Shooting a K-frame


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Reddbecca
April 6, 2007, 04:23 PM
As some know I have a Ruger Security Six, stainless steel construction, 4" barrel, .357 Magnum chambering. The gun's about 27 years old give or take, and I bought it used with no idea of how much it's been shot. Basically Ruger's answer to the S&W Model 66.

I primarily use .38 Specials in it, but every now and then I get the desire to shoot some .357 Magnums, the 125 gr. variety because they're all I've got access to.

I know that K-frames in general weren't designed to constantly use .357 Magnums, but they supposedly take more damage from the 125 gr. variety because they're loaded hotter than the 158 gr. type. What I want to know is if very occasionally using the 125s until I acquire 158s, but primarily stick to the .38 Sepcials, will damage the forcing cone too much.

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Gator
April 6, 2007, 04:31 PM
You don't have a K frame, so why worry? The Ruger may have been an answer to the 66, but it is a completely different design. The 125s will erode a line into the topstrap eventually, but it will only go so deep then stop. The Ruger topstrap is plenty thick and the erosion won't harm it.

Reddbecca
April 6, 2007, 05:25 PM
Technically the Security Six is a K-frame...

I'm not worried about the topstrap, I'm worried about the forcing cone itself, the mouth of the barrel that faces the front of the cylinder, the place that's subject to plasma fire from ignited powder.

.224 magnum
April 6, 2007, 05:43 PM
I have a couple of model 19 k frame smith wessons, and have read that the reason they are weaker in the forcing cone is that they have some metal removed from the bottom outside of it to have room for their ejecter rod. The Ruger is not designed this way, and doesn't have the same weakness here. I have always been told to shoot whatever I wanted in ruger.

El Tejon
April 6, 2007, 06:12 PM
Red, I have been shooting my first Ruger Security Six since 1983 (I now have many). I have shot almost every load known to gunkind through it, no problems (so far).:)

Shoot it until the wheels come off and then send it in to get fixed.:cool:

DrLaw
April 6, 2007, 07:45 PM
It isn't that the 125's are loaded 'hotter'. Most commercial loads are not loaded too hot for the reason that the companies do not want to be the ones blamed when the gun blows up. It's just that a 125 having less weight than a 158 will scoot out the barrel just a tad faster than the 158 and the 158 leaves less room for more powder. Check reloading manuals and you will see that this is the case. Since gas is going to come out between the cylinger and the barrel in a revolver (excepting the Nagant for you technical nit-pickers out there) you will always have a jetting action of the gas no matter what cartridge you use.

The Doc is out now. :cool:

universal
April 6, 2007, 07:53 PM
Technically the Security Six is a K-frame...

No, it is not. The K frame is a Smith & Wesson. It might be similar to a K frame, but it is not a K frame.

Sistema1927
April 6, 2007, 08:12 PM
The Ruger Six series pistols are built like tanks.

.224 magnum
April 6, 2007, 08:34 PM
It seems that the 125 load also [hits] the forcing cone harder than 158 or heavier loads because they are easier to start accelerating. They are reported to crack the cone after alot of shooting in k frames. Again I reiterate Rugers don't suffer this problem.

Reddbecca
April 6, 2007, 10:13 PM
Well I just wanted to be sure. The Security Six has been out of production for about as long as I've been alive, and I don't know how many replacement parts Ruger still has before they run out.

Probably sounds stupid but I worry about it. It was the very first handgun I ever bought and I don't want to abuse it, even if it is built like a frickin' tank.

Confederate
April 7, 2007, 12:00 AM
The Ruger Security-Six was not known for having problems with forcing cone erosion like the Smith K-frames were. Part of the reason is that the K-frames had a notch taken out of them on the bottom to facilitate the closing of the cylinder. The forcing cone also was simply more resiliant in the Ruger.

The Ruger may be about the same size as the K-frame, but unlike the Smith, it was designed from the ground up to be a .357. Having a solid frame gives it strength that rivals single action revolvers. The top strap also is much more massive. This means it is far more robust than the Smiths. As you're probably aware, gas from the cartridge leeches out the carbon, eventually making the forcing cones brittle and subject to cracking. But stainless steel has enough chromium in it that this process is greatly reduced, and Ruger's stainless seems to be a bit more resiliant than Smith's. (At least Ruger's quality control was always better.)

Gun writer Skeeter Skelton wrote that he knew of three Ruger Security-Six revolvers that had in excess of 30,000 rounds each of full throttle ammo. One was just starting to get out of time, but the other two were going strong. I've heard similar stories. This is far better than the 2,000 round standard for Smith K-frames. After about 4,000-5,000 rounds, the frames of the Smiths become too warped to repair generally -- this, according to an NRA techie back in the late '70s. He wore out two K-frames by shooting magnum ammo.

The 125-gr. JHPs will eventually erode any forcing cone, so none of them is invulnerable. But your Security-Six is strong enough to handle many thousands of them. It's a good, solid gun.

RON in PA
April 7, 2007, 05:29 AM
No doubt that the Ruger SSs are tougher guns than Smith .357 K-frames, but according to Wilson's biography of Bill Ruger there were problems with 125 grain .357 loads. One result was the dropping of the Sixes and the adoption of the GP100.

dogngun
April 7, 2007, 07:01 AM
The 125 grain .357 magnum loads were very hot in the old days. They have since been "made over", different powder charge, etc, and your K Frame (if you had one) would be perfectly safe shooting MODERN FACTORY- LOADED
.357 magnum ammo. My old Model 19 is loaded with Winchester 125's at this very moment.

Your Six-Series Ruger is NOT a K-frame...Only Smiths make a K Frame revolver, based on the Model 10 .38 Special. The design goes back to the 1880's.
Rugers are very strong, but Smiths are as well... the K frame "problems" are very over-rated. They are fine revolvers.

Mark

Chad
April 7, 2007, 07:46 AM
Your wrist will develop problems long before your Ruger will. :D

My 4" Security Six has thousands of rnds of all flavors through it and shows no sign of wear. I have no doubt it will outlast me.

351 WINCHESTER
April 10, 2007, 02:04 AM
I had a ruger security six stainless. I gave it to my sister for her "truck" gun. The action (single and double) was horrible. It was relailable otherwise I would not have given it to my sister. Make mine a s & w anyday - rugers are too big and heavy for carry, but they do fine as a hammer when needed or a nightstand gun.

Honestely I've never had a ruger that I liked with the exception of an old semi auto 22 with a 6 3/8" bbl.

ArchAngelCD
April 10, 2007, 02:42 AM
I own a Ruger Police Service-Six (which is very close to a Security-Six) and let me tell you, it is built a lot better than a S&W K frame. Shoot .357 round all you want out of your Ruger and don't worry about it, they were built correctly.

351 WINCHESTER,
Are you serious???? The triggers on the newer Rugers may be terrible but the older triggers on the Service/Security/Speed-Six revolvers are smooth as glass!!!

351 WINCHESTER
April 10, 2007, 03:09 PM
I well aware that the ruger revolvers are tough guns. They are just too big and heavy for my purposes. Yes they will take a lot of magnum rounds.

The trigger pulls on the k frame smiths are wonderful, but the ruger's are out to lunch.

I don't shoot that many magnums anyway so I'll keep my smith's.

JohnBT
April 10, 2007, 03:47 PM
My Police Service Six came with wonderful DA and SA pulls right out of the box. I put a spring kit in it a few years ago to 'improve' the trigger pull, but it made both of them worse. Go figure. I took it out and put the spring in the holster drawer with the other useless stuff.

I too have shot all sorts of ammo through it over the years.
_________

"I have shot almost every load known to gunkind through it"

I thought you said "known to gunkid"

Got to stop drinking so much coffee.

John

ArchAngelCD
April 10, 2007, 05:26 PM
351 WINCHESTER,
Are we talking about the same thing here? I'm talking about the older Service/Speed/Security-Six revolvers, not the GP100 or SP101 revolvers. My 2.75" Service-Six is no heavier than a 3" Model 19 and the trigger is just as smooth on both.

BTW, I'm a big S&W fan too but this revolver is very high quality so there is no reason not to own it, especially since it cost less than a used Model 19.

351 WINCHESTER
April 11, 2007, 12:59 AM
Yes, I'm talking about the original ruger single six with 2.75" bbl. Bought her nib stainless. It was my first d/a ruger and I was very disappointed with her trigger pull. I was used to k frame smith's and in my opinion the average k frame of the same time period of the ruger sec. six had a much smoother action. I have only found 1 ruger, a sp101 that someone had done an action job. I have to admit that gun had a very smooth action, but that was the exception, not the rule. I've had bad luck with ruger's having had 2 mini 14's, a bolt .270, 44mag carbine, .44 redhawk, security six, sp101 and a .22 auto pistol. I had accuracy problems with all the rifles. The only ruger I owned and still do is an older .22 pistol that I purchased back in the early 70's. Oh I did have an sp101 that was ok, but just too big and heavy for daily carry. On both mini 14's I had serious accuracy issues. I dumped the first one and later bought another and she wouldn't keep 5 rounds on a paper plate at 75 yds. Tried another scope, open sights, different ammo - made little difference. Sent her back to ruger and they fixed the problem - I think they said the barrel was not alligned properly, but she shoots much better now except when the bbl. heats up. My youngest son wanted to shoot the 14 so we went down to Grandmothers property and we were having jams. The gun would not always go into battery. It was a very hot day and, well I got overheated. My son kept handing me the rifle every time she jamed. I finally had enough of her. My son handed me that damm rifle one more time. I removed the mag., ejected the unfired round and threw her as far as I could. Later that night I gave her a good cleaning and put her back to rest.

Reddbecca
April 11, 2007, 09:34 AM
Just in case it interests anybody, yesterday I found out how to take apart by Security Six and then put it back together again.

Finally gained access to the spring too. Gonna shorten it one wrap at a time, measuring the trigger pull with each section until I get it lighter. But DAMN those things are hard to cut!

ArchAngelCD
April 11, 2007, 02:40 PM
I really wouldn't cut the original spring. If you have a bad outcome you can't go back to stock. I suggest you buy a Wolf Spring kit and experiment with those springs so you still have a working spring to put back into your revolver.

Reddbecca
April 11, 2007, 03:13 PM
Thanks for the advice, but unfortunately it's too late...

I was careful though, nothing drastic. In the end all that was cut off was two coils, no more. Made sure nothing was sticking out or bent out of proportion either. Now the double action trigger pull is a good deal lighter and everything feels fine. The hammer still hits hard, the firing pin moves out when struck, and come the next time we go to the range I'll get a report back on firing.

ArchAngelCD
April 11, 2007, 03:18 PM
I'm glad it worked out this time but in the future I would suggest not cutting original parts that are no longer made. If it were a current production model I would say go for it but your revolver is out of production.

I can't wait for your report..... I might have to buy a lighter spring if you give us the go....

Does anyone know what the stock spring on the Service-Six is rated? To bad there isn't a way to measure the rating on your cut spring Reddbecca.

Reddbecca
April 11, 2007, 03:37 PM
Thankfully if something went wrong there's a number of people selling mainspring assemblies that are completely stock. If I get a failure to fire because the primer isn't hit hard enough, I can just place an order and correct my mistake.

Fortunately I was smart enough not to do this modification to my ONLY handgun, I've got a second just in case something ever happened and it needed a qualified expert to look over it.

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