In the years since Ruger was launched in 1949 the company’s products have become renowned for combining the latest technology with classic firearm design. As a result, Ruger rifles combine the best of the future with a timeless, tried and tested quality.
The legendary 10/22 rimfire rifle
When Ruger launched its new 10/22 rimfire semi-automatic rifle to the American market back in 1964, its popularity surpassed the company’s wildest dreams. As a result of the brand’s success Ruger became a publicly listed company in 1969.
In 1978, 14 years after its launch, the millionth 10/22 was made. Today the 10/22 is still the world’s best-selling semi-automatic rimfire.
What makes it such a resounding success? It is a great gun for rabbiting and now comes in Sporter, target, synthetic, compact or laminated stock versions. With the 10/22 Ruger pioneered the use of extra accessories, so the user could model the rifle to their own specifications.
The barrel is non-reflecting, key for outwitting sharp eyed rabbits and combined with the right ammunition, accurate for rabbits at up to 75 yards. The standard 10/22 is an entry-level rimfire rifle designed for day in, day out use. It’s a good choice for a keeper who wants a rifle to earn its living and also for beginners who will appreciate its light weight.
Left-handers are also catered for with the 10/22 competition gun, the first left-handed gun created by Ruger and available to order through Viking Arms.
New American action
Buoyed by the success of the 10/22 Ruger continued to expand its range during the 1980s and 1990s, creating superb centrefire rifles for deer stalkers and pest controllers. At first the action was built around the tried and tested Mauser action. But then, Ruger created a new American action for its Ranch, Predator and new Hunter rifles.
Offered by Viking Arms
Ruger American Centrefire: Hunter, Ranch, Predator
Ruger American Rimfire: Compact, LR Target and Target
The Ruger American Rimfire rifle builds on the success of the Centrefire Ruger American rifle. With many of the standard Ruger American features, this new line also combines several design innovations from the popular 10/22 rimfire rifle.
As Shooting Times contributor and reviewer Bruce Potts says: “I have the highest respect for Ruger rifles. I have owned and tested many over the years…The manufacturer continues to surprise and innovate in the rifle world.”
Keeper and stalker Jason Doyle has exacting standards. He reviewed the Ruger American Hunter and commented: “The ergonomics of this from shooting prone to shooting from sticks are truly excellent, says Jason Doyle. It’s crazy accurate this thing. I can’t fault it.”
Bruce Potts says of the Ranch rifle: “The Ruger American Ranch gives nothing up in terms of quality and shootability. It will appeal to shooters who like and need a carbine-sized rifle yet retains all the accuracy and power of the full-sized version.
He continues: “The Ranch is a really nice adaptation of a carbine and instantly appeals with its light weight. It offers all you need to stalk a deer or shoot a fox. It represents excellent value for money as it leaves cash in the pot for a scope, mounts and sound moderator.”
American .22LR Target
“This rimfire rifle is nicely weighted, good value and a viable tool for pest control” says Bruce Potts.”As with its bigger brother centrefire models, it is a good-value sporting firearm in a practical hunting format.”
- 1938 William B Ruger designs a light machine gun for military use, whilst a student at the University of North Caroline, USA
- 1949 Ruger enters into a partnership with Alexander McCormick Sturm and with an investment of $50,000 they found Sturm, Ruger & Co
- 1949 The newly formed company introduces the .22 calibre Ruger Standard automatic handgun
- 1950 1,138 Ruger Standard pistols have been shipped to customers. Ruger is able to produce 900 guns a month.
- 1951 Sturm dies
- 1953 Ruger develops precision investment casting method which is still used by the aerospace, golf and automotive industries today. The Ruger Single Six is developed.
- 1964 The Ruger 10/22 introduced
- 1969 Ruger is publicly traded
- 1970 The millionth “Old Model” single-action revolver is produced
- 1978 The millionth 10/22 semi-automatic rifle is produced
- 1979 Ruger 30th anniversary. One millionth Standard semi-automatic pistol produced and “New Model” single-action revolver.
- 1978 One millionth Model 77 bolt-action rifle produced
- 1990 Ruger listed on New York Stock Exchange
- 2002 Bill Ruger dies
- 2007 Five millionth 10/22 semi-automatic rifle produced
Viking and Ruger – together
Viking Arms has worked with Ruger since 1965 and helps the American company to bring Ruger products that are suited to the UK market. Viking has supplied the .22 rimfire rifle through to Ruger’s range of modern hunting and target centrefire rifles.
Late last year Viking Arms launched a competition to find the oldest imported Ruger in the UK. After an arduous search that delved into gun cabinets from John O’Groats to Land’s End, the Viking Arms team discovered a 10/22 Ruger rifle lurking in the deepest depths of west Wales belonging to Richard Pittman. A gun that he purchased as a 17 year-old that he still uses today. Think you have an older Ruger in the UK? Let the Viking Arms team know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Viking here to view the range and find a specialist Ruger dealer near you.