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Tactical Solutions Pac-Lite Ruger Mk1 Upgrade
 

Lower the pistol to the horizontal position and place the Pac-Lite upper receiver on the frame about 1/16" ahead of its regular position.  Press it backwards and downwards to engage the forward retaining lug at the receiver's front access ramp (bottom of the receiver). 

The receiver is properly aligned when the mainspring pin hole in the receiver is lined up with the hole in the frame.  It took a couple of attempts before I got mine properly aligned.  I had to rotate the receiver a small amount to get the holes to align.  I was able to push mine into position by hand.  The instructions state that you may have to place the muzzle on a padded surface and press the frame into position. 

Next, inspect the inside of the receiver to make sure the hammer is still in the cocked position and that the hammer strut (the little pin that hangs down from the hammer) is free.  (The cocked position has the hammer laid back into the frame.)
 

At this point, the bolt was slid back into the Pac-Lite receiver.  Again, make sure the firing pin stop is in the bolt.  The bolt must be positioned such that the spring is up, as shown in the above photo.  The bolt should easily slide into the receiver. 

OK....almost there!

Point the still empty pistol downward (at the floor) and pull the trigger.  You want the hammer to fall to its "fired" position.  It is possible that you may have to help the trigger a bit....a little nudge with a toothpick worked for me.

Insert the mainspring housing into the receiver and push it straight up through the holes in the grip frame and the Pac-Lite receiver.  As the mainspring housing pin is pushed into the receiver, it passes through the slot in the bolt and also passes by the rear end of the recoil spring guide, camming the recoil spring guide forward to put initial tension into the recoil spring.  The mainspring housing pin will protrude about 1/8" above the top of the receiver once it is fully pushed into position.  During this step, be sure the bolt is fully forward and the hammer is still in the fired position. 

**Point the still empty pistol down toward the floor and pull the trigger while shaking the pistol.  This will help ensure that the hammer has fallen "forward" into the fired position. 

With the pistol lying on its back, rotate the back to slightly elevate the muzzle causing the hammer strut to fall back.  You may need to a gentle shake to loosen the hammer strut (or that toothpick I mentioned earlier).  Do NOT pull the trigger. 

The mainspring housing is now ready to be swung shut.  It is VERY important that the hammer strut comes to rest on the mainspring plunger as the housing is closed.  The mainspring plunger lies inside the mainspring housing and may be seen through the slot in the upper end of the housing.

If the hammer strut does not contact the mainspring housing as the housing is swung shut, it will either be impossible to complete the closure of the housing or the housing may be closed but you will not be able to draw the bolt back all the way.  It is also essential that the hammer itself be in its uncocked forward position (resting against the firing pin) as the mainspring housing is swung shut.  The pistol should be lying on its back with the muzzle titled up at a slight angle to cause the hammer strut to drop into the correct position to meet the mainspring plunger in the mainspring housing. 

Close and latch the mainspring housing by pushing the latch into its original position.  Last but not least, test the reassembly.  Gently pull the bolt back (do not force it).  It should be no more difficult to pull the bolt back now then it was with the previous barrel in place.  If you can not pull the bolt back, it is because the hammer strut is improperly positioned.  If this is the case, open the mainspring housing and return to the step above marked with a **
 

There it is.....all back together and ready to be sighted in.  I'm considering the addition of a reflex site once I've had a chance to see how it works with just iron sights.
 

 

In case you were wondering it looks like from the business end......you can see the chromoly liner in this photo.  The liner is recessed into the aluminum about 1/16" and the liner appears to be nicely crowned (hard to see here).

I'll report back with some info on how it works after a visit to the range (hopefully within a week or two at the most).  I'm looking forward to seeing how it does.

 

Update:  12/18/2007

OK....update time. 

All in all, I was impressed with the new setup.  My 50+ year old eyes aren't what they use to be (so what else is new?)....and so I think I am going to continue my search for something in the sighting department that will help me a bit.  Maybe I should check into some glasses?  LOL! 
 

This was my first (and best) string of 5 shots after I finished with the rear sight adjustment.  I need to drift it a little more to the right.....I'll tend to that the next time out.  I neglected to bring any sandbags with me and so I really couldn't steady myself on the bench.  I shot the above target at 5 meters from a standing, two hand hold, position.....and leaned a shoulder against a nearby bench support.  I know there is more to be had from the pistol....and soon as I get there, I'll post up another target for comparison. 

 

Update:  12/18/2007

At one of the recent gun shows, I picked up a red dot reflex sight.  It is one of the no-name Chinese knockoffs and the first one went back to the vendor as I kept seeing multiple reticles which wasn't going to cut it.....and that was before I even got it mounted.
 

The replacement unit, which arrived today, isn't suffering from that problem so I mounted it on the rail.  I'll take it out to the range this weekend to see how it does.  I look forward to seeing what, if any, difference it makes.
 

Update:  1/3/2008

I had a nice day at the range.....unfortunately, it wasn't with my Mk1.  After spending time with my XD45, I got the Mk1 out of the case, loaded a magazine, and hung a target. 

Time to get it sighted in at 10 yards.  The first three shots looked promising....then shot #4 was off by several inches.....shot #5 completely missed the target.  No amount of diddling with the windage and elevation controls would correct the problem.....broke it was.

To make a long story short, the sight malfunctioned in some fashion such that point of impact was no where close to point of aim.  No amount of adjustment would correct it.

Time to cut my losses.....this one is going back for a refund.  I can't see wasting my time and money on this reflex sight. 

I contacted the vendor via e-mail.  He admitted to me that this batch of Chinese sights had problems.  He suggested I find him at the next Phoenix gun show and he would find something else for me.  Sorry....that dog doesn't hunt.  Refund or I dispute the charges with my credit card company.....and being a 25+year card holder with them.....we understand each other just fine.
 

Update:  4/4/2008

I disputed the charges early on in January.  About two weeks later, I received a letter requesting a number of things that would be used in the decision making process.  With 11 pages of e-mail added to the pile of paperwork that I returned, it would seem that I won.  I received my money back, early on, and have received nothing else.  The paperwork I responded to said it could take upwards of 45 days to settle the dispute.  It's been twice that amount as I write this.


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