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Handsome Rob

Ruger Wrangler review

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Well, kind of a review, bearing in mind I've only owned the thing for (checks calendar...) 5hrs & 5 minutes.

First impressions: It's a mini Vaquero! Fit & finish is far better than I expected actually. Joint to joint finish is very tight, although there are a few rounded corners, making it look more 'gappy' than it really is. The grips are perfect fit for the frame & are significantly nicer than those on the Blackhawk or vaquero. Yes, they're plastic, but the checkering is crisp & sharp. It feels very familiar to my hand. Like my 1860 Army. It points just as well too. The sights line up instinctively as soon as it's brought to bear. The MIM hammer has a little patch of very grippy checkering (Like the Blackhawk) making strong or support hand, thumb cocking a breeze. The trigger is rough. It has a pretty long, gritty take up & as it comes heavy break weight. I'd estimate pull weight at around 7-8lb. For a single action, that's just horrible. That said, there is a super simple mod that can be done with no permanent alterations to all Ruger single actions. Pop off a grip plate & drop one leg of the trigger spring of it's post. Instantly reduces weight by 50%. I worked the hammer & trigger a couple hundred times before shooting it & the grittiness went away, although the pre travel remains. It's 1000 times better than it was though & The break itself is very clean with minimal over travel. I also gave all the twiddly expensive bits a drop of oil & greased up the hammer strut. This reduces the cocking effort significantly. The hammer strut rides through a thin steel plate at the bottom of the grip & THAT'S the part that Ruger decided needed minimal tolerance. They bind on occasion. The best solution is to open up the hole a wee bit, but that's not really a fair thing to do before a test/review. Let's be honest, 99.9% of folks won't do it, so I slapped on some lithium grease instead.

To the shooty bit.....

Testing parameters:

I'm working on the theory here that since this is a really cheap pistol, 99% of buyers are going to use it purely for plinking & occasional target use, but certainly not competition (CAS/SASS stuff aside) bullseye shooting. This being my train of thought, I didn't bother even trying any quality ammunition. No Eley, no Lapua. Only cheap, readily available bulk.....crap to be fair.

I shot indoors, at Templar Shooting Sports range here in Tullahoma ($20+tax per lane) so wind & atmospheric variables could be avoided. Ruger state in their blurb that the sight is regulated at 15yds, so that's the distance I shot at. Shooting was done from a rested, seated position from a Caldwell sand bag. 2 full cylinders (12 shot groups) were fired at each target & the groups measured at the end of testing. The target wasn't moved during grouping.

 

Ammunition tested:

Aguila Super Extra 40gn solid

Federal Target Grade 40gn solid

Remington Golden bullet 38gn HP

Federal Black Pack 36gn HP

*Winchester Super X 37gn HP

 

I had no ammunition failures, nothing shot or sounded 'weak' (common with bulk) or 'hot'. Not one single mechanical issue with the pistol at all in 125 rounds fired. I fired 3 full cylinders of blind-loaded mixed bag ammo to ensure hitting paper at 15yds & to ensure the cylinder & barrel were good & dirty before I began the accuracy portion. 

 

The targets:

Aguila 40gn....

 

 

20200219_142410-1.jpg

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Well awesome.

The forum won't let me upload any more pics. Way to make me look like a dumbass :(

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Winchester 37gn. This was shot as a subsequent group, hence the different target. I shot it as extra simply because I didn't realise I had any & just happened to find 14 of them in the bottom of my range bag. I double checked the distance before shooting. This particular ammo is at least 10 years old too.....

 

20200219_143701-1.jpg

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Federal 40gn 'walk back' target, just to see drop & check sight regulation (hint: it ain't 15yds!)

20200219_141500-1-1-1.jpg

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Tullahoma has an indoor range that lets you shoot from a seated position?

Sorry, that was the most interesting part of your story. Errr....yeah, great review. :up:

  • Haha 1

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This was a little disconcerting when I first saw it. My first instinct was that the aluminum frame was already showing signs of gas-cutting. Turns out it was just some of the immense amount of residue produced by .22 ammo.

Incidentally, the Aguila stuff absolutely reeks! The empty cases have an awful, chemical stench to them. Not sure how or why but......ew.

20200219_141329-1-1.jpg

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34 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

Tullahoma has an indoor range that lets you shoot from a seated position?

Sorry, that was the most interesting part of your story. Errr....yeah, great review. :up:

As long as your target is beyond 10yds downrange, yes.

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In conclusion, I really like this little thing so far. The sights are clear (if a little tall in the front) the trigger is acceptable, fit, finish & function far surpasses any other revolver I've tried in this price range & I think most of all, it's just a lot of fun to shoot!

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16 minutes ago, robtattoo said:

Typically of a .22 revolver, this thing runs FILTHY!

20200219_141611-1.jpg

 

11 minutes ago, robtattoo said:

This was a little disconcerting when I first saw it. My first instinct was that the aluminum frame was already showing signs of gas-cutting. Turns out it was just some of the immense amount of residue produced by .22 ammo.

Incidentally, the Aguila stuff absolutely reeks! The empty cases have an awful, chemical stench to them. Not sure how or why but......ew.

20200219_141329-1-1.jpg

That sure looks like a lot a lead being deposited.  I wonder if everything is perfectly lined up.  But then again there sure is a lot a crap in and on various types of .22 ammo.

Edited by Garufa
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I guess it could be, but I wasn't seeing any accuracy discrepancies that would suggest I was shaving bullets. Unless I was shaving them all. When i came to clean it, there were no flakes or anything, just a silver/grey dust.

Edited by robtattoo

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1 hour ago, robtattoo said:

I guess it could be, but I wasn't seeing any accuracy discrepancies that would suggest I was shaving bullets. Unless I was shaving them all. When i came to clean it, there were no flakes or anything, just a silver/grey dust.

Did it clean up okay? There wasn’t any flame cutting was there?

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Yessir absolutely like new. I took a brass brush to it with a smear of Hoppes & she's like new.

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Very nice review!!!   Thanks for taking the time to share.

Which model/color did you buy?

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Great review! So is it worth the $185, Bud’s wants for the silver one? SMGW also has the bronze one for $179.

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Unfortunately, the forum software won't allow me to post another picture to this thread, bigger than a postage stamp (what's that all about???) But I picked up a silver model from @E4 No More this morning.

I can honestly say, so far, it's as good a purchase as my 'half million round' Henry .22 I'd buy another in a heartbeat & I'd pay double the price, if my only option was a Heritage.

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12 hours ago, robtattoo said:

Unfortunately, the forum software won't allow me to post another picture to this thread, bigger than a postage stamp (what's that all about???)

Don't try to upload to the forum from your computer; use a third party site like IMGUR.

https://imgur.com/

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Good extensive Review including all the different AMMO brands. 

I have the Heritage Rough Rider (6.5 inch barrel) and have improved my shooting with it. Took a long time for me to finally decide the sight  picture (where to put the front sight in relation to the rear sight).

I have been taking it to the range (Family Fun Indoor Range, Sevierville, TN) nearly every time i go and shoot 30 or so rounds thru it. Some FREE Hand, and some with using a rest when trying to check accuracy of the gun.  

Having read that it is best to have the Barrel at Rest as well as the Hands (Butt of Gun) at rest gives better result.  I had only used Hands (butt of Gun) at rest before. I have been setting on a chair. 

Anyway, I don't have a fancy pistol rest for checking accuracy, but last time used some props under the barrel and had my hands and butt of the gun on the table while sitting on a chair).  I was able to hols tighter alignments doing that (still I have to pull the trigger LOL). 

And using Dave's Procedure (IMGUR) to enter pictures here is one from last range visit. (I hope I can put it in). 

It WORKED 😀  BTW --- Shooting the cheapest of AMMO - Remington Thunderbolt (been able to buy 5000 rounds for from $14.99 or $12.99 and over Thanksgiving and XMAS for $9.99 plus TN Tax). 

This was using the barrel and hands (butt of gun) at rest at 30 feet and sight picture I have been using). 

qUAknq7.jpg

 

 

Edited by PAULSHOOT

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Nice Review. Thankfully, Ruger will put a dent in the Heritage run away train with the Wrangler. To check for shaving lead on any wheel gun, take some medium card stock, fold it over the top strap to hang over the cylinders and fire each cylinder that way while you finger hold the paper in place at the top strap. A small cut in the side blast gas mark will indicate an out of alignment cylinder. Cylinder barrel gap is a very important spec. You should idealy have about .004-.005 there with a feeler gauge. Too much really sucks and makes the gun not worth owning. Keep in mind, another key area to look at is the finish of the bore cone there at the mouth of the barrel. If Ruger skimped out on honing it smooth in the Wrangler, you will get just what you have there pretty quick. Reason being, as the lead bullet begins to get lands swaging its OD, circular machine lines rather than a smooth honed forcing cone will tear lead from the newly cutting groove and leave those tiny lead particles free in the hot burn of the powder behind the bullet. The burn vaporises those particles and that vapor is then deposited as a layer or coating of flaky lead/powder residue exactly like you have pictured. Copper coated bullets fair a bit better in dealing with course forcing cones. Take a good look at the forcing cone in the gun and see if you can spot circular machine cut lines right into the rifling lands. If they are loud, you can have a competent smith hone them out.  Thanks for your time on the review.

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