Yesterday I went shooting at an outdoor range with my buddy. We were shooting our various pistols and having a great time, that is until I got my Ruger Mark III out to shoot.
I loaded up my two magazines, 10 rounds apiece. I inserted the first magazine and then came trouble. I pulled back the bolt to sling shot the first round into the chamber. When I let go of the bolt it shot forward and the pistol fired, not once but five times!
I was abiding by appropriate gun handling rules; my finger was off the trigger and thank goodness I had the pistol pointing safely down range. The shots sounded like one burst, like a machine gun. You could not hear individual shots, just one loud burp sound (not exactly like the German MG-42 of WWII but similar sound).
I immediately investigated what caused this and cleared the pistol. I ejected the magazine and from the original 10 rounds in it there were only 4 left. I pulled back the bolt to check for any rounds in the chamber and there was one unfired round loaded. I cleared that round and the bolt was stuck. After some effort to pull the bolt back and not having any success, we decided to put the .22 away and not shoot it until it has been looked over by a gunsmith or sent back to Ruger for repairs.
Once I got home I was able to disassemble the pistol but still had troubles retracting the bolt. I believe something has gone awry with the hammer and it was out of place making it impossible to remove the bolt until the hammer had been manually moved into a proper position. I have attempted to reassemble the pistol but to no avail, I can't get it back together. I cannot get the main spring housing reinserted and once again I believe the hammer is out of place and inhibiting proper functions of the pistol.
This whole event has really got me spooked. I have had this pistol for 6 years now and fired thousands of rounds through it never having anything even close to this happen to me. I know that in most cases there really are no accidental discharges, just negligent ones. But in my case I know that I was following gun handling safety rules, finger off the trigger, barrell pointed downrange and knowing what was beyond my "target". I have never had a gun fire like it did in this case and thank goodness I was following proper safety precautions otherwise there could have been very serious repurcussions.
I even asked my buddy who was watching me the whole time to determine whether or not I had been following appropriate rules and posssibly slipped up but he said that I had not done anything out of the ordinary or unsafe. He was just as astonished as I was by the event. As he put it, "if you had been doing something wrong, stupid, unsafe or negligent, we would be having a whole other discussion and you would be walking home."
This event reminded me of the documentary I saw on CNBC about Remington 700s and their accidental discharges.
I am going to contact Ruger and see what they have to say. I called earlier today but apparently they were closed at the time.
I would appreciate anyone elses comments, experiences or recommnedations. I will make updates when I know more.