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Sturm, Ruger & Company: A Brief History

Posted By: truth
Date: Tuesday, 6-October-2015 13:52:20


Armed with a talent for gun design, a dedication for improving manufacturing techniques and a keen eye for seeing the needs in the shooting community, William B. Ruger led the Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. to become the 4th largest firearms manufacturer in the United States. In fact, Sturm, Ruger is the only US firearms manufacturer that produces firearms in all 4 market segments: rifles, shotguns, handguns and revolvers.

William B. Ruger was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 21, 1916. He always had an interest in firearms manufacturing and during high school would visit machine shops to learn about machining and techniques. While in liberal arts college, Ruger developed preliminary designs for what turned into a light machine gun. After spending two years in college, William Ruger dropped out to pursue a career in firearms design and manufacturing. Finding it difficult to get a position at one of the big firearms manufacturers in New England, Ruger decided to move back to North Carolina, where his wife was from. It was here that he accepted an offer to work at Springfield Armory in Massachusetts as a firearms designer. His paycheck from the Springfield Armory was not enough to support his family, so Ruger quit and again went back to his machine gun design.

Ruger had a prototype of his machine gun built in a local machine shop that would meet the military’s specifications. He presented it to all the major players in the industry, but not a one took a bite. Ruger finally landed a position at the Auto Ordnance Corporation in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he was able to spend three years perfecting the design of his machine gun. The final design was finished in 1944, but the gun never saw any action. By the time the machine gun was ready for testing, WWII was ending and the U.S. Government had no more need for a new light machine gun.

Ruger left Auto Ordnance to take a stab at designing and producing his own firearms. With a Nambu pistol he received from a U.S. Marine, Ruger modified the design and the .22 Ruger Standard semi-automatic pistol was born. Without having any money of his own to produce the pistol, Ruger joined in a partnership with Alexander Sturm. Sturm was a rich graduate of Yale Art School who had an interest in firearms and his family let the pair borrow $50,000 to start the Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. The company took out its first patents in 1946 and in 1949, Sturm, Ruger and Company had rented out a small machine shop in Southport, Connecticut to produce the .22 Ruger Standard. The pistol was ready for sale a year later. Due to its inexpensive cost, reliability, accuracy and aesthetic appeal, the .22 Ruger Standard was an instant success. The company soon had the money to pay back the Sturm family and reported a profit in the first year of business. The Sturm, Ruger and Company has never lost or borrowed money since.

http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/sturm-ruger-company-a-brief-history/


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