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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was at the range today and they had a used single six .22 for sale. I never buy used guns, but I had been thinking about one of these for a while and the price was right to me. It appeared to be in pretty good condition. I had a range gift card and I decided to buy it. It was a spur of the moment type thing and I really did not do any research at all, which is not like me. I'm the type that spends forever researching and by the time I decide to by, it is gone.

I had a blast with it shooting 216 rounds of bulk ammo with no issues of any type. I figured I'd check the age while I was cleaning it. The serial number is 147xxx, which appears to be the old model (has three screws) and from 1959. It has black SR grips. It does not look that old and I'm thinking I am looking it up wrong. Any help on figuring out what I bought?



 

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The gun is that old. However it looks to have the transfer bar conversion, and I would wager a bet that it had a factory refinish at that time. Looks like a great gun and a fun shooter.
 

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Type 2 "Roundgate" made in 1959.

Yes, it has the "safety conversion" that features the transfer bar ignition system.

It may indeed have been refinished. At any rate it's a superb Old Model Single-six.

Congrats. Enjoy.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input. It was, is a sweet shooter. I have been researching since I bought it and plan to shoot the heck out of it. I just never thought it was as old as it is. I did not know there was an old and new model. Researching has been fun and I have learned a lot in a short time.

I just thought I bought a late 90's used plinker. It is fun to know it has much more history and I stumbled into a good buy, instead of a lemon.
 

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If you (carefully) remove the grip panels, you should find the legend XR3 cast into the grip frame on the left side. This is the proper grip frame for this vintage revolver.

There were walnut grip panels available for the old XR3 grip frames and they had the same "blackbird" medallions that the black plastic ones do. They are somewhat less fragile than the plastic ones, and you may find some by posting a "want to buy" in the classified section here. They may be kinda pricey in real nice condition, perhaps $100 or more.

There were stag and even ivory panels available as well, and they are VERY pricey if you can find them.

Later guns used the XR3RED grip frame and the panels for these are NOT interchangeable with the XR3 versions.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you (carefully) remove the grip panels, you should find the legend XR3 cast into the grip frame on the left side. This is the proper grip frame for this vintage revolver.

There were walnut grip panels available for the old XR3 grip frames and they had the same "blackbird" medallions that the black plastic ones do. They are somewhat less fragile than the plastic ones, and you may find some by posting a "want to buy" in the classified section here. They may be kinda pricey in real nice condition, perhaps $100 or more.

There were stag and even ivory panels available as well, and they are VERY pricey if you can find them.

Later guns used the XR3RED grip frame and the panels for these are NOT interchangeable with the XR3 versions.

:)
Yes the XR3 is there and there is also another marking on the other tang of the same side. My eyes are not great, but kind of looked like a stick of dynamite :)D)
 

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You got a beauty and it is so old in fact, it's before the convertible model era when they came with the extra 22 Mag cylinders.

Some feel that your vintage with the 22 LR only barrel groove size are more accurate than the post Serial # 150,000 with the larger groove diameter to accommodate the larger 22 Mag bullets. Just FYI, if you get the urge to add a 22 Mag cyl, it's not recommended for your gun.
 

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Yes, not a good idea. In fact, Ruger won't retrofit a Magnum cylinder to guns older than 150,000. That was about the time they began to deal with the reality of the .22 Magnum cartridge, ultimately leading to the Convertibles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Shot another 210 rounds today. No issues of any type. Just a fun couple of hours. My old eyes do struggle to see that front sight tab. I debated painting it after I was done cleaning today.

That brings me to my next question if I may. I bought it as a shooter. I love to customize my guns for me and I never sell them. I was thinking of changing the grips, painting the front sight, putting it in a holster and shooting thousands of rounds through it. I assume that although it is an old surviver, in the end it is nothing special. I won't be destroying a piece of history, right?
 

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You're absolutely right on all points.

One thought to be friendly to its finish, use a lined holster. The rough flesh side of unlined leather will hold grit from dust and dirt and you can't clean it out well. Therefore it can act like fine sandpaper on the bluing of your gun.
 

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5437, that's a right pretty Single Six, even if it has been converted. You should get a lot of fun shooting it for decades to come.

Bought mine (#136xxx) new in 1959 and it is still as tight & smooth as ever after untold thousands of rounds in the 56 years I've owned it. It's unaltered & never been converted:

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you both for the thoughts. I will make sure that whatever I do change can easily be undone so it can go back to it's unmolested state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·


Quick update: I bought a cheap soft holster to get me to and from the range. Seems to be working fine. I also bought a cheaper pair of "fake" ivory grips for a new model and modified them to fit the old frame. I'm happy with the result and it has been a blast to shoot. I'm now thinking about a bearcat shop keeper...
 

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Hi , I picked an old model up at my local pawn shop about 8 years ago in very good condition . There were 2 sitting there .one with a 51/2" barrel ( which I seem to see the most for sale ), and one with the 45/8" barrel which you don't encounter very often . I chose the 4 5/8" " one just because it seemed more " packable " to me . At the time I wasn't aware of how much less these are encountered .
My first Ruger I bought was in 1990 , been buying them off and on for the last 25 years . There is a TON of info to be had with Rugers . The more you research and learn , the more fun you'll have . Enjoy !
 

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Quick update: I bought a cheap soft holster to get me to and from the range. Seems to be working fine. I also bought a cheaper pair of "fake" ivory grips for a new model and modified them to fit the old frame. I'm happy with the result and it has been a blast to shoot. I'm now thinking about a bearcat shop keeper...
Very nice lookin' outfit to tote around the great outdoors. Don't loose the black grips though.
 
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