Review: Ruger Security Six

Review: Ruger Security Six
Although long discontinued, Ruger's first double-action revolver is still an excellent shooting tool.

Bill Ruger's first double-action revolver wasn't just a success, it was almost perfect. A lot of shooters thought the design had no bugs that needed to be worked out. Many thought it had no deficiencies at all. For a lot of handgunners, the Security-Six revolver was a flawless sixshooter, and that is unusual for a first effort.

Conceived as a powerful middleweight sidearm for self-defense, law enforcement, and military purposes, the Security-Six is a midsize, six-shot double action. Typical to Ruger creed, it was made using robust, cost-effective investment castings and coil springs and quickly gained a reputation for durability and reliability. It was stronger than Smith & Wesson's excellent Model 19 and could better withstand a steady diet of heavy magnum cartridges. Yet the versatile 4.0-inch-barreled version weighed only 33.5 ounces, which as far as .357 Magnum revolvers go is relatively light and a feature much appreciated by those who carried one day in, day out as a duty or service gun.

Most Security-Sixes were chambered in .357 Magnum, although .38 S&W, .38 Special, and 9mm Parabellum (cut for moon clips) were also available. Early versions introduced in 1972 were available only in blued steel; stainless options were added in the mid-1970s.

Because production costs were low, Security-Six revolvers were very competitively priced. A reputation for excellent performance at a superb price vaulted the model to brisk sales. By the time the Security-Six was discontinued in 1988, over 1.5 million had been manufactured and sold to civilians, various government agencies (including the Border Patrol), and police agencies.


Variations include blued and stainless with a variety of barrel lengths, including 2.74-, 3.0-, 4.0-, and 6.0-inch versions. Both round- and square-butt versions were manufactured, and an adjustable-sight model was geared toward police use and marketed as the Service-Six. For the most part, stocks were wood and featured a bit of pressed checkering.


Eventually, Ruger discontinued the Security-Six and its sibling Service-Six and Speed-Six revolvers. It was replaced by the GP100 line of midsize revolvers.

Mechanicals

Uniquely, the Security-Six may be fully disassembled with nothing but a flat-head screwdriver, coin, or whatnot to loosen the grip screw. Once removed, the grips, mainspring, hammer pin and hammer, trigger assembly, and cylinder and crane assembly take down without tools and in very short order.

Notably, when taken apart, the frame's strength is obvious. There is no removable sideplate weakening the structure.


Like all double-action Ruger revolvers, the Security-Six features a rugged press-button cylinder release. Thumb it firmly to open the cylinder latch and swing the cylinder out to load six cartridges.

To fire, either ear the hammer back with your thumb and squeeze the trigger, or simply sweep the trigger through its full rearward swing to fire it in double-action mode. Pop out the cylinder, point the barrel at the sky, and thump the ejector rod with your palm to decisively eject empty cartridge cases prior to reloading.

Provenance


Little is known about the particular revolver shown. It's a standard stainless version with 4.0-inch barrel, discovered on the used-gun shelf at Gunnies Sporting Goods in Orem, Utah. While I wasn't in the market, my good friend Ty Evans was.

A savvy gunsmith had worked it over at some point, tuning the timing, polishing the internals, and lightening the trigger action to perfection. The single-action pull is crisp and light: only 2 pounds, 5 ounces with less than 2 ounces of variation over a series of five measurements. Double action, it tips the scale a fraction past 9 very smooth pounds.

Rangetime

Ruger-Security-Six-Accuracy

Less-than-ideal overcast January light made it difficult for my middle-aged eyes to resolve iron sights, but even so, the Security-Six produced stellar five-shot groups at 25 yards. The light, crisp trigger made getting the best out of the revolver easy, too. Of the four .357 Magnum loads and two .38 Special loads I tested, all averaged less than 3.00 inches, and its two favorites- Fusion's 158-grain JSP and the vintage Remington UMC 125-grain JSP- averaged less than 2.00 inches.

Despite the relatively moderate barrel length, muzzle velocity was good. In fact, the 125-grain Remington UMC load the Security-Six shot so well averaged close to 1,500 fps, producing over 600 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. That's considerably more than even a +P .45 ACP load generates.

With formal testing accomplished, I shot casually in the waning early evening light, turning frozen dirt clumps into smaller clumps and cracking slow-fire shots at inviting rocks on the slope 200 yards distant. Recoil with both standard and +P .38 Specials is positively pleasant; with .357 Magnums, it's zesty but not painful or difficult to control. The factory grip is well shaped, making it easy to find a sure, correct grip when drawing the sidearm and easy to maintain that grip even during rapid fire with magnum cartridges.

All things considered, Ruger's long-discontinued Security-Six revolver is still an outstanding option for the personal-protection-minded among us who prefer a wheelgun to a semiauto. And for wilderness types who spend more nights beneath the stars than under a roof, it's an easy-to-maintain tool-less design that will go the distance.

Ruger-Security-Six-Specs
 
 

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The Glock 21

The Glock 21

Frank and Tony from Gallery of Guns spice up the Glock test using their non-dominant hands.

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Big bore semiauto or a lever gun? We look at the futuristic .450 Bushmaster and how it compares to the tried and true .45-70. ISS Prop House gives us the rundown on the guns used in Enemy at the Gate. We ping steel with a .300 WinMag at over a mile.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is back in production after being on ice for almost two decades. Handguns

Review: Smith & Wesson Model 19 Classic Revolver

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 08, 2019

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is back in production after being on ice for almost two decades.

Crimson Trace enters the riflescope business with the Crimson Trace CTL-3420 4-20X 50mm. Optics

Review: Crimson Trace CTL-3420 4-20X 50mm

Joel J. Hutchcroft - April 29, 2019

Crimson Trace enters the riflescope business with the Crimson Trace CTL-3420 4-20X 50mm.

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day gifts. Accessories

Shooting Times Father's Day 2019 Gift Guide

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day...

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market. Rifles

Yugoslavian M24/47 Mauser-Pattern Rifle

Joseph von Benedikt - May 13, 2019

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market.

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

Uberti's reproduction single-action revolvers pay homage to legendary characters of the Old West, and they're loads of fun to shoot. Handguns

Uberti Revolvers Outlaws and Lawmen Series

Layne Simpson - December 16, 2019

Uberti's reproduction single-action revolvers pay homage to legendary characters of the Old...

The Ed Brown EVO-KC9 is thinner, lighter, and more compact, plus it costs less. Handguns

Ed Brown EVO-KC9 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 02, 2020

The Ed Brown EVO-KC9 is thinner, lighter, and more compact, plus it costs less.

The new Springfield XD-M Elite 9mm line represent the pinnacle of performance in polymer-frame striker-fire pistols. Handguns

Springfield XD-M Elite 4.5” Pistol – First Look

Joel J. Hutchcroft - January 15, 2020

The new Springfield XD-M Elite 9mm line represent the pinnacle of performance in polymer-frame...

Taurus has made its mark in the world of guns by offering dependable yet affordable pistols and revolvers, and the new Taurus 1911 Commander in .45 ACP continues that trend. Handguns

Taurus 1911 Commander .45 ACP Review

Layne Simpson - September 20, 2019

Taurus has made its mark in the world of guns by offering dependable yet affordable pistols...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.