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Rimfire Firearms .22, .17 and other Rimfire Handguns and Rifles

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  #1  
Old 06-01-2019, 11:09 AM
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Default Ruger Wrangler Review

After just over a month of waiting for my 'pre-ordered' Ruger Wrangler I was finally able to pick it up, now the question is 'was it worth the wait?'
For the 'TL : DR' crowd, yes it was!

For those who aren't familiar with the Ruger Wrangler it is variation on the classic Ruger Single Six. Some will call it a 'budget version' but while there are definite cost cutting changes and the cost is substantially less than a Single Six I'd hesitate to call it a 'budget' handgun'.

Some of the cost cutting changes are a zinc alloy grip frame, aluminum frame, an un-fluted cylinder and most notably a Cerakote finish instead of stainless or blued steel. Aluminum and zinc alloy are easier and less expensive to manufacture than steel and provide ample strength in a .22LR handgun.

Yes, .22LR only. One of the concessions to substituting aluminum and zinc for steel is that unlike the Single Six the Wrangler does not come with a .22 Magnum cylinder and as of now there's no plan to offer one. I'm sure some will see this as a detraction but I'm okay with .22LR only. If you ask most people who own a Single Six with a .22 Magnum cylinder they'll tell you they hardly ever use it. The net gain from a 4.85" barrel really isn't that great and the extra cylinder would raise the very attractive price of the Wrangler more than it's worth.

Since we've poked that bear let's talk price. I bought mine as a pre-order for $179.99, after taxes and DROS it was $233 out the door. I'm seeing regular pricing listed as anywhere from $179.99 - $199.99 before tax and DROS. Frankly at this price I'd forgive some flaws, fortunately there are very few and those are very minor.

Okay, enough talk, let's get to the pictures.

The Wrangler comes in three Cerakote finishes, black, silver and burnt bronze. I went with silver because I like the two tone look. The Cerakote finish is well done, consistent and clean.






Disassembly is exactly what you would expect for a single action revolver, open the loading gate, press the base pin latch, pull the base pin and remove the cylinder.






The sights are fixed in the classic single action style, the rear is machines in to the top strap and the front is a basic blade.




The ejector rod is amply long enough to fully eject spent casings.





The Wrangler is the same size as the Single Six but with a shorter 4.85" barrel.




While the fit and finish are what you would expect from Ruger there are two very minor things that stand out.
First is a visible seam in the grip frame from casting. It's visible but unnoticeable in the hand.
Second is a slight gap between the grip and the frame on the left side, again visible but unnoticeable when shooting.









The day after I picked up my Ruger Wrangler I took it to my local indoor range, The Firing Line, to test it. I brought five different brands of ammo in varying velocities; American Eagle, Federal Champion, Winchester Super X, CCI Stingers and Wolf Match Target.



I started by running three cylinders of each ammo through the gun, mainly just looking for malfunctions or mechanical problems. Over the course of my time at the range I fired roughly 200-250 rounds through the Ruger Wrangler, this may not seem like a lot but then again this isn't a semi-auto so each of those rounds was loaded and ejected manually. I'm happy to say I did not experience one single malfunction, misfire or problem with the Wrangler at all. I did note that for some reason a few of the CCI Stingers were hard to load in to the cylinder, I suspect it was the ammo as I was able to load another round of the CCI Stingers in to the same chamber with no problem.

'Accuracy testing' was done with 12 rounds at 7 yards unbraced and two handed except for one target with 24 rounds shot one handed. It is a 'cowboy gun after all so I wanted to see what it would do just having fun.
Below are the targets from each ammo, the ammo is noted in the upper right of each target.
AE = American Eagle, WSX = Winchester Super X, FC = Federal Champion, CCI = CCI Stingers and Wolf = Wolf Match Target.
Yes, the writing is rather bad, I forgot to bring a pen so I used the lead tip of a CCI Blazer round I had in my range bag as a 'pencil'.














A few things to take in to consideration when viewing these targets; this gun was brand new and I did not clean it prior to the range trip, all of these were fired free hand with no bracing or support and frankly I've never claimed to be the best shot in the West.
In spite of all that The Wrangler did well in the hands of an average shooter and surprisingly the one handed 'dueling pose' target was much better than I expected.

For having paid under $235 out the door I am very happy with the fit, finish and function of the Ruger Wrangler. Accuracy is nebulous, could it do better in a rest or in more capable hands, I heavily suspect it could but I'm reserving final judgement until I can get out where I can test it's real purpose in life.
Making aluminum cans dance in the dirt.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:38 AM
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:43 AM
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Nice to know it’s a good bang for the buck. Gonna have to consider getting one.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:01 PM
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It was only $235 otd? seems like a decent price for once.

Good write up.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:06 PM
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Great review, I was on the fence but now I am heading to my local Turners to buy one!


Now I just have to decide on the color..
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:11 PM
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Great review.

But I seriously clicked on this thread thinking Jeep came out with a Ruger edition Wrangler
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:36 PM
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I agree with the Great One's review. That is except for the two tone. Two tone belongs on '54 Plymouths not revolvers. Mine had a problem with Thunder Duds. It loaded and shot Federal Automatch, Federal 32 grain hp, and 40 grain Blazer with no problems. The guns are a bit stiff out of the box but mine was getting better after a can bouncing session. The guns are a good value and a great training gun for new shooters.
I need to dig out my single shot Mossberg, it is the only way I'm going to shoot up the brick of Thunder Duds.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:48 PM
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Would Bill Ruger approve ? I think not !
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Old 06-01-2019, 1:14 PM
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Seems like low risk, high fun purchase...

Thx for the review
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Old 06-01-2019, 1:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZ357 View Post
Would Bill Ruger approve ? I think not !
Actually I think he would, Bill Ruger always seemed to have a thing for guns for the 'common man' and a quality, affordable .22 revolver pretty much nails that.
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Old 06-01-2019, 2:16 PM
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Nice review, and great pics. The Wrangler looks like a nice fun gun, and would be a great choice for a youngster, or a new handgun shooter.

I have a Single Six Convertible, stainless w/6-1/2" barrel--it's a tack driver when I do my part.

I think Ruger has a winner with the Wrangler.
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Old 06-01-2019, 2:22 PM
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Thank you for the thorough range review and the great photos.

Sure, we could find reviews on this revolver online but they don't tell you the little negatives, like the casting line and the gap between the left side grip and frame.
The casting line wouldn't bother me at all but I think the gap would be something I'd be looking to rectify.

I wonder if the companies who make and will be making aftermarket grips design them so that they are a little better fitting in that area.

I also agree with what someone mentioned above, two tone revolvers are not my favorite thing but to me that design really looks out of place on a single action revolver.

I would definitely go with the all black or all silver model variations.
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Old 06-01-2019, 3:18 PM
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How annoying is it to line up cylinders for every case extraction?
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Old 06-01-2019, 3:37 PM
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Do you have another .22LR pistol ? And how the Wrangler result compare to that other pistol in same ammo and range ?
hah, one more thing how is the trigger weight ?

(GSG/ATI 1911-22 around $250 also , hey, I am cheap )
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Old 06-01-2019, 3:47 PM
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If somebody wants to lend me theirs I will road test it against my 1964 Convertible.

Would like a peek at the innards to see if the quality is there as I suspect it is.

I have a couple of Heritage's earlier iterations,an F.I.E and a Kimel and they do not stand up well over time. They and the Heritage use cast Zamak cocking hands and old style spring steel combination trigger spring/cylinder bolt that will snap any time they feel like it. The barrels are press fit and work loose eventually.
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Old 06-01-2019, 4:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UclaPeon44 View Post
How annoying is it to line up cylinders for every case extraction?
Not as bad as I feared, it was kind of a mix of tactile and visual but not really a handicap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie1234 View Post
Do you have another .22LR pistol ? And how the Wrangler result compare to that other pistol in same ammo and range ?
hah, one more thing how is the trigger weight ?

(GSG/ATI 1911-22 around $250 also , hey, I am cheap )
I have a couple of Ruger 22/45's and a GSG 1911-22, I haven't done any comparison testing yet but that sounds like a fun idea!

According to my Wheeler gauge the trigger pull is about 5.5 pounds.
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Old 06-01-2019, 4:23 PM
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Thanks for the review! The Wrangler is on my list of guns to buy. Is the face of the trigger smooth or grooved? How is the barrel cylinder gap? After firing, was there powder residue deposited on the gray finish?
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Old 06-01-2019, 7:21 PM
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Good to know it's worth the wait. I am still waiting for the burnt bronze.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:15 PM
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Great review, thanks! Wish my bronze pre-order would arrive.
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Old 06-02-2019, 6:40 AM
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I've been eyeing these for a bit.

I don't understand all the kn it picking, it's a two hundred dollar gun. Looks to me like they didn't cut corners in the important area's. Of course the finish isn't going to hold up over time and I'm ok with that.

Some of the guns a like the most show the most wear, because I use them the most.

I see this gun as something I could take camping and shoot the piss out of it without worrying about getting it a little dirty or having to baby it, if it gets dropped or slips of a table just dust it off.

Might have to get one for the whole family.

Thanks for the review.
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Old 06-02-2019, 9:38 AM
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Waiting to get my silver one next week and compare it with the Browning 1911-22 Compact.
BTW GREAT REVIEW!
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Old 06-02-2019, 4:38 PM
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Outstanding review, Sir! As an owner of multiple single-six variants...I can attest to the low usage of the WMR cylinder, due to cartridge cost only. We appreciate your time!
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Old 06-04-2019, 8:18 PM
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Great review! You're right that the 22mag rarely gets used. That's the case with me.

My only hesitation with this pistol is the sights. I've had a pistol in the past with similar sights and I had a hard time hitting bullseye with it.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:40 PM
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I'm thinking about getting one just so I can shoot CCI shotshells and CB Caps. Thx for the review.
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Old 06-09-2019, 7:54 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to write up - I’m afraid I won’t be able to resist the urge should I see one in person.
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Old 06-09-2019, 9:29 AM
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Dang. I didn't realize these were a thing.
I think I'll have to buy one for a "first time touching a gun" training tool.
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Old 06-09-2019, 9:49 AM
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Looks like Turner's regular price on these is going to be $189.XX.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:37 AM
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That's great, I didn't even know that those guns existed. Looks like it could be a fun gun.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestryll View Post
Yes, .22LR only.
I think I know the answer (I hope) but going to ask anyways. I see the frame says 22LR, can you shoot 22 long and 22 short ammo?
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
Looks like Turner's regular price on these is going to be $189.XX.
A good price for sure, just couriuos where you found that price, their Fathers Day flyer says $199.99
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:53 PM
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Good review. Seems like a fun plinker.
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Old 06-09-2019, 6:26 PM
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Quote:
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A good price for sure, just couriuos where you found that price, their Fathers Day flyer says $199.99
Because the flyer doesn't say it's on sale. Anything on sale in that flyer has a red and yellow star that tells you how much you're saving during the sale. So I assumed $189.98 will be their regular price.
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Old 06-10-2019, 2:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
Because the flyer doesn't say it's on sale. Anything on sale in that flyer has a red and yellow star that tells you how much you're saving during the sale. So I assumed $189.98 will be their regular price.
lol, I think they don't want to say in the big yellow star "save $10.00" or "Save 5%" ...
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Old 06-10-2019, 3:27 PM
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Looking online, a localish place has the black and silver in stock for 199. In looking, I noticed the sights are...less than desirable. I may still grab one, but that kept me from impulse buying. I'll read more reviews and keep looking at photos.
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Old 06-10-2019, 5:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfish View Post
lol, I think they don't want to say in the big yellow star "save $10.00" or "Save 5%" ...
I was in Turners this afternoon. Sure enough, $189 is their regular price. They also confirmed anything without a red/yellow star in their ad is their regular price.

You'll also notice they have a red/yellow star that says $50 off an $1,800 gun, so that's far less than 5%.
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Last edited by k1dude; 06-11-2019 at 10:54 AM..
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Old 06-10-2019, 8:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
I was in Turners this afternoon. Sure enough, $189 is their regular price. They also confirmed anything without a red/yellow star in their ad is their regular price.
lol, they probably lied to you because the website says 199.99 and so does their flyer. Darn liars
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Old 06-10-2019, 8:50 PM
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Great review!

Looks like a fun little shooter. Admittedly I'm not a big fan of the matte finishes, as they look like something a rattle-can tagger put on it, but the overall quality of the Ruger seems a step up from the other very low priced options in this segment of the market.
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Old 06-12-2019, 1:16 PM
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Nice review!

I've seen reports that the CCI Stingers have a casing that is a tad longer than the normal .22 LR.

I'm on the wait list for one with my local shop. $171.95 OTD. No tax and no DROS here I wish Ruger would crank them out faster!
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:07 AM
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Rigma Rigma is offline
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Thank you for the review. I have been wanting to buy a single-six for a while now. My wife says she wants to go shooting with me but wants the single-six she shot with her Dad as a kid.

I of course want to buy her a semi-auto HD handgun in .380 or 9mm. Maybe this is a good "gateway gun"... and I have never not enjoyed shooting a single six. So, maybe this is a good low(er) cost starter/compromise.

However...I have shot the same 1970's era single-six my wife shot as a kid, and something in me wants the real-deal. Is that weird...?
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Old 06-13-2019, 5:49 AM
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Both. Both is the answer.
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