While in the Air Force stationed at King Salmon, Alaska, I bought my first Ruger through the Base Exchange for $39. It was a handsome 22 Single-Six (no mag cylinder) with black grips. Just a few weeks after I bought it, the big earthquake hit (Good Friday, 1964) so I never got a chance to shoot it before reassignment to Marquette, MI. I packed up all my stuff and being fearful that someone would steal my new gun, I tucked it away in a box of pictures then had the crate sent to Michigan.
The earthquake caused considerable chaos so it was at least 6 months before I got my hold baggage. Having forgotten about packing the gun in the box of pictures, I figured someone stole it. That box of pictures followed me for 37 years before I retired and moved back to my hometown.
One day I was sorting through some boxes and decided to open the one marked "Alaska Pictures". There was the Ruger, not a mark on it. I still have it and still haven't fired it. I figured the gun must have been in stock at the Base for quite a while because it was actually made in 1959. Talk about being ecstatic!
In 1966, I mustered enough money to buy a replacement for the above gun that I thought was stolen. It cost me $60 but was a convertible OM with a mag cylinder. I still have it too but it has been fired a lot. Still looks pretty new though.
When I rediscovered the OM Single-Six in the photo, I couldn't remember if it had a mag cylinder or not. Turns out the helpful folks at Ruger told me the gun was probably made in 1958 but wasn't shipped until 1959. It was before the convertibles came on the market and has a .222" bore, thus no mag cylinder. Convertibles have a .224" bore. S/N is 1081XX.
Most of the guns made in this time frame have plum color on the loading gate and possibly the frame and cylinder. This one is still black. Also, most of the rubber grips turn brown with age. Again, these are nice and black. I can't help but think exposure to light must be involved.
I agree that the sunlight, maybe even 'daylight' has some effect on the polymers in the grips. They can change about any time and I too have seen a couple,never saw daylight and they are as black as can be.
Nice picture and sure is NOT an "old beater", very nice!
My first Ruger, that I still have, was a blued Blackhawk .357 4 5/8" barrel. I bought it thru the onboard gun club while aboard ship in 1965 during my Navy enlistment. Of course when it arrived we couldn't take possession of it for obvious reasons and could only look at it and handle it for a short time then it got stashed back into the ship's armory until we returned to the States. I think it cost me around $55 or $60 at the time.
It still has the orginal lockwork and although I've been tempted over the years to have Ruger install the transfer bar system, I ended up leaving it in it's original condition. I don't have any problems loading 6 rounds into it...all I do is drop the hammer so that the firing pin falls between two case heads. Of course the cylinder is not locked into position but it's not going to rotate with the firing pin blocking any movement either.
My first Ruger was a stainless Single Six purchased at Big 5 Sporting Goods for $225 in 1985. I traded it and several other firearms for a Colt Officers ACP. My next Ruger (still have it) was a 6" stainless GP100 for a whopping $300. It was purchased at the Great Western Gun Show at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds.
My first Ruger is my .22 Bearcat that my Dad got me for Christmas in 1970. I still have the original box and manual. Unfortunately I lost my Dad one year ago this week, he was my best friend and buddy, but I'll always have the Bearcat.
Had a Ruger Standard MkI 4 3/4" about '67-could not hit a thing with it and didn't keep it-the Luger grip and my hand don't match-I'd like to have a shot at the Gov't Model-type grip ones-haven't had the chance yet.