Hardware: Ruger Mark IV Hunter

by
posted on March 1, 2018
rugermarkivhunter_lead.jpg

There’s an old saying that goes something like, “From a tiny seed a mighty oak tree grows.” A dedicated handgunner of several decades like me might alter that slogan to read, “From a small .22-caliber pistol a mighty firearm manufacturer grew.” Yes, I’m talking about Ruger, and I’ve watched the entire process in my lifetime. As a kid, I saw pictures of the Ruger Standard and thought it was cool that someone could capture the spirit of the Luger pistol and build it into a .22 handgun that nearly everyone could afford to buy and shoot. Now, 68 years later, a variation of that gun is still a major component in the success of the Ruger empire.

The family resemblance is rather faint between the original Standard and the new Mark IV Hunter. Except for a few components, the Hunter is all stainless steel with a handsome, brushed satin finish (the Standard was blued carbon steel). The Hunter’s bull barrel is almost 7 inches long and has six flutes (the Standard had a 4.75-inch tapered barrel). Plus, the Hunter sports the most attractive set of factory grips I’ve ever seen on a Ruger. They’re made of laminated wood with finger grooves that wrap around the front in a classic target configuration. Areas of texture that resemble stippling surround a large Ruger logo on each side. Overall, it’s a very striking handgun.

The iron sights on the Mark IV Hunter are two of the non-stainless components I mentioned above. The front sight is a red fiber-optic element mounted in a conventional base that’s screwed into the barrel. The rear sight looks like Ruger’s standard adjustable rig but has a V-notch blade with a white vertical line at the base of the notch.

While I acknowledge the advantages of such sights, I have difficulty controlling elevation with them. That’s not a huge drawback in this case for two reasons. First, I can replace the front and rear sights with more conventional hardware. Second, I immediately mounted a Burris 2X pistol scope, knowing I would need an optic to fully take advantage of the Hunter’s capabilities. The drilled and tapped receiver makes it easy to install a one-piece Weaver base or Picatinny rail, both available from Ruger. For the sake of expediency I used a blued rail and rather large rings with extended tightening levers. While the setup worked fine for accuracy testing, the Hunter’s aesthetics demand a more attractive, streamlined mount.

Operating controls on the Hunter seemed easier to work than on older Ruger Mark series pistols. I had to shift my shooting hand to press the magazine release button, but I could work the slide release and safety levers with no change in my grip. As a right-handed shooter, I wouldn’t spend extra money for an ambidextrous safety on a .22 pistol, but the Hunter came with one installed as a standard feature. I could easily operate it with my left hand, and normally I can’t easily do anything left-handed. The safety lever on the right side of the frame is not difficult to remove and replace with a washer should you prefer a cleaner look.

Another major difference between earlier pistols and the Mark IV Hunter is the ease of disassembly. It’s literally as simple as pushing a button at the rear of the frame and tilting off the barrel/receiver assembly. No special tools or extra hands required. If I can find the engineer responsible for the design, lunch will be on me.

I used what .22 LR ammo I had on hand for accuracy testing, and the results speak for themselves. Of the four loads I tried, three of them kept five-shot groups inside an inch at 25 yards. And that’s from a shaky old gunwriter who drinks coffee and smokes cigars! The Hunter had no malfunctions with three of the loads; however, it experienced two feeding problems with CCI Velocitors.

Accuracy aside, my shooting sessions revealed a couple of minor faults. The grips were slightly too large for my hands. As beautiful as I think they are, I’d probably replace them if I were going on a hunt. The second issue was the trigger; it was a bit too heavy and had a slightly gritty feel. Perhaps this was aggravated or exaggerated because of the large target grips and my stubby fingers, but I’d definitely get some work done on the trigger.

I don’t consider either comment a serious criticism. Grip size is strictly a personal-fit problem all shooters must address. The trigger pull is more the result of our litigious society than an indication of a manufacturing problem. My only real criticism is Ruger released the new pistol at a time when it’s difficult for me to get away on a varmint hunt. Fortunately I have a plan for summer, and it includes the Mark IV Hunter.

Technical Specifications
• Type: semi-automatic pistol
• Caliber: .22 LR
• Magazine Capacity: 10 rnds.
• Barrel: 6.88″; stainless steel; 1:16″ RH twist
 Trigger Pull Weight: 4.75 lbs.
• Sights: adjustable rear, fiber-optic front; drilled and tapped for optics
• Safety: ambidextrous frame-mounted lever
• Grips: target-style laminate
• Metal Finish: satin stainless
• Overall Length: 11.12″
• Weight: 44 ozs.
• Accessories: spare magazine
• MSRP: $799; ruger.com

Latest

Model 1895 Guide Gun
Model 1895 Guide Gun

Ruger Reintroduces the Marlin Model 1895 Guide Gun

Ruger has announced the reintroduction of the Marlin Model 1895 Guide Gun. Formerly known as an “1895 GBL” (Guide Big Loop), this model is Ruger’s first reintroduction in the Guide Gun family of rifles and Ruger’s first introduction of an alloy steel Marlin rifle with a blued finish.

Henry Repeating Arms Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Limited Edition Rifles

Henry Repeating Arms has announced two limited-edition models celebrating the company's twenty-fifth anniversary. Available at dealers nationwide while supplies last, the rifles pay tribute to the beginnings of Henry Repeating Arms as a company and the origins of the lever action rifle's enduring legacy in America.

Tips for Hunting Pre-Rut Mule Deer

Just before the breeding season bucks make seemingly random decisions, forcing us to analyze their habitat’s food, water and cover and how each factor influences their behavior.

#SundayGunday: Winchester SX4 Left Hand Waterfowl Hunter

Get a closer look at the Winchester SX4 Left Hand Waterfowl Hunter, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

Recipe: Venison Top Sirloin and Chimichurri Sauce

A recent trip to Hawaii inspired contributor Brad Fenson to create a chimichurri sauce variation, where cilantro, cumin and lime juice produce a new twist on the traditional blend.

DIY Skull Cleaning on the Road

Awareness of chronic wasting disease has spread across the country and today includes regulations regarding the transport of ungulate skulls taken by traveling hunters. Follow these suggestions to clean your skulls while on the road to avoid running afoul of any game laws.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.