Friday, February 09, 2007

Boomsticks: An odd realization...

In fifteen years of selling guns, I don't think I've ever sold a Ruger Red Label shotgun. Obviously somebody is buying these things, but they're sure not doing it in front of me.


3yellowdogs said...

That is weird. I'm an active trapshooter and occaisional sporting clays and skeet guy. I don't know if I've ever seen another shooter with a Red Label. They're reasonably priced and, being a Ruger, I assume well-made. Dunno why there aren't more out there.

Ambulance Driver said...

I bought one on my 18th birthday in 20 gauge. It was one sweet-swinging little shotgun.

Then some bastard broke into my apartment and stole it and a 7.7 Arisaka my Dad had given me. I was heartbroken. Still am.

Al T. said...

Shotgunners tend to be rich and snobby. When I worked in a store that sold high dollar shotguns, Ruger was seen as plebian.

Phil K said...

Hmm, Perhaps some shotgunners are rich and snobby, but even if they are they are mostly interested in what WORKS. Those of us that are into the clays games tend to try just about anything that holds even a hint of promise to make us a better shot on moving targets. There are computer simulators, stock benders, barrel freezers, trigger magicians. Even a service you can sign up for that will give you psychological boosterisms to get you up for a tournament. This stuff all has some believers, because it works for some people. But the vast majority of clay shooters are simply interested in a product that works as advertised. Guns, ammo, accessories.

More to the point, I had to leave the sport for a number of years due to work related travel stuff. When I left, the hot new gun in every conversation was the Red Label -- and why not? The handguns and rifles provided by Ruger to that point were both well made and reasonably priced. So I was out of the scuttlebutt loop for a couple of decades.

When I got back into the sport a few years ago, Ruger had just come out with the Red Label in 28 and I ordered one. First thing I noticed was that there is an open hole into the action when the safety is operated. As this was not a newly designed gun at this late date, there could be no excuse for such a shoddy safety. The next thing I noticed was that the extractors would allow a cartridge rim to get below it and tie up the entire gun. This didn't happen every time, but how often does it have to happen for it to be intolerable in either a sporting gun or a hunting gun? Then I noticed that the wrist of the stock had cracked under the massive recoil delivered by a factory loaded 28 Ga target shell (sarcasm warning). The final straw came when the gun began to discharge upon taking the safety off.

Shotgun guys talk to each other all the time about products on the market. The Red Label has leprosy as far as serious shooters are concerned. (There are a number of other products out there that I could name that look great but have suffered from the locker room chatter at gun clubs everywhere).

With respect to the label of "plebian" - maybeso. But not based on price. After all, the street price of an entry level Browning is not all that different from the street price of the Red Label. But every one of my Browning guns has operated correctly from the get-go and didn't have to return to the factory simply to attempt to correct problems that were designed into the gun from the start.