The quality of the walnut used in the early years of production was outstanding with excellent figure and color, but the butt was finished off with an unyielding, hard, red, rubber pad. Checkering was hand-cut and crisp. The free-floating, ventilated rib was functional, and the side ribs between the barrels could be unscrewed to increase airflow between the upper and lower barrels.

The price? Hold your hats! Four hundred eighty bucks — of course those were long gone, 1978 dollars. At the same time, the Beretta S55B was priced at $545; the Browning Citori at $462; the Remington 3200 at $750; the SKB at $480 and the Winchester 101 at $580. It was a competitive O/U field, but the Ruger name carries with it definite panache and a faithful following. Shooters who already owned Ruger pistols and revolvers, bolt-action and single-shot rifles and the ubiquitous 10/22’s were drawn to Ruger’s American-made shotgun like flies to honey.