Dad was not the kind to argue over vehicle makers, like some men are. He drove what he could afford and what met his needs. Computer labels meant nothing to him. He usually bought what was on sale, and he never owned a “smart” phone. I guess “brand loyalty” was one of those things that fell into his personal application of “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” I guess there really is a fine line between “brand loyalty” and vain idolatry.
That being said, Dad was a Ruger Man. I guess he owned so many Rugers because of their reputation for reliability, strength, and economy. He also had good results with his Rugers. He brought home several deer with his M77 bolt action rifle in .30-06. Years later, he gave me one almost exactly like his. His .22 caliber Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rifle is still one of my most favorite rifles in the entire world.
I learned to shoot a handgun with his Ruger Single Six Revolver in .22 Long Rifle. Once I became safe and proficient with the Single Six, he let me tote it on my hip when we went knocking around the deer lease together. He with his massive Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley frame .44 Magnum revolver, and me with MY very own shrunk-down hogleg. There wasn’t a coyote or feral hog in all of Dewitt County, Texas, that was going to get the jump on me and my old man.
When Dad decided to branch out into big-bore double-action revolvers, he went straight past the “Dirty Harry” Smith & Wesson Model 29s to the stronger and better priced Ruger Redhawk. One of his favorite carry pistols was a shiny stainless steel Ruger Vaquero (a Super Blackhawk version made to resemble the Colt Peacemaker guns) in .44 Magnum. Next he got a blued Vaquero with a canted-down Bisley grip. At some point he bought another M77 rifle (chambered in .22-250 for the coyotes that were well outside of pistol range) and two 22/45 pistols.
The last firearm my father bought before he passed away was a Ruger LCP (Light Compact Pistol); a pocket pistol that can go just about anywhere discreetly. After Dad’s funeral, I gave the .22-250 to my cousin who has more coyotes on his West Texas farm than I do inside Claremore city limits. I also gave the Bisley Vaquero to one of Dad’s close church-, shooting-, and barbequing- buddies.
I know that many of you have memories like these of mine that center around our rich firearm heritage. Some things are just purely American, like Second Amendment values, and Sturm-Ruger Firearms. Come see a great collection of Sturm-Ruger firearms at the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum, on historic Route 66 in Claremore, OK. We are open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5:00, Saturday 10:00 to 5:00, and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00. For more information call (918) 341-5707 or visit our website: www.thegunmuseum.com.