Ruger Comes Through On Mark IV

Don’t Dally, It’s Worth A New Magazine!

By Dave Workman

About this time last year, I was doing a T&E on the then-brand new Ruger Mark IV semi-auto pistol, the newest, and what I consider the best, incarnation of Bill Ruger’s original rimfire unveiled as the “Standard” model back in 1949.

I own one of those older pistols and it is a real shooter, but this new model has it and all the previous upgrades beat on one level: Disassembly. The Mark IV is a snap to take down for cleaning. Press a button on the rear of the receiver and the barrel and upper receiver pivots up and forward.

I told Ruger at the time that instead of sending the pistol back, I was sending them a check. I carried the new Mark IV hunting and hiking last fall and got real used to it. This new model is the Target Version with a 5 ½-inch bull barrel, adjustable sight, lightweight alloy frame and ambidextrous thumb safety. And therein was a problem, according to Ruger.

A couple of months ago, I got an advisory that Ruger had discovered the “potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly.” What apparently happened with some of these pistols is that if the trigger was pressed while the safety lever is halfway between the safe (white) and fire (red) position, the handgun might not discharge, but soon as the safety lever was moved into the “fire” position, the gun would go “BANG!”

Mind you, I said “some” of these pistols reportedly had this problem. Mine didn’t because promptly after seeing this, I departed to the gun range down the road from my home and tried to make the pistol discharge. Mine didn’t, but being a good fellow, I was quick to sign up for the free retrofit of a new safety. For my trouble, Ruger would ship back my lower frame with a new magazine.

The original safety merely has a white dot for the “safe” position while the upgraded safety has a white dot with the letter “S” in black.

Is that a deal or what? I recently had new rear leaf springs installed on my pickup when the manufacturer announced a recall, too.

Ruger kept me, and presumably all other Mark IV owners, including those who purchased the 22/45 version, to expect a postage-paid box into which the grip frame would be inserted inside a bubble wrap bag. Ruger added they would endeavor to return the grip frame within one week of receipt, and by golly they did!

One week to the day when it arrived in Prescott, the very same box came back with a return label, the retrofitted safety, a nice form letter from Ruger CEO Chris Killoy and that brand new magazine.

I quickly assembled the pistol, grabbed a handful of rimfire cartridges and headed to the range. About 40 rounds later, and a quick adjustment of the rear sight, and I had the Mark IV once again ready to pot small game and fool hens.

I traded some email with Ruger’s Brandon Trevino to learn the following: The recall applied to only Mark IV pistols including the Hunter, Target, Competition, 22/45, 22/45 Lite and 22/45 Tactical models bearing serial numbers starting with “401” (2017 models made prior to June 1, 2017) or “WBR” (Models made in 2016).

Newly-manufactured Mark IV models starting with serial number “500” are not subject to the recall, nor are Mark I, Mark II or Mark III pistols. You can find out all about this by visiting

Granted, nobody likes to return part of a pistol for a recall repair/retrofit, but Ruger’s reputation with me has been sterling, and this experience didn’t change a thing.

If you own one of these pistols that are subject to the recall and haven’t yet gotten the retrofit, shake a leg. Trevino said a large percentage of Mark IV owners have already registered, but that means there are people who haven’t. He also observed that the program will remain open indefinitely to pick up the late comers.

Now, as with older models, Ruger puts the serial number on the barreled receiver, so the only part of the pistol that goes back is the grip frame. Nobody should send the whole pistol.

This is one of the best run recalls I’ve ever experienced or even heard about, if my experience is any gauge. You’re going to get a magazine worth $29.95 in the process, and you never know when a spare will come in handy.

Also, take a moment and check the accessories at “Shop Ruger.” There are quality holsters that will fit these new pistols and I have one.

Now That’s A Painful Lesson

There’s a guy in Madison, Wisconsin who is probably rethinking his carry strategy while riding a commuter bus because his recent experience left him with a bullet wound down there by the family jewels.

According to the Associated Press and WKOW News, the unidentified 21-year-old had boarded a commuter bus headed to Chicago when the pistol tucked in his waistband discharged. He got up, stepped into the bus restroom and then got off the bus, even though the driver encouraged him to stay there for first aid.

Madison fire and aid quickly appeared and took the fellow to a local hospital. He left the gun in the bus bathroom.

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