6 Ruger Wrangler Problems You Probably Didn’t Know Before

A cowboy-action pistol within your budget is like a dream come true. But such guns come with some issues. That is why you should know the Ruger Wrangler problems before rushing into a decision.

Among all complaints I have seen and heard about a Wrangler, the most common ones are regarding jamming, transfer bar, accuracy, hammer not cocking, stuck cylinder, and poor timing.

Reading this article, you will also get to know about the probable causes and solutions. So, let’s get started by knowing the specs first.

Features & Specifications of Ruger Wrangler:

Barrel Length4.62″
Magazine Capacity6 rounds
Overall Length10.25″
Caliber22 LR
Twist Rate1:14″ RH
Rear SightIntegral
Front SightBlade
SafetyTransfer bar mechanism and loading gate interlock
Weight30 oz.
Trigger Pull4 lbs. 8 oz.
Common Ruger Wrangler Problems and Solutions
Ruger Wrangler Problems

Common Ruger Wrangler Problems and Solutions

JammingCheck the center pin along with its spring, tighten the latch, or send it to Ruger.
Transfer BarPush the transfer bar all the way, or take expert help.
AccuracyCorrect the sights, or install aftermarket sights. And, don’t drop the gun.
Hammer not CockingReplace the cylinder pin, or take the gun to a local gunsmith.
Cylinder StuckTry different ammo, or replace the faulty firing pin.
Bad TimingContact Ruger for help.

1. Jamming Issue

A particular jamming problem occurs in some Wrangler units when it is held at any downwards angle.

Possible Reasons

A faulty or misaligned center pin can cause this problem. A properly seated center pin can solve the issue quickly.

Also, a latch that is not tightened properly does not engage fully and causes this issue.

The Fix

From the reasons, you can guess the solution.

First of all, disassemble your Wrangler, and check whether the center pin is seated properly and functioning smoothly.

Otherwise, find the faulty part, and replace it. Here, the spring that holds the center pin in its place can be faulty too.

After that, check whether the latch is fully tightened or not.

In case this problem occurs in new units, it would be better to contact Ruger for the solution.

2.  Transfer Bar Problem

While cocking a Wrangler, tilting can hang up the transfer bar on the bottom of the firing pin.

Possible Reasons

The plunger is responsible for keeping the transfer bar away from the firing pin while cycling the action.

So, a faulty spring-loaded plunger can cause this problem. You should take out the cylinder base pin and examine for any irregularities.

The Fix

As I don’t know the severity of the Ruger Wrangler transfer bar problem you are facing, I can start by giving a simpler solution.

Try pushing the transfer bar all the way in when the gun is fully cocked. It should do the trick. Otherwise, follow other solutions.

The disassembly and careful inspection are too complex for many users. If you are among them, it will be better to take the help of a gunsmith.

Another fix you can try before taking expert help is by using different ammunition of various brands and velocities.

3. Accuracy Problem

Not many but a few users complain that their Wranglers shoot 3 levels high and 3 levels left from the target at a distance of 25 yards.

Possible Reasons

Not all units of Ruger Wrangler have accuracy problems. In most cases, it seems that the fixed sight is the reason for poor target groups.

Besides manufacturing faults (regarding fixed sights), dropping the gun and making the sights misaligned are also very common.

The Fix

From the nature of the problem and cause, I think that taking the gun to a gunsmith is the primary solution.

The task here is to align and calibrate the sights properly. Or, you can simply install third-party sights and ditch the faulty stock sights.

Lastly, you should handle your Wrangler carefully. If it takes a beating or drops on hard surfaces, you will surely face an accuracy issue.

4. Hammer Doesn’t Cock

In this particular problem, you will notice that the hammer is not going to the full cock position if the barrel is pointed downwards.

Possible Reasons

Due to a Ruger Wrangler cylinder pin problem, you can face such situations. But there are other reasons to consider too.

Carefully look at the fitting of the base pin to the latch. Due to misalignment, the base pin latch may not engage the base pin groove properly.

The Fix

There is no other way than to disassemble the gun if you want to find out the faulty component that is causing this issue.

After a thorough inspection, you may notice that the cylinder pin has become faulty. Replacing it with a new one should fix the problem.

But the second reason is much more complex to deal with.

I recommend you visit a gunsmith or send the gun to Ruger for fixing the base pin to latch fitment.

5. Cylinder Stuck Problem

For some reason, a loaded Wrangler cylinder may get stuck due to excessive drag.

Possible Reasons

You can also call this a Ruger Wrangler firing pin problem because a worn-out pin causes this issue.

If the cylinder is too stiff, you will also have to check the ammo you are using.

The Fix

Before disassembling the gun, and looking for any faulty parts, you should try changing the ammo brand.

It is the easiest thing to do first in this problem.

Then, take out the firing pin and see whether it has any irregularities. Check out this link for replacing the faulty pin.

On rare occasions, dry firing solved some of the users’ problems with the firing pin. You can give it a try too.

However, don’t fire fry too many times because it can damage certain components.

6. Timing Problem

Slow cocking the hammer of a Wrangler leads to firing without the cylinder being properly aligned.

Possible Reasons

From the nature of the problem, you can understand that fast cocking can solve the issue almost immediately.

But this should not be the case because the gun should reliably operate at slow actions too. 

The Fix

From the discussion, it is clear that the timing issue with Wranglers is not common.

Giving solutions to such unique problems is not easy.

Instead of doing trials and errors to fix it, you should contact Ruger, explain the situation and seek help.

User Feedback on Ruger Wrangler

In my opinion, Ruger Wrangler is a durable and reliable pistol. Indeed, it has lots of issues but there are no other reliable competitor models at this price. Let’s see what the users think about this firearm.

Wrangler is a good serviceable plinker available at hard-to-beat pricing. Most of the units don’t give users hard times even after shooting 600 rounds.

For beginners, Wrangler is a good gun. According to the users, saving up while learning how to shoot with Ruger Wranglers and buying an expensive one later is a good strategy.

Due to cheap build quality, Wrangler doesn’t qualify to be a primary firearm. You must rely on a solid revolver for emergencies.

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Ruger Wrangler

Here are the three 22LR firearm models that one can consider instead of buying a Ruger Wrangler.

Smith and Wesson Model 17

Better accuracy, durable build quality, and reliable safety features make this Model 17 a worthy alternative to Ruger Wrangler.

Heritage Barkeep

A classic design is the main reason for giving the Barkeep a place on this list. Also, it is an affordable and accurate gun worth trying.

Charter Arms Pathfinder

The Pathfinder has features best suited for beginners. For good accuracy and adjustable sights, you can consider it instead of the Wrangler.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does a Ruger Wrangler cost?

Below $280; check the latest price from here

How many different Ruger Wranglers are there?

You can choose from 12 different color finishes.

Can you shoot 22 shorts in Ruger Wrangler?


Does Ruger Wrangler have a safety?

Yes; a transfer bar mechanism

Which is better Ruger Wrangler vs Heritage Rough Rider?

Both are almost identical performers. But the Wrangler is slightly more accurat.


Despite lots of Ruger Wrangler problems, it is a good .22LR gun under 300 bucks that can give you a fun shooting experience.

For beginners, it is a great option to consider. And, if you have already passed the early days of shooting, you can gift a Wrangler to a newbie.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this gun.

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