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SGW Gunsmith

Ruger Mark Pistols: Myth Busted

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There are some web-site myths that just seem to get carried along, even though those that repeat the "myth" have never actually done any testing, or experimenting to see if in fact, they're true. One of those myths were started by a web-site owner who fancies himself as being a gun "Dr.". That myth involves the use of the bolt stop thumb piece as a "bolt release" to allow the bolt to go forward and charge a new round into the chamber, after the empty magazine is removed and a fresh, full magazine has been installed.

The claim is, that using the bolt stop thumb piece to release the bolt will cause damage to the bolt face and the rear face of the bolt stop assembly. My testing and experimenting has not proven that to be so. When the thumb piece is used to release the bolt, the rear face of the bolt stop assembly actually just "slides down" and off the bolt face very easily. Not an action that could cause any damage as the Dr. has professed in his prognosis, or that ding in my bolt. Here's what I have found:

q45OJT8l.jpg

The above is a picture of a brand new bolt out of a brand new out-of-the-box Ruger Mark IV Competition Target that has only had the "sling-shot" procedure used to load a fresh round from a full magazine. Still, as you can see, there is a "ding" in the bolt face, but how did that ding get there? It was caused by the rear end of the bolt stop assembly after the magazine follower button has pushed the bolt stop assembly upward and the front of the bolt crashed into the bolt stop to hold the bolt in the rear position so that the empty magazine can be released and a fresh, full magazine can be inserted. The ding on the front face of the bolt is just a part of the process involved with these pistols and NOT caused by using the bolt stop thumb piece to release the bolt after a fresh magazine is inserted. This is what I have found to be the case, and I use the thumb piece to release the bolts on all my Ruger Mark pistols that allow it. As long as the damage is as minimal as shown above, the process will never impede anything involved with proper function.

Edited by SGW Gunsmith

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