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W. B. Ruger verstorben

Am 6. Juli 2002 verstarb William Batterman Ruger, der Gründer und langjährige Chef von Sturm, Ruger & Company, dem größten Feuerwaffen-Hersteller der USA, im Alter von 86 Jahren nach langer, schwerer Krankheit.

William Batterman Ruger (1916-2002)
Mehr als 20 Millionen Schußwaffen für Jagd, Sport und Verteidigung hat das Unternehmen seit 1949 hergestellt, davon allein 1997 mehr als 600.000 Stück. Die Firma hat ihren Sitz in Southport im US-Staat Connecticut und Produktionsstätten in Newport (NH) and Prescott in Arizona. William B. Ruger wurde am 21. Juni 1916 in Brooklyn, New York geboren. Die erste Waffe, die seines Vaters, reparierte er mit 12 Jahren, später konstruierte er während des Studiums ein leichtes Maschinengewehr für die US-Army und bekam das Angebot einer Festanstellung. Im Jahr 1949 gründete er das Unternehmen Sturm, Ruger & Company zusammen mit Alexander McCormick Sturm, der aber bereits 1951 verstarb und Ruger zum Alleininhaber machte. Das erste Produkt war eine seltsam gestaltete, aber äußerst praktisch konstruierte Kleinkaliber-Pistole: Mit der Mark I, die in zahllosen Varianten bis heute gefertigt wird, begann der Aufstieg der Firma. Heute gibt es mehr als 50 verschiedene Waffenmodelle (Pistolen, Revolver, Gewehre und Flinten) in mehr als 300 Variationen. Ruger selbst war ein Allround-Genie wie Samuel Colt, immer bereit, originelle Produkte zum richtigen Zeitpunkt herauszubringen - etwa das Ruger Mini 14 als Zivil-Ersatz für das M 14, den KK-Selbstlader 10/77, der die Grundlage für zahllose Tuning-Varianten bildet und vor allem die "Wiedergeburt" der Western-Sechsschüsser, allein voran der Blackhawk in Single Action, der just auf den US-Markt kam, als Colt die SAA-Fertigung einstellte. Dazu führte Ruger kostengünstige Stahlguß-Herstellungsmethoden ein, die auch eine flexible Produktion von Modellvarianten ermöglichte. Wenn er sich nicht mit Feuerwaffen beschäftigte, widmete sich Ruger seinen Hobbies: dem Sammeln alter Waffen, Western-Gemälde des 19. Jahrhunderts, und seiner landesweit bekannten Oldtimer-Sammlung von mehr als 30 Fahrzeugen, darunter Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Bugattis, Stutzes, und einen 1913 Mercer Raceabouts. Er konstruierte sogar eine Sportlimousine, den Ruger Special, auf der Basis eines 1929er Bentleys mit Viereinhalb-Liter-Maschine sowie eine Yacht, die Titania. Die Firmenleitung hatte der Senior schon lange an seinen Sohn William B. Ruger junior übergeben, sein zweiter Sohn James Thompson ("Tom") Ruger ist ebenso wie Rugers Gattin Mary Thompson Ruger bereits verstorben.
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FIREARMS LEGEND, WILLIAM B. RUGER, DIES

Founder of Largest U.S. Firearms Manufacturer

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.

Prescott, Arizona, July 8, 2002 - -, William Batterman Ruger, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Sturm, Ruger & Company, the largest firearms manufacturer in the United States, and widely recognized as one of "America's greatest gun designers," died peacefully at home on Saturday, July 6, 2002, at age 86, after a period of failing health.
A legend in American industry, Ruger had a hand in the original design and time-honored styling of every firearm his company has produced, and continued to work on new creations up until his death. Ruger steered his business from "it can't be done" remarks to a New York Stock Exchange corporation (NYSE: RGR) which has produced more than 20,000,000 firearms for hunting, target shooting, collecting, self-defense, law enforcement and government agencies.
Ruger teamed with Alexander McCormick Sturm and established Sturm, Ruger & Company in 1949. Subsequent to Sturm's death in 1951, under Ruger's leadership, the Company produced more types of sporting firearms than any other firearms firm in the world. His first firearm introduction in 1949, a stylish .22 caliber target pistol, was considered "the first gun" of many Americans, and is still one of the most popular target pistols in widespread use.
With plants located in Newport, New Hampshire, and Prescott, Arizona, and corporate headquarters in Southport, Connecticut, Sturm, Ruger manufactures high-quality rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers for a variety of sporting and law-enforcement purposes. Its precision investment castings are made for a wide variety of industries, including aero-space, automotive, general manufacturing and the golf market.
"Ruger was a true firearms genius who mastered the disciplines of inventing, designing, engineering, manufacturing and marketing better than anyone since Samuel Colt," said R.L. Wilson, firearms historian and Ruger's biographer. "No one in the 20th century so clearly dominated the field, or was so skilled at articulating the unique appeal of quality firearms for legitimate uses."
Born June 21, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York, Ruger first developed his passion for guns when he received his own rifle from his father at age 12. As a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, he converted an empty room into a machine shop and, in 1938, came up with initial designs for what eventually became a light machine gun for the Army - executing the drawings on his in-laws' dining room table. Ordnance officials liked the gun, and launched Ruger into becoming a full-time gun designer. He helped invent and patent dozens of models of sporting firearms during the last 53 years, which were instant and enduring successes. His advertising stressed mechanical innovation and safety.
When not involved with his firearms operations, Ruger indulged his life-long passions, including antique firearms, 19th Century Western American art, and his nationally noted antique car collection of more than 30 vehicles, including Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Bugattis, Stutzes, and a 1913 Mercer Raceabout, among others.
Ruger also commissioned the design and construction of a classically styled sports tourer automobile in 1970 called the Ruger Special, based on the design of the 1929 Bentley 4½ liter. He also designed and commissioned a 92-foot yacht, the Titania.
His philanthropy was especially evident through charities in communities where his factories were located, as well as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, where he served as a member of the Board of Trustees for over 15 years.
Ruger is survived by his son William B. Ruger, Jr., who is the current Chairman of the Company; daughter Carolyn R. Vogel; six grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, the late Mary Thompson Ruger; and a son, the late James Thompson ("Tom") Ruger. His inspirational leadership and guidance will be sincerely missed by all who were privileged to work for him.
Visiting hours will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, July 12th at the Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home, 42 Main Street, Newport, New Hampshire. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 13th, on the grounds of the Central Station of Blue Mountain Forest Association, Central Station Road, Croydon, New Hampshire. There will be a reception at the same location, immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions should be sent to the Dartmouth Medical School, 1 Rope Ferry Road, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755; or the Yavapai Regional Medical Center, 1003 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona 86301