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Old August 7, 2014, 03:02 AM   #1
1stmar
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Why no lever action from ruger?

If you look at rugers lineup it has to be one of the most complete for any manufacturer. Shotgun, bolts, semi-auto rifles (ar, minis, 10/22), pistols (22, 1911, composites) revolvers (single and dble action).. They are into everything just about. Limited in the shotgun space... But seems strange to me that they don't make a lever action rifle. They do it all well. They may not be the best at everything but all their guns are quality IMO.
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Old August 7, 2014, 03:42 AM   #2
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They had some... 96/44, 96/22 96/22M and 96/17M... I suspect they didn't sell in great numbers, so that production capacity was used for something that does.
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Old August 7, 2014, 04:10 AM   #3
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Back when Ruger had their customer polls, this is one item I asked for, especially in .38/.357 since they are in short supply and seem to be in demand or even a .40/10mm to get something not offered today.
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Old August 7, 2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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9x19 I forgot about those, but something more traditional would sell.
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Old August 7, 2014, 08:20 AM   #5
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Yeah, they were styled after the Savage 99 (apparently Bill Sr. was a big fan).

One styled after the Winchester or Marlin might sell, especially in .357 and .44, if the price could be held to reasonable.
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Old August 7, 2014, 08:27 AM   #6
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Too much competition.
If you don't like the present Japanese Winchesters or Remlins, there are plenty in the secondary market.
If you want pretty import, there are Ubertis, if you want cheap import, there are Rossis.
Henry is doing well in .22s, but so-so in centerfires.
Mossberg is about invisible, Savage made a half hearted effort to bring back the 99 on Spanish castings and then gave up.

I think to do well, Ruger would have to copy a classic Winchester or Marlin, which would be expensive even with their in house casting expertise. They have obviously concluded it is not worth the trouble.

I was surprised to see they are going around again with the O/U shotgun.


I think the 96 series of lever actions were pretty much manually operated versions of their automatics, laid out in case AWB II succeeded in banning private ownership of automatics altogether.
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Old August 7, 2014, 08:51 AM   #7
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I don't know Jim. They brought out a 1911, plenty of competition there and as you mentioned they are back in the ou market. How about ar's? A lot of competition. With sass on the rise I think there would be a market plus plenty of loyal ruger fans.
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Old August 7, 2014, 09:00 AM   #8
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As read on a prior comment Ruger made a few levers for small bore calibers. Only one lever did they make for hunting. Model 96-44 mag. {not everyone thinks the 44 mag is the cats meow for deer hunting purposes.} If Ruger had manufactured their lever rifle with a common bottle neck cartridge appropriate for most deer hunting situations. 7mm-08 or 308 or even the marginal 30-30 cartridge. Maybe their customer base would have shown more interest.

I remember one of the first write up's I read about the model 96-44. It was in Field & Stream. I thought at the time why not a bottle neck cartridge instead of that 44 mag again they seem to be hung up on.
Upon passing the magazine article to my at work hunting companion I commented "Yup!! Looks like another one for Ruger's discontinued pile of weaponry." And as it turned out my thoughts at the time weren't far off the mark of what actually happened. If Ruger were to make a decent lever rifle tomorrow shooting a bottle neck cartridge. It's too late for me. I doubt I would buy one. Got a couple of old Savage Model 99-E's in my safe that fill that need perfectly. One carbine, one rifle, not counting that little 1899 T/Down I have also. Now those are my "cats meow of lever rifles."
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Old August 7, 2014, 09:12 AM   #9
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And they discontinued the 44 Magnum semi-auto 99/44........Twice!
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Old August 7, 2014, 10:05 AM   #10
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CAS (Cowboy Action Shooting) is not on the rise, it's actually declining.
Peaked a while back.

Competition is stiff & leverguns are already well covered, as noted.

Ruger was surprised to find their lever-actions didn't sell as well as projected & dropped 'em for lack of sales.

One reason suggested has been the non-traditional "hammerless" designs.

ARs & 1911s don't compare, there's a lot of market for both.
Not so with the levergun.
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Old August 7, 2014, 11:10 AM   #11
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IMO lever guns are a “love them or hate them” kind of deal.
Most people prefer the reliability of a bolt action or the simplicity of a auto loader design.
I would not mind owning a lever gun in 357 or 44 mag but not something I’m really looking to buy unless I came across a real sweet deal.
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Old August 7, 2014, 11:24 AM   #12
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As much as we probably are reluctant to admit, lots of folks are motivated by tv and movies for what they buy.
Unfortunately for lots of us, todays mainstream entertainment is more about black and sniper rifles and fast cars than horses, sixguns and Winchesters.
Thankfully, there's still shows like Hell on Wheels and an occasional movie to keep the lever action alive for awhile longer.
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Old August 7, 2014, 12:18 PM   #13
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They should have offered the 96 in 357Max.
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Old August 7, 2014, 12:29 PM   #14
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I don't think caliber would have changed much. I think a 92 or 73 replica would do well, especially in 357. But that 96 had no appeal.
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Old August 7, 2014, 12:36 PM   #15
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Ruger did and now they don't.
I find it sad. I liked their lever guns.
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Old August 7, 2014, 05:42 PM   #16
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Ruger did make a lever action and it was met with a big yawn.

Today, any company thinking of making a lever action rifle would recognize two types of customers: one type won't buy a gun with a 150-year old design and the other won't buy anything else. Plus Ruger is barely able to keep up with demand for their current products; there is no reason to add a completely new product.

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Old August 7, 2014, 07:23 PM   #17
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Between Winchester and Marlin there are over 14 million very well made rifles in circulation that are better than what Ruger was turning out, for less money. That is more than enough to meet the real demand for the product.
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Old August 7, 2014, 07:45 PM   #18
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Couldn't you make that argument for virtually everything ? Bolt action rifles, plastic pistols, over under shotguns... Ruger is in a lot of crowded markets and they continue to enter or re-enter more. They have entries in virtually everything else, really can think of a gap except pump shotguns but they do have a shotgun. Just seems strange they never made a serious play now or previously (don't consider the 96 series a serious entry). Seems to fit well with vaquero, black hawks, their focus on hunting rifles etc.
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Old August 8, 2014, 12:12 PM   #19
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first why no lefthanded ruger 357 bolt action?

they offer lh versions of their bigger centrefire bolts
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Old August 8, 2014, 09:51 PM   #20
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The reality is that most buyers of lever action rifles are traditionalists, who want guns that hark back to the "Old West", and that market is well covered by Winchester, Marlin, Rossi, etc. Several modern lever actions (Sako, Winchester 88, Ruger 96) have been failures for that reason. No matter who makes a lever action, any "modern" lever action design will not please those who buy lever actions.

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Old August 9, 2014, 05:26 AM   #21
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the browning blr is still going strong no?

kinda inbetween modern and classical looks wise
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Old August 9, 2014, 08:00 AM   #22
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Rossi's already got it covered.
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Old August 9, 2014, 08:20 AM   #23
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my dad had a Ruger lever action in .30 carbine when i was a boy, he got it to go with his Blackhawk in .30. I shot the snot out of that little gun for a few years, it fit my small frame(at that time) like a glove. he ended up selling it for some reason, it is the only one I have ever saw.

OK I was mistaken, went looking for it on the net here and found out it was a Marlin model 62 that dad had instead of a Ruger but it was still a sweet shooting little rifle and i would love to find another one

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Old August 9, 2014, 08:25 AM   #24
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Quote:
Posted by James K: The reality is that most buyers of lever action rifles are traditionalists, who want guns that hark back to the "Old West", and that market is well covered by Winchester, Marlin, Rossi, etc. Several modern lever actions (Sako, Winchester 88, Ruger 96) have been failures for that reason. No matter who makes a lever action, any "modern" lever action design will not please those who buy lever actions.
I agree with that.

However, though I never bought one, I really liked the old Savage 99 with a rotary magazine in .250-3000.

The original design came out in 1893, just after the '92 Winchester. So, maybe we wouldn't call it "modern".
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Old August 11, 2014, 08:57 PM   #25
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I like the old design lever actions. The Newer designs, as mentioned above, are in my opinion quite pointless. The old designs are nostalgic. The new designs? In a modern firearm, I would much prefer a semi auto to a lever.
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