Accuracy differences; Ruger 22/45 Mk II vs. Ruger Single Six?

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Aug 22, 2008
Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Taking the human factor out of the equation, how much of an accuracy difference would there be between a Single Six and a 22/45 Mark II?

both guns with a 5.5" barrel, distance of 25 yards, using the same .22LR ammo....

From what I understand, the SS has a bore diameter of .224 (.22 WMR bullet diameter), the 22/45 has a bore diameter of .223 (.22LR)

How much difference would a .001 larger bore make with .22LR, I'd assume that the difference would be minimal, and once you factor the human factor back in, be so small as to be insignificant....

Basically, I'm trying to plan my next strategy, I have a Mark II 22/45 that I bought used mainly because it was cheap, it's boringly reliable, but I can only seem to shoot 3/4 to 1" groups with it at 15 yards, I know that I'm the limiting factor in the equation here

Thing is, I enjoy shooting a wide range of .22 ammo in my rifles, from the ultraquiet Super Colibri/CCI CB series/Remington CBee, to the subsonics (CCI Green tag and Subsonic), standard bulk HV rounds, and the occasional hypervelocities for a change

With the 22/45, I'm limited to LR lengths, and it seems to prefer the faster rounds, it works with subsonics, but I do get the occasional slow/draggy eject, even with a clean bore

I don't do rapid fire/double taps/mag dumps, I take time to aim every shot, to make every shot count, dumping a mag to just make noise holds no appeal to me

the 22/45 also seems to be quite muzzle-heavy, and the slingshot mod only works 80% of the time, sometimes it takes two or three pulls to slingshot the bolt on a new mag, yes, the grip angle does recreate the angle of my Kimber Custom II, but the safety and bolt/mag release/slide stop aren't positioned in the same location as on the KCII, the only 1911-like feature I see on it is the grip angle

I'm also not a fan of polymer gripframes, I'm a steel-and-wood guy

I've never really considered the Single Six, mainly because I knew the bore was sized for .22 Mag, and I had no desire to shoot .22 Mag out of a revolver, as the larger powder charge would mainly make more noise and flash, with a marginal increase in velocity, and the slightly larger bore would mean my preferred .22LR rounds would be less accurate

Up until recently, I had never even given the SS a passing glance, due to the "accuracy issues" played up all across the internet, but after watching a few reviews on the SS on YouTube, I began to get interested in the SS

A few days ago, I stopped off at the toy store, and looked at a couple used SS's, what really surprised me is how solid, and precisely made they were, they seemed to have the feel of a finely crafted watch, the seams were tight, the hammer pull smooth, the trigger had a nice smooth pull, and wasn't overly heavy, the balance was right on, they had a nice, solid weight, and pointed well, in short, the Single Six just felt.......right, it felt comfortable, familiar, and solid, it felt like a *real* gun, whenever I picked up my 22/45, the poly grip frame kept screaming *TOY!* in my mind, comparing the two side-by-side for balance, heft, and pointability, I tend to gravitate towards the Single Six, it just feels more solidly made, somehow it seems more "real" than the 22/45

So, here's my dillemma, I'm feeling the urge for a Single Six, I love the way it feels in-hand, it just feels *right*, I love the fact that I can shoot any .22 round in it (Super Colibris, CB's, S, L, and LR rounds), even leaving the .22WMR mag out of the comparison, a .22LR only SS is far more versatile than the 22/45, can eat any .22 round without complaining, and just feels more solidly built

the only downsides I can see with the SS is four fewer rounds in the cylinder (if I got a Single Ten that'd be a non-issue), and the .224 diameter bore is optomized for the .22WMR (yes, even on the Single 10)

OTOH, my Mark II model 22/45 is a better gun than the Mark III series 22/45 as it doesn't have the stupid "nannyware" garbage on it (LCI, internal lock, and mag disconnect) and Mark II's are getting hard to find

Had I known what I know now about the Single Six, I probably would have purchased it *instead of* the 22/45, as I'm a revolver guy at heart, I just like wheelguns better, no real reason other than personal preference...

basically, what I'm trying to decide is if I should trade out of the 22/45 and replace it with a Single Six (or Single 10 which is a whole other debate, right now, the Six has the edge as it has the ability to shoot .22WMR, the Ten does not have that ability, so a .224 bore on a .22LR revolver makes less sense)

Right now, I'm contemplating a couple strategic trades to get me into a 5" barrel stainless Single Six, new, with the nice redwood grips (it looks like the Distributor Exclusive model on the Ruger website) but one of those "strategic trades" would be trading in the 22/45 towards the Single Six....

this is similar to my 22/45, but mine's a Mark II with the older style blocky gripframe with squared off trigger guard....

So, how much accuracy difference is there between the Single Six and the Mark series?

I know what you need. You need the Paco Kelly Accurizer. There have been several threads on THR regarding it. Also, Google is your friend. I have one. It's high quality, inexpensive and it entertains visiting relatives.

Basically, it's a die w/ a top punch that you use to size up .22 lr ammo and to change the shape of the round nose to a Keith style shape. You can order the sizer to your specification. I use mine with a small arbor press and a dial indicator so there's no difference round to round. With all the twenty-twos I shoot, I find it helps with the accuracy from gun to gun. Unfortunately, most target matches don't allow you to alter the ammo you're using in the match.

Generally, an auto loader with a single chamber is going to be inherently more accurate than a revolver firing from multiple chambers that have to be lined up with the bore. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a Single Six. Keep the 22/45, because you can always put a Volquartsen or other upper on it which is a neat thing to do some time in the future. And like you say it's a Mk II, not a Mk III. And there are articles on the internet showing how you can alter the 22/45 to take wood grip inserts.

Check it out.

Play safe,

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Kerf -

Would you mind explaining how you are using your Accurizer?

Thanks -

Pictures are worth a thousand words:


So basically, I use a dial indicator on top of the ram for the arbor press, and that way I can repeat the same amount of pressure from one cartridge to the next. I'll try and post a few more pictures when I figure out how that works.

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more photos....

there's a photo of the tool itself, with index marks, in case there's any play or misalignment in the punch. Then there's a photo of the cartridge's over all length at various dial indicator readings. And, last is a target showing some old Remington HI Speed, unprocessed. The next two targets were using cartridges with their rims measured and matched, which tightened up the group somewhat. And the last photo shows two groups, head spaced, and run through the Accurizer with a dial indicator reading of .065, which tightened the group somewhat more.

I've found through trial and error that each rifle prefers it's own reading on the DI. Some are the same, and some are different.

play safe,


tool alignmenA.jpg


The auto is going to have an inherent advantage. The revolver has an inherent disadvantage of multiple chambers trying to align with the barrel. That usually gives the advantage to the auto, but it turns out the revo doesn’t have to be too far behind. The test in Gunblast indicated that at least the sample he had was pretty good.

Keep it simple. Buy both. If you can’t afford both, prioritize and get the second one when you can.
I own both of these pistols, and the 22/45 is far more accurate than the Single Six. Shooting from a rest @ 25 yds, the group size for the SS averaged 2-3 times the group size of the 22/45.

Since I only have 1 of each, my comparison is a bit limited. Someone else may get entirely different results.

I'm a revolver guy too, but I love my Mark II.

If it were me, I would buy both......wait, I already have! :D
How much difference would a .001 larger bore make with .22LR, I'd assume that the difference would be minimal, and once you factor the human factor back in, be so small as to be insignificant....

The error due to the human factor should be larger than the error of the gun design.

I would think the semi auto would be more accurate in a ransom rest.

I think the single six would be a lot of fun. I got to shoot one last week and I liked it.

If you have the itch, you need to scratch.......
Sell the 22/45, get either a Mk. II, Mk. III, or Single Ten

I agree, the 22/45 feels like a toy, and the balance is all wrong. I've tried them both, and much prefer the Mk. II that I've got.

It doesn't seem like you'll shoot much, if any, 22 WMR out of a Single Six, so why bother with it in favor of the Single Ten, which I presume has the correct bore diameter, and which I know has higher capacity?
In another thread here or on some other forum I read someone confirmed from Ruger that the Single 10 uses the same barrel bore as the SS.

......but I can only seem to shoot 3/4 to 1" groups with it at 15 yards, I know that I'm the limiting factor in the equation here.

That sort of shooting is certainly a lot better than I can manage with my old guy eyes and old guy nerves using my preffered freehand style. Are you shooting that from a rest with some sort of added sights or are you just that good and can do this freehand? If freehand I doff my hat in respect to your skills and eyes. There's one fellow locally that does this sort of Olympic bullseye shooting and it's amazing and humbling at the same time to see him in action.

An option that might help any gun where you're looking at trying to improve your accuracy would be to have a good smith do a truly match grade muzzle crown job on the barrel.

As for the Single Six or Single 10 an option, but an expensive one, would be to have the barrel bored out and a new proper size liner put in and then get the muzzle match crowned to finish it off.

Along with this you'd likely want to have the smith look at the cylinder timing. It's possible to tune the cylinder to improve the alignment of the chambers to the bore but it would be very fussy work that would not be cheap. But between a match grade barrel liner and crown job and this sort of match tuned cylinder timing it should be an amazing gun for accuracy.

But by that time you'd be into the gun for at least the same cost as a .22 from US Firearms. A gun that isn't "hamstrung" by being set up for two different cartridges. If you're serious about a single action gun and since it's apparent that a match grade of accuracy is important to you I think I'd be looking at one of these instead of a Ruger. At least enough to find out if the US Firearms gun is better enough to justify the price.

I think at that point I'd also be looking at replacing or adding to your MkII with one of the match grade semi autos such as those from Browning, Hi Standard and a few others that were quite popular some years ago.

Have you tried out any of the expensive but excellent match grade ammo from such suppliers as Eley in your Mk II?
I'll post mine FWIW... these are at about 25 feet, standing, braced. I'm not too good with either pistol and expected much better accuracy from both.

This is a 3-screw single six that came with both 22lr and wmr cylinders fyi.

my 22/45 is a mkIII.

First target fiocchi match, next ones federal champion, 22/45

Single Six CCI mini mag, standard velocity, Fed champion and fiocchi match

top 2 22/45 federal bulk, next one 22/45 fiocchi match left, federal right, next pic 22/45 CCI mini mags


For comparison, Browning Challenger.
Looks like the guns all like the Fiocchi match ammo. The Browning, especially. like it. The Mk.II seems to like the Federals and the Fiocchi.
Note - in general, over three guns with a variety of different ammo your groups are a bit to the left. Is that you or the sights? A couple of clicks right maybe?
Somewhat high on average, almost never low.
Probably needs an adjustment.

I put a few hundred more through the 22/45 saturday and noticed I was shooting about a foot high at 70 yards... anyone make a lower rear sight? It's cranked all the way down. Hi-Viz front sight is different height than stock apparently. All groups above used 6 o'clock hold. I'd prefer combat hold for what I use it for.

I also noticed the rear sight was loose in its dovetail. D'oh! :rolleyes:

Maybe my groups will improve now.
Last year I bought a second single six at a gun show because it had a really nice trigger. I shot it off the bench at 10 yards with different ammo. It's not as accurate as my semi auto .22's but that's OK with me, it's close enough.
I'll eventually add a Single Six to my collection, but I've decided to keep the 22/45, mainly because I wouldn't get much for it in store credit/trade ($200), for $200, I'm keeping it, it's in 98% of new condition and in the original plastic box with extra mag and owners manual, and it's a great gun in it's own right
I haven't fired a 22/45, but my Mark II Government Competition will shoot a 10-round 3.5" group at 100y on a calm day off a sandbag. I've fired 30k rounds through it, and who knows how many rounds the previous owners put through it. I imagine the 22/45 would be similar.
22lrs, revolvers in particular, are few and far between in my area.
You can do a poor man's trigger job on a SSix, new grips, and be into it for less then 600 dollars.

If you want matchgrade accuracy, get a FA 83 252. Or, I suspect a rebarrel to a match grade barrel on a SS could be done for 350-500 dollars.

I'm going to live with the Ruger barrel, and use a .224" accurizer from Paco Kelly.

From the groups posted above, I'll be happy with that level of accuracy.

I had, and sold a 252. It shot 1/4" groups at 50 yards, with the right ammo
out of a rest, for it's new owner. I thought it was a pain, since one chamber was very tight, and it was difficult to get ammo in and out of that chamber.
Match grade cylinder, I believe.

I didn't really shoot it that well. Looking back, I think that was my failure to
have grips put on it big enough for my hands, and having to grip to hard on it, or, I'm just getting old.:fire:

Jeff Quinn looks like he got an early production of the 10 shoot. I wonder by the time I get to buying one if it will be that accurate?
I doubt it, but, I might be lucky.

I could have just worn shooting gloves, weird as that would look.

Here's my best group with it, 10 shots, at 15 yards:
I took the 22/45 out to the range today, it's been a while since I took it out to play, I forgot how much fun this little pistol is, glad I decided to keep it, it ate everything without issue, I ran CCI Minimag, CCI Subsonic, and Federal Automatch in it, and for some strange reason, the Automatch groups were just a *tiny* bit tighter, I was expecting the Subsonic to turn in the best groups....

one of the other guys at the range was trying out his new Springfield XD-9 Compact, of course, we tried each others guns, the XD was a surprisingly good shooter, smooth, "pushy" recoil with very little muzzle flip or snappiness, I was able to put 12 rounds in approx. a 1.25" circle at 25 feet, not *too* bad for Tula steelcase ammo and a gun I never shot before

He tried my 22/45 and fell in love with it, how controllable it was, how naturally it pointed, and most importantly, how cheap the ammo is, he's a new shooter, and hasn't put a lot of trigger time in, partially due to the expense, I pointed out how the 22/45 has a similar grip angle to his XD, and that using a 22/45 as a training/practice gun would help him become a much better shot, as both his XD and the 22/45 have a similar grip angle

I got the feeling that there's going to be a 22/45 in his near future

Sure glad you decided to keep your 22/45. I think that's a good decision. I sold my first MK I to a friend and to this day, I still kick myself for that sale. I've sold other guns and haven't thought twice about them; no regrets whatsoever.

And, if you ever tire or get bored with it-like I say, there's always Tactical Solutions, or Volquartsen to spice things up a bit. I have a Volquartsen upper on a 22/45, with their trigger group, etc. and love it.

play safe,

I thought this was about you ADDING a Single Six to the fleet more than about deciding if you were keeping the 22/45 or selling it off. If I'd known that I would have told you to give your head a shake. The 22/45 is a keeper if you like shooting .22 even in the slightest.

So it's a good thing you decided to keep it or "we" may have had to come by and slap you upside the head.... :D
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