The Red Label Is Back

  1. chriseger
    Designed by Bill Ruger and company in the 1970s to compete with foreign shotguns, the Ruger Red Label has long been a staple of American made scatterguns. Now, after a two-year hiatus, it has returned with some improvements including a better price.

    The old Red Label

    When Browning introduced their Superposed shotgun in 1928, the American public started to fall in love with the concept of a well-made, good shooting, and utterly reliable stacked barrel shotgun. Unlike side-by-side double barrel shotguns that had issues with aimpoints (neither barrel fired at the same target the same way) and recoil, a shotgun with two barrels stacked one on top and the other underneath just made brilliant sense. This led to the first popular commercial Over/Under (O/U) shotgun.

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    Fast forward to the 1970s and the Belgian-made Browning Superposed cost as much as a good used car and there were no US-made O/U shotguns that didn\'t cost even more. This is when Bill Ruger introduced their Red Label double barrel shotgun, to this date the only shotgun made by Sturm, Ruger. It proved a hit with the public for its affordability, reliability, and handling. It remained a staple of the company\'s catalog for three decades. However by 2010 it suffered from the same problem that killed the Superposed-- it had gotten just really too expensive for the average shooter to even consider and sales dropped. With that, the gun was put out to pasture.

    The New Red Label

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    Well it was just announced that Sturm, Ruger has sent the old Red Label out for a vacation, spa treatment, and a makeover. The new gun has all of the goodies of the old one, but has added some new features like a stainless trigger and chamber release; two-inch back bored forcing cones, and a slightly improved center of gravity to allow for better pointability.

    This isn\'t that new of a concept. Ruger tends to improve its line every generation or so. This is seen in the fact that the 30-year old Mini-14 is on its third distinct evolution, each made with improvements found out from a decade of lessons learned in warranty repairs to the factory. The new guns, unlike the old Red Labels which came in 12/20/28, are just being released in 12-gauge at this time.

    Specs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yE0D4sJhBo

    Stock: American Walnut
    Receiver Finish: Finely Polished
    Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
    Barrel Finish: Blued
    Rear Sight: None
    Front Sight: Bead
    Barrel Length: 26.00\" (28 and 30 offered on other models)
    Overall Length: 43.00\" (longer on models with longer barrels)
    Weight: 7.50 lbs. (slightly more on models with longer barrels)
    Length of Pull: 14.50\"
    Drop at Comb: 1.50\"
    Drop at Heel: 2.50\"
    Chamber: 3\"

    Features:

    • Automatic, two-position tang safety/barrel selector provides instant visibility and accessibility.
    • Finely polished, stainless steel receiver is corrosion-resistant and has no exposed pins or screws.
    • Reliable, single mechanical trigger that allows for firing the second barrel without recocking.
    • Sleek, compact locking system is considered to be among the strongest ever built for over-and-under shotguns.
    • Precision matched, blued alloy steel, cold hammer-forged barrels made of high-strength chrome-molybdenum steel feature 2\" forcing cones and maximum back boring for superior recoil reduction and more uniform patterns.
    • 1/4\" dovetailed, free-floating, ventilated rib with brass bead front sight is stress relieved, contour-grounded, precisely fitted and silver-brazed (not soft-soldered) to the finished monoblock.
    • Beautifully crafted, cut-checkered American Walnut stock features a traditional pistol grip, tapered, slim forend and a stainless steel latch release. A soft Pachmayr buttpad is mounted on the 14.5\" length of pull stock, which features a 1.5\" drop at the comb and a 2.5\" drop at the heel.
    • Five steel-shot compatible, screw-in Briley chokes and wrench included, featuring two skeet chokes and one full, one modified and one improved cylinder choke, plus a premium-quality Briley choke tube wrench.
    • Also includes: custom molded, semi-soft case; safety lock.

    The MSRP of these guns? $1399, which is a few hundred less than the old Red Label. Of course, once the guns start shipping the \'street price\' could drop as much as another 10-20% lower than that.
    Bring on progress!

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