1974 Ruger Standard RST-4 - Gunner Forum
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1974 Ruger Standard RST-4

This is a discussion on 1974 Ruger Standard RST-4 within the Range Reports forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; Just got back from a week in Florida with highs in the 90s, very humid and loads of sunshine and woke up, this morning, in ...


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Old 09-26-2016, 09:07 AM   #1
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From: northern wisconsin
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1974 Ruger Standard RST-4

Just got back from a week in Florida with highs in the 90s, very humid and loads of sunshine and woke up, this morning, in our north woods to rain, wind and temps in the 40s. Talk about climate change!

Anyway, until we can get out and shoot this week, here's little project I've recently completed and since we've been talking about the new Ruger MKIV, thought it might be nice to go back in time to one of the originals. Here it is, a 1974 Ruger Standard with a 4 1/2" barrel, the RST4.


Picked this one up in a pawn shop a few weeks, ago. Trigger was not the best - too much creep and a bit heavy and the gun had seen some use, but with Ruger Marks, use is not really a factor as far as functioning. It's mostly a matter of price on these older models and I got this one at a good price.

I was looking, specifically for this later vintage of RST-4, though. This vintage has the newer A100 grip frame which allows you to use MKII 10 shot mags with no alteration and, as we'll see, even MKIII mags in a pinch. Ruger went to this grip frame in the early 70s as a precursor to adding a bolt hold open to the design with the MKII. The MKII appeared in the early 80s, almost a decade later. Why it took Ruger so long to go to the MKII, I can't say, but the bolt staying open after the last shot via the bolt hold open is the main feature difference between the original Standard/MKI and the MKII.

So now I have two vintages of these guns in this RST4 and the MKII version (which is stainless to boot) and both can use the same mags.


First trip to the range was not encouraging. The original 9 shot mag that came with the gun was difficult to load and, not surprisingly, lots of jamming, regardless of ammo used. Switching to the MKII mag from my stainless MKII solved the problem, completely - 100% functioning. The original 9 shot mags were problems in these old Ruger autos, so when Ruger went to a 10 shot mag in the MKII, they also improved the mag design. Another plus for the MKII.

Added a MKIII mag, just for kicks. Yes, you can use an MKIII mag in the MKII or even the MKI with an A100 grip frame. Takes a little pushing and the MKIII mag hangs up a bit when removed, but it will work. It's a one way street, though. You can't use an MKII mag in the MKIII.

As for the trigger, easy fix. Went to my box of spare Mark parts and found a better sear and trigger match. Polished them up, put them in and the old RST4 now has a wonderful trigger. Light, but not too light for a field gun and, best of all, crisp as can be.

Ruger Marks are all about the shooting, though, and this old trooper just purrs like a kitten. (As always, when shooting a Ruger like this, bring lots of ammo. Fun, fun, fun.) Top shots over the bull were to see where the fixed sights were hitting. Quickly dropped to a 6 o'clock and finished the group in the black. Exactly what I would expect from any Ruger Mark, by the way. Very typical.


I now have an excellent little woods or field carry gun in this old Standard and a fun range plinker, too, all in a gun I never have to worry about damaging or wearing out and one that will always shoot with great accuracy. Can't ask for much more in a gun at a bargain price.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:45 AM   #2
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Nice find! My first gun was a late Standard, about 1980. I don't remember any mag issues with it, but it was bought new and only got a few thousand rounds through it before I sold it. I had it black chromed which was a nice look. I just did it because there was a place across town that did it for $ 50. I've often wondered what's happened to it since.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:22 AM   #3
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ncg.....that faulty mag may very well be why the gun was for sale and then at a good price.
Congratulations on another good buy.
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