Gun of the Week: Davidson’s Exclusive Ruger Mk IV 22/45 Lite

posted on April 21, 2023

Today, we're on the range with a uniquely finished Ruger Mk IV 22/45 Lite. This, of course, is another Davidson’s Exclusive, which means that this configuration can only be ordered from the company’s Gallery Of Guns or one of its nationwide network of retailers. Davidson’s is one of the largest firearm distributors in the world, and because of that, it develops special models with different manufacturers, bringing unique one-offs to market that you won’t see anywhere else. Of all manufacturers, though, Davidson’s has a particularly productive relationship with Ruger, and the result of that is an incredible assortment of unique designs. One of those designs is this Mk IV 22/45 Lite pistol. Watch the Gun Of The Week video above to see the Ruger in use.

Gun Of The Week title screen purple gun background

For firearm enthusiasts, Ruger’s rimfire pistol is one that needs little introduction. The Ruger Standard Model is what launched the company back in 1949, and semi-automatic rimfire pistols continue to be a mainstay in the company’s lineup even today. Its designs have come a long way from the original design released in the ‘40s. Now, Ruger’s working on the fourth generation of the pistol, and this one is the easiest yet to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance, thanks to a handy take-down button located on the back of the frame.

screenshot of advertisment the .22 Ruger pistol right-side line drawing pistol .22LR gun handgun

Those familiar with Ruger’s rimfire handguns have noticed how steep the grip angle is on the Standard model and its derivatives, so in 1992, Ruger launched the original 22/45 design. While the new pistol incorporated many features from the Standard model, one big change was the grip angle, which feels more similar to that of the M1911 pistol. This makes the 22/45 a great rimfire training option for fans of the classic .45 pistol. Naturally, it’s been a popular offering, and Davidson’s is teaming up with Ruger to add a few unique features to this particular model.

Man shooting purple handgun pistol 22LR indoors Ruger 22/45 Mk IV Lite Davidson's Exclusive gun

The standout element of this design is the purple anodized finish on the tubular receiver, which is the serialized component of the gun. While color shouldn’t be the only deciding factor on whether or not a gun is right to buy, it certainly adds a welcome personal touch. Given that this pistol is an easy-to-handle rimfire, it makes for a perfect rimfire trainer or range shooter for someone who is recoil-averse or has weak hand strength.

left side of Ruger Mark IV pistol 22LR purple gun

Another stand-out feature is the included Riton Optics red-dot sight, which makes accurate shots easy, thanks to the single-plane sighting system. Simply put the zeroed red dot over the target, and rounds will go where the dot is. The magazines are also easy to load, thanks to the included thumb lever that allows users to lessen spring tension and slip rounds into the feed lips. A threaded muzzle also allows users to attach a sound suppressor, thereby minimizing the report and recoil for an even greater shooting experience.

rear view of ruger 22/45 mk iv pistol

On the range, we appreciated the M1911-style handling of the Davidson’s Exclusive Ruger Mk IV 22/45 Lite, which felt remarkably like a standard M1911 grip frame, down the ambidextrous thumb safety locations, the double-diamond stock pattern, the single-sided magazine release and even the trigger reach and feel. There’s no doubt that this is a great rimfire training pistol for those who are familiar with the M1911 feel, and more than that, this makes for a great rimfire pistol in its own right, as it’s a lot of fun on the range, thanks to its reliability and ease of use.

Ruger 22/45 Mk IV Specifications
Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Action Type: blowback-operated, semi-automatic, rimfire pistol
Chambering: .22 LR
Upper Receiver: aluminum, anodized-purple finish
Lower Receiver: black polymer
Sights: none; rail for optics
Optic: Riton Red Dot
Magazine: 10-round detachable box
Overall Length: 8.4"
Height: 5.5"
Weight: 25 ozs.
MSRP: $1,098


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