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1/11/2013

Ruger Bearcat Shopkeeper Stainless 22 LR

Lipsey's Ruger Bearcat Shopkeeper Stainless 22 LR
The Lipsey's Exclusive Ruger Bearcat Shopkeeper is the first short barrel, birdshead grip Bearcat ever produced.
GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Ruger MFG Model #: 0915
Lipsey's Model #: RUKSBCBH-3 UPC #: 736676009152
Caliber: 22 LR Quantity Produced: TBD
Production Year: 2013 Production Status: Current
DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS
Single Action Revolver Stainless Steel
3" Barrel 6 Round Cylinder
Fixed Sights Crescent Ejector Rod
22 oz. Birdshead Gripframe w/ Wood Grips
Some Lipsey Exclusive guns happen fairly fast, others take some time. The Bearcat Shopkeeper is one gun that has been on the drawing table for several years. It all started with a visit to one of our biggest and most loyal dealers in Alabama. I was talking to one of their store managers, who is a true sixgun connoisseur, when he mentioned his Bearcat he had sent off for some custom work just showed up and wanted to know if I would like to see it. Naturally, whatever else we were talking about was put on hold until we could check it out properly.
He showed me a beautiful little 3" barreled Ruger Bearcat that I just couldn't put down. We both agreed it would make for a great Lipsey's Exclusive, and after talking to Ruger, they agreed to take a look at it. The little custom Bearcat was sent up to Ruger so they could check it out and they agreed it would be a great project, however, Bearcat production was already tapped out with the regular models.
One feature that stuck in my head was the regular square butt on the standard model with the shorter barrel reminded me of the old S&W J-Frames that had 2" barrels and square butts. They just didn't look quite right. So we went out on a limb and asked Ruger if they could produce a round butt or birdshead type frame to go along with the 3" barrel. In addition to the 3" barrel and birdshead gripframe, we had to use a couple of other unique features to make it all work. Due to the short barrel, Ruger had to use a "button head" cylinder pin and a crescent shape ejector rod so that the spent cases could easily be extracted from the cylinder. Ruger is also using a steel ejector rod housing that matches the rest of the gun. In my opinion, it looks better than the aluminum one used on the standard Bearcats.
I am happy to say that even though it took 3 years, the wonderful engineers at Ruger made it happen and now we have a true "Shopkeeper" size Ruger Bearcat. When the sample arrived at our offices, we just couldn't put this little gun down. This is one of those guns that once you put it in your hands, you will have to get one.
Jason Cloessner

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