A Ruger Semi-Automatic Shotgun Is In Development. Ruger SR-12???

When Ruger’s President and CEO Michael Fifer took the helm the company was not participating in some of the fastest growing segments of the firearm industry. They did not have a striker fired pistol, an AR-15, a 1911 or a sub-compact polymer carry pistol. The last major segment the company is conspicuously absent from is that of the semi-automatic shotgun.

Ruger manufactured its Red Label double-barrel shotguns from 1982 until 2011. The shotguns were reputed to be very poor sellers.

During Ruger’s Q4 earnings calls, President and CEO Michael Fifer was asked by an analyst if the company was “doing anything at all with shotguns in 2013”. Fifer responded saying …

 … we are hard at work on shotguns, and that’s one of those projects that should have been a year, and now it’s multiple years into the making. But I’m sure we will bring them to market one day soon.

I can’t see Ruger wanting to get back into the double-barrel market so soon after exiting. I also can’t see them enter the pump-action. There is a lot of pump-action competition and prices are lower. The high-end semi-automatic shotgun market is where the money is. Any guesses when the “Ruger SR-12” will appear?

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Cameron

    I have thoroughly enjoyed Ruger’s new introductions over the last several years. I’m very interested to see what they bring to the table. A Ruger version of the Remington Versa Max, maybe?

  • strongarm

    If Ruger goes to make an auto loading shotgun, ıt will be on Benelli’s way being
    either of “Inertia Driven” or ” Twin Pistoned Gas Operation like M4″. In case of
    the latter being preferred, it should be postponed for a few years forward until
    Benelli’s patent rights to be last. It seems that not every gun manufacturer is as
    lucy as Remington.

  • flyingburgers

    The Red Label was well known for the Eastern European Shotgun Problem. The ones made on Mondays and Fridays had QC issues that often were never fixed after multiple factory visits. The ones made in the middle of the week were great. I think this led to much argument and strong opinions that people haven’t forgotten.

    I think Ruger would do better with a high-end pump to show they know what they’re doing before trying an expensive and historically finicky semi.

  • Burst

    The 1911 market was clogged when Ruger made theirs- they still manage to sell them.
    I would say a pump-action is pretty likely.

    • Anonymoose

      That’s because they make a damn good 1911.

      • That they do.

      • HSR47

        That’s because they kept it simple and went with a series 70 system instead of a series 80 system.

  • fakefrank0002

    “They has did not have a striker fired pistol”? Huh? So has they did or did they not have, that is the question? Just teasing.

    • JavaDuke

      But they can definitely has a cheezburger!

  • Schizuki

    Personally, I’d love a plain-Jane Ruger coach gun for CAS.

    • Komrad

      You could dig up a used Ruger Gold Label.

  • Part of me wants to see a mini-14 shotgun along the lines of the Saiga 12. The rest of me realizes that would probably be unreliable, ugly, and unpopular.

  • Clodboy

    Auto-loaders? The more the merrier I say. Out of all the guns out there, I find semi-automatic shotguns to be among the most aesthetically appealing. Yes, even the venerable humpback Browning.

    Expensive? Yes. But the whole “reliability” argument often cited against automatics no longer flies for me – maybe I have a low opinion of myself, but in a situation where your brain is drowning in adrenaline, you can probably trust an automatic feed mechanism developed by some of the most talented engineers in the world (which they probably based on another, already well-proven action design) more than your own ability to pump and keep your sights on target, and remember whether you have a shell chambered or not (granted, some among us are total badasses who could probably keep their cool in a home invasion situation, but I’d sleep much more soundly with an auto next to my bed rather than a pump).

    As for hunting purposes, I feel autos are simply more /ethical/ – you don’t want a wounded deer dying a painful death because you couldn’t do a quick enough follow-up shot.

    Note that this is merely my personal opinion – I am well aware that there are pump enthusiasts who can operate a pump-action with amazing speed and precision; and then there’s the much greater flexibility when it comes to ammo types and loads.

    • FourString

      I second this. Also, the more variety in shotgun types, the better. I prefer the semi-auto because it also addresses recoil a tad bit.

  • What the world needs now, beside love, is another high end semi auto shotgun (or maybe not). Ruger has a pretty solid consumer base who will buy anything they put out.

  • Huck Finn

    Ruger needs to release a triple barrel semi-auto shotgun in ten gauge with three triggers and three separate 10 round magazines.

  • UncleJoe

    Its a pity Keltec doesn’t make a semi auto shotgun…

    • sianmink

      If they did, you still wouldn’t be able to find one to buy.

      • Tyler Marcoz

        And even if you did, there would be a 1 in four chance it would get recalled.

  • steve

    Article text says semi-auto is complete speculation. Article title says “Ruger Semi-Automatic Shotgun Is In Development”.

    Trolling for clicks much?

    Pretty sure Ruger does an awesome job of making a entry-level product that undercuts other major industry players on price yet still has good quality and performance. These products are usually variations on existing designs (glock, keltec, m1 carbine, etc). The pump-action market is perfect for that…also, the pump-action market is probably 9000% larger than the semi-auto market. Ruger isn’t successful because they make $200 on a gun that they can sell 25 of in a day…they make $15 on on a gun that they can sell 1000 of in a day. That’s their market…the SR-556 is pretty much the only thing they make that doesn’t fit this model.

    • Unsooper

      With all due respect, although I am not a FFL I have several friends that are and the Ruger margin is a wee bit higher than $15.

      • steve

        Understood, but I’m talking factory-to-distributor margin. Ruger does not sell directly to FFL’s, and FFL markup (or distributor markup) is not directly related to Ruger’s profit on a single unit sold.

    • Knowing the margins involved the $15 example is way off.

      The title is a question and only a rhetorical question not a “troll for clicks”

      • “A Ruger Semi-Automatic Shotgun Is In Development.” is definitely a statement. The question part is the name.

      • steve

        Making $15 on a product that sells from the factory to distributors for ~$150 is “way off”?

        How much unit profit do you think is in manufacturing competitively-priced consumer products, then?

      • M

        The title has a period at the end of it, not a question mark. The name “Ruger SR-12” has a question mark after it but the title doesn’t. Just wanted to point that out.

  • David Hinerman

    Last time I filled out a Ruger warranty registration they asked all kinds of survey questions, including “what new firearms would you like to see Ruger introduce?” I told ’em to make me a shotgun. Glad to see they’ll listen to the voice of wisdom.

  • Raoul o’Shaugnessy

    The Ruger SR-12 will appear three months before the recall of the SR-12.

    • Cuban Pete

      WINNER!!!! I love my Ruger weapons, but I’ve learned to avoid purchasing any of their products in the first year of manufacture due to that reason.

      • Ruger Fan

        Would you rather buy from a company that silently “upgrades” guns that should be recalled? *cough* Glock *cough*

  • G2

    Am I the only one wondering why Ruger doesn’t make a lever-action carbine? The market for .357 mag lever actions is desperately underserved and the 77/357 doesn’t quite fill that role. Cowboy action has lost a lot with the rise of 3-gun and long-range shooting, but I still believe there is a lot of demand out there for lever guns, especially with the lowered quality standards at Marlin of late.

  • John Bear Ross

    I wonder if they will pick up the ball that Kel-tec continues to drop, and make a bull pup pump shotgun with dual mag tubes.

  • Skeptic

    If they could make a bottom feed/bottom ejection system work and optimize the system for optics they might have something. BUT, they are going to have to compete with the Mossberg 930 at the bottom and FN at the top, very narrow band unless they can license a design from Kel-tec and MAKE IT WORK! Geoff Who is old gray and cynical.

  • strongarm

    Good pumps are costıer and harder to manufacture than auto loaders. Because,

    – They need a positive disconnector preventing to release trigger untill the breechbolt
    fully in place,

    – They need a detailed unloading tackle with at least twin extractors or a outside push
    effected ejector for taking the shell out in every speed and moment,

    – They need a bolt carrıer lock keeping the breechbolt at battery on position when the
    hammer is cocked,

    – Even better ones need devices taking the gun away of gravity bonded as enabling
    to load even ejection port looking downwards.

    Do not confuse with popular market pieces of European base being merely auto loader
    change overs.

    It I were Ruger I would make an auto loader of “Inertia Driven” kind from Tuesday to

    • Inertia-driven shotguns are more sensitive to user position – sometimes they fail when shooting straight up – as well as stance – may fail to cycle if the shoulder is not rigid enough. They also kick a lot harder than a similarly weight/build gas-operated semis. There are of course exceptions, like the Super Black Eagle II, but those cost an arm and a leg. It’s generally harder to make a passable inertia-driven shotgun on the same budget as a gas-operated shotgun.

      If they want to make a budget shotgun, they will subcontract to Turkey, like many other manufacturers. Winchester (SXP), CZ (all), Stoeger (2000 and 3000) already make at least some of their shotguns there. If they subcontract, it wouldn’t take up additional workforce, tools and workforce at the plants in the USA, which is, of course, much more expensive than Turkey.

      Wrapping it up, I would say it would be a gas operated gun, made in Turkey to Ruger specs, and marketed in the USA as Ruger.

      • strongarm

        Inertia Driven shotguns are of course sensitive in use than gas kinds and this
        was the cause Benelli developed gas operated M4 for severe combat and field
        use. But there is a tendency to confuse that system with recoil operation in which
        stance and shouldering positions get more importance as being on old Browning
        A5. As contrast to recoiling barrel in recoil operation, Inertia Driven uses the
        recoil of whole gun to set the gun for unloading and loading, and the positions
        you mentioned, most probably, are easier for that guns to work. However, they
        have more perceived recoil than gas types, need softer recoil spring to cycle and
        may not work with a bolt remained at battery off position by cause of unsufficient
        forward push. They are also very sensitive accepting tactical goods since added
        weight may slow the recoil speed and not set the gun for the next shot. Barrel
        lenght is also important as being on the usual gas operated ones. But they are
        lighter, cleaner and easier to maintain and with a well organised QC, easier to
        Benelli M4 is a response for many of negative facts like barrel lenght, maintaining
        difficulties and critical weight accepting tactical goods and Remington VersaMax
        is a just copy of that gun excepting the gas regulation system. But Remington’s
        way to stop the existing patent rights is really questionable. If Ruger wants to
        make a second copy, some headaches may occur.
        Regarding to Turkish connection, it would be said that, there are lots of companies there still building quality Inertia Driven shotguns with a price even
        below than Stoeger. They work with many well known brands all over the World
        and Ruger is not an exception.

  • Rugeroglu SR-12 would be more likely. Everibody makes them in Turkey theese days 😉

  • blackthorn

    Slightly off-topic; what is the deal with Kel-tec. They come up with really good ideas/designs, but they always screw up the execution.
    OK, back to Ruger. Hey just like god knows how many other people, my 10/22 purchased in 1981 is still ticking like a Swiss-made timepiece. And hell, I was even checking out the 77/357. But if Ruger comes out with a semi-auto shotgun, I’ll definitely be taking a serious look.