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Why Was the Ruger Old Army Discontinued?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Timthinker, Jan 11, 2008.

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  1. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

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    Several days ago, this subforum was buzzing with news that the ROA had been dropped from production. Now that a little time has passed, does anyone know why Ruger executives made that decision? I know that some very diehard Ruger fans have telephoned the company over that decision and I wonder if any further information is available at this time. Thanks.


    Timthinker
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  2. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Sales were not meeting and were not projected to meet the minimum goals set by company management as necessary to support the costs of production. Simple business decision by new company management committed to making money for it's stockholders.
     
  3. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Member

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    A company is in business to make money - period. They do so by utilizing thier resources to yield the highest profit from their investment. The Ruger Old Army isn't exactly one of thier highest sales mdels so the time and materials used in production of the Old Army could be better used for other more popular models whcih in turn will provide a higher return in sales & profits.

    Always amazed at how folks get all up in arms about a model being discontinued. If a person has the model that's no longer made, great you got one, enjoy it. If you haven't gotten one and it's gotten you that upset, maybe it should've been a bit more of a priority when they were in production. Had all those that get upset about a model being discontineud actually bought the gun, maybe they wouldn't be dropped from production.


    In the case of the Old Army, I rarely see new ones on dealer's shelves but I always see plenty of used ones. They've been made for a looong time so it's not like they're to be a rare commodity anytime soon.
     
  4. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Yep... new management culling the less profitable products.

    Here's the problem: As much as I like my ROA buying one is a marginal way to spend $500ish.
     
  5. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

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    I like them--promptly nailed down two when I got the news--but considering they were in production for 36 years and are almost indestructible, their discontinuance is not all that tragic. With any care at all the ones now in existence should be functional for another century at least.

    And as a stockholder who used to use the dividends to pay property taxes, I am definitely in favor of those dividends being paid again. As pointed out, the object of the exercise is to make money.

    I just wish they would come up with something to make the Glock obsolete overnight. I might not buy it, but it would sure help their bottom line and mine as well.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    There are many reasons.

    When I was a kid, I shot black powder, because I thought it was neat, and because I could afford it. I recently ran the numbers, and while I still shoot some Black because it's fun, I can probably shoot factory .38's for the same money. If I bought a new $500 Ruger single action revolver these days, it'd be a Blackhawk.

    When I was a kid, most replicas were junk. The ROA was so much better than just about anything on the market, people were willing to pay for it. Replicas have come a long way in terms of accuracy, quality and durability, they provide a genuine "old-fashioned" shooting experience, they're still not too expensive, and they look better than ever.

    When I was a kid, SASS was something your momma slapped you for. Shooters with historical interests now have a huge "scene" and a lot of competition, friendly and serious, in the world of CAS. Ruger now sells a lot of New Vaqueros, not ROA's, to the demographic in question.

    In sum, Ruger had a great product and could get a high price for it, 36 years ago, when I was a kid. Ruger's product stayed the same, while everyone else's improved. There wasn't anything wrong with the ROA, but whoever wanted one probably already had one. There has been a shift in demand for a modern redux of a 19th-century revolver from black powder to cartridge, and Ruger has been there to cash in on that demand. The production line is more profitable making New Vaqueros.

    Now I'm not saying what they should do, but I figure those are some good reasons...

    Maybe I should buy some Ruger stock, while it's in the toilet. Seems like the management wants to run a business, again.
     
  7. tkendrick

    tkendrick Member

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    Being something of a traditionalist, myself, I've never quite understood why any one would want one.

    Still, hate to see any well designed gun vanish, but what would you like to bet that they'll come out in a few years with a re-introduced (ala the bearcat) ROA in a few years.

    They'll limit production to a few thousand pieces, charge twice the going rate then shut down productio...then do it again....and again...and
     
  8. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

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    Gentlemen, thanks for the replies to my inquiry. Perhaps the most comprehensive answer I have read comes from ArmedBear. Ruger has profitted from the cowboy shooting events with its Vaquero revolvers. Most likely, the current Ruger management team decided to allocate the resources previously devoted to the ROA toward the Vaquero line. This makes sense to me. After all, I owned a Vaquero revolver for some time and was impressed by it. Thanks once again for your opinions.


    Timthinker
     
  9. DMZ

    DMZ Member

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    Bill Ruger on the Ruger Old Army

    "That's a revolver I really like, the finest percussion revolver ever made, and we'll never discontinue that revolver--not if I can help it."

    The Ruger Old Army died with William Ruger Sr.
     
  10. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    I have submitted quite a few positive posts about the ROA on this forum.
    Blued model, and accurate I've taken lots of various small game with the pistol and one morning a very large whitetail doe.
    It's sad to see , for economic reasons, the pistol's demise.
    Hope the folks at Ruger don't do the same to the #1 Single Shot another one of my favorites.
    Zeke
     
  11. DMZ

    DMZ Member

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    I too have an old Blued ROA. It was one of the very first ones made. I used to groom snowmobile trails the Cascades,with a Thiokol groomer and always carried that revolver in the survival bag I carried with me. My wife and I were not well off in those days and the grooming job provided a small income to our household. My Old Army provided many snowshoe hares to the stew pot during those long winters. I also carried it when I hunted deer and many a Blue grouse were taken with a .454 round ball fired from that revolver.

    It is over 30 years old and is still as accurate and tight as it ever was, though shows lots of holster wear. It is semi-retired now, and I plan to hand it down to my son.
     
  12. emperor2084

    emperor2084 Member

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    Ruger Old Army Stainless with 5.5" barrel

    I very recently purchased a Stainless Old Army with a 5.5" barrel. It seems like they are hard to find new in box...is that the case? It was a bit pricey, but I think it will be a great piece to hang onto in brand new condition.
     
  13. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Has anyone (or will anyone) ever face up to the question or try to answer the question straight on as to how come there are so many used ROA's for sale out there? I mean, these things are everywhere you look....
     
  14. pohill

    pohill Member

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    I don't know if that's true or not. You can look and find anything for sale, anywhere, and if you're not looking for anything in particular, you won't find it. You could say the same about any type of gun.
    Bottom line - I like my ROA. It was made in 1973 but it looks new.
    I also like my Paterson, my Walker, my 1849 .31, my Ruger SpeedSix, etc.
     
  15. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    Its not that tough to figure out there mr charcoal...

    as it has been said they have been made for decades and have great quality so they do last. They are also like any other CB revolver. They take WORK to shoot and quite a few have been bought to be different or have "the best" and they just don't get used. Modern revolvers are just way to easy. Quite a few guys buy them and decide its not worth it to them- it has VERY LITTLE to do with the guns themselves if anything. It takes a dedicated CB man to shoot them often and consistently. I have one that dad bought 30 years back and we have shot twice maybe... I almost bought one and my dealer offered me a Gold Cup custom instead for a price I could not turn down so it came home instead. I still would pick one up and be happy with it although I have absconded dads stainless version. They are great guns and you appreciate the older designs more and that is fine but there is nothing wrong with the old army. The replica guns you seem to love come up for sale often and I bet more of them are outright trashed and litterally thrown away than the ruger old army...
     
  16. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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  17. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Likely right on target there TallPaul, but you forgot to mention all the limp-wristed types who run out and buy the ROA only to discover it's too much ham for their eggs and they have to go trade it in on a Colt Walker, Dragoon or some other gallery-model.

    ;)
     
  18. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    Shawnee- I have no issue with mr charcoal liking the old style better- for him. They have a rich place in history etc. I can appreciate my two Shiloh sharps for what they are but to say they better than a modern more lightweight design is just as irrelevant.

    I can appreciate his love for the old style but can not for the life of me can not understand his apparent hatred of a gun that helped bring more true believers into the sport he loves...
     
  19. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi TallPaul...

    LOLOLOLOL !! :D I just wanted to make sure he woke up without having to drink too much more coffee !

    ;)
     
  20. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    I don't 'hate' the ROA. I don't want one and that's a fact, but I would be hard pressed to say I hated anything Ruger built.
    Actually, I got up this morning, got me a good cup of coffee and sat down here in front of the computer and there it was. 'Why Was The Ruger Old Army Discontinued?' I couldn't resist it. I knew that would get a rise out of somebody!....
    'Modern' dosen't even enter into the equation. I use a CVA .45 Inline. Damned good rifle to, I don't care what anybody say's......
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  21. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    I realize that the bean counters rule the business world and the proof is in the fact that Ruger discontinued the gun just as CAS is gaining popularity. While the Italians are in a great position to cash in Ruger decides to opt out. Only bean counters would ignore the prestige of making the most affordable if not the only C&B revolver built in America.
     
  22. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Based on the growing popularity of CAS I'm surprised that the Chinese have beat the Japanese at getting in on the market. The Chinese are making a knockoff of the Winchester pump shotgun and I think it has been approved by the CAS assoc.
     
  23. tkendrick

    tkendrick Member

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    American made or not, show up at my local CAS shoot with one, and they'll laugh you out of the country.
     
  24. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Why is that?
     
  25. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    tkendrick, sorry they feel that way.
     
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