Feature Article

22 ‘Buntlines’: Heritage Rough Rider and Ruger NM Single-Six

22 ‘Buntlines’: Heritage Rough Rider and Ruger NM Single-Six
The Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider Combo ($230) and Ruger New Model Single-Six Convertible ($569) are both equipped with 9-inch barrels and come with an extra cylinder. One cylinder is chambered in 22 LR and the other in 22 WMR. We found these single-action revolvers were fun for plinking and would do well for small-game hunting, but one had the deck stacked in its favor.

A Buntline is commonly known as a Single Action Army (SAA) revolver with a barrel of 12 inches or more. They are mostly associated with Wyatt Earp of the gunfight at O.K. Corral fame and Ned Buntline, where the revolver gets its name. Buntline was a dime novelist who penned Western sagas about cowboys, outlaws, and other gunfighters. It is agreed that much of Buntline’s writing was more fiction than fact, so if Ned could take some poetic license, so did we calling these long-barrel rimfires Buntlines. The Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider and Ruger New Model Single-Six Convertible are scaled down Buntlines with 9-inch barrels — the Ruger actually has a 9.5-inch barrel. After the team stopped yukking it up about the odd-looking long-barreled revolvers and saying things like: “You need to tie a red warning flag to the end of the barrel” or “You need to move the target out a few more yards, the muzzle keeps hitting it” or “We’re going to need a longer range rod,” we all got back to our senses and found a lot to like in these long-barreled rimfires.

Both revolvers are blued, single action and came with two cylinders, one for 22 LR and one for 22 WMR. One thing to be aware of with a 22 rimfire convertible revolver is that the bore diameter for a 22 LR and a 22 WMR are different. Nominal dimensions are .220 for the 22 WMR, and .217 for 22 LR. Generally speaking, the 22 LR is more accurate than the 22 WMR, and there tends to be more consistent velocity and pressure on the LR rounds.

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