It may not be surprising to hear that a specific handgun cost over $1 million to manufacture. Between the cost of materials, the dies used in shaping the pieces and assembly, there are significant costs involved with manufacturing a line of handguns. However, Ruger’s investment in the American Pistol went far beyond their expectations when they made the decision to recall and retrofit weapons in November 2018.
While the problem isn’t dangerous, it’s easy to see how this move could have an impact not only on consumer confidence, but also on the brand reputation in the future.
Ruger executives recently noted that the decision to recall the weapons has to do with a barrel that may not stand up to heavy repeated use. It was found that weapons whose firing exceeded 10,000 bullets — quite a lofty number for most casual users — tended to show excessive wear and tear on the weapon, even causing cracks near the ejection port of the slide. While not initially dangerous, pistols could even become unsafe to shoot over time if the crack is ignored or the problem isn’t resolved. The company did note that firing 10,000 bullets is probably the equivalent of several lifetimes of wear for the casual gun owner, but could be reached by an enthusiastic shooter.
The weapons that are affected are American pistols that have a serial number prefix of “860” or “862”, so check your 9mm Ruger weapons carefully to be sure you don’t have a faulty model. Only weapons chambered for 9mm bullets are affected, and the damage is caused by premature wear of the locking surfaces between the slide and the barrel. If you do have this weapon, you can learn how to check for the flaw and return it for the barrel retrofit on Ruger’s website. Ruger is sharing that they are dedicated to fixing and returning all weapons within one week of receipt at the factory. The company is being extremely proactive and using an overabundance of caution to be sure that all Ruger owners are able to safely fire their weapons for a lifetime.
While Ruger is estimating that the retrofit will cost over $1 million all in, it’s difficult to tell what the impact to consumer confidence will be. The iconic brand continues to thrive with over $374.5 million in sales through the end of September, although this amount is down close to 10% from the prior year. Nearly 30% of Ruger’s earnings in 2018 are coming from sales of only four new products: the Pistol Caliber Carbine, the Mark IV pistol line, the LCP II, the EC9s, the Security-9 and the Precision Rimfire rifle.
Be sure to check your weapons carefully for any type of cracks or problems, and always clean them carefully after use to limit the possibility of damage due to dirt or oil buildup. While there are only a few accidents a year caused by defective firearms, even one is too many.
~ Firearm Daily