Why does Ruger tend to discontinue instead of upgrade?

Discussion in 'Ruger Center Fire Pistols' started by striker9mil, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. striker9mil

    striker9mil New Member

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    I realize it’s a little too early to speculate the next step for Ruger after the American Pistol but wouldn’t it be nice for Ruger to one day release an upgraded model of the American Pistol instead of discontinuing it? Glock never discontinued their series of pistols. They just simply upgrade them from Gen 1 to Gen 2 to Gen 3 to Gen 4. S&W just upgraded the M&P with the 2.0. Springfield, obviously, did the same with the XD Mod 2. I would really like Ruger to do the same with the American Pistol and other models. That way we can get an upgraded pistol that accepts the same magazines as the original and maintain a strong aftermarket support.

    However, after studying Ruger’s history it would seem that the company will not do such a thing with the American Pistol series. The only Ruger semi autos that were given upgrades, and avoided discontinuation, was the Ruger Standard Pistol series (Mark I though IV) and the LCP. 9mm semi autos have not had much luck. The P series still remains popular with enthusiasts yet Ruger discontinued it instead of continuing the upgraded line that it performed on the series for several years. Also, a Ruger representative admitted to me recently that the SR series is scheduled to be discontinued soon instead of releasing an upgrade.

    Here’s how I see it: The Ruger American Pistol has a lot to offer to the market. It was designed to withstand sustained +p firing. It’s overbuilt in a way that it can handle harsh punishments. It’s probably more reinforced than most pistols on the market. Also, the American Pistol is super reliable. My Americans have never jammed once. Plus, with that removable trigger chassis it makes it easy for repairs to be made.

    Ruger has something special with the American Pistol series. I just hope that Ruger has long term plans to upgrade the American series instead of one day discontinuing it.

    With what I was told about the SR series’ future and the release of the Security 9’s release, it would seem that Ruger is positioning the Security 9 to be the replacement for the SR series. I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Security 45” is in the works. I get that the 9E is considered Ruger’s current budget pistol but with the SR series going out the door how could they justify keeping the 9E going if Ruger discontinues the pistol series that it is based off of?

    Obviously, the Ruger American Pistol series will be Ruger’s flagship model while the Security series will eventually be Ruger’s sole budget model. This will be very similar to S&W having the M&P line as their flagship model while the SD VE line remains their budget model. But how long will Ruger keep this up before they eventually move on to something else?

    I would think that it would cost Ruger more money to design and produce a new design from the ground up compared to the money they could save by simply releasing a design that was tweaked every so often. I love my American Pistols and I will never part ways with them but a Ruger representative told me that the American Pistol series was also for people that miss the tank like features of the P series. However, the American Pistol is a striker fired pistol and not a hammer fired pistol like the P series. By not continuing the P series Ruger no longer has a double stack semi auto hammer fired platform. Simply upgrading a design will bring more customers in that are interested in buying the new upgraded design. Everyone, including Ruger, can see how Glock, Smith & Wesson and Springfield have been successful with this business model.

    Let me make it clear. In my eyes Ruger is the greatest company on Earth and I would choose Ruger over anything else. I just think that upgrading an already existing popular platform is better than discontinuing and replacing it. Not only would this be cost effective but it would maintain customer loyalty to the brand if they maintain a series that everyone is familiar with and whose magazines will still be compatible with the upgraded version. What do you guys think?
     
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  2. potmetal

    potmetal New Member

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    I heard rumors about the demise of the SR line a year ago and it hasn't happened yet. I hope it never does, but you never know.
    You make a valid point about the comparison to Glock's strategy of upgrading, as opposed to new models, but Glock started out with polymer pistols. I'm not sure the bulky P series pistols would be that popular on the market today. Ruger had to go polymer and the SR series was their way of entering the market with a new and unique(to them) product. I like them more then the American, I'd rather see an SR 2.0. An SR with the take down lever that is on the American would be really cool. Standardizing mags would also be a great move between models.
    Ruger's website has a "contact the CEO" link. Maybe we should be telling him this.
     
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  3. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member

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    New models means makes for more sales in a rapidly changing and competitive market. Well, it's hard for me to change. Took me forever to get use to poly guns. I still have my stainless P89 in 9 mil and P90 in .45. Only guns I have in poly that Ruger makes in an LC9 and LC9s. I have tried to get rid of the old P series beasts, but I just can't break them. So, I bought other plasic guns brands instead. So far, Ihave been able to break a few of those.
     
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  4. Blkhawk73

    Blkhawk73 Member

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    Just different company operations. Glock has but their single basic design. It's worked remarkably well for them and with their market (law enforcement especially) keeping things the same and simply making small changes keeps that market much more solidified and I'm sure greatly benefits them with their existing contracts. Not being so heavily vested in that market, Ruger can discontinue and release new models much easier and without the issues Glock would have. Seems it works for them. :)
     
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  5. striker9mil

    striker9mil New Member

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    I can agree with what you say about the P series and I’m not interested in purchasing one if it should ever come back since I prefer the striker fired platform. However, I do know that there others that prefer DA/SA.

    From what that same representative also said the American is for those that keep asking Ruger to bring back the P series because they miss the “tank like” features despite the P series being a hammer fired platform.
     
  6. striker9mil

    striker9mil New Member

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    I must admit that I’m concerned about the American’s future due to some YouTube big name gun reviewers take on the American. They say that the American doesn’t offer anything new to the striker fired market and by saying that they completely miss the point of the American. They don’t want to acknowledge how the pistol is rated for sustained +p firing. I am also sure that if these reviewers would do a torture test of the pistol then they would know that the American brings to the market. I’m hoping Ruger doesn’t pay any attention to these reviewers. That being said that same Ruger representative admitted to me that the SR series still sales more than the American series, which confuses her for the reasons that I just mentioned. She said that Ruger did not release the American Pistol at the right time of the year, which is why sales are slow. I’m not too sure how that effects anything. It was released in December 2015. I’m not sure how that would hurt sales. I’m just worried because I have both the full size and compact model of the American Pistol and I would like the aftermarket support, such as holsters, to provide for the pistol. Aftermarket companies would be less inclined to offer products for the American if the pistol doesn’t sale well
     
  7. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    I myself wonder about the longevity of the Ruger American Pistol. Lots of hype when it first came out, not all of it good. But almost nothing ever heard of it now. Personally I am very fond of my RAPc, as well as my LCPII and I have never had any of the issues others have claimed, but they are not my favorites.

    The only semi automatic handguns that Ruger makes that I truly really like is the SR1911 and the MKII. I like steel, I like single action, I like hammer fired, I do not like a magazine disconnect. And I prefer my handguns destined for social work not to have a manual safety.

    Enter the Ruger American Pistol. It does have a plastic grip, but the actual frame is steel, it's available without a manual safety, does not have a magazine disconnect, and has a single action trigger. It is striker fired, but I can live with that if for no other reason than it offers everything else I like.

    But the Ruger American Pistol is not what Ruger is about. Ruger was founded on the premise of being a working mans gun. And I believe that Ruger is working hard to be that same company today. And the "working man" is not going to pay more than the minimum required to get their firearms. Ruger is about the Security-9, AR-556, American Rifle, SR22. And they do that very well. And it's what the rank and file want.

    I think Ruger will keep it's high end guns, Hawkeye, RedHawks, Blackhawks as long as there is sufficient demand, and the American Pistol is certainly in that group, but I would guess that the Security-9 likely outsells the American Pistol somewhere along the scale of 10 to 1. And let's be realistic, company's are in business to make money. I don't think the American Pistol will go away anytime soon, but I do think the Security-9 will out live it.

    FWIW, I was talking with an Eden NC police officer a while back. The neighboring town of Madison hosts both Remington and Ruger. They carry 870 shotguns and AR-556 rifles in their squad cars and shoot RmingtRem ammunition. They are carrying GLOCKS now but plan to transition to Americans in 45 acp. Mostly a show of support for NC business I tink, but there is at least one law enforcement agency who uses Ruger. And they would not use then regardless if they were not reliable!
     
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  8. striker9mil

    striker9mil New Member

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    That’s wonderful to hear about LEO’s beginning to switch over to the American! I often wondered what agencies were going to switch over to the American. If the pistol is starting to be accepted in those areas then it will most likely stick around for years to come.

    I don’t plan on purchasing anymore Americans but I would like for the pistol to remain in production long enough for Ruger to produce enough spare parts to service mine should they are need repairs in the future.
     
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  9. spikedriver

    spikedriver Active Member

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    I'm probably the odd man out here. I like both the SR and the Security 9 better than the RAP. But that's just my preference for the feel of the grip and balance. I carry a LC9s and that is my favorite Ruger of all, hands down. ( I like slim pistols, as I have short thumbs.) As I understand it the American series has not made a huge dent in the market. Ruger is probably looking to introduce a polymer pistol which will be a home run for them. The SR was good but not considered duty capable. The American didn't light the world on fire. So the Sec 9 takes over the SR's spot and I'm excited to see what pistol, if any, comes out to replace the American.
     
  10. quirky

    quirky Active Member

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    The short of it is they all missed the boat, because that's how American business operates especially when you are owned by Wall-Street. And it's much to late for any of them to ever adopt Glocks philosophy, which is pick up any caliber and they all function the same, all feel the same and all field strip the same. And have we mention parts in every corner of the globe and on the cheap.

    The minute any company goes public it's throw anything out there and see what sticks.
     
  11. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    I think Ruger did hit a home run with the Security-9. I figure the SR series will silently go away since the SR9e didn't grab market share and is already gone from the line. Personally I thought it was a home run.

    I do imagine the American Pistol will soldier on a while before it goes away. Like the Hawkeye, it will sell just enough to keep it in the lineup, but the American Rifle probably sells about 3/4 more than the Hawkeye. It would be interesting to see the figures.

    I think that if sales stay up you will see a Security 45 and a Security Compact in the future. It's what the buying public wants I think.
     
  12. spikedriver

    spikedriver Active Member

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    I think a Sec-9 with a 3.3" (give or take a tenth) barrel and a 2 finger grip would sell like hotcakes. 1 ten round mag and a full size mag with grip extender would be perfect.

    And yes I can see the .45 version also, if the gun can hold up to it and if it fits the action without too many mods...
     
  13. mrmike7189

    mrmike7189 Member

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    I stopped buying Ruger pistols after they discontinued the P series. If I ever get the itch to buy another Ruger, I'll just buy another P gun from a used gun store. Ruger got too big, too corporate, too plastic.
     
  14. paulruger

    paulruger Active Member

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    It's all about making money!
     
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  15. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Active Member

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    I think Pancho_Villa & paulruger may have nailed it. Maybe it's sorta like cereal and laundry soap. Plaster "New & Improved" on the box and the unwashed masses flock to get it.
     
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  16. 0311

    0311 Member

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    Of course, it is about making money! Ruger has been playing catch up in the semi-auto pistol market for decades. They have always had the dream that every gun manufacturer has, government contracts. Ruger wanted the P series to compete in the handgun trials in the 80's and didn't make it in time. The American didn't make it very far in the Army handgun trials a few years ago.

    Thing is most manufacturers stop upgrading at some point anyway. Ruger upgraded the P series for 20 years. S&W did the same thing with the 59 series and all of its variations for decades as well.

    Yes, they want as much market share as they can get, and without having any substantial contracts with law enforcement or the military there is really no reason to prolong the use of a platform that does not meet the demands of most of the market.