Make Mine A Bisley


The svelte little Ruger Bisley from Lipsey’s gives you a great-shooting little .32
H&R Magnum with graceful lines and a great grip. Even Tank could hit with this one!

Although I lack the aristocratic blue blood of a high society well doer, I do enjoy the grip-frame named after the quaint village of Bisley, England. In case you’re not familiar with the history, the famous Bisley Matches date back to the 19th century and are associated with the Victorian-era clubhouse first built in 1865 and moved to its current Bisley location in 1895.

The matches challenged shooters to wring the most out of both their skills and their guns. To give them an edge Colt released its Target Model in 1894, a specialty gun with a flat top complete with drift-adjustable rear sight and removable blade front sight. The Target Model also had a funny-shaped grip.

It wasn’t until after the Colt proved itself at the Bisley Matches, years later, would it become commonly known as the Colt Bisley — and only after further refinements were made to the grip frame and hammer. Thereafter, the “funny” grip would be associated with the Bisley name and appear on guns from a range of makers.

No Going Back

Igot my first Ruger Bisley after years of shooting “heavy” .45 Colt handloads with “Ruger only” recipes. Bill Ruger, yet again, proved those who thought him foolish wrong, for bringing out such a gun in 1984. The traditional plow-handle Ruger revolvers were small in my hand and the shape not conducive to managing heavy recoil.

The Ruger’s Bisley grip-frame rectified the plow-handled, knuckle-basher by giving my hand more grip to hold onto. More importantly, the grip angle was different. Now, recoil came straight back into the meaty part of my palm, saving my knuckle in the process. Additionally, the stylish low-curve of the Bisley hammer accommodates one-handed cocking during target shooting; and it adds to its stylish good looks!

The Bisley is now my favorite grip design, especially amongst Rugers and especially for the big-bore boomers. However, the gun I’m telling you about today is a cool little Single-Six Lipsey’s exclusive model chambered in .32 H&R Magnum.

This blued beauty touts a 61/2″ barrel and dark hardwood grips. The classic roll-marked unfluted cylinder tastefully sports “Ruger Bisley” in scrolled script and its throats are a perfectly sized 0.314″. The steel-framed revolver comes with adjustable rear sights and a serrated front sight, and weighs in at 39 oz.

Look at the custom front sight from Fermin C. Garza that Tank installed.
Those glare-eating teeth work, too!

The Bisley’s cylinder throats were a perfect 0.314". Note the attractive scrolled script markings.

Shooting the .32 Bisley

Prior to shooting the Bisley, I did my standard Tank Tune-Up. I replaced the trigger spring with a Wolff 30-oz. spring and polished the hammer spring strut. I also swapped out the front sight for one of Fermin C Garza’s custom front sights.

I had two loads on hand, some Federal 85-gr. HPs and a self-concocted 100-gr. HP bullet I cast from a Miha mold loaded over a stiff charge of 2400 and lit by a Winchester small pistol primer.
I shot from the bench at 25 yards for five-shot strings. All I can say is the gun shot better than I could. Groups were in the 1″ to 1.5″ range. Perhaps if I had a frilly handkerchief to wipe my spectacles that were fogging in the humidity, I might have shot better? As it was, I had to use my Carhartt T-shirt, with yesterday’s egg yolk down the front.

These Ruger Bisleys make for great field guns. Loaded properly, vermin are in serious danger, as are soda cans and any other plinking target of opportunity. The Bisley grip just feels good in my hand, whether I’m shooting stout, heavy loads or small-bore cartridges. Lipsey’s Ruger Bisley has an MSRP of $669. Have your local dealer contact Lipsey’s to ship one to you.

For more info:, Ph: (225) 755-1333

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