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Old 08-28-2019, 03:59 PM   #1
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Ruger's failure in LE revolver market...

Seems there's a lot of "revisionist" history on this subject. Most are saying it was politics of the good ole boy club, or because they were cast revolvers. While those two certainly were factors to varying degrees, the real reason for Ruger's failure to penetrate the LE market was...Ruger.

Mostly it came down to the fact they don't like people working on their guns. That lead to them not seeking a nationwide network of gunsmith for depot level repair. S&W and Colt had depot service in every state, and in some of the larger cities they had as many as 4 or 5. Depot level service is a make or break issue for law enforcement sales (much less so these days, but it can still be a factor). I used to work for one of the larger west coast service depot's for Colt and S&W.

I'm betting many here remember those days. It wasn't that the Security Six wasn't a great revolver; we all know it was. And while people were conservative about new technologies, we've seen with the right marketing and support, that can be overcome pretty easily.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:38 PM   #2
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GunGeek,

The civilian LE agencies that I worked for & that ISSUED handguns (I worked for a town & 2 counties, where we bought & carried privately-owned firearms & in one of those counties we also bought & drove our own cars/pickups. =We were paid per duty day & mile for using our own vehicles.), the LE agencies ONLY contracted with COLT & S&W. = I suspect that the policy was ONLY caused by "bureaucratic inertia".

When I worked for the New Orleans Criminal Sheriff's department, you COULD, if you wished, be issued a handgun but hardly anyone did because "department issue" was solely "well worn" WWII "surplus" Colt's COMMANDO & S&W VICTORY model revolvers.
(Because I already owned one, I carried a Colt's Police Positive Special from circa 1955, as it was in MINT condition, relatively small, light & shot well. - I had paid 60.oo for it, with a NEW LH duty holster, at a NOLA gun show.)

A considerable fraction of "privately-owned" duty handguns in those long-ago days were Rugers of various sorts, as well as a legion of different sorts of other handguns.
(One of the Deputies in the AR department was carrying his grandfather's "war souvenir", a LUGER from WWI. Another Deputy, who patrolled the county's schools at night, carried a Colt's Peacemaker in .38-40WCF & a Winchester carbine in the same chambering.)

Rural area LE is REALLY quite different than the work in cities & urban counties. = I wonder when the last time that a Dallas PD officer had to drive cattle/sheep/swine/goats off of a downtown street.
(I would guess sometime late in the 19th century.)

FINDING & RETURNING "lost, strayed or stolen" livestock to the rightful owners was a commonplace mission in ALL of the rural departments where I worked.= I ended up in the AR department bring designated as the full-time County Stock Detective, as I had a GOOD stock-horse & was already a "half-fast" cowboy/goat roper.



yours, sw

Last edited by Doughboy; 08-28-2019 at 04:39 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:46 PM   #3
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Regarding the bureaucratic resistance...

Most armorers were already S&W & Colt certified. Now those armorers that were still influencing buying specs well into the '80's were often old timers from before or just after WWII (I know this because some of those old guys trained me).

And most of those old crusty armorers just plain didn't like the Ruger for reasons why people say they do or don't like things today...they think they know more than they actually know. Ruger's use of investment casting was HIGHLY suspicious, and the LE community just refused to trust or accept it. When Colt made the MK III's with Sintered internals, they ran into massive resistance from LE armorers that just weren't having it!

Colt had to do a good deal of "Glock Marketing" to get Mk III LE sales going. And Colt had ALL the connections, while Ruger wasn't much welcome in the good ole boy LE club. So there's the very abbreviated political side.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:34 AM   #4
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Wasn't there a widespread perception that castings were "weak"?

There may have been some validity to that at first but as metallurgy improved with experience castings became comparable to bar stock.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:52 AM   #5
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I think it was just a matter of S&W and Colt having owned that market forever, and most people didn't even bother to consider anything else. Hell, I worked retail in that market for over a year in the '70s, and I don't remember any LE officer EVER asking about any Ruger DA revolver. (And precious few citizens, come to think of it.) SAs, yes, but for DA revolvers, there were Smiths and Colts and "everything else" which was "something less" (this included Charters, Llamas, Dan Wessons, and anything else of the time you could name).
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:38 PM   #6
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Some agencies had bid specs that mentioned the type of cylinder release and a push button wasn't covered. (Don't you just love cubicle critters?). The send-it-back-to-the-factory attitude (probably due to lawyers) didn't help. Then, of course, there were the "relationships" built up over decades between the agencies and the gun companies. The itty-bitty ejector rod didn't help either.

At least per local rumor, once they started competing in the semi-auto market, Ruger jumped into "building relationships" with both feet.

I only recall working on one Security Six and one Redhawk. My impression was that they might have been adequate, and stout, but they were not. at that time, any work of art. I can recall taking a massive file to the inside of the Redhawk frame to tone down the cobblestone finish. The one spring to control them all Redhawk action was ill thought through.
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:21 PM   #7
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Perhaps the shifting paradigm (double stack semi automatic pistols) for LEO firearms, had something to due with it?
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:51 PM   #8
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I hate double stacks. If you can't stop a baddie with 7+1 you should have has a shotgun.
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:39 PM   #9
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I hate double stacks. If you can't stop a baddie with 7+1 you should have has a shotgun.
But sometimes baddies come in bunches, so I've learned to adapt to the 13+1 of the Glock 21SF, at least it still uses the same .45ACP.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:41 PM   #10
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I don't think I've stepped on as many toes as you may have, but a GLOCK 21SF is on my list of guns to buy.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:56 PM   #11
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My son recently bought a Glock. He got a screamin' deal on a used Gen 4 of some sort.

He broke the news to me thus: "Dad, I did something I know you're gonna be ashamed of, and I thought you should hear it from me first...."

I said, "What did you do, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT???"

When he said he didn't do THAT, the Glock thing was almost a relief.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:59 PM   #12
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Sanke45,

While buying a "[email protected] [email protected]@rd" is a DUMB plan, voting for a DIMocRAT is treasonous, imo.

yours,sw
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:41 PM   #13
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My son recently bought a Glock. He got a screamin' deal on a used Gen 4 of some sort.

He broke the news to me thus: "Dad, I did something I know you're gonna be ashamed of, and I thought you should hear it from me first...."

I said, "What did you do, VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT???"

When he said he didn't do THAT, the Glock thing was almost a relief.
Okay, I'm a self protested Union Loving Democratic leaning Independent.

Both my Father & my Wife's Father were Union Stewarts.

What would you expect from Irish King Richard Daley's Regime?

I sleep with a 1911 under my pillow, but the Glock 21 SF sits beside me when I'm on the Lazyboy. Less folks fit in the bedroom than in the living room. LOL
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Old 09-01-2019, 03:18 AM   #14
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There have been some .45 ACP Glocks surplused recently, G. T. Distributors had a couple in the recycle case. I didn't think much of the grip and being a wimpy highly experienced methane production specialist, I'll stick with the Walther Creed and my Kahr 9094.

Geoff
Who is in a gun cleaning cycle, interrupted by the odd hurricane alert. Pardon me, I have to go down to the shore of beautiful St. Augustine and blow real, real hard!
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:39 AM   #15
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Okay, I'm a self protested Union Loving Democratic leaning Independent.
"Self protested"? Not sure I know what that means.

I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but there is no more "Democratic Party," except in name. It has been subverted and co-opted by full-on communists, who aren't even trying any more to hide that fact. (And, sadly, the "Republican Party" isn't a whole hella lot better, in many cases.)

IMHO, a vote for any "Democrat" these days is a vote for the death of America. (Again, the same can be said about quite a few Republicans, though not nearly as many.)
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:54 PM   #16
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"Self protested"? Not sure I know what that means.

I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but there is no more "Democratic Party," except in name. It has been subverted and co-opted by full-on communists, who aren't even trying any more to hide that fact. (And, sadly, the "Republican Party" isn't a whole hella lot better, in many cases.)

IMHO, a vote for any "Democrat" these days is a vote for the death of America. (Again, the same can be said about quite a few Republicans, though not nearly as many.)
Sometimes Bourbon & Grammer don't mix. How about self proclaimed vice self protested?

But Pres Trump has financed and is actually an "Old World Democrat" that ran on the Republican Ticket since he realized that the Democratic Machine was going to overwhelmingly back "Grandma Clinton".

About that voting, save it for Local Elections.

Presidential Elections are solely based on Electoral Votes. That's where the Democratic Party Members have the advantage. California, New York, & all the other left wing blue states instantly go Democratic. So it's an uphill battle for the Republican Party. It was a good thing that Trump was a RINO. (Republican In Name Only) When in doubt, how many Big Business Real Republicans are going to enter into "TRADE WARS".

Reagan was the Republican Savior, Trump is a true Democrat in (Wolf in Sheeps) Republican clothing. So the breaking news is actually about the reformation of the Well To Do Republican Party learning that the "Road To Election" includes Blue Collar Working Folks.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:20 AM   #17
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Chief, the Electoral College is what caused Hillary's loss and the Democrats rage. It was devised exactly to prevent several large states/cities from controlling the nation.

Regan was a Democrat and anti-gun for many years. Somewhere along the line he came to his senses.

Last edited by csmkersh; 09-02-2019 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:33 AM   #18
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Getting Back on Topic...

The largest agencies that I can recall issuing Ruger Six-series revolvers were USBP and, I believe, NJSP.

Technically, NYPD authorizes on- and off-duty (or backup) guns. To my knowledge, NYPD not only authorized the Service Six but, in the last year or so before autoloaders were authorized for patrol officers, encouraged new recruits to select either a 3" S&W Model 10 or a 2" Ruger Speed Six so that the same gun would be carried on and off duty.

To my knowledge, why they were not common, privately owned Ruger Six-series gun could be carried on LASD.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:50 AM   #19
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There were far more who authorized them, but very few who issued them.
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