Gun Review: Heritage Rough Rider .22 Revolver

By Daniel English

One day soon after purchasing my first gun, I was at a local sporting goods storing purchasing .22LR ammo when a Heritage Rough Rider caught my eye. I was interested in getting a handgun, and the price tag fit my college student budget a little easier than just about everything else on the shelf, so I decided to give it a try. I expected to have fun with it, but I certainly didn’t expect that several years and many other firearm purchases later, it’d still be one of my favorite handguns to take to the range.

The Heritage Rough Rider is a single-action .22 revolver that will only set you back about $150. There are several models of the gun that provide different grip colors and styles, sight options, and even different chambering (some models include interchangeable cylinders for .22LR and .22 Magnum). The version here is a basic model with a 6.5” barrel, fixed sights, and a .22LR cylinder.

First Impressions

The Heritage Rough Rider looks like it belongs in an old Western, with a design reminiscent of the classic Colt Single Action Army revolver. The wooden hand grip, aluminum frame and steel barrel give the gun a substantial, sturdy feel.

Overall I’m impressed with the build quality, especially at this price point. After thousands of rounds and countless cleaning sessions, the finish is starting to wear off on the front of the cylinder on mine, but beyond that I have not had any issues with the gun’s long term durability.


It’s relatively small size, combined with the classic shape and style of the hand grip, make the Rough Rider decidedly less ergonomic than most of my more modern guns. It’s not especially hard to hold the gun correctly, but it doesn’t fall into my hand as naturally as I’d normally like for a handgun. I’m typically not a revolver shooter, so maybe that’s a learned taste.

Loading and Firing

Unlike modern revolver, the cylinder on the Rough Rider is fixed in place and doesn’t swing out for loading. Instead, to load the gun you first pull the hammer back to a half-cocked position that allows the cylinder to be rotated by hand. Then, you swing open a hinged loading gate on the right side of the frame and insert rounds one at a time, rotating the cylinder and repeating the process until all six chambers are full.

It sounds like a tedious process, and it could be for some, but I actually enjoy the mechanical actions necessary to load the Rough Rider. It’s a nice change of pace from the simple, utilitarian style of a semiautomatic handgun magazine. The main downside is that it’s time consuming and prevents the use of a speedloader for rapid reloads.


This is also a good time to mention that ejecting spent shells from the Rough Rider is a similarly mechanically intensive process. To unload the Rough Rider, you again bring the hammer back to the half-cocked position, open the loading gate, and pull a small spring-loaded plunger located under the barrel to eject each spent shell. To eject all six, you have to pull the plunger, release it, turn the cylinder, wash, rinse and repeat until the gun’s empty.

Suffice it to say that loading and 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 fairly easy to shoot. The gun has a manual safety lever to the left of the hammer; once it’s been flipped down to the firing position, you simply use your thumb to bring the hammer back to the fully cocked position and pull the trigger to let her fly.

The simplicity of a single-action design usually results in a decent trigger, and the Rough Rider is no exception. The pull weight is average (Heritage specs it at six pounds) but I was happy with the lack of take-up before the break. The trigger barely seems to move rearward before the gun fires, making it easy to shoot accurately.


The sights on my Rough Rider are built into the frame and consist of a small notch in the rear of the frame just forward of the hammer and a slim metal blade at the business end. Both the front sight and rear notch are the same color as the frame — basic black — and 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 and aftermarket sights can’t be mounted without some gunsmithing.


With its long sight radius, the Rough Rider’s plenty accurate. Even in the aforementioned shooting conditions at my local range and shooting bulk .22LR ammo at a fairly rapid rate, I was able to achieve a surprising level of accuracy at ten yards. The Rough Rider is easily accurate enough to make for a fun shooting experience.


Being chambered in .22LR and weighing almost two pounds, the Rough Rider has effectively zero recoil. Of course, being a single action only affair, you’ll need to to re-cock before launching each round, which will require you to realign the sights and generally limits the rate of fire.

But like the loading process, I found that I enjoyed the feeling of cocking the gun before each shot, probably because it made me feel like John Wayne. Even though I’m from Texas, I never felt the urge to wear a cowboy hat…until I started shooting the Rough Rider at the range, that is. It’s a fun gun to operate and shoot, and I think I just like the feel of manually operating the gun as a contrast to my semiautomatic handguns that only require me to squeeze a trigger.

Reliability and Cleaning


As .22 ammo is typically a bit more finicky than centerfire calibers, and I’ve experienced a number of failures to fire when shooting the Rough Rider. The frequency, though, is in line with every other .22 rifle or handgun I’ve fired, which suggests that the failures are due to inconsistencies in the ammo rather than the fault failing of the gun.

One advantage to a revolver over a semiautomatic .22 handgun or rifle is that there are no concerns about the gun reliably cycling with different brands of ammo. I’ve fed a wide range of .22 into the Rough Rider, from bulk boxes of Remington Thunderbolts to higher grade CCI Mini-Mags, and have achieved generally reliable performance with all of it.


Cleaning the Rough Rider is simple, as the cylinder can be removed by taking out a single pivot pin. Wiping down the exposed surfaces of the cylinder and frame and running a few swabs through each chamber and the barrel is sufficient to keep the gun operating smoothly. It’s also worth noting that Heritage provides a large range of replacement parts on their website, along with the .22 Magnum cylinder and replacement grips.

Use Case

The Rough Rider has a number of plusses and minuses. It’s well-built and pays homage to a classic design, and you’ll probably have fun shooting it if for no other reason than that its manual operation is a change from most modern semiautomatic handguns. It’s accurate enough that you can hit what you’re aiming at, and it will work well with any brand of .22LR or .22 Magnum ammo you can find. I love it as a fun, casual gun to take to the range.

On the flip side, the sights aren’t wonderful, and the gun’s manual nature means you won’t be firing or reloading very rapidly if that’s a consideration. The Rough Rider would be a poor self defense weapon.


My primary use case for the Rough Rider is as a way to introduce new shooters to handgun shooting, a roll in which it really excels. Its appearance is fairly non-threatening too noobs compared to most semiautomatic handguns, and everyone I’ve taken to the range has enjoyed learning how to operate and shoot the gun.

The lack of recoil makes it more fun than scary to shoot for a novice, which is highly conducive to learning proper shooting fundamentals. For those reasons, it will always have a place in my collection, and it manages to find its way into my bag on just about every range trip.

Specifications: Heritage Rough Rider

Caliber: .22LR or .22 Magnum
Capacity: 6 rounds
Barrel Length: 6.5”
Barrel Material: 1215 Steel
Frame Material: Aluminum alloy
Grip: Laminate wood
Sights: Fixed, non-adjustable open style
Trigger Pull Weight: 6 lbs.
Weight: 33.4 oz. empty
MSRP: from $200 to 300 depending on model; as low as $150 in stores

Ratings (out of five stars):

Build Quality * * * *
Surprisingly high build quality for the price. The finish may wear off of the front of the cylinder after many cleanings, but the gun is rock-solid.

Loading and Firing Ergonomics * * * *
Four stars because it’s fun to load and shoot. The fixed cylinder makes ejecting spent shells and loading tedious, but somehow still enjoyable. It has a decent trigger, as well.

Accuracy * * * *
Despite the rudimentary sights the Rough Rider was plenty accurate in my testing.

Defensive Capability *
While you probably won’t want to use the Rough Rider for self-defense, it beats throwing a shoe at an attacker. Still, there are far better choices in defensive firearms.

Overall * * * * *
The Heritage Rough Rider is a great value for the price. It’s an amazingly fun range gun and a particularly good choice for introducing new shooters to the hobby. Highly recommended.


  1. avatar Rob Aught says:

    My Rough Rider has been a great little shooter and I am almost shocked to report that the finish, as cheap as it is, has lasted quite well despite 3 years of use. I expected it to look a little rougher right now.

    I despise the safety on mine and the ejection rod can be quite a challenge depending on how wedged in the brass is in the cylinder. Despite that, it’s remarkably reliable. I’ve never had an issue that wasn’t the fault of the ammunition. I almost expected, due to its low cost, to have similar light primer strikes as some of my semi-autos, but that hasn’t been the case at all.

    1. avatar Laura Usrey says:

      My son shot himselfwith this handgun. He was 24yrs old

        1. avatar bert matz says:

          that’s horrible. Hope he’s ok

      1. avatar KAS says:

        ANd why is this relevant. The gun didn’t do shit.

        1. avatar mark s. says:

          Yes it did , sounds like it did do something , the gun must have worked . Functioned as designed .

      2. avatar Edwin Ochs says:

        Sounds like an idiot.

      3. avatar Jack Marks says:

        What exactly are you saying ” MY SON SHOT HIMSELF WITH THIS GUN” ???

  2. avatar dph says:

    I don’t know great it is, but I saw one yesterday priced at $134.00 at my local Fred Meyer store. Maybe I’ll pick it up.

    1. avatar Ryan says:

      It’s worth every penny, get it and don’t look back

    2. avatar Jeff O. says:

      Weird. I was looking at one in a Fred Meyer 2 days ago.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      I saw one at the local Bi-Mart just last week for $129. It wasn’t even a sale. That was just the everyday price. It was the short barreled 22lr only version. That is a steal!

      I paid $129 for my 6.5″ 22lr a year or two ago (on sale, not Bi-Mart). It is a great gun for the money.

      I still like my 6″ 22lr NEF R92 9 shot DA with the swing out cylinder better though.

      I’m tempted to pick up one of those Bi-Mart guns.

  3. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Costs much less than a Ruger single six, which I have been eying for years. Maybe not worth the price difference?

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      If you hold the two side-by-side, it’s pretty obvious why the Ruger costs more. The Rough Rider is one of those guns where the phrase “for the price” are attached to a lot of the praise. “For the price, it’s a great gun.” That doesn’t mean it’s a bad gun, but it probably won’t make it down through three generations of your descendants like a Single Six will.

      As to whether that makes the Ruger worth the price difference to you, it depends on what you want the gun for. Just plinking and messing around? The Rough Rider will probably do. If you like to enjoy well-built mechanical objects for their own sake, the Ruger will be a much more pleasing choice. There’s a place for both.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Yes, you’re entirely correct. The Rough Rider is “made to a price,” much like a Charter Arms is “made to a price.” That price doesn’t allow for much finishing.

        The Single Six is a very well made revolver, brutally strong and built like a tank for a .22LR/.22WMR revolver.

      2. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

        Thanks to you and the others in this string for the comparisons

    2. avatar Rob Aught says:

      I always found the Single Six to be overpriced for what it is. The Rough Rider is a decent enough gun, definitely worth the price, but I’d like it if there was a pistol that split the difference. Something with a little more quality than the Rough Rider without the high price tag for a pistol I consider to be mostly a plinker and field gun.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        There are a number of single-action .22 revolvers in the gap between the $150 Rough Rider and the $500 Single Six. EAA imports the Wierauch Bounty Hunter, and it can be found for around $300. Traditions has the Rawhide, which comes with both .22LR and .22WMR cylinders (10 shots, not 6) for around $400. I think it’s made for them by Pietta or Uberti. Both have transfer bar triggers, which eliminates the goofy-ass manual safety that the Rough Rider has.

        1. avatar LordGopu says:

          To be honest, I like the safety. It looks a bit bad but if I were concerned with looks I wouldn’t have bought a sub 200 dollar gun.

          The reason I like the safety is because you can dry fire it with the safety on and not worry about damaging it.

      2. avatar WARFAB says:

        A couple of used Hi-Standard Double-Nine revolvers caught my eye at the gun store recently. They’re a higher quality pistol than the Rough Rider, but not a lot more expensive. They are capable of double action fire and have a swing out cylinder, but maintain the traditional western look. The swing out cylinder means faster reloads and easier cleaning if you’re not a single action purist. The double action trigger pull sucks IMO, but the single action pull is probably at least as good as the Rough Rider. One feature that is kind of neat is that what is normally the ejector rod on a SA pistol serves as the cylinder release on the Double-Nine.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Loading and firing a single action revolver like a single shot rifle slows your roll down. In the more casual pace of these systems you can more easily concentrate on the basics and get the shot right. I have found that people have a tendacy to replace quantity for quality when using semi auto”s. I’ve had a number of single actions in different calibers and from different company’s.

    Currently the only one I own is a Ruger single six convertible. I’m happy with it.

  5. avatar TruthTellers says:

    They also come in 9 round cylinders for .22LR/.22Mag. I would say 9 rounds of quality .22 Mag JHP fired from 4 to 6 inch barrel is plenty of power for defense.

    Problem is finding the .22 Magnum ammo.

    1. avatar formerwaterwalker says:

      Yeah I would definitely get a 22mag cylinder. Varmint shooter and home defense in a pinch. Lots better than regular 22…

      1. avatar Ken says:

        I bought the mag cylinder but I only used it once. I found the mags to be painfully loud and the ammo expensive and hard to find. I feel like I wasted my money buying the mag cylinder. I love it in LR.

        1. avatar mark s. says:

          The magnum cylinder is not a waste of money with any of these combos if you are going anything over a 7.5 inch barrel since a 22 magnum FMJ 40 grainer CCI load will penetrate a class II armor at 15-20 feet from these longer barrel revolvers . At 20 feet a head shot with this configuration will drop a full grown buck instantly and 22 WMR may be a little pricey and sometimes under supplied but I’ve had no problem acquiring and maintaining a 20,000 round inventory . You have to be determined .

        2. avatar Ken says:

          Since I’ve never been within 20′ of a buck facing me and 22 is not legal for deer hunting where I live and in most other places, it’s not an issue with me. I find my 1911 in 9mm a better and cheaper choice with better availability than 22 mag.

        3. avatar mark s. says:

          I was within 20 feet of a two year old last weekend on my four wheeler , just stood there and blinked at me . My farm , my 22 magnum on my side , if I had been hungry , wouldn’t have hesitated , but O.K. , just making conversation .
          I’ve never encountered another animal wearing armor either , right ?

    2. avatar formerwaterwalker says:

      Hmmmm…a quick perusal of Ballistics by the Inch reveals an actual test of a Heritage with a 4.6 barrel in 22magnum. Not bad with the right ammo.

      1. avatar 80 D says:

        The review didn’t mention it, but it shoots shorts, longs and even colibris too. Colibris are about as loud as a .177 pellet rifle…maybe even quieter!

  6. avatar wes says:

    I picked one up a few years ago and love it!

  7. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    Yes! More gun stuff like this please!

    I’m looking for a good 22 plinking pistol, and haven’t liked any of the ones I’ve tried. I want a semi auto but most of them are minute or ugly. Sometimes both.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Which pistols have you tried and not liked? I’m sure the assembled minds here can make some suggestions.

      1. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

        Walther P22 and Ruger SR22 (way too small). Ruger 22/45/Mark 3 and Browning Buckmark, just not a fan of the look. Smith 22A, weird magazine release, seemed unreliable.

        The only contender is the M&P 22 Compact, which is a good medium size and doesn’t look awful.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          If you want something more like a centerfire semi-auto, Beretta makes a .22 version of the M9 now. Browning has some pretty nice .22 1911-style guns, and the CZ Kadet is a .22 version of the CZ-75.

          There are also plenty of great .22 revolvers out there, in both single- and double-action, though the DA ones tend to have pretty hefty trigger pulls to give rimfire primers a really hard smack.

  8. avatar DaveW says:

    The author sounds surprised by the features of this firearm, however, I find it all to be old hat. The only thing new is the safety which I would find an interference if I were into Cowboy Action shooting or I was out camping and surprised a rattler which needed to be terminated immediately XPD. I’ve been using the features of this .22LR since the 1950s in .22 and heavier calibers. This style revolver is essentially what I started with in my early teens. I always found them to be fun to shoot, and good enough to take rabbits and other small game. In this day and age, you can hardly beat the price. I would see it as an excellent beginner’s gun which, as the author indicates, it’s still around long after more modern ones have come and gone. Of course, I will need to find out if it is legal here in the California Gulag.

    1. avatar PeterW says:

      Legal and frequently on sale even at Turner’s.

      1. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

        Single action revolvers are exempt from Kommiefornistan’s roster. The Blued 6in version retails for less than $200.

        Was my first handgun purchase. I have since found Gun and now have 6 handguns, with a single action canon on the way.

        1. avatar Dan Holt says:

          Kommiefornistan! That’s a good one! It should be it’s own country and if it slid off into the ocean it would be alright with me!

        2. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

          I’d love to take credit, but alas I didn’t come up with it.

    2. avatar Clint says:

      If I anticipate trouble as in around my camp with coyotes I carry mine with the safety off and on the “1st click” safety position. Draw, thumb hammer, aim and pull trigger. No removal of safety needed. If holstered the hammer should never be struck in such a way as to make the gun go off and if in my hand i’ll be pulling the trigger anyway! Love those .22 magnums……….

  9. avatar Newshawk says:

    The loading and unloading are faithful to the revolvers that the Heritage Rough Rider emulates but the safety is a modern addition. I might have to consider adding one to my collection.

  10. avatar PooperScooper says:

    I actually broke the spring on the cylinder hand this past weekend. It’s kind of tough ordering parts from heritage.

  11. avatar Texheim says:

    Wow, no Taurus bashers

  12. avatar Swilson says:

    I picked one of these up last Christmas for my dad. LGS had them on sale for $99! Plus I went to school with the owner’s daughter, so that knocked me down to $85 out the door.

    These things are great- we haven’t fired it all that much (him not being the volume shooter that I am) but 100+ rounds we’ve put through it together have done fine. No light primer strikes or anything.

    This revolver is exactly what others have said it is: a great intro gun for beginners or just for nostalgia (if you’re like my dad). Feels great in the hand; sights don’t seem all that great until you take a few shots and realize that they get the job done.

    Definitely a fun gun and not for SD. Maybe if you wanted to have a little something hidden in a kitchen drawer for if you need it, but definitely not a primary SD weapon.

    Customer service seems to be a little behind the times. When I bought it, there was a coupon/order form that you have to mail in to get the .22 mag cylinder for $30.

    I tried ordering online or by phone but the lady told me that sending via mail was the only way. Still arrived in good shape and reasonable time frame, but this day in age I’m always a tad leery sending a check or credit card info via mail.

    No big deal though. These babies are definitely worth the money. I see ’em listed a lot for $170-199 but typically any time there is a sale, these revolvers always get marked down. Go for it and have fun.

  13. avatar Ken says:

    “Unlike modern revolver, the cylinder on the Rough Rider is fixed in place and doesn’t swing out for loading.” The reviewer needs to learn the difference between a single action revolver and a double action revolver. It’s not a modern thing. My case hardened finished Rough Rider has been flawless and accurate in the three or four years I have had it and it still looks and shoots like new.

    It’s very similar to but not as nice as a Single Six but it 1/3 of the price. I feel sure my Rough Rider will last far longer than I will live. It was a good choice to go with my Henry Lever Action 22 Rifle with the leather western style holster I found on Ebay for $22.

  14. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    “The rough rider would be a poor self defense weapon.”

    Interesting how it has all the “safety” features that the “common sense” folk want to impose, because “Who needs that?” Almost like they want to make citizens’ guns “poor” for self defense.

    I do wonder what, exactly, they want so much, that they’re willing to let other people get shot up to have. Getting killed because scary looking guns are scary looking isn’t good enough for me.

    1. avatar Bob G says:

      Rather harsh comment for a simple statement made by the author. Few people who have any gun knowledge at all will refute that the .22 is not the best defensive round. Even the much maligned .380 is a better defensive round than the .22. The author recognizes that it’s better than nothing.

      As for the rest of your post you seemed to ramble. Are you saying this isn’t much of a gun and should not have safety features? If so, I disagree: this is a firearm as dangerous as any other and should have every available safety feature applied to it.

      Who is “they” that wants everybody shot up?

  15. avatar AR says:

    Bud’s sucked me in on the July 4th Chiappa Puma 1873 sale ($149).

    After selling my beloved but unused Single Six Convertible to finance a CZ 75, I’m anxious for the best plinker / pest control for the least money.

    Before dropping the CC online, a quick internet search seemed to place the Puma just above the Heritage RR, but the Buntlines were just too nose heavy, so 4 5/8″ should do the trick.

    Everybody needs a Single Action, like a 10/22 or SxS 20 gauge; just part of our 2A heritage (no pun intended).

  16. avatar Phil LA says:

    Nice review and write-up! I’m always noticing these at Academy, and if I see them back below $150 I’ll commit.

    1. avatar Fred Flintstone says:

      Academy has them on sale every year on Black Friday at $99. That’s where I got mine last year. But they have only a limited number in every store, so you may have to get up early and stand in like like I did.

      Our local Academy put a limit of one per person on these guns during last year’s Black Friday sale so they could accommodate as many people as possible. I’m very pleased with it so far. It is well built and accurate, and I expect to enjoy it for decades.

  17. avatar Tommygun says:

    My Colt Peacemaker.22 is all a fun gun can be. Just that famous four-click action is entertaining enough.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      The Heritage is a 4-click revolver…C-O-L-T, half-cock notch for loading. A great gun for the money, and a great gun to turn a non-shooter into a gun owner!

  18. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    I bought one 20 years ago. If you loaded all six chambers, the cylinder would not turn. The internals were pot metal. I tossed it into a pond.

    1. avatar Dan Holt says:

      Because you thought a few years in a pond would make it better?

  19. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I agree with everything the author said in his write up except for the number of stars in his ratings. Here are the number of stars that I think the Rough Rider has earned for each category:

    Build Quality * * *

    Loading and Firing Ergonomics *
    (It is single-action and the trigger is heavier than necessary.)

    Accuracy * * * *

    Defensive Capability *

    Value * * * * *
    (I added this important category.)

    Overall * * *

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Heritage Rough Rider revolvers. In the end, they are inexpensive, single-action revolvers with acceptable build quality and decent triggers. That earns three stars overall in my opinion.

    1. avatar Daniel English says:

      Hey, thanks for the feedback and I’m glad you agreed with most of the review. I can definitely see where you’re coming from with your suggested ratings; what I did (and maybe I should have been more clear about this) was try to rate the weapon in the context of what it claims to be and what potential buyers might consider using it for. So basically, instead of having a separate “Value” category, I rated all of the other categories with the price point of the gun in mind. With value taken out of the equation, I’d agree with the direction you went in with your ratings.

      1. avatar Mick says:

        That’ why I always appreciated Roger Ebert’s movie reviews; everything in the context of what it is.

  20. avatar Bcook says:

    As an ffl, I ordered one for a customer. My distributor wouldn’t ship it to Illinois because we have a melt law. First time I had ran into it.

    1. avatar Ken says:

      They make steel framed ones for states like yours. Example

    2. avatar Evan says:

      What’s a melt law? I’ve never heard of that.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        someone left their glock near the fireplace…

      2. avatar Rich K. says:

        Melt laws were imposed by some states like Obamastan (aka Illinois) which ban guns with frames that are made of materials with a melting point under a certain number of degrees. Supposed to stop the sale of so-called “Saturday night special” guns, which are often made of ZAMAK, a die-casting alloy composed mostly of zinc plus various proportions of aluminum, magnesium, and copper (in other words, pot metal). In reality, the laws are meant to keep affordable guns out of the hands of people who are too poor to afford high-priced guns to defend themselves. It’s a modern-day version of the “Army-And-Navy laws” passed just after the Civil War ended, especially in the South. Blacks and poor whites could often only afford the less expensive .31 caliber cap-and-ball revolvers like the Colt 1849 pocket, and their .32 rimfire equivalents. The “Army-And-Navy” laws prohibited the sale of any firearm that was not of “Army” (.44) or “Navy” (.36) caliber, which were more expensive and therefore out of the reach of poorer citizens. In other words, just another way for totalitarians to exercise control over those who are the elitists’ idea of “undesirables”.

  21. avatar DrTW says:

    I’ve had mine for about 14 years and the all finish looks new, but it is the all steel one. Mine has seen service as a squirrel gun during walks during small game season, usually using the 22 mag cylinder or the 22 with head shots. The sights can be slightly adjusted by wrapping the barrel in a towel and gently locking the front sight in a vise. Once set, it doesn’t move. I’m accurate out to 20 yards or so, but since I’m just taking clear shots that I just just happen to come across, it may do better. I own many handguns but for hunting small game, it does what it was designed to do rather well.

  22. avatar gs650g says:

    Nice gun however the ruger is all steel, has adjustable sights, better quality and is safer thanks to the crossbar safety.

    1. avatar Ken says:

      You can get the Rough Rider all steel with adjustable sights for about half the price of a Ruger.

  23. avatar slow joe crow says:

    Could be fun to take to the Cowboy Action section of the local range. It would probably go down better than my wife’s beloved Ruger SR22. Come to think of it I should see if they do a rimfire class and get a .22 lever gun to go with it.

  24. avatar Rokurota says:

    I have pricier, slicker guns, but the Rough Rider has to be the most fun to shoot. The slow loading and unloading process is part of the charm for sure. It has good weight and decent wood stocks. I have to resist the urge to spin it at the range.

  25. avatar andrea from italy says:

    If you can get 22short ammo, it will shoot them too.
    Quiet (and safe, if you respect the fundamental rules) even in restricted spaces.

  26. avatar James69 says:

    Nice to see a review on a firearm, EVERYONE can afford. Keep it up!

    It would be nice to see one of these in .38/.357 that did not cost an arm and a leg and while in fantasy land how about a top break?

    1. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

      Heritage makes a .357 it’s about 400 last i looked.

      For a top break you’ll need the Cimaron Schofield reproduction. Unfortunately only in .45colt. Retail is approx 1k

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        $400 puts you in pretty much the same price range as a Ruger Blackhawk. I’d take the Ruger in that case. Now, if Heritage had a .38/.357 in the $200-300 range, I’d think seriously about it.

  27. avatar Francis Allen says:

    My father bought five, 22 Caliber rough riders that he bought from a carnival that was closing down the guy that owned the carnival said that the guns had probably shot close to 20,000 rounds of 22 CB rounds at metal targets for winning prizes well before my father passed away he gave me the guns and after all those rounds they still shoots like there new so take it from me a rough rider will last

  28. avatar James69 says:

    Just picked up one of these used for $50. Well used but only have the Mag cylinder but it shoots great. Tight lock-up and no wag fore or aft or left/right. My new jeep gun.

    ** Also could not find this review in the listing on TTAG ** ?? Found it by google.

  29. avatar Dave says:

    Field and stream had these for 99 buck on Black Friday…picked up two. Can’t wait to shoot them ?

  30. avatar G-man says:

    Mine is great for rat killing never misses very accurate.

  31. avatar Norman R. Van Etten says:

    I love mine, today is the 3rd. time shooting it. However the safety kept going on after I would make a shot. I was firing .22LRs and every few shots the safety would just pop on. Anyone else have that happen ?

  32. avatar Andrew O'neil says:

    I have had one for about six years now. Mine has the adjustable sights and the satin silver finish which I don’t think is available anymore. No matter what guns I’m going to the range to shoot, this one always comes along. It’s more accurate than I will ever be and totally reliable. I just wish they would make an adjustable sight version with the 3 1/2″ or 4″ barrel. It would be a great hiking companion. (Ideally I would want the adjustable sights and the 3 1/2″ birds head grips.)

  33. avatar Tony says:

    Well it finally broke today… had it for less than six months. The internals broke, hammer will not stay back. Was fun and accurate while it lasted. Won’t be buying another, rather have something more reliable.

    1. avatar Enzo Baldwin says:

      That’s a shame it broke, what was your round count approximately to get it to fail?

      1. avatar Norman Van Etten says:

        I just got mine back, it was sent back to the manufacture, but its fine now. Each time I would fire it the safty would pop on.Really happy I got it back before Gander Mountain is closed for good.

  34. avatar Damien says:

    I would not recommend Heritage Firearms. They do not stand by their product. I purchased 3 Rough Riders. over a year later I finally pulled them out of the box at the range. All 3 of them misfiring. the pin not striking the rim, but striking the edge, thus not firing the .22 ammunition.. I called Heritage… they said, I’m out of luck, on a technicality, my 1 year warranty had expired.. Any gunsmith could see that these guns have never been fired. Heritage Firearms does not stand by their products. I will never again buy from them.

    1. avatar Damien Gabler says:


      Now the rest of the story….I wrote about my purchase of 3 Heritage Rough Riders, two of which were badly defective after more than a year, and still new in the box. I finally attempted to fire them pulling them new from the box . Well, after a disappointing phone call where they told me to pound sand…. one Tweet, one blog posing, and one disappointed customer letter on their website… Heritage called me just now offering me FULL warranty on the revolvers…. I sent them in…. they will be fully repairing them under warranty and sending them back to me…. Renewed faith in their customer service? Yes. Thank you Heritage for standing behind your products… you have definitely renewed my faith your your company!!! Thank YOU!!

    2. avatar Damien Gabler says:

      Now the rest of the story….I wrote about my purchase of 3 Heritage Rough Riders, two of which were badly defective after more than a year, and still new in the box. I finally attempted to fire them pulling them new from the box . Well, after a disappointing phone call where they told me to pound sand…. one Tweet, one blog posing, and one disappointed customer letter on their website… Heritage called me just now offering me FULL warranty on the revolvers…. I sent them in…. they will be fully repairing them under warranty and sending them back to me…. Renewed faith in their customer service? Yes. Thank you Heritage for standing behind your products… you have definitely renewed my faith your your company!!! Thank YOU!!

  35. avatar James69 says:

    My $50 RR is still going, about 400 rounds thru it. Used it just last week to dispatch a rat under my shed. Used CCI .22 mag rat shot. One shot, bye, bye rat. Most of the time it’s in my “bug out”, “get home bag” when not on my hip while Jeeping. Great value and I don’t have to baby it, because it’s a tool, not a safe queen. I normally have 3 CCI rat shot and 3 hp’s loaded in it.

  36. avatar MouseGun says:

    I just bought one of these off a coworker today (he needed the money more than he needed the gun). This review is one heck of a coincidence.

  37. avatar Tec's Dad says:

    I wish they would make these in .327Federal Magnum, in a steel frame with adjustable sights…Please!?!

    1. avatar Laserbeam says:

      OH, yeah, buddy. Roger that on the .327 Fed Mag. That notwithstanding, I’ve got two of these revolvers, one with 4 1/2″ barrel and the other 6 1/2″. Gave $99 for each during an after T’giving sale. Called Heritage and ordered .22 mag cylinders for both of them for, if memory serves, $30 a piece. Enjoy shooting them and they’re very accurate and just plain fun especially with subsonic .22 LR ammo.

      P.S. As noted by someone else above, this review was not listed in TTAG reviews. I found it during a Google search.

  38. avatar Garth says:

    Just got the 4.75″ convertible model for Christmas. Took it to the range the other day and loved it! The Ruger being fairly well out of my current budget, the Rough Rider at less than half the price was a pleasant surprise. The approximate 5 lb trigger pull with no take up, and reasonable accuracy make it pleasant to shoot. It is much less expensive to buy ammo for than my 9mm. I can see this becoming one of my favorite guns.

  39. avatar James69 says:

    Update: Still going strong. Just bought the .22 LR cylinder for it. Shooting CCI Quiet, CCI Sub and the sub frangible (3 piece) even found some old school crimped federal rat shot. Accurate and reliable. Hit’s hard and doesn’t make your ears bleed. I have some of the CCI copper/poly rounds but I’m not sure if I want to shoot them out of it? I’m guessing that if the weapon can shoot mags it would be ok. For a total investment of $80 bucks I can’t complain. 🙂

  40. avatar remo says:

    classic firearms has them for $119.00 6.5 inch barrel. I picked up a magnum cylinder off Epay for it. I love it very fun to shoot and for the price you can’t beat it. Well made revolver and would be a great gift with the wooden presentation boxes Heritage has for $16.00. The 22 magnum is very fun to shoot through this revolver a little more expensive then the 22 lr but gives the revolver a little more kick

  41. avatar Jim Goodfriend says:

    Last week bought a Heritage Rough Rider. It worked great and fun to shoot. But four Mag casings would not come out of the Mag cylinder after they were shot, the 22LR worked fine out of that cylinder. I called Heritage service, and no questions asked they are sending me a new cylinder. They said it could be the ammo and should try another brand ( it was good CCI). The girl I spoke to on the phone was very helpful and pleasant.

  42. I have read so many posts concerning the blogger lovers except this piece of
    writing is really a good piece of writing, keep it up.

  43. avatar Grandma says:

    I have become very old and lost my wrist strength. When in the 20’s I had a S&W 38 which I fired quite well, but haven’t fired anything since then. I tried my son’s different pistols but I could not work the slides and concluded I need to buy a revolver. I want one that can fit in my big purse and if the worse ever happens I can fire it through my purse or if I have time, take it out and aim and fire. My hands shake and I think I am depending on the scare factor not the kill factor. Wouldn’t fire it if I didn’t think I was going to be dead regardless. Anyway, A larger caliber is too heavy. And after classes this gun might not be used at all. Do you think this Heritage is alright?

  44. avatar Wm Tyson says:

    This is THE gun to teach a new shooter “how to”! One shot at a time. Aim small, miss small. Surprise shot. Etc.

    Teaching on a semi-auto makes it too tempting to lose sight discipline. I bought each of my three kids one of these and they love them. They shoot everything I own now, but still want there Heritage at the range or plinking.

    It is also a great snake gun with the shot shells.

    A must have in every collection!

  45. avatar Darlene Wolford says:

    Please Do NOT buy this gun!!! I purchased the Heritage .22LR/.22 mag. 9 shot in Nov of 2017. I didn’t get to shoot it till the beginning of Feb. 2018. My first shot I got so much blow back that I was grateful I was wearing safety gear! My next couple of shots was no better. I called the manufacturer and they said they don’t give refunds, but I could mail it in for a repair. They received it on Feb. 7th, 2018 then they told me it would be 12 weeks! So in the meantime I called a few times, after being on hold for literally hours they knew nothing! On April 17th, 2018 they called me and said that it couldn’t be fixed they was sending a new gun to the dealer. Today (May 4th, 2018) I called the dealer, he said he hadn’t heard from them. So I called and was on hold for 1 hr. and 43 min. to be told that they didn’t know when the gun would get to the dealer since they still had to manufacture one and they didn’t know when that may be. But if I wanted a 6 shot that one could be sent. REALLY?!!!! Again NO REFUNDS of any kind! After doing a couple of hours of research today I find out that many people have gone through this don’t be the next FOOL!

  46. avatar Andy says:

    a an Heritage mostly copied an Italian company called tanfoglio,I have one and also the heritage , I have at times swapped cylinders out between the two and they work in each.heritage is a great revolver,it is an inexpensive handgun,but with value for the price, it doesn’t try to be a single six or any other gun in its class, it is what it is, and it does far as self defense, I was a deputy years ago and worked a shooting where one guy shot the other guy in the head from a distance of 7 feet,that .22lr did what it ne died to do.

  47. avatar Little Jill says:

    16 of the handguns in my collection use .22 rimfire ammo. One of them is a Heritage steel frame revolver with an 8″ barrel and adjustable light-pipe sights. Another is a NAA mini revolver. Both of these chamber .22 Magnum cartridges, and they are the only .22s I take out of the house more than a couple of times a year. The NAA goes with me when I go jogging, and the Heritage goes with me when I go berry picking in the hundreds of acres of woods that are part of our land. What the NAA lacks in firepower is partly made up for by the fact that I can seemingly conjure it up out of thin air. What the Heritage has going for it is accuracy and knock-down power if we encounter a sick, possibly rabid fox, coon, or other animal. I’ve practiced enough with that gun that I won’t likely miss the first shot, and if I did, that little bullet isn’t going to travel very far through all that vegetation. Otherwise I carry a KelTec 380 and a S&W Airweight snubby in the summer, and a Smith M&P 9mm Shield in the winter, usually backed up by a Model 60 in .357 Magnum.. Sounds extreme, I know, but a 5’1″ blonde who still gets carded in a restaurant almost 10 years after her 21st birthday needs to be careful.

  48. avatar James J. White says:

    For the money you can’t beat it but I had a problem with loose grips. They are only anchored in two places and they tend to shift in your hand. I purchased imitation stag grips on line and they looked great but they didn’t fit right either. I solved the problem by drilling a hole through the frame opposite the pin that serves to anchor the grips and the mainspring and putting in another pin with corresponding holes in the grips.

  49. avatar George Shileikis says:

    We purchased a Rough Rider with the Hiviz Adjustable sights and a 6.5″ barrel (22LR/22Mag) a few years ago for my wife and also to teach our grand kids the sport of shooting. After at least 6,000 rounds and numerous cleanings she looks and operates like the day we bought her. We’ve never had an issue one with the firearm itself, generally the ammo if we got some of the cheaper stuff. We generally stick with the Winchester Super-X and CCI Mini-Mags and have no issues. For the price, it is a FUN gun to shoot and much cheaper to plink with than our other larger caliber firearms. It is put together very well, just less expensive material and that’s when the price comes in. For the purpose we purchased it for, it is & continues to excel in all aspects. I would recommend this firearm to anyone that’s looking for a FUN gun to shoot and will perform reliably without having to break the bank. Try one, you won’t be disappointed in it’s operation and performance.

    1. avatar James J. White says:

      You can’t beat the price and it’s fun to shoot. The only issue I had was with the grips. They were only anchored in one spot and they slipped around. I simply drilled a hole through the frame and put another pin and a corresponding hole in the grips.

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