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Ruger Single Six .22/.22 mag choice

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by au_prospector, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. au_prospector

    au_prospector Well-Known Member

    Okay I am in the market for a Ruger Single Six .22 / mag convertible.

    I walk into one of my favorite local gun stores and ask as to the price of a 6.5 inch stainless new revolver. My friend checks his computer and says he can order me one for $450, which I recognize is a more than fair price.

    Then he says he has an older one in the case and pulls it out. Original box, both cylinders, and original manual. It is priced at $500. I make a mental note that the first two serial numbers are 15. I also note this is a three screw gun and has not been back to Ruger for the safety transfer bar attachment. After checking the Ruger website, I believe this gun to be made in 1960. It is a really nice looking gun. The action sounded good. The wood grips were in good shape. There is holster wear on the blueing at he muzzle and on the frame behind the cylinder opposite from the gate. (about 25% left in these areas) No rust, scratches or nicks. Rest of the original blue in great shape. Adjustable rear sight.

    So heck, assuming I cannot afford both without my wife throwing me out of the house. Which one should I get? I wanted a new stainless, but am intrigued with the 1960 version as a bit of history. I do however want a shooter. I assume the the older gun is solid enough for a dozen range trips per year?

    Any input is appreciated.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The older one would be my preferance.
    It will for sure have a better trigger pull then a New Model Stainless.

    But I don't mind carrying only 5 rounds in my 6-shooters.

    If you want to carry it fully loaded for hunting or hiking, get the New Model with the drop-safety.

    You can bet that gun will still be working perfecly long after you are.

  3. CTPhil

    CTPhil Well-Known Member

    I would handle them both if you can find someone who has a stainless one. To me they feel quite different in the hand. I love the idea of the stainless, but the steel ones feel best in my hand.
  4. au_prospector

    au_prospector Well-Known Member

    Does it sound like the steel one is priced appropriately? Am I getting a bargain? They took it on trade.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  6. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    I definitely prefer the Old Models as well. That one does sound a little high, by at least $100. Problem is that they don't make them any more and everybody thinks that just because it's an Old Model it's automatically a collectible. I put a $100 premium on the 1953-1962 models with the Colt-style XR3 grip frame but $500 would be tough to swallow. It's also likely not an adjustable sight model but one with the dovetail rear sight. The adjustable sighted Super Single Six didn't debut until 1964.

    As far as longevity, it will likely outlast your grandchildren. Here is a shot of my most-used sixgun, a 1963 model. It has seen 25-30,000rds over the last few years and is no worse for wear than when I bought it ten years ago. For $200. It's since been retrofitted with an XR3 grip frame, fancy claro walnut grips, steel ejector housing and bullseye ejector.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Oh my!

    That's nice right there, I don't care who ya are!!

  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Beautiful. For the ignorant among us, can you explain the XR3 grip frame?

    To the OP, I'd buy the old one just for the 4 clicks. Gotta have the 4 clicks. I sold my Vaquero because it didn't have the 4 clicks. :)
  9. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Thanks, that's my baby! Been trying in vain to wear it out.....to no avail.

    The XR3 was the first grip frame Ruger used on Single Sixes and Blackhawks ("flat-tops") from 1953-1962. Its shape is a dead ringer for the Colt SAA/Navy pattern. Some shooters complained about the .44's busting their middle knuckles. In 1963 Ruger added a little more room behind the triggerguard and the XR3-RED was born. For me, the XR3/Colt SAA pattern just handles so much better, even though the physical difference is very slight. It's a matter of preference. The XR3 was discontinued in 1963 so it's harder to come by for retrofitting and grip frames can run from $75 for a beater to $150 for a really nice one. Conversely, take-off XR3-RED's can be had for $20-$50.

    The New Vaquero and New Model flat-tops, all produced since 2005, have a new steel version of the old XR3. Also a good one.
  10. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

    Of the options you present, go with the 1960. If you're seriously considering used, you should be able to find a New Model Stainless in excellent condition for well under $450. It's been a couple of years now, but I picked up a 5.5" convertible in beautiful shape (no box) for just at three bills. But that older three-screw has way more class.
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Can you tell by looking which one mine has? I'm pretty sure it must be the later one.

  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    If you take the grips off it is marked in the casting.

  13. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Thanks. And just from looking at the pics above it appears mine has more room behind the trigger.
  14. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Definitely can tell it's an XR3-RED by looking at it and the adjustable sights pretty much guarantee it. You can also tell by the backstrap. The XR3 is pretty much straight down to the heel but the RED has a little flare at the bottom.

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