4 Most Common Ruger Mark IV Problems And How To Fix Them

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I recently took the Ruger Mark IV out for some field testing, and let me tell you, it’s a decent piece. But, like all things in life, it’s not perfect. 

While it has some strong points, like an easy-to-use design, I also stumbled upon a few issues that I believe many users might encounter.

Well, some Common Ruger Mark IV Problems include magazine issues, the gun not returning to battery, recoil spring complications, and slide issues. 

Yep, quite the list, huh? But don’t worry. We will tackle these problems head-on, and I’ll guide you through some tried-and-true solutions to get your Ruger Mark IV running smoothly as silk.

Overview of Ruger Mark IV Problems & their Solutions

ProblemsQuick Solutions
Magazine IssueDisassemble and clean the magazine; stretch the spring slightly.
Not Returning to BatteryClean slide rails and apply lubricant.
Recoil Spring ProblemReplace with a quality spring.
Slide IssueClean slide and grooves; apply thin layer of lubricant.

Top 4 Ruger Mark IV Problems & Solutions

1. Magazine Issue

So, here’s the deal: I noticed while shooting that the magazine didn’t always feed properly. This was especially noticeable during rapid-fire sessions. 

I’d get those awkward pauses where I had to nudge the magazine for the next round to slide into the chamber. It’s quite annoying if you ask me, and not something you’d want to deal with in any shooting situation.


Alright, after fumbling with it a bit, I found a fix. The issue seemed to lie with the magazine’s follower, so I disassembled the magazine and gave it a good clean.

I also stretched the magazine spring just a tad, reassembled it, and boom! Like magic, the feeding issue was gone. I tested it rigorously and didn’t face any more hiccups. So, if you’re dealing with the same problem, try this little tweak. 

Just remember, don’t stretch the spring too much; a little goes a long way.

2. Not Returning To Battery

So, the next issue that caught my attention was the gun not always returning to battery. This means that the slide doesn’t fully go back into position after firing a shot. 

It leaves you with a “dead trigger,” honestly, it can be a bit unsettling. This happened multiple times while I was at the range, and each time it did, I had to manually push the slide forward to get it back in action. 


I tried a couple of things to get around this, and here’s what worked. I took apart the gun and thoroughly cleaned the slide rails and the area around the chamber. 

Then, I applied a small amount of quality gun lubricant to the slide rails. After doing this, I returned to the range, and the issue was noticeably reduced. 

Proper maintenance and perhaps even breaking in the gun a bit more can go a long way in solving this issue.

3. Problem with the Recoil Spring

The recoil spring didn’t escape my scrutiny either. While shooting, the recoil seemed inconsistent, like something held the slide back for a fraction of a second longer than it should. 

This made the whole firing experience feel a bit off. You know, like when your car’s engine is running, but something doesn’t sound right? That’s how it felt.


After digging around, I realized the recoil spring was the culprit. It seemed to be wearing out a little faster than expected. I replaced it with a new one, making sure to go for a quality spring. 

Let me tell you, the difference was like night and day. The slide action became consistent, and shooting felt more natural. So, if you’re experiencing anything similar, consider replacing that recoil spring. 

It’s a small investment that can greatly improve your shooting experience.

4. Slide Issue

Ah, the slide issue, another hiccup that had me scratching my head. During my sessions at the range, I found that the slide would occasionally stick halfway when trying to chamber a round. 

It’s frustrating. I’m sure you’d agree the slide is crucial; when it’s not operating smoothly, it affects your whole experience.


So, how did I go about fixing this? First, I checked for any debris or buildup causing the issue. 

I gave the slide and its grooves a good cleaning. Then, I applied a thin lubricant layer, focusing on the slide rails and contact points. 

And wouldn’t you know it? The problem was significantly reduced! The slide was gliding back and forth like it was supposed to. 

So before you run to a gunsmith, try this quick fix. A little TLC can go a long way in resolving this slide issue.

Final Verdict

So there you have it. After spending quality time in the field with the Ruger Mark IV, I can confidently say it’s a decent firearm, but not without its issues. 

Some weak points are the magazine problem, slide sticking, recoil spring inconsistencies, and the “not returning to battery” phenomenon. 

However, they’re not deal-breakers. Most of these issues can be easily resolved with a little bit of maintenance and some minor adjustments. 

So, would I recommend the Ruger Mark IV? Absolutely. Its design is user-friendly, and it offers a comfortable shooting experience. 


Can you dry fire a Ruger Mark IV?

Yes, but using a snap cap is recommended for extensive dry firing.

How far can a Ruger Mark 4 shoot?

It is capable of accurate shots at up to 55 yards.

What is the difference between Ruger Mark IV Lite and Tactical?

The main difference is: Lite has barrel cutouts, Tactical doesn’t.

Is the Ruger Mark IV reliable?

Yes, it known for its accuracy and reliability.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

4 thoughts on “4 Most Common Ruger Mark IV Problems And How To Fix Them”

  1. Sounds like most of the problems were from lack of lubrication and possibly the need of more frequent cleaning. The magazines may have had some issues, as I see on various comments on the Internet but glad to see you found a solution.

    • we’d all want a pistol that’s ready to roll without any hitches. The issues with the Ruger Mark IV are indeed rare, and when they do pop up, they’re usually quick to fix.


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