Sixty-Six years ago, Sturm,
Ruger & Company introduced the revolver that revived the
single-action sixgun design, which had long since been
pronounced dead and buried. The
Single-Six was chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge,
and was reminiscent of the sixguns being used by characters of
the then-popular Western movies. The Single-Six proved to be
much more than just a nostalgic revolver. For generations, it
has served thousands of woodsmen, campers, and hunters as a
At its introduction in 1953, the Single-Six
sold for $57.50. In today’s money, that would be $544.37. The
new Ruger Wrangler shown here sells for a suggested retail price
of only $249 US. That would have been $26.16 in 1953. In simpler
terms, the new Wrangler costs less than half the price of the
original Single-Six in real money.
Internally, the new Wrangler is pretty much a
Ruger New Model Single-Six, with a couple of changes. The
Wrangler has Ruger’s transfer bar safety, so that, unlike the
original Single-Six of 1953 through 1973, the Wrangler can be
safely carried with all six chambers loaded. The Wrangler also
uses coil springs for reliability and durability. One notable
change is that the new Wrangler has a free-spin pawl, allowing
the cylinder to rotate in either direction when the loading gate
is open. This makes for easy alignment of the chambers with the
loading gate for loading and unloading of the sixgun. The
Wrangler has an aluminum grip frame and aluminum cylinder frame
for lighter weight. The ejector rod housing is also made of
aluminum. The barrel, cylinder, and small parts are made of
steel. Most of the revolver is finished in a satin Cerakote.
Cerakote is handsome and durable, while offering protection from
rust. Three different finishes are offered at this time: Black,
Silver, and Burnt Bronze. Cylinders are blued steel. The hammer
and trigger are a satin silver. Grips are checkered black
plastic, and are of the XR3-RED
pattern used on most Single-Six and Blackhawk revolvers, as
well as the Single-Seven, Single-Nine,
The sights consist of a fixed-blade front and
a notched-frame rear, much like on the Ruger
Vaquero and Colt Single-Action Army style revolvers. The
trigger pull was crisp with just a bit of pre-travel before
releasing with just under four pounds of resistance.
Serviceable, but I prefer a lighter trigger pull, and doing a
quick Poor Boy’s Trigger Job reduced
the resistance to about half that. Perfect.
Chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge,
the Wrangler will also fire 22 Short, 22 Long, 22 LR Shotshells,
and 22 CB Caps, if desired. The cylinder has six chambers. No 22
Magnum cylinder is offered at this time.
are listed in the chart below. Weight is listed in ounces.
Trigger pull is listed as pounds of resistance. Linear
measurements are listed in inches. The cylinder length does not
include the ratchet nor the integral bushing. Height includes
||22 Long Rifle
|Barrel / Cylinder Gap
|Trigger Pull As Delivered
||3 pounds, 14 ounces
|MSRP as of April 2019
tested the Wrangler with several brands of 22 Long Rifle
ammunition for velocity and function. The velocity results with
each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below.
HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose
bullet. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet
above sea level, with an air temperature of forty-six degrees
Fahrenheit, with humidity in the ninety-eight percent range.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were
recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the Ruger revolver. Bullet
weights are listed in grains.
|CCI Mini-Mag HP
|CCI Mini-Mag Solid
|CCI Velocitor HP
|Remington Yellow Jacket HP
|Remington Hi-Speed Solid
|American Eagle HP
|PMC Zapper HP
|Winchester XPert HP
|Remington Bulk Solid
|CCI Blazer Solid
|CCI Stinger HP
|Federal Bulk HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
|PMC Match Solid
|Wolf Match Solid
tested at a distance of twenty-five yards, with the Wrangler
secured into my Ransom Master Series
machine rest. Accuracy was superb! I had expected decent
accuracy, but was surprised at the level of accuracy exhibited
by the Ruger Wrangler, especially for a single-action revolver
that sells at this low price. Shown are pictures of the smallest
and largest groups fired. These five-shot groups measured
between one-half inch and one and one-eighth inches at
twenty-five yards. Amazing! Reliability was one hundred percent.
Every cartridge fired, and the empty cases ejected easily.
Loading was also easy, thanks to the free-spin pawl. The loading
gate is scalloped, which makes it a bit easier to open; though a
bit stiff at first, it became easier to open the gate after some
The new Ruger
Wrangler is a welcome addition to the Ruger revolver line, and
to the class of single-action revolvers in general. No more do
shooters on a tight budget have to settle for less when
purchasing a new single-action 22 sixgun. The Wrangler is an
excellent revolver for hikers, campers, hunters, and plinkers
who desire a 22 sixgun that is reliable, accurate, fun-to-shoot,
and made in the USA.
out the new Ruger Wrangler online at www.ruger.com.
the location of a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER
LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
order the Wrangler online, click on the GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
order quality rimfire ammunition at a fair price, go to www.luckygunner.com
Got something to say about this article?
Want to agree (or disagree) with it? Click the following link to
go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.