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Ruger Security-Six v. GP-100

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Confederate, Mar 31, 2010.

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  1. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Earlier this week, I picked up a stainless 4-inch Ruger GP-100 at a local gun store and as I said in another post, it felt like a boat anchor. As an owner of a number of stainless Ruger Security-Sixes (many of which have never been fired), I couldn't believe that anyone, given the choice, would ever prefer the GP-100, especially in 6-inch barrels!

    The gun at the shop was being sold for $680 and tax ($720.80). The first thing I wondered was, how much would a NEW stainless steel Security-Six 4-inch sell for in today's market? And two, how many people would pick a GP-100 over a Security-Six if they were both new, both stainless, and both 4-inchers?

    No, I'm not selling mine; I'm just wondering.

    The GP-100 is about 40 ounces, unloaded. I know the prices are increasing on all guns, but I couldn't believe how much heavier the GP-100 was than my Security-Six.

    So what's your take?
     
  2. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    I've always preferred the Security Six to the GP-100. Just always thought the overall lines were better.

    The GP-100 has always just had that "concrete block" look to me.
     
  3. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    having owned both and shot and carried them extensively, i'd take the Security-Six over the GP-100 anyday.

    the "Six" is just about the the perfect mid-sized .357Mag...just enough weight, just enough strenght.

    the GP-100 was a block...it left with an ex-wife
     
  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I have both and find the weight of the GP100 allows faster recovery time when shooting full bore magnums. It also has to be stronger, but I know the Security Six is a brute as it is.
     
  5. frankiestoys

    frankiestoys Member

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    GP to heavy? :rolleyes:
    Ya its built like a tank, but i dont think its too heavy! You guys need to hit the weights :neener:
    Its a great revolver and so is the Security Six you can't go wrong with either one.
     
  6. Zebraranger

    Zebraranger Member

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    Not Much Difference In Weight
    I recently purchased a 4" Security Six stainless and this thread made me curious. I've never really noticed that much of a weight difference between the 4" security Six and my 6" GP100. So, I pulled out the digital postage scale and weighed both with empty cylinders. 4" Security Six = 2.7 lbs and the 6" GP100 = 2.13 lbs, only a 6 ounce difference. Considering the GP100 has 2 more inches of barrel, Thats not much of a difference, without that 2 additional inches of barrel, I bet they are pretty close. Either way, I like both and think they both are heavy built.
     
  7. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    1. It would probably sell for roughly the price of the GP-100 or very slightly less. While folklore holds that Bill Ruger once asserted that he was losing money on every "Six" some believe the tale to be apocryphal.

    2. Probably about 96% would pick up a GP-100 in preference to a "Six". He who forgets history will be condemned to repeat it - back when the GP-100 was first introduced sales of the "Six" went belly up in spectacular fashion. People had the choice in 1985, voted with their wallets and the "Six" sank without a ripple in 1989.

    Blivet's theory of revolver desirability states that demand for a revolver is inversely proportional to its availability and directly proportional to the years since its discontinuation. Being both older than its brethren and discontinued confers a status on the "Six" which it never enjoyed during its life.

    I'm not seeing any compelling reason to assume that history wouldn't repeat if the thing was exhumed and dusted off today. It wouldn't even get a "bump" from the CC crowd as the SP-101 and LCR have that niche saturated.

    But, if it's left out to pasture with dignity, those few that bought them back when will be pleased with their purchase, will likely see a steady appreciation in price and may even witness the start of a cult following. "Bring back the 'Six'" threads will start showing up alongside the "bring back the Colt double action" threads. Of course, bringing back either would be financial suicide for the intrepid souls making the attempt but this shouldn't stop us for wishing for such.
     
  8. Guy de Loimbard

    Guy de Loimbard Member

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    I'd pick a new security six over a new GP. Heck, I picked an old SS over a new GP last year. The GP only weighs a few ounces more but it's all out front, and for a medium-frame .357, its grip is overly large.
     
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    The GP only weighs a few ounces more but it's all out front, and for a medium-frame .357, its grip is overly large.

    That few ounces makes a substantial difference as I noted in post #4. It's not really an intermediate frame more of an intermediate frame. The grip frame in the GP 100 is less limiting than the grip frame of a Security Six. You can fit smaller grips on a GP100.

    People had the choice in 1985, voted with their wallets and the "Six" sank without a ripple in 1989.


    There were a lot of things going on in the late 70s and early 80s many are not aware of. The philosophy of qualifying with duty ammo had come into the vogue. No longer were LE agencies qaulifying with wadcutters and loading up theie S&W Model 66s with magnums for duty. They were using magnums for everything. This was also a low point in S&W quality control. The combination ensured S&Ws were going out of time and other more catastrophic events. I helped conduct a durability test with some S&W 66s and Ruger Sercurity Sixes at this time. The longest a 66 ran with full magnums was 1500 rds. The Rugers all went well over 10,000 magnums and most made it to 20,000 with no trobule. The L frame was introduced in 1980, between the K and N in size, to provide more beef so the gun would last longer. It did help S&W sales and keep a niche in the handgun market.

    The Security Six is much stronger than a K frame maybe as strong as or stronger than a L frame. Buyers recognized that the L was bigger, ergo, stronger. They didn't pay a lot of attention to the variations in design of the S&Ws vs the Security Six. Ruger needed to come out with an intermediate frame revolver and did so with the GP100 in 1985 to compete directly with the L frame.
     
  10. md7

    md7 Member

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    i like both the six series and the current GP100 lineup. having handled both, i don't really percieve that big of a difference in regards to weight. maybe there is, but i can't really tell. i do like both, but given the choice i would pick the GP100, and i did actually. i dunno, the grips just felt right to me, and doggoneit if i can't help but to like its looks too! its a 4" stainless that serves as my night stand gun. also chose the GP100 over the 686.
     
  11. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    I wouldn't find myself arguing against that point. However, this thread is about "Six" vs. "GP". I'd speculate that what killed the "Six" was the "GP" with "Ks and Ls" playing a minor supporting role.

    A guru at Rugerforum offers some interesting insights as well.
    I find this of particular interest:
    "This made sales for revolvers slow ... especially when a new model would do everything the older model did only better."

    The general "revolver consensus" seems to hold that there has never been a newer model introduced that wasn't inferior to its predecessor in all ways. I'd submit the Ruger as an exception to the "older is always better" canard. It's not like a lot of craftsmanship was lost in the move from the Six to the GP - both models are "Johnny come latelys" to the S&W crowd.

    I can certainly appreciate that some might prefer the Six, but their numbers were scant when the GP100 hit the streets - most seem to have developed the preference more recently.
     
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    ...but it's slower during target transitions
     
  13. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    Wish they still made them.........

    [​IMG]
     
  14. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    Using my own scales, my unloaded 4" stainless Service Six is 35.5oz and my unloaded 4" stainless GP100 is 39oz. My unloaded 6" blued steel GP100 is 45.5oz, but I do not have a 6" six series to weigh.

    Personally, I really like both the sixes and the GP100. The GP100 is more comfortable to shoot .357 loads through, but the half-lug design of the sixes has cleaner, more classic look to it, and it's a bit faster when shifting targets rapidly (although slower on followup shots on a given target).

    P.S. my 3" Service six is 34oz, and my 3" S&W65-3 is 32.5oz
     
  15. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I have yet to find a commercially-made grip for the Speed Six that controls recoil for me as well as the factory grips on the SP101 and GP100. Yes, in my hands, at least, the old 4" Six kicks me more than even the lighter SP101. This does not mean I dislike my Speed Six; I like it very much, and shoot it well enough, but a whole qual course with magnum ammo is going to hurt a bit.

    The weight difference between the Sixes and the GP100 is no big deal, in my opinion. I notice the difference, but I learned to conceal an N-frame in the 1980's, when as a broke young LEO I could not afford a medium-sized sixgun for carry off the clock, so I toted the same Model 58 all the time. (Of course, there are other good reasons for toting the same weapon at all times.) With slim grip panels, the Six is a bit more compact in that dimension than the GP100 factory grip, and especially when using an OWB holster.

    I like my Ruger Speed Six, AND my SP101 fiveguns and GP100 sixguns. All have their places.
     
  16. montess85

    montess85 Member

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    I have never personally handled a six....I do own a 6 inch ss GP and I love it....I dont find it heavy at all....Dont get me wrong I wouldnt want to carry it all day but its a blast to shoot and it soaks up recoil very well....I kind of wish i bought a 4 inch though....oh well i guess I will have to buy another...
     
  17. whalerman

    whalerman member

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    Excellent exchange. Posts by Hawk were particularly interesting.
    Thanks.
     
  18. Sidewinder72

    Sidewinder72 Member

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    I own a security six. and have always loved it. It is not my carry piece though. I used to have a six inch GP100 but traded it for a S&W 686. In my opinion the S&W is better.
     
  19. Cranky CJ

    Cranky CJ Member

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    I had the choice last saturday and did indeed pick the Security Six over a GP100. Held both and decided the six was the most comfortable. Having read a little about them, and putting faith in the Ruger name, went with a used Security Six as my first revolver.

    Took it out wednesday for the frist time shooting only 38 special through it. Very enjoyable to shoot, the single action trigger is perfect. My boys (10 & 12) ended up dominating shooting it until we ran out of ammo for it. I may never know what a GP is like to shoot, but I certainly will not have any regrets with my purchase. For those that are wondering, I paid $400. Here is a picture.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. tguil

    tguil Member

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    I traded my Security Six for a GP 100 right after they came out. Never regretted it. However, I will keep my Speed Six forever. Would never consider trading it for an SP101 or LCR.
     
  21. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Read the above with great interest, but side-by-side, I find the weight and balance of the Security-Six to be far superior (to me).

    One reason sales dropped on the venerable old guns includes 1) the fact that newer models are almost always better accepted than older models; 2) that newer models are assumed to offer significant improvements; 3) that older models will lose value once the newer models appear; and 4) because older models become incrementally less available while newer models become incrementally more available.

    Gun hacks also don't help. Gun magazines never feature old guns -- only new ones, which tend to be spread across one or two pages. And because they're in the back pockets of the manufacturers (which is why you'll never read a review that says a gun sucks), old gun models are allowed to die quiet, dignified deaths. There are no objective side-by-sides; it's all a stacked deck.

    I've never seen the elimination of the grip as a plus for the GP-100. Neither does the GP-100 compete well with the 686, which to me is a more desireable gun.

    The Security-Six is a lighter, better balanced gun for field carry than the 686, even if it's not quite as inherently accurate. The GP-100 feels like a brick with grips. Designed to retard muzzle flip, the weight is proportioned all for shooting, not for carrying or pointing. That's why I asked about side-by-side comparisons.

    There's a point of diminishing marginal returns after which strength ceases to be a factor. Yes, the newer gun is stronger than the older, but the older was already built like a tank.

    I routinely inspect my Security-Sixes and I know their feel and balance. When I picked up the GP-100 the other day, everything went *tilt*! Like an anchor, the weight tended to pull the gun down towards the end. The pointability seemed jarred.

    This is simply my opinion, and others may vary. That's why I'm throwing it out. Maybe if I handled the gun for a few days and built up the reqisite muscles...who knows? But I think the older model would better compete with the 686 in that it's lighter -- and in my view a mugh better field gun. The frame also has grips, not a stump, which balances the gun better.

    .
     
  22. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I sold a Romy G AK at a gunshow back during "The Panic", and that very night, on my way to our regular poker game, went and bought the GP100 I've been slobbering over for years. I looked at the Security Six, and the shorter 4" barrel for the GP100, but I wanted the MAC DADDY, and I spent almost exactly what I got for that AK ( $600) on the 6" GP100, and never regretted it, even after this thread.:D
    P.S. i did put one of those Hogue finger-groove grips on it, and like it pretty well.
     
  23. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    What if?????

    Ruger put ya on a waitin list & when they hit a magic number they broke out the tools & made a run of sixes!!!

    I`d wait longer than ya think for a new in the box ,hot of the press 3" service six with rounded grips!!

    MD satisfaction is worth every penny!!!
     
  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    i'm sure that machinery is long gone...i remember reading an interview with Bill Ruger where he stated he wasn't sure they ever made any money on the Security-Six family
     
  25. ceadermtnboy

    ceadermtnboy Member

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    I love the GP100 improvements! The tripple lock-up, offset cylinder notches, and awesome grip ( not the new houges ) all equal one of the finest and most well thought out revolvers ever made. The weight balances very nicely with the 4 inch full lug or 6 inch half lug barrells. Nothing wrong with the security sixes, but Bill Ruger improved the SS design for a reason and I personally think he got it right. Add some aftermarket Bowen rough country rear sights with a gold bead front and you get a lot of gun for the money!!
     
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