Red Label 12 gauge history

Red Labels, Woodside, Gold Labels and Trap Guns
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twriggen
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:42 pm
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by twriggen »

I've been trying to decipher the red label serial numbers on the 12 gauge models and seem to be coming up with conflicting data. Did the first 12 gauge models start with the 410 prefix in 1982? That is what it appears when I look at Ruger's serial number history website but I saw another reference elsewhere that made me think that there might have been some made in the 400 prefix with the 20 gauge models as early as 1979 which doesn't seem right. I have a million books regarding Ruger Revolvers but as I dug through all of them it appears I have neglected to have any for the shotguns.

Thanks,
Troy
Troy

Possessions have a way of possessing their possessors. - Daniel L. Dustin

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T.A. Workman
Posts: 469
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:02 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by T.A. Workman »

Troy,
I just took a peek at RENE Reference page 110 it gives these #'s.

1982 thru 1994 - Prefix #410
1995 thru 2009 - Prefix #411 Note this is where the reference ends, but RL's manufactured after that? Maybe Chad will be able
to help you further.

Good Hunting
Terry

twriggen
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:42 pm
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by twriggen »

T.A. Workman wrote:
Thu Aug 11, 2022 7:02 pm
Troy,
I just took a peek at RENE Reference page 110 it gives these #'s.

Good Hunting
Terry
I'm feeling pretty simple right now not considering looking at RENE for the information. So from the sounds of it a 3-digit serial number starting with a 410 prefix would be from the first run of 12 gauge units.
Troy

Possessions have a way of possessing their possessors. - Daniel L. Dustin

rugerguy
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:57 pm
Location: NE OHio

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by rugerguy »

Troy, good information above, we used to collect the Red Labels over the years starting in late 1978 with the 20 gA and the 12 ga came out a few years later, we had quite a few and used to display them, but did not really care for how they shot or held up with heavy use...so only kept the first two , both low number guns used to belong to the plant manager , two digit guns, numbers #31........ ;)

chet15
Posts: 592
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:28 am

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by chet15 »

twriggen wrote:
Thu Aug 11, 2022 5:56 pm
I've been trying to decipher the red label serial numbers on the 12 gauge models and seem to be coming up with conflicting data. Did the first 12 gauge models start with the 410 prefix in 1982? That is what it appears when I look at Ruger's serial number history website but I saw another reference elsewhere that made me think that there might have been some made in the 400 prefix with the 20 gauge models as early as 1979 which doesn't seem right. I have a million books regarding Ruger Revolvers but as I dug through all of them it appears I have neglected to have any for the shotguns.

Thanks,
Troy
The first 12 gauge shotguns also had blue steel receivers. Ruger had problems with those receivers cracking so they changed to stainless. The blued receiver guns are pretty rare. There were reportedly only 419 blue receiver 12 gauge produced in four different barrel length/choke combinations in addition to 1,000 of the 50th anniversary Ducks Unlimited issue that apparently had a nickle finish receiver. Regular productin stainless receiver guns can be found as early as two-digit guns, so Ruger must have discovered the "cracking" issue on the blue receiver guns and replaced them with identical serial numbers in stainless.
Ruger also did what could probably be called the 3rd Gen Red label which has a modified rear receiver design and has a 412- prefix. There were probably less than 6,000 of those. Most folks don't know there were also a few hundred of the 3rd gen type made in 20 gauge. The majority of those were sold to employees.
Chet15

salem103
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:30 am

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by salem103 »

Red Labels 12's are confusing for me. I have the following NIB Rugers...12 gauge blue receivers 410-00369 (RL 1216) and 410-00370 (RL 1206) fixed chokes and Stainless 410-09911(KRL 1230) fixed chokes. 20's are less confusing...400-00787 and 400-00527 both 26" skeet/skeet in violin brown boxes. Just spotted 12 gauge 410-0017X (KRL-1232)
a STAINLESS 26" fixed chokes. Ergo why I'm confused.

johncdougan
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:32 am

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by johncdougan »

Guys

Here is some info. that may be of interest to the blued 12ga. fans.

MEMORANDUM from Steve Vogel to Lyle Patterson dated March 4, 1986
Please advise me the approximate quantities shipped of:

A. All Blued 12 ga. O/U. A. 419

B. No. of 12 ga. O/U with 3” Chambers. B. All actions had 2 3/4” chambers

C. No. of 12 ga. O/U Produced in Each Barrel length Offered. C. 4103 RL1206…...189 26” F&M
4106 RL1208……...7 28” F&M
4101 RL1216……181 26” I&M
4102 RL1226….….42 26” SK&SK
Regards, John

twriggen
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:42 pm
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by twriggen »

Should I expect a serial number in the 800 range to be the stainless version? Is there an easy way to tell the difference?

Thanks,
Troy
Troy

Possessions have a way of possessing their possessors. - Daniel L. Dustin

chet15
Posts: 592
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:28 am

Re: Red Label 12 gauge history

Post by chet15 »

twriggen wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 8:54 am
Should I expect a serial number in the 800 range to be the stainless version? Is there an easy way to tell the difference?

Thanks,
Troy
Besides the blued steel receiver/vs a stainless receiver, plug your serial number into Ruger's serial number lookup page. I think they will show model number and the year it was shipped.
Chet15

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