I do not think that can be answered accurately. There are 13 different varieties of the early RSTs. Donít know about early squared rear sights. Ruger never published manufacturing numbers although some old company paperwork has come to light lately.
A quick review of Douganís Ruger Pistols and Revolvers The Vintage Years 1949-1973 did not help. Perhaps Don Findleyís books or Chad Hiddleson book and RENE may help. (None of these are handy to me now.)
I doubt Ruger could answer that question. There is a pretty good Ruger forum, and between there and the Ruger Collectors Association, maybe some sort of idea could be had. In all the RST pistols I've ever looked at, I've seen that sight on 2 guns, so including this photo of yours, 3. At least 3 of them!
The very first series of the Ruger RST4 pistols, around 2500 guns, went through several changes as the parts for these pistols became available. No pistols were shipped until the whole series of 2500 was finished. Some variations involved:
• Six groove rifling with 14 inch twist rate with some barrels having 5 groove barrels
• Fixed rear sight that was "precision machined" (square version)
• A bolt where the recoil spring guide rod projected through a hole in the top, center of the bolt face.
• The bolt was changed in 1950, and thereafter used the (half-moon) recoil spring assembly support plate. This resulted in less firing pin breakage.
I have "Duncan Long's" book, and would not recommend anyone paying for it, or stealing it. This book is fraught with errors and I ran out of ink in a high-lighter pen denoting what I found. One example: Page 40, top paragraph, "Twists for barrels were 1 turn per 16 inches for early models, with the more accurate 1-in-14, 6 groove rifling being adopted in later pistols". That's completely false.
Last edited by SGW Gunsmith; 01-18-2017 at 10:29 AM.
I was reading Ruger and His Guns by Wilson. First he quotes Bill Ruger saying that the first Standard pistols were machined one piece at a time in a quantity of 2500 of each prior to assembly. That is not to say that Ruger made ever part. Apparently he did not make the barrels, since they only recently acquired that capability. Maybe he had help with the magazines too. I dont remember the magazine story.
Later, Wilson (page 31) says serial numbers 0661 to 1999 were skipped. This implies the first 2500 parts were spread out over serial 0001 to 3838 give or take. Whats up with that I wonder?
There was also a note that the front of the front sight got a radius around 10800 and guns are shown with the radius and the old rear sight. That old rear seems to have been used for a long time. I counted 6 of the 31 changes to be documented in that chapter. The 31 number was also mentioned, but not all detailed. Maybe 6 or a few more.
My impression is the two milestones are 2500 in spite of my reading and 4 digit serial numbers. Oh, And the red badge pistols before the change to black.
Correction: This Post is a misunderstanding on my part, I posted again below. The above serial number 10800 was the rear site change, sorry.
Last edited by fourbore; 01-20-2017 at 10:09 AM.
Thank You, that is what I was wondering. Mine is in the 8000 range. I have it put up right now so I can't give the full serial number. From what I've been told, it is one of the more common Red Eagle standards variants.
I did find an approximate number for you. Quote: "Redesigned rear sight, pistols produced before approximately number 11,000 had the smaller rear sight".
This is embarrassing,... I mis understood R.L. Wilson "Ruger and His Guns". Let me quote exactly, from page 31. He is referring to the rear sight, not the rounded over front sight, as I previously posted:
Square notch rear sight measuring 1/4 inch; at approximately serial 10793 to 10850 range a 1/2 inch thick contoured sight adopted.
After this sentence goes on to say something about the front sight which I dont quite follow.