Friday, May 14, 2010

The Ruger Single Six

This is for Matt61

Good sights for when not shooting from the hip

The Ruger Single Six is not a pellet pistol, but it is my favorite pellet rifle accouterment.

Here is why.

The first time I took to the woods with my trusty Beeman R1, I must admit I felt naked. Not the good naked either like when I’m home alone and want to get a little cleaning done. No, this was the Dr. office naked when they have a new female intern and, well we’ll just leave it at that.

If I had grown up in Europe, I would guess this would be normal, but packing only a single shot pellet rifle on the edge of Appalachia just doesn’t seem right.
 “Deliverance” without a doubt left a lasting impression in my memory bank.

My first security blanket came in the form of a 9mm pistol. It certainly filled the comfort category, but that was it. It almost seemed a little silly sitting under a hickory tree scanning the tree tops with my R1, while 15 rounds of 9mm and a back up magazine rode on my hip. There is a certain Feng shui to outdoor apparel, and that was not it.

In comes the Ruger. It feels right, looks good, and makes sense. (if you may need to contend with Bears, you will want to up the ante.)
Ready to go

Versatility and tradition are the strong suits here.

Colibri offer 20 grains at 375 fps. CB longs give a 29 grain slug 710 fps. Next up are standard .22 long rifle and even .22 Magnums pushing 40 grains at about 1550 fps out of a six and 1/2 inch barrel.

I am able to practice in my basement with the Colibri which are no more powerful than an R7, or the CB longs which come in well under most PCP’s energy levels.
Colibri should not be used in a rifle

The standard .22 long rifles make the most sense to carry in the field, good economy and performance for plinking if things get boring or I just need a break. Lastly, while not my first choice, used for self defense in a revolver the .22 WMR is the best of the small bore handgun cartridges.

Plus I can play “Shane” when no one is watching…


  1. Volvo,

    I have a convertable Single Six that I bought in the early sixties. A wonderful gun, feels absolutely right in my hand. It or a Colt Woodsman Match Target are my favorite walkabout pistols.

    Who's holster are you using?

    Mr B.

  2. Mr B,

    I picked up the holster from Cabela's awhile ago. Sadly the belt is a little small now, not sure what the brand was.

  3. Volvo,

    Nice looking Ruger. You take good care of your guns.

    I have a H & R Sportsman that's a great little .22. Have you tried Wolf Match Target ammo in .22 LR for accuracy in your Ruger? My H & R's love em.


  4. Volvo,
    I had a good Deliverance reference, but I don't want to make your blog unsuitable for any ages:).

    I've been looking at the steel-framed version of the Rough Rider; similar idea, much cheaper than SS's these days. One of my brothers had a single six, until he let his wife shoot it, now its her's.

  5. Kevin,
    If you look closely, you will see many fine scratches in the finish, I bought a cleaner advertised to remove the black off stainless guns and it was too abrasive. The black is gone, but now I need to figure out what to do about the scratches.

    Bg farmer,
    I have been intrigued by the H&R’s but I picked my SS long enough ago the price was not bad. If you have contact info for Matt61, will you let him know about the blog on it? I think he is considering buying a Ruger.

  6. Volvo

    The lack of quality in belts these days is a crying shame. The older I get, the faster they shrink up on me. My pants are almost as bad. Damn cheap belts.

    You are quite correct about Deliverance. It leaves an indelible impression upon the psyche on a multitude of levels. Ned Beatty in tighty whiteys? Who needs that burned into their minds?

    As much as I love bluegrass music,Dueling Banjos makes me cringe.

  7. Volvo,

    There is a .22 round that stays under 400 FPS? I would think the primer alone would push it that fast. I don't know much about .22 ammo, other than the Magnums I used as a kid for squirrel hunting in my dad's rifle. How loud is the report on the Colibri?

    One of the hardest lessons I ever learned was when I missed a squirrel and put a Winchester Magnum through my neighbor's mobile home. From nearly 1/2 mile away, it penetrated three panel walls, a picture frame, a plastic utility sink, and lodged in their car door. Fortunately, nobody was home at the time. The guy was a mechanic and he only charged me for the damage to the house, but I deserved oh so much more. As you can imagine, the next day I was enrolled in an NRA Hunter Safety course.

    - Orin

  8. Volvo,
    Done -- if I had the right address:).

  9. Orin,

    Yes, Colibri are just primer only. Don't use them in a rifle, they can lodge in the barrel.
    Not loud at all, but the CB longs are much better overall. The Colibri are good for fast draw.

  10. Volvo,

    You're right about Matt thinking about a Single Six. We were talking about mine about 6 maybe 9 months ago. They'e a really great gun, as you well know. Mine is the three screw model which makes it a 5 shooter.

    Mr B

  11. Volvo,
    Great blog! I agree with you on the PA blog, it has kind of lost its feel. Maybe you should post on weekends as well as weekdays. Something to set you apart. Is there any particular reason that you linked the Beeman R1 to amazon instead of Pyramyd Air? Pyramyd has the same gun for $150 less. Or at least I assume that it is the same gun, I've never owned an R1 (insert a little crying smiley here, lol.)

  12. Volvo,

    Not to turn you into a blog slave, but oddly I was just thinking the same thing as blowgunner62! Don't feel compelled to not post on a Saturday or Sunday.
    I just can't warm up to the new PA blog format. I feel like I'm "coming home" when I come here.


  13. Orin,

    Your story was hair raising. You're saying that a .22 LR magnum round penetrated all that at 700+ yards??


  14. AlanL,

    Almost. Not a .22 LR, but a .22 Magnum. I'm pretty sure the magnums have to be shot from a magnum gun due to a different rim thickness or something. I could be wrong, though. Also, the mobile home I shot is now over 35 years old, so you can imagine the thin panel wall and minimal insulation construction. Still, I was as shocked as you were that a .22 could penetrate so much.

    - Orin

  15. Alan, Orin,
    Remember that even a .22LR is usually 100+ fpe and due to much better ballistics than a pellet, it maintains more of that energy downrange. Many shots at squirrels in trees are just lucky -- i.e., they never hit anything anybody sees. That's why I think pellets are a much better for hunting squirrels -- they are effective at the ranges needed and not dangerous as far away. I know you often read about 100 yard shots on squirrels, but they are internet fiction or once every 10 year occurrences. I can hunt squirrels safely with a .22LR, but it requires vigilance and awareness, plus a willingness to give up shots, which I don't see on the part of many hunters. I would much rather see some random yahoo in the woods with an air rifle than a .22:)!

  16. Blowgunner and Alan,

    Glad you guys are enjoying the blog, but keep in mind I am without sponsorship at this point. Or in other words I don’t get paid for this like the B.B. does for the blog on Pyramid Air. Each post takes about an hour and a half to take photos for and write the copy, so if I were to add weekends I would need to delete two other days. What do you guys think? Give up Thursday and Friday?? Let me know your thoughts.

    Additionally the other challenge is without a simple link on a dealer website I am hard to find. That means less “conversation” on the blog.
    Lastly, I work a full time “day” job so answering comments will have some lag time.
    As far as the link if you look again it is actually Pyramid Air the Amazon is suggesting – I do not pick the vendor on the Amazon links – it is random.

  17. Volvo,

    I dropped you another little goodie on the PA blog tonight. I think I was pretty sneaky this time, if I do say so myself. :)

    - Orin

  18. Orin,
    Thanks, just be careful. I don’t want you to get banned over there on my account. If you are ever on the yellow forum you can leave a link, they don’t mind.

  19. Matt61,

    From your post concerning ammo for the Single Six, keep in mind it is not a target gun. Expect just average accuracy in .22 LR which is still good. For target work, I liked my heavy barreled Browning Buck Mark.

    The ability to handle both .22 LR and .22 magnums comes with the downside that the bore is oversized for the .22 LR’s. I have had good luck accuracy wise at longer ranges with 40 grain magnum loads, LR’s are cheap so you can try a bunch to see what it likes best.

    I would not concern yourself over the pistol or rifle designation, just stick with what shoots best.