Ruger’s Kicking off the New Mark IV Series of Rimfire Pistols

Ruger has just announced their next generation rimfire pistol, the Ruger Mark IV. While it shares many of the qualities and features of the Mark III series including the cylindrical receiver design and time-tested target pistol grip, the new Mark IV can be broken down for field-stripping with the push of a button.

The Ruger Mark and earlier Standard pistols are some of the most popular rimfire handguns on the market — if not the most popular. The Mark IV represents one of the fundamental changes to the design since it was first introduced in 1949.


The basic Mark IV has a black blued finish, a lightweight alloy frame and breaks down with the push of a button. (Photo: Ruger)

To field-strip the Mark IV you remove the magazine, empty the chamber and put the safety on. Then press the takedown button below the bolt and tilt the barreled receiver off the frame. The bolt slips right out the back exposing critical parts for easy cleaning.

This is far removed from the older design’s frustrating process for disassembly and re-assembly. And while there are shooters out there who can take apart a Mark III and put it back together blindfolded, a lot of people opt for other guns because they don’t want the extra hassle.

Other improvements include a redesigned ambidextrous thumb safety and more powerful drop-free magazine ejection. The Mark IV retains the magazine safety but drops the loaded chamber indicator. They are backwards-compatible with Mark III magazines and have the same standard 10-round capacity. In addition to iron sights, the Mark IV pistols are drilled and tapped for optics.


Ruger’s launching with three Mark IV pistols. The Hunter is the deluxe model. (Photo: Ruger)

Ruger is launching the Mark IV in two series, the Mark IV Target and the Mark IV Hunter, all chambered for .22 Long Rifle. The Target series has two versions, an all stainless steel model and a black steel and aluminum gun. The stainless steel pistol has a matte stainless finish on the receiver and grip frame. The black model has an anodized alloy frame and blued steel barreled receiver. Both have 5.5-inch barrels and black target sights.

The Hunter series currently has just a single model, another matte stainless gun. The Hunter features a fluted, 6.9-inch bull barrel and a fiber optic front sight. And while the Target models have checkered polymer grips, the Hunter pistol has checkered hardwood grips. All three launch models have fully-adjustable rear sights.

See Also: Ruger’s New 9mm SR1911 Lightweight Commander

Ruger is pricing Mark IV pistols in-line with Mark III pistols. The Mark IV Target series starts at $529 — by comparison, the Mark III Target series starts at $499. The Hunter is the most expensive Mark IV with a suggested retail price of $769. The Mark IV Hunter is actually less expensive than the Mark III version by $30.

It will take some time for the Mark IV aftermarket to catch up to the Mark III in terms of upgrades and accessories. But the Mark IV isn’t for high-speed and high-precision competition shooters. It’s for more casual shooters looking for a .22 for a fun day at the range. Given Ruger’s dominance in the world of rimfire handguns, though, it won’t be too long before the aftermarket catches up.

It’ll be interesting to see what’s next in store for the new Mark IV.

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • Dennis April 24, 2017, 1:51 am

    I have two of the new mk-4 pistols one is the hunter the other is the 22-45 lite which comes with the threaded barrel and thread protector both are very accurate and very easy to disassemble trigger could be better like my mk-2 but it will do the one thing I’d like to see ruger do now is produce this same pistol in 9mm 40sw and 45 you couldn’t produce them fast enough…

  • Keith At X January 26, 2017, 11:31 pm

    A lot of talk about take down issues here. The MKIV is awesome but not enough models yet for me. I usually just remove the grips on my MkI and MKIII’s and hose them down with a spray solvent. This, a bore snake and a relubing/wipedown perhaps a little detailing with a soft tool and I am back in business. No malfunctions thusfar. I then foul the bore with at least a half dozen shots and I am ready for a match. The mag release on the MKIII is excellent and is even better when the safety is removed from it . (I made my own bushing out of a washer) . So far the trigger can be made better on the older guns and there is no 1911 grip frame for the MKIV but likely Ruger will remedy this. And that is my 2/5ths of a nickel.

  • Bob Moore October 31, 2016, 3:15 pm

    I have two MKll pistols — a Target Model MK-512 blued 5 1/2 inch bull barrel and a Target Model KMK-678 stainless 6 7/8 inch tapered heavy barrel. Both have a Majestic Arms Speed Strip kit installed. A few quick turns with an allen wrench and the pistols are field stripped for cleaning and inspection. I’d recommend the Majestic Arms Speed Strip kit to any MKll owner who dislikes the factory disassembly procedure. Both pistols are over 30 years old and function and appear “‘as new”. The new MK-lV is a nice looking pistol, but I am too satisfied with my modified MK-lls to switch over.

  • John Martin October 3, 2016, 2:16 am

    Nothing better than introducing new guns that require ammo that you can’t get.

    • doug arbet December 19, 2016, 11:56 pm

      you can find them but not at the price they use to be

      • Dennis W. Bechtel November 7, 2017, 12:54 pm

        the new ruger pistols are selling very well around here ,416 bucks I bought one hunter and its as accurate as any of my other ruger weapons,you can’t really go wrong with any ruger product.i think their quality control and service after the sale are magnifiscent,they have always been helpful ,even replaced one of my ruger no! rifles after I had a bore break at the muzzle.

      • Paul Christensen July 30, 2018, 4:20 am

        I have found them a 4 to 5 cents a piece.

  • Lajos Tresser October 1, 2016, 4:18 pm

    “Can be found at your local firearms retailer.. ” as stated by Marc, unless of course, if you live in the Great State of Cali/Commifornia, because as many firearms manufacturers do, Ruger has also abandoned this market. It appears to be too cumbersome to obtain CA Compliance. Well, business must be very good nowadays, that one can disregard a California size segment of the market. We are coming to a point here that very few handguns can be purchased here, especially not the newer models. Sad.

  • Pierre Kerbage September 30, 2016, 11:41 pm

    I have owned the Mark III Hunter for several months and have put thousands of quality .22LR rounds into it. NEVER ONCE did it fail to eject or misfire. Never once did the magazine fail to eject. At 25 meters, I consistently place every shot within a 10 centimeter diameter and often in a 5 cm diameter. The Rosewood grips are elegant, well made and a perfect fit for my hand. The adjustable sites are superbly precise. As for the field stripping, I DO agree that it is harder than usual. Having said that, there are many videos on youtube, but MANY of these videos are NOT doing it correctly. They miss a step . In Youtube, look and search for the videos put out by RUGER – Follow the steps without omissions. No, it does not take down in 5 seconds like a Glock or a SIG but neither does a 1911 gun. I will more than likely purchase the IV as my humble experience with the III has been beyond excellent. If the IV truly solves the field stripping challenge, it would be a well worth and a WELCOME upgrade. Now, when will Ruger put out 1 gun that has optical options (like the Glock MOS series) WITH a precise 1 Kg ADJUSTABLE trigger for us that love to precision shoot?

  • David K. September 30, 2016, 9:35 pm

    Even my $900 Volquartsen Mk IV with a 3.5″ bbl came with that messed up magazine disconnect. Seems ironic that I subsequently bought and installed their bushing to fix that nonsense, or at least I think it was a Volquartsen part. Who knows, getting old as hell here, and it could have been Midway or any other number of parts dealers. In hindsight, I wish I’d gotten a longer barrel threaded for a silencer, but it is what it is. Starry-eyed jackass of a buyer that I am, I still love all of my guns, which is more than I can say for other friends who seem to be in a perpetual cycle of selling and buying. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • alex September 30, 2016, 5:44 pm

    i own quite a few ruger firearms,i bought the mk3 ,the mag disconnect added to the takedown procedure is just a big pain in the ass.i’m probably going to buy a majestic arms kit and do away with the disconnect feature. ruger never should have put that on their guns,or at least make it an option if you do want it.

  • Elmer September 30, 2016, 2:10 pm

    I concur with the commenters who feel the Mark II is the best design. Yes, it’s a pain to dis/reassemble. All Ruger needed to do was add the easier take down to the Mark II. I dislike mag safety features, but that’s nitpicking for this non-combat pistol. The price, however, will prevent me from owning one, not after paying $50 for a used Mark I (twenty years ago) and $200 for a used but minty Mark II long barrel with a Leupold mounted (ten years ago).

    But the title of most difficult to take down and put back together 22 pistol has a new king – the little Pheonix Arms HP22A. I defy anyone to get one back together without reading the instructions.

  • todd September 30, 2016, 1:24 pm

    Great two man review. Very informative but I would not have said “left had magazine release button” but feather “left side mag button”. Minor to be sure but just in case… Sounded closer to telling me that it has a left handed mag catch than that it is located on the left side.

    You’ve certainly sold me! EVERY SINGLE THING I have not liked about Standards since I was a kid has been addressed. I will be buying one even if only based upon my satisfaction with past pistol’s quality (though always sold off due to features or lack thereof) and this review.


  • Adrian Kibler September 30, 2016, 1:23 pm

    The Mk II Hammer, Hammer Bushing, and Sear fit nicely into the MK III to eliminate the bothersome Mag Disconnect. Not much I could do with the ECI dirt trap except return the gun back to stock condition, and sell it! Then I searched Pawn shops for MK II’s and I now have 4. Disassembly does take a knack and patience. I never had any disassembly issues with my Mk II’s but I did have difficulty aligning the Mk III barrel and frame on reassembly (another reason to sell it). Clearly the Mark IV looks like a needed improvement and I am glad to see Ruger develop it. It should be a good gun if the Mk II internals fit to eliminate the Mag disconnect. I hope I can live long enough to wear out my MK II’s and buy a MK IV.

  • David Cottrell September 30, 2016, 11:44 am

    Now they just need to add a threaded barrel option to the MKIV and I am sold. I have always hated taking these damn things apart and I am very good mechanically. Does anyone know if they plan to offer a threaded barrel option? Nothing on their site so far.

    • Tommy Barrios September 30, 2016, 1:42 pm

      My brother has the already factory silenced version of the recent Mark IV!
      Look it up!

    • Geoff Grublesky December 24, 2016, 9:41 pm

      Look to volquartzen

  • kane September 30, 2016, 11:10 am

    I understand that Ruger no longer markets guns to California and therefore will no longer be forced to meet the bizarre “compliance” requirements of that state. If this is correct then the MKIV could be more like the MKII than the MKIII.

    If so then I would buy the new model since the MKII was a nice gun and the MKIII was dangerous and overly complicated due to the silly “safety” features some bureaucrat dreamed up.

  • David September 30, 2016, 10:32 am

    I think Ruger looked at Smith and Wesson with their new for 2016 Victory pistol and knew the takedown of the Mark series of pistol needed a major overhaul. From what I’ve seen so far my money is on the Ruger Mark IV over the SW22 Victory.

    • Geoff Grublesky December 24, 2016, 9:44 pm

      With the price difference my money is still with S&W Victory.

  • Gary September 30, 2016, 9:18 am

    Who wants to pay the price for a rim fire pistol. Out of my range to purchase no matter how much I would like to have one.

  • Kimberpross September 30, 2016, 9:08 am

    I had a Mark III Hunter engraved as a graduation gift for my son. The engraver, who is a gunsmith (Lite) couldn’t get it back together correctly and had to take it to a real gunsmith to do it. I haven’t taken one apart, but the engraver warned me that the instructions that come with the pistol weren’t correct. This new design is cool though! Similar in concept to an AR…

  • NO LCI September 30, 2016, 8:51 am

    The takedown feature looks nice, but I’m way more impressed that they dropped the ugly loaded chamber indicator. They should have ditched the magazine disconnect as well since they also cause problems with mags not ejecting easily. Mark IIIs are great, but not until you knock out all the crappy “safety features” and replace them with some parts from Tandemkross or Volquartsen.

    • kane September 30, 2016, 11:14 am

      Yeah, some gunsmiths will not touch the MKIII’s. Many collectors wait to buy used MKII’s and avoid the newer MKIII’s.

  • Bisley September 30, 2016, 8:43 am

    To me, the Mark II was the best that Ruger ever built. The slide-stop/last-shot-hold-open was a real improvement over the original model, and the original heel-type magazine latch was stronger, simpler and less prone to accidentally dropping a magazine than the side button. I see the Mark III and IV as an unnecessary complication and weakening of a near-perfect design. Such changes as have been made might be appropriate for the 22/45, or other models, but the standard and target models should have been kept to Mark II configuration, unless something could be done to actually improve their function. My thirty-something year old Mark II has run just fine through tens of thousands of rounds, other than replacing a worn-out extractor.

  • Cea September 30, 2016, 8:37 am

    I really like the ideas that this pistol brings to the table. I also like the new thumb safety location and operation. My Mk III safety is difficult, at best, for us lefties. I hope they price it to compete with the S&W Victory. But the Victory is pretty inexpensive. The Target and Hunter Mk III’s have never been inexpensive.

  • T Buckley September 30, 2016, 8:20 am

    It took me 5 minutes to learn how to break down my Mark III watching YouTube. It’s not that difficult, the second time I did it was damn easy. I’m no gunsmith by any means, I don’t see what the big deal is.

    • JimA September 30, 2016, 8:47 am

      I have a MKIII 22/45 that has been apart dozens of times. It still requires a dead blow mallet to separate or reattach the grip and the upper. They are not all the same. The rest of the process is still easily doable though unnecessarily complicated.

      • ronald September 30, 2016, 9:20 am

        The instructions say it “becomes easier after a number of disassemblies,” and maybe it will. Mine hasn’t. And it doesn’t need to be so hard….obviously….

    • ronald September 30, 2016, 9:18 am

      It is NOT “damn easy.” It’s very tedious and unnecessarily complicated, as indicated by others. It’s obviously doable, but so much more difficult than other guns I’ve worked with.

      • Dennis W. Bechtel November 7, 2017, 1:05 pm

        taking a tight fitting ruger new model .22 apart is as taxing as taking a 1977 colt python apart ,you just have to heat and cool some things and use a rubber mallet,and taking apart a single action colt 2 run is about the same difficulty /skill level,fine in fact 1800 sand paper helped a lot though mated surfaces take getting used to each other.and yes I am a gunsmith.

  • Jerry Koester September 30, 2016, 8:05 am

    About time for Roger to develop an gun that’s easy to take down. Thanks, Ruger for fine guns.

  • Rafael J. Fanjul September 30, 2016, 8:04 am

    Having owned one before this is great. They have put this out to compete with SW Victory 22, which I now own, since January of this year.

  • Robert Pagan September 30, 2016, 7:27 am

    Gonna sell a ton of those now.

  • E.S.Chou September 30, 2016, 4:25 am

    Wow this is pretty clever.

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