Every year, one of my favorite sections of the NRA’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits is Collectors Row. Last year, the Ruger Owners & Collectors Society (ROCS) brought a really cool gun to their display and entered it into the competition to win one of the 10 Best Arms silver medallions given out by the NRA Gun Collectors Committee. There are a lot of good guns in contention each year, and sometimes something cool gets passed over in favor of something else.
Not being discouraged, ROCS brought a gun back from last year: the Ruger Standard pistol, serial number 3. Even though it’s number 3, this is the first gun that Sturm, Ruger & Co. ever shipped.
The gun shipped on September 15, 1949 to John Boudreau, one of Ruger’s employees. You’ll notice in the photo above that there’s just a blank circle on the grips where the logo medallion would normally reside. The medallions hadn’t been made yet, so the gun shipped with the blank filler circle. The magazine, too, had yet to be finalized. Serial number 3 shipped with a magazine that had been modified from a High Standard HD pistol!
Also on display with the gun was the first FFL issued to the company, which would have been used to legally transfer the gun to Mr. Boudreau. This year, ROCS lucked out and took home one of the 10 Best Arms silver medal awards. It joins a long list of almost 600 guns that have received medals in the 58 years since the NRA started giving out these awards.
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.