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RUGER COLLECTORS’ ASSOCIATION, INC.
Ruger collecting began in earnest in the early 1970s when collectors were first brought together as a group due to the efforts of Mark May. The name of the fledgling Ruger collector faction was the Phoenix Club. At the 1975 NRA Annual Meetings in San Diego Jay Hansen and Stephen Vogel collaborated with the Phoenix Club leadership, and the Ruger Collectors’ Association was formed.
The original RCA headquarters was located on the second floor, above the coach house, at the Pavilion de Chasse, Vogel’s estate at Fairfield, CT.
The principle objectives of the Association were threefold; to educate interested persons by an annual presence at the NRA meetings and selected major gun shows, to promote fellowship of collectors across the country and abr oad, and publish a JOURNAL.
With a focus on all aspects on Ruger products and history, the RCA JOURNAL features interesting articles penned by some of the country’s most knowledgeable collectors. Ruger-related historical events are chronicled in the JO URNAL as they occur.
As a National Firearms Museum affiliate the RCA has participated in every NRA Annual Meetings since it’s formati on by presenting a stimulating exhibit each year. The displays have won Best of Show on more than one occasion a s well as numerous other awards and are always a center of activity during the show.
Stephen K. Vogel, co-founder of the Ruger Collector’s Assoc., Bill Ruger’s son-in-law and head of the export div
ision at Ruger. ca. mid-1980s. Steve passed away in 1991. John C. Dougan’s collection.
As a result of this coming together, pioneering books about Ruger firearms were authored by Davis, Crowder, Leud ers, Dougan, Ross and Munnell featuring data that was available then, mostly by observation, conversation and ex perience. By the mid-1980s Ruger collecting was firmly established, resulting in more comprehensive works by Dou gan, Clayton, Burke and Findley.
Ruger collectors seem to have a traditional view of responsibility, by the serious arms student, to utilize thei r knowledge, collection, support material and accoutrements to publicly and privately inform interested individu als and upcoming generations of collectors. With vision and perspective, they make every effort to insure a futu re for Ruger collecting.
As Ruger collectors mature they develop a vision of what they wish their collection to say and then deliberate o n how to establish and structure it. A well rounded out collection, even a modest one, that conveys a story will be remembered long after the owner is forgotten.