Review: Traditions Rawhide Rancher .22

traditions revolver recoil

We all like cowboy revolvers. The history of the Old West is a big draw for shooters.

While none of us would really have wished to live in those times and circumstances, there is a certain romance to the era.

Recently, I tested a new version of the .22 Single Action from Traditions.

Traditions Revolver affordable
This is a useful revolver that will not break the bank.

How It Compares

This revolver, the Rawhide version at least, is designed to be as affordable as possible while offering good value.

While Ruger and Heritage also offer good .22 single-action revolvers, the Traditions Rawhide .22 is a different revolver in most dimensions.

Other revolvers are smaller than the Single Action Army, though the Traditions revolver has the same size and dimensions as the centerfire SAA and weighs a bit less.

This makes for good handling and makes the Traditions revolver a good understudy for centerfire SAA .357 and .45 revolvers.

While an understudy is a good idea, the .22 is a good choice all on its own.

Traditions revolver balance
The revolver sets in the hand with practically the same balance as the SAA .45.

Traditions Rawhide Rancher .22 Design

The Rawhide Rancher is a six-shot .22. The index is positive as the revolver is cocked. The cylinder locked uptight.

When placing the piece on half-cock, the cylinder moved and indexed properly and there was no problem locking the hammer into half-cock.

This is a transfer bar ignition revolver.

Traditions revolver transfer bar
The author really likes the Traditions revolver’s transfer bar safety.

This is a kind of add-on transfer bar (added to the original design), and it certainly works as designed as after firing it rebounds the hammer to a safe position.

The hammer cannot touch the firing pin until cocked and the trigger pressed.

A feature I really like on such an inexpensive revolver is a hammer spring tensioner. This is a neat piece of engineering.

traditions revolver hammer spring
A hammer spring adjusting screw is unheard in such an inexpensive revolver.

What About Performance?

During the firing test, the Traditions Rawhide Rancher performed well.

I used primarily Winchester ammunition, mostly the affordable .22 Wildcat loading, but also some of the Super X hollow point for accuracy testing.

The action is smooth and in firing offhand, the Traditions revolver exhibited little-to-no muzzle flip.

The balance is much closer to the traditional SAA revolver than most .22 caliber revolvers.

The Traditions revolver loads and unloads like all single-action revolvers.

To do so, open the loading gate, place the hammer on the half-cock notch, and then load the cartridges one at a time, indexing the cylinder to the next chamber as you load the revolver.

Close the loading gate. Cock the hammer and press the trigger to fire.

After firing, open the loading gate, place the hammer on half-cock, and rotate the cylinder in line with the ejector rod — one spent cartridge at a time — to unload.

The Traditions Rawhide Revolver in action.
The Traditions revolver is a joy to fire and use.


I spent much of my time engaging in pleasant recreational shooting with the Traditions revolver.

It isn’t difficult to quickly point the hand at a tin can or bottle a few yards away and get a fast hit.

I have fired the revolver from a solid bench rest.

For a five-shot group at 15 yards with the Winchester Super X, loading the revolver would group five shots into two inches, sometimes less.

The sights are well regulated for 40-grain loads at 15 yards.

The Traditions revolver is reliable, affordable, accurate enough for most chores, and makes a great revolver for introducing shooters to plinking and informal target practice.

What’s your favorite revolver of all-time? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. If you go to the Traditions website you will see they offer these in several calibers and 2 versions as well as .22/22 mag 10 shots.

  2. Ordered being sent to my ffl in mn has steel frame I’m hoping have no problems mn melt laws do they have 22 magnum cylinder for this gun

  3. Is Traditions going to have a .22LR/.22WMR version in the works or coming out soon? I’ve been looking at both the Wrangler and the Heritages, but having a SAA that’s dimensionally and weight comparable to my old Interarms Virginia Dragoon would be preferred. Much as I like my Walther P22 Target and my old High Standard Model B, there’s just something about a .22 revolver that’s unique and not just the nostalgia. I’d had an old Harrington & Richardson 9 shot for many years, but it was stolen along with a fes other guns in a B & E in the early 2001. It was the handgun I used to teach my son and daughter to safely operate with first, before we moved into autoload pistols. Now that I’m starting up with the Grandkids, I need to pick up another. The biggest problem with the old H&R’s was the Double Action Trigger pull from Hell. But a SAA would be so much nicer.

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