Skip to main content

The Heritage Rough Rider Small Bore Revolver: Everything You Wanted To Know

Heritage Arms

This two-in-one .22 revolver from Heritage Arms is reminiscent of the Ruger Single Six.

Everyone loves to shoot .22 LR. When it can be found, it's relatively cheap, has light to no recoil and is just a joy to plink away at with at the range. It's also a great way to introduce someone to revolvers. It allows the new shooter to learn the proper grip, how to load and unload and many of the other little quirks of a revolver.

The Heritage Arms Company is well known for their single action cowboy-style revolvers. They are used by many in Cowboy Action Shoots and Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) matches.

They offer the Rough Rider Big Bore line of single action revolvers in .45 Colt, .44-40 and .357 Magnum Calibers.

They also offer a line of Rough Rider Small Bore Revolvers in .22 LR and .22 Magnum.

These little revolvers are great for hunting, plinking or even Cowboy Action Shooting depending on the event you are shooting at.


Design and Operation

One of the first things you notice about the Rough Rider Small Bore Revolvers is they are modeled after the popular and well known Ruger Single Six .22 Revolver.

They are a single action, external hammer fired revolver. Unlike the original Single Six, the Rough Riders have a manual safety on them that uses a hammer blocker bar to prevent the hammer from striking the firing pin.

The Rough Rider comes in barrel sizes ranging from 3.5 inches up to 6.5 inches in length and various different grip designs.

The cylinder lockup is tight and the timing perfect. The sights are fixed with a bladed front sight.

It uses a gate load system to load the cylinders. For those who are not familiar with that, there is a gate that sings open tot he side and you are able to load one round at a time into the cylinder.

The best feature  is the same feature that made the Ruger Single Six popular. With a quick swap of the cylinders, you are able to switch from shooting .22 LR to .22 Magnum. It's like having two guns in one.



Operation of the Rough Rider is fairly simple, but can be confusing for someone not using a Cowboy Action-style revolver before. The external hammer has a 4-position cocking mechanism. The first notch is the old Colt safety notch ,which held the firing pin off the primer of a round in the chamber underneath and locked the sear so that it couldn't accidentally fire. The second notch is the loading notch. This is where you set the hammer to allow the cylinder to rotate freely to load rounds into the chambers and also to swap cylinders, which requires the removal of a pin.

The third notch does nothing for the shooter, but the fourth notch is the full-cocked and ready to go position. After loading, pulling back to this position will allow the revolver to fire. The hammer must be cocked all the way back to this position each time since this is a single action revolver.

More from Wide Open Spaces

The Wearable Taurus Curve .380 Hugs Your Hip

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Shooter in Your Life [PICS]

Colt Unveils New MARC 901 Rifle Family

Pro-Tip: 3-Gun Training On A Budget [VIDEO]

The Rough Rider Small Bore revolver is a fun little gun to shoot. I have one with the 6.5 inch barrel on it in my collection and it is a great little gun to take to the range to plink with.

If you let your mind wonder for a minute, you'll feeling like you are in the Old West and getting ready for a gunfight in the street at high noon.

If you are looking for a single action .22 revolver, these are a great option to look at for your collection as well.

you might also like

The Heritage Rough Rider Small Bore Revolver: Everything You Wanted To Know