Need some fellow gunsmith advice- Ruger .22/45

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Damascus, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Damascus

    Damascus Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I need some advice/suggestions. One of my best customers brought me in a pistol yesterday, a Ruger MKIII .22/45 Target model pistol w/ 4" bull bbl. It is in great shape, customer bought itused and supposed to work fine. Problem is that it won't cycle. Bolt barely blows back on firing, and slams the empty case back in the chamber.
    I disassembled and cleaned the entire pistol, down to the last spring, and reassembled. The chamber appears smooth, and the extractor is sharp and has plenty of tension. The ejector has a loaded chamber indicator attached to it, and Im suspecting a problem with it... anyways, it still won't fully cycle, and I've tried 3 brands of standard velocity .22 LR ammo.

    I specialize in bolt rifles, AR's, and 1911's, but will undertake anything. My experience with Ruger .22 pistols is unfortunately limited to installing a new sear stop pin and spring in an old Ruger .22 standard (before they designated "Mark I, II, III).

    Got any ideas? Perhaps the recoil spring is too strong? As I said, she just bought it used, so we dont know if it ever worked properly... the pistol appears to be nearly new, shot very little, Id guess less than 250 rds.
    Thanx!!
     
  2. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    Quick test is to try "high" velocity 40 gr. ammo. some of those can be "picky" on ammo. if it functions, look at springs.
     

  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    +1 for the High Velocity ammo. I've seen lots of .22 auto pistols refuse to cycle with standard velocity ammo.
     
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Go with hi velocity ammo with 40+ grain bullets.

    If heavy high velocity ammo doesent do it I think you are on the right track with a to heavy
    recoil spring. (It could have been changed by a want a be smith or a pilgrim.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. Damascus

    Damascus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys!! I picked up a box of CCI Mini Mag HP's, CCI Stingers, and Rem Thunderbolts. Going to test them in an hour or so.. reassembling this pain in the butt pistol; I hate putting the mainspring back into these things with their freaky dangling hammer spur and magazine disconect.
    On the loaded chamber indicator, theres a small spring loaded blade on it, which seemed like it was hung up... hoping that was the problem. we'll see
     
  7. tinman13kup

    tinman13kup Well-Known Member

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    Is it the stainless hunter? The machining on the bolt and inside the frame can be a bit rough, which might be slowing down the bolt too much. Try looking for scuff areas and even try a little grease to see if it helps it out.
     
  8. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I work on an trick out MK II and III's and 22-45's all the time. They are a PITA to reassemble if you don't follow the proper sequence. The Jacknife retainer pin is a bit tricky but you can find the proper sequence on Ruger's website.

    Pull the bolt and have a good look at it. Does it show scuff marks on it's outer diameter. Thats a good sign it's had lots of rounds through it and has been neglected as far as cleaning. If the bolt outer face is scuffed, I'd replace both the extractor spur and the firing pin with Volquartsen components and the firing pin spring as well.

    The loaded chamber indicator won't hang the bolt. It acts solely on a cartridge in the chamber, it swings out when a cartridge is inserted in the chamber, thats all.

    All Ruger 22 pistols like lubrication and they like to be clean inside. problem is, people don't know how to properly clean one. Cleaning thet little semi-auto entails more than a bore scrub, it entails a field strip, removing the barrel and bolt by removing the jacknife and seperating the barrel from the grip frame and then removing the grips and performing what I refer to as a 'dunk' in non-chlorinated brake cleaner. Liberally spray brake cleaner inside the grip frame, washing the powcer residue out the bottom, through the magazine well. Set aside to dry. Take the barrel with the bolt out and again, liberally spray brake cleaner into the receiver area, using a Q tip to get all the powder residue out. Do the same with the bolt. Set aside to dry.

    Take the grip frame and apply a drop of gun oil to eadh side of the hammer axle and sear axle and a drop in the disconnect plunger atop the hammer strut. Set aside.

    Take the barrel and clean the bore the usual way. Take the bolt and apply a drop of oil to the extractor pivot and the face end of the hammer. Apply a bit of oil to the bolt outer diameter.

    Reinstall the barrel on the grip frame according to the Ruger instructions (hammer cocked. Install the bolt, the jacknife (according to Ruger's instructions because the 22-45's are different thatn the Mark's) and install the grips.

    They really need a 'dunking' about every 500 discharges, and they like to have the bolt lubricated regularly. The bore needs cleaned every box or so, especially if shooting dirty rounds.

    I don't care for the polymer grip frame on the 22-45's but then, thats a personal opinion.

    I shoot 2 tricked out Mark 3's in competiton indoor pistol and I've never had issue one with either. BTW, my triggers both pull at less than 1 pound with no creep and no pretravel. You think about it and it goes off.....
     
  9. Damascus

    Damascus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info! Im heading out to the range right now to test fire, rain never stopped over the weekend. I do have the manual, which has only basic disassembly info - but I always use my grandfather's gunsmithing journals - he was a smith, and taught me the craft. He has very limited info on these though, and its all on the metal framed Ruger 22 standard, the predecessor to the mark I, but essentially the same.
    I completely disassembled the pistol, removed the barreled receiver, trigger, sear, hammer, even the magazine release. She is absolutely spotless right now, and the bore is bare-metal clean.
    As far as wear, the bolt is blued except for the front polished side, visible from the ejection port. Theres no scuff marks, the blue isnt even scuffed off the extractor - which is why im worried that there was a problem with this gun from new.
    I oiled everything liberally with Brownell's friction defense xtreme, and lubed the extractor, firing pin, and springs with TW25-B (or as we called it in the Army- whale sperm lol) which is the best lube Ive ever seen (was given to us to keep our weapons running in the extreme hot and cold of the Afghani mountains).
    Also, you have to really push on the magazine base plate for it to latch, seems overly tight (both magazines)... is this common with 22/45's since they latch to a standard "button" style mag catch like a 1911?
    I didnt take the time to see how to loaded chamber indicator contacted the rounds -.I was just hoping it was binding somehow since it seemed to have jumped its spring.
    Fingers crosses- hopefully she'll run like a sewing machine here in a few.

    I too, dont like polymer framed pistols - but the 1911 grip frame is my favorite, so I do like it better than the standard Mk pistols - I have to zero the sights for.customet as well; we'll see how well Ruger did trying to make their pistol feel like a 1911.
    Again, thanx for all the help gentlemen (and possibly ladies) !!
     
  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    On a late model Ruger semi-auto pistol the magazine insertion does two things. One, it positions the cartridge to get stripped from the magazine by the bolt and two, it engages the hammer spur that allows the sear to actuate. Make sure you have the springs in the right place when you reassemble the hammer. The backside of the engagement spur has to hang behind the magazine well and the spur spring itself rides against the backside of the magazine well, not on the post just behind it.

    Contrary to Ruger's instructions, none of my hammers will fall back into the cocked position after bolt insertion, I always have to use a prick punch to rotate the hammer into the cocked position (after the bolt is inserted).

    Keep the bolt lubricated (I use a light machine oil). It's counterproductive as far as powder residue mixing with lubricant is concerned but a necessary evil. Typically, these firearms after hundreds of cycles will start to scuff the bolt's outer diameter because the bolt never moves in a floating manner, but rides the receiver sides...why it's imperative to provide lubrication in lieu of closer machining tolerances.

    Most owners are under the impression that just cleaning the bore will 'clean' the action and it won't. They have to be field disassembled (barrel removed from the grip frame, bolt pulled and grips removed and cleaned carefully inside or they will cease to reliably cycle. My term is 'dunking' It needs a bath inside.

    One thing you need to watch is the disconnect plunger on the trigger spur. There is a small spring under the plunger and the plunger fits the drillway rather tightly. Any crap from cleaning a really dirty firearm can lodge the plunger against the spring as you fire the gun. That makes disassembling the firearm to correct the issue rather involved because the gun will be cocked to fire, with the jacknife engaged on the hammer strut and putting pressure on the hammer/disconnect assembly basically rendering the gun locked, under pressure. The only way to disassemble it is to pull the grips and drive the hammer pin out, dropping the hammer and spur, a PITA. Then the the jacknife removed.

    I work/modify these all the time. You need to be half watchmaker and half braindead to work on them without suffering a nervous breakdown. The parts only fit one way.

    I would strongly suggest retrofitting the trigger, sear, sear spring and disconnect plunger and actuator spring with Volquartsen parts. Makes a world of difference in pretravel, creep and sear engagement/release.

    It's possible to radius the sear with careful stoning to achieve a cleaner break but why bother when Volquartsen has already done the geometry and modified the release angle.
     
  11. tinman13kup

    tinman13kup Well-Known Member

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    Look at the bottom of the bolt, where the hammer contacts the bolt. There is a little indent about halfway through the slide action that might be hanging the bolt up on the hammer. You might want to check for rough spots and lubricate the bottom of the bolt.

    Sidecar, yeah, my MKIII can be a pain to get the hammer where it needs to be for the operation at hand.

    I've used brake cleaner several times, and it removes ALL oil. Nickle guns take on a unique finish until some oil is replaced
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I use a long straight pick to move the hammer where I want it. All the guns I work on never succumb to the pull of gravity hammer wise.

    I've actually dipped the assembled bolt in light oil and dried ot off with a towel. Rugers like oil.

    With brake cleaner you just have to be sure to remove the grip panels or nasty things happen. The brake cleaner don't work on the moulded grip frames, one reason I don't like them.

    The latest one I redid for a customer looked as though it had a couple thousand cycles. New everything including the extractor, firing pin and pin spring plus the usual trigger stuff and a titanium disconnect. Other than the scuffed bolt it shoots fantastic. Pulls at 1.5 pounds. The internals were so cruddy I had to soak it (barrel and bolt) in Gumout carburetor cleaner for a day and then use a toothbrush and brake cleaner. It amazes me that when I get a well used Ruger 22, no matter how bad the internals are, the barrel and rifling is always just fine.

    I really don't like working on them. The parts are so small and all the internals only go in one way or the sucker won't cycle.

    My personal target pistols, I never take apart except for the dunk routine and a re oiling.

    So much easier to work on Chargers........:D
     
  13. tinman13kup

    tinman13kup Well-Known Member

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    Made me remember an issue I had with a vacuum. I needed electrical contact cleaner but was out. I grabbed some brake cleaner, not noticing the chlorinated label, and liberally hosed the motor out and reassembled. I turned it on and the housing crumbled, and the motor housing made almost a complete revolution before disintegrating.

    As for your charger statement, I really cannot say the same about mine. It's a slow motion shotgun. My race 22 is a S&W 22A bull barrel, even though I really don't care for alloy or plastic guns. It's got to be the big blocky grips that fit my big ass hands.
     
  14. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 Chargers. One is basically stock but has a Volquartsen trigger, the other is tricked out with everything including a custom Volquartsen tension barrel.

    Whatever you can do to a 10-22, you can do to the charger and both are very accurate shooters.

    You can pull the stock on a 10-22 carbine and drop the action and barrel in a charger stock and wind up with an interesting bull pup. I don't believe Ruger intended for that interchange but it fits just fine and takes about 15 seconds.

    I threatened the guys on our league that I was going to shoot the 10-22 carbine in the charger stock with a pistol scope in our indoor (50) foot league. That didn't go over too well. They don't even like chargers. Fun gun.

    If 22's were just available for a decent price..................:)

    Or just available.

    I'm shooting all my junk remmy's in my indoor league. I have a couple thousand Wolf Match Extra's with Vitavouri powder but I'm saving those to see what happens.

    I imagine you can use Birchwood-Casey Gunscrubber in place of brake cleaner but I've always used the cheap brake cleaner stuff.