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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

pretending to be a gunsmith

i picked up a new Ruger MKIII Target back in March, and crowed a little about it the day i took it to the range and fired the first 100 rounds through it.
so here it is, August, and i finally got around to tacking on a couple of goodies. i'm not sure if i'm done with it yet, but there isn't much more i can do to this sweet little pistol that i haven't already done. maybe get a pistol scope to use when i get bored with the holographic sights.
so in a nut shell, here's how to install a new target trigger, sear, hammer, and bolt release. those were purchased from Volquartsen. i bought the Accurizing Kit for the pistol, rather than individual parts. cheaper that way, and you get everything you need. my only bitch was that it took what seemed forever to my terminally short term patience. something like 2 weeks. don't know what i'm bitching about when ordering parts from a custom house, but when i order stuff for work, its usually delivered the next day, at no extra charge.
but i digress.
the kit comes packed in ziplok bags, and has an excellent two sided sheet of instructions.
you will need the Ruger manual supplied with the gun, but these can be ordered from Ruger if you have lost it. you really, really need that book.

TIP #1: take volquartsen's instructions, and go through the gun drawing in the manual. the instructions call the parts by their part number, so find each one in the table and then write it down next to the part on the exploded diagram. seriously. or you can find the drawing number for each part and write it down on the instruction sheet. either way will way way more than save the time it took to do in the first place. it really sucks trying to flip back through the manual to the parts table trying to figure out what the hell the instructions are trying to tell you. especially when you have spring tension trying to scatter parts all over the place as you disassemble the gun. seriously, take the time and label the exploded diagram.

next, watch this video. it's linked off of the Volquartsen site, and is almost indispensable unless you really are a gunsmith. i watched it through 3 or 4 times before beginning the process on my own gun.

first, you have to field strip the gun and remove the grips

click for other image size options

field stripped

then, take a picture of what the guts look like before you start popping pins and scattering all the parts everywhere. i really didn't need it, but it was there, just in case
internals before fitup

then, push pins, shake, rattle, and thump until all the parts you want removed are removed. follow the published instructions. it's almost impossible to screw up. unless you lose one of the tiny parts, like the safety detent. keep a close eye on that sucker. it's very small, and can easily become MIA.
down to frame

reassembly following the instructions is easy, especially if you watched the video. personally, i brought the gun into the computer room, clicked on the video, and put it together at the desk. nice thing, the pause button.
here's the final product

on one of the customer reviews i read at Midway USA, the reviewer bitched about the bigger, wider bolt release. since i put Pachmayr Signature grips on a couple of weeks ago, i was really happy to have the bigger release. the stock release was just too small, and was a bear to operate once the new grips were put on. here's a view of the original release
slide release
see how small it is? it just disappeared into the Pachmayr grips

i like the new bolt release much better with these grips.

here's what my Ruger MKIII looks like now
Ruger MKIII Target

besides the volquartsen accurizing kit, i've installed a set of Pachmayr Signature Grips, and a TruGlo holographic sight from MidwayUSA.
all in all, i think this will become my favorite go to plinking gun. i took something that was pretty damned good, tweeked it, and now it should be really pretty damned good.

every time my wife raises her eyebrow at one of my little purchases, i always tell her, "honey, i could have a 1967 Camaro SS sitting in the garage. then imagine the money i'd be spending. come to think about it, i WOULD like to have a 1967 Camaro SS, or maybe a 67 Z/28. naaah. i think i'll stick with guns. they are way cheaper....

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad gave me a ruger like that for my 30th b-day, oh so many years ago. I haven't taken it out since I moved back north. Or any of my others, for that matter. I miss it.

Nice groupings.

8/25/08, 3:25 PM  

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