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.38 Special Wrangler?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Old Stumpy, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    I had a thought about the inexpensive Rock Island .38 DA revolvers.
    If these can be produced and sold cheaply, and .22 Wranglers can be produced and sold cheaply,
    then perhaps Ruger could make an inexpensive six gun in .38 Special based on the Wrangler and the original small frame Blackhawks.

    The frames would need to be investment cast steel, but they would not need to be anywhere near as beefy. In fact, because it would be in .38 Special only, the frame and cylinder could be scaled down even smaller than even the old model Blackhawk. You could use a ZAMAC grip frame I suppose, but an aluminum one finished the same way as the Wrangler probably would not be that much more expensive.

    The rear sight could be the dovetailed one used on the fixed sight Single Six, adjustable for windage.

    With the same black Cerakote finish and plastic grips (replaceable with Single Six grips) this would give shooters the cheaper alternative to a Blackhawk, just as the Wrangler gives shooters the cheaper alternative to the Single Six.

    It certainly would be a far cry from a .357 magnum, but it would be a western style center-fire revolver in a popular and inexpensive cartridge.

    Blued Blackhawks have an MSRP of $669.00. If these had an MSRP of around $360.00, maybe they would be popular. Not as popular as a Wrangler, but still profitable for Ruger.

    On the other hand, perhaps I'm out to lunch on this one. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
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  2. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    I want one. Heck, if they would build the single six in 38 at around $600 I'd be in. But cheaper is better.
     
  3. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I could see it. I don't know about the ZAMAC, that would not appeal to me but tge idea is good. I think they would need to make the msrp as low as possible but the downside of that is trying to still have good quality. To me ruger is nothing if not robust, which is challenging at a low price point. Maybe 25 acp would be a good starting point for the series, that would be a great option for similar size without needing any extra beef on the wrangler.
     
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  4. greenmtnguy

    greenmtnguy Member

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    If you want an inexpensive SA 38 special made like a heritage arms, why not just get a heritage arms?
     
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  5. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    I want a step above a heritage arms in 38 special. Not that it wouldn't work, but I'd be willing to pay just a little more for Ruger level build quality and warrantee
     
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  6. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    I believe Ruger made the Wrangler specifically to target a competitor's offering and smother out their market share.


    As nice a gesture as it might be, I would not expect them to do something similar in .38 Special "just because".
     
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  7. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    I had a look at these on-line. They are a very nice revolver and available in .357 magnum and .45 Colt.
    The blued finish looks excellent and the one-piece Cocobolo grip is really nice.
    These are manufactured by Pietta in Italy, and merely assembled by Heritage in the USA.
    But the Pietta fit and finish is definitely there.
    A very nice Colt SAA clone with a transfer bar for around $400.00.
    That's tough to beat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  8. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    That's free enterprise. Competition is what a free market economy is all about.
    Also, if Heritage is worried about competition from the Wrangler, nobody is stopping them from marketing a newer and better looking RoughRider with a transfer bar action.
     
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  9. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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  10. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Sorry, I'm confused again. I have not seen a Wrangler. Is it much bigger than a Single Six? Because if the Single Six is about the same size and it was possible to chamber it in 38 Special (as a 5-shooter, of course), why wouldn't Ruger have done that ages ago? It would have been much more popular than 32 Magnum, because 38 Special is a vastly more popular cartridge.

    If the Wrangler IS significantly larger, I stand corrected, of course. I have only seen photos of it, which makes it hard to judge.

    BTW, are the Rock Island 38 revolvers zinc alloy or steel? I've never handled one.
     
  11. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Quality, yes. But making it overly robust, I don't think so. That's why I limited it to .38 Special, which is a lower pressure cartridge in standard loadings.
    Nobody would buy the revolver in .25 ACP. No point.
    But a light steel frame .38 might be okay.
    Still, it might be too tough to compete with those $400.00 .357 magnum Pietta/Heritage SAA revolvers.
     
  12. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    If Ruger made a single action in 38 Spc to the same standards as the Wrangler I would be the first in line for the preorder.
    My Wrangler has grown on me. Even the Ceracoat finish is not making me ill anymore. Don't get me wrong I still love my Heritage revolvers but a SAA clone in 38 only, not 357? I'm in.
    38s are for 38s. 357 In a 357. JMHO.
     
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  13. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I said 25 acp just for dimensional reasons, the 38 sp would either have to be a 5 shot and have to really thin things out to get it into a wrangler size. 25 would also be mainly to get to a center fire chambering without making things too different. I would buy one if it were $250 or less and id tell my wife its her new 44 magnum for HD. sad part is she would believe it, not that shes dumb but just not into guns. She will shoot every couple of years but with my magnum affliction she doesn't like many of my guns.
     
  14. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Don't count on it. I have wanted a 25ACP revolver for a long time and have posted as such. And I have also said if the 25 acp case could be stretched a little that would be even better. And apparently there is a stretched 25acp case. But I don't know what guns are made for it.

    But I understand what you are talking about. A gun made to shoot 38 Special only. I am with you you on that. And IIRC it has been done with a 5 shot single six using WC loads only. And they are 5 shot guns. A lightly bigger frame could be a 6 shot. The only problem for Ruger would be is that some goofballs would see "Ruger" and think the sky is the limit on how hot they could be loaded. I suspect that is why it took so long for Ruger to make a 5 shot 44 Special on the GP-100 frame. They were worried about some idiot loading Elmer Keith style loads and blowing up the guns.
     
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  15. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    You know, it's funny. About 8 years ago, I think, I bought a 10-22 with kind of a rainbow pattern laminate wood stock. Kind of a departure for me. I was disappointed however, to discover that the barrel had what may have been a Cerakote finish, and that the barrel had not been polished smooth. It had a pattern of spiral grooves left over from lathe turning, not unlike a military M1 carbine barrel. Also, the receiver had not been polished and had a textured surface which had a durable baked on paint finish. It was also the introduction of the plastic trigger group assembly.
    However, it shot accurately and was very reliable, and I ceased to worry about the finish.
    The new finish must have been very unpopular though, since Ruger went back to a smooth blued barrel and a polished and black anodized receiver, which I still prefer.
     
  16. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Perhaps it would appeal to some Scotsman who have lamented that they could not reload the .22 rim-fire and save a wee shilling or two. :D

    Perhaps a .25 ACP bolt action rifle based on a .22 rifle would actually appeal to some obsessed reloaders. ;)

    Imagine the confusion when investigating a sniper incident where the victim was shot with a .25 ACP soft point and nobody was anywhere near them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
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  17. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Well thats a strange response as I am neither Scottish nor cheap.:D But I have posted before I would like a center fire 25 caliber gun and one fellow over on the Firing line Forum built one. And my family came from Lichtenstein Germany. At least from the 10th century and before that they migrated from Russia. So no Scottish blood in my family.

    I have no intentions of sniping anyone and if I did you can bet it would be with a hell of a lot more powerful round.

    And yes a small game center fire round would be cool. I am a real fan of Rook & Rabbit rifles.
     
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  18. jstert

    jstert Member

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    i really like my ruger wrangler. i have and liked the heritage roughrider but the wrangler puts the hrr in the past tense now. nothing worse happened with the hrr but the wrangler is simply a better package. i would only improve the wrangler by making its 22lr cylinder an 8 shot, there is certainly enough room for two more rounds.

    that said, ruger has nailed the wrangler concept and execution as tight as a drum. i wouldn’t bother with it in 22wmr. however: a 38sp, five shot, 4.6” or even say 3.5” barreled wrangler; a six shot 32long wrangler; a 22lr wrangler version of the smaller sized bearcat...i would gladly open my wallet for any of them.
     
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  19. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I don't think a cast frame would hold up to .38 too well, not when it's obvious some Bubba is gonna try to run hundreds of +P's in it. Even if it was just fed standard pressure, that's maybe 2000 rounds until the frame goes.

    Zamak doesn't hold up to heat and pressure well. I limit the .22 Mag I shoot from my Heritage because I'm really not sure how much it can take. It works better in an autoloader because there is no cylinder gap in an autoloader.

    If Ruger can make the LCR in a .38+P using a 7075 aluminum frame, then they can do the same with a .38 Wrangler, but doing that means the price is going to be $300 minimum. Why would I chose that over a 3 inch LCRx in .38 that's been proven for a few years and has a sweet double action trigger and weighs a little over a pound?

    Someone mentioned the Heritage .357 revolvers and while they're stuck with the infuriating fixed blade sights, they can be bought for $365. I'd rather pay the extra money for a .357 knowing that it's going to hold up to all the .38 I can throw at it.

    If the goal is a centerfire single action that Ruger can bring to market for the same price, maybe slightly more than the .22 Wrangler, the only answer is .32 S&W Long and it'd probably have to be limited to wadcutter only due to the length. Unless Ruger's got a plan (like Sen. Pocahontas) to make a .22 Mag model of the Wrangler, they're not going to stretch the frame simply to accommodate a non wadcutter .32 S&W Long or even H&R Magnum Wrangler.

    Simple fact is the .32 revolver is not popular in the Western Hemisphere. It may have a life in Europe as Europeans love the .32 caliber.
     
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  20. Monac

    Monac Member

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    So what people want is a small, lightweight 5-shot SAA-styled revolver in 38 Special +P, and they want it to be cheap, of course, because who doesn't want everything to be cheap? And then TTv2 shows up and applies facts, logic, and common sense to the whole idea. He must be a big hit at parties.
     
  21. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Someone has to set people straight with a little bit of truth bubbly.
     
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  22. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    The Rock Island model 200 is steel, just tested mine with a magnet. The frame, barrel and cylinder attract the magnet.
     
  23. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    A Wrangler in .38 Spl sounds good. A Bearcat in .32 H&R Magnum sounds even good-er.
     
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  24. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I don't know, gp100s, redhawks and super redhawks all have cast frames and you wont find much stronger than a super redhawk.
     
  25. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Don't know about you, but the last handful of Rough Rider's I've handled should never have left the factory floor, let alone shipped to a dealer. Csnted barrels, gouged frames, incompletely milled topstrap, gouged cylinder flutes, absolutely shameful
     
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