Bowen Bearcat .22 Mag

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Erich

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
180
Look what I just got back from Mr. Bowen . . .

BowenBearcat18feb100010001yyy.jpg


BowenBearcat18feb100030001yyy.jpg


BowenBearcatphonepic18feb10.jpg


I was certainly drawn into this by seeing Boge's Bearcat . You'll note that Boge's old model Bearcat has also had more extensive sight work done than mine has. I was definitely inspired to pester Mr. Bowen upon reading (and re-reading!) about Boge's gorgeous kit gun. Please consider this an homage, Mr. Quinn, not an imitation!

Here's what was done to mine:

Standard Action/Trigger Tune
Rechamber to .22 mag
Polish Rollmark off cylinder/re-blue (mark for .22 mag & Bowen mark to top of bbl)
Sight Regulation (fixed-sight guns)
Re-blue barrel after marking
Serrate/reshape sight blade


Mr. Bowen attached this note :

Gun is test-fired and ready to blue. Hoped to have it done last month but the stencil co. didn't get us the marking stencils we needed before the holidays. We expect to blue in the next week or two and should have the gun ready to ship shortly thereafter. Gun shoots well with contemporary CCI .22 Mag. ammo but was lousy with some older Winchester ammo we tried. In any case, gun has turned out nicely; hope it will meet with your approval. We are hoping to have some steel ejector housings in the Spring which will help appearance. Thanks, HSB

I hope to be able to post a shooting review sometime this weekend. :)
 

Erich

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
180
Hi Terry,

(Long time no talk! :D )

Just for fun, really - there's no accounting for taste! :D It was an excellent way to burn money, that's for sure. :oops: Truth is that I have plenty of .22 LR handguns and wanted something a little different with a bit more zip. Since it was going to Bowen's anyway for the (needed) action-tune, what the heck?

cheers, erich
 

AkRay

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
164
I like it. 22 mag handguns are fun to have, and I think this would be a very good one.
 

americal

Hunter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,174
Great little Bearcat :!: :!: like those mag. rounds--- serious cailber :!: the knife is super sweet :) like the simple look, neat as can be--looks like one of a kind handmade :) IN fact I think your whole set-up is neat-- quality abounds as I look at the whole package--CONGRATS :!:
 

Hammer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 1, 2006
Messages
231
.

If memory serves me right...

John Linebaugh makes a 32 conversion of the Ruger Bearcat.

Think either the 22 WMR or a 32 Bearcat makes a neat little package expanding the potential of the gun.



Have a couple of J-frame S&W Kit Guns in 22 WMR and 32 H&R.

They slip into pocket holsters or hip holsters nicely and give a little more oomp when in the field.


.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
It's too bad Ruger "recalled" the .22 mag. cylinders from their initial run of convertible New Bearcats. My theory is that shooters were "short stroking" or "fanning" the hammers and some "out of battery" shots occured. A jacketed .22 Mag. bullet slamming into an out of alignment forcing cone would result in lots of dangerous "copper and lead splatter".

So, Ruger stopped making the .22 mag. cylinders. Ah, but the enterprising custom gun industry stepped right in, knowing darn well their "discriminating" customers would NOT subject the firearms to such abuse.

'tis a pity that such things occur.

JMHO,

flatgate - with a few of the convertibles tucked away.... :D
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
Joined
Dec 30, 1999
Messages
4,378
T.A. WORKMAN":o4qe0rhp said:
There seems to be a few being converted!
Don't know who did this one on GB.
NDIH!!
Terry

http://v2.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIte ... =158388055

Per the description: sent to a local gunsmith and had the cylinder bored out to shoot 22 Magnum. The gun itself is still marked .22LR but .22LR ammo should not be shot in this gun.

:shock: I'd expect any gunsmith charging for their services would remark the correct chambering. JMO, but some liability could come into play on that one should someone shoot something other than what it's chambered for.
 

Erich

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
180
Okay.

It was pretty unpleasant at the range today. The temps weren't awful (mid-forties), but the wind was pretty strong, and the warming sun was blocked by the awning over the firing line.

BowenBearcat20feb100090001yyy.jpg


The initial shots were shocking. Based on Mr. Bowen's report that the thing had liked CCI and had disliked Winchester, I started out with CCI's .22 Mag 40-gr TMJ loading. And got a coffee-saucer-sized pattern at ten yards. :(

The CCI .22 Mag Gamepoint 40-gr JSP loading gave me better velocities, but no better accuracy.

I punted, and grabbed the Winchester .22 Mag Super-X 40-gr JHP. That worked: I wasn't shooting my best in the buffeting wind, but at least I got something that looked like a group. Velocities were also substantially better (see chart with velocity data below).

BowenBearcat20feb100030001yyy.jpg


The Federal Champion .22 Mag 40-gr FMJ grouped like the CCI. The Winchester Dynapoint .22 Mag 45-gr HP did somewhat better, but not good enough to call decent. (The Dynapoint is widely regarded as a somewhat +P version of the .22 WRF/RS, FWIW. Velocities I obtained backed this up. It's also considered dirty, and I did not find this to be the case.)

Bowen Bearcat .22 Magnum, 4" barrel
43° F, 5950'>sea level, c. 45% humidity
CCI 40-gr TMJ: mean 1214 fsp/ ES 30.41/13.26
(I was surprised that such consistent ammo was so inaccurate)
CCI 40-gr JSP: M 1311/ES 105.8/SD 57.55
Win Super-X 40-gr JHP: M 1421/ES 66.33/SD 27.67
Fed Champion 40-gr FMJ: M 1296/ES 60.87/SD 26.68
Win Dynapoint 45-gr HP: M 1129/ES 99.46/SD 38.41

(In retrospect, I suspect that Mr. Bowen's note to me simply accidentally reversed the ammo types that the gun liked/disliked. I'm really happy with the way it works with the Super-X, and I'm also happy that this ammo is cheap and easily available at Mal-Wart. I'm sticking with the Win Super-X after I burn up the rest of this stuff - tho I'll try other types, no doubt.)

BowenBearcat20feb100050001yyy.jpg


A couple friends joined me at the range today. They were as concerned as I was when the thing wouldn't group with CCIs, and were about as relieved as I was when the Super-X worked.

The crisp trigger was a real pleasure on this almost-too-small-to-hold-onto gun. I was surprised at how much more shootable the gun is now than it was before I sent it to Mr. Bowen. When I bought the gun, I selected the one (of three) that had the best trigger (and smallest bbl/cyl gap), but the trigger was still heavy and jaggedy enough that it just wasn't a gun that I ever really found myself wanting to bring to the range. While I had a pretty wretched time at the range today due to the conditions, I actually found the gun to be really fun to shoot due to the improvement to the action. I think this is going to be a fine plinker for desert excursions.

BowenBearcat20feb100080001yyy.jpg


The chambers are cut on the tight side - no criticism there, just a report. I realized this when I began having slightly more difficulty inserting rounds as the chambers got slightly dirty as the firing progressed. Ejection was something that will take a bit of getting used to: the right sort of smart smack on the button would throw the empties out, but a slightly wrong smack would only drag the longish .22 WRM empties partway out, requiring them to be scraped the rest of the way out with wind-chilled fingertips. (I'm really looking forward to shooting this gun in a leisurely fashion in the summertime.)

BowenBearcat20feb100060001yyy.jpg


It wasn't cheap, but I think it was money well-spent. :)
 

airwin

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 9, 2001
Messages
88
Hi Erich, many thanks for the great report and the pretty nice pictures! I love the Bearcats too and have one stainless and one blued cat. Do you know if Mr Bowen has used the original barrel without any modification? As my datas of .22 lr and .22 Mag barrel dimensions shows, the barrel of the current .22 lr Bearcat could also be used for the .22 Mag ammo. I would like to have a .22 Mag Bearcat too. The gun is built strong enough for it.
It sounds interesting to me, that Mr Bowen will get ejector housings of steel in springtime. If he will get some one of stainless-steel too??
 

Hammer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 1, 2006
Messages
231
.

Erich,

Isn't there an unwritten rule that any gun that nice has to be shared with fellow Ruger Forum members at a barbecue shoot-off ?


.
 

Larry from Bend

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
259
Great post! It's a beauty. I know you're still working on ammo choices, but do you have an idea on what it'll group @ 25 yards (say 3 shots) with preferred ammo and a steady rest?

I realize the BearCat isn't the easiest revolver with which to shoot tight groups.
 

Erich

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
180
Larry, the wind on Saturday was not conducive to 25-yd shooting with this gun.
 
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