Friday, November 12, 2010


images from Chuck Hawks website,,

Some years ago, I got a very gently used Ruger stainless steel Security Six. It was a few years after they stopped making this model pistol and had moved on into another model of .357 revolver. It's a four inch barrel model. It was owned by a police officer as a gun for his extra jobs, and he sold it to a friend of mine whose wife objected to them having a gun in the home. And then it was mine. The friend I got it from said that the officer he got it from said it had "an excellent trigger" and had been "worked on, whatever that meant", he said.

After checking out the gun, it was in like new condition. Tight cylinder. It didn't look like it had ever been fired, much less with any magnum ammo.

Before I launch into my past and recent present with the Ruger Security Six, let me give a couple of links that have quick histories and reviews of this gun that say it far better than I do.

The Wiki article is an accurate overview of this history of this gun and it's related firearms, the Service Six (fixed sights) and the Speed Six (round butt). By the way, I've always wanted a Speed Six in 9mm, and there's a picture of one above.

Chuck Hawks does a great job of talking about his Security Six and why he likes it and what he doesn't like.

You really need to read his review, plus check out his awesome site with all kinds of articles about hunting and guns. But here is what noted firearm authority Chuck Hawks thinks about the Ruger Security Six, and how he ends his article. I guess if there's a gun you want to be carrying in apocolypse situation, it's one you won't need spare parts fer.

However, and this is the real reason why these guns are a solid buy, they will simply out last any other DA revolver over thousands of Magnum rounds. (With the exception, of course, of Ruger’s follow-on piece, the GP-100.) If one bought a Security Six, one could expect a lifetime of full use and still be able to hand it to one’s children with nary a problem. I once knew of an indoor range that had one as a rental gun and it digested, by their estimate, some 1,400,000 rounds with no parts breakages and minimal maintenance. That is the essence of a good deal!

This particular gun is a 4" barreled adjustable sight gun. It has Pachmayr Presentation grips on it, which of course make shooting it a pleasure. When I got the gun, I took it to my gunsmith and asked him to give it the once over. He said with some glee that it had one of the best done trigger jobs he had ever seen, and the springs all appeared to be Ruger stock but had been polished and something else. I shot it a few times back then and was impressed with it, but having owned a Python for years, I had shot a great revolver before.

Besides, at the time I got the Ruger, I was all caught up into shooting the newly released Glock 21 in .45 ACP caliber. And I remained very caught up in shooting the Glock 21 for the next ten years or so, moving back and forth with a Colt Commander "
"Shipley Special" .45 that had been worked on by a gunsmith named Shipley. Nickle Commander, Pachmayr wrap around grips, enlarged ejection port, slightly extended safety on one side only, polished ramps and all that. It wasn't heavily modified, but these Shipley Specials were a favorite with REAL Poh-Lice officers in Houston and Harris County for their accuracy and absolute reliability.

So the Ruger Security Six became one of the main stationary house guns, really since the early 90's . In a holster, stashed in a small gun access safe in a hidden spot, with a couple of speedloaders attached to the back of the holster. It's a hunking piece of solid feeling steel. It's a good car gun too, for the glovebox of the car with a couple of reloads.

And I never thought much about the gun until lately. On the rare occasion that I might carry a 4" barrel medium frame revolver as a concealed handgun, I opt for the Model 67 Combat Masterpiece that I have. The M67 is actually heavier by a few ounces than the Security Six, but the overbuilt nature of the Security Six (which is a virtue discussed later) renders it a bit less concealable than a M67.

I'm a normal sized guy. I live in Texas. It gets real hot and REALLY humid where I live in the late spring, summer and early fall. It is hard for a man my size to conceal a medium frame .357 revolver with a 4" barrel during much of these hot and humid times.

Bear in mind that as a young officer back in the days when .357 4" revolvers were standard carry for myself and most other officers in Houston and Texas, when I worked plainclothes and investigative assignments I often did not carry my 4" Python. It was just too big. To have my suits or sports coats cut big enough for the Python, even with some thinner concealment grips, made the clothing look clownish and I looked like I was carrying a BIG GUN, which of course I was.

And even though I've gained a bit of middle aged girth since my slender policing days, a gun like a Python or a Security Six or even the Combat Masterpiece with a 4" barrel (not to mention adjustable sights on these guns) is not gonna conceal any easier now than it did in my more youthful days.

But again, the big Security Six surprise was the great DA and SA trigger pulls. I had simply forgotten how great the trigger pull on that gun is. And reading reviews from other blogs and the websites of so-called gun gurus (and some are gurus, I submit), I know my trigger is better than most. It's a sheer pleasure to shoot, and makes all the difference in the world in accuracy.

So a few weeks ago, when a ton of discount .38 special ammo came our way via my great local gun dealer who bought out another store and got some screaming deals on some old ammo. Very old ammo. Double D Ammo with some nice 125 grain semi-wadcutters. We got boxes and boxes of it and two boxes of some kind of blazer wadcutter ammo. All new, no reloads.

We shot the hell out of our .38 Special revolvers that day and just had a great time, and we rediscovered what great guns with great triggers can do and just how well they can shoot. Challenging my great shooting Colt that day was the Ruger Security Six for nice groups at 15 and 25 feet.

Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr. and I were as happy as can be with the huge box of .38 Specials we lugged out to the firing line at the outdoor range. We had boxes of what turned out to be some of the nicest shooting (and very accurate and very clean ammo, I'll add) ammo for the .38 Special revolvers and so I took the opportunity for Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr. to learn the same practice techniques with revolvers that I were taught in the academy and later on several police shooting teams I shot with.

Earlier in the day, I had shot some AMAZING groups at fast double action and doing point and shoot drills with the Ruger Security Six. Unfortunately for me, after El Fisho Jr. discovered that the DA trigger on the Ruger Security Six was even nicer than his previous .38 Special favorite, the Smith and Wesson M67 Combat Masterpiece, he took over the Ruger for the rest of the revolver session and was doing double taps and the drill they taught me in the academy so many years ago: two in the chest and one in the head.

Friday, November 5, 2010


One day soon, I'll be talking to Grant about some custom work on a revolver. It might be a Colt Python, a S&W Model 22 of 1917, a S&W Model 13 3" barrel or a Colt New Service .45 ACP. Or maybe another gun, but really those are the ones I've narrowed it down to.

Grant Cunningham has a blog and a website and quite a reputation as a revolver gunsmith. Take some time to look around his site at the guns he's done. There are magazine articles out there as well featuring his work.

As for me, I'd like a nice trigger job, have the timing, etc checked all out and made right, as well as a dehorning and on the older Smith and Colt, some major front sight improvement. I've seen Grant's work both on his website and in magazines. Nice work.

Although I have a Model 22 of 1917, I've been begged and pleaded and convinced not to alter it. I'll post a link later linking to some earlier posts on the El Fishing Musician blog about this gun, it's history and how my regular gunsmith and gun dealer/finder nearly cried real tears when I told him I wanted the gun chopped to a snubby.

Real tears.

In any event, I could get a new or gently used new manufacture Model 22 of 1917 and the prices are not really bad. I assume any gunsmith would do the work then, since the newly made 22's of '17 have the safety lock deal on them. I've been looking out for Colt New Service guns for years, and the ones I've found have been rather beat. I know there are some good guns out there, it's just finding them, and I like to touch the actual gun before I buy it, so that rules out auction sites for the most part.

In any event, I'll continue to stew in the creative juices of what gun will end up getting modified for carry in the near future by Mr. Cunningham. By the time I bother him, I want a firm idea of what I want.


Saw a very nice blued 1958 Python that was damn near 100% if there ever was. Very nice gun with some kind of imitation ivory grips that had been scrimshawed to hell with some kinda design and some initials. I bet the gun would have looked good with the stock Walnut grips. Or some real Ivory grips.

He paid a high price for it and another Python, both of whom belonged to a well-known veteran Texas lawman who passed away and his kin sold his custom guns.

I say custom guns because the triggers were supposedly worked on by a legendary Texas gunsmith who knew Colt revolvers. He's long gone as well, but his name and work remain a near legend in terms of finding one of the guns he worked on for law officers in the latter part of the last century.

Remind me again why Colt doesn't make the Python anymore?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



Quite unintentionally, Billy Ray and I have identical guns. Both gifts from our respective parents at different times, they are identical down to the orange front sight insert. Stainless Steel Model 67 Smith and Wesson adjustable sight Combat Masterpiece. Factory Wood grips, square butt. Wide combat hammer and trigger.

Yet contained on a Smith and Wesson K frame. Smaller than it's big brother, the Models 19/66, known as the Combat Magnum (.357 Magnum), the Model 67 easily shoots high power +P .38 Special loads. The easy upgrade to .357 magnum from the Model 67 is the Models 13/65, the .357 Magnum fixed sight version of the Model 10. Confused? Sorry.

The Model 10 Smith and Wesson was a continuation of the Military and Police, designed for expanding police forces nationwide. Such was the durability and reliability of the Model 10 that numerous large police departments like NYPD and LAPD (the Model 15, a 10 with adjustable sights) and tons of smaller departments nationwide from the 1950's until late into the 80's and early 90's when transition occurred to auto pistols in law enforcement.

So there are tons of these S&W guns out there used. Most with 4" barrels, but snubnoses do rarely appear. Our model 67 was produced sometime in the 80's probably, as I recall, and I've seen lots of them used over the years, for a low of $200 some 2o years ago to about $350-500 currently in excellent used condition.

So the Model 67, along with the Models 10, 15 and their brethren, the gun of the Air Force, and many police agencies across the nation including the Feds at times. A .38 Special all steel gun capable of firing high powered +P loads with no problems. It's a tad bit smaller, and thus easier to conceal in the 4" barrel version than many .357 Magnums, something that was of big consideration in older days.

This is one of the guns that writer and holster maker Chic Gaylord recommended as the ultimate combat handgun in his book, arguing that a 3" barrel is the least one should consider for a self defense revolver and 4" is optimal for even close range self defense. You can read about Chic here in other posts I've written. Great holster designer and I have to agree with many of his thoughts about defensive handguns.
If you like revolvers at all, buy a copy of Chic Gaylord's Handgunnners Guide. I got mine off ebay for cheap, and they're on Amazon, of course. Likewise, there is a revised edition I understand from Paladin Press.

There's a great company that carries on Chic's work and some of their own innovative designs called Bell Charter Oak Holsters. I have one. It is beyond excellent. I'd like 5 or 6 more, because they are really, really nice. Mine is several years old, has been well used by me, looks brand new and smells like the finest leather ever.

So I came about my Model 67 through my father, who bought it sometime I didn't know about until after the fact. I can't recall when. He'd owned several Model 15's, the blued version of the Model 67, and thought it to be the finest combat revolver there was. Dad was fond of snubnose revolvers, or those with a maximum of 3" barrels for carry purposes, so the Model 67 ended up being a back-up house gun to his 3" tapered barrel Smith and Wesson old school .38 Special. At some point for one of my "incidental but special" Christmas gifts some years back, he decided I needed it and it's been a main house gun, frequent car and field gun and shooter ever since.

From the time it came from the box new, it has shot dead point of aim up to 25 yards, and then only a bit off at further ranges. We've always left it alone. So now at twenty something years old, possibly older, it looks and feels and works like new. Really. Like new.

Billy Ray got his Model 67 from his mother. Like my folks, his parents have an assortment of firearms, but there came a time several decades back when some serious crimes hit close to home for them and she decided to get her own gun and took a class through the police department in their town. Being of strong constitution befitting the West Texas woman she is, Billy Ray's mom decided she liked the Combat Masterpiece and that's what she bought for HER gun.

Sometime recently, his mom decided it might be a bit too much gun nowadays for her, and has entrusted it to Billy Ray. Again, Billy Ray does not come from a one gun family, or a five gun family. There is no shortage of weapons at the Billy Ray parent's home. So now we have two identical Model 67's, both of which feature great trigger pulls and are well put together and just rock solid firearms.

So together now we can enjoy shooting the same gun. El Fisho Jr. already has picked this gun out as one of his favorites right now for his OT22 (other than .22) shooting. It doesn't have much recoil with mild range loads, and it's about at his hand span/strength level limit size wise for him to be able to fire double action.

I believe in training my son first in revolvers, although he does do some auto pistol shooting, which he is excellent at already. Sure. His .22 is an semi auto, but his main revolver is a single action .22. He's gotten started on one of my old childhood guns, a H&R 9 shot DA revolver. His shooting with the Model 67 on the last outing was nothing short of amazing, and we were shooting the semi-hot Double D mystery ammo from my gun dealer. El Fisho Jr. was loving it. Shooting some very nice and small groups dead on the money.

El Fisho Jr. was shooting so good, as was his dad with the revolvers that day, that we put up the SPLAT! targets on top of the already been shot at targets and those are always a lot of fun to visually see the impact of your shot better from a further distance without using a scope.

Billy Ray has mused at investing in a Model 18 Smith and Wesson, the .22 LR version of the Combat Masterpiece. New, whew, they sure are proud of those guns. But maybe one day we can stumble on a trade or a deal on one. I'm always looking out for one, because it's a great gun to have in .22.

I'd like to have me a nice western rig for this gun. An old time cartridge belt, made out of about 3" of double suede out leather, with cartridge loops that run all around the entire belt, so that the holster rides on top of the cartridges. The suede out kinda kept it in place better than a slicker, finished belt with less pressure I have been told and the ones I've been able to handle at smaller western museums were of a medium thickness and not flimsy but also not rock solid like a double thick leather gun belt.

This is the type of holsters that real lawmen and working cowboys used to wear. You'd wear it up sorta high, with a higher riding holster than you see in the movies, as usually these working guns had longer barrels in the 5" to 6" range. These belts often held combo shells, meaning some rifle cartridges and lots of pistol cartridges. Sometimes, the guns shot the same cartridge so it was no big deal.

A nice medium high riding belt holster, perhaps a floral Mexican loop holster. A holster that rides high enough that it doesn't need a leg tie down and that has a nice secure hammer loop arrangement of some kind to ensure *gun stays in holster*. I have absolutely no need for such a holster, except for fishing trips and trips to friends places and such. True enough, I already have other rigs for other guns, and one of my old police rigs has a holster for this gun I can use at the range.

So when Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr and I go shooting, we're not much for shooting contests. I favor a very supportive shooting environment with a big emphasis on safety so I'm pretty much always the range master for our outings with El Fisho Jr. and others. Nothing wrong with some friendly bulls eye competition but we prefer that we compete against ourselves, our personal best. It lends us to encouraging each other in shooting efforts rather than having a contest with someone losing. This way, we all win, even if we don't shoot as well as our last outing. We don't keep stats or iphone pic our targets, although El Fisho Jr. likes to collect them. It's sort of a loosey-goosey I shot better or worse than I did last time.

We're in need of a good plinking session at a friend's place. There are several large friend's ranches or places we can go do, all of which feature fishing as well as shooting. A couple are gonna be way more shooter friendly than others, and will afford us the opportunity to do some gun shooting with other folks guns, quid pro quo, and that's always fun to see how guns you'd like to shoot actually do shoot. The other couple of places relegate shooting to the trash dump/pit, which is fine but sometimes makes placing actual targets impossible. So you just shoot at trash that hasn't been burned yet.