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Suppressors Special

By Philip H. Dater, MD and the Small Arms Review Editorial Staff

Ruger Silent-SR® Series Suppressors

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. is the quintessential example of American capitalism at its best. The company was founded with a meager $50,000 investment by William B. Ruger and Alexander M. Sturm in a small, rented machine shop in Southport, Connecticut in 1949 for the purpose of manufacturing firearms. At that time, there were serious doubts within the industry with insider experts saying that “it can’t be done,” and that the entire industry was in decline. It was assumed that the large established name gun makers would continue to dominate the market.

What the industry didn’t count on was that this new company was guided by a number of innovative concepts, not the least of which was William B. Ruger’s desire to build each product “to a standard so that I would want one even if it was made by our competitors.” These basic principles of innovation, quality and value have earned the company the position of pre-eminence in the firearms industry over the past 68 years. Ruger, which is one of only two firearms manufacturers traded on the New York Stock Exchange, produces millions of firearms each year for hunting, target shooting, collecting, self-defense, law enforcement and government agencies.

Ruger’s first product was the Ruger Standard pistol in .22LR. With some design innovations inspired by the Japanese Nambu and cosmetics/ergonomics of the German Luger, it became wildly popular—it was comfortable to hold and shoot. A retail price in the 1950s of $37.50 (representing fewer than 40 hours minimum wage effort), decent accuracy and good reliability were winning factors. Designed with manufacturing economy in the forefront, it had a 4.75-inch barrel and fixed sights. Many a bullseye match shooter had one in the bottom of his bag to permit finishing a match when his finely tuned target gun malfunctioned. It was also found tossed in the bottom of fishermen’s tackle boxes. Its popularity (and that of the 10 /22 rifle) started an ever growing industry of accessory makers.

Ruger is no stranger to the National Firearms Act weapons, having...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N2 (February 2018)
and was posted online on December 22, 2017

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