Sometimes I wonder why they bother. In an article which reviews Ruger’s new mini-wonder pistol, the field-stripping process is described thus:
Field stripping is easily accomplished by following the directions in the instruction manual. That’s the usual gunwriter verbiage, but it isn’t quite what I experienced with the 57. Following the direction to ensure the pistol is unloaded, the slide is first locked to the rear.
Opposite the takedown lever is a pin that takes a bit of effort to depress. Ruger recommends using the base pad of one of the magazines; I ended up using a punch. Once the takedown lever is protruding from the frame, it can be rotated down. Next, rather than the conventional method of running the slide forward off the frame (I warned you to read the directions) the slide is moved forward about a quarter inch, then lifted straight up.
The recoil spring and barrel can then be removed from the slide in the usual manner. Ruger has designed this pistol to be taken apart without the need to press the trigger, a feature I heartily applaud.
Reassembly is quite easy if one follows the instructions, but entirely impossible if, somehow while messing around with it, the takedown lever is allowed to snap back into the frame. (Ask me how I know.) Anyway, it really is quite easy, but I enjoin you, make sure the takedown lever is still out (or in the disassembly position) should you wish to avoid a couple of frustrating hours mucking about.
Ruger could just have made their new wunder-pistole come apart like their own Mk IV .22 pistol, namely:
- Remove all boolets (and the mag) from the gun.
- Cock the piece and click the safety catch up into SAFE.
- Press the little button under the slide tabs at the back.
- Lift the slide assembly off the frame.
And that’s it: no special tools, no screwdrivers, no coins, nothing. The firing pin assembly is loose in the slide, and just drops out into your hand for cleaning. Here’s a pic-by-pic:
And now for the best part: the reassembly.
- Slip the firing pin assembly back into the slide (it can only go one way).
- Place the slide’s hinge hook back into the front of the frame.
- Drop the slide back onto the frame, and push it closed until you hear the click.
- You’re ready to start shooting.
Best part: I never had to consult the manual.
Did Ruger do that? No. Instead, they made the new 57’s field-stripping procedure more akin to the older Mk I/II/III pistols: a study in frustration.
I don’t know the answer to this (but I’m willing to learn): how difficult would it have been just to stretch out the Mk. IV’s frame and breech to accommodate the longer 5.7x28mm cartridge? Or, for that matter, the .22 Win Mag?
Oh, wait, I forgot: that wouldn’t engender the same increase in sales (and all the concomitant gun-magazine hype) that a new pistol would.
Instead, Ruger seems to have made a “new” pistol which hearkens back to the past.
Now if I were seriously interested in the 5.7x28mm ratshooter cartridge (a BIG if), I’d be far more likely to look at the PS90 mini-carbine:
I shot Doc Russia’s daughter’s PS90 a couple weeks back, and it was a sweetheart (albeit as ugly as Rosie O’Donnell). But that gun’s way too spendy (over a grand and a half), so: no.
I just can’t get excited about a new cartridge which is simply a very hot .22 Win Mag and which would cost an arm and a leg to get into, what with all the new guns etc.
I have enough calibers in Ye Olde Gunne Sayfe, so: no.
What I may look at, if ever the funds become available, is the Kel-Tec PMR-30 in .22 Win Mag (of which I may already have one or two rounds in Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer)…
…and it’s all Ruger’s fault.
Or am I missing something, and is the 5.7x28mm the absolute bee’s knees? Chuck Hawks doesn’t seem to think so.