The Ruger Bearcat

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Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
9,104
Location
Ohio , U.S.A.
you are correct , they did not use the the letters "I" or " O"...and as for the prefix the Bearcat became the #90 prefix and the Super Bearcat became ( started ) as the #91 prefix in 1969......after the end of the old models in 1972 and the new Models came out 1973, the Bearcat and the Super Bearcat ceased production until like 20 years later , in 1993 and they used the prefix #93 and called it the New Bearcat and it was mainly steel , unlike the Original Bearcat and its main frame being aluminum, with an "anodized gold" (brass like simulation) Great little guns we've always liked them, since 1958...
and no, not fitting or made for folks with large hands ( fat fingers):cool::rolleyes:;)
 

Star43

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
1,228
Location
California
"My recollection is the letter "O" was not used because it looked to much like a zero?"

You are correct,, I made the mistake. It was the letter "O" not the letter "I."
So did they do an "I" ?? How many years were they not in production. Well I guess I can look it up. I was just wondering.......
 

Star43

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
1,228
Location
California
you are correct , they did not use the the letters "I" or " O"...and as for the prefix the Bearcat became the #90 prefix and the Super Bearcat became ( started ) as the #91 prefix in 1969......after the end of the old models in 1972 and the new Models came out 1973, the Bearcat and the Super Bearcat ceased production until like 20 years later , in 1993 and they used the prefix #93 and called it the New Bearcat and it was mainly steel , unlike the Original Bearcat and its main frame being aluminum, with an "anodized gold" (brass like simulation) Great little guns we've always liked them, since 1958...
and no, not fitting or made for folks with large hands ( fat fingers):cool::rolleyes:;)
Thanks for the info on the years. I didn't notice the whole post. Sometimes on my phone I just get the first part of the post.....so they are still being made now, after 1993, and are steel ? They sure are nice looking guns. 🙂🙂👍👍
 

Star43

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California
Sorry for the double opening topic. I can't seem to fix it right now, My phone is acting a little weird. I am getting posts but it's not completely normal. Just wanted to say that......While here though, these posts from you guys and the photos are terrific. So no alpha numbers O and I. That's interesting too....This could be a dumb question, but I will ask anyway. Now that the Super Bearcat is steel framed, has the thought of a 22 Mag being used ever come up ?? Again I know really nothing of a Bearcat, but was just thinking of the Single Six combo, and was just wondering. Mainly because of the steel frame.
 

hittman

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Jan 16, 2008
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Illinois
You would probably enjoy any number of the books that have been published about Rugers.
Internet search or even a WTB in Classifieds would set you up,
Oh, and RENE too.
 

Star43

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
1,228
Location
California
Looking at the photos was very nice. One thing I know for sure is I would get a standard grips one. I have never been much of a Bird's head style guy. I mean they are ok, but I've always liked the good old standard plow handle styled grip......Now as far as Blued vs Stainless, that's a whole different problem there, that I think a lot of others will also agree with....They are both beautiful !!
 

JAYDAWG

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2024
Messages
317
Location
Olympic Peninsula
You would probably enjoy any number of the books that have been published about Rugers.
Internet search or even a WTB in Classifieds would set you up,
Oh, and RENE too.
I know you know this answer. (ROCS FORUM!)
I'm sure Ruger only left out ONE alpha cat letter.
"O" correct???
Straighten me out if I'm wrong, please.

JaydaWg
 

Star43

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
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Location
California
Hi Rugerguy, I just wanted your opinion of the original Bearcat Model, and the Super Bearcat model compared to the New Bearcat starting in 1993. Usually, everyone wants anything old or the original models as they are, again usually perceived to be better "made back in the day" type thing. But in this case, the New Bearcat is all steel framed? In your opinion would that make the New Bearcat better ?? Also why did Ruger go to an all steel frame ? Was it because of possibly shooting the 22 Mag ? Sorry to bother you. I guess I should invest in some books to look things up, but to be honest, To me this is what a Forum should be about. To ask questions about things. I can only speak for myself, but I have "tuned in" to this forum, and other forums for years. I didn't look at it everyday, but at least 2 or 3 times a week. And I didn't post all the time. I was content to just read the different questions and opinions. That was fine for me for a long time. In my opinion, there are still a lot of guys out there like that too now. You may never hear from them, but they are listening to you and other long time forum members. I don't know why I went into that, but it is at least true about me. I was curious what you thought about the different Bearcats ?? 🙂
 

rawly1

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
202
Location
Nebraska
I absolutely adore mine. They are made to be small kit guns, not Target guns. They are small and that's why we love them. They fit in a pocket/pack or as in my case, on a nice little leather holster on your hip. I take mine camping all the time. It's the one gun I always have with me if I'm just rambling through the woods to check deer stands, walking around in the Sandhills, etc. Mine is quite accurate too. I can put all six shots inside a playing card at 25 yd. That's good enough for what I'm asking it to do. I don't think you will regret it. Mine is the adjustable site model and after a nice action job it is a sweet little 22.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
26,102
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Actually according to the RENE Guide,, the letter "I" was used for the Alpha Cats.
BUT,, the serial numbers 1002-1999 were NOT made due to them already making the Alpha Cats with the letter "I". There were a FEW exceptions to this,, Numbers 1001 & 1130.
The number 1 was too close to the alphabet letter "I" and wasn't used.

Star43, you said; "I guess I should invest in some books to look things up, but to be honest, To me this is what a Forum should be about. To ask questions"

As our dear departed friend Flatgate used to say; "RTFM and get the books!"

We don't mind answering questions here,, but after answering the same questions time & time again,, it gets a little tiresome. I've had several oldtimer collectors say they rarely frequent the Forum anymore because it's the same old stuff, same old questions, etc. The comment usually turns to; "Some people are too lazy to read a book, or too cheap to buy the books."

If a person wanted to truly learn a lot about Rugers, AND didn't want to spend a lot of money on books,,then the RENE is the least expensive,, yet most valuable resource out there. Subscribe to that,, and get a copy of the Reference Guide.

I have a bookshelf library of almost every if not every actual book published on Rugers. I just ordered the newest one by Don Findley. Not everybody is that dedicated. But just a few books can give a TON of information & details that answer a lot of everyday questions.
The RENE Guide.
John Dougan's "Pistols & Revolvers, the Vintage Years."
Wilson's "Ruger & His Guns"


So,, keep asking questions,, and some of us will keep answering them. But think of the knowledge base that is NOT answering because they get tired of the same old same old.
 

rammerjammer

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
746
Bearcats are the Swiss watches of Ruger's lineup. Great little guns emphasis on little. Factory grips are too thin for me so I got sets of Arizona custom grips magnatusk that are thicker/wider making it much more comfortable. I've also got a set of Altamont Bearcat grips that are too thin.
 

pawncop

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
769
Location
Texas USA
My first handgun was the Bearcat. I bought to go with me while fishing. That was 1973. Still have it, shoot it every so often. Great little firearm.
 

Star43

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
1,228
Location
California
My first handgun was the Bearcat. I bought to go with me while fishing. That was 1973. Still have it, shoot it every so often. Great little firearm.
Yes, I would think the Bearcat would be the perfect little gun to have when fishing. Your first gun you bought in 1973, and still have it. 👍
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
12,187
Location
Webster, MD.
I have few of them and find them a 'fun gun'. I have large hands for a small guy and they still fit and are comfortable to shoot. Try a birds-head and a plow handle and see which you care for.
 

Star43

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
1,228
Location
California
Bearcats are the Swiss watches of Ruger's lineup. Great little guns emphasis on little. Factory grips are too thin for me so I got sets of Arizona custom grips magnatusk that are thicker/wider making it much more comfortable. I've also got a set of Altamont Bearcat grips that are too thin.
The Swiss Watch of Ruger. That is an interesting analogy !! Thanks, 🙂👍
 

Star43

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
1,228
Location
California
I have few of them and find them a 'fun gun'. I have large hands for a small guy and they still fit and are comfortable to shoot. Try a birds-head and a plow handle and see which you care for.
Yes, I do agree that one should try both styles to see what feels better for them. I have always preferred the standard plow handle, but I have to admit that it is mainly from a sight thing. I guess I should be more open minded and try it out more.
 

TINCANBANDIT is back

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 2, 2023
Messages
154
Location
Arizona's Redneck Riviera
Got this 1972 vintage Super Bearcat for my Father for just $110 used

Ruger Bearcat w box 2.jpg


Then I bought this one new for myself, got a screaming deal on it from Cabelas, they said something about it coming direct from a SHOT show order, so it didn't come with Davidson's warranty.....not that it matters with a Ruger
IMG_2069.JPG
 

Star43

Buckeye
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California
How is it possible to buy that beautiful gun in the box for $110 !! In the box and with a manual, no less. That has to be the "buy of a lifetime" 😊 As far as the second one, and you say that one was a Screaming deal, yeah I agree, to heck with the Davidson's warranty, you have Ruger to help you. I can't get over the one in the box...Wow. 🙂👍
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
992
Location
Oregon
I was asked by a neighbor to fix his malfunctioning Bearcat. Turns out there was a piece of crud in the works- it had the safety conversion too. I took it out after repair to check function and 50 rounds later I knew I had to have one. It may be small but even in my big ol hands it feels good. Plus it fits so easily in a pocket and sort of disappears. Compare it to a Single Six for size and then realize that the firepower is the same!

Anyways, I finally found what I thought was a good one on GB. It did have the safety conversion done but included the original parts. I took it out- trigger was horrible and the cylinder lock would not engage the grooves in the cylinder. I took it apart and- horror of horrors- underneath the grips of this beautiful little gun the prior owner had used a dremel to engrave their name twice and I'm guessing a DL#. Crap! I put the original parts back in and the trigger is great and it shoots fantastic. So, she shoots great but she's ugly when naked. Well, so am I…guess that's ok. Here's a pic from when I got her. She's from September 1966. I tried to research the name but got nowhere.
IMG_8538.jpeg


Here's what was hiding under the grips…
IMG_9284.jpeg
IMG_9285.jpeg
 
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