November 03, 2011
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
Cabela's Ruger Single-Six