one day at a time…
Friday, 02 January 2004

Pix Of The Day: Handguns & Hard Times Out West
CREDIT: © Gary P. Sumner/SingleSixRanch.com
WHERE: Single Six Ranch, Prescott, Arizona. WHAT: $5,900,000 agricultural property.
MAP: Prescott, Arizona. ALL thumbnails pop-up same source page with images.

Single Six Ranch 1 © Gary P. SumnerSingle Six Ranch 2 © Gary P. SumnerSingle Six Ranch 3 © Gary P. SumnerSingle Six Ranch 4 © Gary P. Sumner
We watched 'Bowling for Columbine' during the holidays. Michael Moore's investigation of the relationship between American gun ownership, and violence in American society, is described in an IMDB (Internet Movie Database) entry. George Parker of Orange County, California, offered this IMDB user comment, "As entertainment it's a conglomerated mess of stuff, none of which is particularly interesting or new or creative… just opinions, interviews, speculation, unanswered questions, news clips, etc. As a documentary it's an obvious agenda-driven mix of half truths, skewed stats, erroneous inferences, etc. which plays out like so much propaganda."

We are unable to argue with the description, but we strongly disagree with the conclusion that the movie does not work. All the elements George Parker describes come together to be more thought provoking than a focussed, cleanly stated argument would have been. One IMDB reader even saw Moore as a nominally left wing advocate, but as a long time NRA (National Rifle Association) member, arguing the case in favor of gun ownership. Making people think is often a more difficult thing to accomplish than swaying their opinions.

The foregoing explains why our web surfing log for the first time contains entries for sites concerned with firearms, just in case Robert Mueller, the Director of the FBI, or Tom Ridge, the Secretary of Homeland Security, should ever express an interest in our surfing habits. Today's feature is about a gun designer and manufacturer, and the 1,200 acre ranch in Arizona that he bought as a second home.

Chuck Hawks is our chosen guide to firearms: a retired professional photographer whose work has been featured here in the past, Chuck also shares our love of travel and motorcycles. His product reviews of the Ruger Single Six [1], Blackhawk and Vaquero [2], and the Super Blackhawk [3] revolvers will interest those on whom firearms exert a fascination. In the unlikely event that we ever consider a firearm purchase, we accept Chuck's opinion that "The New Model Ruger SA revolvers are probably the safest revolvers ever made…" The guns are manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., whose headquarters are in Southport, Connecticut.

Alexander M. Sturm and William Batterman (Bill) Ruger began their company in 1949 with a successful design of a .22 calibre pistol. After Sturm died in 1951, Ruger continued to manage the company alone, until his death in 2002. From 1949 to 2002 the company manufactured twenty million firearms. The company's firearms division motto, coined by William B. Ruger in the 1950's, is 'Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens.' The company claims to be the largest firearms manufacturer in the USA, and has now diversified into investment casting, golf equipment, and sportswear. The titanium casting facility in Prescott, Arizona, is one of the largest in the USA.

The company Bill Ruger ran for half a century makes an interesting study from the viewpoints of both business and design. From the business perspective, the company has always made a profit, and has never been in debt. From a design perspective Ruger led everything, refining and improving rather than inventing. The company's original product, albeit subject to this R&D change, is still available. The Entelics web site has a detailed page that discusses the design ethos of the company. The leadership has now devolved to William B. Ruger Jnr., at a time when the firearms industry faces many commercial and legislative challenges.

Bill Ruger bought what is now called the Single Six Ranch in Prescott, Arizona, as a second home. The ranch was sold by Sturm, Ruger & Co., and is now being offered for sale by Gary P. Sumner for Arizona Land & Ranches, Inc. at an asking price of $5,900,000. If you enquire about purchasing, please mention us to Gary: he might even think of using us to design a sophisticated web site for his next big sale. Perhaps, sadly, the funds for this are not available: the third quarter 2003 earnings report from Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (available as PDF file) lists the sale of the Single Six Ranch at the same $5.9 million at which it is now being offered for sale. Hard times.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)