January 2012

Single-Action 22 LR/22 WMR Duel: New Frontier v. Single Six

You probably think the Colt is the older model. You might think itís the better model. But in a head-to-head evaluation, our testers all preferred the Single Six for its better accuracy and fit.

In this installment we once more pit a classic pistol that is in high demand by collectors and shooters alike against a plain-vanilla readily available modern handgun. The Colt New Frontier single-action 22-caliber revolver commands a premium at gun shows, yet the revolver is similar to the affordable Ruger Single Six. Which one is the better performer? There is an interesting slant to the tale.

The Ruger is actually the classic and the Colt the upstart, in one manner of thinking. The Ruger was introduced in 1953, and while the type has undergone various refinements, the modern Ruger would be instantly recognizable to anyone purchasing the Single Six 22 some 58 years ago. The Colt New Frontier was introduced in 1970 and discontinued in 1977, although there was a short run a few years later. The Ruger was modified to accept a spare cylinder in 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire after the 22 Magnum was introduced, a step followed by Colt. In this test, both of our handguns featured the interchangeable Magnum cylinder, which is an important advantage in a small-game hunting revolver.

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