March 20, 2017
Ruger Mark IV Competition
Just this week, the Ruger Mark IV Competition has arrived. Unlike the Mark IV Target, the Competition has a 6.88" barrel and the pistol is constructed of stainless steel. The blue 5.5" bull barrel Target model pistol weighs in at 35.6 ounces, the Competition is almost 46 ounces. You can definitely tell the difference.
It does give a good location to lay the thumb of the right handed shooter, but I default to keeping my thumb atop the safety, a throw-back to the 1911 days.
The receiver is drilled and tapped for a Weaver or Picatinny rail to facilitate the mounting of optics.
An impressive heater, very heavy, I was anxious to get it shot and made a quick trip to the range in the mid-day hours, a bad idea normally. The Rimfire/Black Powder range was open though and I quickly set up, using a range bag as a hasty rest.
I quickly got the grounded targets reset and tried it again. This time five rounds of CCI Standard Velocity went into a group just under an inch – this is good shooting for me using a pistol and irons. My second try with Federal Premium gave me the first stoppage I've ever had with any Ruger Mark IV, a failure to eject. The resulting group was disappointing – while four rounds cut into 1 ¼", the fifth pushed it out to 2 ¾".
I went to work with Federal Premium Hunter Match and it put five pills into 1 ¼".
Switching to the 'bullseye' one-hand shooting style without support, I put five more hits on the pig. There were no more stoppages on this range trip.
The sights are clear even for my aged eyes. The weight of the pistol is a bit much for an old timer and it doesn't bias forward like the bull barrel in front of the aluminum frame of the Mark IV Target, but it does hold steady on target.
I'm sure the target sights are finely adjustable like on the older brother, but I have yet to adjust these sights. Like the Mark IV Target, the Competition ships with a pair of magazines and has a magazine disconnect feature – no big deal on a pistol like this. The safety positively locks the sear. The trigger breaks cleanly.
I'm sure someone will figure it's not light enough, but I think I was shooting just fine with it as is and wouldn't monkey with the trigger at all.
The stocks are a different story: for me, it's a handgun, not a "hands-gun." I can, have and do shoot with either hand unsupported – quite often. The thumb shelf, fine for a right-handed bullseye or rimfire "steel challenge" shooter, isn't good for everyone else. Fortunately, we have ShopRuger.com to help us.
From that source, you can get Altamont laminate stocks with the red Ruger Medallion – for Mark IV pistols only – or the checkered black plastic grips, also with the Ruger medallion, also made by Altamont for Ruger.
So there it is: a Mark IV Competition, for competition – also a field worthy pistol, with near-rifle accuracy. Check it out at Ruger.com.
-- Rich Grassi