Handgun Review: Ruger Single Nine

Workman tried both CCI and Winchester .22 Magnum loads and found that both performed superbly in Ruger’s new single-action.

Workman tried both CCI and Winchester .22 Magnum loads and found that both performed superbly in Ruger’s new single-action.

When Sturm, Ruger announced the stainless steel Single-Nine in September, I had to get my hands on one immediately, and that’s just about how this handgun review happened.

Within several days, this .22 Magnum single-action “nine-gun” was getting acquainted with my gun-hand palm. It is an idea I wish Ruger had come up with back when I was a much younger fellow, hunting raccoons with a guy who became my mentor. It’s a revolver I could have used on any number of occasions when I bumped into a bunny at dusk along some abandoned logging spur or out in the woods and tangles along the Snoqualmie River’s Middle Fork Valley.

For plinking, the Single-Nine is a winner. That Champion target is about 6 ½ inches tall, and anyone who can hit that thing consistently at 25 yards will have no trouble putting rabbits in the cooler.

For plinking, the Single-Nine is a winner. That Champion target is about 6 ½ inches tall, and anyone who can hit that thing consistently at 25 yards will have no trouble putting rabbits in the cooler.

The .22 Magnum is a flat-shooting, hard hitting little rimfire and out of the Single-Nine, this cartridge realizes its potential thanks to the 6 ½-inch barrel topped by a Williams fiber optic front sight, and the Williams click-adjustable rear fiber optic sight. Being a fan of tritium night sights, I can say without fear of rebuttal that fiber optic sights are the next best thing in subdued forest light, and Williams did it right with green tubes.

What caught my immediate attention was that this revolver tucked rather well into an old George Lawrence holster I had built several years ago to accommodate a Ruger Blackhawk with a 6 ½-inch barrel. Packing this “hogleg” in the woods became no problem at all.

It is widely known I’m a sucker for Ruger single-action revolvers. I own, uh, several in .45 Colt, .41 Magnum and .32 H&R Magnum. The only credible reason I don’t own a Single Six is because I own a vintage Ruger Standard semi-auto that was designed with the nine-round magazine, and is a remarkably accurate pistol.

If I want to clobber a rabbit or grouse with a rimfire, I’m set, and for those longer shots, well, there’s that Ruger 10/22 semi-auto rifle topped by a 4X Bushnell scope that frequently rides in my pickup truck.

Ruger calls the laminated hardwood grip panels “gunfighter” grips, but I don’t know a gunslinger who would risk such a pretty pair of panels in a shootout where the handgun might be dropped. Suffice to say I was favorably impressed with the smooth feel and comfort, which I think contributes to the long-appreciated Ruger frame’s accuracy. A gun that fits the hand well enhances a person’s ability to comfortably aim and squeeze the trigger, and Ruger’s Single-Nine is no exception to the rule.

However, I confess to not really caring for thin grips on a single-action because they just don’t fit my hand as well as traditional wider grip panels.

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