Ruger Mark IV Hunter Pistol Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
April 10, 2017

Ruger Mark IV Pistol Review

I have to give Ruger some praise because their new Mark IV Series pistol's one button takedown design may have set a new bar in the industry for ease of disassembly on any pistol.  Last year when I reviewed the Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory Pistol, I knew that Ruger was going to have to do something to compete with Victory's ease of takedown and that's exactly what Ruger did.

The Ruger Mark series of pistols have a long legacy of reliability, accuracy and popularity, but they have also had a long history of frustration by some owners when it comes to disassembly.  Having borrowed and owned some of the Mark pistols over the years, my biggest frustration has always been my memory with regard to disassembly and reassembly of the previous Mark series pistols.  To me, it seems there are a couple of critical steps and orientations that you had to put the pistols in for reassembly and you may also need to tap the pistol in the right places for disassembly.  Thankfully all that is over with the new Mark IV and their future legacy will be one of popularity, reliability, accuracy and ease of disassembly/reassembly!

 

Ruger first introduced the Mark IV series of pistols toward the end of last year and Ruger has plans to eventually have a full suite of Mark IVs to replace their Mark IIIs.  Actually, Ruger no longer advertises the Mark IIIs at their website.  Ruger currently shows 4 basic models of Mark IV pistols at their website; Target, Hunter, 22/45 Lite and Completion.  In nearly each case, they offer variations of that basic model such as Blued or Stainless as well as Standard Grips or Target Grips.  I'm sure that in time they will offer many more models in this popular rimfire platform.

In this review I decided to get the Mark IV Hunter with Target Grips, mainly because I wanted a stainless version and the fluted barrel on the Hunter along with the target grips looked too sexy to pass up.  For a target style pistol, I prefer target styled sights for precision shooting instead of the V-notch sights that come on the Hunter model, but with my older eyes, I knew an optic was part of my plan and the Hunter is drilled and tapped for an optic rail so the sights were of no issue.  I will say up front that the target grips are not for everyone and if you have small hands or if you are just considering getting a pistol with target grips, make sure you checkout one in your local gun store.  The target grips are nice, but they might make operating the controls a challenge for some people.  I go over this in more detail later in the review.

This particular model handgun (Mark IV Hunter Target Grips) has an MSRP of $799 and it looks like you can find it online for about $630 if you can actually find one in stock.  Most likely it will run between $650 and $700 in your local gun stores.  If a stainless pistol is not your cup of tea, then you can get the Target blued version significantly cheaper since it has an MSRP of $529.

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger website on 2/11/17 and gives the Key Features and Specifications for the Ruger Mark IV Hunter Pistol.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

Key Features

  • Simple, one-button takedown for quick and easy field-stripping and proper chamber to muzzle cleaning.
  • A recessed button in the back of the frame allows the upper receiver to tilt up and off of the grip frame without the use of tools.
  • Ergonomic bolt stop.
  • Internal cylindrical bolt construction ensures permanent sight to barrel alignment and higher accuracy potential than conventional moving slide designs.
  • Contoured ejection port and easy-to-grasp bolt ears allow for durable and reliable operation round after round.
  • Accurate sighting system features adjustable rear sight and drilled and tapped receiver for Weaver- or Picatinny-style rail for easy mounting of optics.
  • Ambidextrous manual safety positively locks the sear in the "SAFE" position when applied.
  • Safety can be converted to left-side only with included washer.
  • Features a conveniently located push-button magazine release on the left side of the frame.
  • Magazine drops free on release for faster reloading.
  • Magazine disconnect prevents discharge when the magazine has been removed.
  • Also includes: two, 10-round magazines.
  • One-piece, precision CNC-machined grip frame.
  • Smoothly contoured wood laminate target grips with wrap around finger grooves for precision shooting.

Specifications

  • Model Number: 40160
  • Caliber: 22 LR
  • Capacity: 10
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Front Sight: Fiber Optic
  • Barrel Length: 6.88", 17.4 cm
  • Grip Frame: Stainless Steel
  • Grips: Target Laminate
  • Finish: Satin Stainless
  • Width: 1.46", 37 mm
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Barrel Style: Fluted Bull
  • Weight: 44.2 oz., 1.25 kg
  • Overall Length: 11.12", 28.2 cm review pistol measured 11.04"
  • Height: 5.50"13.9 cm review pistol measured 5.56"
  • Grooves: 6
  • Twist: 1:16" RH
  • CA Approved: No
  • MA Approved & Certified: Yes
  • Suggested Retail: $799.00

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • Next evolution of a proven rimfire platform
  • Time tested with proven reliability and accuracy
  • The review pistol was able to shoot twenty five 5-shot groups at 25 yards with a group average of 0.81" with my best single group measuring 0.36"
  • Although hefty, the pistol has a great feel and balance and stays on target shot after shot
  • Amazingly simple one button takedown (no excuse for a dirty pistol again)
  • Previous Mark III magazines are compatible with the Mark IV pistols (may not be the case on the 22/45 models)

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • Target grips look and feel great, but make operating the controls a little awkward.  A second set of standard black grip panels is only $11 from ShopRuger.com which may be a good addition for times when target shooting is not critical or instructing someone with smaller hands
  • Trigger pull was coming in at about 5 pounds with some initial creep.
  • The ambidextrous safety seems to make contact with my hand on the right side so I configured the pistol using the supplied bushing to remove the safety lever on the right side of the pistol.

Cons:

  • Personally I believe that Ruger should have shipped a scope base or rail on this model pistol, especially when you consider it comes with the target grips and optics are becoming so popular for today's shooters.

 

Bottom Line:

The Ruger Mark IV Hunter Pistol is the next generation of Ruger's awesome Mark Series Pistols and the one button takedown makes disassembly extremely fast and easy.  This pistol proved to be extremely accurate and in my opinion the accuracy is only limited by the ammunition and shooter.  This Hunter model with Target grips is no doubt an extremely sexy pistol (if there can be one).  The two things that I wish Ruger would have done different were to have included a scope rail and upgraded their trigger.  Both are solvable by either going to ShopRuger.com or to Volquartsen, but it would have been nice for them to be part of the package.  Overall though, I would give Ruger a solid "A" on the their Mark IV and I'm looking forward to many years of shooting my new pistol!


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