Mamaw’s Single Six.

Mamaw’s Single Six.

When I started my career as a single action admirer, plinker, and ultimately packer, I couldn’t have been much over 11.  I distinctly remember myself and the adult folks shooting a single action 22 off our large wraparound porch.  Of course I was heavily supervised, as I aimed at, and then killed empty coke cans.  I don’t remember the name Ruger or Single Six being used, but knowing what I do about single actions now, it couldn’t have been anything else.  Open the loading gate and load 6 cartridges, close the gate, cock the hammer, aim and fire.  No worries about a half cock notch or keeping an empty chamber below the hammer. So it was a New Model Ruger Single Six.

At the time, that revolver was kept in a holster that was tacked to the side of the gun cabinet. I used to sneak into the den where the cabinet was and pull the gun out of its holster to look at it.  I didn’t cock it or point it, just look a minute and put it back. I knew better too, and thankfully I had the sense not to do anything with it other than admire it and return it lovingly to it’s home, and thankfully, I never got caught.

I wasn’t allowed to have a gun of my own until I turned 18, and when I was, I promptly started buying and trading.  My first handgun was a Ruger Blackhawk in 357 magnum, but it got swapped pretty quickly.  Shortly though I purchased a brand new Single Six.  I spent many hours plinking with it in the yard and on the hills of our farm.  I traded it away too… but I soon got another.  Notice the pattern?  I traded too darn much in those days, and ended up with the same make and model again.  I’ve stopped that now, but at the time the thrill of the trade was too great.

The next Single Six was with me the longest.  It had a 5-1/2″ barrel, and again was a New Model.  I really learned to shoot with that one.  It eventually developed a lead spitting problem and was replaced by Ruger.  During the time I had that gun, I purchased another Single Six,  with a 4-3/4″ barrel.  For a brief period of time, I enjoyed having a brace of 22 caliber revolvers, but that didn’t last.

My Mom, who was pretty reserved about guns, me owning them, and being a full fledged gun nut, took a liking to the short barreled Single Six.  So, I gifted it to her.  She eventually got a concealed carry license and carried her Single Six in her purse.  She was a little old lady even then, and packing a single action revolver around just seemed to fit.  She kept it in her desk drawer when she wasn’t packing it.

Mamaw, as she came to be known after my son was born, used to come out of the evenings and plink with me and my wife.  We’d all take turns with the Single Six.  Mamaw wouldn’t shoot the bigger guns, but we all would shoot hers of course.  She loved shooting shorts, what she called babies.  Of course she would shoot a smattering of Long Rifles too, but always preferred the low report and recoil of shorts.  I supplied a fair amount of her ammo, but she was active in pursuing ammo herself too, and picked up more than a couple boxes.

That gun, now known as Mamaw’s gun, regretfully came back to me a couple of years ago when Mamaw passed away.  I still shoot it often, and pack it occasionally.  I still love to shoot shorts in memory of Mamaw.

Mamaw’s Single Six rests on my shelf in my gun room when it’s not in use for plinking or hunting.  You’ll note that it is laying on a fancy colored pistol sleeve.  That sleeve was made by Mamaw, actually for the single six I owned prior to the one known as “Mamaw’s Single Six”.  Mamaw was an avid seamstress, making clothes, quilts, and, in her later years,  gun accessories.  I gave it to Mamaw when I sold that Single Six to a friend.  I lost the rifle sleeves in a home fire a few years later, along with the rest of my possessions, but thanks to me giving the revolver sleeve to Mamaw, it was saved.

I have a Simply Rugged Sourdough Pancake holster for the times I pack the gun afield hunting small game.  Rob Leahy does a great job in making these holsters.  I have one for not only the Single Six,  but also for my Blackhawk in 44 special that I wear daily.  They not only are simple, rugged, and beautiful, they hold up well, and wear in well.  The angle is just right for me at the 3:00 position.  I appreciate Rob’s commitment to delivering an outstanding product at a very fair price.  His oxblood coloring is just beautiful.  Both of my holsters were purchased with optional IWB tabs, that allow you to carry inside the waistband, to better protect the gun for those days when pouring rain is in the forecast, or for better concealment.

My son, who is 3-1/2 now will learn to shoot tin cans with Mamaw’s Single Six,  just like I learned on a single action 22 so many years ago.  And, when he comes of age, I’ll likely gift him that fine shootin’ iron.  Of course when that time comes, I’ll have to find another Single Six to fill the void it will leave on my shelf.  I guess the urge to find a new gun never goes away, but thankfully the urge to trade has finally faded.