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Old February 17, 2013, 09:03 AM   #1
ruger357w
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Ruger Bearcat

How accurate are this little rugers? I held one the other day at my lgs and it felt good. I'm just looking for a nice little plinker.
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Old February 17, 2013, 09:41 AM   #2
rep1954
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This one from 1960 will shoot 1 1/2" to 2" groups all day at 15 yards. I have owned a couple of others that would not better 3" at that distance.

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Old February 17, 2013, 09:57 AM   #3
BlkHawk73
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For what it's intended to be, it's a great little revolver. Keep the expectations within the realistic area, and you'll be very pleased.
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Old February 17, 2013, 10:47 AM   #4
IDAHOMIKE
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Mine is pop can accurate out to 50 yards. Ive got an older one and wouldnt trade it for the world. It even gets to be a pretty much EDC piece.
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:32 PM   #5
Rainbow Demon
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Something to be wary of when buying an older Bearcat.
I got one many years ago that couldn't hit the ground if you dropped it. I could find nothing wrong with that little revolver and never figured out what was wrong with it. Timing was perfect, yet it spit lead worse than any revolver I'd ever run across.
The gunshop took it back in trade in on another pistol.

A few years back I found the answer.
Someone else had the same problem with their Bearcat and tracked down the cause.
A number of these revolvers got past quality control (which at times has been a joke) with no forcing cone cut in the barrel. The raw breech was chewing up the bullets and spitting peeled away bits out the gap.
Thats the one thing that it never occured to me to check.

So if buying an older Bearcat check for presence of the forcing cone.

Most likely the majority of the defective ones were sent back to the factory long ago or repaired. Still there are occasions when pistols were not fired much if any and the situation not recognized.
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Old February 17, 2013, 10:17 PM   #6
bedbugbilly
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I have a Super Bearcat - circa early 70s - and I would echo what rep1954 said. It is a fun little gun to shoot and I sort of have kept it for my "wife's gun" if she goes to the range with us when we shoot. It's a nice little plinker and a great size to carry on hikes. etc. I certainly wouldn't expect it to take the eye out of a gnat at 50 paces, but overall, mine does a good job.

Mine is in "pristine" condition so I try to keep it nice along with the original box and paperwork. I wanted a "knock around" SA 22 so I picked up a Heritage Rough Rider with a 4 3/4" barrel. Certainly not a Ruger but I've been very happy with it. . . and I also own Colts, S & Ws, etc.

Good luck with your Bearcat if you decide to get it. I think they are a fine little pistol and if there are any problems, Ruger should make it right as they seem to offer fine customer service. . . . but it should be just fine right out of the box. With the ammo shortage, the nice thing is that in a SA 22 you also have the option of shooting shorts instead of LR if they aren't available. Where I am for the winter - LR just aren't on the shelves but i was able to get a quantity of shorts that will work well in my Bearcat, RR and the Henry.
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Old February 18, 2013, 06:36 AM   #7
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I had a Bearcat for a long while (at least for me). I called it the gun to carry when I didn't want to carry a gun. I scared several squirrels with it, but never actually harmed one. Not the guns fault I asure you I've scared them with a lot of other guns too.

The Bearcat however is plenty accurate enough to knock a can or pine cone around though at normal plinking distances, and probably for a lot longer ranges than I ever tried it.

Like most other guns I've owned at one time or another, I got bored with it and sold it off for something else. I might buy another one one of these days.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:00 PM   #8
TailGator
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I was browsing around earlier today and was intrigued to see that Bud's has listed the Bearcat Shopkeeper - with a 3 inch barrel and bird head grip. Cute little bugger - might need to put it on my list.
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:33 PM   #9
redlevel42
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Ruger Bearcat

Minute of Mt. Dew can & pine cone at 15-20 yards! A wonderful little plinker. I haven' shot it at paper yet. Don't know if I will . . .
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Old February 19, 2013, 11:31 AM   #10
Glenn E. Meyer
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That Shopkeeper is adorable. I have standard Bearcat and do I need this one?

Well, since there is no 22 LR to be had lately - I'll wait.

It's so cute.
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:16 PM   #11
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coke can accurate

I've never benched mine. It seemed to have a distinct tendency to shoot off to one side (left I think) and I was giving some serious thought to sending it off to Ruger for a 6 shot conversion and some tweaking to get to point of aim.

But....., the pistol had a Bubba'd cylinder pin made from a screw driver shaft. I bought a genuine old model pin on line, and the little gun now seems to shoot to point of aim! Those dinky sights are a pain, but when I do right, a coke can at 15-20 yds is in grave danger.

It won't go back to Ruger now!
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:23 PM   #12
TailGator
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Quote:
That Shopkeeper is adorable. I have standard Bearcat and do I need this one?

Well, since there is no 22 LR to be had lately - I'll wait.

It's so cute.
We both waited too long. It is listed as out of stock now. This market is nuts.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:51 PM   #13
Jakes
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Had one a stainless,sent it back to Ruger 3 time it came back doing the same thing.Now it at the bottom of a lake in ND.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:57 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
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I was thinking if they could make the Shopkeeper in 327, that would be an awesome little thing.
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Old February 21, 2013, 08:13 PM   #15
Shane Tuttle
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I haven't benched mine, either, yet. So far, it seems to be nearly as accurate as my wife's Buck Mark Hunter. And that thing has a long bull barrel with a high-viz front sight if that means anything.

As bedbugbilly said, it may not shoot a gnat's eye at 50yds. But I love the Bearcat. I looked for a long time for one. Nearly gave up until someone posted one here for sale some time back. I'm certainly not disappointed in the performance nor the fit/finish.
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Old February 21, 2013, 08:27 PM   #16
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I had eight at one time and seven when this pic was taken, but I don't remember why the seventh one didn't make it into the picture.
I've since sold the two very early models with the plastic grips like rep1954's is sporting, but still have the other five. All old models, not current production.
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:05 PM   #17
Super Sneaky Steve
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I have the shopkeeper and so far it sucks. Extraction is impossible with fingers. I have to pull the cylinder and punch them out with the basepin. Not cool, but it is pretty.

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Old February 21, 2013, 10:35 PM   #18
redlevel42
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I have the shopkeeper and so far it sucks. Extraction is impossible with fingers. I have to pull the cylinder and punch them out with the basepin.

Mine has improved greatly in that regard. I shot some Blazer ammo originally, and had the same kind of problem you describe. Next, I shot some old loose ammo in a cigar box, probably several different brands. Most of the time, extraction was pretty easy. Today I shot a box of Remington Cyclone Hollowpoints. I noticed that they seemed to be more powerful (at least a louder report), more accurate, and much easier to extract than any thing I have shot in it yet. I probably have shot close to 400-500 rounds, and I haven't cleaned it yet. Many of the Remington cases today almost fell out of the chambers with just gravity. Keep shooting it. It is a wonderful little plinker. The pine cones and drink cans have had a rough time since I got mine.

Box of loose .22lr and .45ACP ammo being consumed by the two Birdshead revolvers
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:27 PM   #19
Super Sneaky Steve
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Good to know redlevel. I'll try to put it through it's paces again soon.
Looks like we have the same taste in revolvers.


Mine's a .45 Colt.
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:38 PM   #20
ricko
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The Bearcat was my 'cowboy' gun in the 60s when I was about 12 years old. I was never good enough with a pistol to tell you how accurate it was, but it was a sweet little gun, very nicely made. It was certainly as accurate as I could make use of.
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:50 PM   #21
kilimanjaro
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Pop cans at 200 yards. Put it on a rest, breathe, and squeeze.

It's better for plinking, though. Lots of fun.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:27 AM   #22
ruger357w
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Well I think i'm convinced. I guess i'm going to be picking one up in the near future. Now my lgs has one for $450.00 is is about 15 minates for my house. I have located one about 100 miles away that is the old model for $400. with fuel cost I would have the same in both, just more travel time. ?
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:47 AM   #23
kcub
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I have an old model that shoots pretty high. If I use hyper velocity ammo it shoots close to dead on since the bullet is out of the barrel before the front rises from recoil.

For you super bearcat owners, you can shoot 22 WRF as well. Good to know in these ammo constrained times since it's an oddball that might be on the shelf. It's actually a good hunting load for any 22 magnum when you dont want to ruin meat.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:49 AM   #24
SGreve32x
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I had an old 3 screw and I thought it was pretty accurate. Not every shot hit the bullseye but what do you expect from a pistol with a 5.5 inch barrel
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:15 PM   #25
wooly booger
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I have one from the mid 80s. It has a permanent home in my flyfishing vest. It is plenty accurate for what I need..I've taken a few squirrels and grouse for the camp pot and even a badger and a beaver with it. You need to find a flavor of ammo that they like. They can be very finicky. Mine prefers mini mags. Stingers and Remington Thunderbolts are horrid through it.
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