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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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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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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Here is my engraved red label, hard to see the engraving in the photo but its there. Sorry i was being slack on adding the photo. Simply love that gun.

Automotive tire Textile Wood Flooring Art
 
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I've been very fortunate to have owned a few Red Labels over the years (not all at once mind you), and you are spot on as to the quality of the gun. The very last Red Label I owned made folks frown while shooting registered skeet in the NSSA. It was ALL stainless with plastic stock and forend. What they called their "All Weather". I got the shortest length barrels I could and it was at a time when fixed chocks were still available, skt/skt. I then had it pigeon ported by Mag-Na-Port and I fitted a recoil damper in the hollow stock and back filled it with Acraglass. Complaints in the skeet fields were that it was too heavy of a gun???? I don't know about that because it seemed to be no heavier than the Browning Citori's that filled the range at that time. Guns I wish I still had. Smithy.
 
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I've been very fortunate to have owned a few Red Labels over the years (not all at once mind you), and you are spot on as to the quality of the gun. The very last Red Label I owned made folks frown while shooting registered skeet in the NSSA. It was ALL stainless with plastic stock and forend. What they called their "All Weather". I got the shortest length barrels I could and it was at a time when fixed chocks were still available, skt/skt. I then had it pigeon ported by Mag-Na-Port and I fitted a recoil damper in the hollow stock and back filled it with Acraglass. Complaints in the skeet fields were that it was too heavy of a gun???? I don't know about that because it seemed to be no heavier than the Browning Citori's that filled the range at that time. Guns I wish I still had. Smithy.
It doesn't appear to be difficult to, as you say "make folks frown" either when shooting skeet or at a game shoot. Being in GB there is a lot of 'old school' protocols and accepted behaviour, dress etc. I remember one pheasant shoot I had been invited to a few years ago, very 'country', very 'tweedy'. I turned up dressed for the 'event' in my tweed shooting suit, shirt and tie with my 12g O/U in a slip and a nice leather cartridge bag on my shoulder. The shoot captain handed out peg numbers (we shoot in a line as 'beaters' drive the birds towards the 'guns'). My number was four. Happy with that...
So we were stood around in the stable yard and, just as an act of sheer defiance, I went to the car and got out another gun slip. I began to unzip and put together my well worn but very reliable Mossberg 500. Now it doesn't take long to out together but I took my time hoping that the other 9 guys would spot my actions.

They did and a very swift 'holy huddle' ensued. I couldn't hear clearly what was being said but I got the drift that "it isn't good form", "those guns are dangerous", "that's not a sporting gun".. you get my drift. Well the shoot captain came over and suggested that, if I didn't have a 'proper' gun I could borrow an estate gun. With that I broke down the Mossberg and returned it to its slip..

Poor health, predominantly mobility restricts my shooting these days but back then every gun I had was shot at least once a week, usually more. This shoot I was on had guys with very expensive Berettas, a good few true English sporting guns in the form of at least two Purdey's and Holland & Holland's. My gun? An exceptional Caesar Guerini Magnus 12 game gun. Cost me around $5000 new and shoots like a dream even now.

I hate the pretensions found in any sport but it does seem prevalent in shooting sports. I have met so many people who 'have all the gear but no idea'.. I like the look of the Red Label, looks to be a good, sturdy gun that would last many years.
 

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I had a 20 with gorgeous wood and a 1A that looked like they were cut from the same slab. Unfortunately I had to sell them when I fell on some hard times. Sold as a pair for very good money which I needed. Never tried to replace them.
 

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It doesn't appear to be difficult to, as you say "make folks frown" either when shooting skeet or at a game shoot. Being in GB there is a lot of 'old school' protocols and accepted behaviour, dress etc. I remember one pheasant shoot I had been invited to a few years ago, very 'country', very 'tweedy'. I turned up dressed for the 'event' in my tweed shooting suit, shirt and tie with my 12g O/U in a slip and a nice leather cartridge bag on my shoulder. The shoot captain handed out peg numbers (we shoot in a line as 'beaters' drive the birds towards the 'guns'). My number was four. Happy with that...
So we were stood around in the stable yard and, just as an act of sheer defiance, I went to the car and got out another gun slip. I began to unzip and put together my well worn but very reliable Mossberg 500. Now it doesn't take long to out together but I took my time hoping that the other 9 guys would spot my actions.

They did and a very swift 'holy huddle' ensued. I couldn't hear clearly what was being said but I got the drift that "it isn't good form", "those guns are dangerous", "that's not a sporting gun".. you get my drift. Well the shoot captain came over and suggested that, if I didn't have a 'proper' gun I could borrow an estate gun. With that I broke down the Mossberg and returned it to its slip..

Poor health, predominantly mobility restricts my shooting these days but back then every gun I had was shot at least once a week, usually more. This shoot I was on had guys with very expensive Berettas, a good few true English sporting guns in the form of at least two Purdey's and Holland & Holland's. My gun? An exceptional Caesar Guerini Magnus 12 game gun. Cost me around $5000 new and shoots like a dream even now.

I hate the pretensions found in any sport but it does seem prevalent in shooting sports. I have met so many people who 'have all the gear but no idea'.. I like the look of the Red Label, looks to be a good, sturdy gun that would last many years.
It's so funny to hear your story!!! I was 19 ish??? and in college when I started going to the range to shoot trap. It was like the clay bird shooting I'd started out doing with hand thrown traps so it made sense. Every night that I'd go I'd see a bunch of old men shooting a different game that had two trap houses? I was intrigued by that and strolled over to invite myself to a round. Being told everything as to where to stand, how many targets, which is shot first, etc., etc. I took the only gun I had at the time, a Remington 1100 with 28" mod. barrel. I managed to hit four out of the 25 in a round. A nice fellow asked me to shoot one more round, but this time using his Browning Citori skeet gun. Big improvement as I hit 16. I went home and got my hack saw and started cutting. I took the barrel back to 21" and had a machine shop mill the muzzle square and I remounted the front bead. The following week I was in the 20's and stayed that way for the rest of my shooting career. I ended up finding a Larona over and under trap gun with 32" full/full barrels and got it for 100 bucks. Again, the hack saw and trip to the machine shop and I was ready to go with a gun that at least looked like a skeet gun. It was that Larona that I shot all my registered targets in the NSSA (until I got my Red Label). My friend and I would often carpool and shoot on the same squad. We'd always be cracking jokes and such since we were shooting just to have fun. My pay check didn't depend upon my performance so I just wanted to have fun!! That's when I got much the same reception as you indicated. Some folk take things just too seriously. Smithy
 
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It's so funny to hear your story!!! I was 19 ish??? and in college when I started going to the range to shoot trap. It was like the clay bird shooting I'd started out doing with hand thrown traps so it made sense. Every night that I'd go I'd see a bunch of old men shooting a different game that had two trap houses? I was intrigued by that and strolled over to invite myself to a round. Being told everything as to where to stand, how many targets, which is shot first, etc., etc. I took the only gun I had at the time, a Remington 1100 with 28" mod. barrel. I managed to hit four out of the 25 in a round. A nice fellow asked me to shoot one more round, but this time using his Browning Citori skeet gun. Big improvement as I hit 16. I went home and got my hack saw and started cutting. I took the barrel back to 21" and had a machine shop mill the muzzle square and I remounted the front bead. The following week I was in the 20's and stayed that way for the rest of my shooting career. I ended up finding a Larona over and under trap gun with 32" full/full barrels and got it for 100 bucks. Again, the hack saw and trip to the machine shop and I was ready to go with a gun that at least looked like a skeet gun. It was that Larona that I shot all my registered targets in the NSSA (until I got my Red Label). My friend and I would often carpool and shoot on the same squad. We'd always be cracking jokes and such since we were shooting just to have fun. My pay check didn't depend upon my performance so I just wanted to have fun!! That's when I got much the same reception as you indicated. Some folk take things just too seriously. Smithy
Never had that in trap shooting however have on the rifle range. One afternoon i was shooting the gp100 357 mag 4" at the 25 yard range. Decided to make my way to the 100 yard lane something i do regularly. 2 young guys sitting their hit and miss on the 100 yard 12" gong, AR rifles. They scoffed at me when i sat down with my lowly 4" iron sighted handgun. Well 4 of 6 hits on the steel and they scoffed no more. I didnt mention i normally shoot out to 100 with some of my hand guns. I went through a couple more cylinders ringing away, they packed up and left. I just grinned and carried on. :p
 
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Tommo,

I see you replied to your thread which was resurrected a year later. Did you end up getting the Ruger?

If you have a CG Magnus and the other shotguns you mentioned, I can't imagine the Ruger being anything other than a significant step down.

I used to work next door to Purdey & Sons and would go in there and browse. :) Also used to drink at The Audley across the street but I heard it closed down, which is too bad.
 
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