Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Another Ruger Wheelgun!!

My Name's El Capitan, and I'm A Rugerholic...

OK, the first step in beating an addiction is admitting there's a problem.

My problem is... I looooooves me some Ruger revolvers!

So I keep acquiring them.  Here's the latest: (Click on any pic to embiggenate)

It's a variant of the Ruger Bearcat called the Shopkeeper.  That's a 3" barrel up front, and a nifty birds-head grip on the rear.  It's a tiny little critter, chambered for .22 LR, but you can stuff it with .22 shorts or longs if that's what's handy.

I saw a review on and they do a good job explaining how this model came into being.

I didn't expect to see one in a gun store for 6-8  months, but I had dropped by Collector's Firearms looking for a Ruger 22/45 or a Browning Buckmark to replace the S&W 2214 I'd sold off a while back, and be damned if they didn't have one on the shelf!

I had my tax refund burning a hole in my pocket, so I pulled the trigger on it, so to speak.  The tariff at Collector's was about $50 less than the MSRP, but once you tack on sales tax, you're right back up there.

It's just as cute as it can be. It's like a pint-sized Remington 1890!!  The tiny loading gate is, well, I gotta use the word "precious". Barring the grips and springs, the whole thing's made of stainless steel, and weighs a bit more than you'd expect for such a small revolver.

It's got the standard Ruger transfer bar, so you can carry it with a round under the hammer.

The action is tight! The lockwork timing is perfect, and it cycles with the same snap as my full-size Rugers.  I've been doing some dry-firing using sheetrock anchors as snapcaps, and there's no sign of a turn-ring forming.  It is a bit tricky to decock, however.  Unlike the larger Rugers, once you trip the trigger and start to lower the hammer, you've got to keep tension on the trigger until the hammer clears the half-cock notch, or the hammer won't lower all the way.

Here's the Bearcat Shopkeeper compared with a 60's vintage 3-screw Ruger Single Six.  The cylinder's about 2/3 the diameter of the older model!

 Big Bro & Little Bro!   The Bearcat in comparison with a Cimarron Thunderer in .45 Long Colt!

The cylinder has been roll-marked with a bear and a cat.  Not too fancy, but nicer than plain steel!

 Fit & finish are quite nice, with a couple of quibbles. The stock/frame fit could be tighter. You can hold the grip up and see daylight through the join, or in this case, the yellow paper. Someone got a little too vigorous on the belt sander...

Also, the hooked end on the ejector rod is sharp enough to snag fingers and clothing.  There's a reason for the hook, it allows the ejector rod to clear the cylinder base pin and fully eject an empty.  Still, it's sharp, and there's no way to dehorn it without making it sharper.  The ejector rod housing is made out of stainless, and is much preferable to the aluminum housing that's on the Single Six.

One of the trigger/action screws doesn't fit well.  Fully torqued down, it bulges out over the sideplate.  Not a big problem, but it's immediately noticeable.