Ruger 22/45 Mark III Pistols

By Chuck Hawks

22/45 Mk. III Hunter
Illustration courtesy of Sturm, Ruger, Co.

First introduced over 50 years ago, the Ruger semi-auto has become the most famous .22 pistol in the world. It is the .22 pistol by which all others are judged and the corner stone upon which the success of the Sturm, Ruger Company was built.

The Mark III is the latest series of Ruger .22 pistols. These incorporate refinements such as finger friendly tapered bolt ears, contoured ejection port, improved safety, loaded chamber indicator, and a magazine release button on the left side of the frame. (You can read more about the Ruger Mk. III .22 pistols at

The .22/45 series traces its lineage back to 1992, when Ruger first offered their .22 auto with a polymer grip frame. The new grip frame intentionally duplicated the angle and feel of the famous 1911 Colt Government Model .45 service pistol. Hence the model name, "22/45."

The black synthetic grip frame has integral grip panels that are covered by fine line molded checkering. Inlaid red and silver Ruger emblems attractively set off these checkered grip panels. The front strap of the Zytel synthetic grip frame is serrated and the rear strap is checkered for a non-slip grip.

In addition to grip size and angle, the 22/45 series also has its manual safety, magazine latch, and bolt hold open latch in the same locations as the Colt 1911 .45 service pistol. A Ruger .22/45 thus offers 1911 shooters an inexpensive and reliable way to practice.

All 22/45 pistols share several specifications in common. All are chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge, have a magazine capacity of 10 rounds (two magazines are supplied), come with bull barrels, and weigh between 31 and 35 ounces.

The 22/45 Mark III line includes five models. By catalog number these are P4MMKIII (blued, adj. sight, 4" barrel), P45GCMKIII (blued, fixed sight, 4 1/2" barrel), P512MKIII (blued, adj. sight, 5 1/2" barrel), KP512MKIII (stainless, adj. sight, 5 1/2" barrel), and KP678HMKIII (stainless, adj. sight, 6 7/8" barrel).

The latest in the Ruger 22/45 series is the 22/45 Mark III Hunter (KP678HMKIII). The sights are different on this pistol. It is supplied with a micro adjustable, shallow V-notch rear sight with a white center index line and a ramped HiViz light-gathering front sight. The Hunter comes with a total of six interchangeable light pipes for the front sight in three diameters (large, medium, and small in blaze orange and fluorescent green colors). The top of the action is drilled and tapped for a Weaver-style scope base adapter, which is supplied with the pistol. All other .22/45 models come with conventional patridge type iron sights.

Ruger .22 pistols have an excellent reputation for reliability. They seldom jam or otherwise malfunction. They are also simple to take down for cleaning. Opening a lever in the grip's back strap allows the pistol to be field stripped without the use of tools.

Probably no .22 autoloading pistol in history has combined such high degree of longevity, popularity, reliability versatility, and accuracy as the Ruger .22. The polymer framed Ruger 22/45 Mark III series has become an integral part of the Ruger .22 success story.

Note: A complete review of the Ruger 22/45 Mark III Hunter pistol can be found on the Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2006, 2016 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.