtravel — you could must again out every screw one other quarter
    or half flip previous the “supreme” place.

If the Holster Doesn’t Match …

I’m not the kind of man who actually enjoys bench capturing pistols — in different phrases, choosing the gun up off a tabletop and firing gradual teams at a static goal. I’d a lot reasonably be outside, working dynamic drills and capturing targets on the transfer. And for sensible functions equivalent to varmint looking, it’s a good suggestion to have a holster in case you want each palms for a activity. Sadly, discovering a sturdy Kydex holster for a suppressed pistol is difficult sufficient, and including a Frankenstein DIY gentle mount makes it much more tough.

After purchasing round, I discovered a holster that appeared shut sufficient to what I wanted — the Ragnarok SD from T-Rex Arms. It’s designed to be a common resolution for many suppressed pistols, and it indexes off the SureFire X300 gentle. Which means so long as the sunshine locks into place securely, I don’t have to fret in regards to the holster becoming the gun completely. However after receiving the holster, I observed that the higher edges of the holster’s Kydex interfered with the ring mount across the barrel.

I used a Sharpie marker to hint the areas that wanted to be trimmed to suit the gun, after which fired up my Dremel. Earlier than you narrow something, keep in mind that it’d be simple to damage your holster with this modification, so make sure to go gradual and take off as little materials as attainable. I used a chopping wheel to fastidiously trim about ½ inch of Kydex out of the midsection, then switched to a sanding bit and floor all the perimeters easy, checking the match of the gun repeatedly as I labored.

Lastly, I used a warmth gun to melt the “wings” on the entrance of the holster per T-Rex’s directions and shaped them across the suppressor so as to add extra help. The tip result’s a holster that encompasses a Safariland QLS fork, and may clip into any of my belts, from a loop on my on a regular basis belt, to the mid-ride provider on my Snake Eater Tactical vary belt.

Photo of the Ruger Mark IV in the holster.

Above: The T-Rex Arms Ragnarok SD was one of many few holsters we figured may work with our Frankenstein gentle mount. It did require a little bit trimming with a Dremel, but it surely matches like a glove now.

Closing Ideas

The Mark IV 22/45 already has an atypical silhouette, so pairing that with a modular suppressor and optic solely accentuated its seems. By the point I used to be accomplished engaged on it, this pistol ended up trying a bit like a futuristic sci-fi film prop. I’m not complaining — the place we’re going, we don’t want ear professional.

On the vary, this Mark IV is giggle-inducing for anybody who shoots it. Normal velocity rounds sound just like the snap of an air rifle; with subsonic rounds, all that’s audible is the click-clack of the bolt reciprocating and the sound of the bullet impacting its goal. Though this pistol actually wouldn’t be my first selection for hid carry or protection in opposition to bigger predators (particularly the two-legged type), it could possibly assist me practice fundamentals like sight image and set off press whereas solely spending about 4 cents per spherical.


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