One of a kind (?) Speed Six

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weaselmeatgravy

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Here is something of an oddity for those who follow the collectible DA revolvers. This Speed Six appears fairly ordinary when viewed from the left side, except that the finish is non-standard (kind of a matte gray, not brushed stainless but not quite the current day "Target Gray").

GS-32-WA-POLICE-Left.jpg


But flip it over and the really interesting feature is seen. Instead of a caliber designation (it is in fact a .357 Mag), the barrel is rollmarked "W.A. POLICE".

GS-32-WA-POLICE-Right.jpg


GS-32-WA-POLICE-Rollmark.jpg


This gun was recently (October 2009) shipped from the Newport factory. The box has a "NOT FOR SALE" sticker that has been crossed out, a fired case to comply with current law, and a modern orange barcode label.

GS-32-WA-POLICE-Box.jpg


If you google W.A. Police, the top hit is Western Australia. Suspecting that this gun was a warehouse cleanout of a contract overrun from a special order from that organization, I posted a question to the W.A. PD web site.

I was delighted when a sergeant who has been on the force since 1977 replied with the following info:

Wow you have a piece of WA Police History. If this was the only one they had left, then you may well have the only one in the WORLD.

They were used by the old “Emergency Squad” in the early to mid 80’s from memory and were rolled WA Police to hide the fact they were .357’s and not the normal issue .38 Special. Everyone had a S & W revolver in .38 but the “Emergency Squad” an early version of our current TRG (SWAT) used the Ruger with 3” barrel.

As various officers left the “Squad” they got to keep their Ruger but still only used a 110 grain hollow point .38’s through them as that was the standard issue.

In the mid 90’s WA started to procure semi auto and the S & W Sigma was chosen. All revolvers including the Rugers’ were to be traded in as part of the contract.

Then in 1996 or 97 a fellow in Tasmania went on a rampage and shot about 35 people dead at Port Arthur which had an immediate and sadly devastating effect on all law abiding firearm owners. The Federal and all State Govt. banned all semi auto long arms and pump action shotguns (unless a farmer) and placed an embargo on all firearms being shipped out of Australia.

To cut to the chase as far as I am aware all the Ruger and S & W revolvers that were to be traded to S & W to buy some Sigmas were chopped up by the Forensics Ballistics Unit of WA Police. I am quite sure this happened but will double check with them to confirm. If true and Ruger don’t have any more you may well own the only one.

Lucky Guy eh.

In about 2000 an Asian student living part time in Aust. and studying at a Melbourne Uni joined a pistol Club and later shot 2 other Asian students dead. This was the trigger for the Federal Govt. to implement a National handgun buyback. Everything over .38 calibre was banned unless shooting metallic silhouette or Cowboy single shot action match. Every revolver must have a 4 inch barrel, every auto a 5 inch barrel.

He goes on to talk about how he would love to find one of these for his collection, then concludes:

Even if I were to obtain one, I could only keep it on a collector licence as the barrel is too short to licence for normal use. With a collector license you can’t travel with it or use it, it just stays locked up in the safe. It would be worth it if one become available as it is certainly a piece of WA Police history.

I hope this helps with a bit of information about your Ruger.

So there ya have it! Pretty neat piece, one of one known to have survived the crusher. The lack of caliber designation really is interesting as is the explanation provided by this officer. I can't think of another Ruger where they intentionally left off any caliber markings.
 

Terry T

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WOW!
You did it again! Now I KNOW you have an inside man at the factory!
Please put my name in the box so you can remember I'd like to buy it when you tire of it! :D
Terry T
 

ddd482

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it is amazing what still shows up new out of the factory- really makes you wonder what else might be hidden in a corner somewhere? :wink:
 

Cholo

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I'm a SA Ruger guy, but do like the DA Security Six etc. series revolvers. I find this gun to be an incredible discovery!

Oh, to have just a few hours in the Ruger factory to see what's gathering dust...
 

HAWKEYE#28

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8) As my Friend, the late Stephen Vogel would have noted,:"....... And this, Michael, is one of the things that made The Old Man so much money, from my travels for him, in the international firearms market for Sturm Ruger".
Bob, this is a marvelous firearm and a truely great discovery.
 

weaselmeatgravy

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Thanks guys. I am still waiting for Ruger to sort things out, they have the Oct 2009 ship date (I saw the invoice and it went out 10/02/09) correct but they have the catalog number as RDA32 (blue Security Six) and that error is also on the barcode label.

mike722, I think you are right on the finish, or probably bead blast would be more correct. They bead blasted some other guns in this time frame, for instance the blackened stainless guns that they tried for a short while. My blackened stainless bead blast demo gun that went to the Secret Service is right in this same serial number range (at 159-62557U).

The fact that the SN of the WA POLICE gun ends in 030 is also not lost on me. I wonder if this one was set aside for Stan Terhune and he never picked it up.
 

El Numero Uno

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Bob,
Amazing bit of detective work; I am really impressed when a "Shot in the dark" turns up this kind of info.
The 50th Anniversary No.1 from the Terhune Auction, ended in "30", so I would believe your hunch to have some validity. The "Not for Sale" sticker adds some validity to this supposition, also.
 

flatgate

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The "provenance" from down under is GREAT!

What an amazing story, practically UNBELIEVABLE..... :shock:

Now, you are thinking about next year's NRA Show, AREN'T YOU??
We Ruger Collectors need a good D.A. Display......

flatgate
 

weaselmeatgravy

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ENU, yes, there were also other prefixed guns in Stan's collection that ended in 30 but were not -00030 or were not the first prefix -00030. I recall some were even 03030. The SDA85H was 161-00030, just happened that those oddballs came around a prefix roll. (pic link)

Flatgate, I don't have any display in mind but I like the concept.

mike722, I was wrong about the Secret Service gun, it actually does say sand blast, not bead blast on the shipper.
(pic link)
 

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