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Billy Ruger was a Superb Copy Cat and Marketeer

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Kynoch, Mar 17, 2012.

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  1. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    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.
  2. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    I guess there's a point here??????
  3. El Mariachi

    El Mariachi Well-Known Member

    I think the point is, is that Kynoch is a bit pissed that he never bought any Ruger stock.....:D
  4. nipprdog

    nipprdog Well-Known Member

    I'll pick just one;

  5. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Actually I have some Ruger stock. Interestingly enough it never took off until fairly recently, well after Billy's passing.
  6. armarsh

    armarsh Well-Known Member

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

    Kynoch member

    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.
  8. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    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.
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    The HK VP70 is the first poly pistol.

    S&W makes ARs and 1911s

    What's the point again?
  10. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    Ruger #1's are pretty
  11. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Well-Known Member

    Ruger offers a quality product at good price. Who really cares where their inspiration comes from???
  12. Hocka Louis

    Hocka Louis Well-Known Member

    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!
  13. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    Success inspires envy, apparently.

    Any other points to be made here?

    Well said.
  14. The Sarge

    The Sarge Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    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.
  16. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. BemidjiDweller

    BemidjiDweller Well-Known Member

    Looks like a Ruger bashing thread with no real point. Other than obvious jealousy of Ruger firearms and their quality with an affordable price.
  19. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    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.
  20. speedway

    speedway Well-Known Member

    I am not a huge fan of Ruger either.

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