Sturm, Ruger & Co, Inc. is most widely recognized as its short name which is Ruger. The company is American in origin and it manufactures firearms. The company has an interesting history which is worth hearing about whether you're a gun enthusiast or not. We wanted to learn more about this business, its origins and its current status on the market today. We learned some interesting facts about them and we'd like to share with you these 20 things you didn't know about Sturm, Ruger & Co.
1. The company was founded in 1949
The Ruger company has been around since 1949. This is the year that founders William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm first started the operation. It's based out of Southport, Connecticut and it also has manufacturing plants in Mayodan, North Carolina, Prescott, Arizona, and Newport New Hampshire.The company has come a long way since the first plant was established.
2. And has been publicly traded since 1969.
Ruger produces bolt-action, semi-automatic, and single-shot rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic pistols, and single- and double-action revolvers. According to the ATF statistics for 2015, Ruger is currently America's largest firearm manufacturer, as well as the second largest pistol/revolver manufacturer (behind Smith & Wesson) and rifle manufacturer (behind Remington) in the United States.
2. They have a longstanding rivalry with Smith & Wesson
Since the day that Ruger started manufacturing firearms, their biggest rival, or competitor has been Smith & Wesson. When Sturm and Ruger began, Smith and Wesson had already been established for decades. Their company got its start all the way back in 1852, nearly a century ahead of Sturm and Ruger. They were the new kids on the block in firearm manufacturing in 1949, but in the 70 years that they've been producing and distributing Ruger firearms, they've built a strong reputation for delivering high on quality and dependability.
3. Sturm and Ruger turned $50,000 into a billion
When Alexander Sturm and William Ruger first started their manufacturing business, they started out with an investment of 50,000. This was supplied by Mr. Sturm. It was considered to be a small fortune back in 1949 and it gave them the start that was needed to start the company the right way. Sturm and Ruger have gone on to become as well known in the firearm industry as John Browning, Samuel Colt, Henry Deringer and Richard Gatling. Their company has grown in size and revenue to become one of the largest gunmakers in the world today. They $50,000 investment made by Sturm was the seed that was used to grow a business that is now valued at $1 billion.
4. Sturm and Ruger lost a partner after just two years
Only two years after Sturm and Ruger began their operation, the company would lose one of its founders. Alexander Sturm contracted hepatitis and he died from the illness. This left William Ruger as the sole surviving founder of the business. Ruger went on to establish a reputation for being on of the greatest firearms designers in the world. His new and innovative gun designs helped to make Ruger guns on the of the most respected and admired within the entire industry. Mr. Ruger passed away in 2002.
5. The company supports our right to own firearms
The motto for the Sturm and Ruger's company is "Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens." They want people who are going to behave responsibly to own the products that they make. They have made significant donations to the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action to help in the cause to keep the right to bear firearms legal in the United States. The donations that they make are in the amount of $2 from every gun sale. The donation is made every year between August and election day. So far, their donations to this cause have totaled $5 million.
6. Sturm and Ruger went Public
In 1969, the gun manufacturing company Sturm and Ruger made an application which was approved and they went public. In 1990 the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Even thought there have been controversies and debates surrounding the gun industry, the company still made a 250% gain in their stock over the past ten years. this is a significant achievement with the S&P 500 gain at 61%.
7. Ruger used to make golf club heads
In addition to making high quality firearms, Ruger also used to make golf club heads. Mr. Ruger invested in a business that made castings and one of the products that the castings were used to make was golf heads. In fact, it was the only supplier that distributed enlarged titanium heads that Callaway Golf drivers feature. When you use a driver that has the Big Bertha head, it is the result of a fifty fifty venture between Ruger and Callaway. They signed an agreement with Callaway to generate $150 million in driver heads for them.
8. Ruger bought out Callaway's interest
Ruger was so successful in their new casting business that they wanted to retain this action for themselves. They bought the Callaway company out on the fifty fifty collaboration so Ruger could be the sole owner of the operation. They kept making golf clubs which were sold to a variety of different manufacturers. This continued until 2005 when they ceased making golf club heads, but Ruger still owns the investment casting business although just 1% of the company's total revenue comes from that endeavor.
9. The Ruger Mark IV is a relative of the Ruger Standard
The very first handgun that Sturm an Ruger ever produced was the Ruger Standard and it was made in 1949. The sellers marketed this gun as a .22 caliber that was made for plinking, target shooting and sport. The standard line was later renamed the Mark I. The second edition in the line was made in 1982 with the Mark III produced in 2005 and now finally the Mark IV which is the latest design within the Mark line of guns. It's a lot like the Mark III but it has the innovative new design feature that is called the one button take down which is a simplification.
10. Ruger's most popular rim fire rifle may surprise you
The most popular rim fire rifle that Ruger currently has on the market is their 10/22 .22LR semi-automatic rifle. Th gun was first manufactured and then introduced into the American market in 1964. The gun was a success from the first line in the series and so far, Sturm and Ruger has produced more than six million units of the .22 rifle.
11. The number of product lines and their variations is staggering
We learned a very interesting fact about Sturm and Ruger products that we didn't previously know. They offer consumers a whopping 30 different product lines. Within these thirty product lines the company manufactures 400 different variations of firearms. For the 2016 year alone Ruger sold $269.4 million worth of firearms as the figure for their net sales. Of these sales, forty percent of them were rifles, thirty eight percent of them were pistols and sixteen percent were revolvers.
12. They could have owned the rights for the AR-15
Ruger was given the opportunity to build and distribute the firearm that is known as the AR-15, but they passed on the chance. The gun was first made by the ArmaLite manufacturing company and this is where the signification AR cam from. It stands for ArmaLite Rifle. Before ArmaLite gave the opportunity to Colt to manufacture the gun, Sturm and Ruger was given the chance. It just wasn't something that they were interested in doing at the time.
13. Ruger built an AR-556
Ruger did end up building a similar weapon that was called the AR-556. It became one of th three top selling rifles carried by the company called GunBroker.com. They are the largest online auction house for firearms and their accessories in the world. Ruger introduced the AR-556 in 2016 and it made up a total of twenty nine percent of their sales in the new product division.
14. Sturm and Ruger have surpassed their rival Smith & Wesson
Even though Smith & Wesson has been around a hundred years longer and they are a better known brand for firearms, Sturm and Ruger have surpassed them in the overall number of manufactured products. The statistics show that for 2015, Smith & Wesson produced 1.47 million firearms. Sturm and Ruger produced 1.67 million, which makes them the biggest gun manufacturer in the United States.
15. Ruger makes more long guns than Smith & Wesson
We also learned that there is a difference in the type of guns that the two competitors manufacture. Smith & Wesson has a greater focus on handguns and they product twenty percent more of this type of firearm than Ruger does. Ruger, however, made three times as many rifles and other long guns than Smith & Wesson. The statistics for the 2015 year show Smith and Wesson making a little over 200,000 long guns to the 660,000 that were made by Ruger.
16. Ruger falls in second to Remington
Another interesting and little known fact about Sturm and Ruger is that they may be the largest firearm manufacturer in the world, but when it comes to the manufacture of rifles and shotguns, Remington still holds the top position. The Remington brand is an exclusive producer of shotguns and rifles with few exceptions. In 2015, Remington manufactured 774,000 rifles, Vista Outdoor's Savage arms produced 381,000 rifles to put them in third in behind Ruger and Ruger made about double that number.
17. Bill Ruger duplicated two Japanese guns that were captured during the war
Before Bill Ruger formed his partnership in the business with Alexander Sturm, he had acquired two "baby" Nambu pistols of Japanese origin. They were taken by a Marine at the end of World War II. Ruger took the two pistols and designed the fist semi-automatic pistol that would be produced by his company in the near future. He took an inspiration from the 9 mm German Luger and blended the aesthetics with the American Colt Woodsman to develop the first .22 caliber pistol that Sturm and Ruger would make and distribute to the public. This gun became so popular that it is the basis for which the entire company was launched. It was called the Ruger Standard.
18. Ruger dominates the .22 Rim fire Semi-automatic pistol market
Ruger stands at the top of the industry bcause of their Ruger MK II and the Ruger MK III pistols. These two guns are the direct descendants of their most popular ever Ruger Standard pistol. The gun sales are high but so are the accessories because the MK II has a very wide selection of accessories which are supported by the platform and are sold as after market products. This is one of the reasons why .22 enthusiasts go with that specific model. There are so many accessories that can be purchased to go along with it and enhance the user experience.
19. Ruger holds a record in the total number of firearms manufactured
Between the years of 1949 and 2004, the statistics that have been kept on the total number of firearms produced by Ruger is truly astounding. In just 55 years they manufactured more than twenty million total firearms. This is nothing short of remarkable. Throughout the years, they've expanded their operations and they also own subsidiaries in Missouri, New Hampshire and North Carolina. One of them is a castings company, another is a precision metals company and the third is a sportswear and accessories company. They not only make the most guns in total they also manufacture a few other products on the side.
20. Ruger is a leader in the firearm manufacturing industry
The last impressive fact about Ruger is that out of more than 2,200 civilian firearm manufacturing companies which operate in the US between 1986 through 2010, they led the industry in the period. Thy rose to the position of number one in the number of firearms manufactured between 2008 through 2011. They developed a campaign called the "Million Gun Challenge to Benefit the NRA" which helped them to generate more sales and the have since upped their production goals to 2 million firearms produced a year.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson