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I have finally the gumption to ask the collective Ruger community, a couple questions about my Ruger that have nagged me for years. These concern my old P85 Mk II (the last "MK II" signifies it had the P85 recall firing pin safety recall mod. done by the factory already).

I got this gun used in 1997 for $250. It is the only gun I have never been tempted to sell because it is just too darn solid looking to ever willingly let go. This would not be so unusual except it performs the WORST of all my pistols (5 of them so far) with poor groups every time every ammo..."Tank-like" is a common description of these earlier all metal guns - boxy, squared lines, nothing sleek about it. It's a dead-ringer for the "Half life" video game pistol and if any pistol would survive a nuclear melt down and come out shooting surely this is one... yet it performs the worst among all my pistols. Even my Bersa .380 can shoot rings around it all day.

My questions are simple, i hope.

1. The main spring guide looked chewed up from the spring movement. I think the first owner might have installed the spring backwards to make it like this. With the tight end going over to the inner end of the spring and the loose end where the spring guide moves it had left marks like someone took a dremel or file. I spent a half hour sanding and polishing these marks off leaving the guide pretty smooth, but have yet to test fire to see if this makes any difference....

2. to accuracy. Can't hit a thing. My Bersa .380 and my Glock can shoot (target) rings around it, whats the likely culprit or fix here, if any?? New barrel, new guide rod, some gunsmithing ? or is improvement just about impossible?

3. Guide rod...I read about a Guns and Ammo torture test of the P85 vs a few other guns and would dearly love to read that - if anyone has a copy or can scan one in, it might be of value to a lot of P" series owners...

4. Last but not least - more guide rod - i saw an ad for stainless steel, solid guide rod (already changed the spring- a new one from Wolf, figured after 15 years it was time - so that isn't affecting anything)the rod is $25. there seems to be nothing wrong with the old one - no cracks - but wondered if i should get it just on principle. The factory rod is obviously hollow from the feel of it, heck i'm about to take a magnet to it because it is so light it seems like it might not even be hollow steel! Is it worth c hanging pre-emptively even though it hasn't give a lick of trouble?



Also i'd give my eye teeth for a look at an older article in guns and ammo magazine from years back. They did a torture test of a P85 vs a few of its contemporary guns like HK and maybe Glock, supposedly the Ruger came out, reliability wise, with flying colors, Just hearing of this article stopped me from just ordering the rod right this minute...is there ANYONE can scan in this article or have a link to it somewhere?
Thanks for any and all feedback,
 

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I bought a Millet back sight for mine and made a front sight from nylon/plastic. I can shoot 2 inch groups at 20 yds. It is the best pistol I have. In the spring I brace my hand against a tree and shoot beside wild flowers. And I can make the flower move without hitting it. It's a Mark ll
 

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I have one bought new as soon as I found one in stainless. I will die with it, to date it has NEVER malfunctioned. it is also as accurate as any pistol I own. this pistol marked my transition from revolver to autoloaders. it convinced me the move made sense.
I don't take it out much anymore, but I hold it in high esteem.
 

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Here are some images of the May/1990 Shooting Times article on the Ruger P85 torture test.

You will probably need to use an image viewer so you can enlarge them enough to read the text.

The first image shows the complete article with pictures. The other two are closeups of each page.

Someone else posted these a long time ago. I don't remember if it was here or on rugerforum.com

In any case, credit to the OP.





 

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I would have a gunsmith take a look at it. The P series guns can shoot. They are very accurate. I would suspect maybe some damage to the crown from a previous owner cramming a cleaning rod into the muzzle end of the barrel.

Ruger will also look at it, but because of its age, and the fact its functioning correctly, you will probably have to pay shipping, and they don't support the P85 anymore, so they may not have a correct replacement part to fix accuracy issues.
 

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I would say I am in the same boat with my older p85mk2. I own all the p series guns, and shoot them all well. But my p85 does not group as well as the others. I have always wondered why this is. Maybe your omto something..
 

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My P90 is the same way, to an extent.........it sprays some .45 into buckshot patterns and shoots OK with others.

My P89 isn't the most accurate either, but everytime I run it through a little "0-25 yard" informal "qualification" course at the range, I always "qualify" with it, usually 100%. It's just not a match pistol. My P89 hits a foot low at 10 yards with any ammo.

Some people have P85's-P89's they swear are tack drivers, some are like "meh it's pretty accurate" and some say the accuracy is barely usable...........I think most P-series guns fall into "combat accurate" to describe the accuracy, with the occasional one that's exceptional.

My main love for the P-series guns (I have a P89, a 944, a 94, and a 90) is that they always just work, with anything from Wolf steel case to high-dollar defensive HP's, they just keep shooting. I did have a P85 non-MK II, and I bought it used.......it was caked up with old, dried oil and was filthy, the slide was sluggish when I got it. It was a "beater". I took it out back,without cleaning it, and it ran through 2 mags without a bobble.......THAT'S why I love the P-guns:)
 

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A belated thanks to member Blue .45 for the tremendous documentation find! Thank you kind sir, as this is not a cut-and-dried issue of the type easily made right, like "hammer strut bent/change hammer strut/resolved problem" type issue but as pointed out, maybe a combination of factors. The more so since the gun in question, while appeared to have been lightly fired, was got used. And after all, used-still-means-used thus no way to determine what a hard/easy life it had had. For instance, for all I know the previous owner(s) used nothing but +P rounds for all 500 - 1000 rounds before it ever got to the gun store (B and B Gun Sales, Westeminster, Ca. - now defunct)and the piece finally made it's way into my hands. And the phantom issue could be those +P's if they were ever used, a bad assembly, bent barel, faulty sights (the sights on these are far from optimal to begin with - no elevation, for starters and all these guns seem to want to shoot to the FAR left outside the windage adjustment range!) Perhaps something that only a tear down with a micrometer would ever find, is causing the irregular accuracy.

Or perhaps member Weblance hit the nail on the head right away, it may just need a re-crowning job! But to muddy the waters further i thought this was a far more common issue with rifles firing long range then pistols...might just as well go to an all new barrel and eliminate many variables at once, with luck...going to look int several or all of the above.
 

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P 90 guide rod

I have a P 90DC 1993 production date that has many thousands of rounds thru it. The guide rod is pretty rough looking (heavy scratches), but I have never attempted to smooth it out. It still eats any ammo I throw at it.
 
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