First .22 - Mark III or Single six?


March 1, 2010, 01:07 AM
I am looking to pick up my first .22 hand gun. My humble yet growing collection at present far consists of an GP100, SP101, and next week a Redhawk .44 will be added to the family.

Right now I have my eyes set on the Ruger Mark III Hunter edition with the 6.88in barrel, cocobolo wood grips and fiber optic front sight. Then again, the Ruger stainless 6.5in single six convertible with rosewood grips also caught my eye.

These two ladies are certainly about as different as possible from one another. One being a modern auto loader with all the safety features (mag disconnect, internal lock, and external safety), and the other, a simplistic, no frills single action cowboy gun. The single sixes' candor, and nostalgic demeanor of the wild west is attractive, but at times over-shadowed to the high capacity and rapid-plinking capability that the Mark III offers.

Both .22s are easy on the eyes and balanced in the hand. The grip on the Mark III is a bit small for my large hands, so I may get some custom grips made for it should I choose that route.

I would also point out I haven't shot either gun to date. Which route would you choose for your first .22?

If you enjoyed reading about "First .22 - Mark III or Single six?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 1, 2010, 01:20 AM
Who are you kidding, you will own both at some point, so the question is which do you want first.

Get the autoloader. For me it is all about the ease of loading/unloading. The single six is a bit cumbersome loading and unloading one at a time.

Both are accurate and reliable, I chose the MKII for my first .22 handgun, but the III was a decade away.

March 1, 2010, 01:20 AM
WOW --- a hard choice !!!! I own both of the .22s you ask about. I find I shoot my 5 1/2" Ruger bull barrel more BUT I've normally shot more centerfire 1911s in the past. I like the fact that I can have extra mags and practice mag changes and the grip angle is very close to a 1911 in my hands.

For the past 4-5 years , I've been shooting TONS of SASS/cowboy action competitions and therefor have used a pair of Ruger Bisley single sixs for practice. The fact that if you have the spare cylinder , you can also shoot the more powerfull .22mag is a plus.

Both the Rugers you asked about are way more accurate then most shooters -- so thats a draw !!!

Given you have two Double Action revolvers ---- I'd suggest you think about a D.A. .22rf revolver ---- I have both S&W and Rossi revolvers in .22rf DA and they are a real plus for learning to shoot my centerfire double action revolvers accurately and rapidly.

IF I could only pick one of the Rugers you asked about --- I guess it would be the Mk II or MK III semi-auto.

Four Knives
March 1, 2010, 01:22 AM
Hunter Model Ruger MK III is tough to beat.

I have both (albeit a blued version of single six convertible 22/22m), and the MK III IMO is a better all around plinker - and comes along more often than the single six.

The slow loading of the single six will save you pennies on 22 ammo, but gets a bit cumbersome over time.

** eta
Funny that I was drafting at the same time as the posts above adn that AH and I both used the word cumbersome.

Addtnly, since the single six barrel is sized to accomodate the sliiiightly larger 22 mag round, there are many reports of accuracy falloff when using 22lr - granted, it's minor, but I find the MK III Hunter more accurate.

March 1, 2010, 01:41 AM
Interesting to find this thread.

I've been pondering the same question.

Reading with interest.


Old Shooter
March 1, 2010, 02:20 AM
You already have 3 revolvers so mayby it's time to try the autoloader side of the fence. I've had all three "marks" of the Ruger auto and all have been gret guns for plinking and target shooting. My current model is a Mark III 22/45 in blue and it's a great gun. And as has been said already, you will get the other one sometime anyway.

March 1, 2010, 02:34 AM
get the autoloader, but make it a mark II, because of the reasons you mentioned, (mag disconnect, internal lock,...that stuff is useless

March 1, 2010, 03:22 AM
For larger hands do check out the Ruger 22/45. The balance at first feels a touch odd due to the lighter weight of the plastic frame but the classic 1911 sized and angled grip should fit a larger hand a little better.

If you like the grip but not the balance then look at the Browning Buckmark. Metal frame means a less top heavy feel and the grip shape fits a larger hand nicely.

While I don't mind loading .38's into a single action .22 just begs to be shot a bit faster. With that in mind I want a swing out hand ejector cylinder or something like the the old 9shot Harrington and Richardson top break .22 I got a few months back. But the star of my .22 revolver clan is the S&W Model 17-3 that I just got earlier this week. What a sweetheart to shoot! It's "only" six shots but with the swing out cylinder clearing and loading goes fast. I can hold and load two cartridges at a time with it. The 17 or the younger brother K-22 don't show up all that often and when they do they aren't cheap. But there's a very good reason for that. The owners don't want to sell them once they have one.

Anyway as others are saying this won't be your last .22. It's just a question of which itch is bothering you the most... :D

March 1, 2010, 03:34 AM
If you like the grip but not the balance then look at the Browning Buckmark.Browning Buckmark ( One of 25 (

I researched those a few years ago along with the 22/45.

Which one is so hard to field strip/clean?

March 1, 2010, 05:03 AM
I alwsy get a kick out of it when someone says a single action is slow to load and unload. So what? You in a big hurry to shoot up your ammo?

Having said that, I'd say it's six of one, and a half dozen of the other. They're both good guns.. Just get the one you happen to like best at that moment. As others have said you'll end up with the other soon enoungh.

March 1, 2010, 05:45 AM
If you already have a GP100, SP101 and are picking up a Redhawk, perhaps you might want to consider a double action .22 to use as a subcaliber practice tool. I have a MK III Hunter and a 6 Single Six, but I actually shoot my S&W 617 a lot more than either because it is a subcaliber substitute for my bigger double action revolvers. I can spend most of my time practicing double action shooting with a .22 before I start banging off more expensive ammo in a 627 or 625.

March 1, 2010, 06:07 AM
I'm a revolver guy, especially single actions. I like the history/nostalgia and prefer the slower, deliberate pace. Target shooting is relaxing for me and rushing through my ammo is not part of the picture.

Having said that, I suggest getting the Mk III. I have a Mk II competition model with the bull barrel and it is more accurate than my Single-Sixes. I, too, have large hands and find the grip comfortable but everyone is different in their preferences. The Ruger automatics are a pain to take down for cleaning but I only do that once or twice a year. The rest of the time I just swab the barrel and make sure the feed ramp is clean. And being machanically challenged :rolleyes: If I can reassemble a MK II, anyone can.

As almost everyone has said, you'll end up with both eventually. And keep an eye open for a deal on a K-22 or Model 17. They are superb. If I had to get rid of all but one of my 22s, :what: my K-22 is the one I would keep.


March 1, 2010, 07:41 AM
I would choose the Mark III Hunter model. No question. I have nothing against single actions, but I find 22 rimfire single actions a bit slow to load and unload for my tastes. Most of it's likely use is plinking. That said, I think the larger caliber single actions are very good guns and the speed is less important. Cost of ammo comes into play as well as the size of the cartridges for the centerfire single actions.

I would generally suggest you get the Mark III with the 5.5" bull barrel however as it is a bit easier to carry around. I carry my Mark II in a holster for woods use. I have looked at the Hunter Model and I like it. Go for it if the barrel length works for you.

March 1, 2010, 12:39 PM
Ruger's .22 rimfires are a tremendous value... and both the guns you mention are single action, so the question is, do you plan to shoot more semi-auto's in the future or revolvers?

March 1, 2010, 12:43 PM
I am a revolver guy.

But I have 2 22/45s and a Mark II Target. They're just that good, that affordable, and that much fun to shoot.

.22 single actions, particularly Rugers with no inherent latching of the cylinder in line with the ejector rod, are a PITA.

I someday want a Single Six to go with my Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, and other single actions, but it hasn't been a top priority for me, obviously, since I have yet to get one.:)

March 1, 2010, 01:07 PM
I have both. You will eventually have both. It's just the way these things go!!

It works this way: You own the 22/45. Someone asks you the exact question you are asking. You say "Here- borrow mine, JUST DON'T TAKE IT APART!! shoot 500 rounds thru it and make up your own mind!"
Meanwhile, you miss the 22/45. You buy a Single Six to shoot for the 3 days your 22/45 is missing.. Don't think this will happen? Don't think you'd lend it out? Everyone here who knows these two guns will tell you that they're like dealing crack- Lend them out for free, and next thing you know, they buy one. Every time. Like death and taxes.. Ruger .22's....

You'll own both..

We're lauging at you, not with you.... We know what's going to happen!!:neener::neener::neener::neener:;)

March 1, 2010, 01:12 PM
Oh- and in the time it takes you to re-load your magazines, I'm popping thru the .22's with the Single Six.. You'll own both.....

March 1, 2010, 01:28 PM
Well, you seem to be a revolver guy. I would say start with the Single six. Add the MkIII later. Make sure you get the convertable with the Mag cylinder. You probably won't use it much, but if you want to give a new shooter a nice load between .22 and .38 Special, the Magnum is a nice step in that direction.


March 1, 2010, 01:31 PM
in the time it takes you to re-load your magazines, I'm popping thru the .22's with the Single Six.


Yeah, sure. Like I said, I'm a revolver guy, and I tend to like single actions, too. But I shot NRA Sectionals last Saturday with a Mark II, and I assure you, reloading the Mark II from loose rounds can happen a hell of a lot faster than a Single Six.

BTW why doesn't Ruger put their reverse-indexing pawl on the Single Six and the whole Blackhawk family? They'd sell me at least two new guns, really soon, if they did. Otherwise, I'd just as soon buy used and avoid the !@#$ lock they're sneaking in there now, as well as the throwaway plastic grips they put on the blue guns.

Everyone here who knows these two guns will tell you that they're like dealing crack-

I did buy another 22/45 from a guy in a parking lot a few weeks ago...

March 1, 2010, 07:03 PM
I remember facing this same question over 20 years ago. I found a limited edition Bisley which had a blued frame but with a stainless grip assembly. And just to make the decision more difficult, the same dealer had a Mk.II 5.5" bull barrel, built the same way; blued upper assembly with a stainless grip frame. Both were the same price too. The Bisley looked nice, but the slower reloading time tipped the scales in favor of the Mk.II in the end.

March 1, 2010, 08:20 PM
Much as I love revolvers, get the auto first. Awesome accurate gun and along with the Buckmark, sets the standard for .22 plinker class guns. I'd look around for the slightly simpler Mk 2 used, though. They can be had for real reasonable. Mine's a Mk 2.

March 1, 2010, 08:38 PM
Gun prices are soaring. Get one or both.

I personally think you'll regret buying a handgun with a long barrel. It's tough to pick up on a moving target and the weight causes fatigue. I wholeheartedly recommend the 5-inch bull barrel and even the 6 7/8-inch tapered barrel and the one you want, but I like the shorter tubes. If you want a barrel that's longer, get a rifle.

I have a Single-Six and love it. You'll never regret getting either...or both.

March 1, 2010, 08:50 PM
The Mark III is much lighter and more compact. I have one that I use for a pack gun when out and about. I don't really like the slow firing speed of the Single Six, you never know when you might need a fast followup shot (or 9).

I am constantly amazed at how easy it is to shoot the Mark III at full speed, there is so little recoil and the 6-7/8" barrel balances so well. I'm also amazed at the accuracy potential. The other day I shot mine and at 25 yards I was able to shoot out the bar code on the badguy targets I was shooting with my centerfire handguns.

March 1, 2010, 08:55 PM
If your question or decision was between a Smith Model 17 or 18 (4 or 6" 617) and the Ruger, I would be hard pressed to choose the Ruger even though I love shooting my Ruger Mark II. I just like good double action revolvers better.

I don't own a Single Six but I have shot them. The loading is okay if you can handle the little 22 cartridges; it is the unloading that bothers me in terms of speed.

March 1, 2010, 09:10 PM
I have a 22/45 Mk III, a Single Six and a S&W M-18 (4" K-frame .22LR). Of the three, I "THINK" the 22/45 is the most accurate, but the Smith is good too. The Single-Six is noticeably harder to shoot as accurately.

Get the auto first, keep your eyes open for a K-frame .22 and pick up a used Single Six sometime. It's the only logical thing to to!

Of course, my used S&W cost almost as much as both Rugers did new, but it's a different beast. It is NOT for sale, and I have been asked! ;)

March 1, 2010, 09:17 PM
You guys are too much into pinpoint accuracy and utility. The Single-Six is one of the most fun guns I've ever shot and it's built with craftsmanship that is rapidly vanishing in this industry. It also takes the potent .22 magnum, which really can be handy if you ever need to use it for hunting.

For plinking, you can't beat it!


March 2, 2010, 09:16 AM
Well its a tough to decide I have both. I bought my sigle six 20 years ago with both cylinders for $100. and its a 3 screw. I just picked up a 22/45 MII for $150 with 4 mags.
so shop around and you can finde good deals. as for loading and unloading once you get used to it you can do it fairly fast with the single six.

March 2, 2010, 11:13 AM
Confederate, you really need to stop posting pictures of your Single Six. Your pictures make my wallet squeal at me, :D plus if I bought a Single Six right now I'd be forced to live on nothing but Ramen until I graduate in a few months..... :uhoh: :p

March 2, 2010, 11:36 AM
You guys are too much into pinpoint accuracy and utility.

One of my Ruger pistols is set up for pinpoint accuracy, but it's not utilitarian any more. I'll have to post pictures...

But a 22/45 is IMO more fun than a Single Six. And you really can't call someone who thinks that pouring black powder into a Remington New Model Army leverloader is a lot of fun, too much into pinpoint accuracy or utility...:)

I shoot smokeless single actions when I'm too lazy to clean black powder.:D

March 2, 2010, 11:55 AM
i have both also :) i use my mkII at the range alot and it has well over 20,000 rounds through it between; me, little brother, nephews, nieces, sister in-law, mom, and pretty much everyone else around! a ruger 22auto is kind of a "must have" and just fine fun on the range. i have the bull model 5" and even the younger/lady shooters dont have a problem with the weight. probably not any more accurate but i like the lines/balance better than the standard taper.

now the single six... i want to like it; and have the ~6-7" barrel a older model. i refinished it, completely stripped cleaned, fixed up the stocks, redid the aluminium everything. however i just dont like the balance. my 45 vaquero feels right but the .22 with all that extra metal in the cylinder etc. just doesnt feel right for me. but i want to like it!

March 2, 2010, 12:09 PM
I have a Ruger Mk I Bull Barrel that is over 40 years old.
I still have the box with a $54.00 price tag still attached.
Over the years, I shot AT LEAST 10,000 rounds thru the pistol, collected a ton of small game , including about 200 ground hogs.
The Ruger autos are of course a very good choice BUT try to buy a K-22 varient also.
Not long ago, I ran across a friend that had a vintage .22/.32 Kit Gun, in excellent shape for an obscenly low price.
I needed ANOTHER handgun like I need another AZZ but guess what??
I love the pistol dearly!

March 2, 2010, 04:11 PM
...if I bought a Single-Six right now I'd be forced to live on nothing but Ramen until I graduate in a few months.
...and squirrel...and rabbit...and...

March 2, 2010, 04:13 PM
Our rabbits do this thing called "hopping" and they do it fast.

You'll eat more of them with a Mark III than with a Single Six.:D

March 2, 2010, 04:47 PM
Spitting out all those bullets just ain't my style. I'll wait until the bunnies stop for a second.

March 6, 2010, 11:28 AM
Sometime they stop and sometimes they don't until they are well out of range or in cover. A good Beagle helps. Hunitng wabbits with a 22 is just plain fun and a bit of a challenge.

Doug S
March 6, 2010, 10:15 PM
I really enjoy the "process" of loading, cocking, and unloading the single action Ruger. It actually adds to the enjoyment of my range sessions. There's just something about it that harkens back to the past, and I like handling the gun. I like the Ruger autos also, but ease and speed of firing isn't my primary concern.

Doug S
March 9, 2010, 09:47 PM
In a complete contradiction of my post above, I bought a Ruger Mark III 22/45 today. I hate the looks of the "loaded chamber indicator", but otherwise I like the gun. It is a fun range plinker.

March 10, 2010, 03:05 PM
Confederate makes a very good point... While I have always been doe-eyed about the accuracy and fun factor of shooting any gun in the MARK Line, the Single Six can shoot .22lr and .22mag... Which clearly gives it the best ultility of the 2!

March 11, 2010, 07:55 AM
Get the auto first, keep your eyes open for a K-frame .22 and pick up a used Single Six sometime. It's the only logical thing to to!

That's a good plan.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Ruger Bearcat.

Doug S
March 11, 2010, 11:01 AM
Picture of my new "used" Mark III

If it weren't for the loaded chamber indicator this would be a keeper. As it is, if a used Mark II presented itself, I think I'd make a trade. It's not that I have a problem with the function of the LCI on a range gun, I just don't like that Ruger cut a long hole in the receiver to place a tab of metal. Defaced the gun IMO. On a better note, the "billboard" warning that Ruger has become famous for, is on the underside of the barrel on this model, making it much less noticable.

I took it a part and cleaned it as per the manual, and it wasn't nearly as hard as I've read. It came apart easily, and as long as I followed the steps in the manual, it went back together easily also. I can see how someone might have problems if they didn't pay attention to the proper steps, especially upon reassembly, but otherwise I think it not bad at all.

If you enjoyed reading about "First .22 - Mark III or Single six?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!