Ruger small frame day

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Riomouse911, Sep 24, 2022.

  1. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    After reading the post @doubleh put up about his Wrangler accuracy issues I decided to bring out the two Wranglers, my 6.5” Single Six convertible .22 WMR and .22 LR, the 6.5” .32 H&R Bisley and my newest .22, a 6.5” Bisley with the drift sights.

    A small variety of ammo was used:

    .22 LR; Sellier & Bellot club 40 gr rn, Norma TAC-22 40 gr rn, Aguila Super Extra 40 gr rn, CCI Standard Velocity and Blazer 40 gr rn.

    .22 WMR; CCI 40 gr JHP, Armscor 40 gr JHP, Fiocchi 40 gr fmj, and Winchester 40 gr fmj and 45 gr Dynapoint.

    The .32 H&R got trusted handloads; Brazos 98 gr wc over 3.9 gr HP-38, Brazos 100 gr rnfp over 3.6 gr HP-38, Missouri 115 gr rnfp over 4.2 gr Unique, a Montana 125 gr swcgc over 4.2 gr Unique and an ACME 115 gr rnfp over 3.9 gr Unique.

    I also brought along the 4.2” SP 101 in .327 Federal with two .327 loads I just cooked up for it; 100 gr XTP over 11 gr AA#9 and a 115 gr rnfp over 10 gr AA#9.

    As usual time was not on my side, so I only had a chance to fire at one target each with 5 loads. All were shot at roughly 12 yards using a foam block as a rest. The measurements are to the closest 1/8”.

    I started with the birdshead Wrangler. Like doubleh’s gun, this one is not super accurate. The combination of the new-to-me grip, silvery colored sights, a stiff trigger pull and short sight radius hampered me a lot. It also shot fairly high and right. (With this first round of shots I set the orange dot on the top of the front sight. After this target, all the rest had the black circle set on the front sight as a 6 o’clock hold.) The height issue was my hold, the shooting right will need some adjustment.

    I think one chamber is a clinker, just about every target had one shot that landed way off. The TAC-22 was the “best”, shooting six into 1.5”. The others ran from 2.5 to easily 4”. :(

    4580E96F-A93E-4058-915A-6834865CD6C3.jpeg

    The standard Wrangler was next, the only addition are Altamont grips. This gun shot point-of-aim and put the bullets pretty much right where I aimed. This gun likes CCI stuff, both the SV and Blazer were under an inch. The others all ran about 1.5”.


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    The 6.5” Single Sixes were next. The longer sight radius, smoother trigger and larger/crisper sight pictures sure improved the grouping. The convertible with the .22 LR cylinder was first. It did not like the Aguila, wasn’t happy with Blazers but did well with the others at around 1”.

    ACF65BB2-E5DC-4DC3-BACF-FA1D9D07027D.jpeg

    The new-to-me Bisley .22 was even more accurate on average than my trusty Single Six was. I think the grip and trigger feel of the Bisley just fits my hands better than the standard grip/triggers do. Best was 7/8” with CCI SV, Blazer was 1” even and the others fell into 1 1/8” groups. :) I must say that for my first time shooting this revolver I was extremely impressed with the gun and how easily it shot. :thumbup:


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    The Single Six then got the magnum cylinder to see how it shot. Even without adjusting the sights it shot pretty much point-of-aim with all the loads. It did not like the FMJ very much, but the el cheapo Winchester Dynapoint had the best group of anything I fired all day at 5/8”. Even the budget Armscor was shooting under an inch :).

    1173B379-E0EF-405D-A337-91A0E7D58575.jpeg

    The usual WMR fireball from the Ruger primed me for the .32. This was the first Bisley I had ever tried, along with my first .32 caliber handgun, and I must say I was missing out on both for far too long. :eek:

    I have this regulated at roughly 30 yards, so even with a 6 o’clock hold it hit a bit high at 12. Surprisingly the WC load was the least accurate at a decent 1 3/8”, the others all fell from 1 1/4” to 1”. With a better rest, and a better shooter operating the gun, I bet the .32 could keep them all under an inch at this distance. :thumbup:

    E835954C-D9D8-461A-B9B9-8DEAFF3ECB96.jpeg

    The last gun, the SP 101 .327, was a departure from the SA crowd and I will add a couple of observations from this experience.

    Accuracy was not bad at all, save for one load. Not quite as good as with the longer-barreled Bisley but it was still pretty good for a small revolver. Only the ACME load was big at 3”.

    Both the .327 loads fell under 1.5”, the XTP had three touching right in the bullseye. I would have no qualms using this gun/XTP load combo for SD if pressed.

    106D4D15-5861-4097-A7CA-32B4E82A49B4.jpeg

    Observations:

    The abbreviated grip of the SP made holding onto it a bit challenging. My little finger was right at the bottom edge of the grip so I did not have full purchase on it. Also, with the magnum loads my middle finger took a pretty good rap with every shot. I think new grips are in line for this gun.

    The sights were pretty much spot on, a tad high at 12 but the bullets should fall in at 25-30 yards nicely. The magnums were loud. Not as deep a concussive boom as my bigger magnums, but they certainly knew I was shooting in the lanes next to me.

    The first time I shot the SP I did not clean it first so it started stiffening up from crud under the cylinder. That did not happen this time, but I did have a couple of “fail to reset” with the trigger with the magnum loads and a very slow trigger release. (Based on these issues, I see now why I was able to get it in a barely-fired condition.)

    When I got home I googled the issue on Ruger forums and did some light polishing with 1500 grit paper on the internal areas suggested. This, some new Wolff hammer-trigger springs and a lot of dry firing last night seems to have removed the hitch in the internals that was causing the hiccup. (Obviously only a return to the range will let me know if I solved it. I’ll know in a couple of weeks when I go back.)

    All in all, not a bad 2-hour morning detour to the range. I certainly wasn’t shooting lights out, but for swapping guns about (and the difference between them all) I was pretty darn happy. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
  2. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Glad to hear one of your wranglers is decent. I went to the range this morning after doing a crown job on it yesterday to get rid of the ceracoat on it. Improvement results with the same ammo I was shooting before, none, Just like before. I think I will make another holster for it. This one with a figure carved dog on the side. I did take my 1991 ss single six, a Smith 22-A, and a Rossi plinker. so I shot some nice groups while I was there. The Rossi is kind of a sleeper among 22 DA/AA revolvers and a much better gun than the price would make you think. The 22-A will hang pretty close to my MK IV target too. I don't know why they discontinued it unless there is a considerable cost saving in making the victory.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022
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  3. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Ya, the standard wrangler shoots pretty well. But the birdshead model is a bit disappointing so far, to be sure.

    I think ill scrub the bore like you did to be sure there is no smutz in the bore from the cerakoting, if that has no effect I will try something else.

    Stay safe.
     
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  4. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I like that Bisley!
     
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  5. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Wry nice, a good day indeed!
     
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  6. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Nice shooting day and nice shooting. :thumbup:

    Those birdshead Wranglers look so cool but I know in my big mitts they wouldn’t work for me. One of the weirdest shooting guns I ever owned was a birdshead Ruger Vaquero years ago. I sold the darn thing then realized I should have kept it and changed the grip frame. Doh!
     
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  7. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Small world! I have some similar revolvers.

    The 22 and 32 Single Sixes are great.

    I replaced the bird's head grip on my little Heritage with a plow handle grip, and suddenly I can shoot it okay.

    The 327 magnum SP101 has been a bit of a disappointment: poor balance, poor trigger, poor grips. I eventually went to a version of the Hogue monogrip. It's the best one I've tried so far.

    Those 32 magnum Single Sixes are so nice. :)
     
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  8. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I stopped in the LGS on the way home and he had a bird's head wrangler in stock. I pulled the cylinder and looked at the bore in it using his bore light. It was nice and shiny although the crown did have ceracoat on it too. I think it is the luck of the draw with these just like it is with the rough riders. The old saying, buy cheap, get cheap, holds true with both and I'm one and done with the Wrangler.

    On a side note: The dealer walked to the far end of his display case and returned with an unmolested 4 1/2", 3 screw Blackhawk which the serial number showed to have been made between '71-'73. He said Kelly, his wife, told him it could spend 2 months on display and then it was going home with her. She doesn't get to take it home with her as it went home with me. It is showing some holster wear on the muzzle and a little on the front of the cylinder and has a dinged emblem in the left grip. It's still tight as a drumhead though and has a really good trigger. This afternoon I'll go put a few rounds thru it. This is the first 3 screw Ruger anything I have seen in a GS in many a year.
     
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  9. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Very nice! I haven’t seen a 3-screw in any gun store cases here in so long I forgot what they look like.. is your new prize a 357 or another caliber? :thumbup:

    I just started the 10-day wait :fire: on a 4 5/8” Blackhawk in .45 Colt. It has a scuff right at the end of the ejector rod, other than that it looks pretty pristine. I wont get to bring that gun home until a week from tomorrow. :(

    I will scrub the bore well today and see if any coating comes out. I am hoping that this is the culprit, but the one super-obvious flyer in just about every group I fired makes me think one charge-hole is probably funky. I wish I had a Ransom Rest with inserts, that would take the “me factor” out of it and let me know what is up.

    Stay safe.
     
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  10. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Ever since the caliber came out in the Ruger ( mid 1980’s) I have wanted one as a packable rabbit getter. Now that I finally have one it is exactly what I hoped it would be. :thumbup:

    You are right about the SP 101 with the 4.2” barrel’s odd balance, it is all way out front with no grip to counter it. :(

    I was reading the latest Shooting Times last night and there was an article on reloading the .32 H&R. The author used an SP .327 for chrono/accuracy testing that had a Pachmayr grip. I picked one of the grips up on Amazon afterwards for about $21 bucks delivered, I hope this helps me with my SP, I really want to like this gun/caliber combo, too.

    Stay safe.
     
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  11. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    It's a 357 and I find the weight of the BlackHawk makes it an easy gun to shoot in this caliber. I'll confess up front that this one will see mostly mild lead 38 special loads sent down range to make gongs swing although it might go along on some my jeep expeditions in case I see a errant jackrabblt. Hoping for a coyote in range is a waste of time. They all know what a suddenly stopping vehicle means and quickly leave.
     
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  12. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Shooting handguns at 25-30 yards without a scope is pretty good.

    You’re getting 5/8” groups at twelve yards, which is also amazing.

    Nice shooting, and I’m a bit jealous of that Bisley 22.
     
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  13. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The 4" SP101's are weird and I haven't replaced the grips on mine, but probably should. I've been so underwhelmed by the SP over the years that I lost interest in them and the GP100 (tho that 10mm GP100 is might tempting). The snub SP101's are too big and heavy to be a better choice than a J frame or an LCR, the long barrel models are unwieldy, the .22 I've heard more scorn than praise for... I guess the only reason they've stuck around is because they last forever and it reminds people of the 80s, which is where the SP belongs.

    The Wrangler's are cool and definitely feel better all around than the Heritage's, but I'm not dumping my adj. sight Heritage to buy a Wrangler. I would like to see Ruger do an larger frame Wrangler (Super Wrangler?) and chamber it for .38 Special, .32 Magnum, low pressure rimmed centerfires. I'd just like to see lower cost single actions than the Blackhawk, which while not terribly expensive, aren't cheap right now either.
     
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  14. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    Rio, that was a good day at the range. And like others here, really like that Bisley. Fine looking/shooting .22 there.
     
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  15. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Just curious: Why have you been underwhelmed by them? Bad factory trigger? It's easily fixable to be OK to good, with a bit of polishing and a spring kit.

    The GP-100 uses the same type of trigger mechanism, but in a larger frame. The trigger pull is MUCH smoother and lighter in them, compared to a (factory) SP-101.

    They're not too big and heavy if you actually want to SHOOT them a lot! A regular old factory level 158 gr. LRN 38 Spl out of an LCR is not pleasant to shoot. Out of an SP-101, it weighs enough more that it is. (esp. with the 3" barrel)


    Seems like you're just more a fan of SA revolvers. Wranglers are about being cheap fun. The guns are cheap painted affairs and they shoot cheap ammo. (22LR) Go to more expensive ammo and the formula is ruined. Might as well shoot a higher end gun, which you already have if you're looking at those.
     
  16. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    [QUOTE="TTv2, The Wrangler's are cool and definitely feel better all around than the Heritage's.[/QUOTE]

    I can't agree with that and that is where individuality comes into play. After changing the very chintzy, thin grips the Wrangler comes with for more hand filling grips then I find it to be equal to the RR as it comes out of the box with no extra cost for grips. The Wranglers have to be fun guns as mine and many I have read about on forums aren't accurate enough for anything else.

    There is no way I would dump an adjustable sighted RR for a Wrangler. On that point we are in agreement.
     
  17. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I just put the Pachmayr grip on the SP .327. It is a bit wider and has teeny fingergrooves making it fit well in my hands. I will try to run a few .327 rounds through it to see how it feels compared to the factory grip.

    I’ve never shot a Heritage, but I will say the first thing I did was buy some Altamont grip panels for the wrangler. The wafer-thin plastic ones were not good. :(

    Indeed, the cost of Blackhawks and single sixes has risen to the point of absurdity. But so has everything else (save the Heritage/Wranglers) so I guess it’s to be expected. Certainly Tio Jose’ and Cackling Kamala in the White House don’t mind that guns are becoming too expensive. When they get to the point where only the few rich ones like them will be able to afford a gun, the rest of us peons will get priced out of exercising our 2A rights. :fire:

    Stay safe.
     
  18. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    In that case, I'll just keep shooting what I have. The heck with those two.:cool:
     
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  19. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I bought some black pearl ones off ebay for mine. Now it feels like a single six. :thumbup: Too bad it doesn't shoot anywhere close to as good as the single six does. :thumbdown: I have never given a gun a name but I am considering doing so to this one. I would choose the name John Wayne had for his mutt in "Hondo".
     
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