.22 revolver questions

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Mr White

Oct 9, 2006
I'm looking to get my kids a .22 revolver for Christmas. I don't know too much about .22 revolvers so I thought I'd ask for some opinions here.

a local shop has a Ruger Single Six with a spare .22 WMR cylinder for $340. My understanding is that the single six is a pretty good gun. Is that correct? Is $340 a good price?

What other models are worth looking at?
$340 sounds fair for a new Single Six. I have one with both cylinders and as long as it's not abused your Great Grandchildren will be using it.
You may want to check out the Smith 17, 18 and 63, my favorites of the Smiths.:)

Lots of others, just have to try them all.:evil:

I have a great bargain gun in the Colt Trooper in .22. I scooped one up at $200 here in Lafayette. May get lucky this way. Just another excuse to go to more gun stores!:D
Single-Six is a great gun. Have them hold it first and make sure it isn't too big though, if their hands are too small or it's too heavy then try out a Ruger Bearcat. I bought my daughter a Bearcat when she was nine and it was perfect.
461 beat me to it, but the Ruger Bearcat is an excellent little gun.

Around Seattle and Austin, they go for $325 new in stainless, maybe a little less for blued. Used ones generally aren't any cheaper, and the new ones are detabably better than the old ones.

If I were to expect any gun I own to survive a fall off the top of a 20-story building, the Bearcat would be the hands-down winner. Plus it's spooky accurate, and extremely cute.


I would say you might want to look into the Walther P22. I've had quite a bit of experience with the P99 which is pretty much the same gun. The P99 Is probably the best gun on the market. All serious gun dealers that I know carry it, and so do alot of SF guys. Alot of anti-terror units have picked up the P22 due to the fact that in a situation where you may forsee possible error(such as a hijacked bus) if you miss you dont do that much damage, but if you hit your target (b/w the eyes) in close quarters it'll do the same thing as .357. Look into it, i dont think i've seen one yet above $400.
How 'bout DA .22 revolvers? Anyone make a minute-of-tin-can economy plinker these days besides Taurus?

SniperStraz: I enjoyed your post. Most Excellent. Really.
The triggers on the Taurus DA revolvers are going to be quite heavy and frustrating for younger shooters.

Single six is a great chioce or a Bearcat for a smaller kid. :D
Alot of anti-terror units have picked up the P22 due to the fact that in a situation where you may forsee possible error(such as a hijacked bus) if you miss you dont do that much damage, but if you hit your target (b/w the eyes) in close quarters it'll do the same thing as .357.

First, I'd like to see a source for this claim. Second, if you miss, even with a .22, it'll do plenty of damage in close quarters. Third, if you're good enough to hit someone between the eyes and take a shot like that innocents around, you don't need to go down in caliber "just in case".

I'll agree that the P99 is a very good gun, but there is no "best gun". Further the P22 uses a cast zinc slide - while a nice little 22 it's not in the same league as its bigger brothers that wear the P99 model designation.

Back to the topic of .22LR Wheelguns. I'd look at Ruger's Single Six & Bearcat new or used, a new S&W 617, or used S&W 17, 18, or pre-17/18 K-22. The J frame S&W .22 revolvers, particulary the 3" & longer bbl adjustable rear sight "kit guns", are also well worth looking into. Ruger also made some SP-101s in .22 as well, and those are supposed to quite nice too. Quite a few options, just depends how big or small of a gun you want, and if you want SA or DA.
The single six is a great gun. My dad bought one in the late 1950s and it has seen 15,000 to 20,000 rnds through it, I have put over 10,000 of them through it. The only problem it has ever had is that the firing pin has broken a couple of times but that due more to some dumb teenage boy (me), in the 1980s, dry firing it then to anything else.
Single Six

I bought a used single six with leather cowboy type holster and a box of .22 Magnum for $90. My daughters have been using it since they were 7 and 8 respectively. Though they do most of there shooting using .22 long rifle. I also, bought them a small, single, breach load rifle in .22 Long Rifle for about $110 new. Sad thing is, my daughters now 11 and 12, shoot better than most people in my unit.
Bottom line, It's a great starter gun and your kids will have a great time shooting!!
The single six is a rugged little gun , i have one made in 75 picked it up for a good price and have enjoyed it, what barrel are you thinking about? mine is a 51/2 but i like the 45/8 better, csa
Depends on your budget, the age of your children, their use (target, plinking, hunting small game, etc.). The Ruger single action 22's are well made and moderately priced. If you are considering a double action revolver, then take a look at the Smith model 617 or perhaps a Taurus. If you envision hunting in PA, stick to a revolver. Hunting rabbits with a 22 revolver is lots of fun!

The classic double action revolvers are the ones I lean toward. Smith made the Model 17 and 18 which are excellent. Colt made several models which have really seen some substantial increases in price in the last two years. Those models are the Officers Model Match, Trooper, Trooper Mark III and Diamondback if you limit your choices to post-1950 guns. I like the Trooper Mark III's, but they are heavy. Love the Diamondbacks as it seems just about everyone who likes Colts do these days based on the prices.

The Ruger SP101 is difficult to find in 22 these days as they are no longer made.

If the semi-auto 22's would be a consideration, my choice there would be a Ruger Mark II or III with 5.5" bull barrel. Nice pistol to shoot accurately and can be carried in the woods in a holster comfortably. Other ones are the Browning Buckmark, Walther P99, and one that Smith makes.

My first revolver was a H&R 999 22 revolver. They are around; many like them; I learned through experience that you should stick to Colts and Smiths for double action revolvers,
***WARNING: Devil's Advocate***

I love Rugers, don't get me wrong, but have you considered a Heritage Arms? They're essentially the same gun, but $200 less. While it won't ever be worth as much as a Ruger, it may be a better choice if young shooters are using it.
I have a heritage arms rough rider. It was like $150 and really fun to shoot and it also has the .22 magnum cylinder. It's not exactly a high quality gun like the Ruger but it will get your kids into shooting for a small investment.
I have a Heritage Rough Rider 22 also. As stated it is not as high quality as a Ruger but at $160.00 new you can buy 2 for the price of a Ruger. I used to have a Ruger Single Six 25 years ago and although a nice gun I am not bow down impressed with them as some people are. I would compare Heritage quality to H&R 50 years ago. A lot of H&R guns were manufactured in the last century. The grips on my Rough Rider feel the best of all my revolvers though.
How 'bout DA .22 revolvers? Anyone make a minute-of-tin-can economy plinker these days besides Taurus?

I also agree with another poster that the Taurus DA 22 has a hard trigger pull. Mine was pretty regawddarndiculous, IMO.

Every now and then, it is possible to find a S&W Model 17 good mechanical condition for under $250. Won't be pretty, but it would be a nice shooter. The 18s are rarer and will normally command a premium over the 17. On this one, and all 22 LRs, just watch out for evidence of excessive dry firing, which is bad for ANY 22 LR: since the firing pin strikes the rim/edge of the case, with no case present it will eventually deform the edge of the chambers, making insertion/extraction difficult if not impossible.

I used to own a Heritage Rough Rider Combo that was a fantastic little gun, the only one I ever regret selling :banghead: :cuss: :banghead: :cuss:. I only paid $150 NIB with tax, and that included the extra 22 Mag cylinder. Sure, the finishing was a crude. They call their finish "lustrous blue". I call it "flat black Rustoleum" :D. Comes off really easy with cleaning too - only use a nylon brush and your favorite cleaner on the exterior! But it was 100% reliable and VERY accurate. NOTE: Heritage recommends leaving an empty chamber under the hammer if carrying it.

Is the Single Six nicer? Sure, but the Heritage is an incredible value. Check 'em out...

I read all of your recommendations and a few days later I found a slightly used Heritage Rough Rider at a local shop for $130. I liked the Rough Rider but was going to get a Ruger anyway.... then the timing chain on my car broke. I figured the $190 difference would be best spent on the car so I bought the Rough Rider earlier this week.

I went out this morning to shoot it and about half of the rounds did not fire. I took it back to the shop and the owner looked at it and found the firing pin to be blunted. He'll order me a new FP on Tuesday and it should be good to go. I was impressed with the accuracy of the rounds that did fire, and the trigger had a nice pull to it. I think with the now FP it'll be a fun gun for us.

Bullet Bob, my boys are 12 and 10. They both shoot most of my guns. They like my Hi-Power and my AR in particular, but I'd go to the poor house keeping them in ammo. They shoot my buddy's .22 pistol and they both like it, so I figure this should keep them happy for awhile.
I think you made a good choice. I own both a Heritage Rough Rider 6.5" .22lr/.22WMR and a Super Single Six 6.5" .22lr/.22WMR.

I paid $75 for the Rough Rider used from my brother, and $310 + tax for the Single Six new from a gun store. From a functionality point of view, I can hit anything with the Heritage that I can with the Ruger.

To be honest, the Rough Rider has about 50 varmint kills under it's belt since I've owned it. Several times a week every summer I make possums, armadillos, skunks, and cats hit the ground in my back yard without having to take a follow-up shot or empty the entire cylinder on it. Performance like that just makes you look at that gun and smile. When you see a pest in the yard and can grab a gun you paid $75 for without hesitation then it is money well spent IMO.

The fit/finish on the Ruger is top-notch and will probably outlast the Heritage in the long run but I have yet to run into any problems on the Heritage besides the ejector rod housing screw coming loose. A quick fix with some loctite and it's been flawless ever since.

You wanted something to start kids off on, and the Heritage is the perfect gun. It an investment that won't break the bank and can be carried outside, beat up and banged up without having a heart attack like I would if I did the same with my $310 Ruger.

Keep a close eye on that ejector rod housing, you may have to loctite the screw like I did.
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Thanks, Tantrix. I'll locktite that screw sometime after tomorrow morning once its unwrapped.
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