I recently got a Ruger 22/45 Lite with the intention of putting a suppressor on it as soon as the ATF approves and sends me my stamp. But while waiting for them, I decided to shoot it a little without the can to see how it ran. Here it is:

And here is the important part. A threaded cover covers the threads on the end of the barrel where the suppressor will screw on.

I ran only about 30 rounds through it, using two different brands of ammo and had two failures to feed/extract. On top of that, the trigger was simply bad. Long, gritty, and stiff.

I read a thread on my favorite forum where improvements to the Ruger 22/45 were discussed. I especially appreciated the post of my friend Leisure_Shoot talked about some improvements he had made to his pistol. He even conveniently listed the after-market parts he ordered and installed to make the pistol shoot better. I ordered the parts and waited until they had all arrived.

Once they were here, I called my buddy Liem to get some help. Liem is a pretty good gunsmith and I am not. I may have some skills, but as Dirty Harry reminded us, "A man's got to know his limitations." I know mine.

Now, before we start, a disclaimer: I made the decision to make some modifications to my pistol by installing some after-market parts. I am not responsible for anyone else doing such a thing to their pistol. Make your own decisions about what you want to do, as you are totally responsible for your own decisions and actions.

Liem showed up with his tools and we got started. We first measured the trigger pull on the factory pistol. It was almost 7 gritty pounds. We will see if we can make that better.

Leisure_Shoot recommended that the following be ordered (along with his original comments):

Volquartsen Loaded Chamber Indicator Filler for Ruger MKIII LCI - this immediately fixed the feed issues, the "feeler" that rubs against the round to indicate a loaded chamber caused all of the feed issues, and removing it solved the problem 100%. I've not had another failure to feed since removing it. ($18)

Volquartsen Custom Exact Edge Extractor for 10/22 and Ruger MKIII ($16)

Hammer Bushing for Magazine Disconnect - fits Mark III & 22/45 LITE - this was the greatest improvement to the trigger. ($10)

I ordered all three parts.

We started by disassembling the pistol as per factory instructions.

We removed the bolt and removed the spring.

We then drove the pen out that held in the extractor.

This allowed Liem to use a dental pick and hold the spring back to remove the extractor. He placed a plastic bag around it as it has a tendency to "sprong" and get lost.

We then replaced it with the Volquartsen Custom Exact Edge Extractor with no problems.

We then removed the grips on the frame and placed a piece of masking tape over the lower drift pin to keep it in place as we worked on the next part.

Liem tapped on the back of the upper with a plastic hammer to move it forward for removal.

On this picture you can see the drift pin that holds the Loaded Chamber Indicator in place. It is supposed to just come out easily, but it was not moving (as Leisure_Shoot warned me in an IM). We put some Kroil on it and set it aside to soak while we did the next part

This is the hammer with the factory magazine disconnect next to it.

You can't just remove the magazine disconnect as it will leave a big space where it was. So, you have to remove it and install the Hammer Bushing for Magazine Disconnect. Here it is before installation.

It fit in easily and we put things back together.

It was time to get back on the retaining pin for the loaded chamber indicator. We tried a magnet. No joy. It was not sticking up enough to grab with pliers. So Liem just banged on the frame with a plastic hammer until the frame "backed off" of the pin and it was proud enough to grab with pliers and remove.

The replacement filler has a threaded hole to use a supplied threaded screw to hold it in place. It went right in, no problems.

Here's the factory part on top, and the new filler on the bottom.

I don't need a "Loaded Chamber Indicator" because I know and follow the First Rule of Gun Safety.

It was time to reassemble the pistol. To tell the truth, we had the most trouble reassembling the pistol than any other part of the project. Putting one of these pistols back together makes you want to strangle Bill Ruger. But we finally got it back together.

We tested the trigger again.

It was now a little over 3 ½ pounds, a BIG improvement.

I had also ordered a red dot sight for this pistol. I am not running this weapon as a Delta Force Operator and didn't need a $500 red dot. I bought an $85 red dot which will be plenty good enough for playing around with this "toy".

Here it is. It is a Truglow red dot. It actually has different reticles and can be either red or green. Very nice and easy to use.

It was easy to install on the rail that comes with the pistol.

I headed to the range to sight in the red dot scope.

It was easy to adjust and get to hit where I wanted it to hit. Here is the target where I sighted it in. I started low left and walked them up to where I wanted them to be.

And here are two targets. The left one was with Winchester Wildcat ammo and the right one was with Wolf Match. Ten shots in each group.

Ran 100% with three kinds of ammo today. Not a single problem.

I am going to enjoy shooting this one and can hardly wait for the stamp to arrive so I can pick up my can.

I will report on that when it arrives.

Until then, remember: It's fun to shoot stuff.