Ruger Recalls Mark IV Rimfire Handguns

Ruger just released a sweeping recall of their popular Mark IV rimfire handguns, including 22/45 models. All of the rimfire pistols manufactured before June 1st, 2017 have the possibility of being affected by this recall. The recall was made after discovering that the safety on these models, when not fully engaged, can fail and cause unintended discharges through operation. As this malfunction can lead to serious injury or even death, it is important to make sure your model is unaffected or needs to be sent in for the safety upgrade before using it again.

From Ruger:

Ruger recently discovered that all Mark IV™ pistols (including 22/45™ models) manufactured prior to June 1, 2017 have the potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly. In particular, if the trigger is pulled while the safety lever is midway between the “safe” and “fire” positions (that is, the safety is not fully engaged or fully disengaged), then the pistol may not fire when the trigger is pulled. However, if the trigger is released and the safety lever is then moved from the mid position to the “fire” position, the pistol may fire at that time. Although only a small percentage of pistols appear to be affected and we are not aware of any injuries, Ruger is firmly committed to safety and would like to retrofit all potentially affected pistols with an updated safety mechanism. Until your Mark IV™ pistol has been retrofitted or you verify that it is not subject to the recall, we strongly recommend that you not use your pistol.

How To Tell If Your Handgun Is Affected

All Mark IV pistols produced prior to June 1, 2017 are potentially affected and therefore are being recalled. This includes Mark IV Target, Hunter, Competition, 22/45, 22/45 Lite and 22/45 Tactical models. These models bear serial numbers beginning with “401” for 2017 models or “WBR” on 2016 models.

Rugers with retrofitted safeties denoted by the "S" mark are not subject to the recall.

Rugers with retrofitted safeties denoted by the “S” mark are not subject to the recall.


Newly manufactured Mark IV pistols will begin with serial number “500.” Thus, if you have a Mark IV or 22/45 pistol with a serial number beginning with the number “5,” your pistol is not subject to the recall. Also, the recall does not affect any Mark IV and 22/45 pistols retrofitted with the updated safety mechanism. Retrofitted models are easily identified by the letter “S” in the white safety dot that is visible when the safety is engaged.

Mark II and Mark III rimfire handguns are not affected by the recall.

If you are unsure whether or not your firearm is included in the recall, you can enter the serial number into Ruger’s website to find out. Click here to check if your firearm is affected.

You can also call the Ruger Recall Call Center at 1-800-784-3701.

What Do If Your Firearm Is Affected

If your Ruger Mark IV is covered in the recall, it will need to be sent into Ruger for the upgraded safety. After signing up for the recall online or by calling the Recall Call Center, you will be placed on a list for scheduled maintenance. When Ruger is ready to fix your firearm, they will send you a shipping box, prepaid shipping label, and detailed instructions for the return.

Ruger only needs the grip frame assembly, so you should strip your firearm down and send in only the frame. Check your owner’s manual to properly disassemble your handgun. Since the barrel and receiver assembly is the serialized part, you should keep that with you to simplify the return process. The non-serialized grip frame can be sent back to you quickly and without hassle.

Also, if you have any aftermarket parts added to your firearm, try to remove those as well. Ruger will try to return any additional parts, but this cannot be guaranteed, so it is best to remove the parts before sending the firearm in. If your aftermarket upgrades affect the recall, such as a safety or sear part, they will be replaced and you will not receive them back.

Ruger will attempt to return your firearm back to you within one week of receiving it. If your firearm is affected by the recall and you have signed up for the recall, wait for the shipping box and label to be sent to you. Sending your firearm to Ruger before they send you the appropriate shipping supplies will not ensure you receive your firearm back any sooner, only that Ruger will have possession of your firearm for longer.

If you have any additional questions, see the Ruger Recall Announcement.

Are you affected by the recall? Have any questions? Let us know by leaving a comment.

4 Comments On This Article

  1. Thanks for letting us know! I am a firearms instructor and use the Mark IV for my students. I will deal with this immediately.

  2. Ruger will not return your expensive aftermarket parts by my experience. I sent in my super old Mark 1 to be refurbished. They kept my adjustable combat rear sights and put the crappy original sight that the gun was built with (around 1960) back on it. I’m not so pleased with Ruger now. I’m sure one of their techs is enjoying my expensive high quality parts. Bastages!

  3. Michael Ochampaugh

    Every contact I have had with all ruger personnel I have received smug response from them. Some of their product’s are good, but every verbal response has been bad. I believes with this kind of personnel responce is deflected by the company. I have brought from other Mfg. before I bought from them with their competitions because of it.

ADD A COMMENT