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Old April 22, 2013, 11:26 AM   #1
rc
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Reduction in Ruger Quality

I feel like Ruger has cheapened products that made the company great in order to maximize profits and come out with lesser models that stray away from traditional ruger quality. It seems like the current management is so greedy it will cut corners any way possible. We have seen this decline at Remington and now marlin.

Here are some examples:
Ruger 10/22 is a classic in all regards. First the stocks went from walnut to birch with plastic parts. Then the finish quality went as annodized gave way to painted receivers and then crinkle paint with rough barrels and plastic trigger guards and parts. I don't particularly care for the ruger extended mag release or the low quality of current 10/22s to buy a new one. I'd prefer a used scratched and dented older one to the current production rifles that now cost a lot more than competing products and give you get a lot less. It used to be that a 10/22 went head to head against Marlin Model 60s by being just a shade higher priced for a lot better gun. When you could get a marlin for $79.99 the Ruger 10/22 cost $99. Now the Marlin cost under $200 and the Ruger over $350. Ruger costs cannot have gone up that much compared to Marlin or Remington.

Lets also consider the 77 line. Finely polished rifles that could take customers away from the Winchester Model 70 in the 1990s by selling for a lot less gave way to bead blast rifles and cheap plastic stocks on stainless models. Now we have the Ruger American that goes head to head against Remington 710s and Savage Edge rifles while the lesser finished current 77s prices have been raised dramatically near Winchester Model 70 prices leaving the Howa 1500 as the industry leader for value in the $500 production rifle class.

While ruger changed back to polishing 10/22 barrels due to customer demand, they still haven't reversed course by eliminating the use of plastic on their guns or pricing their products so they are affordable to the common man like they did in the past. Ruger once represened an outstanding value for the dollars spent. I don't think that holds so true in today's market.

It seems to me that the more ruger has diversified products, the lesser the overall quality of the products coming out of their plant.
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Old April 22, 2013, 05:40 PM   #2
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It seems to me the general gun buyer today looks for a low price and accuracy. I don't think they want to pay for a pretty looking gun, as they know it costs extra for that. IMO, Ruger is transforming their product line into what every one wants. I think Savage started this craze a little while back offering very accurate, but ugly rifles. Remington followed suite loosing their pretty wood and super-smooth bolts.

Based on your comments, it seems to me you put a lot of importance on the finish and easthetics, which could be part of your issues with Ruger. Based on what I've been reading in the past 2-3 years, Ruger seems to be working on their accuracy. 15 years ago when I got into rifles, their generally lower accuracy was what turned me away from them.

I certainly don't like plastic parts and don't mind paying for metal ones. But over all, there are many factors that make up a price. Everyone will have to determine what best fits their wants/needs at the price they can afford.

Good conversation to discuss, though.. interested in what everyone else has to say.
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Old April 22, 2013, 05:50 PM   #3
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Some think of guns as only tools, having to perform well, but not having to look good. Others think of guns as art objects to be adored, but never used lest they be marred. I think of them as both. I like good-looking, good-shooting guns that I can use. I don't worry that one might get scratched any more than I worry about anything I own getting scratched. I'm sure that Rugers aren't as pretty as they used to be every time I look at my old tang safety 77s and No. 1, but I still think they are as good as they ever were.
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Old April 22, 2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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The trend seems to be good function at a reasonable price, looks are secondary. Not just with Ruger but across the board. It doesn't bother me, just makes my old pretty guns worth more.
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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Corporations are in business to make a profit by selling products that meet customer demands for quality, features, appearance, etc. Ruger finally made the move towards a round receiver/fat bolt rifle in order to provide "budget conscious" shooters with an alternative to the Savage, Mossberg, Marlin, and Remington lines of budget/entry level rifles at a price that shoppers want to pay. They "cheapened" their rifles by cutting costs to meet a target price that the "budget conscious" buyers would still buy. And now the "budget conscious" buyers are complaining that Rugers no longer have the same features and higher-cost parts and finishes that made them so affordable to the low-budget shoppers. Well, do not despair! Those parts are still available through aftermarket suppliers, as are the high-gloss bluing and walnut stocks.
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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I find in most of the domestically produced rifles of today there is a marked lack of attention to detail.
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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Yes I've also noticed the decline in Rugers quality. I am glad I acquired the newer ones when I did. Now if I get a Ruger its an old used one.

Also those MIM hammers and triggers on their DA revolvers are hideous WTH were they thinking!?
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:50 PM   #8
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I have a Remington 700, circa 1980. It has a painted aluminum floor plate. I believe that they have the corner on cheap. How many times have they introduced a cheap rifle after the 788 and failed?
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Old April 22, 2013, 09:03 PM   #9
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I swore off Rugers about 20 years ago. Never understood why other people thought they were good guns.
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:53 AM   #10
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IMO the Ruger American is the best "bang for your buck" rifle currently available if you are concerned only about accuracy and function. I haven't bought one yet but many RAR owners have posted threads about them on here praising their accuracy and value. I just wish they would make it in a few more calibers.

As for the model 77, I agree they are overpriced and their quality has slipped lately. I much prefer my old tang safety in 6mm remington And I will also admit that the model 77 has never been as accurate out of the box as a Rem 700, Win 70, or Savage(not counting the axis/edge)

I also agree about the 10/22. I have one from the 80's and I much prefer it to a new one.

As for their handguns, they are my favorite revolvers by far. I have a stainless Blackhawk that is a 2011 model and it is top notch quality. And they have one of the better 1911s out there IMO.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
I swore off Rugers about 20 years ago. Never understood why other people thought they were good guns.
That is too bad because that is just about the time they really started building much better guns. Rugers at first did not make their own barrels. Instead they purchased them from outside vendors. Quality was all over the place depending on which manufacturer made that particular barrel. Rugers have always been a little rough, but also tough as nails. Still not the most refined gun, but would be near the top of my list if I wanted a rugged reliable gun that I could depend on in rugged conditions.

In 1992 Ruger finally starting building all their gun parts in house and quality and accuracy has really improved. These are some typical groups from a current production Ruger at 100 and 200 yards, all three groups are under .75 MOA



Ruger still offers a walnut stocked 10-22 for those wanting to pay a little more for one.

http://ruger.com/products/1022Sporter/models.html

And they offer many different versions as well including Target guns, SS/Synhetic and the traditional carbine which I've never cared for. The plastic parts used are a huge improvement over the cast aluminum parts they used to use. I've also noted that new production 10-22's are much more accuarte than older guns. If anything Rugers are getting better, not declining.

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Old April 23, 2013, 08:55 AM   #12
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My two current Ruger guns are a second-year-of-production Security Six revolver and a 10-22 Rifle introduced in about 2000 or so as the "Walmart Special" - 22" stainless barrel and birchwood stock. I like the birch, as it is denser and more stable than walnut. I do like a good piece of walnut, but it's no deal breaker. I did refinish it, as I deplore Ruger's proprietary stock finish. Now I can actually see the fairly decent wood grain. Accuracy and reliability are okay, but nothing great. I only bought the Ruger (along with a similar year Marlin 60SB) to compare to my older vintage .22 rifles. Many of the older rifles easily outshoot it and prove more reliable.
Several years back, I lucked into a tang-safety Model 77V in .22-250. Again refinished the stock. It was a very good shooter! At that time I was not handloading, so used Remington factory ammo (okay) and some handloads from a gunshow vendor who had done right by me with a .22 Hornet. His loads were superb in both rifles! Unfortunately, I was not hunting varmints, and needed money more than the rifle, so I sold it. I still mentally kick myself for that.
Have tried a Remington in .308Win and a Win70 in .270WSM for deer hunting - neither is as tight shooting as that Ruger was!
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:08 AM   #13
Beentown71
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Re: Reduction in Ruger Quality

- Ruger are better now than they were before for its intended purposes.
- If there is a market for more expensive, prettier Ruger they would fill that market.
- The dollar isn't worth near as much as it used to be so we will get less fit and finish to keep the same or better accuracy. While CNC and designs get better walnut and labor become more expensive.
- At least they are not promoting mag bans anymore...
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:37 AM   #14
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I shot a Ruger SR9 last weekend I was very unimpressed by the cheap plastic feel of it. I wouldn't pay more then the cost of a Hi-point for it.
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:42 AM   #15
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I have a Ruger M77 chambered in .270 win and the serial # tells me it was built in 2006. The rifle is extremely well built. Solid, WAY more accurate than I expected (stock trigger, factory ammo, cheap 3x9 scope) it'll shoot sub MOA with most decent factory ammo. I had also heard the triggers SUCK on the M77's and while it's no 1200 yard target trigger, it's more than acceptable, for me, and can be easily upgraded if desired.
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Old April 23, 2013, 12:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Here are some examples:
Ruger 10/22 is a classic in all regards. First the stocks went from walnut to birch with plastic parts. Then the finish quality went as annodized gave way to painted receivers and then crinkle paint with rough barrels and plastic trigger guards and parts. I don't particularly care for the ruger extended mag release or the low quality of current 10/22s to buy a new one. I'd prefer a used scratched and dented older one to the current production rifles that now cost a lot more than competing products and give you get a lot less. It used to be that a 10/22 went head to head against Marlin Model 60s by being just a shade higher priced for a lot better gun. When you could get a marlin for $79.99 the Ruger 10/22 cost $99. Now the Marlin cost under $200 and the Ruger over $350. Ruger costs cannot have gone up that much compared to Marlin or Remington.
you have no idea what you are talking about. the marlin model 60 has always been cheaper than the 10/22 but not by much. every single one of my LGS including walmart have 10/22s at all times and they all cost $200, $220 if you opt for the stainless steel model. the marlin 60 is running just around $180 which goes along with your anecdote about $80 marlins and $100 rugers. about $350 for a 10/22 is a distributors special. there are only about 60 different distributor exclusives and they range from target models to just prettied and pinked. even the MSRP on the 10/22 carbine is less than what you quoted and most of the time MSRP is a fair bit over what actual retail price is.

plastic trigger guards? I have no idea what you are talking about there, my 10/22 is fairly recent, about 4 years or so old and it's still got a metal trigger guard and I haven't noticed plastic on any of the 10/22s I've fondled in the stores. yes the painted recievers aren't nearly as nice but everyone has had to cut corners to keep prices low. even Glock and Colt have had to do this, you think Ruger is any different. if things like paint on aluminum bothers you then perhaps you should just stop buying guns because anything like what what you describe in a modern gun runs a great deal of money for a reason.

Quote:
Lets also consider the 77 line. Finely polished rifles that could take customers away from the Winchester Model 70 in the 1990s by selling for a lot less gave way to bead blast rifles and cheap plastic stocks on stainless models. Now we have the Ruger American that goes head to head against Remington 710s and Savage Edge rifles while the lesser finished current 77s prices have been raised dramatically near Winchester Model 70 prices leaving the Howa 1500 as the industry leader for value in the $500 production rifle class.
again you have no idea what you are talking about. my older brother bought a Ruger M77 in the 90s with one of those cheap plastic stocks and stainless steel finish. it is still in his collection after enough use to make the US ordnance dept consider retiring it, yet it's still going strong. also recent acquired by myself is an early 00s M77 in blued finish and fine walnut stock and it's a great and now just added to the brothers collection is a M77 in 223 with a hogue overmould stock and parkerized finish that would be the envy of any mall ninjas collection and though not as flashy, is much more durable of a finish than blued and better feel than walnut. he also added a M77 in 39 that though does not rival my M77 for wood quality, isn't off the mark by much. I think you need to seriously consider what you are ranting about before you begin because your exaggerations tend to discredit your entire position.

you can stop buying rugers if you like. all the more fore me and my fams
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Old April 23, 2013, 12:18 PM   #17
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I have an old tang safety 6mm and was thinking about getting a new 77 .223. What turned me off was the fact that they are matt blued now, just like most scopes you find these days.
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Old April 23, 2013, 12:45 PM   #18
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I find the notion that the price a consumer pays for an item is somehow a direct descendant of the cost to manufacture it rather amusing. The manufacturer of a product will (generally) ALWAYS try to obtain the selling price which maximizes profitability. It's an uneasy marriage of anticipated demand and the curve of variable costs. Unit cost does not always descend in a linear fashion with increasing production - and at a certain point actually rises as formerly (more or less) fixed costs spike exponentially when certain production levels are exceeded (ie you have to buy more equipment, build a bigger facility, hire more administrative staff, etc.).

My point? Only that it's a sucker's game to think that you can assume that a product with an average cost of A will necessarily sell for A x some arbitrary factor when sold to the public.

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Old April 23, 2013, 01:19 PM   #19
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I have no dog in this fight, but I have enjoyed reading some of this bickering back and forth..... To me, the Ruger #1 rifles are my favorite rugers ,then older 77's.... And I really like their " Single Six" line of pistols and Vaquero's also, Blackhawks and Redhawks...
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:09 PM   #20
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Dollar for dollar, it's my opinion that Ruger firearms are every bit as good or better than their competition. Always have been and still are. I currently have several Ruger handguns, a 10-22 and four Model 77s. All are well-finished, exhibit excellent workmanship, durable, reliable and plenty accurate. No complaints from this long-time, Ruger customer.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:41 PM   #21
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I have no complaints!

I currently owner a Ruger Mark III 22/45 and a Ruger SP101. I had the use of my brother's Ruger Security Six for many years and cried when he needed it back.

I also owned a Ruger 10/22 (older with Walnut stock and metal trigger and trigger guard). It was a superb shooter from the bench but not so good to me in hunting situations because it didn't fit my frame. Not the guns fault and it always performed flawlessly.

Currently I am lusting after the Ruger SR 1911 and if I didn't have 3 very good centerfire rifles already would be purchasing one of the new Ruger Americans.

If you don't like their products, DON'T BUY THEM! However I take exception to your complaints about the company and their products.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:44 PM   #22
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While ruger changed back to polishing 10/22 barrels due to customer demand, they still haven't reversed course by eliminating the use of plastic on their guns or pricing their products so they are affordable to the common man like they did in the past. Ruger once represened an outstanding value for the dollars spent. I don't think that holds so true in today's market.
Really? I bought my first 10/22 decades ago - it NEVER came with a walnut stock unless you bought the higher grade model - and I paid 20 years ago what a new one costs today.

You whine about them being affordable to the common man - unless you are still working for minimum wage, their current pricing is affordable to just about everyone, even high school kids working at mickey D's (ammo is another story)
In order to maintain a price point that even walmart shoppers can afford, some things had to be made for less. Seems to me that you have no idea about manufacturing costs and expect things to be priced the same even though the governments have raised taxes, insurance, mandated health care, rising costs for raw materials, shipping, utilities, etc..........
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:46 PM   #23
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Shot my new M77 Markll Varmint Target in 6.5 Creedmoor for the first time today, Shot 1/2" @ 100 yards. Haven't shot a rifle in 5 years so I'd say that Ruger is pretty good.
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:24 PM   #24
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There have been some good points made about differences in new and old Rugers, and some BS thrown in the mix as well. I'll throw in a little more of what I believe to be true. Your feelings may vary...

Ruger has:

THE BEST .22 target pistol (Browning Buckmark a close 2nd)

THE BEST .22 semiauto rifle platform on which to build

THE BEST (arguably) revolvers DA and SA

one of the THE BEST 1911s

one of THE BEST entry/budget level 9mm handguns - P95

THE BEST single shot rifle within reasonable price

THE BEST entry/budget level bolt action rifle - RAR

Once again, that is entirely opinion, but if all that can be said about one brand, its doing alright.
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:35 PM   #25
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Rc, I dont know about the 10-22 because both of mine are old. Rugers high end product has not suffered due to introduction of cheaper rifles. If you want high dollar,"high quality" Rugers; they still make them. I am no fan of Ruger's "quality." I have a Ruger 6PPC that will not outshoot my .30-30 lever action. I had a .22-250 that in over 500 rounds of load development never turned in a 5 shot group under 7/8" at 100. I have done everything I can do to the PPC and it just wont shoot. All that is left is a re-barrel. I guess I will do that next.
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