I looked at this very model at the local gun store (first photo). Thought it looked pretty cool, and looked better in person than in the photo. It's got an acid etched aluminum frame to simulate "cold hardened" steal. Some might find it cheesy, but I actually liked it. Yeah, I know it's an inexpensive revolver, but I actually liked the feel and the trigger better on the Heritage than I did on the Ruger Wrangler. And the Wrangler doesn't come with an exchangeable cylinder for .22 Magnum like the Heritage. I also like the Heritage 9-shot with .22 Mag cylinder - black frame (2nd photo). Both cost $170~175. Always wanted a .22 revolver (have plenty of .22 semi-autos) so will probably go for the 9-shot.
Here's a video of guys shooting the Rough Rider. Frame isn't really "pot metal", but an aluminum alloy (same for the Wrangle) adequate to handle .22 Mag. Seems pretty accurate, but some say it's not super accurate. These guys are hitting liter bottles pretty far away ... seems adequate enough for plinking.
I bought my son a heritage and gave it to him for Christmas a year ago. They are a good little gun for the money and should last a long time. I personally like the regular gun instead of the acid etched one in your first picture. I never seen the Betsy Ross edition and it is very cool.
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When I got married I bought 6 of the Heritage .22's for my groomsmen as gifts on one of the $99 specials and I went and shot them all prior to giving them to them so they could have 'test targets'. Out of the 6, 2 of them had noticeable play in the cylinder when cocked and various degrees of foward/aft play in the cylinders on all of them. On the two you had to cock them with authority to get them to index properly. A gentle cock would let you fire without the cylinder fully indexed and they would shave lead.. That said all functioned and were fairly accurate. My assessment was for $99 they were pretty neat, If I was paying close to $200 I'd get the Ruger wrangler, and compared to a real single-six they are pretty much junk.
i have the same 9 shot, 4.5”, 22wmr/lr, heritage roughrider, as well as a ruger wrangler, single six and bearcat. yes i enjoy single action rimfire revolvers. the hrr felt perfectly ok until i got the wrangler, which i shoot more, despite its 3 fewer 22lr only rounds. if you can physically inspect the roughrider, and are sure that you will be “one and done” with getting 22 plinkers, then the roughrider is fine. note that its alloy barrel heats up quickly, and its screws become loose, when burning through 22wmr. i would only buy a new roughrider but used rugers, because they are so stoutly built, are reliable values. i am not second guessing the purchase of a new 9 shot, 22wmr/lr roughrider for $200 or a $120 6 shot 22lr only. 9 shots are uncommon and you will certainly enjoy it. knowing both the roughrider and wrangler, for $200 i would get the wrangler, but that is me. as a weekend fun plinker a roughrider is fine. if i were getting just one 22 as a tool to carry out into the wildnerness i would get a ruger.
I bought one-albeit with the standard blue finish/wood grips, several years ago.
I've never had any reason to complain about accuracy from it using 22LR, and it's often the first handgun that I put in the hands of many first time shooters(they have to get use to that before they get to "graduate" to something more powerful).
I've only used the 22 Mag cylinder once, as in my mind if I need something more powerful than a 22LR I'd rather a larger caliber. Still, though I have it sitting next to the gun
if you can physically inspect the roughrider, and are sure that you will be “one and done” with getting 22 plinkers, then the roughrider is fine. note that its alloy barrel heats up quickly, and its screws become loose, when burning through 22wmr.
Yes, I would be able to inspect one before purchase. I never buy a firearm without a thorough inspecton. I'll even inspect the rifling with a bore light. I'm familiar with revolvers (have 38/357 Mag), and would be checking cylinder play and lock-up, and would do cylinder swap and check both. Guys at gun stores hate me because of how much I inspect, lol.
BTW, the barrel on the Rough Rider is 1215 steel, not alumunum alloy. Just the frame is aluminum alloy.