One of my favorite sections of the NRA’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits is Collectors Row. Sure, I enjoy seeing all of the new guns and gear, but I can’t help but be drawn to the rare and/or historic pieces.
Here are some historic Rugers owned by both men after which the company was named.
For starters, we’ve got the first-ever Ruger Standard to be shipped out of the factory. Bearing serial number 3, it left the factory on September 15, 1949.
Of course, in order to ship the aforementioned pistol, Sturm, Ruger & Co. needed an FFL. Also on display in Atlanta was the original FFL document issued to the company on July 21, 1949.
Serial number 10,000 is a modest milestone for any firearm, so when the Ruger Standard reached it just more than a year after production began, the gun was one of four to be factory-plated in chrome … and owned by Alexander Sturm (photo at top). The gun was delivered in November 1950, so Sturm would only have a year to enjoy the gun until his passing in November 1951. It finally left the factory in April 1956, when Sturm’s father Justin came to retrieve it.
Next up is a special revolver. Upon first glance, it may look like just another engraved Ruger Single-Six, but it most certainly isn’t. This 1956-made gun was created as the test canvas for a new engraving pattern. Bill Ruger liked it, kept the gun, and eventually a total of 12 Single-Six revolvers were made with this pattern. This is the only one that Ruger himself kept.
The Single-Six is also pictured with a full box of Bill Ruger’s business cards, circa 1962, complete in their original, signature blue box, as made by Tiffany & Co. in New York. Each embossed card is protected from the next by a thin piece of tissue paper.
These are just some of the amazing historic and/or rare firearms that were on display at NRAAM 2017 in Atlanta.
Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.