What Bill Ruger told me .

Forums General Discussion What Bill Ruger told me .

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    JoeWayneRhea
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    Years ago when I wasn’t quite as boring as I am today I attended the SHOT Show almost every year . I shot on an archery companies factory staff and every year I walked around in a ridiculous shirt with lots of sewn on patches and gawked at the celebrities, athletes , new goodies , and models in camo skimpy swimwear .
    One of the trips was pretty much the same as another , new stuff …same dead tired feet after a couple days .
    I honestly was so wrapped up in archery I didn’t notice the gun booths as much except for the Ruger booth . I am a huge fan of the Ruger #1. I was looking at them and over towards the wall at one of the shows was this great big dude …As big as I am now but taller . Looking both uncomfortable and had kind of an air of authority to him . He made me think of my grandfather a LOT …It was the only reason he caught my attention. Took me a minute but I realized it was Bill Ruger . No one was talking to him and he appeared to be just fine with that . He was kinda just people watching , and looking at his employees kissing ass and glad handing everyone.
    Well my Dumb ass never met a stranger so i walked over introduced myself and shook his hand . He was really nice but kinda gruff i guess you would say . We talked for close to an hour , about just guy stuff.. Shooting , hunting , cars , which bikini model was the hottest . But during our conversation he said 3 things that to this day have always stuck with me .
    DONT EVER BE AFRAID TO SPEAK YOUR MIND , BUT BE WILLING TO ADMIT IT WHEN YOU ARE WRONG .
    Something only a guy who’s Been wrong and Right a lot could relate to .
    QUALITY COST MONEY , IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEEDYOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW MUCH QUALITY YOUR CUSTOMER IS WILLING TO PAY FOR .
    That one really hits home with what I do for a living ( Quality Control ) and the last one is the one ive always kinda had stuck in my mind .
    MY NAME IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE GUN THAT YOU PERSONALLY BOUGHT , PEOPLE DONT GIVE A DAMN HOW GOOD THE REST ARE .
    That is the one that best summed up my Dads approach to working on things . A million well done jobs don’t mean a damn thing to the guy who’s gun you just screwed up .
    Anyway My Grandfather been on my mind lately , and so had that conversation… Thought I would share it with you guys .
    The other thing he said to me Ive never decided if it was a compliment or not :) ….After a while during our conversation he looked at me and said …” DONT MUCH INTIMIDATE YOU DOES IT ?”….and then went right back to talking . …….
    Ive never been quite sure sure if he was saying I had balls , or I was too stupid to realize he wanted to be left the hell alone .??? Lol

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    aa_limited
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    nice read thanks for posting

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    oldspook
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    Very cool.  Always liked his shootin’ irons.

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    Alan
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    You’re being polite Joe.

    Circa the late 60s, Bill Ruger visited Hodgden’s Gun Shop in Overland Park, KS. I just happened to be in the store that day. I recognized him, but didn’t speak to him because too many other guys (like you I assume) were taking him at the time. The one thing I remember him saying, and I’ll clean it up a bit, was this tidbit….

    It doesn’t make diddly squat what folks think of me personally. The only thing they need to like is my guns! 

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    crosman2016
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    Man OP, your lucky you had that opportunity to meet Bill Ruger!  I own a number of Ruger products, but the No. 1 is not one of them….sigh.  It is one of the finest single shots, in my humble opinion.  If I had the chance to buy one, I would want it chambered in 7x57mm Mauser.  

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    Ziabeam
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    Celebs say the darndest things. When I assured (shall not be named) I’d rebarrel his gun promptly, he exclaimed “I’ll love you forever if you do”… awkward… until it dawned on me… it’s got to be difficult to convey sincere gratitude when you’re an icon.

    The fact that Mr. Ruger talked to you for an hour is no surprise. You’re a fascinating dude. He must have had a lucid moment… reveling in your candor and unique style, … intangibles of yours that make AGN more interesting too !!!

    Salute!

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    Wager
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    That was a good read, thanks for sharing.

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    Volatile
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    Interesting story. If he were alive today, I wonder if he’d allow his name to be used to sell cheap Chinese air rifles.

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    LIVIT
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    Great story Joe. Both my Grandfathers were men like that. One always impressed on me that a man is only as good as his word. The other was a very quiet but powerful man who would of said “that’s just the Cowboy way, being a real man” It is sad that this is not the modern way of thinking and up bringing.    Dale

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    Smaug
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    Thanks for sharing that Joe. 

    Volatile: I had the same thought. I figure he wouldn’t allow it; he wouldn’t be on board with putting his name on Chinese products with poor QC.

    The days where company owners genuinely value quality and reputation are mostly gone. Now, it’s just about cashing in.

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    Lewis
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    Thanks for the read.
    I’ve been lucky enough to meet or talk to a number of celebrities (including Ted Bier and Matt Dauber lol) most have been very willing to talk about the things they were interested in for long periods. I spent a good while talking to Randy Johnson and Tim Allen at the Barrett Jackson auction one year, it was great fun and they never acted any differently than any other hot rod nut!
     

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    fr8rbum747
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    Thanks Joe…Good read…

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