Friday, May 15, 2009

Late to the dance?

Did you hear? Ruger's gone carbon-neutral. Yup, they've wrapped ol' Bill “No Honest Man Needs A Handgun Smaller Than A Canned Ham” Ruger Sr.'s corpse in copper wire and lined the coffin with magnets, and now the whole plant is off the grid. They've broken with Bill's mandates by offering us Simple Civilians a whole slew of new guns.

In the wake of their little Kel-Tec ripoff .380 and a polymer skinned revolver named the “L.C.R.” (after “W.T.F.” and “W.H.Y.” were discarded), Ruger has finally showed up fashionably late at the AR-15 party, about the time that most of the other attendees were already dancing in togas or vomiting in flowerpots with lampshades on their heads. Heck, even Remington and S&W had been there long enough to get wasted and go wading in the “Make A Wish” fountain with their ball gowns hiked up around their knees.

Ruger vowed to “redefine the platform”, and attempted to do this with a piston system, never mind that HK, POF, LWRC, Para, Bushhamster, and Greasy Joe's Dixie Bar & Grill had already done so.

On the plus side, the Ruger offering ships with quality third-party small bits from Troy, Magpul, and Hogue, as well as acknowledging the fact that most EBR shooters would like more than one magazine by throwing three P-Mags in the box. The downside is that all of that name-brand bling costs money and most AR buyers simply DX half the factory parts on the gun in favor of the contents of pages 63 through 101, inclusive, of the Brownell's catalog. An AR with a street price north of one-and-a-half long is nice, but only when you've picked out the toppings yourself.

I wish Ruger luck and all, but it wouldn't shock me if this all ends in tears...


Carteach0 said...

"Yup, they've wrapped ol' Bill “No Honest Man Needs A Handgun Smaller Than A Canned Ham” Ruger Sr.'s corpse in copper wire and lined the coffin with magnets, and now the whole plant is off the grid"

I bow before your snarkitude.

Most excellent!

atlharp said...

You think this is fun, wait until the recall!

Tam said...

See, that makes me sad. Say what you will about Bill Sr., but the guns they turned out while he was still sucking wind past his teeth worked.

Half everything they've put out since he croaked has been subject to one recall or another...

Mr. Fixit said...

But just think of the collection of lowers we could have now; Remington, High Standard, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, not to mention Colt.

I wonder if we could get Springfield to stamp some out. And maybe one day someone will put the Winchester label on some.

Even with what is now, it's starting to creep over into definite Fudd name recognition territory. That has to be a good thing.

Mr Fixit

Ed Foster said...

"I told ya" (in private). And basically, I agree. Pistons are, to paraphrase the master, a marvelous answer to a question never asked. And yes, the bean counters do run Ruger nowadays (I know their chief attorney, and hear stories), they have little regard for the shooting public, and I have no more respect for most of their newer weapons than you do.

Although I just bought an unfired, new in box original Redhawk with a first month serial number from the retired machinist who made the cylinder. So there will be some 2400 powder burned in the next few weeks.

I know, a sin to shoot a NIB with all the in-house employee paperwork. It's a bigger sin not to shoot a really well fitted handgun that looks pretty.

Time for a new bullet mold. Anybody have a good deal in a 240 gr. Keith type mold?

TJP said...

I guess they priced it per-pound, because it weighs eight pounds. I withhold further statements about Ruger's rifle-making philosophy.

However, I think the No.1 and the Blackhawk are still the cat's ass, and worth every penny.

Commander Zero said...

Ruger also managed to spell their own name wrong at the bottom of the page in the copyright notice. The gun isnt even on the shelves yet and they already have their first recall...of the webpage.

reflectoscope said...

Snark for dessert, yum! If this is going to be a worthy competitor, it'll survive; if not it'll be lost in the dustbin of history. (Provided the gummint doesn't interefere in the economy. Again, anyway.)


svi said...

no honest man needs to be able to afford our new firearms!

Anonymous said...

Two grand?

Anyone else tired of the promo videos showing the JBT brigade? It's not going to be the Kiwanas confiscating guns. Must be marketing for the Mall Ninja crowd.

bedlamite said...


Caleb said...

Hey now, the GP100 and SP101 are fine revolvers, and unlike your precious S&Ws will do double duty as a club, bludgeon, truncheon, and any other synonyms for "club" that I can't think of past the bourbon.

OrangeNeckInNY said...

I need me a chrome-lined barrel... What page is that on in the Brownell's catalog?

Les Jones said...

Ruger did some smart things over the years in terms of offering guns the market yearned for but wasn't getting using mass production techniques that produced guns at prices people were willing to pay. Blackpowder revolvers, Colt SAA simulacra, single shots, etc.

Heck, I even thought that Ruger should have gotten into the AR game ages ago.

Thing is, now that the gun is announced I don't see how it plays to Ruger's strengths. Why buy a Ruger AR when Colt/Armalite/S&W/Remington/everybody are producing them at roughly the same price. Throw in the inevitable teething problems and the Ruger factory trigger that will demand an aftermarket replacement and I just don't get it. If they couldn't do the R better, cheaper, or both they should have stayed away from it.

Wolfwood said...

So...after $2,000, Ruger couldn't even spring for Magpul stocks and enhanced trigger guards?

Two main thoughts:
1. If I can buy an AR from Del-Ton for $750 (or assemble one myself for slightly less), why would I buy this?
2. Isn't there another major company kinda-sorta calling their AR knock-off the "556" ?

On the other hand, this does help explain the PMAG shortage (not that I just got five in the mail the other day or anything...)

Robert said...

In 2011 Obama bucks, its the same price as a box of Cheerios!

CounterClckWise said...

OK Tam, what would you consider to be the most cost efficient AR-15 configuration? For an individual customizer, please.

Mucho appreciated-o

og said...

There are no more Rugers at Ruger anymore. And they have learned from the automakers: "Crap, we make shitbox two wheel drive cars and EVERYONE is buying an SUV. Tool up for SUV's!"

That business model brought us the Sportage, the Element, the Tuareg, the Aztec, the Escalade, and many other horrors. If Ruger can take a deep draught at the well of assault-weapon-ban fear, and it helps keep them profitable, more power to them. I'm all for any American company making a profit. Hell, I may even buy one.

Nah. if I wanted another Ruger it'd be a #1 in some big nasty caliber.

Anonymous said...

Instant fail!

The boneheads at Ruger do not know their own consumers--guys in Carharts and with facial hair.

Guys buy Rugers for the "bang for the buck", not to ooh and aah.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

To elaborate:

Ruger's target market can build ARs for a lot cheaper (blindfolded and half drunk) and their ARs will not have cracking pistons and all the other horrors associated with the feckless piston-driven AR.

To invest this much capital in such a white elephant instead of going back through their catalogue and making what they have function is truly moronic, but, then again, this is the gun industry.

Shootin' Buddy

Noah D said...

"Pistons are, to paraphrase the master, a marvelous answer to a question never asked."

"cracking pistons and all the other horrors associated with the feckless piston-driven AR."

But-but-but...DI shits where it eats! Jam-o-matic M4s! GIs dying in droves whilst trying to unjam their Mattel Toy Rifles, overwhelmed by the Injun - er, Yellow - wait, Haji! hordes! Poodleshooters!

FatWhiteMan said...

This won't end in tears. The gun rags will make sure of that. They barely gave the Kel-Tec a mention but when Ruger copied it, suddenly the LCP was the best thing to happen to concealed carry since "shall issue".

I'm sure it is just a matter of time before Patrick Sweeney is telling us why this is the best AR on the planet and all the real operators he hangs out with prefer the Ruger AR.

It will be successful, it says Ruger on it. Oh, and to set the sour grapes record straight before hand--of course I want one.

Anonymous said...

Lets see ... I had 2.2k just burning a hole in my wallet so I decided that I needed a new toy for my personal entertainment. After careful consideration on how much bang for the buck I was going to get I ixnayed the Ruger and went with the Yamaha outboard.

I figure I can drown worms and crickets on the water a whole lot more comfortably than I can blow through boxes of ammo at the range that's an hour's drive away. Gotta go across the river anyway so I figure my dollar goes a lot farther with the boat motor than something in the safe that will make the Mini-14 jealous.


wv : recen ... I had to have a recen to buy something.

Tam said...

"The gun rags will make sure of that."

Okay, they sell five copies to Guns & Ammo's remaining subscribers and three to the people who still read Shooting Times at their local barber shop. Then what?

;) :p

Joel said...

Yup, they've wrapped ol' Bill “No Honest Man Needs A Handgun Smaller Than A Canned Ham” Ruger Sr.'s corpse in copper wire and lined the coffin with magnets, and now the whole plant is off the grid.I see I've been beaten to this in one, as usual. But nevertheless - just in case you don't hear it often enough, you are one witty lady, Tam.

Oh, and f*ck Ruger. Been saying it since my crappy P97 that would only go CLICK in double-action after three trips to the gunsmith, not to mention all the political "only-ones" shit about standard-capacity magazines and other annoyances.

Lorimor said...

Vintage Tam.

Assrot said...

I've always liked Ruger's single action wheel guns (Blackhawk). Other than that I've never had use for anything else they make.

I've never thought much of them itty-bitty pissant guns like the LCP and the LCR.

I stick with my Colt and my Alexander Arms for the AR15 platform.

I feel sorry for the suckers that buy the Ruger AR15 clusterfuck. Good luck on that one folks.


Anonymous said...

I hate to be the one defending Ruger (for many of the same reasons mentioned above) but:

They will sell one to every Ruger fan that wants and AR but doesn't want to wade through the list of 40 manufacturers to figure out who might be reliable, durable and rugged. They trust Ruger, and they will buy Ruger. (They may be wrong, but they’re not unsure.) This market is WAY bigger than most of us (aficionados) give it credit for.

Ruger probably has a better chance at making a reliable piston driven AR than most. Say what you will about most of Ruger’s designs, they tend to be VERY RUGGED. I remember a BBQ at Gunsite during a trainers-only week. The subject of stupid-simple and reliable sidearms came up, and a dozen trainers all said they hated P-series Rugers, but they worked as reliably as ANY other firearm. It was unanimous. On the piston driven AR side of things, ask John Farnam about his experiences in training. So far, I believe he said that every single manufacturer’s version that had been through his school was failing at an alarming rate (check out his “quips” section for details). The whole idea behind piston AR’s is to reduce malfunctions, and so far they’re trading short-term reliability and resistance to fouling for a mid-term catastrophic failure rate that is unacceptably high. Maybe Ruger can do better. The engineers I knew there were all reliability driven, at the cost of EVERY other feature; size, weight, balance, portability, you name it.

Rugers are no more or less reliable then they ever have been. Ruger has always had a very litigation driven business model. Since Bill Sr.’s death, they’ve put out a scad of new models. All new models have teething problems, and Ruger is faster on the recall button than anyone else. There weren’t a lot of recalls for quite a few years, but that’s because they didn’t put out anything new. Ruger has recalled virtually every major model they’ve produced at one point or another, if only so that they can claim in court that they have the best safety program in the industry. Ruger will issue a recall when other manufacturers will simply change the product and replace parts on any that happen to come back for repair. Their flagship revolvers have ALL had recalls (when they were new), so did the P-series pistols, so did the Mini, etc. This is not a bug, this is a feature of buying from a responsible and cautious company.

As for the price, Ruger is one of the last manufacturers to support the full supply chain for firearm distribution, with different pricing at manufacturer, wholesale, dealer and retail levels. What that means is more levels where discounting can take place. Most of you know that Ruger firearms are more discounted than almost anybody else’s at the retail level, and I expect that will be the case here as well, once an initial buying frenzy is over and assuming no AWB. When you see one new in a store in 2 years, compare it to the other AR’s offered with similar features and I’m betting you will find it to be a good value.

And, no, I don’t work for them, never have. I lived where they had a factory, I sold their product at the retail and wholesale level, I met and was friends with a lot of their people, and I’ve owned a ton of them. If all goes they way it usually does for Ruger, then I suspect this will be a long term and successful production item for them.


Anonymous said...

Me likkum rugers of my past --

which are dogleg bolt M77 actions,

and OM CF SA's,

and first model .22 autos,

and early No. 1's.

and now, for mese'f

a new SS Model SAA-frame .45 Colt Montado. IN-destructible and shoots to the sights.

and friends on sixguns boards are wetting themselves getting the new Lipsey's .44 Specials.

and the Service-Six is much beloved underground cult item, as are some of gaa-giant DA's they make. Just CLUB that effin' bear ta death, ya know?

and I guess a few working 10-22's are still out there in the hands of the unwashed and un-anointed, too.

then ,you might find a few folks who haven't yet worn out that O/U scatterfun they bought from 'em, either.

Just so's to keep a leedle balance here on this Ruger love fest string...dat's all. Don' mean
nuttin'. Folksa pick'nchoose what they like ennywayz.

OTOH, i have not much use for the slidey clanky self loading stuff they make. Other folks really do that better, for most functional purposes. Not excited at all by recent stuff,for the most part.

OTOH, a slenderized No 1 done ALA
English stalking rifle , with a slvelte custom stock, in a sexy varmint or flat shooting deer round? Well, m'am, may i have the pleasure of this dance?

'rabrater' -- it's always something,ya know?

J. t R, wit' fond memories of the Rugers of his youth.

Ed Foster said...

RotoForged rifle barrels just don't make it for real accuracy. Too many places where the metal bucks up away from the mandrel a few ten-thousanths due to local stresses. Not much, but enough to cause gas cutting around the bullet.

Hunting accuracy, sure. But an exceptionally accurate Ruger tube is a rarety among rareties.

Cernunnos, or perhaps Gobhain, smiled on me one day and sent me a No. 1 European carbine in .243 Winchester that shoots 100 gr. bullets into a lot smaller than inch groups at 100 yards, and a nice even 2 inches or a bit less at 200. Ten shot groups, not candy-ass three shot groups that prove nothing. And a truely beautiful piece of wood on it.

But I've seen how vanishingly rare that is, and I've beated Ruger 77's at bench rest with a model 99 lever gun in .303 Savage.

The 77's had glass on them. The Savage has a fold down tang peep.

Noah D said...

And I know that my oldest will see this and ask, "How about that instead of the 10/22 for my birthday?"

Then we talk about summer jobs...

(And damn, I am out of the loop; I hadn't heard anything about reliability problems with the piston ARs.)

John B said...

You're so right. It will probably end in tears.

It IS a teasy little thing idn't it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments about unnecessarily including all the fancy bits, but honestly those are about all the things I'd pick to put on a bare-bones rifle. I could do without the hogue grip, and I might have picked a LaRue rail instead. But compared to a bare-bones rifle and buying the other stuff separately, I'm sure having Ruger buy the stuff in bulk saves a couple hundred bucks.

If they don't get recalled by the end of the year (or, six months after the recall), I might pick one up when the price of an AR plumments.