Police Service Sixes with 5" Barrels

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weaselmeatgravy

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I've posted pics of two of these guns before, but the 3rd one is a new find.

First a little background: Ruger offered the adjustable sight Security Six in 3 primary barrel lengths, 2.75", 4", and 6". They offered the fixed sight Speed Six and Service Six in 2 primary barrel lengths, 2.75" and 4". Late in production, the 2.75" barrel was replaced with a 3" barrel to accommodate a longer, more gradual taper from the extractor shroud up to the barrel. But at no time did they ever make standard production -Six series revolvers with 5" barrels.

Back in the 1980's, there was apparently a proposal to firearm manufacturers to present solutions for arming the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), AKA, "Mounties" with 5" barreled revolvers. I don't know why they wanted 5" tubes back then, but today Canadian citizens are restricted to handguns with barrels at least 106 mm in length, which is about 4.17" and that explains why Ruger switched from 4" to 4.2" barrels on the New Bearcat, GP100, etc.

Ruger made five stainless Police Service Six revolvers in .357 Magnum with 5" barrels as prototypes for potential sale to the RCMP. These were made in about 1981 when the recoil shield was the rounded style. Here is one of the five that I managed to snag some years back:

ROY4evJ.jpg


The stainless .357 was rejected, and instead the RCMP ordered blue guns in .38 Special. Possibly the stainless was too expensive and the .357 was politically incorrect. Not sure. The production guns, being a little later than the prototypes, have the "scalloped" recoil shield that appeared around 1982. About 15 of the blue guns remained with Ruger in the U.S. as contract spares, and presumably after some fulfillment period expired, Ruger liquidated the leftovers to employees and distributors. Ruger (Pinetree Castings) exec Stan Terhune snapped one up for his personal collection of serial number 30 Rugers. Stan's collection was sold after his death and I managed to grab this example:

4r33taO.jpg


It is thought that the contract production was 150 guns, plus 10% spares which accounts for the 15 overruns that were eventually sold in the states. The 150 contract guns were also thought to have been destroyed after the RCMP was done with them rather than sold as used guns and/or exported out of Canada. But at least one of them was not destroyed! I recently found a survivor that is complete with the re-importation marking under the barrel legend:

ZfnrJiF.jpg


IhMrVey.jpg


XAG9ARh.jpg


I'm betting that there are more re-imported 5" Service Sixes out there, waiting to be discovered by collectors.
 

weaselmeatgravy

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T.A. WORKMAN said:
I have #160-94838, same Importer.

Thanks Terry, maybe we can tease some other numbers out of RF members. I'll start a list below. Your gun appears on the list in the RENE Ref, which I was under the impression was just overrun guns since Chad could not recall hearing of one being re-imported until mine. So now I wonder how many others in the RENE data were re-imported.

Anyone else have a 5" Service Six? Please share your SN and whether it has the importer mark. Either post or PM if you don't want your identity disclosed :wink:

GF35 Stainless
157-21051 (above pictured gun, consec to the other known per RENE)
157-21052 (RENE)

SDA85 Blue overrun
160-94833 (TT, RENE)
160-98363 (GSD, RENE)
160-98538 (MLV)
160-98539 (MLV)
160-98826 (GSD, RENE)
161-00029 (GSD, RENE)
161-00030 (above pictured gun, former Terhune gun, RENE)
161-00031 (GSD, RENE)
161-00032 (GSD, RENE)
161-00033 (GSD, RENE)
161-00034 (GSD, RENE)
161-00035 (GSD, RENE)
161-00330 (GSD, RENE)
161-97988 (GSD - possible typo, likely 160 prefix, RENE)

SDA85 Blue Re-Import
160-94838 (TAW, RENE)
160-95548 (WMG)

RENE Ref says this about the stainless guns:
GF-35 s/n 157-21052. Produced for possible sales to the R.C.M.P. 5 made. 1 known. Extremely rare.

The RENE Ref info says this about the blue ones
R.C.M.P. contract. Known s/n’s 160-94833, 160-94838, 160-98363, 160-98826, 161-00029 through 161-00035 and 161-97988 (this last serial number may actually be 160-97988). 150 made (of this number, an overrun of 15 were sold to U.S. distributors or Ruger employees).
 

Boneman

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Sep 4, 2004
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That is a beautiful gun! I really like the Police Service Six best of the six series. Thanks for sharing!
 

Terry T

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Mine, 160-94833, is a 'blued overrun', one of the 'left over' 15 sold in the States.
Terry T
 

reuben_j_cogburn

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Mar 5, 2006
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None of the newer revolvers really interest me.. They all look.... funny.
These older designs are just beautiful.. And the 5" barrel is perfect... it looks so much more balanced and graceful than the 4" or 6"......
 

MinorLV

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Aug 5, 2016
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Hello all,

I have the following S/N's...160-98538 and 160-98539. They are two of my favorites.

Best,

MinorLV
 

chet15

Hawkeye
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Jan 22, 2001
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MinorLV said:
Hello all,

I have the following S/N's...160-98538 and 160-98539. They are two of my favorites.

Best,

MinorLV

Your two do not have import marks on the barrel?
Chet15
 

AJGUNNER

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Always amazes me how some of you come up with these odd ball things---even more so when you are able to get your hands on them. Thanks for sharing the info---just one more to be on the lookout for.

Now if one of you can just find me a stainless Security Six 5", it would fit in perfectly with my 2.75", 4", and 6".

 

weaselmeatgravy

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Thanks Terry, I updated the list with those numbers, noted as GSD for Gulf States Distributors. Those numbers are also in RENE, so I added that notation as well. The overrun list is now up to 14 of the 15 estimated.
 

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