In doing some research for the “From the Editor” for the September issue, I spent some time looking at William Batterman Ruger’s first contribution to American Rifleman, and no it wasn’t his “.22 Ruger Pistol” that made its debut in a September 1949 advertisement, nor was it Technical Editor Julian S. Hatcher’s extremely favorable review of “two production-line samples of the .22 Ruger” that ran in November 1949.
No, the first Ruger in the magazine was an article written by the young inventor in December 1943, at a time when he was working on a machine gun design for the U.S. Ordnance Dept. Titled “Semi-Automatic .250-3000,” Ruger detailed the conversion of a Savage Model 99 from a lever-action to a gas-operated semi-automatic, noting “This conversion can be accomplished with only superficial changes in a few of the parts.” Even in this first gun, aesthetics mattered to the young inventor: “The rotary type magazine has adequate capacity and does not require projections on the exterior of the gun.” Of course, some of those features would be seen in Ruger’s later designs, especially a flush-fitting rotary magazine.
Read the rest here: The First Ruger