Single Six or Bearcat?


July 24, 2003, 02:50 PM
The gun is for a beginner. Plinking and learning to shoot only (no hunting). Single action for a consitant trigger pull and deliberate shots. Besides feel in hand, does one gun prove to be more reliable or a better shooter? I know the Single Six has good reviews for its WMR performance, but what about the LR? Thanks.

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July 24, 2003, 03:22 PM
The Super Single Six, with it's easy to see adjustable sights, will most likely be less frustrating for a beginner to learn with.:)

July 24, 2003, 03:47 PM
I was thinking that fixed sights might be better for a beginner (less variables). Do the sights stay 'locked' in place once they are aligned? Also would you recomend a particular barrel size? Is there a big difference between the 4 5/8" and 5 1/2" or is it just a aesthetic (sp?) difference (I understand the whole sight radius thing, but didn't know if the added inch or so could be felt in the minimal perceived recoil).

July 24, 2003, 04:57 PM
The Ruger Bearcat is a SMALL single action revolver. I have owned mine for 40 years. It is built for small hands as in children or petite women. My major use of it was my daughter sticking it in her belt in case of snakes when we were fishing in the mountains of Pa.. I believe that the Single Six would much better suit your purposes than the Bearcat. Not to belittle the Bearcat. It has always performed as it should but it really is small. I don't have a Ruger Single Six but I do have a convertible .22 single action made in Germany ( not up to Ruger's level) and I would think that it is more what you would want. Quantrill

Jim K
July 24, 2003, 07:15 PM
I agree with the above. Unless size and weight are primary considerations, go with the Single Six. The Bearcat is best described as "cute" but I never cared for them and they are a bit hard to hold.


Dave Markowitz
July 24, 2003, 07:33 PM
The Bearcat is cute and I'd like to get one someday, but the Single Six will be a better beginner's gun, mostly due to the superior sights.

July 24, 2003, 08:34 PM
I would go for the Single Six as well. Good sight picture and reasonable size to boot. As for barrel length I would go with the 5.5. Not so much for recoil purposes, but, for the additional sight plane.

Kentucky Rifle
July 25, 2003, 11:01 AM
Or for at least 40 years. I had a friend in Junior High who saved his lunch money 'till he had enough to buy an "old style" Bearcat. I don't know for sure, but I've *heard that the new ones are not as nice. I wonder why Tamara didn't reply? She's got an "old style" Bearcat.


July 25, 2003, 11:22 AM
I have a Super Single Six stainless, 5.5" bbl. It's probably the most fun to shoot of any handgun I own; I love it. The sights stay well-regulated, and it's nice to have adjustables for shooting various types of ammo, esp. when you swap in the .22 mag cylinder or shoot hyper-velocity .22 LR. FWIW, the new Win Dynapoint .22 mags shoot pretty much to the same point of aim as the Rem .22 LR Golden Bullet rounds I buy in bulk from Walmart in mine. It shoots most LR ammo quite accurately, but is highly variable in .22 mag. In .22 mag, mine shoots Rem .40 gr and Win Dynapoints best, Win Powerpoint HP and FMJ next best, and CCI not worth a hoot (except their most expensive 22. mag round, at like $7.50/box). YMMV. The .22 mag cylinder had a few rough spots on the face where the chambers were bored thru, but they polished out easily.

July 25, 2003, 12:29 PM
Don't own either one, but have shot both several times. The Single Six with adjustable sights "fits" me better; while I like the Bearcat, it is a bit too small for me.

July 25, 2003, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the replies! I know this is the revolver forum, but after looking at some prices on gunbroker, it seems like one can get a 22/45 for about $100 less than the Single Six. I like the revolver because the shots have to be deliberate, where as with the semi-auto you can squeeze some shots off when you are not ready. Now, I know that comes with training and that the finger should be off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, but some of those Ruger triggers can have pretty light trigger pulls and squeezing off two shots quickly can be easy. Well I will take all advice into account. I am going to buy the gun for my brother for his 21st, so I will let him feel and choose in the end, but I know I will get to shoot it a lot too, so I will kind of be choosing with some bias too. I might get hime the revolver and get a Ciener .22 conversion for my 1911 :D . But at $200 for a Ciener, it is almost worth it to spend the extra $25-50 bucks and get a 22/45. But that is another forum and toppic. thanks.

4v50 Gary
July 25, 2003, 12:50 PM
Got both but for sheer fun, Bearcat. Smaller, handier and so tempting to slip into one's pocket and go into the woods.

BTW, I'm reluctant to give a novice a semi-auto; especially if they're young. The temptation to "spray & pray" is too great. With a single-action revolver, it's one shot and slow(er).

July 25, 2003, 01:05 PM
I have both, and I may well buy another Single Six in a different configuration, but probably not another 22/45. The 22/45 is a fun, accurate gun and I use it a lot for training w/semi autos, but the Single Six is well worth the extra $$ - it's a dang beefy .22. I set mine up w/a Hogue Monogrip and got it the same bbl and finish configuration as my Super Blackhawk. It's a lot cheaper and easier on me to shoot, and has helped my 50 yd shooting w/the Blackhawk tremendously.

J Miller
July 25, 2003, 01:28 PM

You listed two choices for your question. Ruger Bearcat or the SuperSingle 6.
Between these two I would suggest the Super Single 6.
It's bigger, but not too big, and it will have adjustable sights. I prefer the adjustable sights because they are easier to see. Easier to aquire a sight picture than fixed sights. I have owned many Ruger SA's with the adjustable sights and have never had trouble with any of them.

I would suggest the 4.5/8" barrel. It's sight radious is long enough to help with aiming while not being to ackward.

The only thing I would caution you about is this. I have read in numerous threads that the convertable Rugers are not as accurate as the non convertables. This being because of the larger bore for the mag ammo. So there are questions in my mind about this. I haven't been able to shoot mine enough to prove it either way.

The Bearcats while being a great back pocket gun are very small and difficult to handle for beginners.

Now is where is I need to interject a different direction of thought.
For a beginner a single action revolver is going to be a pain in the behind to learn. Slow and frustrating to load and unload, and the triggers on NM Rugers are usually terrible.
If I had a beginner to train I would get a good used S&W DA .22. A small J frame 6 shot or a 4" K frame, with adjustable sights. They can be fired either DA or SA and have much better triggers. They are easier to load / unload, and this can be a safety consideration for a child or beginner just learning to shoot.

July 25, 2003, 01:55 PM
I have looked into the S&W's. My whole beef with DA/SA guns is the inconsistant trigger pull. I know that comes downt to training, but for me personally I will always have either SA or DAO/'Safe' Action semi-autos or revolvers. Consitant trigger pull is important to me.

I understand that the SA revolver is cumbersome (sp?) to reload and cock and fire for that matter, but I think it makes the shooter concentrate more on each shot.

I might give the S&W a second chance though since loading would be a bit faster with a swing out cylinder apposed to the loading gates of the SA's. I just remember shooting a 6" K frame and feeling that it was way too heavy.

What about the Air Light 317 Kit gun? Does it have any significant muzzel flip or perceived recoil? It looks like a great kit gun, but I think it is a bit pricey.

Thanks for the replies and keep em coming.

Comment on the 1911 .22 conversion vs. 22/45 too, if you want ;)

July 25, 2003, 02:11 PM
"but some of those Ruger triggers can have pretty light trigger pulls and squeezing off two shots quickly can be easy."

Boiler _G - you must have a strong trigger finger! :D Nearly all of the 15 Rugers I have ownd have been cursed by too heavy/creepy triggers

"I have read in numerous threads that the convertable Rugers are not as accurate as the non convertables."

I have heard this as well. In fact the gunshop owner had told me when I bought my Single Six that the bore would be better optimized for the slightly larger 22 magnum bullet. In my case I have found this not to true - the revolver displays good accuracy with the 22lr cylinder which pleases me. I would much rather shoot the less expensive 22 lr ammo. It is the 22 mag cylinder that has not really impressed me thus far.

July 25, 2003, 06:37 PM
I own a stainless Single Six with adjustable sights and both cylinders and a 4 5/8" barrel. I own a blue Single Six Bisley that is .22LR only and something like a 6 1/2" barrel, and I own a Bearcat. In the past I have owned two other Single Sixes. Obviously I think they are terrific guns. I consider the adjustable sights to be almost madatory. They are all perfectly accurate for what they are; they arn't Olympic match pistols but they shoot good for sporting revolvers. The Bearcat shoots about 2" low for me and has fixed sights. I realize that I can file down the front sight to raise the point of impact, but I really don't want to take a file to a new gun. I don't think I can get the shape of the front sight right; I would rather just be able to adjust the rear sight.
I also own two S&W Model 17s with 6" barrels, a model 617 with a 6" full lugged barrel, a Ruger autoloading .22 handgun, a Ruger Standard Model 4" autoloader, and a Ciener conversion for a 1911. I have shot them all a lot; Thousands upon thousands of rounds; and if I could only own one .22 handgun, it would be the stainless Single Six with the 4 5/8" barrel.
I don't find loading or ejecting the cases to be any big deal at all. You become quite quick at it with practice. I was shooting with a buddy one day, he was using one of my Smith double actions and I was shooting the Single Six. He did reload faster than I did, but not by much. I don't see reloading speed to be a big issue on a .22 handgun. I personally don't notice a difference in accuracy between the Single Six convertible and the one that isn't. Of course this may be because I am not a good enough shot to tell. I will say that if there is a difference, it would take more than the average Joe to realize it.
I think you are making a wise choice in going with the single action if you want him to really learn how to shoot and not just spraying bullets.

July 25, 2003, 08:46 PM
>if I could only own one .22 handgun, it would be the stainless Single Six with the 4 5/8" barrel.

I've always wanted one of those... but don't they only make 5 1/2 and 6 1/2? Was yours custom?

July 25, 2003, 10:34 PM
No, it was a special run made for Lipseys.

I got on a thread similar to this within the last six months and made the statement that I would buy a new Single Six if they made the stainless in 4 5/8". A kind gentleman informed me of the special run made for Lipseys. The next day, I went to my dealer and ordered one. Like you, I wanted one for years, but it wasn't a catalog item so I just kept wishing. All it took was a comment on here, and I had one within a week.

July 26, 2003, 03:51 AM
One thing not yet mentioned is that the Cat indexes on the 'click', whereas you have to finesse the chamber past that to align the ejector rod on the Six. I've become adept at it, but I'd much rather have it set up the same as the BearCat. OTOH., there's no substitue for adjustable sights.;)

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