Rifleman Review: Heritage Rough Rider Rancher Carbine

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posted on April 13, 2022

Heritage Manufacturing Inc., known for its rimfire revolvers based off western classic models, offers more than just gripped wheel guns. The company also offers a line of stocked revolving carbines, known as the Rough Rider Rancher. With a similar frame and barrel form to the 16" barreled Rough Rider revolver line, the Rancher carbine is largely different from the latter, other than its six round capacity, single action trigger pull and .22 LR chambering.

A closeup right-side view of the Heritage Manufacturing Inc. Rough Rider Rancher carbine.

The revolving carbine is not a new concept, as Colt had produced such rifles before in its history. However, Colt never produced anything quite like the Rancher. The Rough Rider Rancher comes with a 16.125" steel barrel, which features eight lands and grooves to its rifling. Other than the spurred hammer, most all the metal components found on the Rancher are finished in black oxide. The frame in particular is made from a die-cast alloy. 

A left-side closeup view of Rough Rider Rancher carbine.

Instead of the standard stocks found on Heritage's other revolvers, the Rancher carbine comes with a straight-profiled butt stock, made from walnut and featuring both a checkered grip section as well as a polymer butt plate. This gives the Rancher an overall length of 32", as well as an overall weight of 65.92 ozs., unloaded. On top of the barrel, the Rancher comes with an included set of iron sights, with a fixed brass-bead front and adjustable, ladder-style buckhorn rear sight that is reminiscent of the classic style found on lever-action carbines. This rear sight can be adjusted for both elevation as well as windage. 

A view of the Rough Rider Rancher carbine's brass bead front and adjustable buckhorn rear sight while on the range.

Interestingly, the Rough Rider Rancher lacks any kind of fore-end attached to the underside of the barrel. Instead of holding onto the barrel with the supporting hand as some might naturally try to do, Heritage specifically mentions that users should keep their hands away from the cylinder gap, and thus the supporting hand should be wrapped around the other on the stock. A finger rest is added onto the design of the trigger guard to help hold the carbine in the shoulder while holding it in this manner.

Testing the Rough Rider Rancher carbine on the range, with the proper grip form shown here.

The Rancher also comes with sling swivel studs included on the bottom of the butt and on the barrel, allowing slings to be attached if desired. Regardless if a sling is wanted or not, the Rancher comes with an adjustable style leather sling included as part of the package. Much like Heritage's other revolvers, the Rancher carbine includes a manual safety on the back-left side of the frame, with a red dot revealed when it is taken off safe.

A diagram showing the fire and safe orientations of the Rough Rider Rancher carbine's safety tab.

Its six-round cylinder is loaded and unloaded in a more traditional manner, with a sliding gate on the back-right side of the frame with allows access to the cylinder, along with a spring loaded rammer built into the underside of the barrel. For more information on the Rough Rider Rancher carbine, along with Heritage's other lines of .22 LR revolvers, visit heritagemfg.com.

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.

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