The Ruger 22/45 Lite for this review was provided by The Kentucky Gun Company

Fashion-forward gunnies who simply adored the Ruger 22/45 Lite with its gold lamé upper and chic black lower will be depressed to know that the gold model has been replaced, at least temporarily, by an all black, bling-free, high testosterone, manly model. Well, why not? It’ll go with anything, including pearls. Personally, I liked the golden-toned 22/45 Lite. It didn’t look like every other modern pistol, which was a refreshing change. It didn’t look “scary.” While hard men may abjure even a touch of flash, I thought that nontraditional shooters might be tempted into the fold by a brightly-decorated pistol in a nontraditional color . . .

By nontraditional gun owners, I mean women and young shooters who might wish to dip their ballistic toe into the shooting sports by procuring an easy-to-manage, easy-to-feed pistol. The golden gun seemed right for them and right for the times, but I guess it wasn’t. It was actually a throwback.

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The original golden gun was wielded by noted assassin, marksman and total fruitloops psychopath named Francisco Scaramanga, James Bond’s nemesis in “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Scaramanga’s single-shot 23k gold pistol was chambered in 4.2 mm – smaller than .17 caliber — making it the perfect mouse gun. Not for shooting at mice. For shooting by mice.

The modern Ruger 22/45 Lite isn’t made of gold, but in every other way it’s a winner. The Lite is chambered for a more realistic .22 LR. Its magazine holds ten to Scaramanga’s one. The barrel is threaded for a suppressor and the upper is drilled and tapped for the shooter’s choice of optics. These are huge improvements over the original golden popgun. To say nothing of the fact that the original was featured in the worst Bond movie of all time, bar none.

Born in the USA – in Bill Ruger’s Garage

The 22/45 Lite traces its lineage not to Francisco Scaramanga but to Japanese designer Kijirō Nambu, known far and wide as the John Moses Browning of Japan, and to noted American gun designer and inventor, Bill Ruger.

For reasons unknown to anyone but his family, friends and financial backers, Ruger fell in love with a GI bringback Type B “Baby” Nambu pistol. I guess he was fascinated with its bolt action, because his admiration could not possibly have been based on the appearance of the thing. The Nambu, with its protruding cocking piece and tapered barrel, looks more like an auto mechanic’s grease gun than a pistol. Maybe that’s why Ruger worked in his garage – for inspiration.

3.

The bolt action of the Nambu yields one immediate advantage over a traditional slide arrangement. The sights never move, so target reacquisition is no issue. While the pistol does have a little hop, it works like an old hound dog. Once pointed in the right direction, it will stay pointed in the right direction.

Regardless of the wellspring of his fancy, Ruger attempted to clone the Nambu action, and went to work getting financial backing from Alexander Sturm to market his creation. As history shows, Ruger succeeded at both.

The young Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., made its ballistic bones in 1949 when it launched the Ruger Standard, a .22 target and plinker pistol derived from the bolt-action Nambu but styled to resemble the silhouette of the Pistole Parabellum 1908 – the famous German “Luger.” There was competition aplenty in the .22 target field from the likes of Colt, High Standard and other manufacturers of fine pistols, but the Ruger Standard became a major hit, and ultimately the most popular .22 target pistol ever made.

Since the introduction of the original Standard, Ruger’s designers and engineers continued to improve upon and expand its Nambu-ish line with the famous Marks I through III, with variations aplenty. The 22/45 pistol line, which was a more recent creation, owes much to the Marks, but the styling represents an important change in philosophy.

The original Ruger Standard was about as homely as its Japanese ancestor.  Later Marks were nicer looking but still smacked of the original Standard design. Although the 22/45 utilizes the same Nambu-type cylindrical bolt as its Mark cousins – look Ma, no slide — it looks to the M1911, not the Luger, for its stylistic inspiration. Completing the circle of life, the M1911 was designed by John Moses Browning, known far and wide as the Kijirō Nambu of America.

The thinking behind the style modification is clear. Today’s Mark III Standard is clearly the round-eyed stepchild of the original Nambu, right down to its almost-circular trigger guard and tapered barrel. The Mark is the Madonna of pistols — a former style icon in dire need of a major facelift. In a market soon to be driven by new shooters, the old Marks needed a dash of newness to maintain their edge in a competitive marketplace.

Second, utilizing 1911-ish geometry allows shooters of Browning-san’s .45 to transition naturally to a plinker that points similarly to the M1911 but cost a lot less to shoot.  The 22/45 line also incorporates polymer into its lower frame construction. Using polymer knocks off a few ounces of unnecessary weight. The Lite model does even better, reducing the basic 22/45’s weight from 32 ounces to a feathery 23 ounces empty and not much more than that loaded.

Checking Out the Black Lite

Hefting the Lite in its box, it was clear that this was no 40 oz. anchor of a target pistol. Even in its cardboard container with its included lock, scope base and two mags, it felt like a mere wisp.

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Unboxing the Lite, I got wood. Grip panels, that is. Anyway, I think they’re wood. They’re some kind of laminate, handsome, nicely checkered and adorned with diamonds and Ruger’s heraldic phoenix. I noticed other classy touches, like the fluted barrel, the unobtrusive but clearly visible loaded chamber indicator and the knurled barrel cap covering the threads. Unlike the Nambu or the old Standard, the 22/45 Lite has near-perfect lines and proportions.

So it’s pretty. Which means exactly squat if it doesn’t shoot well. So I shot it.

I had four kinds of test ammo – CCI Standard Velocity, AR Tactical copper-plated round nose also made by CCI, a brick o’ Blazers and some Remington Thunderbolts. I had enough of each to give the pistol a good workout, but unfortunately, all were 40 gr. I laughed when I noticed the original $19.95 price sticker on a box of 525 Blazers, and recalled that I bought the box on sale for $16.95. Those were the days, my friends. Last October.

I didn’t attempt to shoot the Lite with a suppressor because they’re illegal in the Commonwealth. For a variety of reasons, I prefer not to spend the next five years in a Level Six Massachusetts correctional facility. Can you imagine — Massachusetts is so backward that the prisons don’t even have basic cable! Besides, the only guns in prison are Hi-Points, although I hear that there’s no ammo shortage in the joint.

2013 03 31 020a

I sighted in with the Blazers and immediately fell in deep hate with the Lite’s sights. The adjustable rear was fine and properly zeroed, but the front was hard to see. The sloped rear of the blade, the part facing me, was catching the light and reflecting it back in my direction, turning the black front blade an almost invisible gray. I could not duplicate this effect in direct or indirect sunlight, where the sights worked just fine, but I could replicate the problem with directional indoor lighting.

While the front sight was obscured, I could still intuit where the blade was supposed to be. So, I went at it from a measly 21 feet. Firing offhand, I was missing everything. Everything! It was the damn front sight. Again.

Much to my dismay, Ruger’s Vice President in Charge of Tightening Front Sights had forgotten to torque the single screw holding the sight in position, allowing the blade to slowly and imperceptibly wander with each shot. I didn’t notice that the pistol had a screw loose until a shot spun the sight completely sideways, turning the Lite into a half-assed made-in-the-USA Cornershot.

A screwdriver fixed the problem in seconds, so I went back to work, actually hitting paper. Despite my inability to see the front sight, I began to enjoy better and better accuracy. The five targets below are illustrative. The lower right target suffered five clean misses before the sight screw was tightened down. The next five, fired slowly and deliberately, were better. Shooting target #4, I was able to step up the pace as shooting the pistol became more instinctive. The last three targets were shot in descending numerical order. You can see the groups shrinking as I got better and the gun became broken-in.

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The Lite lives up to its name – even when fully-loaded, it’s light, so it responds well to a one-handed presentation. Even without blading-up, the pistol proved to be a natural pointer and, with so little recoil, follow-up shots were easy. Here are five rapid fire targets, two from the weak side, two from the strong and the center target from a Weaver. Since I was basically point shooting, I think the results are good.

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Outdoors in the frigid cold on a windy day, I was able to hit steel at 25 yards, tapping out a staccato tink, tink, tink with no problems. While it’s by no means an Olympic-class target pistol, the 22/45 Lite shoots straight.

Here’s a viddy of TTAG commentator Greg from Allston shooting the 22/45 Lite one-handed. Notice that there’s no recoil and little muzzle rise.

I fed the Lite about 700 rounds of my delicious ammo assortment. I shot more than the 500 that TTAG protocol requires simply because I was having a good time launching lead that cost pennies instead of dollars. Sometimes I loaded a magazine with a single flavor and sometimes I mixed and matched ammo like crazy. Sinatra-like, the pistol ate ‘em up and spit ‘em out. There were no failures of any kind, not even a misfire. What else is there to say about this pistol?

Likes and Dislikes

What didn’t I like about the Ruger 22/45 Lite was the front sight, which might have benefitted from a teeny dab of Loctite and a wee bit of texturizing to cut down on the reflection. Cocking the 22/45 requires very little force, but I disliked the small bolt ears that made the process as touchy as picking up a grain of rice with chopsticks. The cocking ears simply need a bit more flare to be handy or usable with gloves.

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The trigger is not bad at all, but if it was pound lighter it would be sublime.

Most of all, I disliked needing a degree from MIT to reassemble this pistol. It field strips in two minutes, but when it’s time to put it back together it turns into a Rubik’s Cube and the reassembly instructions read like the WW2 Japanese Naval Code. I’m sure that reassembly gets easier with time, but you’d better have plenty of it.

My “likes” more than balance out my dislikes. Way more. The Ruger 22/45 Lite is a good looking  straight shooter, flawlessly reliable, just plain fun and cheap to feed. As Rick Springfield once plaintively sang, “why can’t I find a woman like that?”

Conclusion

There are other sweet .22 plinkers out there, and the 22/45 Lite is more than competitive with all of them. The Lite can be suppressed where legal, fitted with optics, or tossed into a backpack just the way it is. It’s an all-around trail gun, plinker, trainer, sport shooter and reaper of small game and little pests. The Ruger 22/45 Lite would also do in a pinch as a viable self defense firearm for shooters who cannot manage the recoil of a more powerful handgun. Most of all, it’s just a gas. 

SPECIFICATIONS:

Model: Roger 22/45 Lite
Caliber: .22 LR
Magazine capacity:  10 rounds
Materials: Zytel polymer grip frame, aluminum upper, laminate grip panels
Weight empty: 23 ounces
Barrel Length: 4.4″
Overall length: 8.5″
Sights: Fixed front, adjustable rear
Action: Semi-automatic, cylindrical bolt
Finish: Black anodyzed
Price: $499 MSRP

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Style * * * * *
With its sleek lines, faux bull-barrel and 1911-derived handle, the Ruger 22/45 Lite is a fine looking piece. The proportions are just right, the fluting adds a bit of visual appeal, and the laminate grip panels are nicely checkered and colored. Unlike some Ruger guns, the 22/45 Lite doesn’t look like a billboard stamped with a dozen warnings. The very visible Loaded Chamber Indicator blends into the lines of the pistol unobtrusively and the barrel stamp doesn’t nag you to read the manual.

Ergonomics (carry) * * * *
It’s a featherweight, and everyone who shot it commented on its unbearable lightness of being. It’s not a hideout gun, but with the proper holster it’s comfortable and easy to carry because it’s not too wide and not too heavy even when loaded.

Ergonomics (firing) * * * *
Grab a handful of stock and the pistol will practically point itself. The trigger is fine, if a touch heavy. It would benefit from a longer break-in or a gunsmith’s deft touch.

Reliability * * * * *
Flawless. It performed without a single hiccup.

Customize This * * *
Grip panels, sights and lasers are available, but the choices are somewhat limited.

OVERALL RATING * * * * 1/2
Bring the wife! Bring the kids! Bring the dog! Bring Grandma! The Ruger 22/45 Lite is an all-around pistol that’s fun for the whole family.

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98 Responses to Gun Review: Ruger 22/45 Lite

  1. Ralph, great review. Thanks. Personally, I did not like the look of the gold and black LITE pistol. It seemed like an old beer commercial.

    I just watched a brief video with a Ruger exec stating that prior to developing his first pistol Bill Ruger was in the manual drill manufacturing business. A picture was shown of one of his hand-held drills and it appeared to have the same basic geometry (especially the grip) as his Ruger MK1.

    After spending much time holding and looking into the Ruger MK3s and 22/45 models I bought a Browning Buckmark Camper pistol 22cal. The Browning fit my hand better, would be easier to clear a FtF (never happened), and is a somewhat easier breakdown.

    BTW, do you have any 22LR ammo you can ship out to me in Oregon? Thanks bud!

    • Breaking down my 22/45 was like re-living my younger Rubik’s Cube solving days. What a freakin’ hassle! I made a couple mods (replaced the hammer bushing and slide release bearing and spring) and it now takes down much easier and operates closer to other “normal” guns. The 22/45 is a very safe design, but it certainly makes overall use more difficult.

      • Like many folks, I struggled for a long time to put the pieces of my Ruger Mk II & Mk III back together. As others have said, taking it apart is no trouble at all. Over time, and with some effort, you will figure out how to get it back together in seconds. Ok, maybe a minute or two. You tube is your friend! Not, your relative but definitely your friend…

        Here’s the thing, I own(ed) a Browning Buckmark, a SR 22 and a truly magnificent blue steel S&W Model 17 with a match trigger. I’ve shot a few more 22 pistols owned by friends and family besides. And, I still grab my Ruger Mk II with the 6″ bull barrel when I get a hankering to shot a 22 pistol. With no hesitation, I’ll tell you it’s a better gun to shoot than it’s nearest rival the Buckmark. I really wanted to like the Buckmark but it was just ok next to the Ruger.

        Here’s the other thing. You can go for LONG periods of time and 100’s, maybe 1000’s, of rounds between taking a Ruger Mk II / Mk III apart. Just run a Boresnake down the barrel after every trip to the range and wipe it down and put it away.

        I took my Mk II apart for a complete cleaning last night. Chucks (literally) of fouling had accumulated around the outside of the chamber. But, it was running like a clock ( a good clock ) before I took it apart. I’d reckon I put about 1000 rounds through it before I took it apart. The average shooter may own one of these for a lifetime and never need to take it apart. And, if you do, it’s worth it.

        My two cents….

  2. I bought the Threaded Barrel model last year. Yes, it’s heavier and the sights are fixed sights, but is functionally basically the same. The 22/45 was the first handgun I owned, and it turned out to be an excellent choice providing both me and my wife an excellent gun to practice with at the local range to build our skills. My wife took to it very quickly and can hit very small groups from varying distances.

    We also both used the 22/45 to qualify for our South Carolina CWP licenses, and we both passed without any issue.

    Since purchasing the 22/45, we’ve purchased a Ruger SR-22 pistol and two Sig Sauer P238 .380 pistols for carry. After shooting them all at the range, we concluded that while all of our guns are fun and easy to shoot, the 22/45 really is the most accurate.

    Due to high ammo prices, we focus on the 22/45 and the SR-22, then we shoot the .380 sparingly.

    • I’ve heard gun owners complain that CCI’s subsonic ammo which is loaded lighter than other brands is quieter yet has trouble working in semi-autos. In comparison, Remington’s subsonic is loaded heavier and while not as quiet as CCI will allegedly shoot fine in many semi-autos.

        • Ralph, that was interesting to learn. Thanks. BTW, when will you be shipping the 22LR brick or two to me? If you do send it to me I promise not to ask you for your secret cornbread stuffing recipe.

        • Ralph,

          You’re the best. How should I get my address to you?

          I look forward to getting it next week. Someday, I’ll shoot a rabbit with the 22LR you send me. That night I’ll cook the rabbit and serve it with your cornbread stuffing to Chris Dumm and Joe Grime. We’ll make many toasts your honor with glasses of wine.

      • It pretty much eats whatever I give it. I haven’t used any CCI sub-sonic, but i have used Federal sub-sonic, and it works like a charm. I’ve probably shot 5 or 6 different brands through it, and they all seem to hit the target nicely. I’ve had a total of maybe 5 issues (FTL, FTF) out of upwards of 1000 rounds.

  3. i had a 22/45 mk3 and got rid of it. the take down with the mk3 is rediculous, it eats anything you put in it however, but after having to call ruger 4x’s to get the thing back together, i called it a day.

    • Hmmm … I never have a problem with reassembly if I actually read the manual as I do it…

      YMMV of course, but my Mark III was also my first pistol so I had no preconceived notions as to how it should go.

    • I would have made a sailor blush with the language i was throwing at that gun my first time taking it down. But once you have it figured out, it isn’t quite so bad.

  4. I don’t see the 22/45 as an entre to the 1911 world. The GSG model is just a regular 1911 chambered in 22. It feels the same as its big brother (sans the recoil) and the sight presents the same way. It is much better low cost 1911 trainer than the Ruger model.

  5. Great review, Ralph! And as always, love the pics and video.

    Bonus points for the Scaramanga / James Bond reference… man, who didn’t want a “golden gun” after seeing that classic? Heh heh.

  6. Great review! I like that it reads easy and entertaining while discussing the plus/minus features of the gun, Well written.

    OK, my question, would you take the Browning Buckmark or the Ruger???

    • Browning Buckmark Camper for me. I found a limited edition 2012 model (1,100 made) that came with a 6.5″ stainless steel bull barrel, a fiber optic front sight, an adjustable rear site, a picany rail, the urx ergo grips, and one magazine. It also came with a high quality padded pistol case. I paid $399 for it all.

    • The Buck Mark is very sweet, and it carries the Browning label. But my all time favorite is the original High Standard Supermatic Citation. Talk about a tack driver! It consistently outshot my Remington Nylon 66 rifle.

      • I’ve heard High Standards are fantastic.

        BTW, I was at a lgs and they had a British SxS shotgun from the Revolutionary War era in what seemed like great condition. It was very elegant, a noble’s gun, and not made for commoners

        • I’ve heard High Standards are fantastic.

          Well, they were absolutely superb throughout the fifties and sixties, but the brand has changed hands over the years. Formerly made in Connecticut’s “Gun Valley,” I believe that they’re now made in Texas.

          I’m not sure about current quality. I’m not saying that they’re good or bad, just that I don’t know. I’d like to find out.

      • True about the High Standard. Their autos were sweet and their revolver, I think it was the Sentinal, was a very serviceable gun as it came from the factory. 9 shot double action revolver that I carried quite a bit in the woods.

        • Aharon, I started life on a farm. After too many years of city living I’ve started to make more time for the woods again in my life. The Sentinel is long gone and since I live in California I’ve replaced a gun with a sharp knife and a good walking stick.

        • John, I briefly had a double 9 and didn’t like the balance. It was styled like a single action but was double with a swing out cylinder. It just didn’t work for me. The sentinel I think was the name of the other revolver. It was more like a double action service type revolver.

          In my youth I went thru a bunch of High Standard and H&R handguns. All were serviceable and on a kids budget I could rarely afford Smith’s or Colt’s.

      • Same here, Supermatic Citation, and it feeds anything. My Walther P-22 is the biggest disappointment I’ve ever had. Failure to feed, stovepipes, etc. I’ll never buy another polymer/plastic gun again. The only good thing is that I paid wayyy less than retail for it.

        For sale: Walther P-22, case, two ten round magazines, only fired one time at the range.

        I’ll spend the extra money for one of Ruger’s all metal pistols, I’m all in favor of affordable pistols for those who can’t afford a nice gun made out of metal, I’ve just learned my lesson.

  7. I’ve always liked Rugers. Have a couple in my safe now. Haven’t tried the SR22 so I won’t comment on it. But their other semi auto .22 pistols are a bear to keep clean because of the difficulties in re-assembly.

  8. I’ve owned several 22/45’s over the years and enjoyed every one of them. I like this one as well, but also wonder if they might be willing to offer a longer barrel in 5.5″ or 6 7/8″? Yes, I’m well aware that it was designed to take a suppressor and that in itself would alter the weapon’s balance. But just as some may want a too-short barrel that balances out with a suppressor, some of us may still want a longer barrel with the option to add a suppressor eventually. Ammo selection would be pretty critical, I’m sure. Or, uhm….I could just get both the 22/45 Lite AND a Hunter. And a Competition. Yeah, that’s it. That’ll work just fine for me 🙂

    Got ammo?

    Tom

  9. If you have trouble putting a 22/45 back together, youtube it, you’ll get it with no problem.

    Also, BEFORE you loctite that front sight (because it will continually work itself loose) replace it with an upgraded sight. I’m regretting not replacing it prior to loctite right now.

    • The pistol was a tester, so I’m not going to Loctite anything on it. But if I did, I’d use the blue Threadlocker. It’s readily removable.

  10. Ralph, I was under the impression that having a non-welded threaded barrel was illegal here, So I’m sure you pulled that pic off google.

  11. Just as an additional history lesson as many readers may not know….

    Long ago Bill Ruger created a lightweight version of the Single Six revolver. The gun was unique in that it used a lot of aluminum. The most visual difference was the way that they heat treated the cylinder. It turned it a golden hue.

    That golden cylinder hue is the same color of the 1st gen. 22/45 lite’s barrel. Most people won’t even recognize this as the Lightweight Single Six was not a common gun, but if you ever want to know why they made the 22/45 lite with a golden barrel…it was to pay homage to the original lightweight .22 that Ruger created.

  12. The difference between Browning and Nambu was that Browning’s designs worked – or at least didn’t kill your neighbor when you sat down on them like Nambu’s Type 94 did.

      • The issued the thing to tankers. Tankers! The 8mm slug was only going to find someplace to stop when it hit tissue.

  13. You think that’s the worst Bond movie? Good on you, that means you never watched Die Another Day.

    Y’know, I really don’t mind the gold-tone on the previous 22/45 Lite. It’s unusual but it’s not overly ostentatious like some of those hideously blinged-out guns you see online; the kind dumb people look at and describe as “gangsta.”

    • I would f–king LOVE a gold anodized frame Lite. All gold anodized, like a pimped out Casio calculator watch.

    • you never watched Die Another Day

      I tried. It was awful too, but at least it didn’t feature Sheriff J.W. Pepper. TMWTGG was like “James Bond meets Smokey and the Bandit. And Dracula. In Bangkok!”

      A total suckfest.

      • Die Another Day, isn’t that the one where Halle Berry came out of the water in the bikini like Ursela Andress? Points for that at least.

      • …at least it didn’t feature Sheriff J.W. Pepper.

        Touche. Still, even if Die Another Day gets two points for Halle Berry in a two-piece, it still ends up with a final score of -999,998 for failing in every other possible direction.

  14. As an FYI to highlight the ridiculous nature of recent gun legislation, the 22/45 Lite is considered an “assault weapon” in Connecticut because of its threaded barrel.

    • Guess I won’t be taking my tool kit to CT. Don’t want to register my screws and bolts in case the nails industry pushes for confiscation.

  15. I had one very similar to it and I have not had much success. I tried a minor disassembly which turned into a major disassembly thanks to my friend and now I have one in many SMALL pieces. I will stick with my SIG P220 which is much easier to clean, but costs more for ammo.

  16. This is actually uglier than the gold one. I think a lot of it might be the grips. (as looks go, I wouldn’t use laminate for kindling.) But there’s no way i would buy one of these without a can to go with it.

  17. Not as impressed with the pistol itself, but the review was great. With so few reviews and too much news, I nearly forgot what site this is. Good to hear from ya Ralph.

  18. I have a Ruger Mark III. Any reason I should consider getting this 22/45 ?

    One of the reasons I love my Ruger Mark III is because it eats Federal Bulk ammo reasonably well. How does the 22/45 do with bulk ammo?

  19. This gun is on my list, but every time I ask at the store he just giggles a little and says “nope”

    I ordered a silencerco ss sparrow to go on it. The way things are going I might get the can out of purgatory before I find one of these.

  20. I have owned 3 Ruger 22 pistols over the years and of all the guns I own they where the ones that had the most use. That being said I’ve never taken one apart since they never failed to fire. My slab side shot thousands of rounds and never failed. No joke I used it for plate shoots every week. So I guess the reassembly never mattered as much to me.

  21. Well, not only are suppressors illegal in the good ol commonwealth, so are threaded barrels lol ! Be careful out there!

  22. Reassembly can be an issue but after I did it a few (HUNDRED) times I had an ‘AHAH’ moment. Now I can break it down and reassemble it in 15 seconds- and it’s easy. Lots easier than a 1911.

  23. I have owned three or four Ruger 22s including a Mark 1 standard and a Mark II Target. Last year I wanted a pistol for use with a can and found a Ruger Mark III 22/45 on line that had top and bottom rails with target sights and a threaded barrel. As it came it shot quite well but I really didn’t like the one piece composite lower with permanent embossed grips, With a TBAC suppressor, it coughed Federal bulk high velocity reliably — and without a sonic crack. Still and this is my complaint on much of Ruger’s line, the trigger really sucked, And because it was that one piece composite lower, custom trigger kits from folks at Volquartsen could not be used to fix the problem. Thankfully Volquartsen just started selling a 22/45 lower with all the right stuff, My 22/45 is extremely quiet and is more accurate than me, With a red laser on the lower rail, it is very handy in low or no light for critters. Of course, the Volquartsen lower cost as much as a new pistol so color me fixated. I just wanted to get this one shooting the way it should.

    • Thomas, i bought a 22/45 lite last year, ordered a volquartson target hammer, sear, trigger kit from Brownells, along with a mark II trigger bushing, then went on line and watched several videos on how to install the kit, and with carefull and cautious actions, installed the parts. left that goofy magazine disconnect out, disabled the loaded chamber indicator to reduce drag on the chambering cartridge, and think the gun is a great shooter. is still a bastard to reassemble, requires the judicious use of rubber mallet to align the frame to the slide.

  24. An amazing gun. This thing is dead-nuts accurate the second it comes out of the box, and any adjustments that are desired can be quickly dialed in with the target sights. Watched a couple reviews on this piece, including a link.

  25. Great review. Had the 22/45 lite fitted to my MKIII standard by Family Firearms out of Florida. Not only did the steel frame MKIII balance well, I am partial to the original steel frame. With a 2.5 lb. pull and great balance, my MKIII Lite is the proverbial silk purse. This model should be available through Ruger. With the availability of bore snakes I don’t feel the need to pull this gun apart. There is a kit out there that replaces the mainspring making the takedown just easy! Looking forward to more reviews.

  26. Bought one of these about a year ago and not much for writing but I’m so pleased with mine I can’t help but add my two cents. As to the question of Ruger 22/45 vs Browning Buckmark, to each his own – I’ve fired both and love them both for mostly the same reasons but I chose the Ruger. Both have triggers that leave something to be desired but are decent and have aftermarket upgrade options available, both are fairly accurate for the price once you break them in, and both are relatively reliable for a .22 semi auto.

    The sights on the 22/45 are weak, but the first thing I did was went and got some inexpensive but much more visible aftermarket fiber optic sights. i forget the brand but they catch the eye much better in any light condition. The ones that come with it are cheapo, and while I’ve heard folks have success texturing or dotting the front sight with enamel and adding blue thread-locker, mine was also loose when it arrived and just begged to be replaced. It’s almost like they knew it was going to get replaced immediately and wanted to make it easier to remove but I admit that it was a red flag.

    The second thing I did was set up an NFA gun trust with the help of a lawyer in Dallas – Bass Law Firm, that I was referred to by the guys at Silencer Shop here in Austin, TX, and bought a SilencerCo Warlock II.

    Finally, after visualizing the perfect zombie squirrel reaper I was assembling, I did the only natural thing that was left to do, which was to put my hogue grip back on my 1911 and put the Crimson Trace laser grip I had on it onto the 22/45. Fit like OJ’s glove, but like other 1911 grips, all I had to do was remove a little material from the upper left side panel to make way for the odd toy-like bolt stop on the Ruger.

    I will say that it’s too light for the heavy trigger for a marksman of as limited skill as me unless I’m unusually focused, two handed or better yet, bracing my hand on something. The gun can deliver tight groups with good ammo but if you have even a moderately shaky hand that is helped by a heavy frame, the Lite is not going to do you any favors. From a rest of any kind it’s deadly, but for me, off-hand, I needed the laser to see just how bad my stability was and to correct it. I still have the sights on there and alternate between them and the laser depending on range and how determined I am. It’s a .22 after all.

    A government shutdown and 8 months later, my suppressor was ready to pick up. My wife knew I was going to be an intolerable boor for a while. She was right – I was obsessed. What followed was x-rated and has been self-censored. It is too much fun to plink with a report that doesn’t hurt your ears and which could pass for an air tool or air gun. Plus it just looks creepy, without being too aggressive or ostentatious looking, which is what I was going for. The gold predecessor just wouldn’t look right with this setup. Interesting looking I suppose, but even my wife said I should shop around until I found one of the “more manly looking ones”.

    At 3 oz., it hardly adds to the weight and fully loaded, still feels like the weight of a few spare 1911 mags. It balances the Lite perfectly, adding the extra weight down the barrel end where it’s most lacking. A heavier suppressor would probably be fine too, but I think it was just enough to balance against the loaded mag and bolt in the middle/rear, which are really the only parts of the base gun with any weight to it. I may replace the trigger then play with some coins or small washers taped under the barrel to find the perfect weight / balance for target shooting.

    I’ve fed CCI high velocity through it unsuppressed, tons of Remington gold whatever, some Federal, CCI Green Tag and Standard Velocity, Gemtech Subsonic (my fave, although it’s made by CCi and the specs are nearly identical, so not worth paying a ridiculous premium for of you can find CCI), as well as some Norma Tac-22s. The latter is the loudest but still acceptable and subsonic in TX climate. Obviously there’s virtually no recoil but if you limp wrist it you might feel more than of you did so with a bull barrel. I don’t shoot limp wristed so who cares.

    Only issues were with the Remington and Federal – jams with the wobbly, soft bullets and dirty dirty dirty, especially with the suppressor. The suppressor creates back-pressure so any load is going to dirty up your gun faster, and I agree this thing is a pain to strip, clean and especially reassemble. Point Browning, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. My point is that if you buy the Ruger and especially if you add a suppressor, don’t skimp on the ammo. 22 is dirty almost no matter what, but each time you clean this gun you’ll wonder if you could have waited till next time. Just sayin’.

    I like the 22/45’s looks and control placement better than the Browning because while you’ll never mistake it for a 1911, it at least has approximately the same sized grip, plenty of grip replacement options, and similar controls. I’d like to see some aftermarket replacement bolt stops and safeties or changes in later generations that make them feel like they belong on a real firearm.

    I do like the pull-back bolt and kind of appreciate the added safety of a non-slingshot action on a rim fire pistol, though I’ve seen a replacement kit that essentially spring loads the bolt catch so you can sling a round in from a locked open bolt just by pulling and releasing, like most guns. The Buckmark to me is too Buck Rogers looking, but less so than the traditional Ruger Mark with the tapered barrel and back-slanting grip. Both fine guns but the 22/45 just made too much sense for too many reasons, and I find them to be of comparable accuracy.

    If you want a target gun or a typical small game hunter that you don’t plan to climb Everest with, and/or you have a shaky hand, look at one of the full weight 22/45, Mark III or Buckmarks with a heavier, longer barrel and associated longer sight radius and stability. If you want a suppressed .22 squirrel assassin that can host your 1911 Crimson Trace and a suppressor and which weighs almost nothing, I encourage you to try the 22/45 Lite. For the few drawbacks, I truly love mine, and so do folks who come plinking with me. I may be replacing the trigger eventually but otherwise consider it a completed masterpiece. Even when I have to clean it.

  27. Get the Majestic Arms speed strip kit that replaces the bolt stop pin with a two-piece pin that you simply unscrew and pull out of the top! So simple; no more cleaning headaches!!! Shot the pistol for 3 years before I found this fix, and have enjoyed cleaning it much more in the past two years,

  28. This gun sucks balls. Over engineered garbage top say the least. 100 rds out of the box. 1 cleaning and never worked again. Gravity fed striker that never falls fully into place. Lock outs that prevent repairs. For Gods sake how many times do you need to put in the mag to reassemble. The gun is a mess and now a 300 dollar paperweight.

    • You have been bitten by the Ruger assembly curse.. . This is not an easy gun to reassemble but if you watch a few U tube videos and have patience and practice a little bit it is easy. I can field strip and assemble one in 30 sec… This is a great gun- don’t give up on it.. If you do I’ll give you $100 for it.

  29. This gun is junk. The first thing that I noticed is the mag well is not solid but has plastic fins to guide the mag. If you do not put the mag in just right it binds up. Second the mag fits too tight and I have to literally hit the bottom of the mag to make it snap into place. When I push the mag button it does not fall free but rather bumps the mag out about 1/4 inch, and you have to grab the mag with a finger nail to bring it out. JUNK. Next the less than desirable design of the Mark 2 take down does not work well with a plastic frame. Taking this gun down and putting it back together can be very trying. Look to get a cut finger and thumb trying to make all the parts fit right. Hammer must be down to take out the rear spring and cocked to put in and take out the bolt group. I am sure once you know how you can do it in 5 min or so but getting there is a pain in the arse. You have to really pay attention to where the hammer rod is or you get it together and its not going to have tension.

    For the price this is way too much money for such a poor design. I would save my money and buy something else. I took it that Ruger was just going to put out a superior gun. They missed on this one. IMO. I carry every day an SR9C and have several Rugers all which I love, this on is JUNK.

  30. I bought one a few weeks ago and I like it as much as the original reviewer. I had forgotten how much fun it is to shoot a .22 pistol but I look forward to range sessions with this one as much as any other gun. I’m waiting on the stamp for my .22 can and can’t wait.

    Takedown is an odd process but 5 minutes is a bit of an exaggeration unless you’re taking out all of the internals. But the standard field strip is a 15 second operation and the same to put it back together once you know the process. I’ll be glad to buy someone’s “junk” or “paperweight” for $100, maybe even $150 if I’m in a good mood. I wouldn’t mind a spare or two for range trips with new shooters.

  31. I bought a Ruger 22 45 lite and my front sight did the same as this guys so i got out the blue lok tite and did all the screws,the guts for the loaded chamber indicator fell out and are lost so the rest is coming out when i go in to fix the trigger and take out the wont shoot unless the clips in feature.I put a tactical solutions cascade silencer on mine and the groups tightened up,put on a Burris mini red dot reflex sight and groups tightened up more,went to CCI standard velocity ammo with 40 gn lead bullet and groups shrank even more.The gun now shoots the primers out of shotgun shells with about a 80% success rate so all i need now is a good trigger and and its as good as it can get.

  32. Sorry y’all can’t find .22 ammo. I’m currently sitting on 20k plus and still finding it for $19.99 for 525 bricks while the clowns at the gun shows are gouging at 3 times the price. Texas rules!

  33. I have a (Talo special?) MKIII 4.5″ bbl w/ Crimson Trace in the Hunter model, all from Ruger, no aftermarket add-ons, and the trigger is same as what I had on a MKII Competition Target model. If the 22/45 LITE came with that trigger and better sights I’d buy it. BTW, is the threaded barrel necessary for “tensioning” the barrel like on guns with carbon fiber around steel liner? My hunter model does everything well, just a little too heavy for my torn shoulder muscles.

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