Billy Ruger was a Superb Copy Cat and Marketeer


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Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:11 PM
I was just thinking how Billy Ruger was such a superb copy cat. The MKI .22 pistol that really started the company was largely a knock-off of the Japanese Nambu pistol. Without the MKI, Ruger would not have made it as an arms manufacturer. I wonder if Billy ever paid any royalties to General Kijiro Nambu?

Then came the knock-offs of the historic Colt Single Action Revolvers. Again I have to wonder if he paid any royalties? At the very least Ruger keep the SA revolvers affordable and available while making him a ton of cash.

The Mini-14 is little more than a downsized/re-chambered Garand with a removable magazine. I wonder if Billy had to pay any royalties to the US Government?

Ruger's SR-556 (the very sort of weapon Billy said he had no intention of ever building) is a nice knock-off of the Colt AR-15. The piston system was largely designed by any number of AR-15 copycats who improved the basic design.

The ever-growing number of polymer framed Ruger pistols are thanks to the pioneering work of Gaston Glock and crew. Glock wasn't the absolute first, but his company's designs are the very basis for Ruger's newest handgun offerings along with just about every other semi-automatic handgun manufacturer.

Long after Billy's death the company he founded jumped on the bandwagon and finally knocked off a version of John Browning's M1911 with their own SR1911.

I'm sure there are other examples of copying by Ruger. Nothing illegal or immoral about it (I don't think at least) but I am amazed at just how big of a deal copying has played in post WWII gun design.

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BCCL
March 17, 2012, 08:14 PM
I guess there's a point here??????

El Mariachi
March 17, 2012, 08:16 PM
I think the point is, is that Kynoch is a bit pissed that he never bought any Ruger stock.....:D

nipprdog
March 17, 2012, 08:17 PM
I'll pick just one;

The ever-growing number of polymer framed Ruger pistols are thanks to the pioneering work of Gaston Glock and crew. Glock wasn't the absolute first, but his company's designs are the very basis for Ruger's newest handgun offerings

:rolleyes:

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:20 PM
Actually I have some Ruger stock. Interestingly enough it never took off until fairly recently, well after Billy's passing.

armarsh
March 17, 2012, 08:26 PM
I...I'm sure there are other examples of copying by Ruger. ...

PF9 and LCP are both heavily Kel-tec inspired, to put it nicely.

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:27 PM
I guess there's a point here??????

Just thinking out loud. Lots of companies knock-off a product now and then. Ruger on the other hand is a full-line company that seems to pretty much have knocked-off all their product designs.

No question Ruger was innovative when it came to manufacturing, particularly in the use of investment castings. I think old Billy was also a remarkably shrewd marketeer -- he said and did the right things at the time, just like the current company management is doing, even though it remarkably different than what Ruger proclaimed was the Ruger way.

But Ruger was never a big innovator in terms of pure product design. There is no John Garand, Eugene Stoner or Gaston Glock in the history of Sturm-Ruger.

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:32 PM
PF9 and LCP are both heavily Kel-tec inspired, to put it nicely.

Exactly. Kel-Tec (for better or worse) seems to be way out on the cutting edge when it comes to product design. They don't however seem to have the manufacturing or marketing expertise of Ruger.

I'm waiting for Ruger to knock-off either an AK-47 (or Akdal MKA 1919) based shotgun. The only thing that might stop them (they don't have to worry about shotgun sales cannibalization) would be politics.

hso
March 17, 2012, 08:32 PM
The HK VP70 is the first poly pistol.

S&W makes ARs and 1911s

What's the point again?

DammitBoy
March 17, 2012, 08:32 PM
Ruger #1's are pretty

ATBackPackin
March 17, 2012, 08:33 PM
Ruger offers a quality product at good price. Who really cares where their inspiration comes from???

Hocka Louis
March 17, 2012, 08:33 PM
The Ruger Old Army is a Remington 1858 New Model Army with a coil hammer spring for cryin' out loud! Oh, and since we're callin' a spade a spade, how about promoting the high-cap magazine bans and not insuring Ruger employees who ride a motorcycle!

Larry Ashcraft
March 17, 2012, 08:36 PM
Success inspires envy, apparently.

Any other points to be made here?

Ruger offers a quality product at good price. Who really cares where their inspiration comes from???
Well said.

The Sarge
March 17, 2012, 08:38 PM
Wendy's copied Dairy Queens soft serve ice cream and I am very thankful for that.
Ruger makes affordable reliable guns and I am thankful for that.

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:41 PM
Ruger #1's are pretty

Yes they are. The No. 1 is largely a Farquharson design with borrowed embellishments from Mannlicher, Alexander Henry and others. Ruger did provide a service by making the gun affordable through the use of investment castings. But an original design? No way.

fireman 9731
March 17, 2012, 08:42 PM
The Ruger LCP is a near exact copy of the Kel-Tec P3AT. That bothers me. You cant blame old Billy for that one though.

HOOfan_1
March 17, 2012, 08:43 PM
Modern industry is all about "make what the people want" and "make what has already been successful." ESPECIALLY if it is a larger company which answers to investors. That goes for movies, video games, TVs, cars and guns. Designing new things is expensive. If the design is a flops, a company can go belly up or lose investors. Innovations in the modern age come from small/independent/privately owned companies.

BemidjiDweller
March 17, 2012, 08:45 PM
Looks like a Ruger bashing thread with no real point. Other than obvious jealousy of Ruger firearms and their quality with an affordable price.

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:46 PM
The Ruger Old Army is a Remington 1858 New Model Army with a coil hammer spring for cryin' out loud! Oh, and since we're callin' a spade a spade, how about promoting the high-cap magazine bans and not insuring Ruger employees who ride a motorcycle!

Yes, the Ruger Old Army is a Remington knock-off as is the Bearcat .22 revolver. But at least Ruger made both available at a decent price. Billy supported a regular capacity magazine ban when it suited his company from a marketing standpoint. This was the same time he was telling anyone that would listen that his company would never build an AR-style rifle or a polymer framed pistol. Even though he paid a small price with the hardcores (and possibly with his own conscience), it was absolutely brilliant in terms of marketing and sales.

speedway
March 17, 2012, 08:47 PM
I am not a huge fan of Ruger either.

I cannot think of a single Ruger design I like that they did not "borrow".

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:48 PM
Looks like a Ruger bashing thread with no real point. Other than obvious jealousy of Ruger firearms and their quality with an affordable price.

It's not a "Ruger bashing thread." That's simply not true I own several Rugers. I have read a great deal about Mr. Ruger's life and I have deep admiration for him in the areas of manufacturing and marketing/sales.

I am just amazed however at how effective he was at capitalizing on the original product designs of others.

earlthegoat2
March 17, 2012, 08:52 PM
Troll much.

Really the MK I was a knockoff of the 22 Luger with a straight blow back action. Very many fundamental design differences between the MK I and the Luger and Nambu. Very improved upon and simplified. Bravo Ruger on this one.

The Single action Rugers. The patents had long expired by the time they came out. Sure they were pretty much a verbatim copy with a few changes. They made a killing on them and did not have to legally pay any royalties. Patents expired. They made a quality clone and reaped the profits. Once again, bravo Ruger.

The Mini 14 is probably more accurately a revamped M1 Carbine to shoot 223 rather than a Garand. Even still it came out decades later than either rifle. It turned a lackluster M1 Carbine into an effictient and soft shooting plinking platform. Accuracy is not as good as a similarly actioned M-14 style but it has proven to be a decent ranch rifle and is probably a very nice HD rifle if it is given the chance. Bravo again.

As for the SR 556 it came after Billy's passing so it is a moot point but they did decide to offer the gas piston as factory equipment even if it is totally unnecessary in an AR platform. Another question, why condemn Ruger for making an AR clone when soooooo many already have before them even without the standard gas piston option? AR platforms sell and Ruger needs profits too. Hey, they still make stuff in America unlike other American companies.

Once again, Ruger is not the only one capitalizing off Gaston Glocks pioneering of Poly pistols. Virtually every other gun company is as well. You really should be condemning S&W in the same light too. But you are really just trolling here so whatever.

1911s, see above.

Why dont you also condemn Rock River Arms (1911 and AR15) Les Baer (1911 and AR15) Kimber (1911 and Poly pistols) and a huge host of others.

Did I mention this is a total troll post?

browningguy
March 17, 2012, 08:52 PM
Lots of newbies lately coming on just seemingly to try to stir up something, must be something in the water. It sure would be nice if we could get some new folks that want to actually contribute something to the site.

HOOfan_1
March 17, 2012, 08:53 PM
Ruger was founded in 1949. How many of the other top 10 arms manufacturers have been rolling out completely new and original designs since the 40s? ESPECIALLY those which are American companies.

firesky101
March 17, 2012, 08:58 PM
Yeah darn copy cats, Just jumping on the bandwagon with all the other polymer frame revolvers;). Seriously, I am good with any company that puts out a quality product at a price that most people can afford. Additionally it is a true american made product, I know not everyone here is from America, but stimulating our economy is kinda a big deal here.

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 08:58 PM
Modern industry is all about "make what the people want" and "make what has already been successful." ESPECIALLY if it is a larger company which answers to investors. That goes for movies, video games, TVs, cars and guns. Designing new things is expensive. If the design is a flops, a company can go belly up or lose investors. Innovations in the modern age come from small/independent/privately owned companies.

That has always been the case. Nothing specifically "modern" about it. I also don't think "make what has already been successful" is the rallying mantra of most successful companies.

But it really fascinating to look at Ruger. Billy did capitalize on existing product designs. He and his company did an excellent job of bringing manufacturing expertise and marketing/sales savvy to the BBQ. Ruger was also extremely astute in staying away from the manufacturing of guns that would have negatively impacted the image of his company.

He stayed away from all centerfire semi-auto pistols for a very long until his company could no longer wait to cash in. Even then Ruger stayed away from pocket pistols, cloning the M1911 or building their version of the AR-15.

The current Ruger management has capitalized by exploiting the very markets Ruger said he would never enter and they have done a superb job of it. From the LCP to the 25 round BX-25 10/22 magazine to the SR-556.

earlthegoat2
March 17, 2012, 08:59 PM
Not even a newb. Just from Kali I guess. All the repression has gotten to them.

Sam Cade
March 17, 2012, 09:01 PM
Really the MK I was a knockoff of the 22 Luger with a straight blow back action.

Not even. No relation to the Luger at all.

It's just a very simple blow back rimfire. The frame was based on a hand drill that ruger was already making.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XCkTSf0swcQ/SZn-tGuJ3vI/AAAAAAAAFS0/3oQ3eXsXN6E/s320/REugerDRILL742.jpg

earlthegoat2
March 17, 2012, 09:03 PM
Not even. No relation to the Luger at all.

It's just a very simple blow back rimfire. The frame was based on a hand drill that ruger was already making.


So much, the better.

HOOfan_1
March 17, 2012, 09:04 PM
I also don't think "make what has already been successful" is the rallying mantra of most successful companies.


It is absolutely ubiquitous in many industries. Why do you think there are so many sequels and remakes in the movies and video games?

Why do you think everyone and their mother made SUVs in the mid 90's...Why do you think everyone and their mother are making hybrids now?

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 09:07 PM
Not even. No relation to the Luger at all.

It's just a very simple blow back rimfire. The frame was based on a hand drill that ruger was already making.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XCkTSf0swcQ/SZn-tGuJ3vI/AAAAAAAAFS0/3oQ3eXsXN6E/s320/REugerDRILL742.jpg

Thank you for the correction. It may look like a Luger from a distance, but the mechanics are vastly different.

I would also say the frame's manufacturing processes which derived from early tool making is what drove the design of the frame and not the design of the hand drill itself.

JohnBT
March 17, 2012, 09:12 PM
"Billy"

Did you know him well? :confused:

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 09:14 PM
"Billy"

Did you know him well? :confused:
Not "well", no.

Loosedhorse
March 17, 2012, 09:15 PM
I'm sure there are other examples of copying by Ruger.Big deal.

I don't much like Ruger. But I think everyone should own a 10/22.

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 09:17 PM
Big deal.

I don't much like Ruger. But I think everyone should own a 10/22.

I feel that way about the Marlin 60...

earlthegoat2
March 17, 2012, 09:18 PM
Big deal.

I don't much like Ruger. But I think everyone should own a 10/22.

One could argue this is also a knockoff of an M1 Carbine in 22 caliber. However it does have an innovative rotary magazine which by no means copies the Garand or the Carbine.

Sam Cade
March 17, 2012, 09:22 PM
I would also say the frame's manufacturing processes which derived from early tool making is what drove the design of the frame and not the design of the hand drill itself.

I don't understand what you are trying to say.
Early Ruger standard frames are literally just hand-drill frames with additional holes.
The acute angle of the grip was/is common on manual drills.


http://www.trueshopping.co.uk/images/products/42247_image.jpg

Kynoch
March 17, 2012, 09:32 PM
I don't understand what you are trying to say.
Early Ruger standard frames are literally just hand-drill frames with additional holes.
The acute angle of the grip was/is common on manual drills.


http://www.trueshopping.co.uk/images/products/42247_image.jpg
Let me try again. I don't believe Billy thought "the existing design for my hand drill is perfect for my MKI pistol frame." Ruger (even with Sturm's money) was financially on its backside right around this time. I believe Ruger realized the drill frame would accommodate the Nambu design and he was pretty much forced to make use of as much as the drill tooling (and possibly existing materials) as he could.

earlthegoat2
March 17, 2012, 09:37 PM
Lets just agree that the MK I is nothing like the Luger or the Nambu.

4v50 Gary
March 17, 2012, 09:38 PM
Copy cat? Perhaps the Ruger Mk I was externally styled after a military gun, but it's lock work and construction methods were not. The Mini-14 has entirely new gas system from the M-14. If you study the trigger group of the AC-556, you will notice that his engineers used an entirely different approach from the M-14. The initial Single Actions were similar to Colt's, but the latter were different. If you examine the parts of the P series pistols, you cannot help but notice there are fewer parts and those parts are multi-tasked.

One should look beyond the appearance to appreciate the engineering of a gun. Otherwise we could say that the AK-47 is no more than a Browning Rem Model 8 with a new gas system and a detachable magazine.

BTW, when I was at the Browning Firearms Museum last week, I pointed out the similar features the AK shares with the Rem 8. They were surprised that they never noticed it before.

mnhntr
March 17, 2012, 09:38 PM
Ya name one company that is a current force in the market place that has not built knock offs? I am sure whatever your a fan boy of does the same exact thing.

Loosedhorse
March 17, 2012, 09:40 PM
I believe Ruger realized the drill frame would accommodate the Nambu design and he was pretty much forced to make use of as much as the drill tooling (and possibly existing materials) as he could.Ah--so your point is that he was smart and efficient. And that you prefer Marlins.

;)

Well, that's fine. "Let us now praise famous men" is a much better precept than "speaking ill of the dead," wouldn't you say?

M-Cameron
March 17, 2012, 09:45 PM
so you think that you should only be allowed to make and sell guns which are 100% of your own design?

you can look at any company and find evidence of "copying" .......and the reason why is pretty simple........its because mechanically speaking, there are only so many ways of sending a bullet down a barrel.

this is why we have patents, so the company that creates the design gets reimbursement for their work.......and this is also why patents are allowed to expire, so you have variation and competition in the market place.......this is a good thing

hso
March 17, 2012, 09:49 PM
The only point to this thread appears to be to stir the pot. The facts presented are sufficient.

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