Ruger's NEW Wrangler 22 LR Single-Action Sixgun

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

April 20th, 2019

YouTube Video Link

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Inside of the loading gate is scalloped for ease of use.

 

 

 

 

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 reliable sidearm.

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, and Single-Ten.

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.

Specifications 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 the sights.

Chambering 22 Long Rifle
Overall Length 10 inches
Overall Height 4.81 inches
Weight Unloaded 30.1 ounces
Barrel Length 4.61 inches
Cylinder Length 1.401 inches
Cylinder Diameter 1.392 inches
Barrel / Cylinder Gap 0.006 inch
Trigger Pull As Delivered 3 pounds, 14 ounces
MSRP as of April 2019 $249.00 US

I 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.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 1045
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 1003
CCI Velocitor HP 40 1009
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 1101
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 1017
American Eagle HP 36 968
PMC Zapper HP 38 1007
Winchester XPert HP 36 1001
Hansen Solid 40 921
Remington Bulk Solid 37 988
CCI Blazer Solid 40 980
CCI Stinger HP 32 1146
Armscor Solid 40 965
CCI Quiet 40 533
Remington Subsonic 38 855
Winchester Wildcat 40 984
Federal Bulk HP 36 967
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 919
PMC Match Solid 40 919
Wolf Match Solid 40 886

Accuracy was 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 use.

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.

Check out the new Ruger Wrangler online at www.ruger.com.

For the location of a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.

To order the Wrangler online, click on the GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.

To order quality rimfire ammunition at a fair price, go to www.luckygunner.com and www.midsouthshooterssupply.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Best and worst groups fired at 25 yards from a Ransom Master Series Machine Rest show the Wrangler's match-grade accuracy.