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WTK: 38 Spl. Military/Police Speed Six ?? and 380 rim Security Six ??

This is a discussion on WTK: 38 Spl. Military/Police Speed Six ?? and 380 rim Security Six ?? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I have a couple unusual revolvers that I am thinking about selling but wanted to know what the group thinks about their rarity/scarcity etc. One ...


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Old September 28th, 2010, 05:43 AM   #1
 
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WTK: 38 Spl. Military/Police Speed Six ?? and 380 rim Security Six ??

I have a couple unusual revolvers that I am thinking about selling but wanted to know what the group thinks about their rarity/scarcity etc. One is a Speed Six, four inch barrel blue gun with a round butt and a lanyard swivel and paperwork that says it is Military/Police issue but it's not marked as such ?
The 2nd gun is a Security Six also four inch barrel blue with round butt and lanyard but it's in .380 Rim caliber and I know a little about it from an earlier posting that it was a contract made for India.
Both are new unfired in their boxes and I really don't collect these so I'm thinking of letting them go? Any ideas on relative worth in today's market ??
Appreciate any and all help!



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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:45 AM   #2
 
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Well, from the thread I asked on the same .380 Rimmed (.38 S&W), it isn't worth very much more than a regular Service Six in identical condition in .38 Special.

Kinda made me want to cry in my Dickel.

Looks like they are selling in the $300-450 range on the auction sites, depending upon condition, boxes, grips, barrel lengths, etc.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #3
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At one time, the 380 Rim Security-Six, Speed-Six, and Service-Six were quite rare because they weren't sold in the US. A few years ago, many of the police trade-in 380 Rims started showing up at CDNN for about $200 (dealer cost). This made them retail for about $300 ... depending on condition. Collector value went down the tubes as soon as these guns became available in the US.

The sad thing with the 380 Rim (38 S&W) ... ammo is hard to find and is not as powerful as a 38 Special. Many of the Rugers have been reamed to 38 Special. This is a much better cartridge and way easier to find.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #4
 
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if that isnt bad enough try reloading for .38 s&w.

it takes a .361 dia bullet so your .357-8 bullets are too small the next close size is the .365 bullet used in 9mm makarov ammo too big.

only source of .361 is magsafe 146 gr rnl made to load 38s&w.or you can get a mold and cast em
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Old September 28th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #5
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loose cannon, I've done a few conversions from 380 Rim/38 S&W to 38 Special. With S-Sixes, Ruger used a .357" bore diameter, just like their 38/357 products made for the US market. The cylinder throats are a bit oversized but with .358" lead bullets, they shoot pretty nice. I can't say the same for S&W Victory models ... their .360" bore diameters are too generous to get good accuracy with 38 Special ammo..
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Old September 28th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #6
 
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I never slugged the barrel of the Ruger .380 Rim that I had but I wonder if Ruger really bothered to bore them out to .360 for such a low pressure round. At any rate a HBWC's base will expand to fit the grooves upon firing. The .380 Rim Service Six is a great plinker. A Speer 148 HBWC on top of 2.3 grains of Winchester #231 would shoot out the X-ring at 50 ft. in the one I had.

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Old September 28th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #7
 
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The actual "US" marked Speed and Service Six .38 Special revolvers will fetch a pretty penny, because ANYthing USGI these days is going through the roof. They appeal to two markets, US martial weapons collectors who need every single sidearm ever issued by the US and need the Ruger, and also Ruger collectors.

The .380 Rim Service Sixes appeal to far fewer people overall but I would imagine a collector that really, really needs one will pay a premium. The trick will be to find that guy that wants it enough to pay $5-600.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
The sad thing with the 380 Rim (38 S&W) ... ammo is hard to find and is not as powerful as a 38 Special. Many of the Rugers have been reamed to 38 Special. This is a much better cartridge and way easier to find.
I remember the late '50s - early '60s when S&W Victory pistols in .38 S&W were rechambered to .38 Special. Accuracy was poor because of the oversized bore and the cases often split at the base.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 09:35 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
loose cannon, I've done a few conversions from 380 Rim/38 S&W to 38 Special. With S-Sixes, Ruger used a .357" bore diameter, just like their 38/357 products made for the US market. The cylinder throats are a bit oversized but with .358" lead bullets, they shoot pretty nice. I can't say the same for S&W Victory models ... their .360" bore diameters are too generous to get good accuracy with 38 Special ammo..

i defer to your knowledge,you've probably forgoten more about rugers than ill ever know.

i also noted the post about hbwc bullets,im going to remember that in case i need to make ammo in .38 s&w,if the leads soft enough it should do well.i bet the bore would get cruddy quick though.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #10
 
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Don't worry about leading. The velocity is low enough that it's not an issue.
You can go up to 2.6 grains of Winchester #231 with the 148 HBWC bullets and still not lead up your barrel.

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Old October 12th, 2010, 11:16 AM   #11
 
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I surely wouldn't mind one of those Rugers in 38 S&W. They can't be sold in CA, due to our idiot safety-test requirements. Don't get me started, the rant would consume more bandwidth than the issue is worth.

These examples in 38 S&W were designed around the far more powerful British service rounds using 178-200 grain bullets at 700-750 FPS. As anyone familiar with 38 Special capabilities is aware, that is 38 Special performance from a stubby 38 caliber round developed in 1877. Not bad, that.

I reload 38 S&W ammo in some quantity, and have 3 revolvers chambered for the caliber. Two are appropriate for the more powerful loadings, a Webley-Enfield DAO top-break and a S&W Lend-Lease M&P. Both revolvers have cylinder throats @ .362"-.363", and groove diameters ranging from .3615"-.362". Fed a diet of 202-grain NEI #169A castings (these duplicate service bullet size/weight/form) atop 3.0 grains of Unique, the S&W is a tackdriver and shoots right to the sights at 25 yards. The Webley groups more poetically, but I sure as heck wouldn't stand in front of someone firing one--it's "minute of bad-guy" to 50 yards, at minumum.

Internal dimensions vary WIDELY with this caliber. I also have a 1920-made Colt Police Positive x 4", and its internals show .359" throats and .3585" grooves. Lighter loadings are the rule with this lighter-framed example, and I use Lyman #358477 @ .359" and 2.5 grains of WW-231 for 725 FPS. These hit very close to the sights, and cluster into tight groups (1.5"-2.0") at 25 yards. I call it The Kit Gun From Hell.

Reloading tool hint for the 38 S&W--RCBS Cowboy Die Set in 38 S&W. It comes with two expander spuds for .358" and .360" bullets. If your revolver has larger chamber holes and wider throats, a 9mm Makarov die can work to resize your cases--but some case makes won't be sized enough to hold smaller-diameter bullets.

Last but not least--the British service load components are a curiosity--the NEI #169A bullet is .810" long, while the case that contians it is only .775" long. Weird, but it works.
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