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Story Posted 10-28-2009

Ruger Milestone Rifle Highlights SHOT Show Auction

By: National Shooting Sports Foundation

NEWTOWN, Conn. - Over the years, manufacturers and sportsmen have helped raise well over $500,000 for the future of hunting in America through the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show's annual firearm and knife auction.

The 2008 auction promises to be another exciting one. The items include a highly embellished Ruger rifle with a historic serial number, an elegant Pennsylvania longrifle and a finely crafted, expertly engraved folding knife.

The 5,000,000th Ruger 10-22 was presented to the 4-H Shooting Sports Program by Ruger President Steve Sanetti to help raise support and awareness of this vital program that provides 300,000 youths shooting instruction and opportunity each year. Following the presentation, the rifle was turned over to the Ruger Custom Shop for further enhancements, resulting in one of the finest 10-22s ever made.

The rifle features rich, hand-engraved scroll designs and selective 24kt gold highlights that complement the clean lines and legendary performance of this classic rifle. Full-cover engraving enhances the nickel-finished receiver, featuring scroll designs and a banner that reads "Five Millionth" highlighted with 24kt gold to recognize the milestone the rifle represents. Hand-cut engraving also adorns the barrel and barrel band, and the butt plate features full-coverage engraving and the monogram of William Batterman Ruger. The rifle was hand engraved by Rob Bunting of the Ruger Studio, and Baron Engraving coordinated production of this one-of-a-kind firearm and donated their custom finishing services. The rifle has been stocked with select American black walnut. The auction of this rifle has been facilitated by the newly formed Youth Shooting Sports Alliance, and proceeds will benefit the 4-H Shooting Sports Program.

A spectacular custom Pennsylvania flintlock rifle will also be part of the auction, with proceeds going to the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association (NMLRA). It was crafted by master gunsmith James Klein of Fulton, Mich., in the traditional 18th-century style of Peter Berry. Berry studied under the old masters J.P. Beck and Jacob Dickert, and was a very successful gunmaker in his time.

With Master Klein's extensive knowledge of Peter Berry's work, and with his great talent for building, he has created a faithful, artful rendition of this historic muzzleloader. It is a .50 caliber model that has a striking tiger maple stock and utilizes the highest quality components available. The Colerain barrel, Siler lock and double set triggers make the rifle a real shooter. The lock and triggers were assembled by master lock builder Walter Cain. Mr. Klein has also added to the rifle sterling silver inlays, a handmade brass patchbox, relief carving and hand-engraved mounts.

Klein has been studying and building traditional 18th- and 19th-century style muzzleloading rifles for nearly two decades, focusing on Pennsylvania and Kentucky longrifles. He began his tutelage under master gunsmith Homer Dangler, and continues the tradition in the guns he builds and the rifle kits and Dangler finishing products that he sells.

The 2008 auction also includes a one-of-a-kind knife by the award-winning William Henry Studio. The button lock's blade is honed from a 45-layer "wave" Damascus steel hammer forged from ZDP 189, hardened to Rockwell 67C, considered the finest cutlery steel in existence. The knife's graceful lines are complemented by hand-cut scroll designs by the world-renowned Italian engraver, Lorenzo Gamba, and 10,000-year-old wooly mammoth tooth scales. The one-hand opening knife is further adorned with diamond inlays on the thumb stud and lock button, and 18kt rose gold fittings provide the final elegant touches. Proceeds from the knife auction will be donated to the 4-H Shooting Sports Program.

Bidding on these auction items will be conducted online at www.gunbroker.com and will begin on Jan. 5, 2008. Bidding will conclude at noon on Feb. 5, 2008.

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