Because Race Gun!
Complete? Well, for certain values of complete, anyway...
OK, here's how it began late last year:
A bone-stock Ruger Mk III 22/45, with polymer frame and fixed sights, & threaded barrel.
I've got a couple of .22LR wheelguns, but since I sold the Smith & Wesson 2214
some years back, I'd been lacking a .22 autoloader.
I dithered between the Browning Buckmark, the Walther P22, the SIG Mosquito and various flavors of the Ruger Mk I, II, III.
The pot-metal slides on the Walther and SIG ruled those out, and the sheer amount of aftermarket crap for the Rugers had me leaning heavily that way. The selling factor was the good price and the factory-threaded barrel on the Ruger 22/45.
The other bennie is the matching grip angle and controls the Ruger shares with the 1911. It's a lot cheaper plinking with .22 LR than with .45 ACP, and sharing the same manual of arms is a plus.
And so it began...
I dropped a hint or two on the blog along the way. The first post
dealt with the PITA of removing the loaded chamber indicator & replacing it with a static dustcover.
Got that one worked out, and then it was on to the next upgrade!
And I learned what a *real* PITA was...
Enter the hellish world of mounting a Picatinny rail. Have I mentioned that I hate rails?
They do make a rail specifically for my model of 22/45. The problem is that rail extends back over the rear sight dovetail, requiring the removal of the rear sight.
This was unacceptable. I wanted a rear sight. If your optic goes tits-up, you can whip out your multitool, pull it, and go with iron sights.
So, I used the Tactical Solutions rail meant for the Pac-Lite aluminum receiver. Fits like a charm. Almost.
See, the Pac-Lite receiver is threaded for #6-40 countersunk screws, and that's what it shipped with. The Ruger receiver has #6-48 tapped holes. Try finding a set of those no longer than 1/8" in your local hardware store...
I eBayed around, and finally got the right size screws, but they still didn't fit, leading to my second bitch-fest
on the blog about the problem.
In short, it was a screw head problem. The screws had oval, not countersunk heads. They didn't hold the rail tight enough.
I could order a gross lot of countersunk screws for $50, or I could get creative.
This is creative: (Pix from here on will embigginate when clicked)
The above pic shows a different method of shimming the screw in place. Left to right, that's a tiny copper ring, a #6 flat brass washer torqued into a cone, and finally a #6 steel lock washer. Each one worked equally well, but I ran across a nickel-plated brass countersunk washer that was just about perfect.
Shiny, but workable.
I did say *just about* perfect. I had to stack two of the washers in the rear hole, otherwise the tiny 1/8" long mounting screw still managed to drive itself down into the recoil spring and prevented the action from moving.
Also, I had to hacksaw off the last little rail segment so the rear sight would fit. Some sandpaper, and judicious application of a Sharpie marker to all the shiny bits, and it looks (almost) anodized...
So, the rail was on. Now to go inside the pistol again!
In no particular order or grade of PITA-ness, the following upgrades were accomplished:
*Trigger replaced with Volquartsen match trigger, with pre-travel and over-travel set screws.
(In the pic, you can also see the long, slim steel piece that fills the hole in the frame formerly occupied by the Loaded Chamber Indicator)
*Magazine disconnect removed and hammer bushing replaced.
Gun will now fire without the magazine in place. (this is a good thing!)
*Factory firing pin & extractor replaced with Volquartsen precision pin & extractor.
*Wolff spring set installed.
*Hogue grip installed.
*Fixed rear sight replaced with click-adjustable rear sight.
*Front sight replaced with fiber-optic sight.
*MadMacc's Precision compensator installed.
And finally, the whole shebang is topped off with a SightMark holographic sight.
You can choose between Red Dot, Dot & Cross, CircleDotCross, or Donut of Death.
And when you're all done, it looks like this!
Still on the To-Do list?
Perhaps the replacement of the hammer & sear, though a good polishing may clean that mess up.
And, of course, the trip to the range to see how it does on the set of steel plates!
Because Race Gun!!