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Development and Design
Ruger is proud to introduce a special edition New Model Single Six to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ruger's Single Six .22 caliber revolver. This 50th Anniversary Single Six will feature a 4 5/8" barrel with a unique gold color enhanced rollmark "50 years of Single Six 1953 to 2003", a blued steel finish and strikingly handsome Cocobolo wood grip panels with red Ruger medallions. This special limited edition will feature a Vaquero style blued steel frame, include both .22 Long Rifle and .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire cylinders, and will be packaged in a unique red high impact case, with a special "50 year" lens label. The 50th Anniversary Single Six will be available only in 2003.
At a time in history after World War II when other manufacturers had suspended production of classic single-action revolvers, Bill Ruger took a bold step and designed an improved single-action revolver scaled down to better suit its .22 caliber ammunition. Despite innovations such as an all-coil spring mechanism and a straight line firing pin, it preserved the look, feel, and handling qualities demanded by single-action fans. At the same time, TV programs such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and others were hitting the screen. The timing could not have been better. Due to a small article published about Ruger's possibly producing a single-action revolver, the local post office called and said, "You better come down here and get your mail!" They were swamped with thousands of requests for more information about this exciting new Ruger single-action revolver.
Since then, the Ruger Single Six, in many models and configurations, has remained consistently popular for 50 years. In 1973, the original "old model" configurations were replaced by the many New Model Single Six revolvers containing Ruger's patented transfer bar and loading gate safety systems. These systems provide smooth, dependable operation and an unparalleled measure of security against accidental discharge. The Ruger Single Six went on to inspire other Ruger single-actions such as the Bearcat, Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, and Vaquero models, all of which continue in updated versions to this day. Owners of 1953 - 1972 "old model" Ruger Single Six, Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, and Bearcat revolvers should contact Ruger for details about our ongoing Free safety conversions, which can help prevent accidents caused by a drop or blow if the user has failed to follow the basic safety practice of keeping an empty chamber under the hammer.