Security Six or Blackhawk


April 10, 2010, 08:06 PM
Hi all,

Just like the title says, I'm trying to decide on either a Security Six, or a Blackhawk. It would be used mainly for a woods gun (Colorado), and home defense. I know this might start a brouhaha, but any input and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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April 10, 2010, 08:12 PM
Double action vs. Single action.

Which do you prefer?
Have you tried each? They are quite different.

Like the song says, "flip a quarter, you're a winner either way."


April 10, 2010, 08:17 PM
For starters, both are fantastic guns.

The biggest question would be, are you familiar, experienced, trained, and practiced enough with a single action revolver to be able to realistically use it close, fast, one-handed if necessary, if you intend this to fill a defensive role of some sort.

The procedure for firing all six rounds at an attacking animal or bad guy is pretty straight-forward with the Security Six. (Actually, it doesn't get ANY easier!) As is the process for emptying the spent cases and loading six more.

With the Blackhawk you're going to want to have practiced A LOT to ensure that you can run that gun in the manner, and under the circumstances, that you might need to if "trouble" finds you.

If you are a SASS (Cowboy Action) shooter, you may be faster with the Blackhawk. Otherwise that's not likely.

April 10, 2010, 08:49 PM
Either can do the job but a DA revolver is more suited to the HD role.

April 10, 2010, 09:45 PM
The double action revolver is the top choice in home defense in regards to simplicity of arms. A great choice particualry for the novice. Calibers .357mag and .38. Hands down. ;)

April 10, 2010, 10:05 PM
I've owned both. The Blackhawk is the far better gun in strength and accuracy. I traded a 4" stainless .357 Security Six for a 6.5" blued Blackhawk and don't regret it. More accuracy. Much less muzzle flip and more comfortable to shoot. I've taken a couple of deer with it and carried it all over the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico pre-season scouting. I've taken camp meat with it, shot hogs with it, and if I had to, I'd kill a man with it. It's a stronger gun, a more accurate gun, a better gun for outdoor use.

Now, for self defense, I'd prefer a DA gun, but I could wield the Blackhawk no problem with little loss of confidence. Deal is, the single action will work fine for self defense in the house and it'll be far superior as a field gun. Just decide which you have a priority for. If you're just going to use the gun for hiking protection and not going to actually take game with it, maybe you'd rather have the lighter DA gun. I have another couple of medium frame DA .357s now, years later. When I had to chance to make the trade, I did it because I wanted the field gun first. At the time, I had a 1911 .45ACP and a Smith and Wesson M10 4" DA .38 which are both plenty useful for home defense, but I'd not feel less than well armed with the Blackhawk. It's very accurate and points naturally for me. One thing the Security Six would be superior for is concealed carry, but when I traded that Security Six for my Blackhawk, that wasn't a consideration as Texas had never had and was 8 years away from getting a concealed carry law.

Now, then, you're probably more confused than ever, but really, only you know what's important to you. The Blackhawk is the superior outdoor weapon. The Security Six is the superior defensive weapon. But, it ain't like either is useless in it's weaker roll.

I can tell you this, DA has no place in the outdoors. All shots at game should be taken SA for accuracy at range. There's absolutely no need for DA. Give the poor deer a break and place that shot well. If you're shooting at a bear or something, you'll still want a well placed shot and a novice is going to take a while to master the long, heavy trigger of a DA.

April 10, 2010, 10:49 PM
My 2 cents!
I love both SA & DA.
In the home defense scene, I would have to go with the DA for one reason. Pull the hammer back on a SA and hear it go click, click and maybe one more (depends on new or old model SA). The DA doesn't do that.
I have an old DA that probably hasn't been fired DA more than a cylinder full. SA is where the long range (100+ yards) comes in, HD is 3-5yds. Unless your home is a lot larger than mine. ha ha
Weigh the options and think about whether you want the bad guy to know where you are before you know where they are.


David E
April 11, 2010, 03:02 AM
I agree with the above posts. For a woods gun, either one works fine, but for defense, the DA revolver easily wins.

The single action CAN work for defense, but it'll take some dedication to get some accurate speed out of it, should it be required. AND it'll require two hands, which you may or may not have available.

April 11, 2010, 03:19 AM
Not everyone loves the Six line, but those who do really love it. I'm a big fan, and have owned many. But the trigger pull is different from a Colt or Smith and the grips are small.

The Blackhawk, OTOH, is widely popular and well known as the classic modern single action.

The BH is considerably more difficult to do a complete teardown on, while the Six can be taken apart with a single screwdriver and a rod to hold back the hammer spring. It's a very neat design. Both are tanks. Both would work well.

April 11, 2010, 08:36 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // I think the Six would give you much more versatility.

In a high stress situation the Six would be easier/faster for me to use YMMV.
SS would be easier to keep rust free if camping.
The grips are small so you might need after market. Some folks use Tyler T grips, I put two 1 1/2" wide strips of bicycle innertube around mine.

I've shot both but not in the same cal./barrel length.
Hope you enjoy which ever you choose.

April 11, 2010, 11:17 AM
I would get the Blackhawk but I like single action guns. Using SASS two handed shooting technique you can shoot plenty fast. Having said all that I just got a 3" SP101 .357 and that is what I would get for dual purpose. Every ounce matters out in the woods.

April 11, 2010, 12:49 PM
If I had to pick only one of the two, it would be the Security Six. It is easy to shoot well for hunting and for home defense. Because of the grip angle the recoil is much less in the security six as well.

April 11, 2010, 12:54 PM
use it in the single action mode, as you want a clean kill with the first shot.

April 11, 2010, 03:52 PM
I suggest the double-action Security Six.
Those who decry the double-action as sacrilege as an outdoor gun forget that the Security Six can be thumbed back and fired single action.
I bought my Security Six new in 1976, a 6-inch barreled stainless steel model. I gave it to my brother a few years ago. For me, it was an accurate, well-balanced gun. He hasn't fired it in years, so I doubt he'd do well with it.
The Security Six is a good, solid accurate revolver.
Double-actions are good revolvers for the outdoors and home defense. They are easily checked to see if they're loaded, and what the loads are.
Single actions are clumsier to check, you have to rotate the cylinder to see all rounds. With the double-action and its side-swing cylinder, the status and loads are readily apparent.
This is not as minor a convenience as it appears.
A number of times I've carried my Ruger GP-100 .357 Magnum double-action revolver, loaded with 158 gr. lead semiwadcutters at 1,000 fps or so, while in the backwoods of Idaho.
Then, I spotted a grouse or rabbit that could be legally taken for the cooking pot: push the cylinder out, replace a .357 round with a 130 gr. full metal jacket .38 Special round, close the cylinder so that weak round is next in line, and knock off that evening's meal.
Doing the same with a single action is more complicated, requires more movement and noise (clicks) that may spook small game, and lining up the cylinder requires a little more thought.
Don't get me wrong, I have single-action revolvers too. Notably, a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 and an original Colt SAA in .45, as well as a number of cap and ball revolvers.
To me, the best outdoor pistol for taking small game, defending yourself against two and four-legged predators, and even knocking off a deer is the double-action.
Being able to check it for status or loads quickly, and changing ammo quickly if needed, are its strongest points.
Here in the remote Utah desert I carry either a snubnosed .38 or a Smith & Wesson .38 with 4-inch barrel.
Single actions are generally good, accurate rugged guns but so are good, well-made double actions.

April 11, 2010, 07:10 PM
If I had to pick only one of the two, it would be the Security Six. It is easy to shoot well for hunting and for home defense. Because of the grip angle the recoil is much less in the security six as well.

Oh, my, I must dispute this one. :rolleyes: My Blackhawk has much, much less felt recoil and muzzle climb than that Security Six. The .357 magnum, even HOT loads in the Blackhawk are candy. Hot .45 Colt in my said caliber Blackhawk wakes things up, but 357? Might as well be shooting .22LR. That Security Six with a Hogue grip on it HURT on recoil. With the standard grips, it was unreal, but it still had a bad muzzle jump and recoil with the Hogue on it using hot ammo. My SP101 was a lot easier to shoot fast, didn't have near the muzzle climb with heavy loads and didn't hurt my hand with the Hogue on it, though the trigger guard was murder on my middle finger with the stock grips on it. I think the problem with the Security Six was how high it sat in the hand, especially with a decent grip that filled in behind the trigger guard so it wouldn't pound the middle finger. The SP101 sat lower, better geometry.

My Blackhawk has the accuracy needed for hunting, too, which I like. The Security Six was okay for a service revolver, which is what it was after all, but not really what I'd pick for a 50 yard shot at a hog. Might just have been MY gun, but my Taurus 66 4" will shoot rings around that particular Security Six, 1" 25 yards benched vs 3+. I don't generally keep revolvers no better than that unless they are snubbys. Then, they have an excuse. :D Hell, I have a 3" barrel 68 Rossi that shoots 2" at 25 off the bench.

STILL, I agree that the DA gun, if you're just interested in hiking and not going to go hunting with it, is probably the better choice if you don't already have any kind of handgun. I won't argue that point. And, if it does have the accuracy, it's as good as a SA for hunting, but I'd prefer a 6" gun, not a 4". I don't think the OP is really interested in hunting and, well, I knew everyone was going to jump on the Security Six and thought I'd give an alternative opinion. :D I was weened on single actions, a little SA .22 with a magnum cylinder, back in the 60s, a "Hawes".Then I got into a Colt Navy cap and ball in College. I've always had a preference for SAs as field guns.

Also, if you don't like the pinky under the grip SA technique, you can always add grips to the Blackhawk to give it a more DA feel. These aren't very traditional, but man, talk about your easy shootin' gun with them on it. I don't know what brand or who made 'em, picked 'em up at a gun show used for cheap. What I really like about 'em is the way they fill my hand. I stick with conventional on my .45 Colt Blackhawk. I feel the recoil is better attenuated with hot loads with the old plow handle rolling in the hand.

April 11, 2010, 09:07 PM
That Security Six with a Hogue grip on it HURT on recoil. With the standard grips, it was unreal, but it still had a bad muzzle jump and recoil with the Hogue on it using hot ammo.

I agree with you on the merits of the BH, but I've fired thousands of rounds from Sixes including the Speed Six and have never had this experience with it. With the current setup of modified standard grips and a T-Grip adapter, recoil is very easy to manage even shooting 200 grain bear loads.

I think the problem comes when folks who have larger sized hands or are used to big grips on a handgun deal with the very narrow grips of the Sixes. Particularly the first generation that had no "hump" on the back. For my stubby fingers, the Sixes are a perfect fit.

April 12, 2010, 10:15 AM
Maybe the hand size thing. I don't have really BIG hands, but I could wrap my fingers around that Security Six's grip 3 times. It was like gripping a .22 NAA mini revolver, only in .357 magnum, without the Hogue. The Hogue allowed more grip, but sat the gun up significantly in the hand which didn't help the muzzle jump thing. Anyway, I just plain didn't like it with magnum loads and it didn't shoot .38 for squat. So, I traded it off. I had a M19 at the time that shot much better. I sold that, eventually wound up with the two Taurus 66s and I like those. They're very accurate with either .38 or .357 loads and shoot as easy as the Smith. I should have kept that 19, but I was "making a profit" on it, or so I thought. :rolleyes: Wow, the price they go for now in like new condition..... The 4" Taurus I have shoots a little better, though. I'm happy with it.

The Blackhawk was a step up for me for field use. One thing I like about single actions for field use is their strength, no crane to damage if it's dropped or you fall on it. The frame is SOLID and that gives the gun its strength. After all, the blackhawk frame can handle hot .44 magnum, let alone .357. It is a little heavier, though, at about 40 ounces. It's a great shooter, though. I can bench it at 100 yards, iron sights and all, and plunk 180 grain XTPs into a 4" circle. Add to that the 6.5" barrel gives those rounds near 800 ft lbs. That's pretty confidence inspiring when I take it hunting. I have no plans to ever trade THIS thing off.

April 12, 2010, 11:09 AM
however , I do use the big 180 gr bullet in it with traditional grips which does give me a little more muzzle flip. The security six has much better rubber grips on it and soaks it up more on the 158 gr bullet I use. That said , I would not argue the point MC is making about the Blackhawk , It has done the job for me for about 45 years now and I do prefer it for hunting.

April 12, 2010, 11:25 AM
It is a joy to shoot and much prefer it and the security six to the newer Rugers . I use different grips on mine which allows a much higher grip. When I am out riding my mule around the farmland , I usually carry the speed six with me in open carry.

April 12, 2010, 03:04 PM
the blackhawk and the security six. They both have 6 inch barrels but the blackhawk weighs 4 oz more. After shooting the same 158gr load in each, I stand by what I said earlier. My 46 year old blackhawk kicks more to me. I do not believe the blackhawk kicks like a 22 LR at all. I keep the traditional grips it came with on my blackhawk but have custom grips on my security six. The muzzle flip on the Ruger blackhawk is much greater by far.

April 13, 2010, 01:00 AM

Well this is a interesting discussion with no real answer. The Blackhawk and the Security Six are different revolvers designed for a different purpose. I had a new model Blackhawk with 4 5/8 barrel and still consider the Blackhawk the finest outdoor/woods revolver for the money out there. Accuracy and toughness are the Blackhawk's traits. The new model is built on a 44 mag frame and will soak recoil better than any 357 revolver I have owned. This includes S&W 686, 28 and the Ruger GP100. I still have a Ruger Police Service Six along with my GP100. Both of these revolvers are not as good in the outdoors as the New Model Blackhawk. I love my GP100 and Police Service Six but if I ever got back to camping, hunting and need a general purpose outdoor gun a New Model Blackhawk in a 4 5/8 barrel would be a good choice. The barrel length is short enough to carry without to many problems but is still accurate enough. A single action revolver will never be quite as good for HD. But if one gets good at firing single action then the bottom line is the person won't have worry about reloading.
Good luck,

April 13, 2010, 07:37 AM
at 1375ft/sec producing about 775 ft/lbs energy. Hardly giving a recoil of a 22 LR for sure. It does the job I want on deer and Wild boar in the Oak hammock part of the farmland. Most shots are between 30 to 40 yards but a few have been a little farther.

April 13, 2010, 08:30 AM
I was comparing it to the recoil of the Security Six. Compared to that, it's a .22. :D I shoot a 180 Hornady XTP over 13.8 grains AA#9. It makes 1400 fps/785 ft lbs from the 6.5" barrel. Hogs, deer, just fine to 50 yards. My hot 140 JHPs, 17 grains 2400, that I carry in my DAs for defense are powder puff in the Blackhawk. I shoot a lot of 165 grain cast gas checked (Lee 158 mold) over 14.5 grains 2400, my utility load, in the Blackhawk. They get 1470 fps and recoil is mild.

Also, my Security Six was a 4" gun, if that matters. It was quite a bit lighter than the Blackhawk.

April 13, 2010, 10:41 AM
as you are shooting about thge same loads I am in the blackhawk and the the lighter loads are mild in recoil . I like the 357 magnum as it is much more versatile. Going from the 110gr-200gr bullets can give a hunter a variety in game with one gun. Heck, my 180 gr bullet will give energy as great or better than the 41 magnum . What I like about Ruger guns is that they can handle the hotter loads for hunting and are reasonably priced.

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