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How to tell difference on Single Six Standard and Magnum

This is a discussion on How to tell difference on Single Six Standard and Magnum within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; My father in law recently bartered some work and recvd a Single Six for his effort. I am helping him date the weapon so trying ...


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Old November 25th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #1
 
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How to tell difference on Single Six Standard and Magnum

My father in law recently bartered some work and recvd a Single Six for his effort. I am helping him date the weapon so trying to understand the physical difference between a Standard and a Magnum. (There is no magnum cylinder in the deal so...) So, is "Magnum" written on the weapon? The manual online offers no help.

Looking at the Ruger site. There are three Old Models: Standard, Magnum, and Aluminum. I know it is not aluminum.

The serials for Standard and Magnum overlap so it could be a '56 Standard or a '66 Magnum.



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Old November 25th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #2
 
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Others will know more but I don't think there was ever a dedicated 22 mag built. I have what is now called a 'convertable'; I have two cylinders, one for 22LR and one for 22MAG (aka: 22WMR). Many of the mag cylinders have been lost by their original owners.

Do you have an 'old' model or a "Ruger New Model"? The 'old' models weren't labeled as such, they just came out before the 'new models'. NEW models are labeled as such and they use a transfer bar that raises up to allow the hammer to hit the firing pin.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #3
 
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It is an Old Model. I am trying to determine if there are any distinguishing marks tht would differentiate between the Std and Mag.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #4
 
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Yes, there were dedicated .22 Magnums built.

They were roll-marked "RUGER SINGLE-SIX WIN. 22 RF MAG. CAL." on the left side of the frame. They were made from 1959 thru 1964, serial numbers 300000 thru 398349.

They were all 6-1/2" barrels, model RSSM. There were a few with "extra" .22 LR cylinders, model RSSMX.

Most had the "black plastic" grip panels, but a few shipped with walnut, model RSSMW.

Early ones had XR3 grips, a few later ones had XR3-RED grip frames with walnut grip panels because there weren't any "black plastic" XR3-RED grip panels.

Neat guns.


Last edited by Ale-8(1); November 26th, 2010 at 02:01 PM.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ale-8(1) View Post
Yes, there were dedicated .22 Magnums built.

They were roll-marked "RUGER SINGLE-SIX WIN. 22 RF MAG. CAL." on the left side of the frame. They were made from 1959 thru 1964, serial numbers 300000 thru 398349.

They were all 6-1/2" barrels, model RSSM. There were a few with "extra" .22 LR cylinders, model RSSMX.

Most had the "black plastic" grip panels, but a few shipped with walnut, model RSSMW.

Early ones had XR3 grips, a few later ones had XR3-RED grips.

Neat guns.

As Ale-8 said

I have one, Aug 1962, s/n 339xxx, RSSMW
Has the walnut grips and a LR cylinder. The mag cyl is etched with last 3 digits, the LR cyl has the last 3 stamped.

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Old November 25th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #6
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MCPO, What's that old saying .... a picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks for posting your photo. Nice gun by the way ... not something you see every day.

Just to add a bit to Ale-8(1)'s post ... If a Single-Six is roll marked "Ruger 22 CAL", it means it will shoot 22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle ammo. Single-Sixes before S/N 150,000 had .222" bores and were not shipped with 22 Mag cylinders. After S/N 150,000, Ruger changed to .224" bores and began shipping "convertibles" with the extra mag cylinder but were still roll marked "Ruger 22 CAL". As noted by Ale-8(1), the dedicated 22 Mag guns were the only ones with the RUGER SINGLE-SIX WIN. 22 RF MAG. CAL rollmark. The confusion factor is .... some Mag models were also shipped with LR cylinders, which technically would make them a convertible, however because of the serial number range, they are considered the more scarce and valuable "22 RF Mag" models.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #7
 
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And not only that, some of the early .22LR convertibles were marked in the same serial number range as the "Magnum only" guns. My 5-1/2" convert RSS5 is numbered 343XXX (November, 1962).

And I also have a similar 9-1/2" RSS9 gun with one cylinder stamped and the other one "scribed", serial 360XXX (March, 1963).

With Ruger, ya never really know . . .


Last edited by Ale-8(1); November 26th, 2010 at 09:33 AM.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #8
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Ale-8(1),
Quote:
With Ruger, ya never really know . . .
How right you are!!! Ruger and all other gun manufacturers were forced to change their serial numbering systems in 1968, when BATFE changed the laws. Prior to 1968, Ruger used the same serial number sequence on different models so you could actually have a Bearcat, Single-Six, Blackhawk, and Super Blackhawk ... all with the same serial number. To add to confusion, sometimes they screwed up and stamped the same S/N on two guns in the same model. If they caught the mistake at the factory, a "D" was manually stamped in front. There are still many Rugers in circulation with the same serial numbers that weren't caught. There were also some guns used in displays that were later stamped with a "U" in front of the S/N. The fonts for the "D" or "U" were different and seldom were aligned properly. This made the serial number look totally phony. Ruger also used different fonts within the same models. The 1968 law made manufactures use unique serial numbers for each model, required the S/N location to be uniform, and the font to be a specific size. Each manufacturer had to get BATF approval for their serial numbering plan.

Ruger now uses serial number prefixes ... ie 45-12345, where the first two or three digits before the dash are unique to a specific model. When the last 5 digits hit 99999, a new prefix is assigned that may or may not be in sequence with the previous one.

Although Ruger has "cleaned up its act", they still do some strange things. My most recent Ruger purchase is a P-944 but the slide is marked P-94. The references for P-94s indicate a 9mm chamber whereas the P-944 is a 40 S&W .... but the barrel is marked "40 Cal." Go figure!!! There are many more exceptions that make life interesting for Ruger collectors such as serial numbers being assigned out of sequence and date made vs date shipped being years apart. Yup, with Ruger ... never say "always" or "never".
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Old November 26th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #9
 
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I apologize for "pirating" this thread, but we're having fun here.

Follower, if you'd care to share at least the "front half" of your serial number, we might be able to tell you even more about your gun. And if you call the Ruger factory's records department, they will tell you your gun's ship date (month and year) and confirm its "shipped configuration" by model number. If you ask nicely, they'll even provide you with a FREE letter confirming this information.

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Old December 9th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #10
 
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I recently seen a "single six" serial number "1782XX". With the revolver was one cylinder. I have seen similar guns with both cylinders(serial number was obviously newer. "xx-xxxxxx"). If looking through the cylinder only, how do you visually differentiate?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:39 AM   #11
 
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Not exactly sure if this answers your question. Newer guns have fluted cylinders for the .22LR and non fluted cylinders for the WMR cylinders.

Older guns have both cylinders fluted but the 22LR (on the left) has a 'ring' around the rear of the cylinder. The WMR (on the right) has no ring and a magnum rd will not go into a LR cylinder.


Last edited by MCPO; December 10th, 2010 at 09:36 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #12
 
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Good info, MCPO.

The pic actually shows the "back" of the cylinders.

Thanks for sharing.

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Old December 10th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ale-8(1) View Post
Good info, MCPO.

The pic actually shows the "back" of the cylinders.

Thanks for sharing.

How embarassing - corrected. Thanks Ale-8,
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Old December 10th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #14
 
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thank you MCPO. This is the info I was looking for! Bought this beautiful revolver from a buddy's mom and I was told it was the LR cylinder. Took it to the range the other day and occasionally a shell casing would crack and from what I have read, shooting a 17mach2 out of a 17hmr will do the same thing. I am still trying to figure out more info on the serial number though(1782xx). Guess I had better shoot an e-mail to customer service. thank you for your time and the information MCPO
Quote:
Not exactly sure if this answers your question. Newer guns have fluted cylinders for the .22LR and non fluted cylinders for the WMR cylinders.

Older guns have both cylinders fluted but the 22LR (on the left) has a 'ring' around the rear of the cylinder. The WMR (on the right) has no ring and a magnum rd will not go into a LR cylinder.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #15
 
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Hey Ale, good job on the "black plastic" reference. It is good to see some truth when discussing these grips.......
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