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GUNS Magazine September 2011 Digital Edition - Page 58

I MIKE CUMPSTON ntroduced in 2009, this short version of the featureladen Hunter series is a truly versatile sidearm for the outdoorsman. At 38 ounces, with an overall length of 8-3/4", it is effectively the same size as a Model 1911 and has nearly identically placed fire controls and overall operating drill. Standard Mark III features include a leftside slide release, the traditional thumb safety and a grip-mounted magazine-release button in place of the european-styled heel release of earlier versions. Safety-related features include an internal key lock, a loaded chamber indicator and a disconnect to prevent firing when the magazine is removed. The Hunter model also features an array of different colored fiber optic elements for the front sight and a wide V-notch rear sight designed for rapid sighting on small game. The receiver is drilled and tapped for the Weaver optical sight base included in the package. Grip options include very attractive, checkered cocobolo and the Crimson Trace laser grip on my pistol. Out of the box, my trigger pull weighed 4 pounds, 2 ounces; and after judicious application of Wilson’s gun grease and a couple of hundred rounds, settled in at 3 pounds, 8 ounces—a very comfortable release for a pistol of this size. The fluted bull barrel provided a desirable level of muzzle-heaviness—good enough for a steady hold but maintaining the overall weight of the pistol at a comfortable level. My original take on the V-notch rear, round-dot front sight was prejudiced by often-published expert opinion that the Patridge design is the only suitable sight picture for a handgun. I did, in fact, encounter a learning curve with these sights. Introduced in 2009, the Ruger MK III Hunter with 4.5" barrel is a compact field pistol retaining all the extras of the MK III Hunter series. It offers multiple sighting options and comes with two magazines. I found them quite tedious when shooting bench groups and deferred to the laser dot for accuracy testing. They worked fine for off-hand shooting and after some practice, my results from field positions equal anything I’ve ever been able to do with a pistol with this barrel length. Contrary to the Ruger recommendation of centering the fiber optic dot with the desired point of impact, I sight the pistol for a center hold with the front-sight level with the top of the rear. In bright daylight, shooting from shade, the fiber optic is effectively invisible to my eyes and using the round fiber optic MAkeR: STURM, RUGeR & COMPAnY 200 RUGeR RD. PReSCOTT, AZ 86301 (928) 778-6555 WWW.GUnSMAGAZIne.COM/ RUGeR MK III HUNTER .22 Long Rifle CAPACITy: BARREl lENGTH: The Ruger Standard Auto and its progeny have accounted for a lot of small game in the decades since 1949. This cottontail fell to a CCI Mini Mag Hollowpoint from 35 yards. CAlIBER: 10+1 4.5" lENGTH OvERAll: WIDTH: HEIGHT: 8.75" 1.2" 38 ounces $638 (Cocobolo grips) RETAIl: WEIGHT: 5.5" 58 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER 2011

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