Ruger Red label


September 6, 2010, 02:57 PM
I just recently registered w High Road...noticed a few commentaries about over and under shotguns, specifically Red Labels. I believe that I noticed a few comments by a member ??oneounceload. I think my experiences with the RL parallel his! Truly I was enamored by this shotgun when it first appeared and anxiously waited until i could purchase one. Eventually i actually acquired an FFL and sold mostly sporting shotguns for a few yrs. In that time- I bought for myself several Red Labels and sold a few to others. I must have owned at least 7 red labels - and sold off all of them. Of 7 of them, I think only 2 actually functioned properly. They were all beautiful guns -felt very good inspite of being relatively heavy. The Red Labels were fraught with ejetcion problems and even the ability to close the action with shells installed. All of them had an issue that caused the brass to have to scrape against the face of the action to close. Returns to Ruger and conversations with the gunsmithing department could not solve isues. - Simply, Ruger has a tremendous design but very poor production/quality control. I have...and still wish I could own one that functioned like a Browning Citori. Even crude guns such as a Stevens 311 were way ahead of a Red Label interms of functionality and durability. Any comments?? Dan in PA

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September 6, 2010, 06:28 PM
Probably was me - I really wanted to like the 28 gauge......just wasn't meant to be - at least for me. Some others have reported good luck with theirs. I found the gun "loose", and for the money, IMO, there are better alternatives - SKB, Beretta, Browning, among others

September 6, 2010, 08:09 PM
Am I the only one with a good RL? I have the all-weather which is stainless with nylon stocks. Owned it for 4 years and never an issue. Mine has 30" barrels which I detest on a shotgun but other then that it has worked well.

I generally take it out a few times a year to shoot trap so haven't put a million rounds through it. But it has functioned flawlessly for me in the time I've owned it.

In truth it's the only Ruger I've ever owned and liked. I owned a 77 for a short while and hated it. Never owned any of their revolvers and doubt that I ever will.

September 6, 2010, 08:48 PM
No you are not the only one. I have owned one that I never had any problems with but I liked my Verona 28ga and my Beretta BL3 20 ga better. I also have a friend who is a gunsmith/gunshop owner who has fired thousands of rounds thru his RL. The gun is still solid.

September 6, 2010, 09:06 PM
And I'm glad yours have worked out well for you - maybe it was the 28 gauge version - I don't know........mine took three trips to Ruger in as many months within 6 months of buying it new.............I have known two others that had 12 gauges - they had minor issues, but issues nonetheless............Ruger has had issues even with the SxS that didn't last long......

Red Label
September 6, 2010, 09:22 PM
I did have a problem with my Red Label and it was an ejector problem, not right away but it developed over time. I sent it back to Ruger and they did a fine job. Haven't had any issues since and I use it a lot. It fits me better than any gun I have and am completey in love with the gun!!!:)

September 6, 2010, 09:47 PM
Red - that was my issue - extractor/ejector kept slipping over the rims making removal impossible - three times they tried to make it correct by replacing everything. After the third try, I gave up. Glad yours worked out

Tom Held
September 7, 2010, 08:24 AM
I had that same problem with the ejectors on my 28 gauge but only with Fiocchi shotgun shells and never with Winchester or Remingtons. Somehow they slip behind the ejectors. I've probably run about 10,000 rounds each through the 28 and a 20 gauge (dove shooting in Argentina) with no problems. I've shot them until the barrels were so hot you could not touch them. I later bought a set of the 410 inserts for the 28 gauge and that makes a really nice gun out of it. Guess I've had a littler better luck with mine. Tom

September 7, 2010, 01:42 PM
It seems maybe that Ruger should just raise the price and spend a few hrs handfitting and testing the shotguns. I think many shotgunners.....including myself would revisit their shotguns. The guns are very good looking and felt nicely balanced to me even though a bit on the heavy side. Almost every problem is related to ejectors/fit at the breech. Has anyone noticed the issue with the head of the shotgun shell having to literally scrape really hard sometimes against the receiver in order to close...and then subsequently almost impossible to open the gun after firing - almost always the bottom barrel. I have written Ruger and talked on the phone about this and was actually told by one technichian that Rugers are "hard closers"- nature of the gun. It is actually a function of fitting/timing - investment cast production still needs hand fitting to insure function!! Quality control is seriously deficient.

September 7, 2010, 03:04 PM
It seems maybe that Ruger should just raise the price and spend a few hrs handfitting and testing the shotguns

They tried that with their SxS - and when they found out how much they had to really charge to get a quality gun that worked well, they pulled it, realizing they weren't going to compete with AyA and others in the 4000+ price point

September 7, 2010, 03:06 PM
Once you go Basque, you never go back?:D

September 7, 2010, 04:52 PM
Once you go Basque, you never go back?

Especially when you can get this:

Notice the "diamond" shape of the grip area? Just like H&H, a true sidelock, with sideclips AND a Purdey third bite? For 2900? This is a steal and if I had the cash right now, it would be sold

September 7, 2010, 04:54 PM
got it....damn I gotta read the stupid directions more often!

September 7, 2010, 08:52 PM
Yes - shotguns like those are hard to resist. I wish I had purchased one of the RBL shotguns when they were first issued from Connecticut Shotguns....

September 8, 2010, 01:27 AM
I bought my red label in 1999, and have never had any problems with it of any kind. I thought they were all like mine until I read this thread.

September 8, 2010, 11:23 AM
I bought my wife a Red Label (12GA) in 2005. She 'lost' her Browning Citori to her ex. She shoots registered trap. I found the Red Label in a gun shop. It was an earlier model (ca. 1989, IIRC) and had fixed chokes (M/F). The gun was MINT. I paid $689 + tax. She couldn't be happier with it AFTER the installation of a LimbSaver recoil pad and an ivory bead front sight.

November 9, 2010, 04:45 PM
I see this thread is a bit old, but I'm hoping to revive it a little. I bought a Red Label in '97 and for about a year, shared it with a friend and shot a substantial amount of trap and skeet and did some hunting as well. After being reassigned to Germany in '98, I fired it less often, but within the last three years about a few hundred trap shells, no problems. After a dozen or so shotgun variations, single, auto, pump, sxs, 12, 16 and 20 Gauge, this 12 Guage model has really made me the happiest, it does it all. It is comfortable and points naturally, for me. No issues with ejection, reliablity, fit and finish, etc. and I mean none. It's my favorite shotgun of all time.
Here's my problem. I retired from the Army in Germany, and a requirement to hunt with a non-German made weapon means it must be German proofed. I sent it to Ulm in Baden-Wurttemburg and they said it had "pressure problems and a short chamber". I find this impossible to believe as the German don't even use 3" chambers!!! Has anyone ever heard of pressure problems or short chambers with Red Labels? I cannot help but beleive they are picking on the American, but they passed a 10/22 Target, a Mark II and a 68 year old M1 Garand, but not my Red label. Of all of those weapons, the Red label was the one I wasn't worried about.

November 9, 2010, 06:10 PM
I have a 20 ga and 12 ga, after about 17 years of use I a problem with a ejector on the 12 - sent it to Ruger and they fixed it no charge and no trouble since , the 20 has been fine.
I do like the Made in USA heritage of the Ruger and they fit me well.

November 9, 2010, 06:52 PM
I'm glad to hear others are having no problems too. At the moment I'm not using mine much at all, actually prefer shooting a rifle anymore. But I believe I had it for 8 years now.

Tom Held
November 10, 2010, 01:21 PM
My suggestion would be to contact Ruger directly. They have encountered this problem before. Here are some contacts for you.

Bob Thompson 603 863 3300 Service Dick Beaulieu

Sturm Ruger Corporation
Services Department: Attn Customer Service (bonnie)
411 Sunapee Street
Newport, New Hampshire 03773
603 863 3300


November 10, 2010, 01:31 PM
I've had several Red Labels over the years. Never had any problems with them, but every one of them felt loose, like it had fired many thousands of rounds, even when brand new. I don't know if that is poor clearance control or excellent clearance control, but I do know I don't like it. For my tastes a new gun should feel just slightly stiff for the first few sessions until it breaks in to a silky smoothness. The Rugers just felt sloppy.

November 10, 2010, 01:58 PM
With a current list price IN EXCESS OF $1800 you'd think there wouldn't be ANY 'problems'.

November 10, 2010, 02:07 PM
Thanks Tom. I've emailed from their help section, calling times are a bit of an issue from here. I trust Ruger pretty much, although I've never had a severe problem from their firearms. I once had a cracked stock on my laminated 10/22 T and thought it was the fault of a careless US Army armorer, and they sent me a replacement stock free of charge anyway, after I admitted it must have been caused by myself or someone and not a factory defect. I've never forgotten that, it's A+ customer service in my book. The German Prufe Meister said the chamber was 1mm short and unspecified too small diameter, yet I've fired hundreds of trap and skeet shells through it, however no 3" shells. Maybe that's what's saved me. Anyway, I think that Red Label is excellent, don't care what those anal German proofers think. The German gunsmith agrees with me. They offered to fix it for me, just reaming out the chamber and polishing, but I'll see what Ruger says, maybe I can save a few dollars to boot.

November 10, 2010, 04:01 PM
With a current list price IN EXCESS OF $1800 you'd think there wouldn't be ANY 'problems'.

While "list" and "street" are typically different, the basic "B" guns list at over $3,000 - (typically sell for a few hundred less). Those are considered by many to be the bottom rung of quality over-unders. So, 1800 and not having problems are not necessarily copacetic.......not in the world of quality O/U's any way. There will be some who come on here and brag how their Turkish/Russian/Brazilian or similar gun outshoots the $10,000 Perazzi, yadda, yadda.....and how it lasts for a bazillion rounds........if all that was true, you would think the champions - who could shoot anything they wanted to, would be shooting them. They're not, and there is a reason for it - they don't last, have the handling characteristics of a pig on a shovel, and they are poorly built.

Do NOT confuse "robustly built Russian guns" with something of quality; nor should you confuse Ruger in that same vein. Castings just don't seem to work well for an over under where tight tolerances are the norm

stan rose
November 10, 2010, 09:43 PM
Just like CZguy I always thought that Red Labels were excellent guns. I never had a problem with mine, and the guys at the range all rave about theirs. I had never heard of any body having a problem with one until now.

November 11, 2010, 01:50 PM
Hey Stan, I'm with you and CZguy, please don't get me wrong. Personally, I think the German prufe-meister is just being anal, or picking on the American, which is not uncommon. I have fired hundreds of shells through my Red Label, and even with my current situation, I still want to keep it. I've fired some of the big dollar, high end guns, and that Red Label is still my favorite. I've never had any of the complaints you see on this board, and if some German government guy hadn't said anything, I would have never known, and personally, I think all would have been fine. My problem is that I am at the mercy of that guy, since he is a government nay-yay sayer. I was told by Americans over here that the prufe-meisters don't like Rugers and often reject them, so I wasn't too surprised.
I know a trap and skeet professional that only uses Red Labels here in Germany if that helps any.

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