4 types of boxes for Six series DBL Action - RENE has typo?

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Terry T

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It may be just a typo but RENE does not mention the red and black boxes used before the yellow and black boxes.

"The red and white hinged box was used to at least s/n 154-93044 and the yellow and black hinged box began to be used by at least s/n 154-86795. This change occurred in March 1979" (page 6)

I am finding 4 different box types.
1) White with cut outs
2) Red with white lettering
3) Red with white and black markings
4) Yellow with black markings

rugerSDA-32SECURITYSIXREDBOXTOP.jpg


rugerGF-34REDANDBLACKBOX.jpg


RUGERGF-34HYELLOWBOXTOP.jpg


I think the red and black box was used from about 1975 to about 1979.

Thoughts?
Terry T
 

flatgate

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I'm no New Model expert but I've never seen a Single-Six in a box like the Red and Black example. I'm not saying they weren't used as a "fill in" but I've never seen one.

Aren't those the Security-Six series boxes?

flatgate
 
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Oh I'd guess that with the serial number ranges he's 'citing,' he IS referring to the Security Six series.........seems there was another color/ combo box as I recall....WmG?? where are you?? Bob has had about ALL of them over the years...........

Happy New year..................
 

weaselmeatgravy

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The flimsy orangeish-red and white box (common for the SA's and autos from 1973 to about 1979) is actually almost as rare as the white box for the DA's as it was replaced by the more rugged red and black box in 1975. Flatgate is right, the red/black box was not used for SA's, nor autos (at least not generally - there may be an exception or two out there somewhere).

That paragraph Terry T quoted from RENE was actually supplied by me (those are both my guns) but chet15 made a typo in transcribing it - it should read red and black hinged box.

154-93043 and 154-93044 are a consec pair of NIB GA-34's in red and black boxes w/shippers. 154-86795 is a NIB GA-36T in yellow and black box w/shipper. All three of those guns shipped in March, 1979 and the GA-36T was puchased by my dad back then.

Those are the latest red/black and earliest yellow/black boxes for guns that shipped in normal sequencing that I have. Some of the recently shipped guns I have showed and others from that same late shipment are lower numbered guns in yellow and black boxes but those were used simply because Ruger still has inventory of that yellow box and these guns were either separated from their original boxes or never boxed. For instance, 152-38204 is a Liberty GA-36 shipped in a yellow/black box but not until 2009 and with a modern barcode label.

The guns in that 154 range also feature the smaller size serial number digits, making them another minor variation.

Another bit of trivia - one of our members has a non-barrelled #1 action that was shipped in the black/red DA box.
 

Terry T

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"Weaselmeatgravy",

By the numbers, the white box was used for about 85K guns, the red and white for only about 35K. (From about 150-90000 to about 151-26000 or so) Therefore, the red and white double action box would be twice as rare as the white box. :shock:

Hopefully the discovered typos will be corrected in the next edition.
Terry T
 
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oh you were probably all excited they reopened them ski slopes out near you or was it to your"west"... :roll:

been MANY years we hear tell.......... :wink:

Happy new year, and enjoy the weather, as only YOU can..... 8)
 

weaselmeatgravy

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Terry, I was actually thinking the red/white box was rarer than the white die-cut box but wrote what I did because I was too lazy to look it up last night! I was thinking < 100K in each box type, knowing the white box went into the 150-9xxxx range and unsure of when the red/black box came about in the 151 range.

The transition points mentioned in RENE are high white box = 150-90725 (an RDA-34 that I spotted on GunBroker but did not buy) and low red/white box = 150-91330 (a rare low back RDA-86 w/shipper that I own that shipped late, so by the time it was boxed, the white boxes must have been used up).

I don't have a good feel for the transition point for the end of the red/white and start of the red/black. This is due to my own inconsistency of nomenclature concerning the flimsy red/white box. Sometimes I noted that in my spreadsheet as "Orange" and sometimes I noted it as "Red" (which confuses it with the red/black box).

But the highest red/white box that I definitely have (noted as Orange) is a NIB w/shipper SDA-84 numbered 151-36514.

And the lowest box noted as Red that I remember for certain being the red/black type is a NIB w/shipper GA-32RB at 151-56039.

That presents about a 20K range that needs to be refined. I have other guns in that range noted in Red box but don't recall offhand which red box type they are in. One at 151-49547 that I do recall is in a red/black box is a GS-84 but I have it noted as having no label on the box and no shipper, which leaves some question as to whether it is in the original box.

At any rate, the orangeish red/white box does indeed appear to be the rarest of the -Six DA boxes. But I think your estimate should be adjusted to somewhere in the 45K-65K guns shipped in that type box.

That orange box went into use for the DA's coincident with the transition from the low back old frame guns to the high back new frame guns. The new frame profile did not fit into the die-cut interior of the white box. So it seems that the orange box was used fairly briefly as a stop-gap until the red/black box was designed and printed. Why Ruger continued to use a special box for the DA's over the other handguns is somewhat of a mystery but it was a pet project and perhaps he wanted the packaging to stand out (or at least hold up) for the LE market that he was trying to capture.

Another thing that makes that orange box potentially rarer is that as flimsy as it was, it was much more likely to get tossed than was the more substantial white box with the die-cut interior. On the other hand, the flimsy orange box was used for the SA's and autos, so the actual box type is plentiful (that size being printed with RST4 auto info on the end, then any other type gun shipped in one had a sticker placed over the end to cover up that with the correct info). So really it is just the stickers that are rare! ;)
 

Terry T

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'Weaselmeatgravy'

My lowest ser. no. shipped in a red and black box is 151-26486, a very rare GA-36 with the low back grip frame. It letters as shipped in July of 1975 which may be a couple of months late for it's production.

rugerGA-36Sn151-26486lowback5.jpg


It is also clear that some late low back guns were shipped in the red (orange) and white box.

rugerSDA-32securitysixboxa.jpg


rugerSDA-32securitysixboxb.jpg


This may be a new low ser. no. for a red (orange) and white box. This should have been a low back frame as the SDAs became 'Police Service Six" with the introduction of the high back grip frame. Unfortunately, I have only the box and not the gun. I do think that this is a very rare and unusual box. I have no way to verify the ser. no. written on the end of the box.
Terry T
 

weaselmeatgravy

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That looks suspiciously like the box LMD had for sale on GB a couple months back. Yes, low back guns were shipped in the orange (red/white) box, most common being the 151 prefix stainless guns. Which indicates that the white boxes were all gone at that point - since the old frame guns would fit in the white boxes, they would have been used if there were any left. But that SDA-32 at 150-86862 sounds like a lower low for that box type. Have you called Ruger on that number to get a ship date? I would guess it went out a little later than others. I have old frame SDA-34 number 150-86248 that shipped in a white box but no ship date noted.

The low back GA-36 from ORM is an anomaly and the late ship explains why it was put in a later box. I don't think it really should be thought of as a low for that red/black box, just as my Liberty GA-36 in yellow box should not be considered a low number for the yellow box due to the late ship. Your GA-36 also stands alone as a known high for the old frame guns by quite a bit and I reckon it was built late when an old frame was discovered.

As I have said before, congrats on scoring that low back GA-36! I am quite jealous! 8)
 

Terry T

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Yes, LMD had this red box for sale for quite a while and finally lowered the price. It also took me a while to figure it out - how unusual it is. Since I retired at the end of Nov. I've had a little more time to focus on the fun stuff like Ruger boxes. I did buy it off of Gunbrokers even though we are only a couple of miles from each other. :D

I'll give Ruger Records a call in a bit to see if we can get a shipping date.

I would go with the shipping date of July, 1975 for the GA-36 lowback as the date for the box. RENE starts 1975 ser. no. with 151-21780 and 1976 with 151-76180 (or about 4,500 a month in 1975) placing 151-26486 in Feb, 1975 assuming all kinds of things. :shock: I am kind of surprised that Ruger would have a frame without a ser. no. laying around. I thought the Feds required a ser. no. on a frame as soon as it was manufactured. But more to the point, the gun appears to have been assembled in early 1975.

Terry T
 

Terry T

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Ruger records confirms 150-86862 as a SDA-32 shipped in January, 1974.
That would be somewhat consistent with RENE's starting ser. no. for 1974 as 150-64961.

So - we have a shipping date of Jan. 1974 for a red (orange) and white box.

Since the end label matches the gun type, I would tend to believe the ser. no. is correct for the box. :D

It would be interesting to find the gun to see if it is a low back and to see if it is stamped "Security Six". It may be one of the last if not the last of it's type.
Terry T
 

weaselmeatgravy

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Yeah, it's really a shame the gun is not present! I am pretty sure it would be a low back gun marked Security-Six. The early high back blue guns were in the higher 150 prefix and the fixed sight models were rollmarked Police Service Six but the shipping labels still called them Security Six.

SDA84-high-back-150-prefix-1.jpg


SDA84-high-back-150-prefix-2.jpg


That one shipped June, 1974. I have a similar SDA-32 a little higher numbered but packaged the same that also shipped June, 1974.

As best as I've been able to determine, all the low back fixed sight square butt guns were rollmarked Security-Six and the Police Service-Six marking started off with the high back guns.

Ruger may have started shipping fixed sight guns in the orange box earlier than the adjustable sight guns (especially the short barrel models) since they didn't fit particulaly well in the die-cut interior of the white boxes.

SDA-32-white-box-2.jpg


The orange boxes came out in 1973 coincident with the New Model single action guns. Early NM SA's were shipped in the leftover two-piece OM boxes with NM stickers until they were used up. Ruger never wasted anything, so I'm sure the white boxes for the DA's were also used up but perhaps all the high 150 prefix guns shipped in the white boxes were adjustable sight models.
 

Terry T

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WOW! I did not expect to see the gun marked 'Police Service Six" in a box still labeled "Security Six". I would have expected the 'hype' for the new name to trump the few cents for new labels.

It would appear that the red (orange) and white box use began around Jan, 1974 and ended around July 1975, a run of only 18 months.

I would agree with your observation that it was a stop gap measure when the new grip frame would not fit in the old white 'cutout' box. It would make sense to use the existing red (orange) and white single action boxes with labels until the unique double action red and black boxes could be designed and produced.

I've not read too much about the change in grip shape from 'low back' to 'high back' other than that the request came from the field. It appears to have caught some of the operation off guard and unprepared. Same goes for the use of the new name 'Police Service Six'.

Terry T
 

weaselmeatgravy

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Here's another example of how a few cents for a new label type was sometimes too much. This is my RDA-86 box, it is later than most of other RDA-86 guns and so there were no labels pre-made. They carved up another label to get the ".38 SPECIAL CAL. REVOLVER" line and stuck that over a label for a RDA-36. Then they used a felt tip to turn the "3" into an "8".

RDA86-box.jpg


As a side note, most of the orange boxes do not have the gun's SN written on the back end. That was the practice with the white boxes since there was no shipper, but the orange boxes did use shippers and the SN is instead written on the back end of the shipper.

RDA86-150-91330.jpg
 

Terry T

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What fun!
One would think that a few min. on a typewriter would have created a new label but 1974 was before word processors and ink jet printers. How soon we forget. "Cut and paste" was a very real solution. I suppose "a few cents for a new label" really wasn't the case - if it had to be sent to an outside printer.

If the practice was to write the ser. no. on the end of the white boxes, I would not be surprised that the practice was continued on the first few red (orange) and white boxes - old habits are hard to break and employees who have been instructed to ALWAYS do something need to be explicitly told not to. Hence the ser. no. on one of the first: 150-86862!

My guess is that a new style box began it's use in a particular month if not day but because guns were shipped from an inventory created over the preceding months, a range of Ser. no. would be sent out in the new boxes. In other words, the change in boxes did not occur by ser. no. but by shipping date.

Hopefully Chad will join the conversation and add his $0.02 worth.
Terry T
 

chet15

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OK, here I am. Good notes everybody! Been working out some computer issues here that WMG and Terry T know a little about. But finally have a little spare time to look around RF again.
All interesting stuff. Somewhere over the last three years WMG must have caught up with me on the black and red box/red hinged box error in the reference as it was already updated when I went back and checked.
So now, through this thread it is also much improved!!!
I too had a question on the writing of the sn on the end of the box, but yes, white boxes were done that way...and you know, whoever it was doing the packaging must have decided it was easier to do all the sn number stuff on the end of those boxes....where the end of the 10-gun cardboard outerslipcover would have been easier to get to (can't do that kinda thing on the sides when a 10-pack of case of guns are double stacked in the cardboard case). Note that sn's later appeared on the ends of all shipping sleeves also!
Also brings up the thought that 10-pack shipping cardboard must not have shown up until sometime in the 1970's. A more efficient way of moving guns around.
Chet15
 

Terry T

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Oh NO!
Now I have to start looking for the 10 carton shipping box! :shock:
Will it never end?

To repeat myself, I do think shipping date is more significant for change in box type than serial number is.

Still would like to sort out the colors used on the end labels - see my other thread.

Terry T
 
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