SOLD FOR: $1500.66
Make: Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Model: Red Label (RL-202)
Serial Number: 400-11860
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Caliber: 20, chambered for 3” Shells
Action Type: Top Lever, Break Action Over/Under Shotgun with Ejectors
Markings: The top receiver tang is marked with the serial number, “400-11860”. The underside of the receiver is marked “STURM, RUGER & CO., INC. / SOUTHPORT, CONN. U.S.A. / —U.S.A—”. The left side barrel flat is marked with “20 GA. 3” CHAMBERS” and a proof mark. The right side of the barrel flat is marked “SKEET / SKEET”. The mono block is serial matching, hand-scribed “11860”. The underside of the forend wood and the grip cap are marked with an inset Ruger trademark medallion. The buttpad is marked with a Ruger trademark logo.
Barrel Length: 26” with Vented Barrel Rib
Choke: Both are Fixed, Skeet
Sights/Optics: There is a beaded brass blade fixed to the front of the barrel rib. The top of the rib is serrated to reduce glare.
Weight: 7lb 7.8oz
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stocks are two-piece wood with checkered straight pistol-grip and forend, fluted straight comb, and a textured orange rubber buttpad with black spacer. The right side of the grip and a few parts of the forend have very minor dings. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The drop at comb is 1 3/8”, the drop at heel is 2 3/8”. The cast is slightly off. The LOP measures 14 1/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad. The buttpad has a bit of staining wear, and is lightly balding at the heel and toe. Overall, the stocks are in Fine-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: Both bores are mostly bright and neither have erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. The receiver and monoblock have taken on a very minor plum hue. A few very minor nicks dot the left side of the barrel assembly. Very minor thinning can be seen on the outer edges of the barrel tip. All markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Fine-to-Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The lock up is tight with no play. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: This Red Label shotgun includes its serial-matching Ruger factory cardboard box.
Our Assessment: Over/Under shotguns were a distinct improvement of traditional side by side double guns, especially in terms of overall accuracy. At the time Ruger was bringing their Red Label to market, over/under double guns were effectively luxury items, out of reach of the average American consumer. Bill Ruger proceeded to do what Bill Ruger always did: saw the need of the market and filled it, investing serious time and money and doing it all in-house. Ruger filled the need not just with a comparable product, but one that defied expectations and created real value for the buyer. At the time of their release Red Label shotguns cost $480.00—$2,132.24 in 2021 and $3,478.12 as of early 2022, a positively dreadful, painful reminder just how much value the US dollar has lost recently—and put in the hands of Joe Average a rather fine over/under double gun. A tag attached to the guard states that Red Label shotguns are “[M]anufactured by skilled American workmen in the world’s best-equipped firearms factory, a facility that exemplifies American precision manufacture at its best,” This is hardly a boast, as in-hand the Red Label a sight to behold, possessed of understated beauty, with simple lines, and as much evidence of its engineering absent as possible—note that there are no visible screws. Interestingly, what gave rise to the Red Label shotgun is ultimately what would lead to its fall: stiff competition. Only this time the competition came from a bevy of manufacturers in multiple countries, and it’s common wisdom that a war cannot be won on two fronts, let alone many. After a brief return in 2013 that saw Ruger attempt to simplify the design and manufacturing process, the Red Label was quietly removed from the company’s roster. The example on offer here, the RL-202, was introduced in 1977, appeared for the first time in sales catalogs in 1978, and was sold through 1982. It is in overall Fine-to-Excellent condition with only very minor wear. Good luck and happy bidding!