Two New Ruger Hunter Revolvers: .22 and .45 Colt


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

October 2nd, 2004




I first wrote about Ruger’s Hunter revolver over two years ago. At that time, I was very favorably impressed with the sixgun, and continue to be so. It was a very accurate and well-fitted revolver.  Since then, I have tested for Gunblast the Bisley Hunter, and found it to be the equal of the original Hunter, the difference being in the grip frame, trigger shape, and hammer. I refer you to those articles for further details on these revolvers, as it would be redundant to cover the same ground here again. Both of these Hunter models were chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge.

The two latest Hunter models are chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge and the .22 rimfire cartridges. The .45 Colt Hunter is identical to the original .44 Super Blackhawk Hunter, except for the chambering. It has a modified Super Blackhawk grip frame. The .22 Hunter is based on the smaller Single Six frame, and has Ruger’s XR3-RED ("RED" for redesigned) grip frame. The .22 Single Six Hunter comes with two cylinders. One cylinder accommodates the .22 Short, .22 Long, and .22 Long Rifle cartridges, including hyper velocity and special ammo such as CB caps. The other cylinder is used for the .22 Magnum cartridges. The cylinders easily interchange without tools. Both revolvers have the Ruger New Model lockwork with the transfer bar safety, which allows the guns to be carried safely fully loaded with six cartridges.

Both of these Hunter revolvers have seven and one-half inch barrels with a heavy top rib. The rib incorporates Ruger’s excellent scope mount system, and the rings are included with the sixguns. Even without a scope mounted, I really love the balance and handling qualities of these guns. The heavy rib gives the gun a muzzle-heavy balance that really helps in accurately shooting the weapons from field positions. Also, this is the only .22 Single Six that has a seven and one-half inch barrel, and it just looks and feels right on this gun. The Single Six Hunter weighs 44.2 ounces and the .45 Colt weighs 50.8 ounces, each without scope rings.

The Hunters also have interchangeable front sights. The Single Six Hunter came supplied with a fully adjustable V-notch rear and gold colored bead front sight. I find that I can shoot targets more accurately with a Patridge front sight, but for hunting, the bead and notch sights work very well, and I have come to really like these sights on the Single Six. The .45 Colt Hunter has a standard rear square notch adjustable sight with a red ramp front.

Both revolvers have grip panels of a dark gray laminated wood, which contrast nicely with the satin stainless finish. The entire Hunter line seems to have better fit and finish than other Ruger single action revolvers.  They look great.

The trigger pulls on these revolvers measured just over five pounds, but a quick Poor Boy’s Trigger Job reduced the pull weights to just over three pounds, which aided greatly in accurate shooting.

For accuracy tests, I mounted scopes on each revolver. Both proved to be very accurate, placing five shots well under one inch at twenty-five yards, using several brands of ammunition, along with hand loads in the .45 Colt.

For power, I prefer the .45 Colt (in a strong handgun) to the .44 Magnum. In a Ruger, the .45 Colt makes more power than a .44 Magnum, at lower pressure, with the added benefit of using a bullet of larger diameter. For those who do not handload, ammunition is available from Buffalo Bore, Grizzly Cartridge, Cor-Bon, and others that offer this level of power for the .45 Colt. These loads should never be used in weaker revolvers, but work extremely well in the Ruger.

The .22 Single Six Hunter can use any .22 rimfire ammunition. Switching to the .22 Magnum cylinder offers much greater power for the little sixgun, making it capable of taking large vermin and predators with the rimfire handgun. For small game hunting and plinking, the .22 Long Rifle cylinder offers ample power, accuracy, and low-cost ammunition. This is a very versatile and capable sixgun.

Both sixguns come with the scope rings, a cable lock, and instruction manual in a lockable hard plastic case.

The .45 Colt Super Blackhawk Hunter is a Lipsey’s exclusive sixgun. It is made up for this one distributor only, so have your dealer contact Lipsey’s to order one. They can be found online at:, or by phone on their dealer line at: 1-800-666-1333. Lipsey’s also carries the .22 Single Six Hunter, but it is a standard catalog item.

Check out the full line of Ruger products here.

For high performance .45 Colt ammunition, check out,, and

Jeff Quinn


To locate a dealer where you can buy this gun, go to:

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Ruger's new Hunter model sixguns in .45 Colt (top) and .22 LR/.22 Magnum (bottom). The .45 Colt model is a Lipsey's exclusive, while the .22 model is a standard Ruger catalog item.



Ruger's .45 Hunter finally brings the power of the .45 Colt cartridge to the Hunter line.



Ruger's .22 Hunter features an extra .22 Magnum cylinder, allowing the sixgun to chamber the entire range of .22 rimfires.



.22 cylinders are easily swapped in seconds, without tools.



The ability to use either the .22 Magnum (left) or .22 Long Rifle (right) makes the .22 Hunter a very versatile sixgun.



Both the .45 and .22 Hunters feature gray laminated hardwood grip panels, making for an eye-pleasing contrast on the stainless sixguns.



The .22 Hunter's barrel features a recessed muzzle crown for accuracy.



Among the many things the author likes about the Hunter sixguns are their interchangeable sights. The test .22 Hunter came with a shallow V-notch rear sight with gold bead front sight.



The test .45 Hunter was supplied with square notch rear sight and ramp front sight with red insert. Additional sights are available from Ruger for a reasonable cost.



.22 Hunter (left) has Ruger's standard XR3-RED grip frame, while the .45 Hunter (right) has a Super Blackhawk grip frame with rounded trigger guard. Click here for more info on Ruger grip frames.



Comparison of frame sizes between the .45 Hunter (top picture, top - bottom picture, left) and .22 Hunter (top picture, bottom - bottom picture, right).



Both Hunters feature Ruger's transfer bar safety system, which allows the guns to be safely carried with all chambers loaded.



.45 Hunter features a long ejector rod to help extract stubborn cases.



Both Hunter models are supplied with Ruger's excellent scope mount system.





Included in the purchase price are a cable lock, lockable plastic case, and a set of Ruger's fine scope rings.



Companies such as Buffalo Bore (pictured), Grizzly Cartridge Company and Cor-Bon offer premium quality factory ammunition in .45 Colt. Such ammo is not to be fired in weaker guns!



Both Hunter models are capable of fine accuracy, as can be seen from the above pictures. Such accuracy was the norm with a variety of factory ammunition and hand loads.



With Ruger's legendary ruggedness and quality, coupled with the ability to easily mount a scope sight or use iron sights, the Ruger Hunter models are among the best values available in hunting sixguns.