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Ruger Super Wrangler .22 LR/.22 WMR [Hands-On Review]



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IS THE SUPER WRANGLER SUPER GOOD OR JUST SUPER PRICED?

Ruger has been in it to win it lately by targeting exactly what people want, even if it isn’t always what we need. Instead of coming out with its version of the new duty grade something or other, the company gives the people what they want, like .22 LR single-action army clones.

The Wrangler was a pretty big hit for Ruger a few years ago, so let’s find out of the Super Wrangler is actually better and worth the price or if this is just a live-action remake of something no one asked to be remade.

RUGER SUPER WRANGLER SPECS

  • Grips: Checkered Synthetic
  • Front Sight: Ramp
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Barrel Length: 5.50″
  • Overall Length: 11″
  • Weight: 37.7 oz.
  • Capacity: 6
  • Twist: 1:14″ RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • Available in CA: Yes
  • Available in MA: No
  • MSRP: $329

OLD VS. NEW

I’m a pretty big fan of the original Ruger Wrangler. It might seem a little odd to be excited over a .22 LR six-shooter, but I was hyped for it as soon as it was announced. I even had to argue with the retailer I ordered from to get them to ship it to me in California. 

In the end, I was rewarded with a pistol I genuinely love. I often bring my Wrangler to the range with me for some plinking while I wait for barrels to cool or the range to go cold to change targets. It’s also my go-to pistol for teaching new shooters how to shoot.

Original Ruger Wrangler

Two big things I wished my Wrangler had was better sights and an extra cylinder for a spicier .22 cartridge. When the Super Wrangler was announced, I knew I would be buying one. Ruger sent this out for review, but I knew I would be buying it even before the invoice came.

Side-by-side, the two Wranglers don’t seem a whole lot different. The Super has a slightly longer barrel, adjustable rear sight, and a new front sight, but that’s it. 

Ruger Super Wrangler

In your hand, the Super Wrangler is a little heavier than the standard version, but not a whole lot.

The grips are the same, the barrels are both CHF, and the triggers feel the same, as do the hammer and loading gate.

One notable change is the frame. The Wrangler used an “Aluminum Alloy” frame, and the Super has been upgraded to “Alloy Steel.” This and the longer barrel is where most of the extra weight comes from.

So if you own or have shot the normal Wranlger, you probably know what you’re getting into with the Super.

RANGE PLINKING

Hitting the range with this little guy is always a good time. It’s simple, easy to shoot, and just fun to do a little plinking with. 

The Super Wrangler lives up to the name with the added weight. While not heavy, it still feels like more than you would expect just by looking at it. It’s a good kind of weight, like the weight of a 1911. It just feels right.

The weight also makes it flat to shoot and really easy. Not that .22 LR has a lot of recoil to start with, but the weight totally eats it up. No matter how recoil sensitive the shooter might be, this is an easy gun to shoot. I have Nerf guns and rubberband guns that recoil harder than the Super Wrangler.

While I like the new rear sight, I’m not crazy about the new front sight. The original Wrangler had a vary narrow front blade that made it surprisingly easy to be precise with. The new front sight is a much thicker ramp style that actually feels kind of fat for no reason. 

The Super is still accurate and the sights are good enough to hit mini apples with, but I would have liked the front sight to be a little narrower. 

Swapping out the .22 WMR cylinder is easy, but be careful of the current cylinder being hot. The guide rod comes out, cylinder falls out, swap, reinstall the guide rod. Easy.

.22 WMR will have a different POI, that’s just what happens when you switch calibers to something moving 50-percent faster. Close up this might not matter much, but reach out 15 or 20 yards and you start feeling it a lot. If you’re using this for precision headshots on pests or something, this will be something you need to learn and account for.

But plinking on the range,  just send it.

Recoil is barely more. It is more, but it’s still only .22 WMR, and it’s not much. The extra weight of the Super Wrangler does a nice job of eating the .22 WMR recoil, even for new shooters.

Other than that, it shoots exactly like you would expect it to shoot.

.22 LR OR .22 WMR

I think we should face the elephant in the room – .22 WMR doesn’t really matter. There, I said it. That’s my hot take for the month.

Maybe if we’re talking about rifles, you can make a case for .22 WMR being good for small pests that are just a little out of range of .22 LR.

But in a 5.5-inch pistol with iron sights? Your most limiting point isn’t the cartridge, it’s the firearm. A better .22 cartridge won’t realalisticly extend the practical range of the Super Wrangler by much.

And yet… I really enjoy having the extra cylinder. While I don’t see myself actually using it outside of plinking randomly at the range, I like that I have the option. 

Maybe that’s the Wrangler fanboi in me talking, and I need to stop mainlining copium, but here we are. I don’t need .22 WMR. Before the Super Wrangler gave it to me, I would have said that I didn’t want .22 WMR. But now that I have it, I like it, and I’ll keep a small stock of ammo on hand. 

IS IT WORTH IT?

Bottomline, between the Ruger Wrangler and Ruger Super Wrangler, what should you get? I think it just depends a little.

If all you want is a cheap, fun, plinker of a pistol – the Wrangler ticks those boxes well enough.

If you want better sights or .22 WMR or just want something that feels a little more adult without jumping into the $600+ .22 LR SAA options, the Super Wrangler is outstanding.

Depending on where you shop, the Super is another $80-$100ish. To me, it’s worth it. Doing it over again, I’d buy one Super Wrangler.

That being said, I still have my two normal Wranglers and don’t plan on parting with them.

LOOSE ROUNDS

The new Super Wrangler gets my seal of approval. Even if you’re not into .22 WMR, I think this is a pretty great pickup for the price. The new sights and the extra heft of the gun are both nice improvements that really add a little extra something to what is already a great pistol.

But if you want to save some money, the original Wrangler is still one of my favorites.

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