Ruger’s Wrangler .22 LR Single-Action Revolver
The Ruger Wrangler is an inexpensive single-action revolver chambered in .22 LR. With two other .22 revolvers on the market, what does the Wranger bring to the table?
Before we look too closely at the Wrangler, we need to understand some Ruger history with the .22 revolver. When Ruger introduced the Single-Six in 1953, it was a close replica of the Colt Single Action Army at a fraction of the price. The original Single-Six retailed for $57.50 back in 1953. Ruger was able to keep the cost down due to their investment casting process of manufacturing. Investment castings are molds of a part that are filled with wax and then have a ceramic substance sprayed on them. The ceramic shell is heated and the wax melted and drained. The resulting mold can then be filled with molten metal to create the part. Once the piece is cooled, the mold is then broken off the casting. The result is a very accurate part that doesn’t require as much machining as a traditional CNC part. This process saves time and machining costs.
The new Wrangler builds on this foundation and history of manufacturing. Through the use of modern CNC-machining methods, lean manufacturing techniques, and a new aluminum alloy cylinder frame, the Wrangler comes in under $250. The other two offerings from Ruger are the Single-Six Convertible and the Bearcat.
While the Single-Six has a convertible cylinder for shooting .22 WMR the Wrangler can only handle .22 LR. The reason for this is the aluminum cylinder frame that is not designed for the higher caliber. No fancy blueing or engraving like the Ruger Bearcat, the Wrangler is a Cerakoted basic revolver. It is apples-to-oranges when comparing the new Wrangler to the other two offerings, though. With an MSRP of less than half of the Single-Six or Bearcat, some allowances have to be made.
What the Wrangler does over are three different colors, black, silver, and Burnt Bronze. Checkered black plastic grips are standard on all models of the Wrangler. The Wranglers barrel is 4.62″ and allows it to fit holsters for the Single-Six that accommodate that barrel length.
Overall the Wrangler seems like a Single-Six with a shorter barrel and fewer features. However, this makes for an inexpensive way to own a single-action revolver that allows for inexpensive fun at the range.
Key Features: Ruger Wrangler
Grips: Checkered Synthetic
Front Sight: Blade
Barrel Length: 4.62″
Cylinder Frame Finish: Burnt Bronze Cerakote, Black Cerakote, Silver Cerakote
Cylinder Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
Rear Sight: Integral
Overall Length: 10.25″
Weight: 30 oz.
Twist: 1:14″ RH
Jeremy Mallette is co-founder of International Sportsman, and an avid hunter and outdoorsman. His father taught him to shoot at age six, and he received his first firearm at age eight — a 1942 Colt Commando .38 special revolver. Jeremy enjoys collecting unique firearms, and shooting them.