November 03, 2020
By Stan Trzoniec
It’s hard to believe such a historically conservative establishment like Ruger is making a gun that looks like the new Mark IV 22/45 Lite. The company got its start with the original Standard .22 pistol, and over the years the design has gone through many changes, culminating in the Mark IV, but few have ever been as eye-catching.
The Mark IV 22/45 Lite first came on line in 2012. While the grip follows the famous Model 1911 styling, it is what’s on top that separates one model from the next. The aluminum receiver in this case is gold, and it features vents along the flanks.
The 4.4-inch barrel is threaded for muzzle devices, and it is tensioned within this shroud and is secured at the muzzle by a spanner-type of barrel nut. At the rear, a pair of bolt ears offer more than enough purchase to cock/charge the gun, even with gloves on.
A Picatinny base is attached to the top of the barrel assembly for optics, and the gun comes with a fully adjustable rear and front blade sight. The sights are high enough to be seen over the installed rail.
As mentioned, the grip angle mimics the fabled .45 right down to the Model 1911 grip panels. The front and rear of the polymer grip frame are checkered. The base of the frame has a slight arch to it, which makes it fit your hand just right.
The 10-round magazine sits flush with the base of the grip and is released via a button on the left side of the gun, behind the trigger. The chrome, Teflon-coated magazines eject from the gun with enthusiasm thanks to a spring assist.
There is a 1911-style bolt release on the left side of the gun. The ambidextrous safety levers rotate smoothly at the front of the lever rather than the rear. There is no beavertail safety on this gun, and it doesn’t need one. A magazine disconnect prevents the gun from firing with the magazine removed.
The trigger pull is set at four pounds with about a quarter-inch of take-up, and the trigger’s finger lever is the same color as the receiver.
The 22/45 Lite tips the scales at just 25 ounces, making it a pleasure to shoot and also to pack around. It would be a good choice for a trailgun. And as a Mark IV it has the new (and applauded) method of disassembly. With the gun unloaded and on Safe, simply depress the take-down button located below the bolt tabs. The receiver then can be pivoted upward and removed from the frame.
This new version of the Mark IV 22/45 Lite is a welcome addition to the line. With its familiar features and striking good looks, it hits the mark perfectly.