TULSA RUGER COLLECTORS
Narrative by Bill Hamm
Photography by Matt Olivier
ANNUAL NATIONAL GUN
OCTOBER 20 – 21, 2007
This year’s annual fall Ruger Collectors Association’s Display show was once again held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at Joe Wanenmacher’s great Tulsa Arms 3,800 plus table show. This year the NRA held its National Gun Collectors Show at the Wanenmacher show, and the Ruger Collector’s Displays were included in that venue. Mr. Jay Hansen, owner of the RCA, contributed $500 award money to the NRA for the Ruger Collector Displays. Mr. Chad Hiddleson, owner of the Red Eagle News Exchange, awarded a Plaque and a one year free subscription to the RENE for the Best Gun of the Show. Our displays were in competition with great Smith & Wesson, Winchester, Parker, Derringer, Whitney, and other fine firearms. There were fine military and Japanese sword displays as well.
We had ten outstanding displays representing our fine firearms. The displayers traveled some long distances from various parts of the country to share their collections with us and the general public. I want to give them a big THANKS for all their hard work and efforts. Anyone who has put together a display knows the time and work required behind the scenes. All were of pure quality and several contained very rare and unique guns and items. There was something of interest for anyone browsing through the Ruger displays. There were handguns, long guns, and memorabilia.
Descriptions and pictures of the displays along with the Judging results are shown below:
(Click Pictures for a Larger Version)
“RUGER SINGLE ACTIONS”
DISPLAYED BY JERRY HERTEL, NOVICE CLASS
Jerry’s display included a wide array of top condition old model single actions. Every one of these guns were boxed. The display included all four types of the Single-Six “Flatgate”, a rare Nickel plated Super Single-Six, a factory second “S” marked Light Weight, the only known factory second “S” marked Single-Six 5-1/2” with walnuts, a consecutive numbered pair of Lightweights with one in a Green Wreath box and the other in a Black Wreath box, and several round gate guns. He also had one of the out of sequence RSS5s, #244194. That was the first one of those that I can recall ever seeing. Blackhawk examples in .45/45ACP, .45 4-5/8” brass frame, .30 & .41 calibers, mahogany boxed Standard & Long frame Super Blackhawks, consecutive numbered Jerred Engraved Single-Sixes, and a very rare “S” marked factory second Hawkeye. I am sure that there were a few others that we did not name but you can see that this was an interesting and fine display of Rugers. Jerry traveled from North Dakota to show us these fine guns.
We were unfortunately unable to obtain a picture of Jerry's fine display, as his display was not located with the rest of the Ruger Collectors' offerings.
“MY RUGERS THEN AND NOW”
DISPLAYED BY TOM MORGAN, NOVICE CLASS
AWARDED FIRST PLACE NOVICE CLASS
This was Tom’s first display, and what an outstanding way to break the ice!! Tom had an array of minty condition Ruger handguns ranging from 1950 to 2006. His display included Semi-Auto pistols, Double Action revolvers, and both old model and new model Single Actions. We sure appreciate Tom bringing his display all the way up from Mississippi and congratulate him on 1st Place Novice.
“OLD MODEL 3 SCREW RUGER BLACKHAWK CONVERTIBLES”
DISPLAYED BY BOB NELSON, ADVANCED CLASS
Bob’s complete eleven gun display had examples of all the old model Blackhawk Convertible variations. It included all barrel lengths and the grip panel medallion changes. Included was a rare ”D” marked duplicate .357 magnum/9MM convertible as well as the rare/scarce non-prefix .357 convertibles of both barrel lengths. Revolver boxes, cylinder boxes, advertisements and pictures accompanied this great display. Bob traveled from middle Tennessee to display and support our collecting interests.
“FIREARMS OF RUGER – ADVERTISEMENTS”
DISPLAYED BY ROGER DORSETT
“RUGER M77 MK II EXPRESS RIFLES”
DISPLAYED BY TERRY WOLOSEK, ADVANCED CLASS
AWARDED THIRD PLACE ADVANCED CLASS
Terry’s unique display of the Ruger Express rifle was
outstanding. The display featured a
1 of 5 Factory Engraved .30-06 Express rifles.
Six other rifles shown included a very rare .25-06, the only known .270
with a 781 pre-fix serial number, a .30-06 with knock-out
wood, a 7MM Rem. Mag., and .338 Win. Mag. Terry
also had a .300 Win. Mag., #760-00050, that was originally owned by Victoria
Roberts, Bill Ruger’s granddaughter. Various scarce Express supporting advertisements and other
items were also displayed. A one of
a kind item displayed was a factory engraved gold inlayed floor plate
personalized TRW with the factory
invoice. Terry came over from Wisconsin to share this fine Express
Note, one of the many rewards of displaying: Upon seeing Terry’s display in Tulsa, a man told Terry that he owned a .30-06 Express with a 780 prefix! Terry said that it was thought that a few of the first guns were made in the 780 prefix but this is the first one in that prefix that he has been able to validate as being manufactured and shipped. It is #780-77862 and was located as a result of his displaying in Tulsa. I sure hope that he is able to add it to his stable of fine Express rifles.
“INTRODUCING THE NEW RUGER MODEL 10/22”
DISPLAYED BY ROD KIRIAN, ADVANCED CLASS
AWARDED SECOND PLACE ADVANCED CLASS
“RUGER FACTORY BRASS GRIP FRAMES”
DISPLAYED BY MATT OLIVIER, ADVANCED CLASS
AWARDED FIRST PLACE, ADVANCED CLASS
Matt’s very complete display included examples of each of the Ruger Factory installed brass frame guns known. This includes a very rare .41 Magnum 4-5/8” barrel (1 of 50) and a rare non-prefix Super Blackhawk complete with its box and outer shipping carton. All of the guns had boxes and the correct paperwork. Also displayed were examples of other rare and unique grip frames. These included a XR3 gold tone, a XR3-RED gold tone, a New Model brass frame, a Old Model brass frame MR-3DB, and an as-cast New Model brass frame. Matt brought this great display to Tulsa all the way from Pennsylvania.
“RUGER’S FIRST BLACKHAWK (1955 – 1956)”
DISPLAYED BY LEE SUNDERMEIER, MASTERS CLASS
“THE RUGER NO.
1 SINGLE SHOT RIFLE IS HERE”
DISPLAYED BY LEE NEWTON, MASTERS CLASS
AWARDED BEST GUN OF THE SHOW for NO.1 s/n “ 4”
Lee’s beautiful display of the Ruger No. 1 rifle derives its title from the early rare Ruger display banner of the same wording. The display featured five A. A. White factory authorized engraved rifles originally owned by writers in the Hunting/Shooting Sports. Also included was the No. 1 judged the “Best Gun of the Show”- - it is serial number 4, the first No. 1 rifle shipped from the factory. It went to Walter Berger, Comptroller and Ruger company employee since 1950. It is a ultra rare .222 Remington, 26” barrel, Alex Henry forearm, and no sights. Lee came in from Texas to participate in this annual event.
“STURM, RUGER & CO. RARE & UNIQUE PISTOLS &
REVOLVERS & SUNDRY RELATED ITEMS”
DISPLAYED BY JOHN DOUGAN, MASTERS CLASS
AWARDED THE NRA OUTSTANDING RUGER
EXHIBIT – SPONSERED BY THE RUGER COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION
AWARDED THE NRA OUTSTANDING RELATED ARMS EXHIBIT FOR THE GROUP OF FOUR PROTOTYPE HAWKEYES SERIAL NUMBERS X1, X6, X13 AND THE .221 FIREBALL GUN
John’s display was
outstanding as usual. It included
various prototype, production-prototypes, special order guns and special
provenance. Related tools,
documents, and drawings were also shown.
John Amber Single-Six,
factory engraved .357 Blackhawk
#100, Spanish Sample Pattern guns, and Charles H. Jerred’s
sample pattern gun shipped to Bill Ruger.
Jerred’s sample gun’s presentation case and unique cardboard shipping
carton were displayed as well. There were two experimental .256 Win. Mag.
revolvers, a Tool-room model and
two prototype Hawkeyes, and the one of a
kind .221 Fireball Hawkeye. In
Single-Sixes there was a production-prototype marked F and three .22
Magnum production prototypes, a gold
tone grip frame 9-1/2”, and a special order with a 7-1/2” barrel.
Also displayed were “S” marked Tri Color and all Blue Light
Weights and a one of a kind dual
cylinder LW. A “Sample”
with a Square Back trigger guard, a couple of Salt Cod early autos and the
Chrome Plated #10000 Standard Auto were also displayed.
The extremely rare
and unique sundry items were more than a complete display alone!
They included a rare Ruger Quick Draw clock and one of the first Ruger
gift ashtrays with a handwritten letter from Paulina Sturm thanking Bill
Ruger for the gift. The original
drawing for the Ruger Light Machine Gun with hand written notations on the
drawings from Mr. Ruger and the Letters Patent for the Light Machine gun were
displayed. A copy of the
original contract employing Bill Ruger with Auto Ordnance to produce his machine
gun along with several personal items from his wallet and brief case were there
for the viewing.
John came up from Houston, TX with this outstanding display, and the NRA awards for this display were well deserved.
This was certainly a outstanding group of Ruger displays. The public really seemed to enjoy them and the displayers
were busy answering questions and discussing their guns and items.
As a result several new RCA members were signed up at the show and given
new member packets.
The Awards dinner was well attended and enjoyed by all. The RCA Display Award winners and the Best Gun of the Show
winner was announced and certificates/plaques handed out. The displayers also
received an advanced copy of the RCA Journal and some goodies donated by
Sturm, Ruger, & Co. Inc.
An item of interest for everyone regarding the RCA Judging/Award classes. Beginning in 2008 the classes have been expanded to include Old Model Revolvers, New Model Revolvers, Autos, Double Actions, Long Guns, and Tools/Memorabilia. There will be an Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice level under each class. A voluntary Masters level has also been added for those who have previously won 1st place with a display at the Advanced level and wish to opt out of the judging for that display again. As you probably noted in the display write-ups, some of this year’s displayers elected to go ahead and voluntarily move to the Masters class. These changes have been made to attract new and more displayers and level the playing field.
Upcoming Display Shows and Events:
The Washington Arms Collectors (WAC) have agreed to
host Ruger displays at their January 19-20, 2008 Puyallup 1,000+ table gun show. It has been many years since there was a Ruger theme show
held in this area. This is a great
opportunity for Ruger Collectors to show their stuff and make a good impression
on fellow Ruger Collectors and the general public on the West Coast.
The RCA issued a small
financial grant to help defer the cost of display awards at the MAC show.
Rick Verzal is coordinating this event with WAC. An awards dinner
is being planned for the displayers and other Ruger collectors who would like to
attend. Hopefully this will become
an annual event. Rick can be
reached at 253-846-0363 (Pacific Time) or by e-mail at PVerzal@aol.com
for more details and a display information packet.
The Mid-Atlantic Arms Collectors, Harrisburg, PA are
hosting the Ruger Collectors Association once again this year.
The show last year was a real success.
Nick Jubinski, our host was very accommodating and provided $400
in award money for best educational display.
This year’s show is March 15-16, 2008.
It is a great 1,000 – 1,200 table venue and the show promoter is
already advertising that we are the featured displayers.
The promoter located our displays in the middle of the room and we had a
lot of public interaction. The
dealers were also very friendly and welcoming.
Several of the displayers picked up some good guns for their collections
as a result of displaying. We had
15 displays covering 18 tables last year
and hope to have even more this year. There
will be an awards dinner Saturday night and an Auction is also being planned for
after dinner entertainment. Try to
make it if you can! Contact Matt
Olivier at 610-216-8624 (Eastern Time) or e-mail at email@example.com
for more details and a display information packet.
The NRA’s Annual Meeting is being held in at the Kentucky Expo Center, Louisville, Kentucky, May 16-17, 2008. The RCA is a NRA “National Firearms Museum Affiliate” and the 2008 NRA Annual Display will mark 33 years of continuous participation supporting the NRA and Ruger Collecting. I encourage everyone to attend if at all possible. This annual event is something to see. There has been 60,000 plus attendance for the last two or three years. There will be a lot of RCA members and collectors at the RCA display booth, so be sure to come by and introduce yourself, meet some fellow collectors, and attend the annual dinner!!
The Ruger Collectors' Association is the oldest organization for the Ruger collector and/or enthusiast. Membership includes the Association's sporadically-produced newsletter and invitation to members-only events. For more information (or to apply for an annual membership), write to: Ruger Collectors' Association, Inc., P.O. Box 240, Greens Farms, CT 06436
The Red Eagle News Exchange is a quarterly publication filled with new information, updates, and articles about collecting Ruger firearms and memorabilia. This is an excellent resource for the Ruger collector and/or enthusiast, and the wealth of information sent to new subscribers as a free gift with a paid annual subscription is alone well worth the money. Highly recommended. For more information or to subscribe, write Red Eagle News Exchange (Chad Hiddleson - Editor), 1945 Clover Avenue, Perry, IA 50220, or call (515) 465-2057.
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