Shooting The Ruger MK IV With The SIG Romeo 4

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rugermkiv-1

There’s no other way to explain it. After years of shooting I have concluded I must be a poor shot. How else to explain my inability to consistently shoot the tiny little groups I’ve been reading about for years in the firearms press? One inch or smaller seems to be the standard, whether shooting a pistol at 25 yards or a rifle at 100 yards. Now I have to admit I’ve been able to pull this off from time to time but never consistently or on demand. And so it was, when I began testing the new Ruger MK IV .22 caliber pistol for accuracy I approached the task with dread, knowing well my shortcomings.

SIG Romeo 4

rugermkiv-2To mitigate my poor shooting I looked about for an optical sight to help my aging eyesight. I found a very nice one in the new Sig Romeo 4. This red dot sight is attractive for a number of reasons. From an aesthetics standpoint, it is a graphite color that nicely matches the stainless steel coloring of the MK IV Hunter pistol. The sight can be turned on or off and the dot intensity can be adjusted by pressing two buttons. It’s not necessary to turn the Romeo off because if it doesn’t detect movement in five minutes it shuts down and comes back on when it is moved or picked up. Using one inexpensive CR 2032 flat battery the Romeo can be left on for something like 50,000 hours before needing a battery change. According to my calculations that means you shouldn’t have rugermkiv-3to worry about battery life for a little less than six years. In other words, turn it on and don’t concern yourself with battery life. Other features of the Romeo 4 include .5 MOA windage and elevation adjustments, meaning the point of impact will change approximately ½ inch at 100 yards, ¼ inch at 50 yards and 1/8 inch at 25 yards for each click. The red dot is a 2 MOA dot and that, translated into English, means the dot will appear to cover 2 inches at 100 yards and ½ inch at 25 yards. The sight has 12 illumination settings that should make the dot visible in any lighting conditions. While other manufacturers insist on selling you a separate high mounting base for use on flat top rifles like AR-15s the folks at Sig include one in the box with the Romeo 4. Looking around online I found these sights listed for around $289.00. And one more thing; Sig covers the Romeo with an unlimited, transferrable lifetime guarantee. In my estimation this sight offers a lot of quality features at a good price.

rugermkiv-4Mounting the Romeo was easy using the Brownells tool kit I came up with when first testing the MK IV. I removed the screws atop the receiver, attached the Ruger rail with the provided screws and mounted the Romeo sight with the included Weaver base. Red dot sights are easy to use but require you to think a little differently about how you are aiming. First, you can shoot with both eyes open and there is no need to squint or close one eye. Second, it’s not necessary to center the dot in the field of view of the scope. It matters not that it may be high, low or to the side, so long as the dot is covering the target you’re good to go. So, focus on the dot, not the target, get steady and press the trigger. Simple, right? It’s so simple I figured those tiny groups I’ve heard about were within my grasp.

Reality Check – Shooting

rugermkiv-5At the range I attempted to fire at least five, three-shot groups with several brands of .22 ammunition, using a sandbag rest at 25 yards. Why do I say, “Attempted to fire”? Well, I was unable to get CCI Quiet-22 Segmented ammunition to work in the Mark IV. It’s advertised as being a low velocity round and it just didn’t have enough oomph to cycle the pistol. Everything else fired without a hitch and my only other issue came up when the left stock panel started wiggling around because the screws holding it were backing out. Leaping at the opportunity to use my Brownells MK IV tool kit I quickly tightened the offending screws and got back to shooting. Here are my results:

Gemtech 42grain sub-sonic (designed for use in suppressed pistols):

Average group size: 1.234”, Best group: .59”

Federal Game Shok hollowpoint (this is a 38gr. high velocity round):

Average group size: 1.56”, Best group: .68”

Federal American Eagle (40gr. high velocity solid lead bullet; this ammo is 20 years old):

Average group size: 1.2”, Best group: .58”

CCI Green Tag Competition (this ammo is often considered the most accurate match ammo for .22s. It has been very hard to find in recent years; this sample is over 20 years old. I fired 7 groups with the Green Tag.):

Average group size: .869”, Best group: .70”

Federal Auto Match (this is a match grade load designed for semi-auto rifles and pistols):

Average group size: .884”, Best group: .23”

The Ruger MK IV Hunter is a terrific pistol and one I plan to shoot for many years to come. My range testing proved the pistol is more than capable of shooting tiny groups with good ammunition. With a good sight installed and a reasonably proficient shooter doing the trigger pulling the pistol is capable of outstanding accuracy. I can relax now; the Mark IV made me look pretty good.

About the Author:

Ed Head is a regular on Shooting Gallery, Gun Stories and Down Range TV. He has worked for almost 30 years in law enforcement, first in the United States Air Force and then with the United States Border Patrol, retiring as a Field Operations Supervisor. During his Border Patrol career, Ed worked in a variety of patrol, investigative and training capacities. Ed has an extensive background as a firearms instructor, having trained thousands, ranging from beginners to police, military and special operations personnel. Having taught at Gunsite for 20 years, Ed first trained there under the world famous shooting school’s founder, Jeff Cooper, then later ran the school as the operations manager for more than five years. Ed lives in Chino Valley, Arizona, where he continues to teach and write.

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