Ruger Bearcat Advice?


October 9, 2005, 04:39 AM
For some time now I have been thinking of acquiring a quality .22LR single action revolver and would like a little insight from those of you who have experience with them. My primary purposes for getting one are:

1. Plinking and some (economical) target shooting
2. Getting my teenage daughters behind a handgun
3. A companion for my Ruger 10/22
4. I've always wanted a single action revolver and a .22 LR revolver and this would kill two birds with one stone.

My gunshop currently only has a new Ruger Bearcat in the case and it does feel good in the hand and given the track record of Ruger products I am seriously considering buying this gun. However, I have also heard good things about the Single Six and the Heritage Arms Rough Rider.

What are the primary differences between the Bearcat and Single-Six other than the frames? The Heritage Arms Rough Rider looks a bit less well finished than Ruger guns I have seen too. What is their track record on reliability, customer service, etc. ?

Anyone with experience with any of these guns please chime in as to what you think of them. And if there are any other makes and models out there that I am overlooking please let them be known.


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October 9, 2005, 09:23 AM
I really like my Bearcat. My wife bought it for me in 1972 before my favorite Uncle sent me on an extended trip. I picked up a 4-5/8" Single Six in 1975. I wouldn't part with it either. It rides with me whenever I'm out hunting. Either would do you well for your stated purposes. I might lean a shade towards the Single Six but wouldn't shy away from a Bearcat if could be bought right.

October 9, 2005, 09:33 AM
I bought my Bearcat in 1964 (for 39.95) at a Woolworth's 5&10. It is a small revolver but totally reliable and accurate. It's last use was my daughter who carried while fishing in upstate Pa. Quantrill

October 9, 2005, 09:40 AM
I bought a Ruger Bearcat for my son when he was 10 (he's now 14). It is a reliable and well built little revolver. My only faults with it is that it shot about 3" low and has a rather heavy trigger. A little filing on the front sight and some cold bluing took care of the shooting low, and we've just learned to adjust to the trigger. If you need a very small SA .22LR then I'd recommend the Bearcat.

If the larger Single-Six isn't too large for your purposes (or your daughter's hands), then I would recommend one of those with the adjustable sights over the Bearcat. The Single-Six also comes with a 2nd cylinder for .22 Mag.

To be perfectly honest with you, I'd take my S&W 4" 63 over any Ruger .22LR revolver, but that's just me.


October 10, 2005, 12:21 AM
A Heritage Arms might be slightly cheaper, but since either of the Rugers will last a century with minimal care, the financial advantate of HA is negligible unless you're really hurting.

I've owned both Bearcat and Single Six, love both to death.

If your highest priority is cute, compact, and fun, go for the Bearcat. Not so much a target gun (fixed sights, light weight), but a fun plinker.

If you want classy and accurate, go Single Six. Note: they do make fixed sight versions of Single Six, but you really want the adjustable sights. Very accurate, smooth handling, class act.

The main reasons to get a Bearcat would be: a) you want a pocket-sized fun-gun b) your daughter thinks the Single Six is too big. Otherwise I'd go Single Six.

Both are available in stainless, if you're into that (and I am).

October 10, 2005, 01:17 AM
If your and their hands are small enough get the Bearcat. If it is too small then look at the Single Six. I say that because teh smaller and more compact the more likely that they will carry and use it.

Have a Bearcat and love it. Has 1 chamber reamed out for 22 Mag ( don't ask) and has never failed me. Shoots to point of aim with most loads, small enough to never be in the way, accurate enough to be useful.


Bill B.
October 10, 2005, 10:07 AM
I would love to have one of the new Bearcat's in stainless! I have never even been able to locate one at a gunshow. I do see them from time to time of Guns America but have never ordered off the internet. I like to look at in person. :)

swan hunter
October 10, 2005, 10:48 AM
I have both and the Bearcat is just about the CUTEST pistol around, its small size and sights do limit it a bit. The Single six will grow with your skill...It just can't be beat. Not too big and not too small...Very accurate...You can't go wrong with it!

October 10, 2005, 03:10 PM
My wife has always liked them; so we got one of the NM ones a few years back. It's long on the cute and light factors which is probably what sells most of them.
Personally I have never figured out why Ruger didn't take the next step and put adjustable sights on them.

She also has a 4 5/8" NM Single Six that, while bigger and heavier, is not all that big a gun either. It's steadier to hold and can be zeroed to the exact point of aim. To my way of thinking it's a good compromise.

Even better would be a retro remake of the old LW Single Six with adjustables...

October 12, 2005, 03:04 AM
Thanks for all the replies guys. I think I am going to try to find a Ruger Single Six locally and handle it a bit to get a feel for it compared to the Bearcat.

October 12, 2005, 03:20 AM
And don't forget there is a difference in the feel between the alloy framed Bearcat and the steel framed Super Bearcat.

And, if you only plan on shooting .22 Short, Long or Long Rifle ammo then you don't have the excess bullet jump like you do with the longer .22 WMR length cylinder of the Single Six.

The gun I wish Ruger would make is the Super Single Six in .32.

September 5, 2006, 04:44 PM
I know I am way out of date on this but THR threads are read and read and read. When I saw what you said about getting your teen daughters started I thought immediately that a Ruger Bearcat is ideal. It is a 22 caliber for light recoil and is a small frame for a small hand, if necessary. What would be a better firearm to start a girl, or a boy for that matter on. The Ruger quality is there. I am anxious to find out what you bought.

September 5, 2006, 06:09 PM
Got both a Bearcat and a Single Six. The Bearcat is a lot funner and in my opinion a classier looking gun. Just a nice sleek scaled down SA. Real fun woods plinker too.

September 6, 2006, 02:40 PM
Single-Six models are a fraction bigger than the Bearcat, plus some have adjustable sights. And an interchangeable .22Mag cylinder.

I had a Bearcat for a while, and it was a real "hoot". A bit too small for my ham fists, complete with sausage fingers...AKA "Fat Hands Syndrome"

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