Something You Might Want To Check On A Mark

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May 16, 2008
As I was cleaning my recent purchase today it occurred to me that I don't remember (have to say it this way these days) seeing this topic discussed before.

Back in the day, Ruger applied a waxy/oily substance to protect their firearms before packaging and shipping. Those of you that purchased new Ruger firearms back then will be aware of this as it takes a bit of effort to clean it off. Here in lies the problem for collectors, particularly Mark collectors. It seems that many folks over the years have just cleaned the surface off the best they could and shot them NEVER REMOVING THE GRIP PANELS and cleaning under them. We all know how long Rugers last so this can be a problem.

The Ruger protectant is, of course, between the grip frame and the grip panels. There it hardens and attracts moisture over time. Here is a picture of the grip frame of the afore mentioned purchase. It was made in 1985 (around 38 years old) and I suspect I'm the first one to remove the grip panels.


A bit ugly but not too difficult to clean up. However, if this had been a blued pistol, you could expect to see pitting in the frame where the dried material is. I've actually seen stainless Marks pitted there as well. So if you are a new collector, or even a seasoned one, this is something you might want to check. No matter how nice a Mark my look it can be hiding secrets and this one is not uncommon on older Marks in my experience.

Those Marks that have lived their lives in a nice dry climate controlled environment are MUCH less susceptible but unfortunately that is not the lot of all pistols.

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