The arms industry is swelling with interest and demand, but what truly makes a gun manufacturer stand out from the rest of the pack? Glock has been known for its efficiency and simple designs, while Kel-Tec has garnered a reputation for innovation and unique weaponry. Each major gun company has its own unique set of attributes, and here are some key traits that has kept Ruger in business for so long.
6. Rimfire Market
Ruger has mostly gained its notoriety through its 10/22 semiautomatic rifle, a weapon in the .22 Long Rifle caliber market that has managed to stand out from the competition. They managed to do this by keeping these rifles relatively low in price, while maintaining quality. The same can also be said of their MK II and MK III within the semi-automatic pistol market.
MK III Standard Rimfire
Both the semi-automatic and the rifle rimfire niche within Ruger has been kept them alive by debuting after-market mods that keep old buyers interested, while continuously drawing in new buyers.
5. Building From What Worked Before
Ruger is doing what so many other companies are doing when it comes to classics like the 1911 Colt or the German Luger, taking the designs and mechanics of those guns and making it a unique piece. In Ruger's case, Bill Ruger, the co-founder of Sturm, Ruger & Company first got in the game by combining the German Luger with the Colt Woodsman, which resulted in the creation of the Ruger Standard in 1949, a weapon that stamped Ruger on the map as a major contender in the arms industry.
The 22/45 is another type of gun that has the features of the Ruger Standard, but came with a grip similar to that of the 1911 Colt.
This is one of the main reasons why Ruger has stayed in business for so long. While some arms companies may have a few breakout pieces, Ruger has eight different markets that will appeal to gun owners of different persuasions: Bolt Action Rifles, Single Shot Rifles, Autoloading Rifles, Shotguns, Centerfire Rifles, Rimfire Pistols, Double-Action Revolvers and Single Action Revolvers.
10/22 Carbine Autoloader
Having a diverse array of guns gives Ruger a chance to cater to all types of shooters. Ruger has manged to lure in customers in the hunting, self-defense, law enforcement, sports shooting and collection markets all in one. Ruger has spread its tentacles into just about every shooting market possible, while still maintaining superb engineering and designs that appeal to many gun owners.
3. Compliance Weapons
Companies like Smith & Wesson have a number of weapons that comply with state laws in Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, etc., and Ruger has done the same. For instance, according to California state law, single action revolvers must have a minimum 7 inches, and not have a barrel length of under three inches.
California Compliant SP-101 Double Action
But, even though Ruger has managed to stay in the California market, they could be pushed out due to the onset of the state's new micro-stamping laws, which could raise the price of weapons and push gun jobs out of the state. Staying in restricted markets is not only a good way to add an extra source of business, but Ruger has also won a loyal fan base of customers by showing commitment to their buyers.
2. Left-Handed Weapons
This is another example ofRuger doing something extra for their customers, especially since not every gun company caters to those who are left-handed. There are a
variety of rifles, including the Hawk Eye and Guide Guns, that cater to
the left-hand market.
Ruger Guide Gun
The lack of left-handed weaponry is a common complaint in the gun community, and it is something that Ruger has tapped into as another market niche. It is also a good way of winning over more loyal customers.
1. Something New
This is the number thing that keeps Ruger alive. Ruger has managed to stay relevant by not only adding upgrades to classic models, but always adding something different to its line of guns in the process, including the new GP 100 Match Champion, or the introduction LCRx compact pistols.
By building from their current line of weapons, Ruger always adds new life to its products, attracting more customers. For instance, compact pistols will attract people looking for a good self-defense weapon, such as women, the elderly and first-time buyers.
The recipe for success for any company is to maintain a devoted following, while still adapting to current trends to attract future customers. Ruger has done just that and will not be going away anytime soon.
Images from Ruger