Wheelgun Wednesday: Single Six and a Half

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Ruger Single Six Convertible .22

    Today on Wheelgun Wednesday, we are taking a quick look at the Ruger Single Six “Convertible” in .22WMR.  A “New Model” beginning production in 1973, this revolver came with both .22LR and .22WMR cylinders.  Unfortunately, this revolver was missing the .22LR cylinder by the time I got it.  I bought it at an estate auction years ago for practically nothing.

    With a 6.5″ barrel, this .22 weighs 2lbs, 1.8oz.  It’s certainly no lightweight and feels the same in a holster as a Blackhawk in .45.  For comparison, it weighs as much as two LCRx’s or three S&W 317’s. Trigger pull on mine is 3lbs, 14oz.  The single action trigger is very crisp and precise with no creep and very little travel. Though the finish has worn quite a bit around the cylinder and muzzle (I’d grade this as an 80% condition gun), overall it has held up well and shows no timing issues, despite being a 1980’s production gun from their New Hampshire facility.  Even the walnut grips are still in good shape.

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Over the years, Single Six Convertibles have been made with 4 5/8″, 5 1/”2, 6 1/2″, or 9 1/2″ barrels.  New models have an MSRP of $699, while one in such condition as mine (and missing a cylinder) is worth around $200-$250 according to the current edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values.  If one is missing a cylinder, replacement cylinders are available for roughly $100.

    Takedown and breakdown

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Takedown is simple

    The Ruger New Model Single Six has a transfer bar safety and pins holding parts in the frame, as well as an adjustable rear sight (except for some distributor exclusives).  The original Single Six had screws holding parts in the frame, and no hammer block safety.

    To break the New Model Single Six down for basic cleaning or changing cylinders, simply open the loading gate and press on the base pin latch.  The base pin will can then be pulled out forward towards the muzzle, and the cylinder can then be removed.

    At the range

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    The cylinders don’t stop exactly to line up a case to be ejected; it takes some finesse

    Like many single action rimfire revolvers, loading and unloading the Single Six is a fiddly process, especially for the corpulently digited.  Lining up the cylinder for ejection of the empty .22 cases using the ejection rod takes some practice to get right.

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Rear sight

    Firing the Single Six, however, is rather enjoyable.  Though those with larger hands will have room only for the middle and ring fingers on the grip, the grip is comfortable enough and the Single Six does point quite naturally for me.  The adjustable sights have enough space between the ears and front sight when on target not to occlude one’s entire sight picture.  For me, the front sight covers up about half an inch at 25 yards.

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Front sight

    The crisp, predictable and somewhat light trigger makes for pretty decent accuracy at a range of 25y.  Braced off a sandbag, I achieved the following average results.  Groups are measured center-center, six shots per group.

    • Aguila 40gr SP: 2.6″
    • Hornady 30gr V-Max: 2″
    • Hornady 45gr FTX Critical Defense: 1.27″

    Possible Roles

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Ruger Single Six Convertible

    Besides just being a fun revolver to shoot, what is the Single Six good for?  Being rather heavy, it’s a good low-cost training platform for SASS style shooting with the .22lr cylinder.  With the .22WMR cylinder installed, it could work fine in a role as a varmint handgun around a farm or ranch.  If the New Model Single Six is interesting to any readers out there, new ones are still in production (including seven, nine and ten shot models) and there are plenty of used ones out there to be had.  For more information, please visit Ruger.

    Thanks to Aguila and Hornady for providing ammunition!

    Rusty S.

    Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.


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