Ruger Bearcat with Adjustable Sights

ruger-bearcat-STMP-151100-BCT-01Ruger's little Bearcat has always been my favorite .22 rimfire trail gun.

bearcat-ruger-STMP-151100-BCT-02Sized to fit a tackle box or a daypack, the diminutive wheelgun is small enough for kids' hands but not too small for adults. My only beef with the traditional fixed-sight Ruger Bearcats I've had is that they didn't hit point of aim, at least with my ammo.



I don't need to worry about that any longer because Ruger recently offered a distributor-exclusive Bearcat with adjustable sights. It's marketed through Lipsey's and is available in blued or stainless steel. While I prefer the look of the blued version, I ordered a stainless model, knowing that it would be better for the hard use my kids and I are sure to put the revolver through.



A sturdy adjustable rear sight makes the Bearcat extremely versatile. The point of aim can be adjusted for any .22 LR load. The new version of the Bearcat comes with Ruger's screw-on ramp front sight. The gun is offered in stainless or blued steel.

The Ruger Bearcat is built on a one-piece grip-action frame. Unlike other companies' designs, the metal bones that hold the rosewood grip panels are not a separate unit that screws to the frame proper; they are machined integral to it.


The Ruger Bearcat's internal parts are installed at the bottom of the frame, and the trigger guard plate levers in and attaches via one screw at the forward end. As with most single actions, the cylinder rod is installed through the front of the frame just below the barrel. The cylinder is easily removed for cleaning and maintenance by putting the hammer on halfcock, opening the loading gate, pressing the retaining pin, and drawing the cylinder rod out.

Cylinder chambers aren't recessed for the cartridge rims, but the rear face of the cylinder is counterbored a bit, so with the cylinder installed, it looks almost as if the chambers are recessed. It's a nice bit of machining.

ruger-bearcat-infoThe Ruger Bearcat operates in the traditional manner when loading and unloading: First bring the hammer back to halfcock, open the loading gate, and load or unload. When finished loading or unloading, and after the loading gate is closed, the hammer is cocked all the way rearward before lowering it to rest, preventing the cylinder stop from scarring the body of the cylinder.

The original Ruger Bearcat model was discontinued in 1974, when Ruger began installing transfer bar systems in its revolvers to prevent accidental discharge if the hammer was bumped while in the rest position over a loaded chamber. Eventually, the company designed a scaled-down transfer bar for the Ruger Bearcat and put it back into production in 1993. The takeaway is that you can safely carry today's Bearcat with all six chambers loaded and the hammer lowered.

Fit and finish on the Lipsey's exclusive Ruger Bearcat is beautiful. The seams flow flawlessly, and the action is smooth and tight. As measured by my Lyman digital trigger gauge, the trigger averages 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Light it is not, but it is clean and crisp enough that it's not difficult to shoot well.

The hammer must be on halfcock to load and manipulate the cylinder. It's a great training tool for novices.

I ran several different .22 LR loads through the adjustable-sighted Ruger Bearcat, ranging from CCI Stingers to light Remington CBee loads. The revolver shot well with all, but it preferred Winchester's 40-grain Super-X load, averaging 0.73 inch at 15 yards. It sure was nice to be able to adjust the sights to put those bullets dead on point of aim. The sturdy sights offer a nice, clean sight picture.

This little Ruger Bearcat has a permanent place in my gun safe, but my guess is it's going to spend most of its life on the trail because all four of my kids will learn both the basics and the finer points of handgun shooting with it. We're going to keep it very busy.bearcat-accuracy-ruger


Recommended for You

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at safe, standard-level pressures are possible. Reloading

45 ACP Fast Loads

Brad Miller, Ph.D. - January 02, 2018

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at...

The FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships kicks off at 8 am on Friday, May 21. Industry

FNH USA Announces 5th Annual FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships

Shooting Times Staff - September 23, 2010

The FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships kicks off at 8 am on Friday, May 21.

The Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and hammering hogs, deer, and coyotes. Rifles

Review: Remington Model 700 PCR

Sam Wolfenberger - April 15, 2019

The Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and hammering...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Big bore semiauto or a lever gun? We look at the futuristic .450 Bushmaster and how it compares to the tried and true .45-70. ISS Prop House gives us the rundown on the guns used in Enemy at the Gate. We ping steel with a .300 WinMag at over a mile.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market. Rifles

Yugoslavian M24/47 Mauser-Pattern Rifle

Joseph von Benedikt - May 13, 2019

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market.

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day gifts. Accessories

Shooting Times Father's Day 2019 Gift Guide

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day...

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet. Ammo

Danger Tamed: Hornady DGX Bonded Hunting Ammo

Joseph von Benedikt - May 23, 2019

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet.

See More Stories

More Handguns

Ruger is the latest to add the Officer-Style 1911 to their handgun lineup. Handguns

Review: Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style .45 ACP

Sam Wolfenberger - June 06, 2019

Ruger is the latest to add the Officer-Style 1911 to their handgun lineup.

The company says its new Taurus Spectrum .380 is a “groundbreaking, game-changing” auto pistol design. It's a striker-fired, double-action-only personal-protection pistol that's been carefully engineered for shooter comfort and ease of use. Handguns

Taurus Spectrum .380 Review

Jake Edmondson - March 19, 2019

The company says its new Taurus Spectrum .380 is a “groundbreaking, game-changing” auto pistol...

The iconic British Webley Double-Action revolver was the official British military sidearm for more than seven decades. Handguns

The British Webley Double-Action Revolver

Terry Wieland - March 13, 2019

The iconic British Webley Double-Action revolver was the official British military sidearm for...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×