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1958 Single Six

This is a discussion on 1958 Single Six within the Range Reports forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; Here's a recent find that I'm thrilled to add to the collection, given that I love old Rugers, especially Old Model Single Sixes. It's a ...


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Old 10-22-2016, 06:51 PM   #1
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1958 Single Six

Here's a recent find that I'm thrilled to add to the collection, given that I love old Rugers, especially Old Model Single Sixes. It's a 1958 vintage Old Model Single Six with 5 1/2" barrel and it really is in outstanding condition, all the more so because of its age. I know some of you saw this one when I posted about it on the Ruger forum, but I've since learned more about this vintage and why it is rather special.


When I posted about this over on the Ruger website, I learned that this vintage was shipped from the factory with hard black plastic grips. I recently learned, however, that factory varnished walnut grips, which this gun has, were available at the time for $ 5. In other words, the gun is all period correct.

And the period really makes the gun for several reasons. One, these early guns used the original and now extinct XR3 frame, replaced by the XR3 Red frame in the 60s. Two, these early guns used steel ejector rod housings, instead of the aluminum housings which were also added in the 60s. Three, and especially important, these were pre-convertible series guns, as in no extra 22 mag cylinder, so they had the true 22 LR .222 bore size, instead of the later .224 bore of the convertibles to accommodate the 22 magnum capability. (The convertibles also began in the early 60s.) Lastly, the gun has one of the finest trigger pulls on a single action revolver I've ever encountered. Can't claim it came from the factory this way, but those were days in which Ruger was big on quality, so who knows? .

Okay, so here I have a fine example of an early Ruger Single Six. Just put it away in the safe, right? You guys know me better than that. This thing is a superb shooter.

Had to see where the fixed sights were set, then adjusted and out the rest in the black. (The three large holes were from sighting in a 357, just prior. Decided to get my money's worth on the target.)


Moved in a bit closer and just relaxed and shot this one for fun, no great effort to shoot for group size. Pretty much shoot as soon as the sights settled in on the target. Fun, fun, fun. One of the easiest to shoot single action revolvers I've ever handled.


I regard this as one of my best finds, ever, in an old Ruger. Does not get better than this 1958 Old Model Single Six if you love Single Sixes.
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Old 10-22-2016, 06:58 PM   #2
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Looks great. Nice find.

I'm glad you posted it here, as since I left the Ruger site, I hardly ever even stop by to just read anymore.

I'm sure that one will be a keeper for sure.
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:18 PM   #3
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That looks a lot better with the wood.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:46 AM   #4
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That is a beauty !
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:28 AM   #5
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That's a beautiful gun NCG. I was not aware that they ever made them with a true .22 bore. Wish mine had that, since I haven't fired one round of 22 mag out of it.
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:05 AM   #6
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Very nice. You always wonder with a vintage gun; who had it and where, and what was shot with it. As to the grips, I always liked the look of the hard plastic ones, intended to resemble the old Colt rubber. Walnut is certainly more elegant, for NCG's taste....

Current Bearcats supposedly have the actual .222 bore. Maybe explains why mine seem to shoot a tad better than my ex Single-Six convertible did.
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north country gal View Post
Here's a recent find that I'm thrilled to add to the collection, given that I love old Rugers, especially Old Model Single Sixes. It's a 1958 vintage Old Model Single Six with 5 1/2" barrel and it really is in outstanding condition, all the more so because of its age. I know some of you saw this one when I posted about it on the Ruger forum, but I've since learned more about this vintage and why it is rather special.


When I posted about this over on the Ruger website, I learned that this vintage was shipped from the factory with hard black plastic grips. I recently learned, however, that factory varnished walnut grips, which this gun has, were available at the time for $ 5. In other words, the gun is all period correct.

And the period really makes the gun for several reasons. One, these early guns used the original and now extinct XR3 frame, replaced by the XR3 Red frame in the 60s. Two, these early guns used steel ejector rod housings, instead of the aluminum housings which were also added in the 60s. Three, and especially important, these were pre-convertible series guns, as in no extra 22 mag cylinder, so they had the true 22 LR .222 bore size, instead of the later .224 bore of the convertibles to accommodate the 22 magnum capability. (The convertibles also began in the early 60s.) Lastly, the gun has one of the finest trigger pulls on a single action revolver I've ever encountered. Can't claim it came from the factory this way, but those were days in which Ruger was big on quality, so who knows? .

Okay, so here I have a fine example of an early Ruger Single Six. Just put it away in the safe, right? You guys know me better than that. This thing is a superb shooter.

Had to see where the fixed sights were set, then adjusted and out the rest in the black. (The three large holes were from sighting in a 357, just prior. Decided to get my money's worth on the target.)


Moved in a bit closer and just relaxed and shot this one for fun, no great effort to shoot for group size. Pretty much shoot as soon as the sights settled in on the target. Fun, fun, fun. One of the easiest to shoot single action revolvers I've ever handled.


I regard this as one of my best finds, ever, in an old Ruger. Does not get better than this 1958 Old Model Single Six if you love Single Sixes.
Dang! Nice and great info! I wish I had researched mine before I traded it to my SIL. I had sent mine to Ruger and they made a Magnum cylinder for it, they also installed the newer mods but returned all the original parts. Stupid things we do! LOL
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:57 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys. The specific timeline for when Ruger started with the larger 22 magnum bore size to accommodate the extra magnum cylinder in the convertibles is a little fuzzy.

I have an almost identical 1960 vintage version of this gun - no magnum cylinder - but it does have the larger magnum bore size and oil finished grips, instead of the varnished grips. (Bottom gun in pic.) From what I can tell, pretty much by the mid 60s all Singles had the larger bore size and the convertible package was standard on both the fixed sight and adjustable sight versions. If you want a .222 bore Single Six, you'd probably have too stay in the 50s as far as vintage, to be safe. Not many of these around, given that the Single Six was introduced in 1953.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:25 AM   #9
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1958 was a very good year for many models.

Have I mentioned I was born in 58!
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:37 PM   #10
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Then it was a very good year, indeed!
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:03 PM   #11
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You certainly have not lost your powers as the North Woods Gun Whisperer. That one is a real beauty and glad you found out that the grips are right for it.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #12
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Thanks, as always, Seabee. Revolvers, especially single action revolvers are special to me, so I always have my radar up and running whenever I walk into a gun shop.
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:37 AM   #13
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Just an update on this Single Six. TGR would appreciate this one.

The specific date as to when Ruger switched from the true .222 bore size for a 22 LR to the .224 22 mag bore size for all Single Sixes is a little fuzzy and, yes, comparing this 1958 with the .222 bore size to the 1960 with its .224 bore size, I think there is a small improvement in accuracy with the .222 bore.

Another difference I have found with this 1958 vintage is that the cylinder actually has been cut with throats for the 22 LR. Just about any later vintage Single Six has cylinders with no throats. That means the bullet is only loosely supported as it sits in the cylinder compared to a cylinder cut with throats. Again, accuracy will favor a 22 cylinder with throats. Does your Single Six have throats in the cylinder?

Try sticking a 22 LR round into the front of the cylinder. Odds are, the round will sink completely into the cylinder. It does on all my other Single Sixes. Not on the '58, though. I can actually see throats in the cylinder wall or at least where the diameter constricts to make a throat. Also can definitely feel it when I run a brush through the cylinder for cleaning purposes. Anyway, this is what happens when I try to stick a round in from the front.



Okay, not a big deal, but I do appreciate buying a vintage of a gun model from the days when the manufacturer put a little more effort into their product.

Last edited by north country gal; 11-12-2016 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:00 AM   #14
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I did that test on my Single Ten along side an Uberti which is like your '58 Single Six. Thanks for posting as I really enjoyed reading the thread.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:29 AM   #15
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You are very welcome, as always. I would love to look at adding some Uberti single actions to the collection, but no one in the area carries them.
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