Monday, September 10, 2007

Ruger MK II 10 Inch

I've got to thank both my dad and my friend, Mike Mays, for this gun. Mike was the "original" owner (so far as I know) and he traded the gun to Dad for leather working tools Dad was no longer interested in using. Then Dad (and I) enjoyed the gun for a few years before Dad passed and now I have it. So, now I have a gun that really has a connection to a couple of people that I really liked. Makes every time I take it hunting a very special experience.

The Ruger .22 pistols are great guns. Bill Ruger had a great idea and his execution is nearly flawless. These things, in any configuration, are more accurate than most shooters. The 10" guns were intended for silhouette shooters but they are the bee's knees for squirrel and rabbit hunters, too.

Mike got the gun to hunt turkeys. Yep, turkeys. I'm not exactly sure why he abandoned the idea but at about that time he was not a good handgun shot and was semi-convinced that handguns were pretty much useless. One day I took him to Dad's and we shot a few handguns along with the deer rifles and he had his outlook altered by the experience. Soon after all things were possible but I think this was stretching it a bit. Anyway, he then traded the gun to Dad for a potful of leather working tools.

Dad really liked this pistol. I got him some Pachmayrs which better fit his big hands and then one of those swinging metal disk targets. For a while he'd sit on the front porch and shoot at the disks out at about 25 yards. He was doing pretty good until macular degeneration caught up to him and he couldn't see well enough to shoot (or to see what was downrange in the impact zone).

After that he let me take it out squirrel hunting a couple of times and it was a treat. One day he asked if I could find a buyer and I told him he had a buyer, me. He refused! I didn't see the gun again until after he'd died. We, all three of us, Dad, the pistol and me, went squirrel hunting and had a heck of a time. Well, I do believe Dad was there in spirit. If possible, I just don't think he missed that.

I've now removed the Pachmayrs and re-installed the factory grips. These fit my hands just as well or better and I don't find them slippery as some do.

Favorite loads? Well, most anything shoots well in this gun which is pretty interesting but my favorite loads are Winchester Dynapoints run through my Hanned Line SGB tool and the Winchester 40 gr. PowerPoint load. Both rounds are dependable killers out of handguns.

Over the years many squirrels have fallen to this gun and I've always felt camaraderie with my dad and Mike when I'm hunting with this gun. What surprises me is how many folks don't think that you can hunt anything with a handgun.

One day of squirrel season in 1999 (the year Dad died) I was hunting up near Elkhorn Lake. I'd snuck around for about an hour including the 15 minute walking time and bagged a couple of squirrels with the MKII and Winchester PowerPoints. While I love to squirrel hunt nobody in my family is big on eating squirrel and two will make a plenty big stir fry for me. So, I headed back to the truck. I came out on the road about 1/2 mile from my Dakota and started down the road, pistol in one hand (I didn't have a holster yet) and squirrels dangling from the other. I heard a vehicle coming and hied over next to the ditch and it comes by me really slow and both guys in the car were just a staring at me. That was enough to make me a bit cautious as they were headed towards my truck which I could see. Then they pulled in right next to it and didn't move! Well, I just strolled on up there (the pistol was still loaded) and they clambered out of their compact sedan.

Well, long story short, they recognized me from high school. No, I didn't recognize them until they started talking about families and such. You see, at the time, I hadn't put on the weight they had. We sat and talked hunting and such for about 20 minutes and they just couldn't get over the fact that I had killed those squirrels with a handgun. About that time another fairly big old gray gets up in a tree about 35 yards from us and was hanging upside down on the trunk scolding us for disturbing his afternoon reverie. One of the fellows suggested that I demonstrate how it was done by taking him.

Now, I was looking at a full plate already but I couldn't help showing off and without moving from my seat on the tailgate I picked up the Ruger and nailed that old boar squirrel at 35 yards. At the shot he just fell right off that tree. Of course the distance had to be paced off and another 20 minutes was spent ooohing and aaaahing as the bullet had entered his head just above and between the eyes! No, I can NOT guarantee such a shot. I wish I could but it made for a great day and I know those guys told that story 'round and about.

Now the Ruger handguns I have didn't all come with boxes, or at least boxes I felt were suitable for storage in the crowded safe, so I started getting boxes for the guns including this one. The first box I ordered was the correct cardboard box but the fellow sent me a box for a stainless gun. That just bothered me so I bought a plastic box from Ruger for the gun. That box is NOT correct for this gun but it does a good job of protecting the gun.

I've also got a couple of extra magazines for the gun and one of the HK tools to make loading them easier.

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