Ruger Speed Six

In the late 1960s, Ruger came out with a new trio of double-action revolvers.   Nominally intended for the law enforcement and security markets, the Speed Six (round butt, fixed sights) Service Six (square butt, fixed sights) and Security Six (square butt, adjustable sights) were produced in numbers of excess of a million all told.  Though the various Sixes never really sprang to mind as the service handgun like the various models offered throughout the 20th century by Smith & Wesson and Colt the designs were nonetheless ergonomic, Ruger-tough, and (from what I hear) generally well-received as duty guns.   

Eventually the Sixes were dropped in favor of the GP100 which, to my mind, was a mistake.  Having shot both series I find I prefer the Speed Six of the lot; there are few revolvers that balance so well as the 3-inch barreled models, nor fit so easily in the hand, and while the too-large-for-concealment GP100 and too-small-for-much-else SP101 remain in production Ruger seems to have abandoned the mid-size double-action revolver market for the time being.  Alas.

Interestingly, the Service Six is noteworthy for its use in nations of the former British Empire with export versions chambered in the marginally shorter .38 S&W.  Other offerings in 9mm parabellum surface from time to time, and once a great while models can be found bearing the markings of various agencies of the U.S. government.  

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