First Production Year Redhawk

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anachronism

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Do first production run Redhawks have any value above the "street" price for newer guns? I've had a 3 digit S/N (500-002**) for many years and have always been curious about its approximate value.

Thanks!
Bob
 

hittman

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There’s very few double action collectors compared to single actions BUT yes, a 3 digit would bring a premium. And value can increase depending on condition, barrel length, caliber, finish, box, shipper, etc.

I’m interested in double action Rugers and a few others here are too.
 

contender

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hittman is spot on. There aren't as many DA collectors out there,, but there are still enough of them to where a low 3 digit gun like that would bring a premium if in excellent condition.
Plus,, that low of a number,, it would have been a "subscription" gun.
 

anachronism

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I have sent a request to Ruger for a factory letter. I'm mainly interested in the production date, I'm guesstimating that it's '79 production, even though they're all lumped under 1980.
 

Cholo

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I always assumed that my low 3 digit (1XX) Redhawk is a '79 model. I paid what I considered a slight premium for it about 10 years ago because it was a first year NIB and had all the goodies including the shipper. I believe I paid no more than $100 more for the low serial #.

I hope you come back and post how it letters because I'd be interested. I have no idea about Redhawk values. Hopefully someone will see this thread and give you a good estimate. I know there's no way I'd sell mine with all the goodies for $850.

Contender was the 1st person to shoot mine at, I believe, his 2012 meet. I have some pics somewhere. He asked me: Are you sure? LOL
 

anachronism

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I originally bought it with the intent of cutting the barrel to 4 in. and using it as a belt gun for hunting. Then I checked the serial number. I wouldn't sell one for $850.00 either when new Redhawks are over a grand. Mine is of course a 7-1/2 in. stainless gun, that's all one could ever be the first year. I take it out once in a while, look it over, then put it back in its box and try to decide what to do with it. Mine also has the original box, manuals, warranty card, and of course, the bumper sticker.
 

hittman

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…… my low 3 digit (1XX) Redhawk . ……. no way I'd sell mine with all the goodies for $850.
Too bad. I’d send you that.
New ones carry MSRP in the $1100 range now I think.
And street price on a new or USED one? Who knows? Been YEARS since many of us have seen one ….. like getting a good pic of Big Foot.
 

anachronism

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.44 magnum. I think all of the first year guns were 44s, but I don't have any real solid information on that.
 

contender

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You are correct. The first year production Redhawks were all 44 mags. According to the RENE,, only about 3600 were made in the first year. All were 44 mags.
 

anachronism

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Well, I got the letter. It is exactly what I have in the safe. It was shipped to a former Ruger Distributor in Kansas, one state away. Oddly, the letter states that it was "produced" in Sept. 1980, and Shipped in November of the same year. I'm trying to wrap my overly analytical mind around the word "produced". It sort of seems out of context somehow. And that production date just seems a bit late for a three digit gun, but as the old saying goes, "it is, what it is".
 

contender

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Back then,, there was a group of people known as "Subscribers" of the low number guns. OFTEN,, Ruger would produce a batch of guns,, but NOT mark any of the early guns with a serial number under 500 as that batch was held in reserve for the subscribers. Your gun was most likely a subscription gun, and held back, or produced a bit later than the earlier shipped guns.
Ruger stopped the Subscriber program several years ago,, darn it!
 

anachronism

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Is there any sort of list of subscribers available anywhere? I would expect such a S/N to go to one of the big-time 6mm rifle addicts. I remember an article by Dean Grennell where he was talking about TC Contenders, and showed a pic of S/N 111111, and he remarked that the owner of that Contender also had 222222, and 333333 too (something like that anyway).

Anyway, it had ended up in the personal collection of a local Ruger collector who had at least a half dozen of the first year Redhawks, as well as other first year models. It sold at auction with his passing, then went directly to me shortly afterwards because the buyer really, really wanted a 629 and didn't find the Redhawk acceptable.
 

hittman

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I’d guess the only official subscriber list resides with Ruger and for a variety of (good) reasons, they won’t say.

However, there’s folks here who know a lot of them I believe.
 

contender

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Subscriber lists have "evolved" over the decades.
Basically, if a person was a subscriber,, they had to agree to buy each & every new gun when it was introduced. No matter the model or caliber or whatever. When a person decided to give up their "number", Ruger could assign that number to another person.
So,,in the lists,, there could be more than one person who had a specific number. SOME of the well known people had a subscription number,, & these guns are documented. Others,, a mystery except to Ruger.
 
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the so called "subscription " list has so many variables, and changes over the years, and really started out with family and the factory employees, managers, (bosses) and then on to "friends" of the Rugers, as well as those who could "help" the Ruger name, company, business, build and grow, such as writers, and authors, and firearms distributors, and such, and yes even throw in some Noted and famous folks here and there......was simple and easy in the beginning but when you were on this "list" any NEW models or offerings that the factory came out with, , they offered the same number of the new version and you were given the choice of taking it, or passing it on, well lo and behold the numbers of NEW models, and offering came on more and more, larger, wider variety, and the cost could get up there, in money, and numbers of "how many do I need"??? many did NOT buy them all, then they dropped out or sold off their "number", many passed away, even went on to other things in life, and this "subscription" became quite the hassle, and even at times caused riff and bad feelings if the "number" was NOT gotten !!!??? wow, think about it,,,I feel it got out of control,,,was one thing when the
numbers were NOT that many, but when it got up into the hundreds, a little over 200?? I believe, not certain, never saw a 'total' only heard of it from some of the older, notable folks, out of my realm, so we like to refer to it as "Ruger lore" and let the big dogs fight and scratch over the crumbs over all these years, many years ago we were only ever offered ONE of these "low number" guns, will never forget it , was number #31 belonged to one of the plant managers, was a Super Blackhawk in the mahogany case and it was quite stippled with speckling and rust from being left in the felt lined case...the seller told me that I should buy it as I was noted for being able to refinish, redo, make it look "nice again", and I said NO, because everyone will know that it was not original , but "reblued" ( I call it restored when done right) but thats for old cars .not guns.... ha ha. Fondly I recall our friend Carl L. "flatgate" got this gun rest his soul and I have no idea where it is today...more Ruger lore:cool::rolleyes:;)

......." and so it goes...WIl Terry" RIP and you too Carl 'flatgate' and his #100 guns:)
 

anachronism

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I had only chatted briefly with Carl, long, long ago. Terry was quite the character, and one of my favorite writers in his day. We had messaged back and forth a few times. Terry (Murbach) was quite the curmudgeon, I really enjoyed his writing.
 

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