Revolver Tour #3: Clark Custom Ruger Security Six .357

Ruger Security Six Clark Custom

The 70s and 80s were a great time to be a revolver aficionado. Thankfully, now is also a great time to be a revolver fan, because the great guns that were built in that era are still mostly alive and kicking, and if you’re smart can be had for a great price. For example, the Ruger Security Six – Ruger’s direct competitor to S&W’s K-frame in the LE/Security market of the 70s and 80s. Overbuilt by the standards of the day, the Six-series (Security Six, Speed Six, Service Six) could withstand a steady diet of magnum ammunition with little wear and tear. They were the standard issue firearm for US Border Patrol, the Postal Inspectors, and many other LE agencies.

This is one of my two Security Sixes. It’s a six inch gun with adjustable sights, black rear and an orange front post for contrast. After I bought this for a song and a nickle on Gunbroker, I sent it to Clark Custom Guns in Louisiana for a specific set of modifications. If you’re not familiar with Clark, they are one of the top shops in the country for revolver work. If you spend some time on google, you can also find out how deeply they’re connected to the shooting community, but that’s another post for another time.

My Six went to Clark for the following work:

  • Action job
  • DAO conversion
  • cut for moonclips
  • chamfer charge holes
  • Accuracy/timing work

It went away a perfectly serviceable six-gun, and came back to me as a staggeringly excellent bullseye/Bianchi Cup gun. The grips are vintage Pachmayr that I found on Gunbroker as well; modern Pachy grips have lost of the quality that made them so great in the 80s, but the vintage ones are just fine. After coming back from Clark, the Security Six will still crack factory primers, has a 8.25(ish) pound trigger, that sweet bobbed hammer, and best of all shoots groups like this:

Ruger Security Six six shot group

Give or take, that’s a 1.9 inch group at 20 yards with Hornady Critical Defense 115 grain JHP. I haven’t yet tested it with the 148 grain lead WC in the photos, but I have every reason to believe it will perform just as well with those.

Ruger Security Six cylinder open

A good Security Six will set you back maybe 400 bucks on the secondary market these days, and most of the guns out there are in great condition. They tend to fall into that category of “carried a lot and shot very little” – so for less than the price of a new Glock you can get a serious revolver that, depending on barrel length, can serve as a HD gun, competition gun, hunting revolver, CCW revolver, fun plinker, or pretty much anything else you’d want to press it into service to do. I like these guns so much I have two of them set up for similar configurations.

One final note: if you do decide to get the gun cut for moonclips, it will still work without them. That’s a good thing, because the TC Custom clips I have for this gun are extremely finicky about which brass they’re going to take inside them. They really only like Federal .38 brass, but your experience may be different.

Also, I’m not saying that I totally want a Galco shoulder holster for this…but I kind of do. Because of reasons.


  1. Great guns, glad I have 4 of them. Haven’t seen one for sale in a couple of yars.(locally).

  2. Nice setup! I’m betting one ragged hole groups with the wadcutter loads and .22 level felt recoil.

  3. I carried an issue 3-inch Speed-Six in a Galco shoulder holster for a number of years. It’s a nice combo.
    I used the flat ammo pouches with Speed Strips on the opposite side. Never tried the speedloader pouches, but they should work fine with moon clips.

  4. Question:
    Any particular reason you prefer Rugers over Smiths?
    Especially, GP100s over 686s?
    I bought my 4-inch Security in 1974 because Model 19s were impossible to find. In 1976 I switched over to Model 66s. I was just wondering why you went with Bill instead of Horace and Dan.

    1. To be 100% honest I don’t see a real difference between the 686 and the GP100. The Ruger is probably a little tougher, the Smith is better looking. You can get a better trigger in the Smith, but the Ruger is easier to work on. I probably lean Ruger because it’s what my dad carried and he always spoke fondly of them.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: