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A 21st Century Kit Gun

A 21st Century Kit Gun
Ruger’s SR22 .22 Long Rifle Pistol.

In the waning years of the last century I would not have even taken a second look at Ruger’s latest .22 semi-automatic pistol, the SR22. However, the fact I not only have looked at it but also embraced it heartily is proof positive a dinosaur can not only change his spots he can learn new tricks. (There is a limit to my modernization; I haven’t succumbed, nor do I intend to, to Facebook.) It took me a while to warm up to polymer-framed pistols but once I tried them I found I actually like them.

Not to worry. My sixgunnin’ heart still contains the same large section for blue steel sixguns but my waist isn’t the only thing growing larger in my old age. My heart has also expanded to provide a chamber for black polymer pistols.

This new Ruger looks nothing like the original Ruger Red Eagle .22 from 1949. It is instead a thoroughly up-to-date, lightweight, flawlessly functioning, easy-to-carry 21st-century Kit Gun. For those not familiar with the term “Kit Gun” it harkens back to WWI and a soldier’s kit bag which carried all his necessities. Generations earlier it would have been called a “possibles” bag. In between the wars Smith & Wesson brought out the first .22 Kit Gun a small-framed revolver which would fit easily in a pack or tackle box.

Now nearly a century later, Ruger has thoroughly modernized the Kit Gun concept with this polymer-framed semi-automatic .22. It fits easily in a pack, the top of a tackle box, under the seat of the truck, or even in a holster such as that custom crafted for me by Zack Davis. As far as I know Zack’s shop, Davis Leather, is the first to offer holsters for the Ruger SR22. Holster making is a 3-pronged stool requiring design, material, and craftsmanship. If any one of these is lacking or deficient the holster is worthless. Zack uses only top-quality leather, combined with his own innovative designs and excellent craftsmanship.
By John Taffin

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Guns September 2012

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  1. Mack Missiletoe says:

    Oh boy, I sure do like that term ‘Kit Gun.’ I think the SR22 is a beauty.

    I held an SR22P a while back. It was very nice. Yet I instead bought a Ruger Mark III Target with a 5.5′ barrel. The Mark III has been proven and I know it will last a long time. I also fell in love with my Mark III even though the barrel was longer than the 4′ that I planned to get. I do love it’s big steel bull barrel. The extra length is better for velo too…

    If the SR22P keeps getting good reviews and is proven much like the Mark I, II, or III I may pick one up one of these days. The design seems fantastic but I’m not all sure about its long-term durability. I heard a few reports about the takedown lever breaking. Maybe it had to do with ultra-velocity ammo being put through it. Not sure what it is rated. My Mark III is rated for high velocity. Like CCI Mini Mag velocity.

    I suppose a Ruger LCR revolver in .22 (or larger) would make a decent kit gun as well.

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