Ruger’s sales have faltered recently as noted by the Firearm Blog here. And to help boost themselves it looks like they are trying to join the booming AR-15 clone market in the near future. Time will tell if they are jumping on an already full band wagon. I wish them well, regardless, they are a good company.
But Firearm noted “Not to mention the ‘evil’ 30 round magazine that Ruger will never sell,” and that is a telling throwaway remark.
I discussed in a previous post that Ruger went away from large capacity magazines out of concern for various Assault Weapons Bans outlawing such magazines. (Large means… more than 10 bullets. Sometimes it means more than 5. World War 1 rifles fired 5, generally, WWII fired 10ish, everything since has been 20 to 30.) I thought this a proper reaction for them, and that it made business sense at the time. One of my commenters was disgusted, and it IS, admittedly, a concession on Ruger’s part.
You don’t want to have to re-tool your assembly lines at the whim of a politician. Politicians are expensive. They want your money in the form of donations so they can take your money in the form of taxes, and cost you money in the form of regulation. If you are a business favored by the politician because you paid money to lobbiests to get him to like you, then YOU get money from politicians. Only you don’t really. You just pay less taxes… THIS year. We’ll talk again about next year.
And the business has to get that money to pay the politician from somebody, so they have to convince customers to part with THEIRS by making the most attractive product under the circumstances. Business don’t really give up money in the form of taxes. They pass the cost on to the customer or stop doing business. Simple enough.
Anyway, Ruger, it seems, wanted to get off that merry go round and just make itty bitty truncated magazines and not worry if laws were coming against the regular size mags. They bet that the restrictive laws were inevitable. Well, that is 1990s thinking. And the 90s are over, and the civil right of keeping and bearing arms is finally resurgent, and has been since 1994 (or their would not have been a sunset clause on the federal ‘Assault’ Weapons Ban). Assuming a successful outcome at a Supreme Court hearing, putting the to bed the final disposition of the 2nd Amendment, this resurgence of our principle civil right could be more or less permanent. In that case, Ruger bet wrong.
Now their business is hurting.
I am prejudiced against AR-15s, so I don’t trust my feelings that devoting resources to clone a Ruger version of that rifle is a bad idea. But what WOULD I do, if I was Ruger CEO? What great insight do I have that will come up with something that will get gun buyers to pony up their hard earned dollars to Ruger and not someone else?
Hmmm, what are gunnies clamoring for, even if they don’t know they are clamoring for it?
I’d love to see Ruger go whole hog on lefty guns. Become THE lefty gun source. Mainly because I like the Frontier scout rifle they have, and want it in left hand config. I’m biased here, again. I don’t know if the added production cost would match up with the good will of 15% of the population that has been largely underserved.
Ruger makes a GREAT revolver, and I don’t know if cranking out clones of guns that are already in crowded markets is the way to go for Ruger. (ie. clones of Glocks, sub-compact Glocks, 1911s, AR-15s, 'Sniper' 'Tactical' Rifles).
They do have ONE thing they have done lately, and it’s a bandwagon thing – admittedly, but it is an improvement worth taking. They have made improved triggers on Mini-14s. Savage Arms started a revolution with cheap but VERY good trigger groups on factory guns. Ruger should showcase this improvement in the Mini-14s in their marketing and spread it across the product lines. Lifetime Warranty’s and improvement to fit and finish is also a good marketing strategy, if you don’t increase the product price over much. That is one of Ruger’s strengths. Their guns aren’t too expensive.
The strength of their product line is the 10/22, the MkII and III pistol, the Mini-14s. So, how to build on this EXXPECIALLY if the Supremes rule on Parker Heller that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right as valid as the 1st or 5th? Well…. That’s another post.
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