Review: Ruger Single Seven
May 09, 2016
Last year, Ruger produced a run of a special single-action revolver based on the Single-Six platform for one of its national distributors. The new gun is chambered for the centerfire .327 Federal Magnum cartridge, has a seven-shot cylinder, and is named the Ruger Single Seven.
The stainless-steel Ruger Single Seven revolver has an adjustable rear sight, a Patridge-style front blade with serrated ramp that's attached to the barrel with a screw, and laminated wood "gunfighter" grips. It's being offered in three barrel lengths: 4.63, 5.5, and 7.5 inches.
With a 5.5-inch barrel, the new revolver weighs 36 ounces and measures 11 inches long. It's 1.44 inches wide and 5.33 inches high.
The Ruger Single Seven features Ruger's transfer-bar firing mechanism that all Ruger New Model single actions have. In accordance, the loading gate swings out on the right-hand side, and it has to be closed for the hammer to be cocked.
The .327 Federal Magnum cartridge is perfectly suited for personal defense, especially when chambered in a small-frame double-action revolver, such as Ruger's SP101. But when the cartridge was introduced in 2012, a lot of small-game hunters wanted a handy medium-sized single-action revolver for the round. Ruger tried to appease them with an eight-shot Blackhawk revolver (as well as a seven-shot double-action GP100), but what handgun hunters really wanted was a smaller and slimmer Single-Six-size gun.
Custom pistolsmith Hamilton Bowen has been converting Single-Six revolvers originally chambered to .32 H&R Magnum by trimming the barrel shank back, recutting the forcing cone, and fitting a new cylinder for the longer .327 Federal cartridge. But now, thanks to Lipsey's (one of Ruger's major distributors), shooters can get a factory-made Ruger Single Seven through them.
By the way, .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W Long, and .32 S&W cartridges can be fired safely in the .327 Federal Magnum Single-Seven because they share the same bullet diameter and case dimensions, except for length, as the .327 Federal. Because those three cartridges have shorter cases, they hold less powder and consequently generate less pressure than the .327 Federal. It's a situation similar to that of the .44 Magnum, .44 Special, and .44 Russian cartridges.
When I placed my order for the distributor-exclusive Ruger Single Seven, I requested the 5.5-inch-barreled version, and when the gun arrived, the first thing I noticed was its laminated grips. They're contoured and fit my hand more comfortably than the grips my older Single-Sixes came with. When I tried the trigger, I found it to be pretty good, with a 4.5-pound pull and just a hint of creep.
Federal and Speer are the only major manufacturers of .327 Federal Magnum factory ammo. It's offered in 85-grain JHP, 100-grain JSP (in Federal's economical American Eagle line), and 115-grain JHP loadings, and I had some on hand from when I tested Ruger's previous .327 Federal-chambered revolvers. I also put together several handloads for this report.
As you can see in the chart, the .327 Federal Magnum Ruger Single Seven is an accurate handgun. In my shooting sessions, its most accurate factory load was the American Eagle 100-grain JSP. That loading averaged 1.60 inches at 25 yards. The most accurate handload turned in an average of 1.50 inches, and it consisted of the Magtech 71-grain JHP over 7.8 grains of CFE Pistol powder.
The Ruger .327 Federal Magnum Single-Seven can be used for handgun hunting varmints and small game and even for home and personal defense. It's an excellent choice for casual plinking and just plain fun shooting, too.