Engraved Number 3 Carbine

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dustysauto

Bearcat
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Jan 26, 2010
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Okay, I added a subject line. Here goes again.

I just found you guys by accident. Collect a few Rugers, so I'm sure this will come in handy.

I was just trying to find any info on weather or not Ruger ever offered an engraved number 3 carbine in 45/70. I've just been offered one for sale. It is a Liberty model. It has pretty nice engraving on the receiver with a bear's head on one side and a deer on the other. Anyone know if this was a factory offering or is someone else's work?
 

wunbe

Buckeye
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Reston VA USA
The #3 was offered as an affordable model. Engraving it would almost surely be an after-market job. Even most engraved #1s were presentation rifles with exquiste wood via special orders for "friends of Bill". Engraving was and is top of the line fare.

But with Rugers you never really know. If Bill wanted one for a buddy, it got done. And the records on such things are skimpy.

wunbe
 

El Numero Uno

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Pidcoke, Texas, USA
Welcome to the Forum!!
From my experience with engraved Ruger No.1's, I would venture the No.3 engraving to be aftermarket. If it is Factory, it would have been done for some one special and there should be a story with it.
A Ruger No.1 book would help further your knowledge; even though it does not deal with No.3's, it is the same action.
Check out this link:

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=74482
 

dustysauto

Bearcat
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Ludington, Michigan
Thanks guys. I think you are right. The gun is just the standard carbine with standard wood. I'm sure if the factory decided to do this it would atleast have fancy wood. This then begs the question, what if any effect does aftermarket engraving generally have on value? This is high quality work, but the gun has obviously been hunted with. It's probably only 90 to 95% condition.
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
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All depends on who did it. W/o documentation it's hearsay and adds only as much value as the potential buyer decides.
 

picketpin

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Owyhee County, ID, USA
The earliest #1 catalogs, 1967 and 1968 "mention" ordering your #1 with engraving. To the best of my knowledge none of us have ever actually seen a factory engraved #1 from that era and I have never found a further disciption etc.

The #1 was engraved a few times by the factory. The Lyman Centenials in 45-70 were offered in two difference grades of engraving.

The CHP rifle was also factory, an "A" in 357 Magnum with the CHP symbol engraved on the side. 1800 or so made. Not very spectacular engraving.

Much later Ruger did some #1s in "A" in 30-06 to trial engravinged #1s.
They were offered in two grades "A" and "B". I think there were 30 of the "A"s and 18 of the "B"s

The book Ruger and Hios gunbs lists a lot of special orderm commerative and FOB engraved #1s.

The ONLY mention of engraving on #3s is the 200 year roll mark for the 1976 #3s.

There is no mention of the style or pattern you describe in the #1 or the #3.

My best guess would be after market.

RWT
 

gewehrfreund

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central New York
I may be wrong here, since I don't follow this too closely, but aren't most of the non-FOB/non-writers club "engraved" rifles that came out of the factory actually ETCHED and not engraved.
I think there's a big difference in technique, time and price between the two, but maybe someone here can educate me more thoroughly on the subject.
Also, in my experience generally, there's a world of difference between truly skilled engraving and the Billy Bob variety ("6 munts a go I coodnt spel engarvr, and now I are one")
LC
 

RJ556

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Focsani, Romania
In the mid 90's, I decided that I wanted the stainless receiver of my Red Label shotgun engraved. I wrote Ruger to se if they would do it. They sent me the contact info of three engravers that had done work for them. I contacted all three and only one would engrave stainless guns without having the receiver annealed first and re-hardened afterwards. That simplified the choice for me. I did not want the hardness of my guns receiver "messed with". This person did the engraving job for me and it turned out gorgeous. This is one shotgun I will own until I die. If I am correct, this engraver also did the 25 year anniversary #1s. Speaking of which, I just shipped him the barreled action of my stainless Lipseys limited edition 6.5x55 Swede #1A. Keep in mind that I am talking about partial coverage engraving here, as I can't afford a full coverage job. I will try to get a pic of the Red Label up soon. If the #3 in question had documentation for the engraving, it would probably increase the value.
 

dustysauto

Bearcat
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Jan 26, 2010
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Ludington, Michigan
Unfortunately there is no documentation with this gun. It is real engraving, not etching. But I have pretty much decided to pass on it. As I said, it is not in super great condition. It's just a shooter and a curiosity, but the seller thinks it's something special. I think for the money I'd rather get a really nice one that hadn't been messed with. I really appreciate the input from all of you. It gave me just enough pause to not make a hasty purchase. Thanks!
 

chet15

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Dawson, Iowa
picketpin":3boioxcw said:
The earliest #1 catalogs, 1967 and 1968 "mention" ordering your #1 with engraving. To the best of my knowledge none of us have ever actually seen a factory engraved #1 from that era and I have never found a further disciption etc.

Actually, there were at least three #1's engraved as samples for Ruger's trade show displays in about 1967. One of these (serial number 962) was sold on Ruger's website auction #18 on February 5, 2008. One of RF's very well known members can give much more information on those three sample rifles. Now it looks like Ruger has completely rid their website of their auction archives, so a pic is not available now.
There are also several factory engraved #1's pictured in "Ruger & His Guns" by R. L. Wilson.
Chet15
 

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