Nickel Security Six?

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OysterMan

Bearcat
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Feb 3, 2008
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I recently inherited a 4" Security Six with walnut grips. The man who owned it was a collector more than a shooter and it's in excellent condition. A serial number look-up shows it was manufactured in 1981. How can I tell whether it's stainless or nickel? Would the magnet test be reliable? Or should "Stainless" be stamped somewhere on the gun?

Any help would be appreciated.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
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Jan 4, 2004
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Ruger, to my knowledge, never made a nickel plated Security Six. If it is nickel, it was done after it left the factory.
 
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Never say never with Ruger, but chances are about a million to one that it either is factory stainless (a GOOD thing) or a blued gun that somebody re-finished with nickel (a not-so-good thing). Are there any worn spots that show a different color of metal "under" the shiny surface (sign of nickel plating; what shows under the "shiny" will probably be blackish)? Are the edges of the stamped characters in the markings sharp or slightly rounded or "dished" (sign of the that the bluing was polished off prior to nickel plating)?

Magnet will tell you nothing; stainless won't be marked on it.

I'd bet that it is stainless and a "collector" only if you decide to collect "6rs" (all collections start with something, don't they?). AND one HECK of a shooter! If it has been nickeled, it's only a shooter; aftermarket nickel plating pretty much kills the collector value, sadly.
 

weaselmeatgravy

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A call to Ruger Records should confirm it as either a blue or stainless gun.

603-865-2424

A blue 4" Security Six in .357 would be model RDA34 whereas a stainless gun in same configuration would be GA34.

If it look shiny like nickel, it may be stainless that someone polished up to a glossy finish (like a stainless Vaquero).
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
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yep, as WmG' stated above...as for any "test", we just find an out of the way spot ,under or inside and try a bit of 'cold blue' to see if it darkens....stainless will NOT darken with this test.......gotta find a spot where the nickel is "missing" or scrape it with a sharp point , AGAIN< under the grips or inside, in some out of the way location,,,,,, 8)
 

OysterMan

Bearcat
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Feb 3, 2008
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Thanks guys for your replies, much appreciated. I wasn't aware that Ruger didn't make nickel plated Security Sixes. I had seen this listing at GA and my gun looks much like this one that's described as nickel, hence I thought it might be worth some money...

http://www.gunsamerica.com/900073994/Gu ... ty_Six.htm

I'm fairly certain that mine then is indeed stainless. The stamping is sharp and there are no "worn spots" or any other indication of refinishing.

I don't think this was one of his collectors items (I also got 3 Nazi era Waffenampt stamped pistols) but just one he bought and left in the safe. BTW, there is a gun shop receipt for it dated 1982... for $209.00. Those were the days. :wink:
 

clayflingythingy

Single-Sixer
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Sep 4, 2007
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360
These "nickle=plated" Security Sixes come up ever so often on the auction sites. The seller always claims it to be a rare factory gun. But I have never seen one offered authenticated by the factory. Without factory documentation any nickel gun has value only as a shooter.
 

weaselmeatgravy

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Oh, that one on GunsAmerica was sold at Greg Martin auction in CA just about exactly a year ago on Aug 29, 2008 for $275. I thought about buying it just as a conversation piece but didn't want to chase it higher than $250 since it was an aftermarket finish.

It was part of a collection of Rugers, many of which were somehow "not quite right". Another couple of RF members in CA bought the good stuff out of the collection before it hit the auction.

Here is a pic from that live auction, showing the "NICKEL" notation on the end of the box:

391.jpg


And here is that same box from the GA ad:

wm_1183308.jpg
 

OysterMan

Bearcat
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Feb 3, 2008
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Thanks cft and wmg, I seem to learn something new every time I come here. :lol: I guess you really can't believe everything you see and read on the Internet. :wink:
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
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Jun 18, 2001
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Wouldn't the casting be identified as Stainless Steel. I know that the Stainless Steel grip frames from Ruger's Single Action line are always marked with the letter K.

Just a thought.

flatgate
 

sceva

Single-Sixer
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Mar 8, 2004
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319
My stainless Speed Six has an S stamped on the rear of the cylinder. I assumed that it meant stainless.
 

clayflingythingy

Single-Sixer
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Sep 4, 2007
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My theory on these nickled guns is this:

Back in the day a talented local gunsmith did a small trade in offering nickle Security Sixes. He was really talented and did a nickle job that looks "factory". As these guns have found their way into the present day marketplace cheats and swindlers are trying to pawn them off as factory guns to the unwary.

That explanation makes far more sense to me than the idea these are really factory guns that have somehow gone undocumented by Ruger fans all these years.
 

Alex-tx

Bearcat
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
10
On that picture of the nickel gun, I don't like the fit between the frame and the trigger group. The gaps look too big..like, somebody polished the parts individually, leading to a little rounding of the edges. I also don't like the space around the hammer pivot pin. It doesn't look right to me...
 

weaselmeatgravy

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The nickeled gun pictured definitely has an aftermarket finish. I called Ruger on it last year prior to the auction and confirmed it as a model RDA34 with no special notes on the invoice regarding custom finish.
 

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