There is something (okay, several things) about shooting an old-fashioned single-action .22 revolver that I like. Take Ruger’s excellent Single-Six (and its modern -Nine and -Ten variants), for example:
The most common complaint about this kind of revolver is that it’s a royal pain in the ass to load and reload, in that you can only load one round at a time through the loading gate, and then, when the cylinder has been emptied, you have to push the spent casings one at a time back out of the gate with the ejector rod.
That’s not counting the PITA of only being able to fire the thing by re-cocking the piece manually after every squeeze of the trigger, of course.
To me, this slowness of operation is a feature, not a bug. I like the slow, deliberate aspect of shooting as much as — or maybe even more than — the rush of sending as much lead downrange as quickly as possible.
It also satisfies the ingrained “make every bullet count” aspect of my shooting philosophy.
I can understand why shooting larger calibers like .357 Mag, .30 Carbine or .44 Mag ammo slowly through a bigger Ruger single action is defensible; those big boys are expensive compared to .22 LR, after all.
But let’s be honest here, and compare shooting to fishing for a moment. Is not one of the best parts of fishing the quiet relaxation of it, and would not the experience be a little spoiled if you hooked a fish every 30 seconds for the entire day?
I think that shooting single-action revolvers has a similar attraction.
Maybe it’s just part of getting older, but I’m starting to prefer an activity taken more slowly over something done in a frantic rush. And I no longer own a Single-Six, mine having disappeared in the Great Gun Sell-Off Of 2015.
Which leads me to my final point. I’m prepared to trade my new Ruger Mk IV 22/45 semi-auto (plus four magazines) for a Ruger Single-Six (and preferably a “convertible” with interchangeable .22 LR / .22 WMR cylinders). I’m agnostic about blue- or stainless steel finishes and indifferent as to barrel length, just as long as the gun shoots accurately and the trigger is decent.
So if any of my Texas Readers is interested in getting a Mk IV and has a Single-Six gathering dust in the safe, let me know via email and let’s get together.
Update: A Kind & Generous Reader has come forward. We’ll be doing the swap sometime in the near future.