Last week we took a first look at the Heritage Manufacturing Barkeep; this week we take it to the range. What’s the Barkeep like to shoot? It’s fun.
BLUF: The Barkeep is fun and affordable
Here’s the truth about the Heritage Barkeep: all you need to know is that it’s fun to shoot and it costs less than $200. I can tell you about how the sights are, I can tell you that it shoots decent groups, I can tell you that the safety is easy to activate, but none of that matters. The Barkeep is fun, and it’s less than $200. I don’t feel like I need to go into more detail than that.
Loading and unloading the Heritage Barkeep
But since people, especially gun people, like to read about guns, let’s talk about the Barkeep on the range. The first thing we’ll talk about is the fiddly loading and unloading. How is it? It’s fine. If you’ve ever loaded a single action revolver it won’t bother you, you need to remember to keep the provided punch in your range bag so you don’t forget it. With my sample, if I held the Heritage Barkeep vertically and gave it a good shake, I could usually get 4 of the rounds to fall out. I’d almost always need the punch for one.
A safety on a single action?
Alright, let’s talk about the Barkeep’s safety. I…had my reservations. Who puts a safety on a single action gun? That seems crazy to me, but it’s there, so let’s figure out how to use it. Turns out, it’s really easy to use. If you’re using a two handed grip on the gun, your support hand thumb falls naturally on top of the safety and makes clicking it off and on pretty simple. If you go true cowboy style and shoot it with one hand, your dominant thumb can flick it off then hit the hammer really easily. It’s easy to use, and not something I consider a detriment at all. However! I just don’t use it and load the gun with five, using the load one skip one load four method.
But how does the Heritage Barkeep shoot?
The Barkeep is pretty accurate. I shot it side by side with another 22 Magnum single action wheelgun, an old EAA Bounty Hunter with a 4 5/8ths inch barrel, and the Barkeep kept up in the accuracy department. All of the 22 Magnum rounds hit below the sights with the Barkeep. This is because the sights are regulated for 22 Long Rifle, which is going considerably slower than 22 Mag, even out of this short gun. You can fix that by either shooting 22 LR exclusively, or relaxing and enjoying the gun in 22 Magnum. The sights are fine for what they are. If you want a more accurate revolver, Heritage has a 6.5 inch single action with adjustable rear sights and a fiber optic front. That would be a great choice for a 22 Magnum hunting pistol.
Bottom line…on the bottom line
However, the most important question about the Heritage Barkeep is whether or not it’s fun. I’ve already said this, and I’ll say it again. Yes. It’s stupid amounts of fun. In a world of soulless striker fired 9mm pistols, boring 22 LR autoloaders, and identical carbines, the Barkeep stands out from the pack. It looks cool, it’s an honest hoot to shoot, and it’s less than $200. If you want one, definitely buy it.