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Bourjaily: Is the Ruger Gold Label a Failed Classic?

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March 11, 2010

Bourjaily: Is the Ruger Gold Label a Failed Classic?

By Phil Bourjaily

In the “North American Shotgun Battery” post I mentioned a Ruger Gold Label as my plains and pheasant gun, prompting Ralph the Rifleman to write in and ask me about it, as he was thinking of buying one.  Unfortunately, even though the Ruger website showed the gun until recently, to my knowledge no new Gold Labels have been made for about four years. Now it is gone from the website and, as I understand it, officially dead. So, I have some explaining to do, since I gave the Gold Label Field & Stream’s Best of the Best award  back in 2005.  In the September 05 issue I wrote:

“Ruger’s Gold Label shotgun is a new American classic with distinctly English lines. Patterned after the round-action guns of John Dickson, the Gold Label is wonderfully slim and light; at 6 1 /2 pounds with 28-inch barrels, this 12 gauge is lighter and trimmer than many 20 gauges. . .

The Gold Label handles like a British best but sells for a price many ordinary uplanders can afford. Although the Gold Label was announced in 2002, production problems kept it from dealer’s shelves until this year. It’s here now, and upland hunters can rejoice. $2000.”

I still think the Gold Label – one of Bill Ruger’s final projects – was a great idea. At the time of that writing in ‘05, Ruger was finally producing Gold Labels and they were showing up in stores. However, what I didn’t know was that the Gold Label was too good to be true: it cost so much to produce that Ruger couldn’t make any money selling them for $2000.

I loved the lines and the feel my T&E* Gold Label enough to buy it despite flaws in its finish common to every Gold Label I’ve seen: look along the barrels on mine and you see ripples like an asphalt road on hot day.  Wood to metal fit is only adequate. The trademark Ruger stainless receiver would look much better if it were blued or case colored.  Nevertheless, it’s a fine hunting gun and the Gold Label represented a noble but failed effort to make a light, graceful side by side gun in the United States for little more than the price of a base model Citori or Beretta 686. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

*Testing and Evaluation. By the way, contrary to what many people believe, most manufacturers don’t cherry-pick or even look at the T&E guns they send us writers. We usually get the luck of the draw right out of the warehouse, just like everyone else.

       

Comments (40)

Top Rated
All Comments
from MLH wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

A mid-priced American-made double makes sense, but without double triggers I never even considered it. Otherwise, I like the looks, especially that big trigger guard.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I dunno. I had a Ruger Stainless All-Weather Trap Gun that was a failure because of basically the same reasons. A little too ambitious to produce it and offer it at a premium price, and yet the quality is not quite there, while the Brownings are perfect. When they stopped producing them, the clock started ticking to get rid of it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjenkins1 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I am fairly seasoned in classic shotguns and have NEVER seen a Ruger gold label. I have read your reviews on it before and it seemed to me to be fine, but im with you in that it may have just fallen short and become a "failed classic".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I read an interview w/the head of Ruger a couple of weeks ago. He stated the gold label was being put on the back burner as the company was concentrating more on their high cap pistols and the new AR offering.

FWIW, I think the gold label is a goner (at least in it's past form). Too expensive and difficult to produce it the way Ruger wanted to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Thanks for the info Phil;Now we know the REST OF THE STORY!Too bad it wasn't a success. Ruger firearms has got one heck of a record in the business!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

And I must applaud their effort! It takes Cojones to make a market effort like that and risk failure under a microscope.

To try to make a cheap Purdy and fail.

But they were certainly up to making the #1 and the New Model Blackhawk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blueridge wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

No rejoicing here...had hoped to get a true American double like the Ruger, someday.

It seems there is almost as much fun in 'finding' a good shotgun as there is in hunting birds. One is Effort translated into sweat, and the other is Effort, translated into dollars.

Blue

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kyka1865 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

We looked at a few and considered one but missed the double triggers and most of all Ruger never offered a Gold Lable to those of us who like 20's still.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quiet Loner wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I read the reviews, saw the pictures and thought at last I had to buy a SxS. Started saving, saw one in a store, never managed to get one. Don't know about up close looks but, as far as I'm concerned, it had the prettiest lines I ever saw. American Rifleman reviewer said "it points like the finger of God".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Dave, seems like I read somewhere that Ruger had some engineering/design problems with the Gold Label. Do side x sides require more engineering magic than a stack or single barrel?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

The Gold Labels I saw were good basic grunt s/s guns. There were many rough areas on the guns that were a turn-off for the asking prices. Folks aren't going to part with that much jack for obvious production flaws.

i.e. I know a Benelli dealer sending a 12-ga back because there was a gob of epoxy holding the front bead on. No one's gonna pay $1.5k for that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Why buy a "failed classic" for $2,000 when you can buy a proven classic (like my Fox Sterlingworth) for half the amount? Ruger is not the first company to find out that making a fine side by side is a helluva lot harder than it looks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

that's shame since i'm starting to really get into side bysides. am i too late or are there some really good ones for a decent price that i should look at?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I have yet to see this shotgun on the racks of locals dealers. Admittedly, there are a few pockets in my area that haven't gotten the news that Truman is no longer President, but I'll hope to examine it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

jamesti -- The CZ side by sides are very popular where I live and are quite reasonably priced. I like the Ithaca/SKB doubles from the 70s which show up used quite often.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

If the thing shoots and works well, then it's not a failure in the mechanical sense. It may have been a failure in the marketing sense if people wouldn't buy enough of them to sustain production. Is it a "classic?" It has the look and feel of a classic SxS double so you could say it has a classic design. But if that gun never "caught on" then you can't say it's a classic in the sense that "everyone had one at one time or another" like, for example, the Remington 870.

Seems like SxS shotguns just aren't as popular as OUs and therein lies the rub. I like them, and I'd pay (*did* pay) $3K for mine. I'd have saved longer if the entry price was $5K, but even at $3K I expect very good wood to metal fit and overall finish. Got that with my Weatherby so I am satisfied.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil, here it is a very basic/newbie question, since I´ve never been quite the shotgun man; more partial to rifles.
Whats the difference between the SxS and the O/U, like pros and cons, best uses for each one, etc.?

The only shotguns I ever used were my dad´s Westernfield 12 pumper and a rusty Savage one-shot .410 we had in a ranch for occasional quails, but never used them that much really.
Then in recent years my club made a skeet corridor or whatever is it called, and has held several tournaments, so I am considering to get me a double gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bill Stryker wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I am one of the lucky ones to have a Ruger Gold Label. I treasure it. It is a sweet package. It shoots very well for me.
Ruger makes great products and stands behind everything they sell.
I must thank the brothers at Roddy's Gunshop in Newport, New Hampshire for finding my Gold Label for me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Ricardo Rodriguez -- If you're interested in clay target shooting, an O/U is the better choice. Even though you look at the target and never at the barrels when you shoot clays, the narrower profile of an O/U barrel in your periphereal vision is less visually confusing for most people.
Side by side guns are often lighter and trimmer than O/Us and make great upland guns, although O/Us are more popular than side by sides pretty much across the board these days.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil, thanks a lot for your quick answer, really appreciate it.
I have noticed too that O/U´s are more abundant than side by sides, and was wondering wich would be better.

As I said, I am saving the money to make the trip to Mexico City to get me an O/U, probably a CZ, but to make worth the trip, am also saving to buy two .22 rifles, a CZ-453 varmint and a Mendoza P-22 "Puma" 16-shot tube-fed autoloader that was brought back from the dead like 3 years ago and have had good reviews from people who owns them, as a good gun for the price (about 3,000 pesos) Don´t know if they sell them in the USA or if they did in the 60´s.

Visit www.mexicoarmado.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I am not sure but I am told that sxs shotguns are harder to align Points of aim to shoot closer to the same angle. That is why Purdeys Holland and Holland an Merkels etc are so expensive the do the work needed to make it so. I really do not KNOW this but it sounds logical.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Here is a 360 degree overview of a Mendoza Puma 17-shot autoloader rifle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whojppgG2C8

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I always thought the SxS aimed more naturally, then again I grew up shooting Dad's old SxS with the old style double triggers, no clue what make or model it was but sure felt easy to point and shoot, took a while to get used to just 1 barrel when I started shooting one of those "newfangled" pumps as Dad called them, always said I got 3 shots with this, he'd say if you do it right you don't even need 2, why have 3?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

thanks phil, i forgot about the cz's. good call.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert Ewing wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I picked up the CZ partridge last Sept.Looks like a toy ,but I've been real happy with it.It was a good fit for the money and I performed real well with it,except when the dog tricked me into working the wrong side of the apple tree.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Since I sell guns for a living, I can tell you that when Gold Labels were first and foremost on the mind, Ruger could have easily charged more and still had a line of customers waiting, leaving shooters happy with their new gun and profits a plenty to make it worth their while.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mactrager wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil, I'm with you. I learned how to shoot a shotgun with my dad and grandfather with a .410 Citori, switched to a 20 gauge LT100 and then an SBE. After about 25 years with autos I am know looking at getting a Beretta 471 Silver Hawk 12 gauge. It is funning I have found myself in the past few years being less and less impressed with new technology, I am now using a Ruger #1 for deer and am looking at a SBS for ducks, quail and dove.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil I have heard wonderful things about the
Gold Label except the barrels are thin and can be dented quite easily.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Sorry Phil, had I been paying attention when I asked my question, I would have seen that this was not DEP's post. Please respond, and thanks much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Sorry I'm sticking with stack barrels. Never could hit anything looking down two barrels at once.

NOS but if you turkey hunt you will want to look at the turkey call Beekeeper made for me. Click my username and look in the photo files. She is a beauty and the sound is so good old Gobblers will become suicidal when they hear these yelps.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Stevens 311 doubles were successful as a "using" SxS gun with no frills and a low price. One would think that Ruger could turn out a Dickson type action gun with materiels and workmanship equal to the 311 but with better wood and fit for many times over the price of the old Stevens. I once saw a Stevens in 12 ga that a gunsmith had spent considerable time and expense reworking for himself. Danged if it didn't look quite presentable and since it fit him he was deadly on birds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

007 -- Regulating side by side guns so both barrels shoot to the same point of impact is tricky and time-consuming.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scotguns wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

I had a couple of early conversations with Bill Ruger regarding the overall design. Obvious to me the Dickson lookalike could not be manufactured for the suggested retail price. I ordered a pair and after many months they were delivered (2004). Bill had departed this life at the time, so I wrote the Company with my impressions and they were not favorable. The guns were heavier than advertised and I thought the workmanship was sub par.I shot them a few times and they now rest in my gun cabinet.
Since I own a pair of Dickson 12 bores (1901) and a pair of 20 bores (1996),I did not expect to be able to be a fair judge. But obviously the market place made the final decision.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan Nelson wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

I live in England, originally from NC, I have never heard of the Ruger shotgun over here, for around $2000 or £1200, NEW we could get a Beretta Silver Pigeon, and under a £1000 we have Italian, Spanish etc. all new..
O/U is still the most popular, right now, but more and more hunters are going back to the S/S, if nothing else the weight of the gun, and I know this might sound a bit...sleekness,
What is the most popular shotguns in USA? O/U or S/S or Semi auto? For wing shooting I am thinking about.
Thank you for yoru time.

Bryan Nelson
www.Sportingagent.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Thanks, Phil, appreciated. Grouse hunting fiend friend of mine was on a waiting list for a Gold Label. Last I heard, that's as far as it got.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from egl52 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I just picked up my Gold Label yesterday. I bought it from a guy on gunbroker who obviously did not know its value, as he was selling it below the original retail price! Said he never fired it, and now that it's in my hands I have no reason to doubt him. Mine has excellent wood, acceptable wood-to-metal fit, and none of the barrel ripples that Bourjaily mentioned. Of course, the true test will be when I get it out and shoot it, but my initial impression is that this is one of the very few guns that I'll keep for life.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from egl52 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Pulled the trigger on my Gold Label for the first time last Saturday. It's been a while since I shot sporting clays, but once I remembered what I was doing I shot the Gold Label as good or better than any shotgun I've yet owned or tried. After 100 rounds or so, I can appreciate why 80% of the used Gold Labels I see have had their stocks cut and a recoil pad added. A 6.5 pound 12 gauge with no recoil pad hurts after a while! So far I love it though. Still can't believe I got such a good deal on it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from snipekiller wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Phil, iwould buy one if ruger ever starts production.Really, I would love to see them in.20 orbest of all,.16.I saved a long time for one,gave up and got a new .28 red label. it sure is sweet shooting andlight carrying gun,but istill have room for a gold label.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wynn baldock wrote 3 years 19 weeks ago

I am a big Ruger O/U fan, and I also own a handful of older American made SXS's that I rarely shoot (LC Smith and Fox), so when Ruger started advertising their Gold Label SXS, I had to have one. Like everyone else, I saw the gun advertised and kept calling Ruger to see when they would be released. Finally, my persistence paid off and I took delivery of a beautiful Gold Label with great wood and a straight stock, thinking this would be the SXS that I would take the to field and actually shoot. Then I started hearing about Ruger stopping production, and the guns being hard to find, so I thought I'd sit tight and keep the gun in its box for a while. Now, given the scarcity, I keep the Gold Label in a fitted hard case, right next to the Foxes and the LC Smiths, and admire it from time to time....never been fired. A wasted opportunity perhaps, but in my opinion, it is a beautiful American made shotgun worthy of preserving. When I head to the field, more often than not, I still reach for a Ruger Red label O/U, but I glance at the Gold Label as I walk by the shelf, and I smile every time. Maybe I'll let my grandson shoot it someday.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clance wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

All I use is the 20ga and would have thought that if they offered their Red Label sized for the different gauge that they would have also offered the Gold in the same, at least in the 20.

The gun had beautiful lines but was a plain jane! Nothing wrong with plain janes but most like to dress her up (options) to our own liking.

IMO had Ruger offer the Gold Label in (sized for gauge) 16, 20, & 28 with options like English or pistol grip stock, double or single select triggers, extractors/ejectors, select fix chokes, splinter or beavertail forearm and different grades and selection of wood/engraving. Ruger could have charge for these options and made up the difference between breaking even and making a nice profit.

The American shooter is starving for a well made American classic in the vein of Fox, Parker & Smith. The Ruger Gold Label offers that to them but just didn't (IMO) go far enough!

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Post a Comment

from jjas wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I read an interview w/the head of Ruger a couple of weeks ago. He stated the gold label was being put on the back burner as the company was concentrating more on their high cap pistols and the new AR offering.

FWIW, I think the gold label is a goner (at least in it's past form). Too expensive and difficult to produce it the way Ruger wanted to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Thanks for the info Phil;Now we know the REST OF THE STORY!Too bad it wasn't a success. Ruger firearms has got one heck of a record in the business!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Ricardo Rodriguez -- If you're interested in clay target shooting, an O/U is the better choice. Even though you look at the target and never at the barrels when you shoot clays, the narrower profile of an O/U barrel in your periphereal vision is less visually confusing for most people.
Side by side guns are often lighter and trimmer than O/Us and make great upland guns, although O/Us are more popular than side by sides pretty much across the board these days.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

A mid-priced American-made double makes sense, but without double triggers I never even considered it. Otherwise, I like the looks, especially that big trigger guard.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I dunno. I had a Ruger Stainless All-Weather Trap Gun that was a failure because of basically the same reasons. A little too ambitious to produce it and offer it at a premium price, and yet the quality is not quite there, while the Brownings are perfect. When they stopped producing them, the clock started ticking to get rid of it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjenkins1 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I am fairly seasoned in classic shotguns and have NEVER seen a Ruger gold label. I have read your reviews on it before and it seemed to me to be fine, but im with you in that it may have just fallen short and become a "failed classic".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

And I must applaud their effort! It takes Cojones to make a market effort like that and risk failure under a microscope.

To try to make a cheap Purdy and fail.

But they were certainly up to making the #1 and the New Model Blackhawk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blueridge wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

No rejoicing here...had hoped to get a true American double like the Ruger, someday.

It seems there is almost as much fun in 'finding' a good shotgun as there is in hunting birds. One is Effort translated into sweat, and the other is Effort, translated into dollars.

Blue

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kyka1865 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

We looked at a few and considered one but missed the double triggers and most of all Ruger never offered a Gold Lable to those of us who like 20's still.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quiet Loner wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I read the reviews, saw the pictures and thought at last I had to buy a SxS. Started saving, saw one in a store, never managed to get one. Don't know about up close looks but, as far as I'm concerned, it had the prettiest lines I ever saw. American Rifleman reviewer said "it points like the finger of God".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Dave, seems like I read somewhere that Ruger had some engineering/design problems with the Gold Label. Do side x sides require more engineering magic than a stack or single barrel?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

The Gold Labels I saw were good basic grunt s/s guns. There were many rough areas on the guns that were a turn-off for the asking prices. Folks aren't going to part with that much jack for obvious production flaws.

i.e. I know a Benelli dealer sending a 12-ga back because there was a gob of epoxy holding the front bead on. No one's gonna pay $1.5k for that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Why buy a "failed classic" for $2,000 when you can buy a proven classic (like my Fox Sterlingworth) for half the amount? Ruger is not the first company to find out that making a fine side by side is a helluva lot harder than it looks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

that's shame since i'm starting to really get into side bysides. am i too late or are there some really good ones for a decent price that i should look at?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I have yet to see this shotgun on the racks of locals dealers. Admittedly, there are a few pockets in my area that haven't gotten the news that Truman is no longer President, but I'll hope to examine it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

jamesti -- The CZ side by sides are very popular where I live and are quite reasonably priced. I like the Ithaca/SKB doubles from the 70s which show up used quite often.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

If the thing shoots and works well, then it's not a failure in the mechanical sense. It may have been a failure in the marketing sense if people wouldn't buy enough of them to sustain production. Is it a "classic?" It has the look and feel of a classic SxS double so you could say it has a classic design. But if that gun never "caught on" then you can't say it's a classic in the sense that "everyone had one at one time or another" like, for example, the Remington 870.

Seems like SxS shotguns just aren't as popular as OUs and therein lies the rub. I like them, and I'd pay (*did* pay) $3K for mine. I'd have saved longer if the entry price was $5K, but even at $3K I expect very good wood to metal fit and overall finish. Got that with my Weatherby so I am satisfied.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil, here it is a very basic/newbie question, since I´ve never been quite the shotgun man; more partial to rifles.
Whats the difference between the SxS and the O/U, like pros and cons, best uses for each one, etc.?

The only shotguns I ever used were my dad´s Westernfield 12 pumper and a rusty Savage one-shot .410 we had in a ranch for occasional quails, but never used them that much really.
Then in recent years my club made a skeet corridor or whatever is it called, and has held several tournaments, so I am considering to get me a double gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bill Stryker wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I am one of the lucky ones to have a Ruger Gold Label. I treasure it. It is a sweet package. It shoots very well for me.
Ruger makes great products and stands behind everything they sell.
I must thank the brothers at Roddy's Gunshop in Newport, New Hampshire for finding my Gold Label for me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil, thanks a lot for your quick answer, really appreciate it.
I have noticed too that O/U´s are more abundant than side by sides, and was wondering wich would be better.

As I said, I am saving the money to make the trip to Mexico City to get me an O/U, probably a CZ, but to make worth the trip, am also saving to buy two .22 rifles, a CZ-453 varmint and a Mendoza P-22 "Puma" 16-shot tube-fed autoloader that was brought back from the dead like 3 years ago and have had good reviews from people who owns them, as a good gun for the price (about 3,000 pesos) Don´t know if they sell them in the USA or if they did in the 60´s.

Visit www.mexicoarmado.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Here is a 360 degree overview of a Mendoza Puma 17-shot autoloader rifle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whojppgG2C8

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I always thought the SxS aimed more naturally, then again I grew up shooting Dad's old SxS with the old style double triggers, no clue what make or model it was but sure felt easy to point and shoot, took a while to get used to just 1 barrel when I started shooting one of those "newfangled" pumps as Dad called them, always said I got 3 shots with this, he'd say if you do it right you don't even need 2, why have 3?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

thanks phil, i forgot about the cz's. good call.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert Ewing wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I picked up the CZ partridge last Sept.Looks like a toy ,but I've been real happy with it.It was a good fit for the money and I performed real well with it,except when the dog tricked me into working the wrong side of the apple tree.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Since I sell guns for a living, I can tell you that when Gold Labels were first and foremost on the mind, Ruger could have easily charged more and still had a line of customers waiting, leaving shooters happy with their new gun and profits a plenty to make it worth their while.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mactrager wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil, I'm with you. I learned how to shoot a shotgun with my dad and grandfather with a .410 Citori, switched to a 20 gauge LT100 and then an SBE. After about 25 years with autos I am know looking at getting a Beretta 471 Silver Hawk 12 gauge. It is funning I have found myself in the past few years being less and less impressed with new technology, I am now using a Ruger #1 for deer and am looking at a SBS for ducks, quail and dove.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Stevens 311 doubles were successful as a "using" SxS gun with no frills and a low price. One would think that Ruger could turn out a Dickson type action gun with materiels and workmanship equal to the 311 but with better wood and fit for many times over the price of the old Stevens. I once saw a Stevens in 12 ga that a gunsmith had spent considerable time and expense reworking for himself. Danged if it didn't look quite presentable and since it fit him he was deadly on birds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

007 -- Regulating side by side guns so both barrels shoot to the same point of impact is tricky and time-consuming.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Phil I have heard wonderful things about the
Gold Label except the barrels are thin and can be dented quite easily.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Sorry Phil, had I been paying attention when I asked my question, I would have seen that this was not DEP's post. Please respond, and thanks much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Sorry I'm sticking with stack barrels. Never could hit anything looking down two barrels at once.

NOS but if you turkey hunt you will want to look at the turkey call Beekeeper made for me. Click my username and look in the photo files. She is a beauty and the sound is so good old Gobblers will become suicidal when they hear these yelps.

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from scotguns wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

I had a couple of early conversations with Bill Ruger regarding the overall design. Obvious to me the Dickson lookalike could not be manufactured for the suggested retail price. I ordered a pair and after many months they were delivered (2004). Bill had departed this life at the time, so I wrote the Company with my impressions and they were not favorable. The guns were heavier than advertised and I thought the workmanship was sub par.I shot them a few times and they now rest in my gun cabinet.
Since I own a pair of Dickson 12 bores (1901) and a pair of 20 bores (1996),I did not expect to be able to be a fair judge. But obviously the market place made the final decision.

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from Bryan Nelson wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

I live in England, originally from NC, I have never heard of the Ruger shotgun over here, for around $2000 or £1200, NEW we could get a Beretta Silver Pigeon, and under a £1000 we have Italian, Spanish etc. all new..
O/U is still the most popular, right now, but more and more hunters are going back to the S/S, if nothing else the weight of the gun, and I know this might sound a bit...sleekness,
What is the most popular shotguns in USA? O/U or S/S or Semi auto? For wing shooting I am thinking about.
Thank you for yoru time.

Bryan Nelson
www.Sportingagent.com

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from 007 wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Thanks, Phil, appreciated. Grouse hunting fiend friend of mine was on a waiting list for a Gold Label. Last I heard, that's as far as it got.

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from egl52 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I just picked up my Gold Label yesterday. I bought it from a guy on gunbroker who obviously did not know its value, as he was selling it below the original retail price! Said he never fired it, and now that it's in my hands I have no reason to doubt him. Mine has excellent wood, acceptable wood-to-metal fit, and none of the barrel ripples that Bourjaily mentioned. Of course, the true test will be when I get it out and shoot it, but my initial impression is that this is one of the very few guns that I'll keep for life.

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from egl52 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Pulled the trigger on my Gold Label for the first time last Saturday. It's been a while since I shot sporting clays, but once I remembered what I was doing I shot the Gold Label as good or better than any shotgun I've yet owned or tried. After 100 rounds or so, I can appreciate why 80% of the used Gold Labels I see have had their stocks cut and a recoil pad added. A 6.5 pound 12 gauge with no recoil pad hurts after a while! So far I love it though. Still can't believe I got such a good deal on it.

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from snipekiller wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Phil, iwould buy one if ruger ever starts production.Really, I would love to see them in.20 orbest of all,.16.I saved a long time for one,gave up and got a new .28 red label. it sure is sweet shooting andlight carrying gun,but istill have room for a gold label.

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from wynn baldock wrote 3 years 19 weeks ago

I am a big Ruger O/U fan, and I also own a handful of older American made SXS's that I rarely shoot (LC Smith and Fox), so when Ruger started advertising their Gold Label SXS, I had to have one. Like everyone else, I saw the gun advertised and kept calling Ruger to see when they would be released. Finally, my persistence paid off and I took delivery of a beautiful Gold Label with great wood and a straight stock, thinking this would be the SXS that I would take the to field and actually shoot. Then I started hearing about Ruger stopping production, and the guns being hard to find, so I thought I'd sit tight and keep the gun in its box for a while. Now, given the scarcity, I keep the Gold Label in a fitted hard case, right next to the Foxes and the LC Smiths, and admire it from time to time....never been fired. A wasted opportunity perhaps, but in my opinion, it is a beautiful American made shotgun worthy of preserving. When I head to the field, more often than not, I still reach for a Ruger Red label O/U, but I glance at the Gold Label as I walk by the shelf, and I smile every time. Maybe I'll let my grandson shoot it someday.....

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from clance wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

All I use is the 20ga and would have thought that if they offered their Red Label sized for the different gauge that they would have also offered the Gold in the same, at least in the 20.

The gun had beautiful lines but was a plain jane! Nothing wrong with plain janes but most like to dress her up (options) to our own liking.

IMO had Ruger offer the Gold Label in (sized for gauge) 16, 20, & 28 with options like English or pistol grip stock, double or single select triggers, extractors/ejectors, select fix chokes, splinter or beavertail forearm and different grades and selection of wood/engraving. Ruger could have charge for these options and made up the difference between breaking even and making a nice profit.

The American shooter is starving for a well made American classic in the vein of Fox, Parker & Smith. The Ruger Gold Label offers that to them but just didn't (IMO) go far enough!

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from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

I am not sure but I am told that sxs shotguns are harder to align Points of aim to shoot closer to the same angle. That is why Purdeys Holland and Holland an Merkels etc are so expensive the do the work needed to make it so. I really do not KNOW this but it sounds logical.

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