Ruger quality and performance at an MSRP of less than $250? Yes, that value still exists, and it’s only one of many reasons the Ruger Wrangler ranked second among all revolvers in sales volume on GunBroker.com during 2020.
Depending on how fast inventories re-fill after 2020’s record-setting pace of firearm sales, you may run into an even better deal. When American Rifleman reviewed one in January last year, readers were reminded that, “With a suggested retail price of $249, it will likely be found at the local gun shop for around $200.”
Ruger has been making firearms with the kind of reliability enthusiasts expect since 1949. So what corners did the company cut to create a budget-friendly revolver without compromising performance? “First, and most visually obvious, is the Wrangler’s finish,” our staff member wrote. “The cylinder frame, grip frame and barrel are Cerakoted, a rugged ceramic finish that does away with the polishing needed on Ruger’s blued and stainless steel revolvers. Three finish options are available—Black, Silver and Burnt Bronze. All three colors come with a black-oxide-treated cylinder.”
The gun’s cylinder frame is also made from aluminum, unlike the steel alloy found in the company’s vastly popular Single Six revolver—the one whose sales prompted the Wrangler’s introduction in 2019. It’s more than adequate at handling pressures generated by the .22 LRs it chambers, and with a transfer-bar system, the single action safely travels with all six cylinders loaded.
There are three “standard” models, with cosmetic variations available in several distributor exclusives. Each, however, share the .22 LR chambering, cylinders with a six-cartridge capacity and 1:14" RH rifling in 4.62" barrels. With an integral rear sight and blade up front, each model weighs roughly 30 ozs.vand has an overall length of 10.25".
As for performance and handling, the reviewer from our staff found, “For the experienced shooter, the Wrangler offers affordable practice for the single-action competitor, a rugged, reliable and safe companion for trips into the woods or just the grin-inducing fun that results when a single-action brings out the cowboy that is in all of us.
Gil Horman came to a similar conclusion after his testing, but noted, “Now .22 LR enthusiasts who have little or no experience with single-action revolvers can give them a try without having to spend two or three times more than they would for a pistol. Best yet, they don’t have to sacrifice the product quality and customer service that Ruger provides.”