Ruger Service Six questions


October 21, 2004, 11:57 AM
First off I would like to say hi. Long time lurker, first time poster. Love the site.

About a week ago I was at a gun show not really looking for anything in paticular but stumbled onto a very clean, little used Ruger Police Service Six in .357. It's stainless with a 4" barrel, fixed sights. I absolutly loved it from picking it up to taking it home. Just a great older gun with little to no wear.

Went over to my local Wally World and bought one box of 130 grain Winchester White box .38's. Put about 12 rounds through it a 25 feet. Gun functioned great, good trigger etc.

Question I had was my groups were tight but very low. I am talking about 4-5" low from POA to POI. I was using a center hold. Moving to a 12 o'clock hold (sights about 2" above bull) I was much better. Is this just something I will have to adjust to being a fixed sighted gun? Will .357 ammo POI differently. Just seemed to me that I was pretty low on POI for the distance I was shooting in relation to POA.

Thanks for the help or tips guys.

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October 21, 2004, 12:19 PM
There will be different POI with different loads...that's why some guys don't like shooting 38's out of 357's(I do it all the time) Speed six shoots high w/ the 130grainers.....If I do a 6o'clock hold it's right on though....if you're going to use this gun for defense,it would be worth it to try a few different loads to see which one shoots POA....good luck...BTW what'd you pay for the Six??:cool:

October 21, 2004, 12:34 PM
Welcome, kjaniak! Glad to have you here.

The advice on different loads and points of impact if very good. Try some +P .38's, 158 grn. Lead Semi wadcutter hollowpoint (LSWCHP) loads. The heavier recoil pulse may rais your point of impact, and they are a great load for self defense if you want to stick to .38's. Try some .357's as well, the 125 grain HPs have the best record in street use.

October 21, 2004, 01:01 PM
Thanks alot guys and keep the suggestions coming.

Well I think I paid a bit too much for it at $265. I wasn't going to lose it over 20 bucks though and I just really liked the gun. Just in really nice shape with hardly any more scratches than my new SP-101 had. Was looking at the half under lug GP-100 in 4" stainless as well but at right around $400 new....I have been on the fence a while and just waiting. I just don't see many Security/Speed/Service Six around where I am at and to be honest, I like it a bit better than the GP in terms of the grips, balance and overall finish.

So the seller was happy, the buyer was real happy and I can always make more money. :p

October 21, 2004, 01:08 PM
If it's in as good shape as you describe,I think you did Speed six was $239,and it's beat up a lot....maybe I got screwed:uhoh:
seriouly these are great guns,I like them far better than the GP..although my SP is my favorite....:cool:

October 21, 2004, 05:49 PM
My service 6 shoots low with 38s but dead on with 357 125's and not as low with 38's in 125 i was told these guns sights were sized for 125s according to a old gunsmith i know weather its true or not but holds truc with mine

October 21, 2004, 08:43 PM
Sounds normal to me as 110s often shoot low. I had three Service Sixes at last count, one new in 1981 and factory overhauled in 1994 from constant heavy use (forcing cone wear from .357/125s).

At 15 yds you will find the 110s about 1.5" low, standard weight .38s about 2-3" high, and most .357s about on. Not enough to worry about for social purposes or practical shooting. I zero mine for .357/125s and just hold a little low with the .38s plinking.

FWIW I have used the Service Sixes and Security Sixes pretty interchangeably for work and later CCW since 1981 and am equally satisfied with either. Like Bill Cody once said about his Remington .44, "It never failed me".

You have a good gun there.

October 24, 2004, 11:31 PM
First let me say that for a near mint Service Six that you could hand check out, that is not a bad price. They don't make them anymore so finding a near new one is a rare thing. Also keep in mind, that a new Ruger or S&W revolver in .357mag and SS from Ruger or S&W is going to cost you a darn sight more than $265.

I am a big fan of the Six Series line from Ruger. I have a 4" SS Speed Six and a 4" SS Security Six. I want a 4" SS Service Six to add to my collection so I am a little jealous. With Rugers, I much prefer the stainless revolvers. In a S&W, I like a nice blued finish but Ruger revolvers look much better in SS so I don't even want a blued Ruger. I had a blued and SS Speed Six and I got rid of the blued because it did nothing for me yet I love my SS Speed Six. Go figuire.

The pointing low (or high, left, right) is a common problem with all fixed sight guns. If it is just pointing low and not low and to the right for example, you can get a shorter front sight which would bring the POA up. I think Ruger sells different sight heights for this reason. Ruger still carries the full line of Six Series parts in case you ever need to replace a broken or worn out part. Also with just a phone call, you can have them mail you a owner's manual for free if you don't have one. It is always good to have an owner's manual so you know how to take these guns down for cleaning. The Ruger revovlers are the only revovlers I have ever seen that I would say you can truly field strip. S&W revovlers are too complex to take apart unless you know what you are doing and even then, frequent taking apart will start to wear out the screws.

The Six series is my favorite tough revovler. If I have to take a revovler into war, it would be a Ruger Six. Probably a Speed SIx or a Service Six die to the fixed sights. They are tough as nails but still handy and well balanced. The GP-100 and S&W 586/686 are heavy and muzzle heavy, they feel like a crobar in comparison to the Six series guns.

You have a modern classic that is going to be a hot collectable someday in the distant future. Don't sell it or you will risk kicking yourself everyday like many people have told me when they sold their Speed or Security Sixes.

October 26, 2004, 12:31 AM
Lighter bullets will print lower on the target than heavier bullets, the old standard bullet weight for 38s or 357s is 158 grains, the impact point should be close when using that weight bullet. The rule of thumb is that heavier bullets will impact higher and lighter bullets lower.

When I was carrying a S&W Model 19 as my service pistol, the 125 grain 357 got to be the recommended load for best performance, when I switched to the 125s from 158 gr bullets, the impact was really low, seems like it was about a foot low at 25 yards, I started cranking on the elevation screw on the rear sight, the rear sight was cranked so high it looked funny, but I finally got it adjusted for the lighter bullet, I was afraid I was going to run out of travel on elevation.

I also have a Service Six with a 2 3/4 inch barrel and a Security Six with a 6 inch barrel I won at a PPC match.

4v50 Gary
October 26, 2004, 01:54 AM
If it's ever going to be a self-defense gun, then find a load you are happy with and then learn where it shoots. You may want to shorten the front sight blade (or replace it with a taller one) to get it to shoot where you aim. Then with all other ammo, learn Kentucky Windage with it.

BTW, I have two Ruger DA revolvers (Speed Six and Service Six) and love them both.

Jim March
October 26, 2004, 04:05 AM
I agree completely with the suggestion to try 38+P 158 lead hollowpoints. Winchester and Remington have good ones that will perform just fine in that 4" barrel and you'll probably find them to be dead on or close to it.

October 26, 2004, 08:31 AM
Thank you all for your advice/suggestions. I appreciate it.

I am going to get some different ammo as suggested and see what it does. I know the more I pick this gun up, the more I like it and it will definitely see some "belt time" in the future.

Thanks again.

October 26, 2004, 01:48 PM
<post deleted, apologies>

October 30, 2004, 08:20 PM
I saw a used Ruger Police Service-Six at a gun shop years ago and after inspecting it carefully, pounced on that bad boy like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat. It was fitted with aftermarket rubber grips, but as luck would have it I came across a set of original woods (complete with Ruger medallion) at a gun show the following year. It's a wonderful handgun, and will soon be one of your favorites, too. If I had to carry a 4" .357 Magnum, that would be the one on my belt.

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