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I've been shooting shotguns for over 50 years now and I have only ever come across one Ruger Red Label shotgun in GB. And that was owned by a Canadian guy who had move to England. There are lots of Euro-guns, Beretta, Perazzi, Benelli, Fabarm, Guerini, Blaser etc., and a good number of US makes, Browning, Remington, Winchester, Mossberg, but no Rugers..!!

It can't be because of quality if their rifles and handguns are anything to go by, and the lack of them here certainly can't be based on price point, having seen what they sell for in the US, so I'm curious to know how well thought of and how well they sell in the US?

Any thoughts chaps?
 

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I've been shooting shotguns for over 50 years now and I have only ever come across one Ruger Red Label shotgun in GB. And that was owned by a Canadian guy who had move to England. There are lots of Euro-guns, Beretta, Perazzi, Benelli, Fabarm, Guerini, Blaser etc., and a good number of US makes, Browning, Remington, Winchester, Mossberg, but no Rugers..!!

It can't be because of quality if their rifles and handguns are anything to go by, and the lack of them here certainly can't be based on price point, having seen what they sell for in the US, so I'm curious to know how well thought of and how well they sell in the US?

Any thoughts chaps?
I think part of the issue is that while they were produced for a bunch of years 1978-2010, they had a break in production 2010-2013 and then produced for less than two years 2013-2014. All the red labels that exist are out there. I get the feeling from others that I know that shoot the red label that it has a reputation for being and everyman’s field gun; many use it to hunt. I don’t hunt, but I do shoot my red label for skeet; I think it’s a great gun for hunting or sport especially at half (a third really if buying new) the price of a B gun.


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Mine fits me like it is custom. It is a quality shotgun and I put 5,000 (mostly reloads) rounds thru it when I was shooting skeet without issues. It never seemed to have the following in this country that the more expensive Browning's and Beretta's did. Like all Rugers it is rugged and reliable.
 
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Opinions will vary on the Red Label but it seems safe to say that for whatever reason the Red Label never quite got the same respect or appreciation of a modest Browning Citori or similar. Some critics say the wood to metal fit was not as precise and that the guns are a little chunky. I don't think Ruger ever had delusions the Red Label was the equal of a fine Guerini or Perazzi but they were never in the same price range either. My feeing was the Red Label was trying to be comparable to a Browning but for less money and thereby deliver a good value. I think they're a good value when you can find a nice example on the used gun rack for a good price. I've owned several Red Labels and have three of them now. One is my son's 20 ga which he is very fond of even though he's busy with other things now and doesn't shoot much. We picked that up a few years back used for around $900 (stainless, pistol grip stock, chokes and wrench). I now have my late father's 20 ga (stainless, English stock, chokes, wrench, box and papers) and it's a sweet gun. He bought it new in the early 2000s and it was something he was really proud of. A few years ago I picked up a used 12 ga RL (stainless, English stock, chokes and wrench) for $700 that's my favorite. It has a few dings and handling marks from being enjoyed but nothing more than normal field use.

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I'm not a shotgun aficionado I just enjoy doing a little bird hunting when possible and sporting clays now and then. The Red Label fits the bill nicely and I don't have a lot of money tied up in them. The availability of parts and lack of factory service sometimes worries me a little but I've never had an issue yet and will keep my fingers crossed. I like my Red Labels and see no reason to replace them.

They were well thought of by enough people to keep Ruger producing them for over 30 years. They were expensive to make and the prices on new ones climbed up to an MSRP of $2000 and that's when sales slumped to the point Ruger pulled the plug. The market just wasn't there for a Red Label with a street price in the $1500 to $2K range. The reintroduced RL started out with a street price of around $1K and sold well but it may have been a loss leader to try to regain a toehold in the O/U market. The prices quickly started edging back up and enthusiasm cooled. The market would love a decent quality American made O/U for $1K but it seems like that just can't be done. Keep in mind the Browning Citori and others may be an American brand but the guns were made in Japan or Korea. It's hard to compete with Asian and European manufacturing costs, especially on products that require so much hand fitting.
 

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I use mine purely to hunt. I bought a RL because I am a diehard Ruger fanboy. When they first came out with the all-weather (plastic furniture and stainless steel receiver, barrels, hardware), I drove 5 hours to the far end of my state in the snow to buy one. I have run too many heavy duck loads through mine to remember and she is tight as the day I brought her home. Never had any issues with it.

My fancy shotgun toting buddies scoff at my silver and black gun. They believe a shotgun must have fine wood and lustrous bluing. I wanted something to get wet and muddy, rinse and repeat with. I love fine guns, don't take me wrong, but all my hunting guns are stainless steel and either plastic or laminated wood stocked.
 

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That's just what I can't understand. Ruger's have a reputation for building rock solid, reliable guns. I can't imagine they would do less with a shotgun..!! But I have to say, although I didn't get to shoot the one I saw, I did handle it and it felt good in the hand, came up fast to the shoulder and was a nice weight. To be honest it did remind me quite a bit of a very up-market Baikal.. but don't quote me on that.. LOL

This is my go-to all round gun..

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Caesar Guerini Magnus Light 12g 30" barrels. But I also have a Rizzini O/U with matched set of 28" and 30" barrels, a Hatsan (Turkish) 12g semi-auto, a Mossberg 500 12g and an old Boxall and Edmiston 12 side-by-side. I have, on more that one occasion, used all the guns on clays.. not always with the outcome I'd like, but good fun though. Shooting clays with a side by side is really fun..
 
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I think there’s a lot of good/bad on the Red Label but there just not made anymore so people hang on to them more so you don’t see them for sale as much. But this is just a thought!
 

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I use mine purely to hunt. I bought a RL because I am a diehard Ruger fanboy. When they first came out with the all-weather (plastic furniture and stainless steel receiver, barrels, hardware), I drove 5 hours to the far end of my state in the snow to buy one. I have run too many heavy duck loads through mine to remember and she is tight as the day I brought her home. Never had any issues with it.

My fancy shotgun toting buddies scoff at my silver and black gun. They believe a shotgun must have fine wood and lustrous bluing. I wanted something to get wet and muddy, rinse and repeat with. I love fine guns, don't take me wrong, but all my hunting guns are stainless steel and either plastic or laminated wood stocked.
I have the same, a stainless all weather engraved 28" 12 gauge and love it, always have since i purchased it. Great feeling , well balanced and different from everyone else. I have only ever seen 2 of them, and i own one of those. I would never part with it.
 

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I have the same, a stainless all weather engraved 28" 12 gauge and love it, always have since i purchased it. Great feeling , well balanced and different from everyone else. I have only ever seen 2 of them, and i own one of those. I would never part with it.
You may look that up as it may be one of the very few Trap and Skeet guns, made for clay sports. They were the only engraved Red Labels I have ever seen and they are beautiful!
 

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You may look that up as it may be one of the very few Trap and Skeet guns, made for clay sports. They were the only engraved Red Labels I have ever seen and they are beautiful!
Also, some custom engravers offerred their services, but the 1999 50th anniversaey model was engraved.
 

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You may look that up as it may be one of the very few Trap and Skeet guns, made for clay sports. They were the only engraved Red Labels I have ever seen and they are beautiful!
Yes, im very happy with it, and its a looker for sure. I will have to take a photo to post of it. Saw my first in 1998, the second when i got mine was maybe 2008 or 2009. Its one of my prized firearms, would never part with it.
 
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