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JULY 18-19, 2015

Narrative by Bill Hamm
Pictures by Vince Carabetta

Members of the Ruger Owners & Collectors Society were in Wilmington, Ohio on July 18-19 for their first annual ROCS Display Show with the Ohio Gun Collectors Association (OGCA). We want to thank the OGCA for inviting us and thank all of the displayers for their hard work and efforts to build such a fine displays to support and represent our club.

We had a great Awards dinner and fund raising auction. Needed funds were railed to fund Awards for this show and next year. A big thanks to all who donated and made it possible.

The ROCS OGCA Display Show fund gave an Award Certificate, a PersonalizedTrophy and a Ruger firearm to each of the display class winners.

The Red Eagle News Exchange (RENE), Chad Hiddleson, gave an Award Certificate and one year free membership to his great RENE publication to each Class winner and the "Best Ruger of the Show". The winner was Dan Vande Griend for his No. 3 Carbine #150-0009 in .38-40 Krag and "Liberty" marked. It was originally owned by John Amber, Gun Digest editor, and friend of Bill Ruger. It is the only single- digit No. 3 known in .38-40 Krag and one that is Liberty marked.

There were 21 great Ruger displays representing various Ruger firearms and these are listed below.



Tom's fine display had an example of each of the 100 serial number blocks made in the first year of the Blackhawk .357 "Flattop" production. #113, #202, #331, #416, #568, #645, #771, #803 and #999!! Each of these fantastic 3-digit guns had its proper box.

One wore rare factory stags, oneextremely rare factory ivories and one with optional varnished walnuts. Also displayed was a 1955 Rugercatalog, an undated Single-Six instruction manual with its very rare .357 Blackhawk insert, a period warranty card and a frame discoloration notice. Advertisements from the August and September 1955 Issues of the "American Rifleman" magazine were shown. An original cardboard split top shipping carton was displayed along with its box, oil wrap and tissue paper. Each gun included proper box. Tom also displayed a "Ruger Red Barn plate" which pictured the original manufacturing home. Finding a high condition Blackhawk .357 Flattop is pretty hard to do. It was Ruger's first centerfire revolver and most of them really got a lot of use. I salute Tom for working to find such beautiful Flattops for his collection and bringing them out for all of us to enjoy.



Mark displayed some fine examples of the Ruger No. 3 falling block single-shot carbine. His display included:

One of every standard production caliber produced. The .45-70 Government, .30-40 Krag, .375 Winchester, .44 Magnum, .223 Remington and .22 Hornet.

Three were "Made In The 200th Year Of American Liberty" marked with boxes.

The earliest known Slotted Lever Pin rifle of which only eleven are known.

An early 1st issue 3-digit carbine, #00218.

Factory boxes numbered to 4 of the guns and factory literature were also displayed. A real eye catching display of these fine little carbines!



This display encompassed an example of the majority of the Ruger "Birdshead" revolvers produced. Some really cool guns! It included:

A Vaquero (Made 1993-2005) including a blued "Last Cowboy".

NM Single-Six SSM .32 Magnum consecutive numbered pair of John Wayne "Duke" revolvers, #136 & 137.

New Model Vaqueros both blue and stainless models 45 Colt and .45 ACP. 3 of 4 sets in consecutive serial numbers.

Bill's backdrop included the history of the Vaquero and the Birdshead models.
This was Bill's first display and a great way to get started! We sure are looking forward to seeing what he will be bringing out next show.



Dan, a first time displayer, displayed 10 very special Ruger No. 3 Carbines. All were once owned by friends and/or employees of Bill Ruger. They are:

Serial #130-50007 .45/70

This No. 3 was gifted by Bill Ruger Sr. to his good friend Harry "Oliver" Knode. Oliver was the lead engineer for Savage Gun Company and did some moonlighting and designing for Bill. Oliver was gifted most all serial #7 guns into the later 1970's that came out of Ruger's factory.

Serial #130-50009 .30/40 Krag

This gun belonged to friend, hunting companion and noted gun editor of Gun Digest , John Amber. John special ordered this gun on 6/16/1975 and requested the .30-40 Krag caliber. Shipped on 10/4/1976, to date this is the only low serial number No. 3 chambered in .30-40 Krag and also bears the "Liberty" rollmark.

Serial #130-50010 .45/70

Gifted to his friend Lenard Brownell, a custom rifle builder from Wyoming. In the mid 60's Bill offered him a job at the Ruger factory back east, he accepted. He designed stocks for the Ruger No. 1 and M77 and worked on the No. 1 action and scope mounting. In the early 70's he couldn't take it out east any longer and moved back to Wyoming. Most #10 guns from the early 1960's on went to him.

Serial #130-50024 .45/70

Gifted to Bill Lett, owner of Lett Manufacturing and childhood friend of Bill Ruger, Sr. In 1953, Lett Manufacturing became the principal handgun grip maker for Sturm Ruger. Lett was gifted most all serial #24 guns by Bill.

Serial #130-50050 & #130-50051, both .45/70

Both were gifted to Fred Davis, often known as the "First Ruger Collector". Fred's collection can be dated from a 1949 Standard Auto pistol up through a 20 Ga. Red Label shotgun. Most #50 & #51 guns prior to 1979 were sent to Fred.

Serial #130-50073 .45/70

Gifted Frank Kenna, a lawyer who purchased Marlin Firearms operation in 1924 for $100 after WWI. He re-introduced sporting arms into their production. Frank's family was gifted most serial #73 guns that came out of Ruger's factory.

Serial #130-04732 .45/70

This gun has a serial # and rollmark that would indicate that it should be a Ruger No. 1, although documentation and features show it to be a No. 3. Owned by Detrick Apel, noted Ruger consultant and employee. According to Detrick, this gun and a few others were used by a group of gun writers at Mr. Ruger's preserve, Corbin Park, shortly before the No. 3's were introduced. It letters being shipped as a Ruger No. 3A. Given the factory documentation and Detrick's provenance, this gun is undoubtedly one of the first three No.3 prototypes.

Serial #130-67227 .22 Hornet

This No. 3 was used by executive editor Payton Miller from Guns & Ammo magazine to test and expose the beauty of the reintroduced .22 Hornet No. 3 in the 1979 annual magazine. This #3 has undoubtedly the finest wood ever produced from the factory and is noted in the article. It is believed that this article was used to boost #3 sales that had been declining.

Dan really brought some very to extremely rare exciting Rugers to show everyone. We are sure glad that he has begun displaying with ROCS!!



Rod displayed his favorite rare Rugers! He said that it was sure hard to choose only 15 guns from the stable. They included:

An early "Salt Cod Box" Red Eagle pistol.

A Mark I Target 5-1/4" that is US marked.

A Blackhawk .44 Flattop "S" marked gun.

Two Lightweight "S" marked seconds.

The Single-Six #59 & .44 Flattop #59 in split top shippers & their original boxes.

A Super Single-Six with single-digit #500004.

A pair of consecutive numbered factory Nickel plated Super Single-Sixes.

A pair of consecutive numbered factory engraved Single-Six RSSEs.

A green wreath boxed Single-Six Lightweight.

A boxed Super Single-Six with 4-5/8" barrel.

A factory Duplicate numbered and "S" marked Bearcat.

Wow, what a rare group of fine Rugers. Collectors could hunt a lifetime and never find some of these examples! Rod said the he does not know what else that he has to look for?!? Finding all of these has been a real blast thanks to several good friends who helped him out!!

RARE RUGER LAMINATED 10/22s, 1986 - 2002


Charles's 10/22 Laminated display sure included real special guns! It included:

A consecutive numbered pair of Kittery 10/22s. Only 104 Kittery guns were made in 1988. Charlie has owned one Kittery for a long time and just recently was able to find a consecutive numbered mate. Putting a consecutive pair together from a small group of guns like that is against strong odds!! He said that finds such as these is what makes collecting interesting and fun!!

A factory used gun and its box that is marked with an "*" as a factory "Used" gun, the only one known. A special one-of-a-kind 10/22 that Gerald W. Bersett, Ruger Co. President & COO, had made as a gift to Charlie in 1997 for helping out at the Grand American Trap Shoot and the many shows that he had displayed at prior to that time. It has a special laminated stock and factory jeweled bolt.

Factory Target Duplicate serial numbered pair in blue (only 4 known) and stainless (only 3 known).

Salesman laminated sample and stock blank.

These beautiful laminates sure make for a very interesting and colorful display.



In 2010 Ruger introduced a special edition of the 10/22 called the "Ruger Boy Scout 10/22 Rifle". These guns have a special laser engraved pattern with the Flour De Lour, the secret oath & secret law. Ruger also put a special serial number prefix of "BSA" to signify the difference in these guns. In 2010 the Boy Scouts of America was celebrating 100 years of the BSA. Many special events were being held to commemorate the 100 year history. Tyrone joined the Scouts in 1970, BSA Troop 605. He has been a Scout or Scouter (Adult) with Troop 605 continuously with a bit over 45 years of involvement.

Tyrone was able to purchase the Ruger 10/22 #BSA-00605. His display highlighted the 100 years of the BSA memorabilia from every decade of the BSA. Several 100th Anniversary patches from the national Jamboree were shown. Other items included rank awards up to eagle with silver/gold palms.

Troop 605 is in its 69th consecutive year and has only had 3 Scout Masters. Minor P. Wilson was the "Founder" Scout Master for 45+ years. Don Henderson was Scout Master for 20 years and is still active after 53 years with the troop. The current Scout Master is Brackley Kicklighter.

Tyrone's great display was in tribute to the BSA and Minor Wilson.



Items are often made by companies to promote and help sell their products. Fairly early on the Sturm, Ruger Company began making, selling and/or giving away various items. Patches, pins and decals were included in these type promotional products. Tyrone's display highlighted most known patches and decals issued/authorized by the Ruger Company as well as several prototypes, odd ones and ones never offered to the general public. It also includes some counterfeit items. With the advent of the internet many not authorized patches, pins and decals can often be found.

The display included some very rare one-of-a-kind patches such as Bill Ruger's personal Pocket Show Badge Patch that is fully documented and the only one known. It included a prototype 3-D quilted patch, the rare Fire Brigade patch of which only about 75 are known, a Liberty patch from 1976 and four different Australian patches including a rare prototype patch.

Among the decals was one of the rarest known "Pistols & Revolvers". Many of the early decals shown were the "water transfer type".

All known pins issued by Ruger for the SHOT and NRA shows were displayed. Many other pins, both ones authorized by the factory and those that were not were shown. An example of at least 80% of the known pins was displayed here! This was a very eye catching display and it received a lot of attention from both collectors and the general public.

Thanks to Tyrone for not only bringing one display but two!! We sure need more collectors like Tyrone to bring out and share their collections, no matter how small or what they have, to help advance and support our hobby!!



Dave's colorful display included only three rifles but they were all very special!

1978 Marked the 100 anniversary of the Lyman Company. To commemorate the occasion Lyman and Ruger teamed up to create the special issue Lyman Centennial No. 1 rifles.

Three versions were available and all had full length Lyman 4x Century model scopes.

The high grade was 1 of 100 and each was unique to a year of the anniversary. No two were alike in the engraving. Each featured a high grade Fajen stock set. This is the only factory Ruger Rifle to ever ship with Fajen wood.

Grade II was 1 of 1000 and machine engraved with Ruger stock wood.

There were a few overrun rifles made up as a cleanup run from the leftover parts. David's particular overrun rifles is the only one know that was shipped in a Lyman grade II case with a letter to that Two factory presentation cases were displayed. One each of the Walnut wood, "ed interior" Grade I and the Mahogany wood, "green interior"Grade II. Both were shown with all the accouterments. All are fully documented.

This was a great looking display of some rare No. 1 rifles!!



Doug brought out twelve of the finest and some of the rarest .44 Carbines that we have seen. Truly beautiful top condition little carbines! Included were:

44R Fine early 4-digit "Deerstalker".
44R Early Sourdough Front Sight carbine.
44D Duplicate marked carbine.
44SP Fingergroove Sporter.
44SP Fingergroove Sporter with period K4-C Weaver Scope.
44SPC Extremely rare factory hand checkered Fingergroove Sporter.
44X International full stocked carbine.
44XC Extremely rare factory hand checkered International.
44RS Receiver sight.
44RS/SReceiver sight and milled slot for a rear sight on barrel.
44YR255th Anniversary Carbine.
44R Very rare "101" prefix carbine obtained from a Ruger factory auction. Particularly interesting was the tag attached to its barrel that stated "4-01-74 1,000 rnds." Obviously a test guns used for "101" series.

Doug displayed period cartridge boxes, scope with box, scope rings and a notebook with many of the early .44 Carbine advertisements.

Oh man, what a nice showing of these fast handling, hard hitting little semi-auto .44 Magnum Carbines!! Sure glad that you shared "Ruger's 1st Long Gun" with us and the public, Doug!!



Ron's wonderful display of the Ruger "Six-Series" double actions included Security Sixes, Police Service Sixes and Speed Sixes. It shows the difference in the grip frame from the start (Low-back or "Hump-back") to the later redesigned frame (the High-back). Focal point is a 1st year (possibly 2nd year) Security Six 3-digit #150-00141.

Examples of Six-Series guns made under contract for the India government. These were chambered for the .380 RIM or the old .38 S&W cartridge.

He also displayed guns produced for the NYCPD; Six-Series guns, GP100s and SP101s. US Military and USPS examples were also displayed.

Ron's center piece was his 3-digit Security Six #150-00141, and what an outstanding DA revolver it is!!

Boxes, shipping sleeves, instruction manuals and other associated items supported the display.



John's very interesting display included examples of 28 Ruger factory production handguns each numbered on the frame, cylinder or barrel for a specific cartridge. Guns were displayed in the order of Single Action Revolvers, Double Action Revolvers and semi-auto Pistols. A Hawkeye single shot rolling breach block in .256 Winchester Magnum was also shown.

Included were 9 convertibles, calibers: .17M2/17HMR, .22LR/22Mag., .32 H&R/.32-20, 9MM/.30 Luger, .357/9MM, .38-40/40 S&W, .38-40/10MM, .45 Colt/45 ACP and .44-40/44 Mag. The New Model Single-Six Hunter 17M2/17HMR is very rare, only 100 are believed to have been shipped from the factory.

A P89 semi-auto pistol in 9x21 and a Security Six in .380 Rim were on display.

Each of the 28 cartridges was displayed in a display box at his podium in the order that the guns were arranged on the display board. He also had an accompanying notebook explaining each firearm and its cartridge(s).

This display was extremely interesting and got a lot of public attention. Everyone seemed to have at least one of those on display.



Chuck, a first time displayer, showed fine examples of 13 rare and special Ruger No. 1s from 1969 - 2014. Included were rare examples of #1-B, #1-A, #1-AH, #1-AB, #1-1S and #1-RSI. All of the No.1s are rare and unique. Most were limited production of less than 100. The rarest ones are his "Wyoming One-Shot Antelope" rifle, Arthur Lee gun, with only 5-7 known and the .338 Federal #1-AB with only 10-12 known. The .338 Federal #1-AB was announced by Ruger and one was shown at a SHOT show but they were never put into full production.

7 of the 13 rifles were NIB. This was his first display and he thanked ROCS for letting him participate. We all want to thank Chuck for bringing out those fine and rare No. 1s for us all to enjoy. We sure want him to come back!



Francis, another first time displayer, sure did have some very interesting and unusual Rugers on display for everyone to enjoy. There was usually a pretty sizeable group of folks viewing his display. His display included:

2 Ruger Non-gun Demos, a Speed Six and a Redhawk .44 Magnum.

Magnaport editions of the Super Blackhawk .44 Magnums.

Police Department Commemorative revolvers.

Magnaport edition of the Mark I .22 pistol.

Francis is 83 years young and this is his very first display!! He was accompanied by some of his friends who helped make his trip possible. We sure hope Francis can display at many more of our ROCS shows.



Vince displayed 13 of Ruger's SR1911 semi-auto .45 ACP pistols. It’s hard to believe that there are that many different variations since its introduction in April 2011. Shown are:

The Standard full size, Commander and Dual Tone Lightweight Commander.

Three special engraved guns.

Two ROCS Special guns.

Five special issue guns.

Boxes and other related material were on display. Of special note was the stainless bar stock that was shown in stages of cut-down machining to form the barrel and bushing and the slide.

This was a very interesting display of a fairly new Ruger product! We sure thank Vince who traveled all the way from Arizona to Ohio to show these beauties off.



Man oh man, what a beautiful group of custom engraved Rugers!! Rich really brought out some of his finest guns for all to enjoy. All of these beauties were done by noted Master Engravers. Displayed were:

Texas Cattle Brand Engraved Ruger single action revolver by Master Engraver Frank Clark of Lubbock, TX. Lots of provenance, letters and a wonderful Bio from ROCS Historian Don Findley.

Two Ruger single action Flattop revolvers engraved by Master Engraver Alvin A. White. These revolvers were adorned stag and ivory grips and gold inlay.

Ruger Super Blackhawk with Gold inlay & scroll by Master Engraver Angelo Bee. Angelo was a factory engraver for Browning. Lots of provenance and letters.

Three Ruger SP 101 revolvers by former Ruger factory Master Engraver Ray Viramontez. These snub noses were adorned with fine ivory and pearl grips.

Rich says it has been a long time since he has put up a display but he plans to do more displays at future ROCS shows. We sure are glad to hear that and sure look forward to seeing what he will bring out next.



Wow, what a fine bunch of "Seconds"! This may sound crazy to a non-collector but we collectors all go nuts over "seconds" and blemished Rugers that come from the factory. Jim had eleven of them on display!!

2 "S" marked Bearcats.

1 of only 2 known unique Transition Single-Six Magnum marked RSSMWs with an Eagle Logo barrel and XR3-RED grip frame "S" marked gun.

A beautiful "Red Colored" frame Super Single-Six "S" marked gun.

1 of only 2 known Blackhawk .45 Colt "S" marked guns.

A beautiful "Red Colored" frame Single-Six 5-1/2" barrel "S" marked gun.

2 Dual Tone Tri-Color Lightweights "S" marked in front of the trigger guard.

3 Dual Tone Tri-Color Lightweights "S" marked in the serial number.

Some rare boxes also enhanced Jim's outstanding display.



Lee displayed one gun, Blackhawk .357 Magnum Flattop, serial number 210. The factory letter stated that it was shipped to Don Martin, Salmon, ID, November 1955. Don Martin was a good friend of Elmer Keith, writing the preface and introduction in several of Elmer's books. Don was also the Gun Editor for the "Western Sportsman Magazine". In the December 1955 issue, he wrote a review of the Ruger .357 Flattop using #210 in his article. The Ruger factory used the same review in their 1955 company catalog to describe the 4th model introduced by Ruger. Lee displayed pictures and documentation.

Don Martin also served as a Sheriff and Judge in Idaho frequently carrying #210 as his duty gun. Simply a great historical One Gun display!



Bill displayed his favorite .44 Flattop standbys! He showed:

Blackhawk .44 Flattop 6-1/2" low number #51 shipped in May 1957 to Fred Davis, the so-called "First Ruger Collector"

An extremely rare Blackhawk .44 Flattop 7-1/2", #24550, first shipped in August 1960 and then as a "Second" in June 1963. It sported an optional set of very rare factory ivory grips.

Blackhawk .44 Flattop #20708, shipped in September 1959 with a rare 10" barrel with optional factory stag grips. This gun's original super rare shipping sleeve was also displayed!!

Then Bill began to dig deeper into his big metal box and then he says, Oh My God... I found .44 Flattop #723, it was shipped in November 1956, a very rare 1st month production gun.

Then low and behold another .44 Flattop 6-1/2" 3-digit, #249, it was shipped in January 1957 with extremely rare factory rosewood grips.

Then finally the extremely rare 6-1/2" .44 Flattop #29184, it was shipped in September 1962 with the then new XR3-RED grip frame.

It is certainly easy to see why these would be anybody's Favorite Flattops!! I just hope he will dig into that box a little deeper next year. It's no telling what Bill may find!! Maybe, just maybe he will find an extra 10" shipping sleeve that he will gift me...or make me break the bank to buy it!!



Mike's great display featured 5 very rare Ruger revolvers that all have a 2-digit serial number!

#25 Blackhawk .44 Magnum "Flattop", in excellent condition. This gun was originally owned by Ed Nolan, Ruger's marketing head. The gun wears engraved walnut grips in oak leaf/acorn pattern believed to have been done by Charles Jerred as prototype grips for Ruger. Charles Jerred of course is the factory Master Engraver for Ruger during that period.

#26 Blackhawk .44 Magnum "Flattop", in excellent condition. This gun is adorned with extremely rare factory ivory grips.

#26 Bearcat .22 LR, in mint condition.

#26 Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum, mint condition.

#26 Hawkeye .256 Win. Mag., as new condition.

All of the guns have their original box, paperwork, and shipping sleeves. 

The display included period advertisements and catalogs, along with period ammunition boxes for the guns on display.

Wow, I am sure that you noticed, all of Mike’s guns have their rare cardboard original outer shipping sleeves!! What a wonderful display of very rare 2-digit single action Rugers!!



This display included seven Factory Engraved Special Series Single-Sixes model RSSE. Displayed were:

Spanish Engraved #5100, the 1st gun in the consecutive serial numbered group of 20 guns sent to Spain for engraving at the beginning of Bill Ruger's engraving program in 1954.

All Blue #24394, a Charles H. Jerred engraved RSSE. Only 22 All Blues were made.

Jerred engraved #100718, this is one of the last seven Single-Sixes engraved at the very end of the engraving program in 1958.

A fine "Consecutive Triad" of Jerred engraved guns; #44933, #44934 & #44935.

RSSE #35522 was displayed in its factory RSSE presentation case and along with another closed presentation case so the viewers could see the gold Ruger Eagle Logo that is embossed on the top of those cases.

I displayed both of John Dougan's fine books that feature an engraved Ruger Single-Six on its cover, "Know Your Ruger Single Action Revolvers, 1953-63" and "Complements Of Col. Ruger; A Study Of Factory Engraved Single Action Revolvers". Period catalogs, instruction manuals and advertisements were also shown.

If you shoot, carry, hunt with or collect Rugers, join our team!

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