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Taking the old 1985 Red Label 12 ga. hunting tomorrow. Red Labels are part of our family. Dad has a sweet 20 ga. English stock, my son has a 20 ga. and I have an old 12 ga and a new 12 ga.

I know the Red Labels never quite had the cachet of other premium brands but they're a fine field gun and were always a decent, medium-priced option and American made to boot.

I hang out a lot over at the Ruger forum and a guy joined recently with the complaint that he had just bought this used Red Label and went to shoot it the first time and had some issues. Kinda down in the mouth about the gun and regretted buying it, etc. Well long story short - he calls Ruger and Ruger sends him a pre-paid mailing label to ship the gun back and then returns his gun a few weeks later completely repaired, test fired, RE-BLUED(!) and all at no cost to the guy! The gun was around 20 years old! Ruger has discontinued production of Red Labels so really they had no obligation whatsoever to the guy. Pretty amazing customer service.

I'll try to post some pictures of the 27 year old Red Label later. It has some pretty wood and also the proud scars from years of field use.

Love the Red Label!

Wave
 

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hey wave, hope your hunt this morning goes well, in spite of the frankenstorm. looking forward to those pics. your thoughts about the red label sum up my thoughts about ruger in general: quality products that are reliable and last forever. rugers are the hardworking midrange vehicles of the firearms world, and citoris and others are the prima dona porsches and audis-- fun, no doubt, but it seems most folks like to brag about them because everyone will know they dropped a wad of cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hey wave, hope your hunt this morning goes well, in spite of the frankenstorm. looking forward to those pics. your thoughts about the red label sum up my thoughts about ruger in general: quality products that are reliable and last forever. rugers are the hardworking midrange vehicles of the firearms world, and citoris and others are the prima dona porsches and audis-- fun, no doubt, but it seems most folks like to brag about them because everyone will know they dropped a wad of cash.
Ha ha - nice analogy. One of the guys I hunted with yesterday had a classic Parker double in 20 ga. - that gun is probably worth well north of $10K. But dang it if he didn't outshoot everybody there! Of course, he's also a ranked Senior Master in sporting clays and shoots all the time in competition, etc. Most of us got skunked or got one or two birds but this guy got at least a dozen. Winds made conditions tough for us amateurs.

Good shotguns are expensive and probably worth it at some level. Most of us can't shoot well enough to justify the expense or have the money regardless. Would never turn down a Citori if given one though...... :D

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Ha ha - nice analogy. One of the guys I hunted with yesterday had a classic Parker double in 20 ga. - that gun is probably worth well north of $10K. But dang it if he didn't outshoot everybody there! Of course, he's also a ranked Senior Master in sporting clays and shoots all the time in competition, etc. Most of us got skunked or got one or two birds but this guy got at least a dozen. Winds made conditions tough for us amateurs.

Good shotguns are expensive and probably worth it at some level. Most of us can't shoot well enough to justify the expense or have the money regardless. Would never turn down a Citori if given one though...... :D

Wave
oh, make no mistake - i wouldn't turn one down either, just as i wouldn't scoff if someone tossed me the keys to their boxster. but in either case, give me two of them and i'd be selling one (if not both).

too bad about the hunting. still worth doing, though. you doubtless had a good time, and your son will remember it for ages. i think back on times spent skiing or fishing with my dad, and i remember some great runs, and some great fish, but mostly i remember the time being out there together and the stories i now have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...too bad about the hunting. still worth doing, though. you doubtless had a good time, and your son will remember it for ages. i think back on times spent skiing or fishing with my dad, and i remember some great runs, and some great fish, but mostly i remember the time being out there together and the stories i now have.
You bet! We had a great time and a full day. Left the house at 9AM and got home after 9PM.

Here's a picture of the Red Label Family:



Wave
 

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beautiful! and the wood is so nice on those--- that's one of a number of things lacking on my 870. wood doesn't look horrible for a laminate, but nothing like that....
 

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Very nice, guys! I have always been a Ruger fan, Over four decades, I have gone through three Ruger 10/22's. The previous two were "lost" during relocation, apparently others liked them as much as myself.
I love my current semi-auto, the only issue is that it will not "eat" all brands of 12 ga ammo that a O/U chews up. I have one cheap O/U that was a poor choice on my part. The barrels are a lot heavier than I like to swing. I can do it and make the hits but its fatiguing and this sport is a heck of a lot more fun when you don't wear yourself out in three rounds.
Recently a shooter allowed me to have a go with his 24 inch, 20 ga O/U and it was love on the first shot. Recoil is manageable and she swung like a dream. The action crisp and professional. I am reconsidering the O/U style simply because they will eat anything, and I am only allowed 2 shots under range rules.
What I am looking for is a quality, lightweight(6 1/2 pounds), 24-26" barrels, 12-20 ga O/U priced under 2 grand.
Any ideas?
 

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just me, but rl's feel like 2x4's in my hands. sorry guys.
 

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I didn't mind the handling of the RRL 28 I once had - it was the constant malfunctioning, even after Ruger repaired it 3X, that made it go away
 

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Have one of the very first Red Label O/U 20 gauge when they first came out and not too long after that bought a Ruger 270 rifle ....would have to cut my left arm first to get them.
 

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I didn't mind the handling of the RRL 28 I once had - it was the constant malfunctioning, even after Ruger repaired it 3X, that made it go away
Mine has been pretty issue free as long as I remember to break it open completely when reloading.
It was a real puzzler to me. Shooting singles from the lower barrel, occasionally I would hear a click but no fire, the second pull of the trigger did nothing, then I would open up the gun and the primer was completely untouched so I close it and it shoots normally.
Then it happened again a couple of times.
I took the stock off and worked the action slowly to see what was going on and finally it dawned on me. It's possible to open it enough to cock the top barrel but not the bottom barrel, so I was closing it with the bottom barrel uncocked and when I pulled the trigger, the top barrel dry fired. I got in the habit of opening it completely and the problem disappeared.

The reason I was not completely opening it was because I wanted to grab the empty shells before the ejectors ejected them.

Lesson learned, if you short cycle this gun, you may only have one hammer cocked.
 

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any o&u that can be short cycled is.................
 
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