The Ruger 22/45 Lite was announced just before the show started and has been generating a bit of buzz ever since. Here at the show they have a couple on the floor for us to play around with (Dan Zimmerman posing for the mistake that I have seen others making with this gun), and we had the grand tour of the firearm with Mark Gurney from Ruger.

The main point is that nothing major has changed on the firearm. It still operates in the same manner, it’s still a royal pain in the ass to take apart, and it still takes slightly modified 1911 grips.

The most surprising development is that in a gun that is designed to be lightweight, it now sports a heavy barrel from the factory (seen above). The barrel completely fills the aluminum shroud and comes threaded from the factory with 1/2-28 threading for silencers.

We had to ask: what’s with the cutouts on the barrel shroud? According to Ruger’s Mark Gurney, it’s pure cool factor and nothing more. And while I agree it does add a little to the gun’s coolness, if I’m buying a 22/45 it’s for the weight and the tradition more than the “ooh shiny” factor. Nevertheless, the pretty is undeniable.

The gun will reportedly be available for $369 MSRP (probably closer to $300 retail).

17 Responses to Hands-On With the Ruger 22/45 Lite

  1. i have the target 22/45 mk3 model, while it shoots well, and is pretty accurate for what i want it to do, and feeds most types of ammo, i am officially sick of the take down, in plain English, it sucks pretty bad. seriously who the hell designed this thing, NASA? and I’ve had this gun for years now. 3 out of 5 times i take it apart to clean it i mess it up and have to call ruger customer service to get it back together. either i am going to simply run my bore snake through it, apply some q tips dipped in break free, detail the inside of the receiver and call it a day taking it apart is ridiculous . its not worth it to sell it as it only ran me around $300 when i bought it.

    I’ve been thinking pretty hard about getting a sig “classic” i one of the models (220,226,229) that you can change the upper to a center fire caliber if you wish. although i would use it for my dedicated 22lr pistol, it is nice to know you have the option to change if you wish.

    • SDOG, Just get the GSG 1911. It’s probably not as accurate as the 22/45 but take down is a breeze and they only run about $350. I have the GSG and I like it but I’m tempted to get the Ruger only because I really need a couple Rugers in my small collection.

    • Pick up a Speed Strip Kit from Majestic Arms. I used to have a hard time during the reassembly (disassembly never a problem), until I was custom fitting a larger magazine release & I had to disassemble & reassemble the pistol about 20 times in a row. Usually its just making sure the hammer strut is in the proper position.

      http://majesticarms.com/id10.html

    • I’ve had A 22/45 for about six years. I take it out on almost every range trip and I only tear it down about once a year now. Your idea for cleaning should work. I got tired of stripping it down. Every single time I cut myself and every time on the first reassembly it doesn’t function and I have to start all over. That said I really do love it.

  2. I might be a masochist, but I really enjoy cleaning my 22/45.

    I can strip and reassemble it in under 5 minutes without cursing.

    • Okay, call me bored. I just timed myself. 1 minute 45 seconds to do the following:
      1.) Remove mainspring housing.
      2.) Remove bolt.
      3.) Separate barrel from frame.
      4.) Reattach barrel to frame
      5.) Reinsert bolt.
      6.) Reinsert mainspring housing and function check.

      Am I missing something?

        • Cleaning would take about 10 minutes; it is not any more difficult to clean than any other gun. Of course I was just focused on the breakdown and reassembly, which appears to be the main complaint I hear about the 22/45.

      • I love mine and think it’s simple to strip / re-assemble.

        Except for that one time when I didn’t clean it for two years and had to look up the re-assembly.

        That added a whopping two minutes to my cleaning.

      • Step (6) has a bit of fussiness about it: is the hammer cocked or not? How does one get the hammer link (dongle thing) reliably swung into position?

  3. Any word if Ruger will sell the upper reciever/barrel assembly separately for existing MKIII or 22/45 owners?

  4. That cutaway view of the barrel is very different then the cutaway view in the review at the Guns America blog. That view shows a space between the stainless steel liner and the outside aluminum. Also ruger.com lists the MSRP as $469. I have seen it online for $359 but most places seem to be sold out already.

    I just bought a 22/45 and even though I had some difficulty disassembling it the first time it was not nearly as bad as I had been reading on some of the online forums.

    • That’s the one the Ruger rep indicated to us to be the new design.

      There were two models on the wall, and they were unlabeled. Someone has gotten it wrong, and while I’m convinced we have it right I’ll be happy to fix it if new information becomes available.

  5. It continually amazes me that people struggle field stripping these guns. The procedure itself is simple, just watch a few utube video’s for that. As for the guns tightness all you have to do is ‘Fit’ the parts. You can plainly see the tight marks on the lug pad and on the mainspring pin. Those shiny spots are what you work on. Simply take a stone or jewelers file (in my case a die makers file) and carefully file those marks a little at a time, just that precise area, no more. After the first time use a little machinists lay-out dye, or even a Sharpie marker will do, re-blue the area assemble it and file the high spots off again. All this has the same effect as years of wear on those high spots. Why struggle for years, when you can just fit the parts? I just bought a new 22/45 10140 and within a couple of hours (off and on) had everything hand fitted. No more hammer, to remove the receiver (I only did that once) the pin goes in and out nicely now, by hand, its still a little tight because of the newness of recoil spring. But manageable. BTW, if you remove the magazine you can open the mainspring latch with your fingernail. Pull it with your nail a little just enough to get your finger behind it, and no tools needed. Just take the magazine out first. Just don’t over do the filing and get the parts too loose. A nice snug fit is what you’re after. This gun is now a pleasure to disassemble.

    • Just bought my first firearm 22/45 hunter. If you look up tight in the dictionary my gun shows up. I thought about using a file but was a little apprehensive. I’m probably gonna carefully attempt it. Even the I have not even shot it yet,I decided to strip it anyway. It took a long time but I feel the second time will be a lot easier. I loved! Doing it. I struggle and was a little sore the next day but I conquered it. What a great feeling knowing that I field stripped what may be one of the most difficult guns. I had to use the suggested tools (rubber mallet and wooden fowl). I did get a little unorthodox and had to break out the flathead screwdriver in order to get the main spring pin back in. I think your file idea is logical as long as your extremely careful. It’s a delicate balance of not damaging the sites or the beautiful finish. I can’t wait to get it dirty for the first time so I actually have something to clean when I take it down. No two guns can be milled precisely the same and some folks are more handy than others. This is why I think we hear different feelings about the field stripping. To me its all part of the fun.

  6. I just got the 22/45 lite 2 days ago. I’m taking it back. Sorry but this thing is bad.
    The mag will not pop out, the gun jamed many times. trigger pull is like pulling a truck, the front sight fell off. The mag hangs up when putting it in.

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