Dr. Bullseye's

Ruger Mark I/II/III and 22/45

Troubleshooting Chart


                                 Symptom                                              Cause                                                                Prescription


1.  My mainsping housing won't swing open more than 3/8" when trying to field strip the pistol.

The hammer is not fully forward or is partially cocked.

- Mark III: insert empty magazine, squeeze trigger and drop hammer. 

- Tilt pistol muzzle downwards, squeeze trigger and hold it back, and then strike muzzle forcefully downwards onto a padded surface (block of wood on the floor, or workbench) to force hammer fully forward.

- Manually ease hammer. 

2.  My mainspring housing won't close all the way, it stays open for the last 1/4".
The hammer strut has slipped off of the mainspring cap. Squeeze trigger to release hammer.  Next open mainsping housing and reclose it properly with hammer strut on mainspring cap. 
3.  My mainspring latch on my 22/45 won't close.
The magazine is installed.
Remove magazine.  Then reopen mainsping housing and reclose it properly with hammer strut on mainspring cap.
4.  My mainspring housing keeps popping back out of the receiver whenever I go to close the mainspring housing. I can't get it to stay in!
The hammer position is not fully forward or is partially cocked.

- Mark III: insert a  magazine, squeeze the trigger and manually push the hammer forward with a tool.

- Squeeze trigger to release hammer and hold it.  Next close mainsping housing properly with hammer strut on mainspring cap. 

5. My mainspring housing won't install into the receiver because the rear lugs are too dificult to align for the bolt stop pin to seat fully. The receiver is not seated or aligned correctly on the frame.

- Insert the mainspring housing's bolt stop pin down through the top of the receiver and then twist and move the barrel until the stop pin seats.  Remove pin and reinstall from the bottom, taking care to position the hammer strut on the mainspring cap properly.

- Grind a taper on the blind end of a 5/16" drill bit and slide it through the bolt stop hole from the top of the receiver. If you are having trouble installing a new tight pistol receiver and not getting it lined up, just tap the bit with a mallet firm enough to align the lug holes. Then install the mainspring housing as normal through the bottom of the pistol.

6. My bolt won't cycle.  I can move it but it takes a lot of force - seems like something is dragging on it.
The hammer pivot pin has moved slightly and not mounted into both sides of the frame.  When the mainspring is inserted, the spring forces the hammer up into the bolt causing the dragging.
Remove the left side grip and the mainspring housing.  Push the hammer pivot pin back fully into the frame.  Ensure both ends are inside the frame holes.  Reinstall grips and the mainspring housing.
7. My bolt won't cycle and I have a drilled and tapped scope mount installed. The scope mount screws maybe too long and dragging on the bolt assembly. Remove the mount screws one at a time and cycle bolt. If one causes the problem then a few quick strokes with a file and reinstall the screw.  Reblue if desired with cold bluing solution.
8.  My Mark II's bolt can't retract more than 1/2".
The hammer strut has slipped off of the mainspring cap and is caught behind the frame crosspin. 
Squeeze trigger to release hammer.  Next open mainsping housing and reclose it properly with hammer strut on mainspring cap. 
9.  My bolt won't come out of my receiver for field stripping.
The hammer strut is caught behind the crosspin.
Tilt frame forward and lift hammer strut up from behind crosspin and then pull bolt out of the receiver.
10.  My hammer won't drop. Or, gun won't go click.
- Mark III magazine not installed.

- The disconnector is not resetting.

- Trigger overtravel stop is set too high.

- Mark III: insert empty magazine. 

- Push bolt all the way forward. 

- Back out trigger overtravel screw a little bit more.

11.  My receiver and the frame won't come apart for field stripping.

- Hammer is forward and blocking receiver.

- There's a magazine installed in the frame.

-  Frame and receiver are tightly fitted together.

- Reach into receiver tube and push hammer back into the cocked position. 

- Remove the magazine and try again.

- Use a rubber mallet to tap the receiver off of the frame.

12.  My hammer and sear pins keep walking out of position in my 22/45 pistol.

- The hammer and sear pivot pins are installed incorrectly.

- The sear spring is in the wrong position.

- The 22/45 hammer and sear pins have small grooves in them that must be installed on the left side of the pistol.

- The long leg of the 22/45 sear spring must be installed behind the hammer pivot pin to lock it in place.

13. My pistol doesn't eject spent cases properly. Spent cases stovepipe. 

- The extractor is worn or the extractor plunger spring is weak or dirty.

- The ejector pin is loose or bent.

- Check the extractor for wear.  All edges should be sharp. Replace if worn.

- Recrimp the rivet holding the ejector in place or carefully bend the ejector pin back into position.  If unable to recrimp the rivet, then back to Ruger for repair.

14. The new round gets jammed on the old spent case when the new one is feeding into the chamber. 

- The magazine is positioned too high in the frame. 


- The extractor is weak or worn

- Verify there is a 1/16" gap between the magazine feed lips and the ejector.  If magazine feed lip is touching extractor, then lower the magazine's position by either taking a little material off of the plastic magazine bottom block or the magazine release latch.

- See Step 13's prescription for remedy.

14. My pistol won't drop the hammer when I pull the trigger, nothing works since I detail stripped my pistol. The trigger return spring or plunger may have fallen out of the pistol disengaging the disconnector lever. Turn your pistol upside down and shake a little.  Try the trigger again.  If hammer drops, field strip the pistol and check for missing parts.
15. My pistol won't drop the hammer since I adjusted the Allen screws in the target trigger.

-The overtravel stop may is set too high.


-The pretravel stop (if equipped) is set too far out.

-Turn in the overtravel Allen screw, test the trigger again with the receiver off.  Be sure to use your thumb to catch the hammer.

-If you have a pretravel screw in your trigger, then first try manually pushing the trigger forward with your thumb.  If you hear a small click, then you can squeeze the trigger and the hammer will fall.  Disassemble the pistol and screw in the pretravel screw a tiny amount.  Retry with the receiver off and by catching the hammer with your thumb.

-If you have a pretravel screw and the above didn't work, then you are going to have to release the hammer/sear before you can disassemble your pistol.  You can manually release the sear with a scribe by taking the grips off and inserting the scribe tip into the sear a pulling. 

-If you have a 22/45 or cannot get the sear to manually release, then tap out the sear pin with a punch and mallet, this will release the hammer for field stripping.  Readjust the trigger screws and ensure testing of the settings is accomplished prior to assembling the pistol using the method described above.

16. My trigger pull is too heavy.  How can I lighten the trigger pull? Install an aftermarket sear and trigger.

The sear is the biggest component that drives trigger pull weight in a Ruger 22 auto pistol.  Replace the sear with a VQ Target Sear and the pull weight will drop to very near two pounds.  You can also replace the trigger with an aftermarket target trigger with adjustments for pretravel and overtravel to further reduce the amount of trigger travel and enhance the operability of your pistol.

You can install a Trigger upgrade kit.  It will work but it costs more and has more parts. If you want to vastly improve the trigger pull and not spend a lot of cash, then just replace the sear and trigger; you'll be pleased with the results.

17. My trigger pull is too gritty feeling.  This condition gets worse when the gun hasn't been cleaned in a while. The trigger return spring plunger and plunger hole are clogged with powder residue. You can open up the trigger return plunger hole a little with a # 9 - 4/48" or .196" twist drill. (be careful not to deepen the plunger hole)  The original plunger hole size is # 10 - 4/40" or .193".  Next, polish the inside of the plunger hole with some 600 grit wet/dry abrasive paper to improve the trigger's feel and to go longer in between cleanings without getting that gritty feel to it. I typically accomplish the polishing by wrapping a little wet/dry 600 grit abrasive paper around a smaller drill bit shank and use that to polish the inside of the plunger hole glass smooth.
18. My first round out of a full magazine jams into the bottom of the feed ramp and damages the nose of the bullet.  The first round is not oriented properly in the magazine and the nose of the bullet is tilted downwards.  Ensure the first round has the nose of the bullet tilted upwards toward the mouth of the chamber.  The subsequent rounds in the magazine will naturally tilt to the correct orientation. 


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