Single Six vs. SP101 .22lr


December 29, 2012, 10:29 AM
Would like to get one of these for plinking, general range fun, and maybe close up small game hunting. I like the double action option of the sp101 and the 8 shot capacity. Love the looks and style of the single six, but don't really think ill ever have a use for the .22 mag cylinder that comes with it.

I want the gun that is compact enough for my petite wife to use as well. Which gun has a shorter reach to the hammer and trigger for people with small hands and limited hand strength?

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December 29, 2012, 11:18 AM
I, like you, like the 8 rounds over a 6 round gun.

But nothing beat the Single Six in looks & handling.

Here's my Colt Frontier Scout

My wife likes her Ruger "Bearcat"

Fun guns to shoot


December 29, 2012, 11:41 AM
I am typically very traditional when it comes to my sixguns and prefer them to be of six shot capacity. That goes out the window with .22's where more is definitely better. If you don't think you'll use the .22Mag cylinder consider the 10-shot Single Ten. Handle both guns and just buy the one you and your wife like best.

December 29, 2012, 11:57 AM
Or choose the gun behind Door #3; Ruger LCR in 22 LR with 8 rounds.

December 29, 2012, 12:03 PM
That top picture looks like a Colt.

I consider single action and double action as two different types of handguns. I have had a single action .22 for decades (Super Single Six) and recently acquired a double action (S&W 617). I would not have chosen one over the other since they are so different in functionality.

If you have no use for a .22 Magnum cylinder, the SP-101 is highly attractive. Easy to shoot in SA, quick to reload and 8 shots. I got frustrated in waiting for the SP-101 that I bailed and got the Smith (at a much higher cost BTW).

BUT, having said that I didn't have much use for the .22 Mag cylinder on my 1976 Super Single Six except for the occasional variey of shooting magnums once in awhile. Now, I really like the advantage of being able to choose between the two. I also like the looks of the non-fluted cylinder:

Not the best picture but it will do.


December 29, 2012, 12:08 PM
@ bergmen

You are correct.

It is a Colt.

I changed it.

Thanks for catching my error.


December 29, 2012, 12:10 PM
I would choose the new Ruger SP-101 in your case with the knowledge upfront that the DA trigger will be a bit on the heavy side. Get the Ruger SA later; probably a Single Ten. I agree with you about the 22 Mag cylinder. I know myself, and I would simply never change it from 22LR.

I personally would rather just have a revolver chambered in 22 Mag when I wanted to shoot mags. My choice there is a Colt Trooper Mark III in whatever barrel length suits your tastes. However, the Ruger Single Nine does have a certain appeal for me as I am not going to be blasting away with any 22 Mag like I would with a 22LR. Hence, the reload speed is not that important to me.

I have a few Colt single actions in 22. I don't own a Ruger. Been really tempted to get a Single Ten. It is a fine piece of machinery! But I have S&W DA 22 revolvers that I shoot (and Colts that I have pretty much parked). So, I have held off any serious consideration of the new Ruger SP-101 in 22. Money has not been growing on trees lately.

I do have a Ruger LCR-22, SR22-P, and Mark II. Yeah. I like 22's.

Cost is always important. I would get the new Ruger SP-101 and begin your journey from there. It is a good place to start!

December 29, 2012, 01:08 PM
Thanks fellas.

Those are some nice looking grips on your single six, Bergman.

I thought about the Bearcat but i would like to have adjustable sights instead. I have yet to handle an SP101 in person, but judging from pictures and youtube vids, it seems like it MIGHT be slightly smaller than the single six and might be an easier reach to thumb the hammer for small handed people. Does this seem correct?? Hard to tell without the guns in front of you. I will be taking my wife to the local shop soon to handle the single six and i guess we will go from there.

December 29, 2012, 02:07 PM
I have the new, 8 shot SP101-22, a 5.5" Single Ten, and 2 Single Sixes. The Single Ten is now available in a 4 5/8" from Lipseys, if that would be something you were considering. One of my SSs is 4 5/8", and I like it over the 5.5 of my ST and the other SS. For plinking, the ST and SP101-22 have the advantage. Again, for plinking, the 6 shot SS simply runs out of ammo too quickly. Any of the revolvers you mention will do a fine job of small game hunting. All of the Ruger revolvers I own are superbly accurate. I also have the LCR-22 that someone mentioned. I wouldnt get that for your intended purpose, as its short barrel, fixed sights, and DAO mode of operation handicap it for long range accuracy. It is accurate. and surprisingly so, but the revolvers you mention are better for your intended purpose. The SP101-22 is very hard to get right now, the Single Actions are in better supply in many wholesalers inventory. I have really enjoyed my Single Ten, and would replace it if something happened to it. My wife really likes my SP101-22. Either of those two would be my recommendation.

December 29, 2012, 03:27 PM
I wouldn't rule out the 22mag until you actually shoot one. It turns the nice little 22lr into a gun with a surprising amount of power. I have 2 Single Sixes and have never shot 22lr out of them. I also have a Single Nine that I also enjoy.

You may find that the DA pull on the SP101 to be very heavy. This is very normal for DA 22lr revolvers.

The longer sight radius on the Single Six generally provides better accuracy.

Some people find the multi-caliber Single Six to be less accurate in 22lr then other dedicated guns.

Be very careful cocking a gun with the same hand that holds the gun. Often the trigger finger is inside the trigger guard while cocking, making an accidental discharge more likely. I've seen it happen. The off hand is a much better choice for cocking the gun.

In general, the trigger reach on a single action gun is easier for smaller hands than a double action gun, as the double action needs extra room for the trigger pull.

Which ever revolver you choose, either is a quality firearm.

December 29, 2012, 07:44 PM
I have a new SP101 22LR and a Single Six 6.5 convertable. I like the size and the weight of the SP but I do not like the double action trigger. When I am at the range I always wind up shooting more single action than double action with the SP101. That is because shooting double action with the SP101 causes a blister on my finger because the trigger is heavy and inconsistant. Out of the two my single six is a much better revolver even though it only holds six rounds.
If you insist on getting a double action 22 go with a early S&W model 17 or 18. Either one has the best double action trigger in my book.
Good luck,

December 29, 2012, 07:54 PM
I don't deny that the S&W M17 or M18 or the M617 are better DA 22 revolvers in my opinion. They usually cost more. Even the M63 has a pretty fair trigger for a smaller frame 22.

December 29, 2012, 11:07 PM
$450 for a super single six with the 22lr and 22mag cylinders was just too good of a deal for me to pass up. i enjoy hunting with a pistol, so that factored into it as well. i will upgrade the sights to fiber optic and probably the grips, but still a well-priced gun.

i wanted the SP101 .22, but couldn't find them. there are a few popping up on the internet now and it's a sweet looking gun, but I'm happy with my purchase of the super single six.

December 30, 2012, 08:08 AM
Both are great. I had discounted the Single Six for many years because it was single-action, but I now know that was foolish.

I have landed both within the past 6 months. The SP was hard to find, but I finally ran into it. I had just about given up; if I had, the Single Six would have served me fine. I personally think the SP will be much easier to find in the coming months.

You can do everything you want with either one, it's just a matter of how much the loading and unloading of single action bothers you. It will slow things down, but if you're not in a rush that's not a big deal. The Single Six will be tank-tough, where the SP will merely be tough. Either should hold up to a couple of lifetimes worth of .22 shooting.

I have to admit that plinking sessions go a lot faster with the DA loading, though. My stainless Single Six is also rather heavy at 39 ounces, compared to 30 for the SP-101.

One last thing - my Single Six has a reach that is pretty long. If your petite wife may shoot and might have trouble with the long reach, this bears mentioning. Might even want to consider the Bearcat for her.

December 30, 2012, 08:19 AM
I just taught a first time shooter (9 year old boy) to shoot my single six. The frame was a bit large for his hands, but he fired surprisingly well.

December 30, 2012, 09:04 AM
Coyotes hate my Single Six with it's mag cylinder installed. But not for long.........

December 30, 2012, 02:13 PM
Coyotes hate my Single Six with it's mag cylinder installed. But not for long.........

Groundhogs feel the same way about my Single Ten. I have 6, one shot kills, one at 60 yards.

December 30, 2012, 02:56 PM
I would go with the SP101. With it you can shoot either single action or double action. That way you can practice your double action trigger pull as well as enjoying the lighter single action pull.

If you can master the double action trigger pull you can master any firearm made

December 30, 2012, 03:42 PM
Loading and unloading single action .22s gets old really fast.

December 30, 2012, 03:49 PM
Loading and unloading single action .22s gets old really fast.

True. Very much true.

December 30, 2012, 06:39 PM
I agree about the loading and unloading. It's okay with larger cartridges, but the 22's are small.

December 31, 2012, 03:37 AM
I often hear about the slowness of reloading a six gun. I find the 'slowness' refreshing. Take your time, relax, aim small and shoot slow. I'm not worried about reloading, I'm concentrating on the task at hand, six well placed shots.

December 31, 2012, 12:33 PM
Loading and unloading single action .22s gets old really fast.
Maybe for some, if you're unwilling to spend enough time to become proficient at it. I can reload a Single Six in well under 20secs and burn through a 550rd bulk pack in just a couple hours. The Sixes get way more use than the K-22's. You can unload a DA quicker but loading them takes more time because cartridges must be grabbed two at a time and deliberately inserted into the chambers. With a Single Six, all I have to do is grab all five or six, drop them into the loading port and gravity does the rest.

January 11, 2013, 11:36 PM
I own a SP101, 6" S&W 617 no dash, and 4" S&W 617-1. The 617s are more accurate and have far better triggers but I enjoy shooting the SP101 a lot more. I can't explain why. My advice is to immediately replace the grips with Hogue Monogrips and dry fire it a lot to smooth out the trigger. I have medium-sized hands and the factory grips were too small. I like the look though. I have ordered a set of custom Hogue wood grips for it but it's a 90+ day wait.

Here are some targets shot side-by-side with my 4"617 and the Ruger. I am not a marksman but it will show you a comparison in the hands of an average shooter. The Smith's trigger is much better but I don't think it is really reflected in the groups. I thought that was strange. And in the Ruger's defense it was shooting low, left and I didn't have my tools to adjust the sights. On the 50-foot target I was trying to compensate for that a bit so the group drifted some.

All groups were shot standing, unsupported in an isosceles stance.

SP101 Single Action, Target at 50 Feet

SP101 Double Action, Target at 25 Feet

617 Single Action, Target at 50 Feet

617 Double Action, Target at 25 Feet

January 11, 2013, 11:47 PM
The hammer and trigger are an easy reach on both the SP101 and Single SIx, but the Single Six seems to require less force to cock. Still, neither is difficult.
I have an older 6 shot SP101, 4", half lug .22lr that I like a lot. I'll probably never buy another Single Six because it offers no advantage over the SP.

January 12, 2013, 08:37 AM
Loading and unloading single action .22s gets old really fast.

I agree about the loading and unloading. It's okay with larger cartridges, but the 22's are small.

Loading my 45 Colt is fun, loading the Single Six, which I sold is not so fun. The double actions aren't cheap but, make for way more fun 22 plinking. I have a S&W M63 that makes every trip to the range.

January 12, 2013, 10:23 PM
I don't find loading/unloading my Single Six annoying at all. I have a 4 5/8" blued convertible, with fixed sights. Love it. It will shoot any .22 rimfire ammo I can get my hands on.

My 16yo daughter says it is her favorite gun.

January 13, 2013, 03:22 PM
The solution to reload speed, is to buy a couple of .22 LR single stack magazines and use them as speedloaders.
Reload speed is an issue for me if I'm at a range where I'm paying, by the hour, for range time.
They don't even have to be good quality. All they need to do is hold the rounds, and release them when you push them forward.
I can't claim credit for this idea. Anudder forumite uses 1911 mags as speedloaders for his .45 ACP Blackhawk.
The Ruger Mk 2 mags seem to work well for my Single Six.

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