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ROCS Rocket City!!

Huntsville, Alabama
January 30 - 31, 2016

Narrative by Bill Hamm
Pictures by Vince Carabetta


Glen Fleming, 1st Place Novice Class

Over 11' tall, Glen's Big Red Bird towered over and served as the centerpiece for our row of ROCS displays!!

Glen's display included 42 old model Rugers and examples of period boxes. Two original Ruger themed paintings (painted by Glen and sons) flanked the collection. Included were various barrel lengths of old model .22 Single-Sixes and Blackhawks along with a .256 Winchester Magnum Hawkeye, 5 micro sighted guns, Tricolor Lightweights, and plated guns. Several of the guns wore factory stag grips. The display also held his latest addition, a 4 5/8" .357 Magnum Flattop with serial number 3075. With over 40 years of collecting, he has managed to find a little of everything.

Glen said that this was the first time in 8 years that he had set up this great eye catching display because frankly, it is hard work. This year was more a thrill than a chore as he was joined by his sons and grandsons for the show; two bunches coming from Athens, ALand one all the way from Sentinel Butte, North Dakota for the event.

I hope that they can all join us next year for the "ROCS in Rocket City" event!!


Bill Ridge, 1st Place Intermediate Class

Bill's great display shows the history of the Vaquero and a majority of the original Birds Head models made from 2001-2005.

It included the blued "Last Cowboy" models in both .45 LC and .32 H&R Mag. There was a consecutive serial number set of the .22 LR/.22 Magnum revolvers.

Also shown were both of the blued and stainless distributor exclusive AcuSport .45 Long Colts with unusual 4-5/8" barrels. The stainless AcuSport .45 LC was a consecutive serial number set.

The New Vaquero was represented with all five TALO models in consecutive serial number sets including the newest .44 Magnum gun. The backdrop was divided into 3 sections. Original Vaquero, SSM .32 H&R Magnum & .22 LR/22 Magnum and the New Vaquero models. There were 28 guns in this fantastic display. Also there was an "UP FRONT" binder with pictures and information on the display.

We are looking forward to seeing Bill step up into the Advanced Class. He is already planning another display and I'll bet that it will be a good one!!


Bill Ridge, Intermediate Class

This eye-catching display featured all three models of the Ruger TALO John Wayne Commeratives produced from 2007-2009.

It included a consecutive serial number set of the "DUKE" .32 H&R Magnums (DUKE 436 & 437), a matching serial number set of the stainless Vaquero & Duke (Both #158), and two of the blued Vaquero models.

Special packaging and brochures provided with each gun were also displayed. Each pair of guns was displayed in a well designed lighted framed shadow box. In addition were: the DESANTIS Centennial Holster & Gun belt set made in conjunction with the "100 years of John Wayne", a book on John Wayne's life, and a book on John Wayne's Wild West, "An illustrated History of Cowboys, Gunfighters, Weapons, and Equipment. Also there was an "UP FRONT" binder with pictures and information on the display.


Mike Womble, Masters Class

Mike's fantastic display features "Two Pair" of very fine and rare Ruger old model revolvers.

One set was a consecutive numbered pair of rare factory engraved Ruger Single- Sixes. They were #30839 & #30840, one with walnut grips and the other with very rare factory stag grips. Both were shown with the factory presentation cases.

The other set was a consecutive numbered pair of very rare 2-digit Ruger Blackhawk .44 Magnum "Flattops". They were #25 & #26. Flattop #25 was fitted with prototype engraved walnut grip panels believed to have been done by Charles Jerred who was the factory engraver for the company. #26 was fitted with extremely rare factory ivory grips. #25 was owned by Ruger executive Ed Nolan and #26 was shipped to Wayne Fleming, executive at Brownell's.

All four guns were shown with their factory boxes. The almost unique outer shipping sleeves were included for both #25 and #26. Period ammunition, ads, catalogs, and instruction manuals were also shown.

A great showing of four very rare early Rugers!!


Lee Sundermeier, Masters Class

Lee's fine display contained one rifle of every model offered in the Ruger catalog from 1970 to 1974.

The rifles were displayed in the same order as they appear in catalogs and factory advertisements.

These rifles represented the first production guns, following the non-prefix serial numbered rifles of 1967 through 1969.

The display contained a different caliber for each model of No.1 rifles made. All of the rifles had a 130 prefix serial number.

All of the rifles have a hand fitted action that is serial numbered to the receiver. Most of the rifles have the early type one checkering.

"The Ruger SR1911"

Vince Carabetta, Masters Class

Vince's outstanding display consists of 14 Ruger SR1911's, each one different from the others. Amazing that Ruger has made that many 1911s in such a short production time!

They were: the "Full Size" and "Commander" in stainless steel; the all black "Rail" gun; and the "Two Tone L/W Commander". Also three done by the Ruger Custom Shop; one with "Scroll" engraving on both sides of the slide and numbered 1 of 100; one with scroll engraving and gold banner saying "The Right Of The People To Keep And Bear Arms" on the left side and "Shall Not Be Infringed" on the right side, 1 of 300; and one with scroll engraving and gold with a banner saying "Freedom Isn't Free" on the right and "Protecting Americas Freedomâ"and a gold US flag with 1 of 300 on the left side.

There were six "Distributor Exclusivesâ" Five for Talo; the "Navy Seal" full size and commander, only 500 of each; the "Night Watchman" full size and commander, only 500 of each; and a "Two Tone" with a polished black slide and S/S grip frame, 1 of 100. One made for Davidson that has a black slide and an "O D Green" grip frame. The last one is a special gun made for the members of the "2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division of the U S Army, only 173 produced.

"Super Rare"

Bill Hightower, Masters Class

RENE Best Ruger Of The Show - "S" marked Super Blackhawk #13716

Bill's great display had two of the rarest supers known to exist.

First was #13716 that was shipped as a factory second (used gun) in Nov. 1963. There are only two known. This is commonly referred to as an "S" gun by collectors. A period correct box and papers were also shown.

Also shown was #36012 that was shipped on May 17, 1968 with a factory installed "brass grip frame". This gun was in the first lot that was inspected on April 30, 1968 and is one of twenty that were made. Its original box, shipping sleeve and all the paper work were also on display.


Bill Hamm, Master Class

My display of "Flatgates & Flattops" included examples of Ruger's first single action Rimfire revolver, the .22 caliber Single-Six "Flatgate" and examples of the first Centerfire revolver, the .357 Blackhawk "Flattop". Displayed were:

Single-Six Flatgate "Spanish" engraved #5100. The Spanish are the Holy Grail of Ruger factory engraved Single-Sixes!! Only 22 were engraved in Spain.

Single-Six Flatgate #50 & Blackhawk .357 Flattop #50. Both are NIB with their shippers and sported beautiful factory ivories.

Blackhawk .357 Flattops #28 and #46. Both wore fine looking factory stags.

Single-Six Flatgate LWAC #200199, a Green Wreath boxed Lightweight Tri-Color.

Original period advertisements, catalogs and instruction manuals enhanced the display.

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

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