had a soft spot in my heart for a sweet-shooting .22 revolver,
especially one that is sized right for the cartridge. A small,
reasonably light sixgun chambered for the .22 Long Rifle
cartridge is one of the handiest firearms in existence.
A few months
ago, I reviewed Rugerís re-introduction of the
excellent little Bearcat revolver (see Jeff's article at Ruger's New Bearcat).
The Bearcat is one of the neatest little revolvers ever made for
a trail gun. About the only improvement needed for the Bearcat
to make it into a perfect .22 trail gun was a durable,
rust-resistant finish, and Ruger has now corrected that by
adding the Bearcat to its line of stainless steel revolvers. In
many areas, humidity is not a problem, but for those who enjoy
the great pleasures of high humidity year round, the benefits of
stainless steel are readily apparent. There are times when you
can almost hear a gun rust as it rides in a warm, damp holster.
A stainless gun is much more forgiving of not being cleaned and
oiled while carried in damp conditions. This Bearcat is
constructed almost entirely of stainless steel, with the
exception of the aluminum ejector rod housing and the wooden
review of the new Bearcat is still available for reading in our archives
section, I wonít rehash the entire article here. I will point
out, however, that the little stainless Bearcat received here
for testing has a much better trigger pull than the blued one
reviewed earlier. Accuracy of the stainless Bearcat was also
slightly better than the blued test gun, grouping very well with
several brands and types of ammunition, placing most under two
inches at 25 yards, if I did my part. As this gun has a satin
finish, sight reflection was not a problem. There were no
failures to fire with any ammo tested. Besides shooting the
little gun at paper targets, I have fired this gun mostly at
rocks, cans, and other targets of opportunity, as this is
definitely a plinking machine par excellence. Loading and
unloading of the Bearcat is much easier for me than with the
Single Six series of revolvers, due to the half-cock notch in
the Bearcatís hammer. The chambers of the cylinder align
perfectly with the ejector rod as the cylinder is indexed on the
As I received
this little sixgun just before leaving for the Shootist
Holiday in Raton, New Mexico, I loaded it and a couple of
thousand rounds of .22 LR ammo into the truck to show to those
gathered for the event. If there was ever a group of shooters
who appreciate a fine little sixgun, it is those who attend the
Shootist Holiday. These men are serious about their sixguns! All
who handled or shot the stainless Bearcat seemed favorably
impressed, and a few threatened to relieve me of the little
sixgun. There was a young shooter in attendance by the name of Tyler
who was trying his best to wear out a .22 rifle by shooting at
the steel targets downrange at the NRA's Whittington
Center. I left with him the little Bearcat and 550 rounds of
Remington hollow points, and he did me the favor of shooting the
sixgun for the better part of the day while I was working out
with some other firearms. The hard part was explaining to Tyler
that no, he couldnít keep the Bearcat. I do think that his
Grandpa is going to have to come up with one for him, but
thatís his problem, not mine. I managed to leave Raton with
both the Bearcat and my hide intact, and made a new little
friend in the process. And by the way, Tyler can shoot.
Just about ever shot resulted in a solid hit.
their Bearcat in stainless steel, Ruger has produced what may be
the best little trail gun available for knocking around in the
woods or just plinking at the range. The little sixgun is a
delight to carry and shoot. It packs easily in a pocket or
holster, and is just plain handy to have around.
Rugerís entire line of firearms online at:
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