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Had a tour of the Sturm Ruger pistol plant in Prescott, AZ

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by hang fire, Apr 22, 2013.

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  1. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    Wife’s younger brother is the chief manufacturing engineer at the Sturm Ruger pistol plant in Prescott, AZ. He treated us to a tour of the plant, and I was most impressed.

    He explained each step of the production process, the speed of the fully automated CNC tooling, which makes the pistol’s production possible, is amazing and something to behold. He led us through for just one pistol, whereas a completed gun is boxed for shipment every 30 seconds, and it was just one of the many different models made in the plant. All CF pistol barrel rifling is broach cut while fully submerged in an oil bath, and watching it was like zip, done. Watching round steel billets transformed into slides and barrels at such speed, was hard to follow.

    They are months behind for filling outstanding orders, and have had to stop taking new orders for three months to fill existing orders. Every day over 40,000 rounds of ammunition is fired, just for the proof testing of guns being shipped.

    There are over 800 employees in the plant working two long shifts and they are adding new space and machine tooling to increase production even further.
     
  2. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

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    Did you know which pistols are produced there?
     
  3. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    As I understand it, all of the Ruger semi-automatic pistols are.
     
  4. anothernewb

    anothernewb Member

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    the SR1911 and the SR22 are made there for sure. I suspect much of the auto pistol lines are made there.
     
  5. Potatohead
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    Potatohead Member

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    very interesting...dont they know their is an ammo shortage? :)
     
  6. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    LOL, that was my thought when he said 40,000 per day.
     
  7. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. Are there tours open for the public or does one need an inside contact?
     
  8. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Modern manufacturing is a wonder to watch.
     
  9. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    My SR45 says Prescott, Arizona.
     
  10. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    That bit worries me. They are investing all this money to meet an unnaturally inflated demand that will inevitably collapse. They're going to be in trouble if they play this wrong.
     
  11. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    I honestly do not know.
     
  12. MrInquisitor

    MrInquisitor Member

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    Is there any handwork at all besides the final assembly?
    What kind of CNC machinery? Brand? Axis number?
     
  13. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Member

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    Very cool.

    Back in the mid 90s, I was in environmental work in Connecticut and worked on cleaning up some of the old Remington facilities. They were massive complexes and a sight to see.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    When I was at Gunsite for the 1911 Centennial class, a Ruger rep conducted a presentation of the SR1911. At that time, he mentioned that they were not set up for public tours of their factory
     
  15. slamfirev10

    slamfirev10 Member

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    very cool 1st hand report, thanks
     
  16. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    I really don't know, and if did, could not divulge possible proprietary information after signing confidentiality form.
     
  17. bds
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    bds Member

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    I don't think so.

    Now that SR45 is out and it is one of very few California compliant 45 pistol, it will undoubtedly be very popular especially at the price point of $425 - $450 retail. 45ACP is an attractive caliber for many and SR45 would be an obvious choice for SD/HD for many that's priced lower than almost all other 45ACP.

    Ruger sells millions of firearms each year and is currently the largest firearms seller in the US - http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/08/21/growth-industry-ruger-approaching-record-gun-sales/

    All the reviews I have seen/read of SR45 have been positive (along with other Ruger firearms like SR1911) and I am actually looking to buy one myself and many of my family/friends/neighbors/coworkers want one too. My bet is that Ruger will probably continue to grow and expand their manufacturing plants for years to come.
     
  18. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Ruger outsells everyone else in the market and has been the leader for some time. They sold 1.25million firearms from 4/11 -4/12 to do a challenge to benefit the NRA. If they need to expand its not because of the bubble/panic..
     
  19. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Don't worry so much.

    Ruger has been growing for much longer than this latest banic. He said adding, not doubling or tripling so they buy 3 or 5 machines, add 100,000 sq ft (or whatever) - they can easily afford that and more. Sturm Ruger is a public company - look at the numbers. This is the free market (more of less) - well it's gov/capitalism swapping spit - Ruger can take the risk and reap the reward.
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Sturm-Ruger is something rare in today's manufacturing environment, in that they are debt free. Not only that but they have a substantial amount of cash assets that are available to fund expansion. Given this, they would be foolish not to expand into growing market demand.
     
  21. tekarra

    tekarra Member

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    That would be a very interesting tour indeed, I envy you.
     
  22. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    I love Ruger, made in America.
     
  23. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Well said brother, I own a dozen and love them all.
     
  24. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Member

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    Did you ask them when my gun was going to repaired and sent back?
     
  25. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I looked into a tour last year as business, and vacation afterward came up for me in the neighborhood. I checked their website and they do not offer public tours. I was disappointed but as it turns out, wouldn't have had the time anyway.

    That's really cool that you got to go! That may warrant a "thank you six pack". You are lucky. I'd love to see the entire process of building a gun in a large production facility.
     
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