Heritage Rough Rider 22lr Revolver Review
The Heritage Rough Rider is a .22 revolver single-action that will just set you back about $150. There are many models of the gun that provide different heritage rough rider 22lr grips colors & styles, sight options, & even another chambering (some models include interchangeable cylinders for .22LR & .22 Magnum). The report here is a basic model with a 6.5” barrel, fixed sights, & a .22LR cylinder.
- Key Features
Aluminum alloy frame
DETAILS & SPECS
Heritage® Rough Rider .22LR Rimfire Revolver
Born from Old West tradition, the Rough Rider maintains much of the look & feel of the legendary Colt Single Action Army Revolver – but in a scaled-down version. Chambered for the .22LR, the Rough Rider is manufactured using state-of-the-art-precision machinery that assures its accuracy & reliability.
The cylinder lock-up is tight & the perfect timing of the action does for a handgun that will fix its shots where you want them. For hunting, plinking or cowboy action shooting, let the Rough Rider be your choice with a new Rimfire Revolver.
Machined barrel is micro-threaded & inserted into the framework for the optimal barrel/cylinder gap
A hammer block installed in the recoil shield gives extra protection & has a red dot indicator that lets you remember when the gun is ready
Authentic flat-sided hammer paired with new foreign cocobolo grips makes the Rough Rider both functional & handsome
- Key Specifications
Barrel length: 4.75.”
Frame: Aluminum alloy
Sights: Open fixed / notch in rear
Overall length: 10.035.”
Overall weight: 33.4 ozs.
Mfg. Number: RR22B4
The Heritage Rough Rider seems like it goes in an old Western, with a design reminiscent of the famous Colt Single Action Army revolver. The wooden grip, aluminum frame & steel barrel give the gun a solid, sturdy feel.
Overall I’m impressed with the building character, especially at this price point. After thousands of rounds & many cleaning sessions, the surface is starting to wear off on the front of the cylinder on the weapon, but beyond that, I have not had any issues with the gun’s long-term durability.
It’s relatively short size, combined with the classic shape & style of the handgrip, make the Rough Rider certainly less ergonomic than most of my more recent guns. It’s not particularly hard to hold the gun correctly, but it doesn’t fall into my hand as naturally as I’d like for a handgun. I’m typically not a revolver shooter, so maybe that’s a learned taste.
Loading & Firing
Unlike the modern revolver, the cylinder on the Rough Rider is fixed in place & doesn’t swing out for loading. Alternatively, to load the gun, you first pull the hammer back to a half-cocked position that allows the cylinder to be rotated by gun. Then, you swing open a hinged loading gate on the right side of the frame & insert shots one at a time, rotating the cylinder & repeating the process until all six chambers are full.
It sounds like a tedious process, & it could be for some, but I enjoy the routine actions necessary to load the Rough Rider. It’s a pleasant diversion of pace from the natural, utilitarian style of a semiautomatic handgun magazine. The main downside is that it’s time-consuming & prevents the use of a speedloader for fast reloads.
This is also a good point to consider that ejecting spent shells from the Rough Rider is a similarly mechanically fast process. To unload the Rough Rider, you again take the hammer back to the half-cocked position, & pull a small spring-loaded plunger located below the barrel to eject each spent shell. To remove all six, you have to pick the plunger, release it, turn the cylinder, wash, rinse & repeat until the gun’s empty.
Suffice it to say that loading & unloading a Rough Rider isn’t an operation that you would want to perform when seconds count.
Once the Rough Rider’s loaded, it’s relatively easy to shoot. The gun has a manual lock lever to the left of the hammer; once it’s been flipped down to the firing position, you only use your thumb to bring the hammer back to the fully cocked condition & pull the trigger to let her fly.
The simplicity of a single-action design usually results in a decent trigger, & the Rough Rider is no exception. The pull weight is average, but I was happy with the lack of take-up before the break. The trigger barely seems to go rearward before the gun fires, making it easy to shoot correctly.
The sights on my Rough Rider are made into the frame & consist of a shallow notch in the rear of the stage just ahead of the hammer & a slim metal blade at the business end. Both the front sight & rear notch are the same color as the frame — basic black — & can be difficult to pick up in the dimly lit environment of an indoor range, especially when aiming at a dark target. The sights are non-adjustable & aftermarket sights can’t be mounted without some gunsmithing.
With its long sight radius, the Rough Rider’s plenty accurate. Even in the shooting mentioned above conditions at my local range & shooting bulk .22LR ammo at a relatively rapid rate, I was able to achieve a surprising level of accuracy at ten yards. The Rough Rider is easily right enough to make a fun shooting experience.
Being chambered in .22LR & weighing almost two pounds, the Rough Rider has effectively zero recoils. Of course, being a single action only thing, you’ll need to re-cock before launching each round, which will need you to realign the sights & limits the rate of fire.
But like the loading process, I found that I feel the feeling of cocking the piece before each shot, presumably because it did me feel like John Wayne. Even though I’m from Texas, I never felt the urge to wear a cowboy hat…until I began shooting the Rough Rider at the range, that is. It’s a pleasant gun to operate & fire, & I think I just like the feel of manually running the weapon as a contrast to my semiautomatic handguns that only require me to squeeze a trigger.
Reliability & Cleaning
As .22 ammo is naturally a bit more finicky than centerfire calibers, & I’ve experienced some failures to fire when shooting the Rough Rider. The frequency, though, is in order with every other .22 rifle or handgun I’ve fired, which suggests that the losers are due to inconsistencies in the ammo rather than the fault failing of the gun.
One advantage of a revolver over a semiautomatic .22 handgun or rifle is that there are no companies about the gun reliably cycling with different br&s of ammo. I’ve fed a broad range of .22 into the Rough Rider, from bulk boxes of Remington Thunderbolts to higher grade CCI Mini-Mags, & have achieved reliable performance with all of it.
Cleaning the Rough Rider is manageable, as the cylinder can be removed by holding out a single pivot pin. Wiping down the exposed facades of the bottle & frame & running a few swabs through each chamber & the barrel is enough to keep the gun operating smoothly. It’s also worth noting that Heritage provides a broad range of replacement parts on their website, along with the .22 Magnum cylinder & replacement grips.
The Rough Rider has some plusses & minuses. It’s well-built & pays homage to a classic design, & you’ll probably have fun shooting it if for no other reason than that its standard operation is a change from most recent semiautomatic handguns. It’s close enough that you can hit what you’re aiming at, & it will work well with any br& of .22LR or .22 Magnum ammo one can find. I love it as a fun, casual piece to take to the range.
On the flip top, the sights aren’t beautiful, & the gun’s manual nature means you won’t be firing or reloading very rapidly if that’s consideration. The Rough Rider would be a secondary self-defense weapon.
My main use case for the Rough Rider is a way to introduce new shooters to handgun shooting, a roll in which it excels. Its appearance is relatively non-threatening too noobs compared to most semiautomatic handguns, & everyone I’ve got to the range has enjoyed seeing how to operate & shoot the gun.
The lack of recoil does it more fun than scary to shoot for a newbie, which is highly conducive to getting proper shooting fundamentals. For those reasons, it will have a place in my collection, & it manages to get its way into my pocket on just about every range trip.
MSRP: from $200 -300 depending on model; as low as $150 in stores
Maintaining the Rough Rider – Heritage Revolver
I have fired these revolvers widely over the years & cannot recall any of them giving me trouble. They are simple to maintain.
- Make sure the revolver is unloaded.
- Place the hammer on half cock.
- Press the center pin latch forward.
- Remove the cylinder for cleaning.
- Clean the breech face.
- Clean the chambers.
- Occasionally, run a patch through the barrel.
- You’re right to go.
As for accuracy, the fixed-sight handguns have as much essential skill as target-sighted handguns. It is just that possible accuracy is more difficult to come by.
And yes dont forget to buy heritage rough rider 22lr holster