Today I field stripped the Ruger 22/45 Lite that I bought yesterday and fired last night. It’s always a good idea to strip a gun, clean and lubricate before your first range trip with it. This helps you get familiar with the gun and if there are any metal shavings left over from the factory you can clean them out.
That said, all I did yesterday before shooting the Ruger was to run a couple patches through the bore and put some automatic transmission fluid on the bolt.
Today I disassembled it per the instruction manual. After giving it a good cleaning and lube I went to put it back together. I noticed that with some ATF on the internals, the trigger pull is better.
The reassembly process is why I didn’t do it yesterday – in my experience reassembling Ruger .22 semiauto pistols is a major pain in the ass. You have to do things in the exact correct order and it also helps to keep the piece oriented correctly, as described in the manual.
One thing that helps is that nowadays, you can go to YouTube and find disassembly/reassembly videos for many guns, especially if they are popular. The Rugers are no exception. This one and this one are pretty good.
Thankfully, aside from the gyrations you need to go through to put a Ruger .22 autoloader back together, they are really well designed pistols. They are very reliable and it is not necessary to field strip them after every range trip. What I do is clean the bore, especially the chamber, clean the breech face, bolt face, and under the extractor.
I also make sure it’s well lubricated, probably more so than recommended in Ruger’s manual. .22 rimfire ammo is dirty and keeping the gun well lubed will help flush out unburned powder and fouling.
Note that if you live in a dusty environment like the southwestern US, keeping the gun slathered in oil may not be an option. I’d be interested in hearing from readers who have experience keeping Ruger .22 autopistols running in such locales. Please leave a comment.