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Ruger History: How One of the Biggest Firearms Brands Came to Be

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 09:10 AM

Ruger & Co., Inc., is a national leader in manufacturing reliable firearms for the commercial sporting market. According to Ruger, the company opened its doors in 1949 with a $50,000 investment. Founders William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm started out in a small rented machine shop in Southport, Connecticut.

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Ruger history recalls that from 1949 through 2004, the company manufactured over 20 million firearms that include everything from handguns and rifles to revolvers and shotguns. Today, Ruger firearms remain a favorite among civilians and law enforcement personnel alike.

Prior to their partnership, Bill Ruger had successfully copied two Japanese Baby Nambu pistols in his garage, from a captured Nambu that he attained from a returning Marine at the end of World War II.

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When it came to designing their premier auto pistol, the company elected to integrate the looks of the German 9mm Luger and the American Colt Woodsman. As a result, their first commercially produced .22 caliber pistol became so successful that it propelled the entire company.

Over the years, the company became a dominant manufacturer in the .22 LR Rimfire rifle market in the U.S., due primarily to the sales of its Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle. The 10/22 continues to be popular due to its reasonable price and quality workmanship. As a result, a wealth of after-market accessories and parts were made available for it, which has only increased its popularity.

Ruger has plants in Southport, Connecticut; Newport, New Hampshire; Prescott, Arizona; Mayodan, North Carolina; and Earth City, Missouri; making ferrous, ductile iron and commercial titanium castings. In addition, Ruger makes steel and titanium castings for golf clubs for a number of different brands.

GunBroker.com reports that over the years, Ruger has received a variety of awards from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence, including back-to-back Manufacturer of the Year (1992 and 1993). Ruger also produced several “Handguns of the Year:” the Ruger Super Redhawk (2001) and the Ruger LCR (2009). In addition, the Ruger 22 Magnum 10-22 rifle (1999) and the Ruger 17 HMR rifle (2002) were named “Rifle of the Year.”

Sturm, Ruger stock has been publicly traded since 1969, and became a New York Stock Exchange company in 1990 (NYSE:RGR). After Alex Sturm’s death in 1951, William B. Ruger continued to direct the company until his death in 2002.

In the words of William Ruger, each firearm is built "to a standard so I would want one even if it was made by our competitors."

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Ruger & Co., Inc., is a national leader in manufacturing reliable firearms for the commercial sporting market.
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2015-10-29
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 09:10 AM
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