Service Six 3 inch barrel question

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stonebuster

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All the true 3" barrel Speed/Service Sixes were special contract models as far as I know. My LGS has a true 3" Service Six 357 with no import marks I can see. It has a Pachmayr gripper on it so I can't tell if it's a round butt and therefore miss marked Speed Six. Anyone know what agency ordered 3" Police Service Six 357s?
 

stonebuster

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Round or square butt I don't care as long as it's not pitted under the Goodyears. I would want a look at the grip frame for sure. Three inch Service Sixes aren't all that common.
 

hittman

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Probably factory Pacs if it is a USPS gun.
S/N would help.

Oh wait a minute, I misspoke. My comment applies if it's a SPEED Six, not Service. Sorry. Not sure I've ever seen a 3 inch SERVICE.
 
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I have never seen a factory 3" Police Service Six (but never say never with Rugers). I know of 3" models (all Stainless Speed Sixes) that were made and sold to the INS, USPS and NYCPD. That does not mean that Ruger didn't make others for contracts that could be anywhere in the world.

Pictures and the serial number would go a LONG way to help the investigation. You could also call Ruger with the serial number and see what they say. For $10 a Ruger LOA (Letter of Authentication) would tell you the exact model number (thus the barrel size) and where it was originally shipped.
 

Terry T

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Verifying under the grips is the first step. I have a true 3" stainless Service Six in .357 mag. (I've had this gun since 1989 and displayed it in several shows). I had a 3" Speed Six in .38 Special and, of course, the well known 3" Postal Service guns.
As far as a Ruger letter goes, a mis stamped gun will not letter correctly. We've verified about a dozen mis marked guns so far. In any case, a true 3" gun is rare. The 3" barrel was never offered in the standard advertizing.

1695139318170.jpeg
 
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Good point Terry, I didn't think about a mis stamped gun when I was writing my answer about the LOA.

I did notice on the other forum a guy said this:

"The US Army CID carried 3" Ruger Speed Sixes up into the 2000s but they were being phased out... I know this because I helped the CID track down a Private who was stealing people's credit card info and the Officer I worked with wore plain clothes and he had a Speed Six in a holster on his belt. Being an avid gun guy I noticed it, it had the wood "slim" grip."

I don't want to get into a p***ing contest so I didn't ask him to prove they were 3". I know the Army bought Rugers (as per RENE) but I had never seen where they issued any 3" models to the CID. If they did, then my guess would be that they were standard Speed Sixes.

Anyone here know if the Army bought Rugers to issue to the CID? I know that the Navy bought some for the NIS.
 

Terry T

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I have two ideas about the 3" Service Six.
First, they were special ordered for a LE agency of some sort. Mine is an "over run" and never actually sent to an LE.
Second, since the Six series was ending in 1988 and there may have been some "left over" 3" barrels in the parts bin, some late frames may have been assembled with the "left over" 3" barrels.
Ser. No. would help know when a gun was assembled. Mine has a very high ser. no., near the highest known for Six Series guns.
 

stonebuster

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It's either a miss stamped Speed Six or Service Six but definitely 3". I've got a GS-83 and this barrel is identical like Terry T's. In good condition, what would be a fair price? Thanks.
 

hittman

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Before I'd venture a guess at price, I'd need to see a picture, know the s/n, and measure the barrel. Easy to miss 0.25 an inch saying it "looks like".
I'd probably call Ruger too on the outside chance I could get somebody to help.
 

Terry T

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Price / value is a bit subjective and somewhat subject to location. $450-$650. It's "rare" but only to a collector. And "rare" does not always equal high value. Value is more a function of demand vis supply. And there's the question of how badly do I want it! An extra $50 or $100 for one I really want.....
It always has "street value" as a very good shooter / carry piece.
Others may chime in with other ideas of value.
What is the shop asking price?
 

stonebuster

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Verifying under the grips is the first step. I have a true 3" stainless Service Six in .357 mag. (I've had this gun since 1989 and displayed it in several shows). I had a 3" Speed Six in .38 Special and, of course, the well known 3" Postal Service guns.
As far as a Ruger letter goes, a mis stamped gun will not letter correctly. We've verified about a dozen mis marked guns so far. In any case, a true 3" gun is rare. The 3" barrel was never offered in the standard advertizing.

View attachment 29946
Here's a look at the barrel 20230918_151720.jpg
 

weaselmeatgravy

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I have one, a GF33 shipped Dec, 1988. The 3" guns are all late production. They came about after Ruger changed the contour of the front of the extractor shroud under the barrel from a sharper angle on earlier models to a more shallow angle. That change didn't impact the 4" or 6" guns which had plenty of barrel to accommodate a longer lug, but they had to add 1/4" to the length of the snubbies (previously 2.75") to make it fit. Best I can tell, the changeover happened in 1985 but like most parts changes Ruger made, there is overlap.

$700 doesn't sound too bad. I have mine valued at $650 but haven't updated values recently. I got it in 2011 for $461.
 

Outpost75

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Customs and Border Patrol bought stainless 3-inch Speed Six .357s in the 1980s. Don't recall who bought the blued 3-inch Service Sixes, but I remember them being assembled.
 
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