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Ruger 10-inch Mark II autoloader.

* Surprised while he was feeding away from his burrow, the prairie dog took one look at me and broke for home. He was 40 yards from my position and moving fast, but the 10-inch-barreled Ruger Mark II swung smoothly. As the sight passed the varmint's nose I squeezed the trigger and my shot hit behind the prairie dog. I was still swinging, so I squeezed off a second shot. Behind again. Shot number three was okay for lead, but it hit high. Number four caught the pesky varmint as it raced up the barren side of its mound. The Winchester hollow point ripped a gaping hole in the dog's chest, anchoring him on the spot.

That was prairie dog number 17 for the new Ruger Mark II 10-inch, a pistol mechanically identical to all other Mark II Ruger semi-automatics, but sporting a 10-inch bull barrel. Granted, 10 inches is a lot of barrel on a handgun, but hunters and silhouette shooters are going to like this one. The 10-inch barrel is heavy. The diameter at the receiver is .872 inch and at the muzzle it's .757 inch. That's a taper of just .120 inch in 10 inches, hardly enough to be seen. In fact, it gives the impression that the barrel has no taper at all. If it was actually straight, it would probably appear to flare at the muzzle.

Presently available in blue only, the Mark II 10-inch is 14-1/2 inches long overall and tips the scale at 51 ounces empty. For sights this Ruger autoloader sports a 1/8-inch-wide Patridge blade up front. In the rear, set in a dovetail in the receiver, is a back sight adjustable for windage and elevation. The rear sight is set well back on the receiver, resulting in a sight radius of 12-7/16 inches. The trigger pull on my test pistol is three pounds.

How does the Mark II 10-inch shoot? Beautifully! I tested my pistol with six different hunting loads and five target loads. As I've seen happen with many other .22 Long Rifle handguns, the hunting ammunition--at least most of it--outperformed the target ammo. The two best loads in my pistol are Winchester high velocity hollow points and Federal high velocity hollow points. Ten-shot groups with this ammunition at 25 yards averaged 1 and 1-1/4 inches respectively. Now that's accuracy--particularly with me shooting open sights! My only disappointment is that the pistol does not handle Yellowjackets or Stingers all that well.

The 10-inch barrel of this Ruger Mark II results in a considerable gain in velocity over that realized in either a 6-7/8-inch barreled semi-automatic or a revolver with a 6-inch barrel. In fact, the velocities from this long pistol barrel are getting up there might close to those realized in a 24-inch rifle barrel. The accompanying table lists the velocities I recorded with a variety of .22 Long Rifle hunting loads in the 10-inch barreled Ruger Mark II. For comparison I've also shown the velocities with the ammunition from a 6-7/8-inch semi-auto, 6-inch revolver and 24-inch rifle.

I consider the new 10-inch-barreled Ruger Mark II to be the best semi-automatic pistol buy on the market for hunters and silhouette shooters. Presently available at Ruger dealers throughout the country, this pistol retails for $196. For more information, write directly to Sturm, Ruger & Co., Dept. GA, Lacey Place, Southport, CT 06490.
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Title Annotation:evaluation
Author:Milek, Bob
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Aug 1, 1984
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