The Ruger Security Six Series … One Of Bill’s Best!


With over 1.5 million made, Tank knows where four of security six series are.
The speed six has eluded him somehow.

Ruger’s Security Six series is a favorite of mine and was one of the best Bill Ruger ever produced. From the ‘60s to mid- ‘80s, the .357 magnum revolver was the sidearm of choice for law enforcement and security officers. Bill saw an opportunity and wanted a piece of the action from this large market. The Security Six series was produced from 1972-1988.

Basically, the same size as Smith &Wesson’s K frame, the security series was stronger, due to its one-piece, investment cast frame, making it impossible to shoot loose. Proving this point, Ruger salesmen were known for throwing the guns the length of the range, against brick/concrete walls, and then shooting them. Some even ran over the guns with trucks, proving the toughness of the new double-action revolver.

In layman’s terms, they were “cop proof.” I’m not knocking my fellow brothers in blue, but every department has it share of “non-gun” people who neglect their guns. Yet, the Ruger Security series stood up against the most severe abuses.

Leather is abundant for classic “K” frame style revolvers. L to R, a pancake
style holster, Bianchi and Barranti Leather, all with thumb snaps. Most gun
shops have bargain barrels filled with old leather.

Tank’s Turn

I remember signing my name on the supply form 37 years ago acknowledging receipt of a hefty rectangular shipping sleeve. Inside was a yellow and black Ruger box containing my issued service revolver, a brand new 4” stainless .38 Special Service Six. Being in the police academy, it was indeed a special moment. It even had our departments badge engraved on the side.

First impressions are lasting ones. I guess this is where I obtained my affection for Ruger firearms. It sure shot well. After thousands of rounds going through it, I was impressed. The more I shot it, the smoother the action became. I still have this gun and it would be one of the last I’d ever get rid of for sentimental reasons.

The only modification I ever made was adding a set of Pachmayr finger groove grips to it. The first inch or so of barrel throat is scorched, but it’s still as tight as when I received it, shoots as accurately as ever and is one of the smoothest double-action revolvers I have.

What’s In A Name?

The Security Six had adjustable rear sights. The Service Six had hog trough rear sights and the Speed Six was a round-butted snubby, also with fixed sights, favored by undercover officers. As the years passed, I added a few more Security Sixes to my safe whenever I saw one. Back then, you could pick them up for $200. S&Ws were about double that. Boy, were those the days! I ended up with both a 4” and 6” stainless Security Six, along with a blued 6” security six.

There’s something about having adjustable sights to zero-in your handloads, matching your point of aim, that instills confidence. My Service Six shot 2” left at 25 yards. This was easily rectified by my range instructor brusquely stating, “aim right!” That simple, eh?

After the hammer pin is removed, the hammer can be lifted out.
The trigger assembly comes out as one piece with a unique plunger system.

The hammer strut/spring is easily removed now. The strut can
be used to disassemble the rest of the gun.

Easy No Tool Breakdown

Due to the one-piece investment cast frame, the Security Series breaks down easily. Removing the grip panels with a screwdriver (or dime) allows taking out the main spring/strut after blocking it with the provided pin in the grip. You can use the strut to push out the hammer pin, allowing removal of the hammer. From here, the trigger housing is easily removed via an ingenious plunger system. The cylinder crane can also be easily removed now after releasing it, leaving the frame and barrel. It’s a simple, solid, rugged design.

After cocking the hammer, insert slave pin and let hammer down.
This keeps the spring from releasing.

Once the grip screw is removed, removing a grip panel
allows access to a slave pin for the hammer strut.

Old Gun Attitudes

Strapping on any one of my Security Six’s for a walk in the woods or field is comforting indeed, but not in the way you’re thinking. Doing so brings back memories of being issued my first duty gun when things were simpler, cheaper and I had the feeling of being invincible.

Looking back, these $200 used shooters were more of a bargain than I ever imagined, being capable of bringing back memories like $1.00 a gallon gasoline and primers for less than $10 a brick.

You only need a dime to disassemble the security six series of guns, a unique and handy trait.

Constant Hunt

I always keep my eyes peeled for the old Ruger’s. If they’re offered at a reasonable price, chances are I’m going to buy it. With over 1.5 million of them made, that’s a lot of happy memories to bring back — and make. Maybe I’ll find the elusive speed six one of these days? These guns are fantastic for teaching youngsters the fundamentals of shooting and safe gun handling. Revolvers keep the cycle going round in more ways than one.

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