A few weeks ago, I was at a mediation with one of the attorneys I work with on a regular basis. Somehow, the subject of guns came up. That’s not all that surprising given the fact that this is Texas. I’m pretty sure the subject arose when the attorney mentioned that he was in the market for a “coyote gun” for use at the little piece of property where he and his wife keep a couple of horses. Coyote guns are probably second only to zombie guns for eliciting strong opinions from those who have little to no experience with either varmint.
Anywho, the attorney mentioned that he was eyeing the Henry lever action .22Mag offered by Cabela’s. I suggested that he go to a gun show, see what was available and make a more informed decision from there. When he mentioned that he had never been to a gun show, I offered to go with him. He thought that was a splendid idea, and a plan was set in motion.
So, yesterday, after a lunch of muy bueno Tex Mex food at Chuy’s and despite our server’s attempts to be as surly as possible, the attorney, Number 1 Follower and I headed off to Dallas Market Hall to drool over some guns. Much fun was had by all, and I came away with a new addition to the arsenal:
This is the Ruger MkIII 22/45 Replaceable Panels model. The Ruger 22/45 has been around since at least the 1980s (I remember fondling a few back in the day when I worked at Walmart, and Wally World still carried pistols), and its primary selling point over the regular Ruger .22 pistols is that the grip angle is same as the legendary 1911 style pistol of which I am an unabashed fan. However, the replaceable panels model is a relatively new addition to the Ruger lineup. The main differences between the standard 22/45 and the replaceable panels model being that the polymer frame has front and back strap checkering and you can swap out grip panels just like on a regular 1911 style pistol.
Astute readers will note that this particular pistol is not the Ruger Stainless MkIII Hunter model that I had been eyeing. There two main reasons for this: 1) I found the 22/45 RP for about $150-$200 less than the MkIII Hunter (I paid $277.50 plus tax to be exact), and 2) did I mention that I LOVE the 1911 and the 22/45 RP just feels right? In fact, the 22/45 RP feels so much more like the 1911 than the standard 22/45 that they should almost be put in different categories. The standard 22/45 has a fairly thin, slick polymer frame which don’t really fit my hands very well at all and would get slippery in a hurry for those of the sweaty palmed persuasion. Then there’s the aesthetics…they are about as pleasing to the eye as a set of Tupperware.
But the 22/45 RP, that’s another story. Do you like wood and metal together? This puppy has very finely checkered cocobolo wood grip panels setting off the blue steel very nicely. Don’t like wood? No problem. Insert favorite grip panels here.
I haven’t had a chance to fire it yet; however, dry firing seems to suggest a smooth trigger pull at about 3 or 4 pounds with a crisp break. The trigger is wide, grooved and very comfortable to my fingers. The front sight is a non-adjustable black blade which I am almost certainly going to replace with the Hiviz fiber optic option offered by Ruger as soon as possible. The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation. It too is all black; however, there is a small groove around the notch which could easily be painted with a fine brush and a bright color for greater clarity.
Needless to say, I can’t wait to take it out and play.
P.S. For the curious, the attorney didn't make a purchase, but he did indicate he had narrowed down the coyote gun selection to the Marlin and Rossi lever actions in .357/.38.