Ruger Collectors' Association Show 2005
by Bill Hamm
photography by Matt Olivier
Ed. Note: In March 2005, our resident Ruger collecting expert Bill Hamm attended the annual Ruger Collectors gun show in Nashville, Tennessee. The show was sponsored by Bob Pope's Gun Shows. Pope is a great American, and his gun shows are among our favorites.
Bill Hamm is a regular exhibitor at Bob Pope's shows, and he took some time from his busy weekend to visit the other Ruger collectors and write brief descriptions of some of the exhibits. Our thanks also to Matt Olivier for taking pictures of the winning displays.
Please let Bob Pope know that you appreciate his encouragement of Ruger collecting by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling him at (615) 793-7364. He will send you a schedule of his upcoming shows for both his Nashville and Knoxville venues. Be sure to ask when the next RCA show will be, you don't want to miss one!
Check out our write-ups of previous Bob Pope / RCA shows at the following links:
RUGER COLLECTORS DISPLAY SHOW
18 – 20, 2005
BOB POPE’S GUN SHOW, SMYRNA, TN
This year’s annual Ruger Collectors Display show was hosted again by Mr. Bob Pope at his Smyrna, TN Expo Center.
There were eight Ruger Displays at this year’s event.
As you will see in the display descriptions, they were all great displays
and included many rare and interesting guns.
We had two new displayers, Matt Olivier and Dave Whitman.
We really appreciated them working to put together their displays and the
groups of fine Rugers that they brought out for everyone to see and enjoy.
There were several other new attendees that we hope will bring out their
displays next year.
There were several very nice Rugers that were purchased,
sold, and/or traded. One surprise
Ruger that showed up was from the collection of the show promoter, Mr. Bob Pope.
It was a .357 Blackhawk “Flattop”.
A rare “high polish” gun, serial number 79 !!
On Sunday morning, Mr. Pope held a silent auction among the Ruger
collectors who were interested. Congratulations
are in order for Jim Shafer who won this prize two-digit Flattop.
The displays are listed below. The collector’s name and a brief description of the display is also given. We also list the top three winning displays and the Best Gun(s) of the show.
Click pictures for a larger version
RUGER BISLEYS , by Bob Nelson
Bob’s complete Bisley display has an example of all of the 16 original gun; 4 in .22 caliber, 4 in .32 Magnum, and one fluted and non-fluted roll engraved cylinder each of the .357, .41, .44, and .45 calibers. Eight special issue Bisleys which included a consecutive serial numbered pair of RCA .32 Magnums, two .32s with stainless steel grip frames, three 5-1/2” barrel stainless Bisleys in .41 Mag., .44 Mag., and .45 Colt, and the extremely rare stainless 4-5/8” barrel “Tom Ruger Shootist”, 1 of 52 produced.
.44 CALIBER RUGERS EVOLUTION , by Matt Olivier
FIRST PLACE AWARD, NOVICE CLASS
Matt’s fine display depicted the evolution of several of the major variations of the .44 Magnum Flattops and Super Blackhawks. Flattops with 6-1/2”, 7-1/2” and 10” barrels were shown. The Super Blackhawks included a Mahogany boxed gun, a White boxed gun, a transition SBH, a 6-1/2” barreled SBH, the earliest known non-prefix Brass Frame SBH, and a “D” marked duplicate serial numbered Super. All of the guns had boxes displayed including the factory brass frame’s box and shipper.
THE ABCs of ALPHABET BEARCATS, by Jeanine May
Jeanine’s great Bearcat display chronicles the history of the Alphabet Bearcat series throughout its entire production period mid-1958 until late 1960. A total of 25 “Alphabet” Bearcats were displayed representing each letter of the alphabet. The letter “0” is believed to have never been produced. Examples of a Bearcat box, cardboard shipping carton, original instruction manual, period catalogs, and the first two advertisements in the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine accompanied the display.
FACTORY PRODUCTION BARRELS of SINGLE ACTIONS ’53–’73
By Dave Whitman
Dave’s display of fine condition Rugers represented an example of the different barrel lengths of the Single Action revolvers of all calibers produced from 1953 to 1973. Examples of boxes for these guns also accompanied the display. Dave also had an innovative “spinning” Ruger Eagle logo atop his display that was certainly an eye catcher!
SCREW BLUES by Bill Eyring
OF THE SHOW: CONSECUTIVE SERIAL NUMBERED “D” MARKED
If I counted right I think that Bill displayed about 38 fine examples of the .44 Flattop and Super Blackhawk. This covered the production period of 1956 – 1972.
Some of the rare to extremely rare guns in his display was a two-digit .44 Flattop, White boxed Supers, an 80-Prefix “S” marked SBH, a 6-1/2” “S” marked SBH, and a set of consecutive serials numbered “D” marked duplicate Supers. Examples of boxes and other supporting material accompanied this great 16 feet long display.
TWENTY-TWO .22s, THE RUGER SINGLE-SIX, 1953–1968, by Jim Shafer
Jim’s outstanding display included a complete set of Flatgates, a complete set of Lightweights including “S” marked guns, with both the Single-Sixes and Super Single-Sixes in between. Many of these guns had beautiful red cylinder frames that all collectors dream about. An extra Type 3 Flatgate with an after market period “Premiere” loading gate was also shown. Out front of the standing display was a factory “All Blue” Jerred Engraved Single-Six and a factory Nickel plated Super Single-Six. A parts board with most all of the parts changes during that period was also displayed as well as examples of the packaging for these guns.
RUGER’S FIRST BLACKHAWK, by Lee Sundermeier
Lee’s great .357 “Flattop” display had a total of 12 Type 1 guns. This included the #40 and #71 high polish finish Flattops, two “Ross” variations, and two consecutive serial numbered three-digit guns with a high polish finish. The display also included an example of a first month’s production New Model 50th Anniversary .357 “Flattop”. Examples of all types of XR3 grip panels, factory letters, advertisements, boxes, and factory photos accompanied the display.
RUGER .44 “FLATTOP”, by Bill Hamm
FIRST PLACE AWARD, ADVANCED CLASS
This display of twenty-seven .44 “Flattops” included examples of each major standard variation. Also displayed was a British proof marked gun, a consecutive numbered pair of Type 3 Flattops, a consecutive numbered pair of late production XR3-RED grip frame guns, and a 6-1/2” & 7-1/2” with XR3-RED grip frames and non-fluted Super Blackhawk cylinders. A very interesting 4-5/8” .44 Flattop was also displayed out front of the display. Examples of instruction manuals, period catalog, and boxes and a split top shipping carton accompanied the display.
We all gathered
Saturday night for a meal and the Awards distribution.
Bob Nelson presented several pieces of
Ruger Memorabilia donated by Sturm, Ruger, & Co., Inc., to
each displayer. Chad
Hiddleson also gives each first place display winner and the best gun(s) of
the show a free year’s subscription to the Red Eagle News Exchange.
We would like to encourage each of you to begin making plans to attend next year’s March Smyrna Display show. Get those displays built!! Any of you that have never displayed please ask first timers Dave Whitman or Matt Olivier how they liked it, I believe that they will tell you just how much fun it is. Not only will you enjoy it and likely gain fine guns for your collection but it will help further and support our hobby and continued collectibility and desirability of the fine Ruger Firearms.
The Ruger Collectors' Association is the oldest organization for the Ruger collector and/or enthusiast. Membership includes the Association's sporadically-produced newsletter and invitation to members-only events. For more information (or to apply for an annual membership), write to: Ruger Collectors' Association, Inc., P.O. Box 240, Greens Farms, CT 06436
The Red Eagle News Exchange is a quarterly publication filled with new information, updates, and articles about collecting Ruger firearms and memorabilia. This is an excellent resource for the Ruger collector and/or enthusiast, and the wealth of information sent to new subscribers as a free gift with a paid annual subscription is alone well worth the money. Highly recommended. For more information or to subscribe, write Red Eagle News Exchange (Chad Hiddleson - Editor), 1945 Clover Avenue, Perry, IA 50220, or call (515) 465-2057.
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