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Iowegan, I only get out to hunt squirrels or dove occasionally nowadays. Although I've carried my MKII in the field in the past, holstered with chamber loaded and safety on, I've been a bit leery since reading a couple of articles some time back by two pretty well known gun writers( both now deceased) declaring it unsafe to carry any .22 autoloader that way. I remember a post of your's a few years ago concerning the safeties on the MKIIs over at RF.com but can't find it. Not asking for you to recommend carrying that way but rather your opinions on the safeties of the RUGER .22 autos again here if possible.
Baker
 

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btrumanj, The safety catch on the MK Series pistols is NOT the best or safest design I've ever seen. The MK IIIs are especially poor. Here's how they work: When the safety is in the SAFE mode, there is a "hook" on the safety catch that captures the sear and holds it against the cocking notch in the hammer. This prevents the hammer from releasing. The safety catch does not disconnect the trigger nor does it block the firing pin ... all it does is latch the sear into the hammer notch.

Here's where you may have problems: if the hammer, safety catch, or sear have been replaced, altered, maladjusted, or are badly worn, pulling the trigger firmly with the safety in the "SAFE" mode may allow the pistol to fire. With the MK IIIs, the safety catch was modified with a "tail" so it will work with the key lock. The MK III's safety catch has a lot of slack and does not hold the sear against the hammer notch well at all. On my personal MK III, I can force the trigger back with the safety on and make it shoot. This is not good!

I don't want to paint a bad picture. If the safety catch is in spec, your MK II is probably just as safe as any other other brand. The spring loaded safety detent is pretty good. It's hard to position the safety button where it's not fully in the SAFE or FIRE mode.

There's a simple test you should do each time before you carry the pistol with a loaded chamber: With an empty gun and the safety catch in the SAFE mode, pull firmly on the trigger and see if the hammer snaps. For MK IIIs, you also need to insert an empty magazine. For those more mechanically inclined, you can field strip the pistol including removal of the receiver/barrel assembly. Use your finger to place the hammer in the "cocked" position and make sure the sear is in the hammer's cocking notch. Place the safety catch in the SAFE position. Now pull the trigger and see if there is excessive forward sear movement (where it moves away from the hammer). If the sear moves more than a few thousandths, I wouldn't trust the safety enough to carry the gun with a round chambered.

I've repaired several MK IIs where the owner had installed a target hammer (Volquartsen or or Clark). Both of these hammers have a reduced sear notch that works well for better trigger pull but the reduced notch doesn't have enough margin for positive safety catch function. Same thing on well worn guns or ones that Bubba took a file to. The "fix" is to weld a little metal on the inside edge of the safety "hook" then dress it down with a file so it holds the sear solid against the hammer notch. This is how the factory adjusts the safety engagement on new guns (minus the welding of course).
 

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Iowegan, thanks for the reply. My gun is completely stock but has been well used. Only thing that has been replaced was a new extractor and recoil spring unit and I do test the safety each time I use the gun so guess I'm OK for now. Probably will carry my old scuffed and scarred K22 most of the time anyway. Thanks again
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Song Dawg, Thanks!

I hope people don't misinterpret my post by thinking MK series pistols are "bad". Actually, you rarely see a problem unless Bubba got in there or aftermarket parts were used. Like any other brand, there are exceptions but don't let this influence your next purchase.

Another issue ... no matter what type/brand/model of firearm you plan to carry loaded, you should always do a function test to make sure everything is working BEFORE you load it. Several years ago, I was deer hunting with a friend that bought a brand new Remington 700 BDL the day before we left. Here we are in camp and he chambered a round, put the safety on, pulled the trigger, then switched the safety off. Ker Boom. The safety was defective. Fortunately, he had the muzzle pointed up. Not a good way to test a gun and not a good way to start a deer season.
 

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Iowegan,
Your input and advice is always complete, accurate and qualified. I know I'm not the only one here who has benefited by your posts and generosity.
Much of what I know about guns was derived from forum gun gurus such as yourself... professional gun lover lifers!:)
One other thing. When it's opinion you qualify it as that. If someone doesn't agree.... you NEVER get your back up!
Too often we don't take the time to express our thanks.
My life has been enhanced greatly by responsible firearms ownership, knowledge and activities!

So....thanks for your contribution!:)

SD
 

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Thank you very much Iowegan! Altough I know quite a bit about MKII's and MKIII's, this was a totally new item.
I will be handling my MK's with even more care.
 

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Good info. Sounds like the safest way is to carry without a round in the chamber. I had an incident when I was a kid of a rifle firing with, I thought, the safety on. No injuries, but I've never trusted them fully since.
 

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btrumanj, As usual, great advice by the Iowegan! I'll add a small note on safeties. I would like to have a $100 bill for every firearm I have had go through my hands that had either a non-functioning or partial functioning safety. I have found that in many firearms, even with a fully functioning safety, it is relatively easy to push or force off many safeties. It's my recommendation to "test" safeties "moderately" and to always point your arm in a safe direction and push off the safety completely just in case, as Iowegan described with his buddy, the safety is defective or marginal. On semi-auto pistols, I definitely recommend carrying with an empty chamber! On lever action rifles, and some single action handguns and shotguns, always keep your finger "away" from the trigger when placing the hammer in the half-cock or "safety" position. If you know and "practice" with your firearm, it is relatively easy to get it into battery. I recommend "trust" in safe "practices" rather than safeties alone..............Dick
 
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