Introduced in 1971, the Security-Six double-action revolver created quite a stir. It was made strong to withstand heavy law enforcement or outdoor/sporting duty, and the gun is composed of subassemblies that made for easy manufacturing — which contributed to its low price of $89 when it came out.
More than 1.2 million Security-Sixes were sold by the time it was discontinued in the mid-1980s. I count almost three dozen variations in all barrel lengths, grips, finishes and chamberings. There were also many special editions made to commemorate special law enforcement dates or occasions, as well as for contracts — including the shipment of 30,000 guns chambered for the .380 caliber rimmed cartridge built for the government of India.
My stainless model was made in 1982. I like a gun with larger grips, and mine has target grips, and on my gun the integral rib features an adjustable white-outline rear sight and red ramp front.
One of the Security-Six's bragging-rights features is that all you need to take down the gun for cleaning or maintenance is a coin — making it the first tool-less takedown double-action revolver. The coin can be used to remove the grip panel, and while I find a screwdriver works much better, if you have a problem out in the field it's good to have the coin option.
The use of a disassembly pin (included in the lower part of the frame) keeps the mainspring strut at bay while you continue on removing the mainspring assembly. The trigger, hammer, cylinder and latch come out in sequence.
There is no sideplate on the gun. Instead, the frame is solid, which certainly adds to its strength. A substantial barrel shroud shields the ejector rod with the rod locking up within this shroud for protection against damage. The bolt on the lower part of the frame was designed to be off center, thus locking the cylinder away from the midpoint of the charge holes — again for strength, especially with .357 Magnum loads.
Considering the manufacturing techniques back in the early 1970s, the Security-Six was well made. Polishing could be a bit better on the stainless guns, as it seems polishing was accomplished with the barrel attached. On mine there are are unfinished areas next to the barrel and frame juncture.
Other than that, my gun has gone the distance when it comes to the amount of rounds fired and all the places I've carried it. If you're looking for a good used revolver, shop around for a Security-Six. Prices run in the high $200 to mid $300 range for one in good condition.