Monday, October 20, 2014

Knowing Your Limitations...

Folks who are friends with me on Facebook know I did something foolish this past weekend. Even though I really should know better; even though I am in the business; even though there's plenty of evidence against it; I did something stupid:

I field-stripped a Ruger Mark III.

I know, I know. I'm funny like that. You tell me I shouldn't do something, well, that's like waving the red flag in front of the bull. I had instructions. I had tools. I had an afternoon ahead of me...

I should have known better. It came apart pretty much exactly like the directions said it should. I got the four main groups separated, cleaned, and oiled with no problems.

Then I attempted reassembly.

The barrel went back on the grip assembly easily. The spring went into the bolt easily. The bolt even went into the barrel easily. Then I tried to get the mainspring housing back in and all hell (figuratively) broke looks.

Apparently, they're not kidding when they describe the steps that must be followed in order to get things back in place. I missed something (I think it was inserting the magazine to pull the trigger, now that I think about it) and when it all went back together, the bolt stuck open and the trigger wouldn't release the hammer.

At some point - I think it's when I grabbed the industrial-size screwdriver with the intent of prying the mainspring housing out of the pistol the hard way - I carefully zipped the Ruger in a pistol rug and put it in the safe. I had reached the point where any further action would have resulted in actual damage to the firearm, and despite how angry I was, I didn't want that.

I cleaned another gun (actually just ran a boresnake through an AR upper that I'm breaking in, that's about all I was good for at that point), took a nice, long, hot shower, and then did a little reading up on the Mark III on the 'net. Went downstairs into the workshop with a clear mind and took another look at the Ruger.

Now, I still don't know what I did to free up the mainspring, but it freed up and I was able to get the Ruger disassembled again. This time I took careful note of the position of things (and inserted the magazine), and was able to get it all together correctly. A couple function checks (including dry-firing a rimfire, which sets my teeth on edge even though they say it's okay) later and it was fine.

"A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry, Magnum Force. Smart, smart words, and ones that we would do very well to heed. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, and even at that, I'm still working on it. I could tell the frustration level was getting to a point where I wasn't going to be able to do anything constructive, and was FAR more likely to result in something destructive. I took the most sensible route and walked away.

Kinda wished I'd done that more often, but I guess that's how I got to this point...

That is all.

18 comments:

Brad_in_MA said...

Jay,

Offered w/out comment ---

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hflZbPI-qc

Sevesteen said...

If you ever take it apart this far again, consider a Sam Lam hammer bushing. Eliminates the magazine interlock, which eliminates the cringe when I put a mag in and pull the trigger for field stripping. Mine was a drop in, no extra work beyond the field strip.

B said...

Dude, do it 6 or 8 times in a row and then you can do it blindfolded.

I can. It ain't hard.

For some reason, folks fail to follow the steps *EXACTLY* and then complain when things don't go right. If you do the steps in order
it'll work every time.

Dave H said...

Never handled a Mark III, but I've had the same conversation with Mark Is and IIs. The trick to reassembly is getting the little pivoting finger on the bottom of the hammer to dangle at the proper angle to engage the top of the hammer spring plunger. Until that's right, you ain't going nowhere.

You know, I think it's time to dig out the Mark II and do a little linking. Thanks for reminding me!

Yancy said...

.......Then I attempted reassembly...

P. S. H. !!!! You gotta laugh at that point or you're gonna cry and then scream. My advice is until you've done it enough times that you can do it blindfolded and in your sleep, lock your carry gun in the safe while your learning this bugger.

Hat Trick said...

+1 to Mr. B
The best trick I've learned to get the hammer strut to engage the spring plunger is to have the hammer uncocked and point the pistol straight up as you swing the mainspring housing in and lock it. You'll be able to feel it put some pressure on the spring if it lined up right. Then lock it in and cycle the bolt and dryfire it to check.

eiaftinfo said...

I'm not sure they can ever be put back together once taken a part . . .

It's simply impossible!!!

Designed by Satan himself!!!

Just not worth all the swearing and heartache!!!

Probably a useless pile of parts . . . .

Say . . .

Since your bike could probably use some new kind of trinket or two . . .

I'll take the box of useless parts off your hands . . .


Just a thought . . . :)
Say $10 bucks . . . .???

Anonymous said...

Just to make it more fun they made the 22/45 go back together differently than the standard versions. Youtube is the only way I can bet it back together.


I usually just oil it up and use the air compressor to blow out all the junk.

NotClauswitz said...

People keep telling me how awesome great they are but I also keep hearing this same lament, over and over. So I'll spend the extra on something else, the grief just isn't worth it to ma anymore - it's like going out on the MX track with a bike that has no pre-load and too much rebound, and 30-year old springs - you're gonna hurt.
Besides, a Colt Woodsman is worth the extra.

Jim said...

Browning. Buckmark.

It's just better!


Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Glenn B said...

Is the MKIII essentially the same as the MKII when disassembling and reassembling, if so piece of cake - that is if I watch my own YouTube video about it. Of course, I mean it is usually a piece of cake if I watch the video.

0007 said...

Never had any problem reassembling my High-Standars, heh, heh, heh.

0007 said...

'Course I DO sometimes hae trouble spelling Standards...

PhilaBOR said...

Bought a kit. Installed it. WAY BETTER.
http://www.eabco.com/Ruger_Mk_III_Speed_Strip.html

Anonymous said...

Jay, check out this website. It may help lower your blood pressure next time you feel like testing your limits.


Gene in NC

Anonymous said...

Helps if I post the link.

http://majesticarms.com/

Anonymous said...

I have a Mark I, two Mark IIs, and a 22/45 Mark III.

Reassembling the last one is indeed different from the rest, in much the same way Ted Bundy was different from the rest of the college kids.

I usually clean my Buckmark at the same time as the 22/45, just for the sake of my sanity.

Geodkyt said...

The Majestic Arms Speed Strip conversion isn't recommended for the 22/45 with the aluminum barrel shroud.

I managed to get the important bits with an ordnance toothbrush, and lubed with the red Shooter's Grease in a syringe.