off and on, we have seen different lists , and most of them were "incomplete" have changed over the years, and at times not the same names ,for the same numbers.....best bet is to "ask Chet15" he probably knows more , or at least keeps better records.....remember this so called "list" of " low numbers"?? subscription?? whatever has been put together ,not with the factory blessings but more from word of mouth, rumors and inuendoes....any particular number you are looking at ( for)? the list only goes up to the low 200 serial number range last we saw..yes, there were a few "OTHERS" higher that were 'reserved'??,BUT again.....not certain, this comes under "Ruger lore...." 8)
Just remember that most of the low numbers you see today aren't part of the "subscription" program anymore. Ruger used to set back the first 500 of a new model that would be introduced to be sure that those who were still involved with the subscription program would get their gun (and to be sure most/all the bugs were worked out of the model before a writer got ahold of a bad one!). Many of those literally sat in stock for decades. Ruger's new management changed all that as they rid themselves of the overhead, but too bad those low #'d guns weren't at least solicited to collectors, eh....Ruger could have sold twice as many guns (the low numbered guns to collectors and the quantities of guns sold that otherwise would have went to shooters....most shooters don't care about serial numbers, that is if they even could tell you what markings are on a gun).
Today I would be surprised if there are more than 50 "subscription" numbers that are still active.
From my limited vantage point, yet over the past four decades, I never heard that 500 firearms were "held" back. The number I was given, was 200.............Three years ago, give or take, Ruger advised all Subscription holders of record, of changes to the program. Each was told to respond affirmatively to the changes, confirming the new "rules" and asking to remain in the Program. Of course, one could advise of no further interest and to be removed from the Subscribors' list, or, to not respond in any manner and be removed by default. I have no knowledge of how many retained/remained in the Program. I do know that a sizeable number of low number guns went to Davidsons, after the Program was changed and the list revised. Yes, it was a damn shame not to ask the existing subscription holders about thier possible interest in the guns that went on the truck unannounced............ :evil:
When I was awarded my subscription # I was given the #'s under 200 because that is what I asked for, I was suprised that there was only about 30 to 34 numbers not used & only half of those under 100 not taked I wrote down all the #'s I could choose from but they are @ work & I will not be there until the first of the year.
According to my conversation with the one has the master list of the subcription #'s I have to say there are way more than 50 Subcription holders. I also know per my conversation there are # holders above #200 I was interested in a # in the 3xx & it was taken already..
Well, lost a lot of my files on Christmas day, including my low sn list. But I do know that Davidson's received a lot of guns on up into the 4xx range when Ruger cleaned off their shelves. In most cases there were multiple models sitting there with the same sn. Would take me a bit to piece all that info back again, but I have it...just too many other projects going on right now.
Found an older copy of my "subscriber" list. Lost the stuff that I'd added to it over the last couple years, but the Davidson's guns were on there. The highest number they received several guns of was #465 of which they got the KS47NH, BNV-45, KSRH-2454, M77VBZ MKII .220 and KWS-1227-BR. Davidson's also got #467 KS47NH and a few other singles in the 400's and quite a few multiple models of certain numbers from #342 and earlier.