The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 6, 2012, 08:07 AM   #1
chaim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,539
Ruger Security/Service Six

I have a 3" S&W 65LS. I think the K-frames with a 3" barrel are just about the perfect all around revolver. It is heavy enough to be comfortable to shoot at the range with most .357mag loads, yet light enough to carry. It has enough barrel to get some velocity out its rounds (though a longer barrel is still better, it doesn't have the more pronounced disadvantages of the 2" barrel guns), and enough sight radius to be fairly easy to shoot accurately, but it is short enough to be pretty easily concealable. It handles and points almost perfectly (yes, this one is somewhat subjective, but it isn't only me, it is a commonly asserted virtue cited by 3" K-frame fans).

Unfortunately, they are pretty rare to actually be for sale, and when they are they tend to be quite expensive. Right now on Gunbroker there are only two 3" K-frames: a S&W 65LS listed for a starting bid of $799 and a buy it now of $825, and a 3" S&W 13 for nearly $900. The cheapest I've seen one go for recently is well over $500, and that seems rare.

Meanwhile, I'm seeing quite a few Ruger Security and Service Six examples on Gunbroker, in nice shape, for fairly reasonable prices (mostly $500 or less). I know the Security/Service Six are basically the same size and weight as a K-frame, and I know that they have a good reputation. So, I'm thinking it might be a good substitute and have some questions.

I know that most of the "3 inch" Security and Service Sixes are actually 2 3/4" (which is close enough IMO). I do see a few billed as 3". Did they actually make some in true 3", or are the 3" guns I see actually all 2 3/4" (unless custom jobs cut down by a gunsmith)?

If I get one of these, it will be in my carry rotation and will often be my camping/woods gun, it will be a working gun. I know it hasn't been in production for something like 15-20 years. Any mechanical device, even a well-made revolver, will need maintenance and sometimes have parts fail. How similar are these internally to the GP100 and SP101. In other words, would a smith would can work on a modern Ruger revolver be equipped to work on the Speed or Security Six? How hard are parts to get?

Holsters...I don't see many holsters that are made for these guns. Would a GP100 holster, SP101 holster, or S&W K-frame holster work? My guess is that the K-frame holster would probably be the best fit.

Grips...The standard wood grips look good to me, but how hard is it to find grips if I wanted something somewhat different (especially for carry)? I haven't really looked so I may have just overlooked them, but I haven't really noticed anyone making grips for them.

I guess finally, I'd like to know if my suspicion that it would be a good substitute for a K-frame is correct. Does it handle as well as a K-frame? Does anyone know the weight and measurements for a 2 3/4" or 3" Security/Service Six? Is it worth risking getting bit by the bug and "addicted" to yet another brand/model of revolver?
chaim is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 08:26 AM   #2
geetarman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,746
I bought a Service Six .357 from a range officer where I shoot. It is a bare bones 4 inch service gun in stainless.

The guy I bought it from estimated 4000 rounds through it before I got it.

The gun is tight and shoots like a dream. It came with rubber grips but I have the walnut panels for it.

I don't carry it so I don't know about holsters for it. The gun is quality through and through.

I think I paid around $350 for it but that was about 4 years ago.

I am very pleased with it.

HTH
__________________
Geetarman

Carpe Cerveza
geetarman is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 12:24 PM   #3
Madcap_Magician
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2009
Location: MN
Posts: 618
There are 3" Six models, but they are exceedingly rare. Probably rarer than 3" K-frames, but the lower demand for them means the prices are a bit lower. I wouldn't be surprised to see $500 or $600 for a 3" Six.

I missed out on a BNIB 3" Postal Inspector Speed Six that I still cry over. Buy it now for $600.
Madcap_Magician is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 01:40 PM   #4
chaim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,539
OK, now I really want more info.

I am currently the high bidder on a Ruger Speed Six on GB which is set up almost exactly how I want. DAO/bobbed hammer, blue, 2 3/4" (3" would be nicer, but that is fine), RB...About the only thing I want on my carry revolver that this doesn't have is an aftermarket front night sight or fiber optic front sight. Because these aren't made anymore I'm not 100% sure I'd want to have any mods done that can't be reversed, but with the pinned sights that mod might work. The auction ends in just under 7 hours, I will try not to look between now and then since I set my max bid at the top of my current budget since I don't want to lose the gun (it could be a little higher in a week and a half when I get paid next, but not right now). If I win, I have a replacement for/improvement over my Rossi 451, it may be time to put that one up for sale.

Looks like it would be a good carry gun, fun range gun, and decent range gun. My understanding is that the frame is pretty similar to a K-frame, but the cylinder is a tad larger/stronger.

How is the parts availability? Should any smith who works on modern Rugers be able to work on this? (i.e. is it similar internally to the GP100 and SP101?) Can it take S&W K-frame holsters? I guess for that answer, I can always try it in a K-frame holster I already have (assuming no one outbids me).
chaim is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 01:57 PM   #5
Southern Shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2005
Location: central Louisiana
Posts: 443
Own 3 Speed-Six .357 Magnums...LOVE them !!!

All I can say is that I own 3 Speed-Six revolvers with the 2 3/4" barrels. I am 5' 5" and they fit my hand perfectly. I would NEVER part with them. The holster that I have found works for me is the Don Hume H717. http://www.donhume.com/index.php?mai...products_id=37
__________________
"My plea is that we stop seeking out the storm and enjoy more fully sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we accentuate the positive. I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort." Gordon B. Hinckley

Last edited by Southern Shooter; November 6, 2012 at 02:07 PM.
Southern Shooter is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 04:43 PM   #6
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
"How is the parts availability?"

Beats me, I bought a new blue 4" Service-Six in '85 and haven't needed any parts. It's a fine gun. I did buy a reduced pull spring kit for it years ago when I was sending in a Brownell's order, but it made the trigger pull heavier. Oh well.

The guns are simple to take apart if you ever need to.

John
johnbt is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 04:49 PM   #7
Tinner666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2012
Location: Richmond, Va.
Posts: 344
I've put lots of reloads and factory ammo through my Security 6. Bought in in early 80's. Still tight. No parts needed, though I did tune it and to a nice light DA pull. Nevrr had to SA shoot it. I do believe mine is the 4".
__________________
Frank--
Member, GoA, NRA-ILA, SAF, NRA Life Member
Tinner666 is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 07:33 PM   #8
chaim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,539
Dang, I lost the auction (with about 45min left, someone outbid me). Right now it is only $5 over, and I might be able to get it for close to what I want to pay, but I've lost the gun. When I get paid in a week and a half I could bump it up, but right now I was at my limit. Too bad. It looks like it won't be too hard to find a 2 3/4" Speed, Security or Service Six, but this was the RB Speed six that was already DAO so it was as close to exactly what I wanted as possible. Oh well. I'll keep researching, and in the next couple weeks maybe another like it (or a perfect 3" K-frame at a reasonable price) will pop up.
chaim is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 09:12 PM   #9
Homerboy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,016
I have a Service Six in 4". It fits any S&W K frame 4" holster. Not quite as sexy as a S&W K frame, but much stronger. I have no qualms about shooting .357 in the Ruger. The Model 13 I have gets babied. Maybe 2 cylinders of 158 grain .357 a year.
Homerboy is online now  
Old November 8, 2012, 10:05 AM   #10
L_Killkenny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,676
To answer the question Ruger pretty much designed the Six series so a trained monkey could service them. If you find a gunsmith that can't do it it's time to find another smith. Not that many ever need it. Pretty much, unless one looked as if a hammer had been taken to it I wouldn't worry about any used Six series gun on the market.
L_Killkenny is offline  
Old November 8, 2012, 02:13 PM   #11
skidder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 633
Quote:
I'll keep researching, and in the next couple weeks maybe another like it (or a perfect 3" K-frame at a reasonable price) will pop up.
Keep your eyes open. I've been looking for the 2 3/4 barrel sixes, but have only found one at a gun-show. unfortunately, the guy in front of me beat me to it. The Sixes are a perfect blend of strength and size that they just don't make anymore.
__________________
Gun permit?? A bread crumb tossed to a sleeping society awoken by the sound of complacency. "They are for your own good", and "you will understand when you see all the lives they save". Yes master, what else will you toss me from your bag of infringements?? Do you want me to roll over and play dead? I do that very well. --skidder

Last edited by skidder; November 8, 2012 at 03:54 PM.
skidder is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 08:35 PM   #12
gwnorth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 692
I have a 3" Ruger Police Security Six and a 3" S&W 65-3 - they are actually extremely similar in overall size, weight, balance and handling.

(sorry for the glare, I took this pic a couple of years ago)
gwnorth is offline  
Old November 11, 2012, 02:16 PM   #13
silver arrow
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2012
Location: Near Atlanta
Posts: 11
I carried this ruger security six in the aircraft with my survival gear for years. It was my personal gun and I still have it although it's retired now and I have a new Ruger 1911. The security six was very dependable



I can't get the picture to load

Last edited by silver arrow; November 11, 2012 at 02:27 PM.
silver arrow is offline  
Old November 11, 2012, 03:06 PM   #14
Crazy88Fingers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 936
I have a molded K-frame leather holster that fits my Security Six like a glove. So most holsters should be more or less interchangeable.

After I got mine last year I ordered a new ejector rod for it straight from Ruger (I marred mine up trying to remove it), so they do still have some parts laying around.

And the internals are incredibly simple so any competent gunsmith shouldn't have much trouble with them. You can actually field strip these guns in a matter of minutes and all the tools are part of the gun (rim of a .357 cartridge to take off the grips, a small pin inside the pin that holds on the grips to take out the main spring, and the piece that holds the main spring acts as a pry-bar to remove the trigger/grip assembly from the frame).

Unfortunately grips seem to be almost non-existent. Last time I checked Ruger had their large target grips on clearance for about $10.

Get the gun, and figure out the details as you go. You won't regret it.
__________________
"And I'm tellin' you son, well it ain't no fun, staring straight down a .44"
-Lynyrd Skynyrd
Crazy88Fingers is offline  
Old November 14, 2012, 04:31 PM   #15
Whirlwind06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 750
Here is my Security Six.





I also have a Speed Six in layaway and another Speed Six that I'm buffing out some numbering that was eched onto it. Plus some pitting.
Here are some before pics. Not done yet so no after pic yet



Whirlwind06 is offline  
Old November 14, 2012, 07:09 PM   #16
skidder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 633
Whirlwind06-- Really like that short barreled Security Six. They are really hard to find.
__________________
Gun permit?? A bread crumb tossed to a sleeping society awoken by the sound of complacency. "They are for your own good", and "you will understand when you see all the lives they save". Yes master, what else will you toss me from your bag of infringements?? Do you want me to roll over and play dead? I do that very well. --skidder
skidder is offline  
Old November 14, 2012, 08:48 PM   #17
Whirlwind06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 750
Thanks, someone posted it for sale locally and I quickly sold a Glock 19 I had to fund the purchase.
Whirlwind06 is offline  
Old November 15, 2012, 10:57 AM   #18
moxie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2006
Location: TX
Posts: 513
Speed Six is the way to go for carry. For range and hunting, etc., the Security Six is tops with 4 or 6" barrel.

And ditto on they never need fixing. Just be sure to de-gunk the innards of the ejector rod/cylinder once in a blue moon.
__________________
If you want to shoot...shoot...don't talk! Tuco

USAF Munitions 1969-1992
RVN 1972-1973
moxie is offline  
Old November 15, 2012, 01:48 PM   #19
Charlie Fox
Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2001
Location: North Charleston SC
Posts: 64
I had a 2 3/4" Speed Six in the mid-80's as an off-duty gun. It was a tank! I miss that gun probably more than any gun I've gotten rid of

I would buy another one in a heartbeat! I carried it in a K-frame holster.
__________________
"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you."
Charlie Fox is offline  
Old November 15, 2012, 02:27 PM   #20
lowercase
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2012
Posts: 244
I'd love a short-barrel Speed Six in stainless.

Really nice guns, but hard to find in my part of the country.
lowercase is offline  
Old November 15, 2012, 09:37 PM   #21
Frizzman
Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2009
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 45
I bought a 4" stainless Security Six in 1976 and still have it. It was used for police duty, house gun, concealed carry and hunting/camping. It has had thousands of my .38/.357 handloads through it. It is still as tight and accurate as when I got it thirty six years ago. The trigger has actually gotten better over the years. I wanted a S&W M19/66 when I bought the SS. Because M19/66's were hard to get and pricey I "settled" for the cheaper and more available Ruger. I don't think the S&W would have held up to these many years of hard service as well as my Security Six. I'd buy another in a minute if I could!
Frizzman is offline  
Old November 15, 2012, 10:46 PM   #22
joneb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,731
I picked this up at a gun show around five years ago for $300,
http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...8&d=1305701747
It came with the original grips which made shooting heavy 357 mag loads quite uncomfortable, the Pachmayre grips are the bee's knees.
I prefer the adjustable sights as I can shoot a wide variety of loads and zero the sights to them.
One of my defense loads is a 158gr Rem. JHP with 10.2gr of Accurate #7, I can hit 1 liter soda bottles 6 out 6 at 50yds not bad for a 2.75" barrel.
joneb is offline  
Old November 16, 2012, 12:00 AM   #23
skidder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 633
Nice weapon jibjab.
I've been looking for a shorty for over a year now. Hard to find.
You've definitely got a keeper.
__________________
Gun permit?? A bread crumb tossed to a sleeping society awoken by the sound of complacency. "They are for your own good", and "you will understand when you see all the lives they save". Yes master, what else will you toss me from your bag of infringements?? Do you want me to roll over and play dead? I do that very well. --skidder
skidder is offline  
Old November 16, 2012, 03:26 AM   #24
joneb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,731
Quote:
Nice weapon jibjab.
Thanks skidder.
The dealer wanted $350, I offered $300 he countered $325, I was about to walk and he offered a coin toss and I won
You take a risk on a used gun and I was lucky with this one.
joneb is offline  
Old November 16, 2012, 11:13 AM   #25
DFrame
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2008
Location: central Illinois
Posts: 451
I share your feelings about the 3 inch S&Ws. I love the balance and shootability of them. I own 3 inch Detective Specials I wouldn't trade for ANYTHING. I no longer own a ruger DA though the SP-101 I used to have was also a 3 inch gun.
__________________
Mark Lane to William Buckley: "Have you ever referred to Jessee Jackson as an ignoramus?"
Buckley: "If I didn't, I should have"
DFrame is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12554 seconds with 9 queries