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November 11 & 12, 2017

Narrative by Bill Hamm
Photos by Vince Carabetta

Once again we want to thank Mr. Joe Wanenmacher for inviting the Ruger Owners & Collectors Society (ROCS) to bring our displays to his great Tulsa Arms Show. Mr. Wanenmacher's show has about 4,200 tables with just about anything a gun person could desire. A lot of great Rugers of all types and variations were for sale and/or trade and some great treasures went home with collectors!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the displayers, many who traveled long distances, for sharing their outstanding collections with other collectors and the general public. We sure appreciate all their hard work and effort. It was very evident that a lot of time and research was put into getting these quality displays ready for the show. Everyone really should plan to come to this great annual event. You will not be sorry!!

We signed up several new members at the show and thanks go out to Bubba and Rebecca Bright and other members who manned the ROCS table during the show.


The Saturday Evening Awards dinner and auction was a great success. As usual, Dave Lortscher organized and ran the show this year and did a great job. Fun was had by all!

Vince Carabetta oversaw the display judging and announced the class winners. Each 1st Place winner in the Advanced, Intermediate, Novice and Junior Category received a fine Ruger firearm and crystal as an award. The Masters non-judged class drew for a gun. Dave also presented every displayer with a fine Silver Stag knife. He also handed out a lot of Ruger goodies as door prizes to the attendees.

Chad Hiddleson, the Red Eagle News Exchange, gave a one year free RENE membership to each of the four class winners and an Award Certificate and one year free RENE Membership for the "Best Ruger of the Show". We certainly want to thank Chad for actively supporting our Ruger collecting hobby. Everyone needs to become a member of the RENE; the information found in the quarterly issues is invaluable.

Our "Three Gun Raffle" and the "Engraved Vaquero .357/9mm" winners were announced. I want to thank Bobby Tyler, Tyler Gun Works, who donated the prep work prior to engraving and the case coloring after the gun was engraved. The Raffles and Auctions were a great success and helped fund our displayer awards! Many auction items were contributed by various members and we certainly want to thank them for their generosity.

Special thanks to Shawn Leska with the Ruger Company for generously donating two rare Ruger firearms for our live auction.

I want to recognize and give a big THANK YOU to Mike and Kim Kamler and Jeff Grubb. These guys kept track of the numerous auction bids and managed the collection of the Auction funds!!

Please, make you plans now to come to Tulsa next November!!

Descriptions and pictures of the displays are shown below:

Front Left to Right:
Bill Hightower, Lee Newton, Madison Tyler
Back Left to Right:
Chuck Vaughn, Bill Ridge, Mike Womble, Bill Hamm, Bobby Tyler, Jerry Hertel, Vince Carabetta, Lee Sundermeier
1st Place Advanced Class
Steve Adamson
Best Rugers of the Show
Bill Hamm
1st Place Junior Class
Madison Tyler
1st Place Intermediate
Bobby Tyler
1st Place Novice
Chuck Vaughn


By: Madison Tyler, Awarded 1st Place Junior Class

This award winning display by 10-year-old Madison Tyler, Friona Texas, consists of three of the TYLER GUN WORKS consecutively serial numbered Ruger Bearcat Shopkeepers. There were 200 Case Colored TGW Shopkeepers in this special series. Madison displayed serial numbers 1, 2, and 3.
#1 - Fully engraved, gold inlayed and case colored.
#2 - Fully engraved and case colored including the hammer and trigger.
#3 - Fully engraved and all blue finish. The only "All Blue" gun in the series.

She also had three consecutively serial numbered first production Ruger "All Weather" stainless steel knives.
These items were displayed in an upright position in a walnut display case. This was her first display but I can assure you it will not be her last.

A Ruger Curio Cabinet
By: Granville "Chuck" L. Vaughan I.V., Awarded 1st Place Novice Class
1st Place Tulsa Arms Show

Chuck's display description in his own words:

As a first time exhibitor, I am both excited and intimidated to show a different side of Ruger collecting conscious of the fact that I am not the first to do so. I love firearms and collect them too however, hunting down the "Curio Cabinet" items can also be rewarding, challenging, and educational. Researching deeper into my own collection and other related items continually fuels my fire for collecting Ruger.

This two-table exploded curio cabinet will feature a collection of factory and other related Ruger memorabilia from the days of The Ruger Corp. to present. On display will be a variety of Ruger Corp. tools, a few select firearms, employee gifts, brassards, pins, stickers, lighters, literature, artwork, clothing, signage, Chief A.J items, knives, and other miscellaneous Ruger everything.

I look forward to putting names with faces and walking away from this experience with new friends and good memories.

Chuck's display was extremely interesting and well done, a great way to begin!!

Chief AJ Collectibles
By: Granville "Chuck" L. Vaughan I.V., Novice

Chuck also had a display that concerned Chief AJ. The Chief holds the World Record for most consecutive hits on wooden blocks tossed into the air. He accomplished this feat over eight days utilizing a Ruger 10/22 hitting 40,060 without a miss. The Chief holds other records and is a world class marksman and truly unique individual.

This display featured items and memorabilia related to the world record shoot as well as other collectibles and memorabilia related to shooting and the Chief's incredible life. Some items are one of a kind and extremely rare.


By: Bobby Tyler, Awarded 1st Place Intermediate Class

Bobby took a very unique and educational approach with his display.

He displayed an original 1956 Blackhawk .44 Magnum "Flattop" #521 and a 50th Anniversary .44 Magnum Flattop with the same 3-digit serial number. The 50th Anniversary Flattop was first shipped in December 2005 and returned to the factory. It was then shipped as a "Used Gun" in March 2007. This is a very interesting 50th Anniversary "Flattop".

Bobby then showed information comparing the cost-of-living in 1956 versus 2006. The average annual income and a cost comparison of various items made in 1956 versus what they cost in 2006 like a new automobile, price of a gallon of milk, etc. along with the firearms themselves.

His purpose was to strike the interest of the viewing public and someone who might not normally stop and look at the display of just two Ruger revolvers.

Bobby's objective was certainly met; this was a great unique and educational display which a whole bunch of attendees found very interesting!!

By: Steve Adamson, Awarded 1st Place Advanced Class,
ROCS Best Display of the Show & 2nd Place Tulsa Arms Show.

With the phenomenal success of the original Single-Six, Ruger felt there was a part of the Single-Action market that was not being served. Could this void be filled with the introduction of a lighter weight hand gun? Would it appeal to a younger generation and feminine enthusiasts? Could a revolver be made that would be less cumbersome than the steel guns were for the hunter or hiker to pack on a trip into the wilderness?

By the end of 1955 pilot models had been produced and test had been completed. The new revolver was identical to the original Single-Six except that its cylinder and the cylinder frame was a cast aluminum alloy. The Light Weight Single-Six started with serial #200000. Approximately 5,200 guns were issued.

The first Light Weights were to become known as the "Tri-Color". Why Tri-Color?

1. The Cylinder Frame is a silver gray color or "Natural Anodized" finish.
2. The Cylinder is a brownish gold color referred to as a Martin Hard Coat Finish.
3. The Grip Frame is Anodized Black. Grips were black, checkered, hard rubber with Ruger's trademark silver logo medallion.

The rest of the parts-barrel, ejector rod and housing, hammer, trigger etc. were polished and blued.

Six examples were on display:
Serial # 200047, 200069, 200082, 200083, 200084 - these 5 being rare 2-digit Flat Gates. Serial # 202786 with its aftermarket "Premier Round Gate".

The next Light Weight developed was the "All Blue" alloy. Why the "All Blue"?

The original all steel Single-Six was outselling the new Light Weights 8 to 1 and Ruger was looking for a way to salvage the Light Weight. The natural silver grey anodized finish gave way to the all blue/black version of the same gun. Ruger at this time made all aluminum parts blue/black. Referred to as: All Blue/Aluminum

Ruger BOOKS and GUNS
Ending in # 43

By: Bill Ridge, Advanced Class

Shown are all five of the ROCS issued books about Rugers. All number 43 and signed by the author. Also shown are six Ruger Single Actions with their serial number ending in 43.


  • The Standard Catalog of Ruger Firearms by Jerry Lee #43 of 100
  • The Ruger Papers by Don Findley #43 of 100
  • The Ruger Papers leather edition by Don Findley #43 of 50
  • Bill Ruger's .22 Pistol by Don Findley #43 of 2000
  • Ruger Advertisement 1949-1980 by Don Findley #43 of 100
  • ROCS issued Shopkeeper #43 of 100
  • Tyler Gun Works Shopkeeper #43 of 200
  • Tyler Gun Works Vaquero .357/9MM convertible #43 0f 200
  • Single-Six 50th Anniversary Convertible .22/.22 Magnum ending in #43
  • Lipsey's exclusive Vaquero Birdshead .357 Magnum ending in #43
  • Lipsey's exclusive Single-Seven Birdshead .327 Federal Magnum ending in #43
  • Holsters and ammo rounded out this unique display!!

By: Jerry Hertel, Advanced Class

Jerry's display featured several types of the famous and very desirable Single-Six "Light Weights". His display of old model Light Weights included:

A consecutive serial numbered pair #200684 & #200685.

Four of the "S" marked Seconds guns, both types.

Serial # 201183 that was recently featured in "Man at Arms" magazine.

Serial # 200005, a single-digit Light Weight, which was shipped on 12/21/1955 to Bill Ruger.

Serial # 200018 which was shipped on 02/24/1956 to Bill Edwards, who I believe was an editor for several gun magazines and author of several books about firearms.

By: Bill Hamm, Masters Class, Awarded Best Rugers of the Show

My display shows two extremely rare Single-Digit #5 Flattops owned initially by Tom Ruger and then later Hank Williams Jr.

The .357 Flattop #5 was manufactured August 31, 1955 and sent to the "Cabinet" in the Red Barn the same day. It is still NIB and it's cylinder frame is a beautiful plum color. No shipping date was recorded but sometime later it was given to J. Thompson "Tom" Ruger, William B. Ruger's youngest son. It was enclosed in its split top shipping carton. This gun was included in the collection of serial number 5 Rugers that Tom sold to his pal, Hank Williams, Jr., shootist, firearms collector and famous country music star. It came to me via Terry Wolosek from Hank's personal collection.

The .44 Flattop #5 was manufactured December 29, 1956 and is still NIB. It was sent to the "Cabinet" in the Red Barn the same day it was made. No shipping date was recorded but sometime later it was given to J. Thompson "Tom" Ruger, William B. Ruger's youngest son. It was enclosed in the non-split top shipping carton that was put into use about mid-1958. This gun was included in the collection of serial number 5 Rugers that Tom sold to his pal, Hank Williams, Jr., shootist, firearms collector and famous country music star. It came to me via Terry Wolosek from Hank's personal collection.

Accompanying the display was a general description of the Blackhawk .357 Magnum and the .44 Magnum "Flattops" along with pictures of Tom Ruger and Hank Williams, Jr.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be the caretaker of these two fine single-digit #5 Flattops for a while!! Extremely rare guns!!

By: Don Findley, Masters Class

Don brought out his extremely rare Ruger Armamex .22 pistols. These pistols were assembled in Mexico by the "Armamex Company" owned by Col. Rex Applegate. Ruger shipped parts in the white to a Texas border town for export into Mexico. Once in Mexico they were assembled, roll marked and blued.

Three pistols were displayed:

RST4 # 1130, with 4-3/4" barrel. Only 200 parts sets.
RST6 # 1236, with 6" barrel. Only 50 parts sets.
RST4 # 1010, this was a presentation pistol to a Mexican Constable in 1957.
        Posters showing close-ups were on display.

Very few Armamex pistols are in the US, only about 15 known by collectors. The large majority are in very poor condition with a lot of hard use. Extremely rare guns!!

By: Lee Newton, Masters Class

Arvo Ojala was a Hollywood Fast Draw/gun handling trainer of the movie/TV Western Stars of the day. He is the man who draws on Marshall Dillon in the opening sequence of all of the TV episodes of Gunsmoke.

Arvo made his own patented design of Hollywood fast draw holsters. Ojala rigs are sought after today by collectors and are quite valuable.

This Ruger .44 Carbine, #102-57071, bears the inscription "Presented to Arvo Ojala by Sturm, Ruger & Co." This is one very special little carbine!

BY: Mike Womble, Masters Class

Mike's display features the Ruger model RSSM, the Single-Six chambered in .22WMR, introduced in 1959. The display has a fine 2-digit example, serial number 19, as new with the box and displayed with the paperwork and shipping sleeve. This gun was originally sent to gun writer and Argosy magazine editor Pete Kuhlhoff. The gun is superimposed on a life-size scale original advertisement for the .22 Magnum.

Also shown are copies of Argosy magazine from the era, as well as a copy of Pete's book, "Kuhlhoff on Guns". Period ammunition and other advertisements round out the display.

The Complete Package
By: Bill Hightower, Masters Class

Bill's display shows #23719 that is a Blackhawk 10" .44 Mag "Flattop" with it's rare box and super ultra rare shipping sleeve numbered to the gun. Also shown is the oily paper that the gun was wrapped in, the instruction handbook and warranty card. Shown with it are a box of ammunition and a box of reloadable brass for custom loading.

Truly an ultra rare "complete Package"!!

By: Lee Sundermeier, Masters Class

Lee's display contains five classic No.1 Ruger rifles, all of which are 2- digit serial numbers. Not only are they 2-digit rifles but his display contains two pair of consecutively numbered guns. Factory records are incomplete for this time period and do not show all requested information about these early guns. Lee believes they were shipped during 1967 and 1968, the first two years of production. They did not leave the factory as consecutive numbered pairs, but were found individually by collectors and stored as pairs.

He also displayed a variety of accoutrements that advertised and described the guns and boxes used to ship them. He displayed ammo that was fired in these early rifles. Many people were involved in bringing this unique single shot rifle into the public eye. All Ruger employees involved in design and function of both metal and wood parts were experienced and dedicated to making this a very successful Ruger product.

Ruger's successful design of the No.1 rifle has lasted 50 years with very few changes to the operation of the rifle. It has proven to be very successful in the many applications of hunting game from the smallest varmint to the largest African beast. The No.1 rifle has also been built for several new calibers including the smallest .204 Ruger varmint caliber to the utilitarian .375 Ruger cartridges.

With considerable time spent in developing hand loads and trying many commercial loads, the right ammo can produce accuracy equal to the best custom rifles ever built. To learn more about the No.1 rifle, spend time examining standard features and the various choices in barrels, sights, forearms and calibers. The No.1 remains a valid choice when purchasing a new rifle.

Custom Super Blackhawks
By: Vince Carabetta, Masters Class,
Awarded 3rd Place Tulsa Arms Show

Vince's eye catching display shows seven different Ruger Super Blackhawks that were all customized by Mag-Na-Port Arms and all produced in very limited quantities. These were produced from 1976 through the early 80's.

Shown are the:

Mark V - In custom wood and padded case, only 200 produced.

Custom Six - In Mag-Na-Port gun rug, only 50 produced.

RCA Tomahawk - In Mag-Na-Port gun rug, only 90 produced.

Safari Series, Cape Buffalo - Believed not to be more than 200 produced.

Safari Series, Elephant - Believed not to be more than 200 produced.

Safari Series, Lion - Believed not to be more than 200 produced.

Safari Series, Rhino - Believed not to be more than 200 produced.

All of the Safari Series have the same Mag-Na-Port serial number and were shipped in beautifully inlayed custom wood and padded cases that included the Mag-Na-Port brassard.

A great display of very scarce to rare custom produced Rugers!!

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

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