(Editor’s note: On May 15, Ruger introduced the SR-556: a piston driven AR-15 style rifle.)
At the 2009 NRA Convention, Ruger wil be announcing another new product that will allegedly redefine a platform. May 15 is the announcement date, but speculation is already running wild. Here are some of the possibilities…
Polymer Framed 1911
Ruger broke more than a few people’s expectations when it comes to small revolvers, by introducing the part-polymer LCR. Ruger could do the same with a polymer-framed 1911.
A single stack, thin-framed polymer 1911, or even a polymer wide body 1911, would definitely catch the attention of more than a few people. Purists will decry such a gun, but in spite of prior generations of purists, Glock (and more recently Springfield and Smith & Wesson) has excelled.
A lightweight frame and less expensive pricepoint would make this gun attractive to many people. Would a polymer framed 1911 make it? Time would tell.
“Value Priced” Piston AR-15
The AR-15 platform is all the rage right now, but the vast majority of AR’s are pretty much the same. The .223/5.56 guns that are AR competitors tend to be very expensive. Ruger could introduce a piston AR-type gun that is sub-$700. The obvious problem is they already have the Mini 14 platform, and any AR type rifle could pull sales from it.
(Note: Ruger did introduce a piston driven AR-style rifle. However, the MSRP is almost $2000.)
Lightweight and/or Big Bore SP101
In 2008, Massad Ayoob speculated that Ruger might introduce a lightweight SP101 at the 2009 SHOT Show. Ruger may still introduce such a thing, but they would be competeing against their new LCR. So, I think this is unlikely, unless it was in a high pressure cartridge such as the .327 Magnum that might be too much for the LCR.
A more interesting option would be a lightweight, but big bore SP101. I would definitely love to see a 2 1/2″ or 3″ aluminum framed SP101 in .44 Special. I think that this, while not a runaway hit, would sell well. I would think it would compete very well against the Charter Arms Bulldog.
I’ve never really thought “Ruger” when I start thinking shotguns. But, think about what is hot right now in gun sales: concealed carry and tactical guns. Ruger has two small, concealable guns already. The tactical rifle is covered by the new Mini 14’s introduced at SHOT. The missing link is a personal defense shotgun.
I’m thinking a 6-shot pump or semi-auto shotgun, with ghost ring sight and an optional mounted light, at an aggressive price point, would steal some sales from Mossberg and Remington. The one thing that I think would be a “must” is some type of adjustable stock to accomodate a variety of shooter sizes. This could take the form of a M-4 style stock, or the Remington adjustable length of pull kits.