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Review: Ruger Single-Ten

by Paul Scarlata   |  November 3rd, 2011 10
Ruger Single-10

The Ruger Single-Ten is a "high-cap" version of the good ol' Single-Six.

I’m not a huge single-action revolver fan, but when I saw the announcement that Ruger was bringing out a 10-shot version in stainless steel with fiber-optic sights I had to check it out.

Like most Ruger revolvers, the Single-Six design—introduced in 1953—has a rather hefty cylinder from the get-go, so it

Ruger Single-10 cylinder

Ruger's single-action cylinders tend to be beefy in the first place, so squeezing the extra four rounds into the Single-Ten wasn't hard, although the lockwork obviously took some work.

proved no trouble to drill four more chambers in it, upping the capacity by two-thirds. I’m sure that redesigning the lockwork was a more complicated matter, but Ruger did it without altering the hammer cocking stroke to any degree that I can notice.

One of the cardinal rules of handgun shooting is to watch your front sight, and Ruger has made this easy with a Williams green fiber-optic front sight that’s fully adjustable. The sight has a U-shaped rod that provides dual fiber-optic dots to assist in sight alignment and target acquisition, especially under less than ideal light conditions.

The Single-Ten’s all stainless steel construction is not only attractive but protects the revolver from just about anything that Ma Nature—or a careless owner—might subject it to. Since this revolver makes a perfect small game gun, this is a major plus.

Ruger Single 10 sights

One of the great updates to the design of the Single-10 is the Williams fiber-optic sights.

As can be expected of a Ruger product, the Single-Ten I received to evaluate displayed first-class materials, fit and finish. The smooth wooden grips feature an attractive, dark grain and provide a grip-to-frame angle—always one of the single action revolver’s positive points—that make for a fine handling, well-balanced and naturally pointing handgun. According to my RCBS trigger scale, the trigger on my sample broke at a crisp 4.5 pounds.

Cocking the hammer proved smooth, and the unfluted cylinder locked up without a trace of movement. Opening the loading gate on the right side of the frame immobilizes the hammer while permitting the cylinder to rotate freely, which makes loading and unloading safe and fast (more about that later). The spring-loaded ejector rod punched cases completely out of the cylinder and returned to the forward position so the operation could be repeated quickly.

Ruger Single-10 and target

Twenty-five-yard groups with the Single-10 were right less than three inches on average, and good offhand groups were easy to obtain thanks to the crisp trigger.

I test fired the Ruger for accuracy at 25 yards from a rest with four different brands of .22 LR ammo, and as with most firearms, the Ruger showed definite preference. I found it very difficult to decent groups with the fast stepping 31-grain Federal Classic ammo but consistently fired pleasingly small groups with the 40-grain Remington and Winchester loads. In fact, one of groups fired with Big Green’s ammo measured just a tad less than 1.5 inches. I also shot the gun offhand and was pleased with the results, thanks to the Ruger’s crisp trigger and excellent sights.

Complaints? Loading and unloading its 10-round cylinder is a time-consuming chore. But there’s no getting around that with single-action revolvers, and my mother always accused me of not having any patience.

Other than that I found Ruger’s Single-10 to be an accurate, fine handling revolver that is capable of doing just about anything your might require of a .22 handgun. If you’re a fan of rimfire “thumbusters” I think you will find it right up your alley.

Fast Specs

  • Action type: single-action rimfire revolver
  • Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity: 10
  • Weight: 38 oz.
  • Barrel: 5.5 in., 1:14  twist
  • OAL/Height/Width: 11/5.33/1.44 in.
  • Construction: stainless steel
  • Grips: smooth wood
  • Sights: fully adjustable Williams fiber-optic rear; Williams fiber-optic front
  • Trigger pull: 4.5 lb.
  • Price: $619
  • Manufacturer: Ruger

Accuracy Results

  • Smallest avg. group: 40-gr. Remington High Velocity—2.0 in.
  • Largest avg. group: 31-gr. Federal Classic—3.3 in.
  • Avg. of all ammo tested (4 types)—2.55 in.
  • Group size is the average of five, five shot groups fired from a Caldwell Matrix rest at 25 yards.

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  • Ken

    If it wouldn't get me divorced, that would be a fine plinking and small game gun.

  • Carroll Gregory

    Could you have made that front sight any uglier?

  • Todd

    A partrige front sight option would be nice.

  • Danny Partrige

    Hey Todd, it is a patrige front sight. Unless you are talking about a sight made by the musical family that drove a multicolored bus back in the '70s.

  • craig

    More traditional sights would be nice as the current ones look out of place on a single action revolver. @ Danny Partrige- Is this what you do when you get tired of playing with your armymen?

  • Rimfire Ranger

    Those sights heip me shoot much better! They are a great upgrade. My Single-Ten also shoot much better than the above review. Remember, this author doesn't like single action revolvers!

  • ColoradoBubba

    Other than the capacity and sights, what do you think are the pros and cons of a single 10 vs a single 6?

    • madstabber

      the single six has a 6-shot .22 mag also that's the biggest pro for a six over the ten

      • ColoradoBubba

        Thanks. I got a single ten, and wouldn't you know, soon after, they came out with the single nine which can shoot magnums. Oh well.

    • John Douds

      Tighter bore on the ten. The six is bored 1/1000" larger to match the .22 mag. bullet, so is slightly less accurate than the ten. If you were after a .22LR you made the right choice: the single nine is .22 mag only, and is much nore expensive to shoot. Great gun; I love mine.

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