The Hillbilly and Bill Ruger

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The Hillbilly and Bill Ruger

Post by mtngun » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:49 am

Months went by and finally he received a letter to the effect that Ruger had decided not to make any rifles in 45-70 as there had not been enough orders for that caliber to justify tooling up for them.

The letter requested that Vern select another more popular caliber as these were better hunting rifles anyway. The letter was signed by Bill Ruger, President, Ruger Arms Co.

'Now, this really did upset ole Vern and he caught the next mail plane to town. As soon as he got there (Grangeville), he went to the pay phone outside the hanger building and called Ruger Arms in Southport, Connecticut, and asked to speak to Bill Ruger.

The girl on the other end said, “But sir, Mr. Ruger is the president of this company. Won’t you speak to someone else?” Vern said, “Well, I’m the president of my company, too, and I want to talk to the president of your company!”

A gruff voice on the other end says, “Does someone here want to speak to Bill Ruger?” Vern says in an equally gruff voice, “Darn right there is! Say, do you make those guns of yours to sell and so people can hunt with them, or do you just talk about them and advertise them in magazines?”

There followed about half-an-hour of bantering during which Mr. Ruger pressed Vern as to why he thought he needed such a big cannon anyway. What did he intend to shoot – elephants? Vern countered with accounts of his hunting experiences in the Salmon River country and how his old 45-70 Springfield was one of the best game-getters in Idaho. Vern painted such a rosy picture that he ended up inviting Mr. Ruger out for a visit and to do a little hunting himself.

Well, this must have impressed Mr. Ruger considerably because just before they broke off their conversation, he said, “Mr. Wisner, I personally will see to it that your rifle is shipped today." .... when the mail plane came in a few weeks later, lo and behold, there was a wooden crate addressed to Vern Wisner, Salmon River Air Star Route, from Ruger Arms Co., Southport, Connecticut! Inside was not just a runof-the-mill production line rifle, but a truly fine piece of gunsmithing with an unusually beautiful stock of fiddleback walnut.

A Ruger Number One in 45-70, Serial Number 5, a showpiece!

Read the entire story at the link:
The Story of The First Ruger #1 in 45/70