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Old August 11, 2018, 08:29 PM   #1
Model12Win
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Bearcat?

Anyone own a Bearcat .22?

How is the accuracy/shootability?

Really neat looking trailsman's piece but I've heard you can't hit the broad side of a barn with them.

Any truth to that? would it be accurate enough for small game or just target practice, or is it a waste of time inaccurate belly gun type thing?

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Old August 11, 2018, 11:53 PM   #2
AL45
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I have wanted one for years and finally bought one a few weeks ago. At first, I thought it was hitting to the left, but when I finally shot off a rest, I realized it was right on. It shoots CCI mini-mags a little better than American Eagle which hits a little low. The grip is small, but it doesn't bother me. My eyes aren't the best, but I see the sights well enough to make a steel sillouhette ring regulary from 30-40 yards. Bottom line is, I love it. Mine did have a little bur that I had to hone down which was rubbing on the case heads, but other than that it has been a great little gun. It has seen 200 to 300 rounds thus far with no problems.
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Old August 12, 2018, 12:25 AM   #3
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I have one and absolutely love it.

It's as accurate as expected for a little .22 revolver. Mine shoots pretty accurately. It depends on what small game you want to go after and at what distance is acceptable.

AL45's assessment on the ammo is the same as mine. It likes CCI Mini-Mags and Stingers. American Eagles have a little bit bigger spread.

It's a great gun to introduce someone to shooting. Low recoil, single action revolver is a good start as well as something to fire off to wind down the range time.
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Old August 12, 2018, 10:57 PM   #4
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early model

I've had an early model for about a decade now. Had to track down a cylinder base pin........thank heavens for the internet, took about 10 minutes. Mine has not been back to Ruger and thus is the early lockwork....hammer over an empty chamber, 5 rds.

The tiny grip does not bother me.....but the sights are a tad hard to see, but I've got 60 yr old eyes. I can still wack a coke can at 15 yds or so. Mine does indeed shoot to point of aim, but oddly, it took the correct base pin to make that happen.....it was off with the homemade number that was in the revolver when I purchased it.

I normally just carry mine in the front pocket of my GI wool pants in bow season, but I do have two holsters, ...... but a holster just seems to add bulk. If I go to a holster, I normally get a bigger revolver. Of late we've been having a run with snakes, and mine is stoked with .22 rat shot at present.
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Old August 13, 2018, 06:15 AM   #5
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Bearcat

I had one. I wanted a small .22 that i could carry in my hunting vest while walking the Uplands. I picked up a Bearcat. Cute gun. Nicely made......but being all steel, it turned out to be too heavy in the vest and just a bit too long and the grip was smaller than i liked and......and i traded it in on a S&W 317 Airlite snubbie which has been ideal.
Bearcat...24oz. Empty.
S&W 317....11oz loaded
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Old August 13, 2018, 04:29 PM   #6
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Could consider an S&W Model 34 four-inch. Would cost a bit more. Accuracy, build quality, trigger pull first rate.
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Old August 13, 2018, 09:42 PM   #7
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Depends on what you consider the 'broad side of barn'! My wife has one, and it shoots ok. Looking to hit a pop can at 25 yards it will do it easy. Looking to hit a .410 hull at 50 yards, your probably going to miss a lot (well, I'd miss it a lot). Trigger is a hard pull for me, so that throws accuracy off, but for a small little revolver 'hers' does ok for what it is. She likes it and I don't mind it. Of course, no real recoil either, so hand fit doesn't matter much.
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Old August 14, 2018, 04:23 PM   #8
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Somewhat recently new Ruger Bearcat Shopkeeper .22 with the 3.5 inch barrel and fluted cylinder, rather inaccurate but well made and the accuracy challenge actually makes it fun to shoot. Of course, my expectations on accuracy out of a small .22 of that size aren't particularly high. Highly unlikely to jam and if you get a bum .22 you just pull back the hammer and move on to the next round.

By the way, that extra half inch on the extractor makes casing extraction a non-issue compared to the 3 inch shopkeeper.
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Old August 14, 2018, 08:28 PM   #9
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I looked at the Bearcat over fifteen years ago. My hands aren't especially large, for a male -- I can't palm a basketball -- but I found the Bearcat to be just too small. I couldn't hold it with a consistent grip. I bought a Super Single Six instead, and I've never regretted it.
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Old August 14, 2018, 09:05 PM   #10
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I love the idea of the Bearcat but I would have to go with Aguila on the Single Six or Ten as well.
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Old August 14, 2018, 09:36 PM   #11
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I had Bearcats ( old models ) and they were well made and accurate. But being
able to shoot on accurately is another matter. Off a rest they will shoot well. The
small size of it and the tiny sights make it hard to shoot well. I always wanted
to run into a beater to fit some decent sights to. As is they are basically a cute
novelty. OK for a range toy but pretty worthless for anything serious.

The S&W 34 Kit gun is way out of Bearcat class. Excellent plinker and small game gun. It takes a learning curve if you are use to heavier pistols. You can
put a set of target grips on one and will provide a nice grip for most people.
A 34 is a serious 22.
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Old August 14, 2018, 10:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkgael View Post
I had one. I wanted a small .22 that i could carry in my hunting vest while walking the Uplands. I picked up a Bearcat. Cute gun. Nicely made......but being all steel, it turned out to be too heavy in the vest and just a bit too long and the grip was smaller than i liked and......and i traded it in on a S&W 317 Airlite snubbie which has been ideal.
Bearcat...24oz. Empty.
S&W 317....11oz loaded
IMO, this is the biggest problem with the Bearcat. It's a small revolver, sure, but it weighs too much for what it is. If Ruger were to use aluminum for the frame to lighten it up, I'd have to re-think the Bearcat as more than a novelty gun.

My current light .22 revolver is an NAA Minimaster. It's only 5 shots, but it's a .22 Mag/LR combo and it weighs less than 12 oz. The trigger does take getting use to, but once you learn it, you'll be surprised how far you can hit with it.

The Bearcat not being a spur trigger means it likely would be easier to shoot with quicker than the NAA and that's about the only advantage.

Nice looking revolvers the Bearcats are, but I think the design is clearly dated under the "kit gun" philosophy.
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Old August 15, 2018, 08:26 AM   #13
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I had one and loved it, but it was a hard rascal to shoot accurately. There was nothing wrong with the gun at all, but as a couple of others have said, they're hard to shoot accurately. The small grip is hard to grip consistently, and they have a relatively heavy trigger, and the sights aren't the best. Those all combine to make it a challenging little gun.

Still I loved the little gun, and managed to scare a couple of squirrels with it. I had a little Ruger holster for it that could only be described as "cute." I called it the perfect gun to carry when I didn't want to carry a gun. It was my daily companion on my daily walks when I live "up the country."

I only sold it during a period of "personal economic downturn" and come close to buying another, but I've already got two S&W Model 18's and a Ruger Single-Six so I've managed to talk myself out of it...so far.
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Old August 15, 2018, 11:21 AM   #14
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So they're hard to get any accuracy out of?

Obviously it sounds like the bearcat is a poor hunting revo.

Think I'll pass.
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Old August 15, 2018, 05:33 PM   #15
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For supreme accuracy to shoot out the eye of a squirrel 50yds away? Yes, it's a poor choice.

You'll most likely be looking for better sites to do that with the Bearcat....IF you can find good fitting sights for it.
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Old August 15, 2018, 07:41 PM   #16
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The Lipsey Bearcat has adjustable sights. https://www.ruger.com/products/newBe...eets/0916.html
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Old August 15, 2018, 08:34 PM   #17
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I agree on the weight. Back when Ruger was doing the aluminum-frame P-Series pistols, I kept hoping that they would do a Bearcat and a SP-101 with an aluminium frame. Alas, it was never meant to be....

I'm still impressed with the Shopkeeper model. I may have to buy one and ream the chambers to accept .22 Magnum. It seems like a perfect coat-pocket gun....

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Old August 15, 2018, 08:50 PM   #18
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Is the cylinder even long enough to accept .22 WMR?
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Old August 16, 2018, 12:58 AM   #19
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I don't know what Ruger is making today and calling a Bearcat, but I have fond memories of the Super Bearcat that Dad bought for Mom back when they were $57....(and got them to throw in a left handed holster on the deal)

Mom was a small woman 4"10 (and a half! damnit!) wore a size 3.5 ring, and weighed about 100lbs. For her, it was about perfect. She was deadly accurate with it, to the point of being nicknamed "Annie Oakley" by friends.

I could never shoot it really well, at 14, my hands were too big for the grips, but she was a "natural" with hers.

I shoot a Super Single Six, and for me, its a much better fit.
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Old August 16, 2018, 02:09 AM   #20
Drm50
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I've been on the quest to find the lightest, dependable and accurate 22 pistol. I live in a
rural area and wanted a 22 pistol that was worth carrying. I went through all the top makes
of auto loaders on 32 frame size, most were European. Also the small fram revolvers. There
were only two that made the grade. The 422 S&W 4" & m34 S&W. The 422 is lighter and
the two are equal in accuracy. I still stuck with m34. The difference in these compared to
the 32 pocket autos and the avaible small frame revolvers is night & day.
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Old August 16, 2018, 03:42 AM   #21
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My understanding was that Ruger did at one time offer them in a convertible for a short period of time like their Single Six, then recalled them.
I believe that there was also a fella somewhere that would alter a 22lr cylinder to wmr and may still be.
So the cylinder must be long enough for wmr, but the revolver is probably not well suited to them.
What they are well suited to is introducing a kid to shooting a hand gun, and of course folks of smaller stature.
I always thought that they were pretty cool little miniature single sixes, just never thought of them as a serious target arm.
Doubt that was ever the intention.

Found one
http://www.clementscustomguns.com/bearcat.html
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Old August 16, 2018, 05:46 AM   #22
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No, they were never really intended to be a "hunting" gun. They fill the same role that Smith & Wesson's "Kit" gun does. A small, light gun to stick in a pack or a tackle box, and have when you "Don't really need a gun."

For HUNTING, a Single-Six, or even better one of the semi-auto's are probably a better choice...Or a Thompson Contender with a nice optic.
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Old August 16, 2018, 02:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkeestalker
I always thought that they were pretty cool little miniature single sixes, just never thought of them as a serious target arm.
I've always considered the Bearcat to be styled after the Remington 1858 and 1875 revolvers, unlike the Single Six, which is styled like a scaled-down Colt SAA.

Bearcat:



Remingtonr 1858:


Remington 1875:
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Old August 16, 2018, 11:30 PM   #24
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The Bearcat in your picture (stainless??) adjustable sights is a far cry from the originals, which had "smooth top" fixed sights like the original Colt SAA's.

They look like scaled down versions of the Vaquero (which was produced much later than the original Bearcats). Today's gun, judging from the picture is a scaled down Super Single Six (adjustable sights).
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Old August 17, 2018, 01:09 AM   #25
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But the grip frame and stocks are much more Remington-like than they are SAA-like.
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