Info needed on a new acquisition


Pax Romana
September 9, 2009, 07:31 PM
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

First off, I am a new user so please restrain yourself if I say something that is ignorant: If I do this, it is because I am still learning :)

At any rate, I recently picked up a Ruger Speed Six that has been converted from .357 to .44 special. However, I know next to nothing about this conversion, who performs them, and the estimated value of this handgun. Aside from a small spring issue, the gun is in excellent condition and I paid $200 USD for it. Based on my "investment", was this a decent price? Pictures will follow, and I am having a local tech inspect it before I take it out for firing. Thanks for your replies and information!

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Jim K
September 9, 2009, 07:55 PM
It seems an OK price, provided the conversion was done well. The problem is that there is now no connection with Ruger; such a drastic alteration of the gun not only voided any warranty, but likely means that Ruger will not undertake to do any repairs.

Since you don't know who did the conversion, support from that area is also out. In other words, you have a gun without a home. I have not seen one of those conversions, but have heard they are OK if done right. But if something does go wrong, it is your gun.

But do NOT, repeat NOT exceed standard .44 Special pressures (15k psi) or you risk blowing the gun apart. Yes, I know the original gun was a .357 Magnum, but the cylinder walls are a lot thinner with .44 than they were with .357.


Pax Romana
September 9, 2009, 08:02 PM
Thanks for the reply, Jim.

The only bits of info that I were able to get so far were in regards to the load, and to not use anything beyond the factory load as mentioned by you (and printed on the RH side of the barrel). Hopefully I should be able to find out who did the conversion; I have to pick the seller's brain and may have to see if he can locate the guy he purchased it from? Sounds like some detective work!

September 9, 2009, 08:11 PM
Assuming your gunsmith gives it a 'thumbs-up', you got a great deal on the revolver.

Jim Watson
September 9, 2009, 08:50 PM
Conversion of Ruger Speed Sixes to .44 Special was done under the direction of Paris Theodore of Seventrees holsters, better known for the ASP 9mm pistol. I do not know who did the actual gunsmithing.
Dean Grennell, always one for the turn of speech, called his the "Fast Five."

I think Hamilton Bowen did some, too.

A pity yours is not marked by the gunsmith to pin it down.

Nobody is doing it now, the Speed Six having been discontinued for some time.

As Jim K says, it is a major modification with no warranty support from Ruger and Seventrees is long gone.

But it is still an interesting gun that you could not likely duplicate for a thousand dollars.

I would load it with the Federal 200 grain lead hollowpoint for "social purposes"

That to be done after you have resolved your "small spring issue."
Just what IS a "small spring issue?" It is fairly usual for people to install too weak springs in an effort to reduce trigger pull. If that is all that is wrong, it is easily fixed.

Pax Romana
September 10, 2009, 03:25 PM
Hi Jim,

This "small spring issue" involves a small threaded rod that slides into the cylinder and is supposed to have a spring around it, from what I have been told. Without this spring, I cannot get the cylinder to swing out for loading. I know this could potentially be a big pain, but research has lead me to a few potential sites online where I would be able to order a replacement. But before I do any ordering of parts, I want to have a trusted friend/amateur gunsmith take a look at it this weekend. The worst case scenario would be that I could have him machine the spring for me, but I don't want to jump too fast into this as I want to do things right...

I could only hope for some kind of hallmark somwhere on the gun, but I was not as lucky...

I didn't know that hamilton Bowen did these- Perhaps if I took a few pictures and uploaded them here this would be helpful? Thanks again for all of your info!

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