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The Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite looks remarkable but won’t break the bank. It’s a 10+1 capacity 22 LR docked in a matte-black frame. The Mark IV lineup is extensive, and an evolution of the post-World War II Ruger Mark I (and Mark II and Mark III).

The Mark IV features a push-button tool-less takedown design, and this is a main feature separating it from earlier marks. But there are three more things: the staggering ported slide, the threaded muzzle gold barrel visible through it and the frame made of aluminum instead of steel.

The slide has three big lightening ventilation ports per side. They have a circle-long oval-circle pattern.

The Mark IV Lite has an aluminum upper receiver combined with a lightweight polymer frame. This package is about half the weight of the standard steel upper/aluminum frame. Thus overall weight drops considerably from the steel frame Mark IVs such as the 34.6 ounce Mark IV Tactical with the same 4.4” length barrel and very similar overall dimensions. The Mark IV 22/45 Lite weighs 25 to 27 ounces.

The Mark IV 22/45 Lite has four models, all wrapped around the 4.4” long steel cold hammer forged barrel. This barrel has 6 grooves and a 1:16” RH twist. These models are 5.5” tall, 1.22” wide and 8.4” long overall.

Two Lite models feature the aforementioned gold barrel and a matching gold-plated trigger. One’s receiver has a diamond gray anodized finish while the other’s has a black anodized finish. The most outlandish and coolest is the black barrel and black frame with “Wow!” evoking gold anodized receiver. All three feature double-diamond 1911-style diamond checkered grips that reach high up to the slide. All are threaded and come with a muzzle cap.

Finally, the fourth model’s receiver is diamond gray anodized. It has a stainless barrel, black frame and beautiful wooden grips with three finger contours and texturing. The wood grips are actually wooden laminate, but they are well done and look real with rich faux swirls and grain lines. They wrap around the grip’s front. This grip combines with the pyramid serrated backstrap. This fourth model also has a five rounded corner triangles porting pattern on the receiver that’s different from the others. Moreover, it’s not threaded. The grips add width and weight. Thus this model is 1.5” across the grips and weighs 27 ounces.

All four have fixed front sights that sit up on a plinth, fully adjustable rear sights and, in between, a 10-slot Picatinny accessory rail. Both front and back sights are all-black (i.e. no white dots, etc.) and have glare-cutting horizontally serrated rears. These guns also have a nice medium beavertail in back for a good, solid, comfortable feel while firing.

There are several other models that are sold through distributors. They have different anodization options: red, magenta, OD green, cobalt kinetic slate (blue) and various combinations with gold versus the black barrels. There are a couple more porting patterns that are beautiful. All have the 1911-style polymer grips and sights of the first three models described above.

Ruger has put plenty of thought into these guns. They also come standard with an ambidextrous thumb safety and a push-button magazine release that drops the magazines. They’ve also cleverly engineered a magazine disconnect that prevents the gun from firing when there’s no magazine inside. Speaking of which, each gun comes with a pair of 10-round mags.

Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite semi-automatic pistols are made by Ruger in Prescott, Arizona and thus Made in USA.

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