In recent years, Sturm, Ruger & Co. have deviated from the larger, bulkier pistols they were known for and have been producing slimmer and smaller pistols such as the SR-9 and the LCP. The SR-9 has achieved moderate success, while the Ruger LCP has been an undeniable sensation.
The question is: What will Ruger introduce at the SHOT Show?
Michael Bane has made several comments about some new firearms he has seen that will be announced at SHOT. Bane even went so far as to refer to Ruger in his Christmas Eve podcast as the “Makers of the product that is going to absolutely, stone-cold, rock the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando.” That is a pretty strong statement.
Back in November, Massad Ayoob suggested that Ruger may be introducing an SP101 revolver with an alloy frame chambered in .38 Special. While I think this would be a profitable gun for Ruger to bring to market, would it be the gun that “rocks” the SHOT Show. I don’t think so. After all, several other manufacturers already make lightweight .38 revolvers.
What would excite the public? How about a 9mm LCP. There are a lot of people that really like the LCP, but dislike the .380 ACP cartridge. In my opinion, a LCP chambered for the 9×19 cartridge would be a big hit. Enough to “rock” the SHOT Show? Maybe.
How about a completely new Mini-14? Something along the lines of a Kel-Tec SU-16, maybe. Think of a Mini-14 that would be completely synthetic and stainless, that folds up nicely into a compact size, that can be marketed as a survival tool. The SU-16’s are popular, but imagine the same gun with the Ruger name and Mini-14 heritage attached to it. It might be a winning product. And lets face it…anything .223 is selling right now.
I do not believe that Ruger will be announcing a new full-sized pistol that would cut into the SR9 market. I also can’t see a new 10-22 being terribly revolutionary. I expect that the “show-stopper” Bane has predicted is coming from the concealed carry market or the black rifle market.
Regardless, stay tuned. I will bring you all of the new product announcements from the SHOT show.
Update: The gun was the Ruger LCR. I don’t know if it was quite the show stopper that Bane claimed, but it certainly was popular.