New to Single Six - got OM on a whim

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Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
I'm a Semi-Auto guy, but bought a Single Six 3 screw 6 1/2" w/ black plastic grips, but it's in 10 day wait (California). So I don't have serial numbers, but it IS a 3 screw OM... Here's the sale pic...

MY_rugersinglesix001_left.jpg


MY_rugersinglesix002_right.jpg


I bought it for plinking and cause it was inexpensive. Fascinating pistol. I had no idea what I was buying. Have been reading the threads and have more questions than answers. Maybe getting a book is the way to go - I guess there are Ruger revolver references........

The guy I bought it from had NO information - had not even fired it....

This revolver is so different than the 22lr revolver I had as a kid, kinda curious. It appears as if these are designed like the OLD Cowboy guns - could be fanned (shouldn't though).

I've tried to do my homework, but am still confused about a few things.

Q: Are the 22lr cylinders unobtainium?
I'm in the same situation as a lotta guys - 22mag cylinder, no 22lr
included. And I guess there's enough variation, that you have to
measure before a WTB...

Q: What is a conversion?

Q: And what is a transfer bar?
I have the old manual and it does not reference it in the parts list.
Folks are talking about it....

Q: Are they collectable? Mine is in decent shape - no rust, plastic grips (which I'll probably squirrel away and install wood w/ Ruger symbol). No box, NOTHING else, and short a cylinder. Paid $225 cash.

I'm crazy about shooting the thing!!!!
 

wwb

Hunter
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
2,843
Location
wisconsin
A Long Rifle cylinder, if you score one, shoulod be checked/fitted by a competent smith. The odds of a drop-in fit are pretty slim.

The 3-screw revolvers, like the original Colt SAA, should be carried with the hammer down on an empty chamber, as a blow to the hammer on a loaded chamber would result in a discharge. Half-cock (to free the cylinder) load one, skip one, load four, full cock & lower the hammer.

The conversion entails the installation of a transfer bar, making it safe to carry with all 6 holes filled..... but it also messes up the trigger pull that makes the 3-screw such a pleasure to shoot. The transfer bar is a piece of flat metal that rises behind the firing pin when the trigger is pulled to the rear, but drops down if the trigger is not pulled. The hammer has a "step" in it that prevents it from contacting the firing pin unless the transfer bar is raised to "transfer" the hammer blow to the firing pin.

Sad, but you really overpaid for the single six. I feel so bad for you that I'll give you your $225 back for the pistol, and I'll pay shipping. Pay no attention to the guys who will offer you $250 or even $275.
 

Danjet500

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
1,185
Location
NW Ohio
First thing needed is a serial number. Single Sixes with a serial number less than 150000 should not be used with a magnum cylinder per Ruger. If that is the case then you will need to find a LR cylinder. They are out there.

A conversion is when the firearm is sent back to Ruger to have the transfer bar installed along with different lockwork.

If the conversion was done, the transfer bar will be seen between the hammer and the cylinder frame, in front of the firing pin. It prevents the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. If it has not been converted , then you should learn the basics of handling an OM revolver. Hammer back to half cock, open loading gate, load one, skip one, load four. Close gate and pull hammer to full cock and then back down on the empty cylinder. This will prevent an accidental firing if the hammer is struck accidently or by dropping it.

Yes, some like to collect them and some like to shoot them and some like to do both. But you should first determine if the gun is safe to shoot magnum ammo. Post the serial number or the first part of it and someone will help you out.
 

Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
It says Mag on the left side, and had a mag cylinder in the thing. But alas it's not infront of me... Wondering if it EVER came with a 22lr....?
Unfortunately, I didn't get the serial number - it's in the paperwork I get in 10 days...

wwb - I'll ship it right away!!! hahahahahaha

No - I just couldn't believe the price, and knew Rugers made great revolvers, but didn't know OM was a good thing. I overpaid for all my other guns, so maybe it evens out sometimes!!

I'm not even bummed about the 22lr. 22mag is still cheaper than 9mm.. and I've blown A LOT on 9mm. And didn't want a semi - everybody with a 22 semi has to fool around w/ ammo. Didn't have a revolver, so there you are... :) It really looked kind un-impressive with those black grips....and is dirty as heck..

I understand your post on the cylinder. Think I'll shoot 22mag (WHEN I GET IT), and get used to the pistola.... :)

Thanks so much for your responses - didn't think these questions would get answered so quickly!!! :)
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
Looking at the gun then reading your description nails the model as a RSSM (Ruger Single-Six Magnum). 6-1/2" barrel, steel ejector housing, XR-3 grip frame. The early guns were all shipped with only a .22 mag. cylinder. It wasn't until late 1960/early 1961 that the convertibles became available.

Your Ruger may have the .22 mag. bore size and may not shoot Long Rifles all that well.....

Slugging the bore would be a good first step.

JMHO,

flatgate
 

Boomer

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
184
Location
Mtns of AZ
Hey Orange, some of us do really like "Brand B" semiautos, don't we? But for revolvers, I'll take a Ruger if you please! :wink:

Here is an image of the conversion campaign ad Ruger ran long ago (still in force). Send your OM SS to them for other work and it will likely be converted wanted or not. My own SS was shipped Mar 55 and purchased by my late dad May 55 (and remains uncoverted).

372718935.jpg
 

americal

Hunter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,174
Location
Alabama, Athens
WOW :!: you got yourself A fine single six--do some more reading on o.m singlesixes :) join RENE :!: :!: forum tells how to join worth the money by far--- you might start to like those old guns and buy another one :) I shoot A Ruger Charger but have singlesixes I value much more :!:
 

Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
I LOVE my off-brand semi-autos!!! :)

Anywho - I think I'll keep it stock for now, and it sounds as if the 22lr is not trivial or for the uninformed (like me right now). Luckily WW has maxi-mags in stock ALL the time!!! And shotgun shells, sometimes 22lr bricks, and almost never has any handgun ammo in stock.

I'm pretty excited about this thing. My kids want to shoot it - 18 and 17 yrs old. They are pretty intimidated by the semi-autos.

And I understand that this pistola doesn't have a firing pin safety system like most other revolvers. Maybe someday will get a NM - they look pretty awesome and I'm partial to stainless.

Thanks so much for your responses....

I'm still confused.

SHOULD I GET IT CONVERTED? It sounds like a dual edge sword - slightly safer for n00b's, but some problems after installation by Ruger....
Also, if it's survived all these years stock - still would keep it that way, just kinda like chopping up a stock Chevelle or something..
 

Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
Thanks - I kinda forgot about RENE - sounds good. And will check it out right now!!!

BTW - was able to get the original manual from your website..
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,922
Location
In the AZ oven (Phoenix basin)
First thing to do is GET THE SERIAL NUMBER from who ever is holding the gun, then contact Ruger. They will be happy to send you a manual for it. While you are composing your note, ask them how much it will cost to get a .22lr cylinder for it.

With the serial number they will know what was or was not included and will be able to provide you with the information you want. If they tell you that it will have to be fitted, there is no one better at doing the fitting than the manufacturer (could easily save you money in the long run).

Mine looks a lot like that but does not have the same holster wear. Some like the wear patters, some do not. Many say it adds character to the gun and shows it shoots well enough to be a real keeper.

Good luck and shoot safe. 8)
 

Desert Dawg

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Messages
43
Location
N/W Arizona
Neat revolver.

The 6 1/2" barrel is especially good looking to my eye.

That said, I have a three screw 9 1/2" barrel Single Six and it almost always wears its magnum cylinder.

I do plink with it at times, but generally carry it when we venture into the desert when exploring and rockhounding.

One of my favorites to shoot and I do most of my plinking with a 10-22....
 

Dusterman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Messages
149
Location
Moreno Valley, CA.
Orangeusa you did good I just bought a three screw convertible with MAG cly only and paid $249 for it. I,m not complaining I do enjoy shooting these Single Action pistols so does my daughter. I have one other three screw with LR cyl only and a 1975 NM with both cyls fun fun fun :D .I know you and your kids will have fun shooting the MAGS they give a nice little kick for a 22.I know once you do starting shooting it you will want more and a 22 LR would be alot cheaper to shoot and just as much fun.I,m guessing you live in Orange CA. have you ever been to Insight shooting range? I live in Moreno Valley and my buddy lives in Fullerton and sometimes we go over to insight to shoot its a very nice indoor range maybe some weekend we can get together and throw some lead. congrats again, Dusterman
1006091022.jpg
 

Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
dusterman - Have not been there, usually go to Evans or On-Target in Laguna Niguel... But will look into it... And would love to meet and go shooting. My buddy got into semi-auto shooting, but never goes (I gotta do this or that), so I usually go alone. (big deal!!!). So you have TWO of these!!! So cool. Where do you get grips? I'm a Beretta fan, so know a lotta places for THAT, but haven't done my homework on this pistol. I'll keep the stock ones, of course..... BTW - your's look to be in better shape than the one I got... But I'm HAPPY!!! :) Did you re-finish/re-blue them?

Also - the NM I've seen are in the $350-400 range NIB
Seems like a great price, unless I messed up. The Ruger site shows them at $550 ???

The pistola is still in CA prison!!! (9 more days)

I GOT THE SERIAL NUMBER : #302170
1959 according to Ruger.... I was ONE YEAR OLD!!! And 22mag only... Sounds like the conversion is a good idea - they give you the old parts, do a safety check also for free.

Any downside to the conversion?
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
Orangeusa said:
Any downside to the conversion?

From a safety standpoint? No!

From a "traditional shooter's perspective"? Yes!

It's a solution to a non-problem in the eyes of a "old school" shooter.

I leave it at that......

flatgate
 

Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
My point is - does it foul up the pistol so it can't be converted back?
I.e. does it mess up any value it has? Am I ruining an older pistol for not much gain? I.e. do they grind, mod the metal so it's no longer a "non-converted Single Six"????? Is it worth anything - or does the holster wear make it just a cool older piece? If so, I'll shut up and shoot the heck out of it!!! :) And probably get a NM to handle my need for a 22lr and 22mag!!

As I said, I'm not a collector, but from the antique store my folks had, don't want to "cobble it up" as my Dad used to say.

Ruger assured me that they return the original parts....

Once again, thanks all for your input.....
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,396
Location
Kentucky
As long as you have both sets of parts, you can have your gun set up either way. The parts swap takes only a few minutes.

The gun is not physically modified when The Factory installs the "safety conversion" parts.

:D

Edited to add . . . those "black plastic" grip panels are likely the original items. A nice pair of those can bring $100 these days.
 

Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
Perfect - thanks folks!!! And from what I've heard - it's cool, but not worth a LOT - but is 50 years old!!! (Hard to believe).

Okay - HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH??? I'm guessing a $300 gun... if a spanking new one is $350... And old, but not rare.... ????
 

Dusterman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Messages
149
Location
Moreno Valley, CA.
Ogangeusa I wished they looked that good in person thats a phone camera pic a little on the dark side.If you look at the three screw some blueing has come off the ejector rod housing and a little off the tip of the barrel but otherwise its in good condition. On the NM the blueing is better but there are some nicks on the gun like somebody was keeping all their gus in one box.AS for the grips when I bought the 3 screw it had this oversized wood grip on it took it shooting didn,t like it that Monday I ordered the white pearlized grips because I thought they would look nice with the blue, their Ajax brand not the best fit but acceptable.The following Friday I bought the NM it already had the grips on it I wish I could find out what brand they are because they fit much better.As for the conversion I would leave it as is and just remember safety always its just like with any other gun just be careful. I,m guessing you live in SO. Orange Insight is in Artesia just a little north of you, they do have a web sight if you want to check it out.If you want to get together just PM me, my weekends are my time except every other sunday to see my daughter (lives with her mother) so I can do what I want :D ,Dusterman
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Orangeusa

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Orange, Ca
I don't get the thing until the 30th.... ughh
Will give you a call and meet you at Insight once I get it and can free up a coupla hours. Sunday afternoons most likely. Will PM you when available.

Can't comment on condition until I get it. Had about 1-2 minutes total to look at it. Rushing through DOJ paperwork making sure I don't check WRONG box!!! hahahaha

Will clean it up and post pics when I get it.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,825
Location
People's Republik of California
Very nice SS and very nice buy. I think it's probably been established that your gun is a 22 Mag only gun. Lot's a good advice so far, but one more thing to check when you get it: on the front face of the cylinder should be a hand engraved serial number (or last three digits) that will match the serial number of the gun if it's the original cylinder.
 

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