In 1967 Sturm, Ruger & Co. made the first of its M77 center-fire rifles that remained in full production until 1991. They have now been supplanted in Ruger's line by the evolutionary M77 Mark IIs that have a three-position safety selector mounted beside the bolt sleeve in lieu of the M77's tang safety.
“Pretty bold to call your rifle the American, Mike,” I told Ruger President and CEO Mike Fifer. He just grinned at me. Product Manager Mark Gurney and the engineers at Ruger’s Newport, N.H. factory, had given me a full briefing on the design, features and construction of the company’s latest model.
Late last year I was fortunate enough to visit Ruger’s factory in Newport, N.H., and get a preview of what the American gunmaker had in the pipeline for 2012. Ruger doesn’t like to release information on its new firearms until the guns are already in production and ready to ship to distributors.