"This is my "Pet Peeve" with Ruger. Why, oh why, can't they make sure the barrel is properly clocked? More specifically, why can't they get the sight installed 100% vertical?"
Randyzzz,,, you have to remember,, Ruger is trying to prevent the huge time backlog that USED to be the "normal operation method" for decades. That was when Bill ran things, and he hired real gunsmith types of people. Oh, and it'd often be 2-3 YEARS after the introduction of a new model before many of us ever saw one.
But once Bill Sr. & Bill Jr were no longer involved in the business,,, management went into a plan that is different.
First off,, the company suffered to the point that Ruger stock prices were well below $10 per share. Slow production was normal. Quality was very good though.
That got an overhaul. Lean manufacturing was introduced. To be able to speed up production, they revamped HOW guns were made. With an eye towards production. And with increased production, along with the FACT that there are NOT enough well trained GUNSMITH types around,, some portions of gun making suffer a little.
Nowadays, we have "gun parts assemblers" that are required to keep the production line going. And as long as the parts go together, fit, and torque properly, the gun goes on through the production line. Sadly,, a SMALL percentage of guns will pass the fit & torque portion, yet not quite be "properly clocked" or have the front sight perfectly vertical.
And yes, in production, they accept the fact that a small percentage will get returned for "correction."
If a gun isn't properly clocked & the sight is off a little, a POLITE call to them will get it fixed. BUT,, at the same time,, you have to accept the FACT that they have "manufacturing tolerances" that the gun may be within specs,, but "off" to you.
If you want perfection,, then buy a Freedom Arms. THEY hire gunsmith types of people. THEY have a backlog of 1-1/2 years currently. They build each & every one carefully & try for perfection. And yes,, they charge accordingly. It's not uncommon to see a FA for $2500-$3000. You DO pay for that perfection. It takes TIME, SKILL, and Knowledge.
If Ruger tried to do this,, the costs of a gun would increase a LOT. Stockholders would not be happy.
Sturm, Ruger & Co is NOT the same company it was when Bill was alive. It's both better & worse.