Ruger Collectors' Association Show 2004
by Bill Hamm & Boge Quinn
photography by Boge Quinn
Ed. Note: In March 2004, Jeff and I attended the 2004 RCA Show, held at Bob Pope's Smyrna, TN Expo Center. This was our fourth year attending the show for Gunblast.com, and it is always a personal pleasure for me to attend the show, and meet fellow Ruger enthusiasts and Gunblast readers. Through our years of covering the RCA events, I have learned a great deal about Ruger collecting in particular and firearms history in general, and I have made friends with many Ruger enthusiasts and collectors who have always proven patient and enthusiastic. The exhibiting collectors and RCA members in particular have proven to be some of the nicest folks you'd want to meet, even helping us find deals on some fine old Rugers.
On a personal note, I want to apologize to the Ruger collectors who have been patiently waiting for two months for me to post this article, and to Bill Hamm who wrote the text for this article, for my delay in preparing the article for publication. A brief explanation is in order: rather than take pictures haphazardly of guns that particularly commanded my attention as has been my practice in years past, this year I specifically set out to take a complete "photographic tour" of the show. I took pictures of each display as an overview, and more detailed pictures of each gun displayed, figuring to sort them out later and create a brief snapshot of the event. The only problem was, I found it impossible to weed out any pictures of the fine guns exhibited! After much agonizing over what to leave out, I finally decided to go ahead and document not only the displays of each exhibitor, but also to represent each gun displayed, so that our readers can get a more complete sense of the scope of the exhibits. This allows the more casual reader to get a better introduction to the wonders of Ruger collecting, plus it allows the Ruger enthusiasts more examples to drool over, and it pays more proper tribute to the fine guns of Bill Ruger and the collectors who pour a great deal of time, money, and love into their avocation.
Please let Bob Pope know that you appreciate his encouragement of Ruger collecting by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling him at (615) 793-7364. He will send you a schedule of his upcoming shows for both his Nashville and Knoxville venues. Be sure to ask when the next RCA show will be, you don't want to miss one!
TN RUGER COLLECTORS
MARCH 19 – 20, 2004
BOB POPE'S SMYRNA, TN EXPO CENTER GUN SHOW
This year’s annual Ruger Collectors Association
Spring Display show was hosted again by Mr. Bob Pope at his
Smyrna Expo Center. We are
very fortunate to have this show hosted annually by Mr. Pope. We also
owe a big thanks to Bob Nelson for getting everything set up, doing all
the mailings, and lots of other stuff that goes unnoticed...without Bob's
continued efforts this display show would not happen!! Every Ruger
collector and lover should support this event next year if at all possible.
There were seven Ruger Displays at this year’s event. All were excellent and displayed some of the best examples of rare Rugers in the world. We all had a very good time visiting with both old and new Ruger friends over the weekend. Several new collectors traveled long distances to attend the show and it was good to meet them. We sure appreciate their presence! We hope to see several of them displaying next year.
Several very nice and rare Rugers showed up for sale
during the show and were quickly purchased and tucked away to join collections.
To name a few... two new mint Whitebox Super Blackhawks, a couple of
boxed .357s, some .44 and .357 Flattops (Ed. Note - one .44 Flattop
with me!!), a consecutive serial numbered set of NIB (new in box) .41 Magnum
Bisleys, a Hawkeye, some excellent "Flatgates" and Single-Sixes,
several rare and scarce new models new in their shippers, etc. etc.
Below we have listed the displays, collector's name, and a brief description of the display. We also list the top three winning displays and the best gun of the show. We certainly thank the judges, Dan Tanko, Jeanine May, and David Overstreet, for a first class job...judging great displays is a tough job!
“RUGER’S FORGOTTEN CALIBER - .32 MAGNUM” by Robert Nelson
A fine display of Ruger .32 H&R Magnum single action revolvers. Bob displayed 15 NIB examples of the different variations of the Ruger .32s. They included the standard Single-Six frame models in the different barrel lengths, Bisleys including the RCA issues, and the Birdshead models. Examples of boxes, gun magazine advertisements, and a detailed write-up explaining the display was in accompaniment.
(click pictures for a larger version)
“RUGER NUMBER 1 SPECIAL MODELS” by John Krukenberg
John has one of the finest group of Number 1 rifles anywhere. There were
eight rifles displayed and all were engraved or highly embellished in
some manner. Included were NRA
Special Issues the "125th Anniv." and "Hunt of a Lifetime", Limited Edition
models including a Ruger Collectors Assoc. 10th Anniversary, Safari Club, California H'wy Patrol, and three master
engraved and gold inlayed guns. Literature
was displayed that explained the various rifles.
manner. Included were NRA Special Issues the "125th Anniv." and "Hunt of a Lifetime", Limited Edition models including a Ruger Collectors Assoc. 10th Anniversary, Safari Club, California H'wy Patrol, and three master engraved and gold inlayed guns. Literature was displayed that explained the various rifles.
(click pictures for a larger version)
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