Serial number 475 shipped in December 1956. Early 44 Magnum with plum frame, hammer, and trigger, and hard rubber grips with dull black eagle medallions. It is a great example of Ruger's first entry into the 44 Magnum market.
This was a time period when Colt was walking away from their SAA design. It would be fair to say that they felt the guns sales had fallen sufficiently to feel the final nails were being driven into the coffin. In truth, they were right...And about this time Sturm Ruger was unveiling their wonderful new Single Six .22
Then a funny thing happened, television.
And half the programing in the early days centered around the early format of "Westerns"...Heck it was half the programing. And what good old American boy didn't want a SixGun!
And the rest, as they say, ...is history :mrgreen:
A great (and true) commentary on the times.
Colt's slow slide into exclusive 'government contract' business, then on to oblivion,
proved that change isn't necessarily good.
They did have their moments, with the wonderful d.a.'s in the 50's (like the Python), but the lure of military contracts seems to have trumped everything else.
I have some black rubber grips with those 'dull medallions' you mentioned.
Must have missed the reference to that variation in Dougan's books.
I suspect they preceded the glossier eagles?
Please educate me on the Ruger Plumb blueing. Was that shade of blue deliberate - or did it just happen by accident and was left that way because it is so aesthetically pleasing?
I've accidentally run into this Plum color when attempting to blue screws and other small parts that I acquired in-the-white. It may be pretty, but I normally don't want it showing up when I'm trying to match to the rest of the firearm.
In my own experiences when attempting workshop blue jobs, I usually achieve that Plum color when the blueing salts are old and have lost some of their oomph - or when the thin layer of case hardening has not been completely sanded off and the reagents can't penetrate into the porous steel. Sometimes very dense, hard steel or steel with a high nickel content - as in certain parts on Winchester rifles - won't take to standard blueing and end up look pinkish-plum. Gunmakers have known about this for way over 100 years and are usually well-informed as to how to match the various blueing reagents to the various steels - for as you know, there are many different methods and blueing formulae.
I've been wondering about this for a long time and just now remembered to ask.
xtm...Ruger placed a sheet with information about the plum (copper discoloration) color with some of their Single Sixes to explain the situation (see photo below). The plum color first appeared on the early Single Six, Blackhawk .357 and Blackhawk .44. Plum colored loading gates are seen off and on on all revolvers up through the 90s as I have a New Model Bearcat that has a plum colored loading gate.
trying to figure out what happened, typed up a reply, it was on here, and now its "gone"....I must be losing it,besides this cold is killing......as I said, yes, indeed, that one is a nice one .no doubt....you take care of it Doc.......