Classic Ruger Firearms
True Innovators and Designers
Classic Ruger Firearms would become an almost instant success when it started in 1949. Its primary success in the 1950s would be in the handgun market. By the time I started working in the firearms business in the 1970s the Ruger Gun Company would already have firearms that were very collectible.
Today any Ruger handguns of the 1950s or 60s have become very desirable. Some of those firearms of that period are quite rare and can demand high prices by the serious Ruger collectors. Like anything in the collectors world, condition is everything.
If you can find any Ruger handguns in excellent condition from the 1950s era you have found a great firearm for investing in. Although the Ruger 22 pistol standard model and the single six model were manufactured in large numbers in the 1950s and 60s. They can be very desirable if found in excellent condition. The 22 standard model with the serial number under 34,000 are very desirable. The old model Ruger Bearcat are also good investments for excellent specimens.
Any single action Classic Ruger Firearms made in the 1950s can be very desirable if in great condition.
The original 22 single-six would have a flat loading gate and the early Ruger Blackhawk model would have the flat top styling above the cylinder. Both of these models are quite hard to find and will demand a premium when bought. Even though these are hard to find and will cost considerably more to purchase. I believe overtime these will make great investments and add greatly to any collection.
There are many styles and variations in the Ruger handguns of that era. Know what you are looking for and keep your eye tuned for those rare variations that are still available. The quality and smoothness of those old Ruger guns are another reason that collectors are actively pursuing them.
As a gunsmith I would work on many of those Ruger handguns. I would reblue many of the Ruger Blackhawk’s, single sixes, and 22 standard pistols from that era. A lot of them were very popular and heavily used and would require rebluing from general wear or holster wear.
Ruger would not get into the rifle market until 1961 when they would start manufacturing the semi-automatic 44 carbine. By 1966 they would have manufactured around 100,000, 44 carbines. These early carbines in great condition are very desirable.
They would also manufacture other rifles like the Ruger number 1, Ruger number 3, and the model 10-22. These are also very desirable and quite collectible in the early models. But my main focus is the 1950s and early 60s or what I believe is the Golden age of classic firearms.
The very popular Ruger model 77 and the other rifles will be given more attention in separate articles about them.
But I must emphasize that any of the Classic Ruger firearms of the 1950s and 60s in excellent condition are considered great collectible firearms. I would rate them as an excellent value in my rating system. You may spend considerably more for the old model Rugers but will rewarded for it in the long run. These are truly great American Classics.
Notes on Classic Ruger Firearms
• Strum, Ruger and Co. (Suggest search and read about the Strum
Association with Ruger.) Fascinating history.
• Old Model Revolvers (3 screws)
• 22 Standard Model (Red Eagle) in left hand grip. S.N.
range (some say 27000 and another source says 34000.)
Look for Red Eagle. 1949-52