Ruger Security-Six

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Ruger Security-Six
Ruger Security-Six in .357 Magnum
Type Revolver
Place of origin United States
Production history
Manufacturer Sturm, Ruger
Produced 1972—1988
Weight 33.5 oz (4 inch barrel)
Barrel length
  • 2.74 inch (70mm)
  • 3 inch (76 mm)
  • 4 inch (102 mm)
  • 6 inch (152 mm)

Action Double action
Feed system Six round cylinder
Sights Fixed and adjustable iron open

The Ruger Security-Six and its variants, the Service-Six and Speed-Six are a product line of double-action revolvers introduced in 1972 and manufactured until 1988 by Sturm, Ruger & Company. These revolvers were marketed to law enforcement duty issue, military, and civilian self-defense markets.[1]

Development and history[edit]

The introduction of the Security-Six and its variants marked Sturm Ruger's first attempt to enter the double-action revolver market. The corporation's earlier designs had been Colt Peacemaker-style single-action revolvers. Ruger used investment casting for most parts in an effort to hold down production costs.[2] As with all Ruger firearms, the Security-Six revolvers were robustly designed with large, heavy-duty parts for durability and to allow for investment casting.[2][3] The "six series" line enjoyed sales success because of their basic features, solid construction, and competitive pricing.[2]

Various models were issued by US government agencies as diverse as the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Postal Service, the Border Patrol, and numerous police agencies. The Security-Six and its derivatives also became the standard issue service weapons of a large number of police departments, in addition many were exported overseas.[1] While Ruger's Security-Six line has been out of production since 1988, a total of over 1.5 million revolvers were produced and they remain well-liked and respected, as well as highly sought after in the second-hand market.[1][3]

The GP100 replaced the Security-Six in the Ruger product line.


The Security-Six and its variants were more or less identical in basic design, with minor differences in sights (fixed or adjustable) and frame (round or square butt). Although medium-framed in size, the Security-Six was somewhat stronger than competing guns like the Smith & Wesson Model 19 as the Ruger featured a thicker frame without a sideplate cutout, a stronger barrel shank support, larger, stronger internal parts, and an increased diameter cylinder with offset bolt locking notches. The new revolvers were initially manufactured in a blued carbon steel finish; in 1975 stainless steel versions of all models were added to the lineup.[1] Featuring six-round cylinders, the Security-Six series represented one of the first modern revolver designs to feature a hammer powered by a coil spring utilizing a transfer-bar firing system, and was chambered for a variety of centerfire ammunition cartridges including .38 Special and .357 Magnum, as well as .38 S&W and 9×19mm Parabellum (9mm Luger).[1][3] All Security-Six series revolvers came with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supplied service-style wooden grips.[1] The wood grips were all manufactured for Ruger by W.F. Lett Manufacturing in New Hampshire, a now-defunct contractor. Most of these wood grips featured a diamond-shaped panel of pressed checkering, though smooth walnut grips with uncheckered panels were shipped with some commemorative models. Oversized walnut target/combat grips were also available as a factory option. During the 1980s, some of the Speed- and Service-Six models were also shipped with rubber Pachmayr grips containing the silver Ruger emblem.

Another feature of the Security-Six was straightforward disassembly, which required no tools with the exception of a flathead screwdriver, coin, or cartridge case rim used to remove the grip screw.

Disassembly of the Security-Six is as follows: 1: Make sure the firearm is unloaded. 2: Turn out grip screw. 3: Remove Grips. 4: Compress main spring. 5: Insert pin and decompress main spring. 6: Remove main spring. 7: Remove hammer pin. 8: Remove hammer. 9: Release and remove trigger assembly. 10: Release and remove Cylinder.


Introduced in 1972, the Security-Six was the original model of the new series.[4] The majority of these guns were manufactured with adjustable sights, though a few early models were sold with fixed sights. Security-Sixes could be ordered with either service or "target" (combat) -style square butt grips. Nearly all Security-Sixes were chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, which also permitted the use of the shorter .38 Special cartridge. Ruger also chambered the Security-Six in .38 Special for some police orders by fitting different cylinders that could only accommodate the .38 Special cartridge. Barrel lengths available on the Security-Six included 2.75, 4, and 6 inches.[1][3]

The .357 Magnum, four inch barreled model was standard issue to uniformed officers of the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service[5] as well as Patrol Agents of the U.S. Border Patrol until both agencies adopted .40 caliber semi-automatic pistols.[6]


After a few months of production, Ruger renamed the fixed-sight version of the Security-Six the Service-Six or alternatively, the "Police Service-Six". This was largely a marketing decision and an attempt to capitalize on the lucrative law enforcement service revolver market. The Service-Six was normally chambered in .357 Magnum, though Ruger also built versions in .38 Special and 9mm Luger (Parabellum) for some police orders.[2] The U.S. Military contracted for the fixed-sight .38 Special variant adding a lanyard ring to the butt and designating it the M108. It was to replace aging Smith & Wesson Model 10 for issuing to air crews and military police.[citation needed] The 9mm variant featured cylinder chambers bored to headspace the cartridge on the case mouth instead of the rim, using a patented spring moon clip to permit extraction of the fired case. These alterations allowed the rimless 9mm cartridge to be used in a revolver design. Barrel length options for the Service-Six included 2.75 and 4 inches.[2] The 9mm was also marketed under the designation M109.


Rare Speed-Six variant in 9mm Parabellum, which uses moon clips to chamber the rimless cartridges

Incorporating fixed sights and a round-butt frame, and available in .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .38 S&W (.380-200), and 9mm Luger, the Speed-Six was intended for use by plainclothes detectives and others desiring a more concealable handgun. The standard barrel lengths available for these models were the same as those for the Service-Six, but also included a 3-inch length in certain law-enforcement contract orders, such as for the U.S. Postal Service (Model GS33-PS). The .357 Magnum, three-inch barreled model was standard issue to Special Agents of the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service[5] as well as Patrol Agents of the U.S. Border Patrol working plain clothes assignments until both agencies adopted .40 caliber semi-automatic pistols.[6] The .38 S&W variant (in England known as the .380 British or .380-200) was equipped with a military-style lanyard ring, and was sold to law enforcement organizations in India.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h “Ruger Security Six, Police Service Six, Speed Six and GS32-N revolvers (USA)” World Guns Web site. Accessed December 14, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tong, David. “Ruger Security-Six .357 Magnum Revolver” Chuck Hawks Web site. Accessed December 14, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Crumpston, Mike. "Revisiting Ruger's Revolvers" BNET Web site. Accessed December 14, 2008.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b Former I&NS Special Agent
  6. ^ a b Former Border Patrol Agent