Does what I was told at the gun range make any sense?

I took my wife and daughter to the gun range for the first time today. The range is very large and very well known in Oklahoma City. Since neither of them have any experience with handguns, I rented 22’s. We started with a Browning Buckmark which I liked but they weren’t crazy about it. I then moved on to a Ruger Mark III. The gun misfired several times and was dirty enough that when loading an intial round into the chamber, the slide would sometimes not even close. Other than that, they both liked the Ruger a lot.

When I took the gun back, I mentioned the problems that I had with the gun and was told by the guy behind the counter “These aren’t even our guns. They’re owned by the manufacturer. They won’t let us clean them or anything. They just tell us to shoot them until they break.” :dubious: For the life of me, I cannot see any logic in that but he said it with a perfectly straight face. I hate to call the guy a liar but how could this possibly be true? Why wouldn’t the manufacturer want their guns cleaned and maintained? If I didn’t already know that Ruger makes quality guns, I would have thought that it was a piece of junk.

So do you think I was lied to? If so, why would the guy say such a thing?

That sounds strange, As you said, a dirty, malfunctioning gun reflects badly on the manufacturer. However, if I remember, the Ruger is the very devil to break down for cleaning and they don’t want the shop employees messing with it and possibly creating a dangerous situation due to mis-assembly.

The range I went to when I first started shooting had clean guns but I don’t know if they were shop owned.

Unless they have some special trial program to test how long they can go without cleaning until they break, I call Bullshit.

I know essentially nothing about guns, and intend to keep it that way, but doesn’t a gun that’s never cleaned carry a risk of not just malfunctioning, but catastrophically so? For instance, I’d heard that the “Saturday Night Special” (admittedly, a cheap gun) would sometimes explode.

By the way, just how must does it cost to rent a gun and fire a couple dozen bullets? Does it provide enough pleasure for the cost? (I only wonder this because I can’t see what possible enjoyment doing so would convey, but I do realize, to each his own.)

I vote that “manufacturer says it’s okay to break it but not to clean it” is most unlikely.

I can’t see any reason to think so.
“Saturday night specials” are inferior guns made as cheaply as possible - they will fail regardless of how clean they are. A well made gun might jam or mis-fire if it wasn’t clean, but that won’t affect the strength of the barrel, which is the part you don’t want to have fail on you…

Two words: Gilda. Radner.

I vote for “in-between”

Or the Manufacturer telling the range that the guns must be cleaned by someone registered* / trained / who has passed their (the manufacturers) training course or something similar.

And such a person is not on the pay roll.

So while true, the statement is possibly inaccurate

  • Is there such an animal as a registered gun technician, or a qualified gun cleaner or sumtink?

I don’t know about rental costs, but .22 ammo is pretty cheap. I found some online for under five cents/round when bought in a 500 rd box.

If the gun was in that bad a condition, why were you foolish enough to shoot with it?

Because IMO, the fact that the slide would stick fully open would not compromise the safety of the gun. If it were a case that the slide was partly or mostly closed, then I would have felt that the gun was unsafe.

I bet it’s this. Mark III is indeed a giant pain in the ass to disassemble/reassemble, especially when it’s new. And you’ve got to constantly be inserting & removing an empty mag, because of the stupid magazine safety. So you can’t do a 3 minute cleaning job to get out 70% of the crud that ranges often do.

Here’s some videos showing what a pain it is. Only gun I have that requires a hammer and multiple punches to tear down.

I suppose that’s possible but when he said it, I got the impression that he was referring to all of the guns that they rented, not just the Mark III’s.

Holy crap! That’s not exactly a 1911, is it? Disassembly didn’t look too bad but reassembly looked like one wrong move after another.

I would send a letter to Ruger explaining what I was told, and see what they say. And make some vaguely threatening comments about possibly unsafe Ruger pistols and legal action, just to improve the odds of getting a response.

I think someone was too lazy to clean the firearms. If a manufacture wanted to subject it’s firearms to some kind of durability test, it would not ship them to range owners to hand to their customers and wait for the pistol to fail. Not in this lawsuit crazy society. The testing could easily be handled in-house with mechanical shooting stations where humans would only be required to reload the weapon and remotely pull the trigger.

This was before the unfortunate boat accident, I take it?

There were 3 of us on the range for around an hour. We rented 2 guns at $10 a piece. The 100 box of CCI 22 ammo was around $10. Since we rented their guns, we had to get our ammo from them. It was overpriced but not outrageously so. 2 full sized paper targets, $1. The range provided eye and ear protection. The total bill was around $60.

I think if it had been just me and one gun, it would have been around $30. If you BYOG and ammo, you can shoot all day for $10.

find another range immediately.

any establishment with that blase an attitude toward the safety of its patrons and the potentially dangerous condition of its merchandise in use by said patrons - is an establishment that needs to be put out of business.


I own 4 Ruger pistols, 3 Mk 2s and 1 Mk 3. I hate the magazines disconnect on the Mk 3, but the Mk 2s come apart pretty easily. I do use a paperclip to open the mainspring housing, but other than that no problems at all.

I’m an instructor. Been one for 20+ years. I’ve never heard such lazy bullshit in my life.

Don’t go back to that range, ever. A gummed-up gun is a hazard, and there’s no excuse for it, not even the Mk I, II, and III whiners. Yeah, it’s different than some, but you learn the process once, and you’re good to go. I’ve got several of each and it’s just not that big a deal.
A range that won’t clean its weapons properly is one that’s cutting corners other places, and I certainly wouldn’t go back.

No manufacturer of any kind, much less firearms, would use the public as some kind of torture test control group. Anyone ever hear of liability? It’s something no manufacturer wants.

I love all my Rugers and they’re fine, quality tools, all of them.