Heritage Rough Rider 22 Review: A Single Action Classic

For nearly 150 years, the single-action six-shot revolver has stood as America’s iconic firearm, serving soldiers and ranchers, lawmen, and rogues alike.

Today, this legacy continues, expressed in the elegant lines and simple, reliable operation of the Heritage Rough Rider single-action revolvers.

Setting you back no more than $180, there is no reason to pick one of these up and rekindle your childhood.

There are several models of the gun that provide different grip styles, sight options, barrel lengths, and even interchangeable cylinders (22LR and 22 Magnum).

The version here is a basic model with a 4.75" barrel, fixed sights, and a .22LR cylinder.


at Guns.com
Prices accurate at time of writing

Who Is Heritage Manufacturing

Heritage Manufacturing is not just a gun manufacturer. They’re telling a story. Since 1992, their goal has been simple; produce guns that tell a story and stand the test of time. The legendary Rough Rider 22 revolver is an American-made, single-action classic that pays homage to the Old West.

The Rough Rider revolver isn’t your typical replica gun. It’s a beautiful gun, but it’s not going to be reduced to being a safe queen. It’s built tough and boasts the workmanship, accuracy, and quality that Heritage Manufacturing is known for.

Whether you’re plinking, hunting, or western action shooting, the Rough Rider revolver means business.

The story of the Wild West is one worth telling. It’s full of grit, glory, and a whole lot of lead-slinging. Producing rugged high-quality revolvers that tell a story is a way of keeping the spirit of the American frontier alive and kicking.

Overview Of The Heritage Rough Rider 22 Revolver

The Heritage Rough Rider revolver series are available for less than $180!

Heritage Rough Rider 22 Revolver [Review]

Although the Rough Rider 22 revolver is a scaled-down version of its Old West brethren, it retains that legendary feel, with an all-metal build and wood grips. Like its Old West counterpart, both are single action only.

Heritage Rough Rider 6.5" barrel

at Guns.com
Prices accurate at time of writing

There’s something soothing when cocking back the hammer for each shot and feeling the clicks of the cylinder rotating to a fresh round. This 22 revolver provides a sensory pleasure that a modern semi-auto pistol will never be able to replicate.

The only modern addition to this iconic design is the addition of a hammer block safety.

Heritage Rough Rider hammer block safety

Located on the left side of the cylinder, the safety has to be flipped down to lower the bar blocking the hammer. With a simple flick of your thumb, the safety is disengaged, and a red dot indicates that the revolver is ready to fire.

The barrel is manufactured for an optimal barrel/cylinder gap. My 4.75-inch barrel model comes with Old West style sights with a blade up front and a groove cut along the top strap.

Heritage Rough Rider Sights

Heritage Rough Rider Upgrades

Heritage Rough Rider Holster

The holster I use for the gun is an all-leather Slim Jim style holster also available from Heritage Arms.  It gives the gun an authentic western look. More importantly, it fits snugly on your belt and has great retention on the gun itself.

A small leather loop at the top of the holster goes over the hammer to secure the gun in the holster during activity, whether that is riding a horse, a 4-wheeler, checking the trap line, or walking around in the woods. The gun isn’t going anywhere with this holster attached to my hip.

Heritage Rough Rider Grips

On my personal gun, a swapped out the stock grips for a more aggressive wood pattern grip to assist with my grip in wet conditions. Specifically, I went with the Predator grips available from Heritage Arms.

There is no shortage of different grip styles available for the Rough Rider.

Heritage Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy

Looking for the feel of an Old West revolver with some modern-day enhancements? New for 2022, Heritage Manufacturing released the Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy version with a 6.5-inch barrel.

The Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy is a result of the continued evolution of this series.

Heritage Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy

at Guns.com
Prices accurate at time of writing

The front sight is a bold ramped post using a fiber-optic insert. The rear sight is a rail sight that is designed to accommodate red dot optics. This combination is superior to anything used in the Heritage line previously. In addition to the new sights, this version includes a threaded barrel for the use of a 22 suppressor.

The Tactical Cowboy 22 revolver is a must-have for small game, clearing out pests, and marksmanship training. This new take on the Rough Rider takes this revolver series to an entirely new level.

Heritage Rough Rider 22 Upgrades


These are faux buffalo grips with a printed image of Wild Bill Hickok’s last poker hand, 2-Aces and 2-8s forever known as the “dead man’s hand". The perfect compliment for the Tactical Cowboy.


It’s said in the industry that it’s easy to make a 22 suppressor, but to make a good one is another story. Maxim Defense has taken the 22 suppressor to another level with its new DRF-22 and keeps it at an affordable price point.


at Maxim Defense
Prices accurate at time of writing

Specs and Features

  • Diameter: 1.0" outer diameter
  • Material Composition: 7075-T6 Aluminum and 6AI-4V Titanium
  • Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Overall Length: 5.9"
  • Finish: Type III MIL-SPEC hard coat anodizing and DLC
  • State of the art MonoKore Design
  • Simple 3-piece design
  • Constructed of military-grade materials
  • No detectable first-round pop
  • Specifically designed for .22LR pistols and rifles chambered in .22LR, .22MAG, and.17HMR
  • Disassembles with common tools for end-user serviceability

Pistol Red Dot

It’s going to be hard to beat the Bushnell RX-100 reflex sight, thanks to its exceptional build quality, high value relative to price point, and superior features given the market competitors in the same tier. Although this is almost as much as the Rough Rider itself, we didn’t want to skimp too much while still giving you a value-driven option that gets the job done.

Bushnell RXS-100 1x25mm Reflex Sight

at Primary Arms
Prices accurate at time of writing

Specs and Features

  • 1 x magnification
  • 4 MOA Dot
  • 100+ MOA adjustment range in totality
  • Multi-coated high quality Optical lens
  • Tiny size and lightweight footprint which is 1.8 in long and weighs in at less than 2.2 oz, with a height of 39mm with a base
  • Long battery life
  • Standardized feature set that takes advantage of market available add-ons, batteries and mounts
  • Auto shut off without button press
  • 8 brightness settings

Best 22 Ammo

With the .22LR round, I can dispatch wild game on the trap line and secure wild game while hunting and stalking. Hell if I had to I could drop a deer providing the type of ammunition I’m using and the placement of the shot.

The primary .22LR ammo that I use is the CCI Stingers followed by CCI Mini-Mags.

CCI 22 LR Stinger CPHP 32Gr 1640 FPS 50rd

at Kentucky Gun Company
Prices accurate at time of writing


The Heritage Arms Revolver, again, is easy to maintain and shoot.

The simple iron sights built into the frame are a no-brainer to use. Do yourself a favor and pick one up. You’ll thank me later.

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Table of Contents

  • Who Is Heritage Manufacturing
  • Overview Of The Heritage Rough Rider 22 Revolver
  • Heritage Rough Rider Upgrades
  • Heritage Rough Rider Holster
  • Heritage Rough Rider Grips
  • Heritage Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy
  • Heritage Rough Rider 22 Upgrades
  • Grips
  • Suppressor
  • Specs and Features
  • Pistol Red Dot
  • Specs and Features
  • Best 22 Ammo
  • Conclusion

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