Wheelgun Wednesday: Is the Ruger Wrangler the BEST Cheap Revolver?

    ruger wrangler

    The Ruger Wrangler is an economical rimfire revolver that has been on the market for a little over a year now since its introduction in April 2019. Ruger has always been known for their single-action revolvers with their Single-Six and Vaquero lines, but they were never known for affordable single-action wheelguns. That all changed when the Ruger Wrangler was debuted and they began to attack a new entry-level category that is primarily occupied by Heritage Manufacturing and Traditions.

    We as consumers always knew that Ruger had the manufacturing capabilities (and then some) to mass-produce an affordable revolver, but the real question had been for decades would their quality control allow for it? When a stalwart company like Ruger has achieved and maintained a degree of excellence for such a long time it can be difficult to deviate from that – to dip your toe into the pool of cheaper products.

    ruger wrangler

    So, in this Wheelgun Wednesday we take a look at the Ruger Wrangler and I propose 5 reasons why it is the BEST cheap revolver that your money can buy! Completely my lone opinion, but we will see if you come to agree. For those who might not be acquainted with the Ruger Wrangler, be sure to check out TFB’s very own full review of the Ruger Wrangler from a previous Wheelgun Wednesday done by Rusty HERE. Also, you can get caught up to speed with the specifications of this little single-action with all the data below as presented by Ruger:

    • Synthetic Checkered Grips
    • 6-Round Capacity Cylinder
    • 4.62″ Barrel w/ Front Sight Blade & Integral Rear Sight
    • Cylinder Frame Finish: Black Cerakote® | Silver Cerakote® | Burnt Bronze Cerakote®
    • Cylinder Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
    • Length: 10.25″
    • Weight: 30 Ounces
    • 1:14″ Right-Hand Twist Rate w/ 6-Groove Rifling
    • Available in CA: Yes | Available in MA: Yes | Available in MN: No

    ruger wrangler

    The MSRP for the Ruger Wrangler in its 3 different Cerakote finishes that it is offered in is set at $249. If you hunt around on the internet you can often find them much more affordable than that even. The real question beyond the favorable price-point is what makes the Ruger Wrangler the BEST cheap revolver compared to its X,Y,Z competitors? Well, I am here to give you 5 good reasons why and these are it.

    1. Cerakote Finish

    When it comes to sub-$200 revolvers of any kind, single-action or double-action, you never hear the word Cerakote to describe them. So, it is extremely impressive to see Ruger using a Cerakote finish in multiple colors for this little wheelgun. The Cerakote finish is a clean and even coating, protective against corrosion, and it covers up the cheaper machining processes and typical wear marks you would see that drive the price down on a revolver like this. So, all in all the Cerakote finish is a big plus.

    2. Torx Screws

    You might be thinking, “Why in the heck would anyone care about the screws used to make this thing?! They are just screws for goodness sakes!” Well, for anyone who has had to work on older single-action revolvers for routine maintenance, parts replacement, or a trigger job they know that flat head screws over time can get mucked up and be near impossible to get out once you add a little dirt, rust, and age behind them. So, using a modern screw design that is easier to remove and install again with less worry of mucking up the threads is greatly appreciated from the end-user standpoint.

    ruger wrangler

    3. Crisp Cylinder Timing

    When the cylinder rotates from round to round it is very crisp, affirmative, and positive like clockwork. There is no hesitation in the cylinder alignment or lock up. This characteristic is not easy to pictorially show you, but this is something that Rusty observed in his review as well. Revolvers that compete near this $200 price point are typically soft, mushy, and essentially soul-crushing in this regard. They will work, but they do not instill confidence in the shooter like the Ruger Wrangler does.

    4. Ruger Warranty

    Ruger has one of the fastest turnaround times for warranty work in the industry. I can speak to this from managing a gun store for over a decade and having to deal with the Customer Service department of nearly 100 manufacturers. In the rare event you should ever need work completed on your revolver Ruger will take care of you from start to finish as fast as possible; sometimes in 2-3 weeks or less.

    ruger wrangler

    5. checkered Hammer & Grips

    While the grips might be produced from an economy grade plastic for cost-saving reasons, the pressed checkering on them is top-notch for something this cheap. Not aggressive by any means, but it is stippled well enough to give you a sound grip on a little rimfire revolver like this. Also, the knurled metal hammer is done well enough that you can easily cock this single-action one-handed for a rootin’-tootin’ good time at the range.

    Again, be sure to check out Rusty’s complete review HERE on a previous Wheelgun Wednesday roughly 2 months ago where he spoke very highly of the Ruger Wrangler from his exploits at SHOT Show 2020 and his personal time reviewing a sample from Ruger. And as always, be sure to let us know all of your thoughts in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

    ruger wrangler

    ruger wrangler

    ruger wrangler

    ruger wrangler



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