Old Model Mystery

Help Support Ruger Forum:

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,751
Location
Dawson, Iowa
lfpiii":2fkfmq1z said:
The guns have a barrel length of 5-1/2 in 357mag. The serial numbers date the guns as 1960 production. The guns end in xx30, xx31, xx32 and xx33.

Well, the thought of Law Enforcement can probably be ruled out if these guns were indeed shipped in 1960. Ruger didn't have much of a production line at that time and the first true LE guns weren't introduced until 1970.
What is intriguing however would be the question of what condition are these guns in? Just from my past experiences, guns ordered for special purposes like this often remain as NIB condition with all papers, two-piece boxes and the outer brown cardboard shipping sleeve. Do we dare to dream?
At the very least, I'm thinking they are a run of 4 consecutively numbered 6-1/2" .357 flattops with 6-groove barrels :shock: , but would be a five-digit serial number instead of the four you described.
A lot of folks err in measuring the barrel from the end to the front of the cylinder frame, but the true measurement needs to go back to the front of the cylinder.
If he still has the boxes for these, they will also say BKH-36 6-1/2" barrel on the end.
Chet15
 

lfpiii

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
632
Location
Illinois
Hi all,

I have an update. First the serial numbers are 5 not 4 digits, I just forgot to add an X. They have 6-1/2 barrels. I had to remind him the correct way to measure.

Ruger historical information confirmed that guns were shipped directly to him at the police department. Many do not know that until 1968 most people in the USA could order guns shipped directly to them. Good old days.

Only one of the guns appears to have been fired since it has a slight turn ring. I will be taking pictures when I get to FL.

He found the boxes and shipping containers. The four factory boxes came with a light brown / tan outer shipping box. All four packages were packaged in a larger box that was addressed to him at the department. The guns were shipped via USPS. Sadly for whatever reason his father penciled a serial number on the outside of each box.

The receipt shows a price of $84.00 per gun plus ivory grips $16.50 and walnut grips no charge. I wish that we had prices like that today. I should say that the extra grips are MIA but who knows. Does anyone know what kind of plastic they used back then to make the ivory grips? Was it bakelite or some other plastic?

I have ordered the Ruger book to see if there is some evidence of a personal connection. Chet15 confirmed what I thought. The connection cannot be law enforcement related. I will update as I get more information.
 

Cholo

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
6,585
Location
Georgia
lfpiii, I'm really enjoying following this story! Looking forward to the pics.

"Does anyone know what kind of plastic they used back then to make the ivory grips?"

If you can figure that out, you'll not work another day in your life :wink:
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
112875762.jpg

Here's a boxed 6-1/2 inch .357.

Ah, Ivory grips at $16.50.......that is a very, very strong clue that the guns were sent with Ruger's genuine Ivory Grips.
119416764.jpg

119416767.jpg


A pair of these grips command a four figure price!

Yeow! This story is AWESOME. Now, Ruger did NOT usually send guns directly to "consumers". Ruger was very dedicated to using distributors and dealers to market his products. So, what we have here is something special. Somebody knew somebody to make this deal happen.

Cheers,

flatgate
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,398
Location
Kentucky
The point being, lfpiii, if those grips came from TheFactory and look like the ones pictured above, they are very likely GENUINE IVORY, not plastic.

And worth a buncha money . . . as if this amazing package needed any more boosting.

More info, please! More!

And thanks.

:)
 

lfpiii

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
632
Location
Illinois
I do not understand how grips for $16.50 could have been real ivory even in 1960. When and why did Ruger stop selling ivory grips? If he finds the grips I will have him do the needle test to confirm.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
Oh, no need to "hot poke" the grips. They are sorta heavy and the look is unmistakable, especially since they are over 50 years old.

Ruger purchased Ivory grips from a couple of suppliers back in the early '53 to late '56/early '57 period. Pistols and Revolvers states 610 pairs were ordered during that time.

Cost? Check out this advertisement I found in a circa '55 magazine....
GripAd12_55.jpg


Ruger also purchased stag grips from the "grip industry". As stated above the Ivorys were no longer ordered after early '57 and the Stags were phased out in '61/'62, IIRC.

flatgate

PS One more observation, re: your comment about the serial numbers being written on the boxes. Ruger ALWAYS writes the guns' serial number on the surface of the shipping sleeves. (We collectors usually call the shipping sleeves a bookwrap or a shipper.) The packaging certainly adds to the value of the whole package. :shock:
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,751
Location
Dawson, Iowa
Any pics yet?
They sure sound like they'd be a set of four 6-1/2" .357 flattops with 6-groove barrels! Boxes, sleeves, ivory grips????
You're killing us all here!
Chet15
 

Bkat

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
577
Location
Spring, Texas
I was under the impression that in the early days, the SN was penciled or grease-penciled on the box itself as well as the shipper. True?

Bkat
 

Latest posts

Top