Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ruger New Model Single Six

Ruger New Model Single Six in .22 Magnum

When I first acquired this Ruger Single Six, it wasn't because I was looking for one at all. Instead, a friend of mine needed some money!

I wish I had a "before" picture to show you just how bad it's condition was when I bought it! The original walnut grips had corners broken off, and had been replaced by a home-made pair that were crude, to say the least. The aluminum was dull, corroded, and pitted in places. The entire gun was full of sand, dirt, lint, and heaven knows what else. Inside, I found home-made springs, a bolt plunger pin made out of a nail, and general dis-repair everywhere I looked.

I completely dismantled it, cleaned everything, and decided that in spite of it's condition, it was worth restoring. I wet sanded the aluminum parts, then buffed and polished them until they looked like chrome. The blueing wasn't in too bad of shape, so a little cold-blue touch-up, and that looked OK.

Next step was to re-assemble it, and send it off to a wheel-gun expert to sort out the mechanical parts for me. I dropped it off with "Evil AL" (the pin shooting wiz) and he checked it over. A few new springs, a new bolt, bolt plunger pin, and a little fine tuning and it was mechanically back into great condition.

The home-made grips came off, and with some walnut I had, combined with some very careful woodworking, the grips looked almost like new. With the original grips back on it, the little Ruger was absolutely beautiful! It was hard to believe the difference.

Most of these Ruger's came with a .22 long rifle and a .22 Magnum cyclinder, but somewhere along the line, the .22 long rifle cylinder has long since dis-appeared. If I ever come across one, I'd like to be able to shoot the cheap stuff, as well as the magnum ammo.

Well, how DOES it shoot? I should start by saying that I'm NOT a highly experienced wheel-gunner, so my opinion should be considered as that of a shooter, rather that an expert. That being said, I have to admit that I really like shooting it. The trigger could stand a little work, but that applies to just about everything out there. .22 magnum is a lot hotter than a .22 long rifle, but still not something to overwhelm a novice shooter. It would be a fantastic gun for introducing a novice shooter to revolvers.

As to accuracy, what can I say? Most handguns are WAY more accurate that the person shooting them, and the Ruger New Model Single Six is no exception. If you don't hit what you were shooting at, this isn't a gun you can blame!

If you come across a Single Six at an appealing price, and you are thinking about grabbing it, just DO IT!

You can't help but to like it, I sure do!


At Thursday, September 29, 2005 6:03:00 PM, Blogger Josh said...

I acquired my Single Six in much the same way, and in my case, the .22 magnum cylinder was missing. I checked eBay and found a lot of them in varying conditions from new to poor. You may want to check for the LR cylinder.

At Friday, September 30, 2005 7:31:00 AM, Blogger Barb said...

Pretty piece - you've put a lot of love into it! I have a very nice Ruger Security-Six that my Father in law owned. You can see it in this pic. I miss 'Dad' almost as much as my own father - so I keep the gun, though it's not my favorite to shoot (it is too long from grip to trigger for me to hold well). It sure is a pretty item, though ;-)

At Friday, September 30, 2005 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to note that most convertible models shoot better with the MAG cylinder in place. I belive it to be a combination of reduced bullet jump (from cylinder to forcing cone) plus the bore is sized for the jacketed MAG bullets. I've always foung LR ammo selection to be very demanding, but just about any MAG ammo will shoot well.


At Friday, September 30, 2005 7:49:00 PM, Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

Dang it, I sure wish I had known that you were in the market for a "Convertible-Six". (Okay, so you didn't know it either.)

I have a pretty nice looking one here, and the only thing wrong with it is that I don't shoot it enough. That is to say, I haven't fired it in several years.

I bought it because it just seemed like The Right Thing To Do. I liked the dual-cylinder thingie, and I have both cylinders. Finish is perfect, original everything (including grips).

What do you think? Should I consider selling it for parts, or is there someone out there in Mr. Completely-land who would give it the regular work-out it needs and deserves?

You tell me.

At Monday, October 03, 2005 8:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I acquired an old model (no transfer bar) that was also was missing the 22 LR cylinder. I found and purchased one on e-bay. I t probably shoots better with the 22 mag, but my son uses it most of the time in 22 LR with acceptable accuracy.

At Monday, October 03, 2005 8:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did the same aluminum treatment on my Blackhawk .41 mag 22 years ago. I still like it.

At Wednesday, November 02, 2005 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone experience difficulty with the hammer occasionally? it won't always catch when I use the LR cylinder and LR ammo. With the magnum cylinder and magnum ammo there is no trouble. Could the problem be the cylinder? It was purchased brand new. the gun was brand new also

At Friday, January 20, 2006 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try the "poor man's trigger job;" works for me. Just lift one end of the trigger spring off of the post under the grip. Really reduces the trigger pull and still works perfectly.

At Wednesday, February 08, 2006 3:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i also need the l.r. cylinder,
but someone told me that i couldn't use a used one, because it would not be timed for my that true?

At Wednesday, February 08, 2006 7:24:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

RE: Long rifle cylinders, what I've been able to find out: There is a 3 digit number scribed on your existing cylinder. If you can find a LR cylinder with the same number scribed on it, it should fit OK. Other numbered cylinders may or may not be "fittable" with minor modifications and fitting, but you should talk to a gunsmith before using it.

.......That's all I know about it!

At Monday, February 27, 2006 1:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Ruger web page it says the 3 numbers scribed on the cylinders are the last 3 numbers of the serial # of the gun. I have one made in 1974 with both cylinders and the numbers match the serial number. Ruger say,s not to use just any cylinder until it has been matched up with your gun. I would think that you can still buy either cylinder from Ruger.

At Monday, February 27, 2006 2:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have the old model without the transfer bar you can send it to Ruger and they will update it for Free. Mine had a 4in barrel and i sent it back and had a 9.5in barrel put on.

At Wednesday, July 12, 2006 8:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know if anyone has found a difference in performance between the stainless and blued models of the Ruger Convertible .22, both new and after thousands of rounds fired. Thank you. W.J.

At Monday, August 21, 2006 7:48:00 PM, Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

Convertible Six Redux:

I mentioned in earlier comments that I had a Convertible Six which needed a new home.

Two weeks ago I received an email from a gentleman in Florida who was interested in purchasing the revolver from me. After a few email exchanges, he made me a decent offer on the Ruger.

I received his check in the mail today. I'll be sending the Ruger to his FFL Dealer as soon as it clears.

Unhappily (not for me), mere MOMENTS later I opened my email in-basket and found a note from a Washington gentleman, Tom, who was also interested.

I had to tell him that the Ruger was already sold. [sigh]

IF you are the owner of a Ruger Convertible Six, and are looking for a good home for it, please let me know and I will forward your email to this prospective buyer.

Darn, I already regret selling that single-action wonder, and I haven't even got it boxed for shipping yet.

You're performing an inadvertant service to your readership, Mr. Completely. Maybe you oughta get a PayPal account so we can pay you a commission.


At Sunday, October 15, 2006 7:50:00 PM, Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

October 14, 2006
I have received three inquiries about my Ruger Single Six (actually, a Convertible Six) which I mentioned in an earlier comment.

I'm glad to say that as a result of this passing comment, I was contacted by a Florida Sheriff's Deptuty who was interested, and I sold the revolver.

I have since received two other queries about the revolver. I have had to tell them that it was no longer available, and I provided all of the information necessary for them to determine whether an "internet sale" was legal for at least one of them.

It's true that selling a firearm via email is awkward, and it's difficult for a seller to be absolutely certain that he has verified the buyer's bona fides to an extent sufficient to determine that it is going to "a good home".

I expect to write an article on the steps I took to verify a prospective firearms buyer, in the near future.

Sellers and buyers should both take a look at this article, to establish a minimum criterea for internet sales of firearms.

At Wednesday, September 05, 2007 1:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have an extra cylinder .22 mag
came with a gun i lost i also have another complete set not for sale and the 22 mag box
last three digits are the serial number of gun
mic your clyder and i will micrometer mine
for sale

At Wednesday, December 12, 2007 8:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how in the heck to you get the spring back into the handle of the gun??

At Saturday, February 02, 2008 11:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cylinders are $35 from ruger, they need to be FIT to the revolver...drop one in and you chance firing a cylinder that i not perfectly inline with the barrel, at best it will shoot but not well, maybe get stung by lead shavings, at worst you'll be injured badly.
...natural selection i guess...

$50 for fitting at ruger factory.

At Friday, February 22, 2008 12:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW... I just found the same gun at an renovation site. It is almost exactly in the same condition... I was curious about the gripframe being ...aluminium or some lightweight alloy. So should I expect this to be a blued receiver, cylinder and barrel and the grip frame and ejector housing to be alloy/aluminum?

The finish on the gun seems to be gone.. and the grip frame was some kind of dark color... I really like your restoration job.

I have this idea... do you know if the "black chrome" process is done in the USA?

Might be fun to try it on my project

Diamond Jake

At Wednesday, March 05, 2008 6:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job! I just bought a 1973 New Model Single Six from my brother. It has both cylinders and is in perfect condition. I don't think it's even broken in yet. I recently set up a bog page on how to get a CT pistol permit and that will be my Single Six page:
If you have a photo of yourself shooting your Ruger or hunting with it, I'll post it with a link to your blog.


Bob Rich
The Bob Rich Shooting Journal

At Monday, March 31, 2008 7:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have got a 22lr/mag and it says made in the 200th year of the american liberty on the barrel. What does that mean?

At Wednesday, July 09, 2008 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a Ruger New Model Single-Six Convertible with fixed sites and it was stolen. I'm in the market for one just like it. If any of you find one please let me know.

At Saturday, August 30, 2008 6:59:00 PM, Blogger David2011 said...

All Ruger firearms made in 1976 are inscribed "Made in the 200th year of American Liberty." I had a 4-5/8" Single Six but sold it in 1981 when I got married because she was afraid of guns. Before I sold any more guns, I took her shooting and she loved it. She wanted to know why people hated guns so much. Unfortunately, I lost her to brain cancer in 1988. I walked into a gun store today and found a pristeen replacement just like my old Single Six, even if at three times the price. It's another 4-5/8" and Made in the 200th year of American liberty. I feel like I've gone full circle!


At Sunday, November 02, 2008 8:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a new model single six from a friend. It only came w/ one cylinder and he didn't know anything bout it, never shot it. How do I tell what year it is and what cylinder it is LR or Mag?

At Monday, January 26, 2009 8:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a convertible that I bought new for about $125 (IIRRC) back in 1977. It is SS with a 6.5" barrel with adj. sights. Still have both cylinders and the little red bag the extra cylinder came in too. Still have the original grips in a baggie, I've used Pachmayr grips since about 1978. It is a great gun, always on my hip when I'm out an about in the desert or the range. It is a lot my accurate than I am with either caliber! I used to use .22 lr almost exclusively for a long time, but about 10 years ago I moved up to the .22 mag. Just depends on the critters you run into I guess! It's got a little holster wear, but nothing that matters. Never say never, but I don't want to sell mine! The pistol in this article in the first one I've seen with the aluminum grip frame. Is this common? Mine is all stainless steel!

To answer the previous post. You can look up your serial number on the Ruger website and find out when your gun was made. And my .22 mag cylinder says ".22 WIN. MAGNUM CAL." twice around the cylinders circumference. It is also a straight walled cylinder like the one in the article's picture. The .22 lr cyl. is fluted and it does not say .22 lr. I suspect if yours doesn't say .22 win mag, it's a .22 lr.

At Wednesday, April 29, 2009 2:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. completely,
I just wanted to say that i followed your lead on the redo of a .22 single six new model that i picked up in a pawn shop but i did mine a little different. I did polish the grip frame like you did but i took the grips and bleached the color out of them using a 50/50 bleach water and then stained them using a red oak stain then polyurethaned over it. turned out quite well i did however buy a new grip fram from Numrich arms and a new ejector rod housing just in case i screwed it up better safe than sorry. I have recieved many complimants on the revolver since doing the refinish. Thanks for posting. I also put it in a used hunter leather holster that i found in another pawn shop it added character to it.
On a side note it was a .22 single six that i was first introduced to wheel guns on.
Matt H.

At Sunday, August 23, 2009 9:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking for grips for 9 1/2" Ruger single six.

At Thursday, November 19, 2009 8:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious as to where I can find more info on this gun. The gentleman I work for is wondering if the cylinder is interchangable and just basically wants more info...any thing would be of help...Thanks

At Sunday, February 07, 2010 8:14:00 AM, Blogger Walter said...


Does anyone have the current info on replacing a lost cylinder, in my case the .22WMR. I'm drawing blanks or getting quoted in excess of $160. Has the price changed that much?

At Thursday, February 25, 2010 10:17:00 PM, Blogger ABC123 said...

I have one also and it came with the Magnum cylinder in the original box. Bought the gun and holster with extra cylinder for $125 dollars about 20 years ago in excellent condition. On the box it state in large letters “ONLY TO BE USED WITH THE FACTORY MATCHED CYLENDER WIH THE LAST FOUR SN. INSCRIBED ON SYLENDER!”

At Tuesday, September 21, 2010 1:10:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I purchased a new Ruger (new model)for my a wife a novice at that time I thought it would be safer for her no chance of a double fire, and have misplaced the LR CYL. is it OK to use the Magnum CYL. for the LR shells?
Thanks Roy

At Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:00:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

Roy: The Magnum rounds are larger in diameter. Using LR in the Magnum cylinder should not be done under any circumstances. The replacement LR cylinder can be ordered from Ruger. There is a 3 digit number on the pistol that must be the same as a 3 digit number on the cylinder for it to work safely and properly.

Mr. C.

At Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:32:00 PM, Blogger jw44270 said...


At Saturday, February 12, 2011 7:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anybodys interested,I have a single six(mfg 1991)both cylinders(22lr/22wmr).chip out of inside grip,but otherwise in excelent condition.I have only fired mags thru it 3 times(3 rounds!!)as they are loud!!I also have a 1997 Blackhawk in 45 colt that has been fired 15/16 times.Took me 4 shots to hit buck that i thought was only about 50 yrds away.I wear my glasses now!Both are for sale to good home.If your truly interested,I will email you pictures..( ).Like this site,seems to be very civil.

At Saturday, May 28, 2011 12:16:00 PM, Blogger D-45 Master List said...

I'm looking for a magnum cylinder for my new model Single Six.
Non-blued would be preferable.
If anyone has one they'd like to sell please email me a


At Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought a Ruger single six from a pawn shop and i'm having trouble finding a value on it. I have been unable to even locate a pic of the exact same one. I was hoping someone here could help. It is a Ruger single six new model, stainless, 5&1/2 inch barrel with fixed sights, wood grips. The revolver does have both the LR and the Mag cylinders. I checked to see if a magnet would stick to the handle and trigger guard and it did, so I believe it's safe to say the whole thing is steel. The gun does not have any special markings or dates. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

At Tuesday, November 29, 2011 6:57:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

Jake: Have a look at

Mr. C.


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