Is Ruger developing a Semi-Automatic Shotgun?

A number of patents from the U.S. Patent Office indicate that Sturm, Ruger & Company INC might have plans to at least develop a semi-automatic shotgun. Looking at Patent number 2015/20150089855 A1, for a “REMOVABLE SHOTGUN MAGAZINE”, in addition to 2015/0377575 A1 for a “FIREARM SAFETY MECHANISM”, 2015/0010904 A1 for a “RECOIL REDUCTION SYSTEM FOR FIREARM”, 2016/0033226 A1 for a “BARREL EXTENSION FOR FIREARM”, and finally 2016/0047610 A1 for a “SHELL LOADING SYSTEM FOR FIREARM”. All of these patents were filed between September 2014 and Feburary of this year. There are a number of names listed on each patent application (All in NH and CT), but one of the reoccurring ones is a certain Jason Pittman, who according to his Linkedin page had been designing firearms at the company since 2012.

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The pictures and design descriptions appear to show a semi-automatic sporting shotgun, that looks very similar to what Benelli has right now with the Super Nova series in the sleek lines, and overall shape. In fact, the screw cap holding the magazine tube in place looks directly off a Benelli Super Nova. Not something that looks like it would be very tactical, so this leaves me to postulate that they are looking to bring a shotgun to either the competition market (Trap, Skeet), or the hunting one. Seeing that many of Rugers products are grounded in more of the hunting world with the 10/22 and Mark 77, it would be fitting that the company continue this trend instead of trying to break into a new market. On an off note, the bolt looks to be very…. AR like? And the safety looks like a Mossberg style top tang safety catch.

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The last time Ruger tried bringing a shotgun to market, it was an Over & Under 12 gauge, and didn’t fare very well, with the Ruger Red Label being taken off their product list some years ago. Breaking any new platform market can take time, and an exceptional product. So if Ruger does bring out a semi-automatic shotgun, we’ll be anxious to see how it performs.

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Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

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  • MMM

    Is it just me or do the patents and drawings seem to suggest that the mag tubes are detachable? If so this would be very cool

    • kregano

      Yeah, it would be pretty cool, although it’s kinda hard to tell how well it would work out from the patent diagrams.

    • HenryV

      “…. Looking at Patent number 2015/20150089855 A1, for a “REMOVABLE SHOTGUN MAGAZINE’…..”

      If they can pull it off without it being gimmicky then yes most definitely cool. 🙂

    • FLdeepdiver

      From the patent description: The removable magazine inserts from the muzzle end into the fore end, and has an automatic shell latch/stop that holds the shells. That same latch/stop opens or disengages when fully inserted. Fascinating…

      • Anon E. Maus

        Not exactly what I’d have in mind for detachable mags, but it’s not a tactical combat weapon, so it’s excusable.

        • Some Guy

          Shotgun box mags will continue to suck until we move to a more space efficient / rimless design. Removable tubes is a solid solution.

  • Bear The Grizzly

    The Ruger American Shotgun.

    • Some Guy

      “Because Anything Else Would be Un-American”

      Aside from the somewhat off-putting tag line associated with Ruger’s “American” line of products, I think they all represent an excellent value in the market, and I have been hoping for Ruger to deliver on a semi-auto shotgun since I first heard that they might be developing one.

      I would probably be in line for one, especially if they hit a price point below $600. Looking at the sophistication of the design and number of parts though, I am not sure that is going to be possible. More likely it’ll be in the $700 range. Anything less than that and I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • AndyHasky

      I’m excited, the RAR I have in .22 lr and .17 HMR are pretty slick little guns, especially for the price.

      Still waiting on .17 WSM RAR though.

      • Bear The Grizzly

        That’d be nice since I haven’t seen 22 mag in stores for years now. I’ve also been begging them to make it in stainless, but to no avail.

    • Jwedel1231

      Pretty soon, you’ll be able to run an entire 3-gun match using only Ruger American guns.

  • Swarf

    I sure hope so.

    On a similar note, I wish someone would make a non-tactical looking box magazine fed shotgun with easily changeable barrels.

    Like maybe an insert so you could load 2 rounds from the chamber for skeet with a 26-8″ barrel and a 10 round mag with an 18.5″ barrel for at home.

    • Porty1119

      I think that an adapter kit exists for the Maverick 88, but not too many serious folks use those as anything other than bedroom guns. An 870-compatible system, that took Saiga magazines, would probably go swimmingly.

      • Swarf

        Hah! I didn’t know those existed. Maybe there are others, but the one I found (works on 500’s too) is as expensive as the gun itself. No, thank you.

  • I’m interested as long as the price is right.

  • KestrelBike

    Dear Ruger, here’s how to collect my $$$:
    1) Make the bolt-release button oversized to begin with (lookin’ at you, SLP Mk1 kitten-nipple) [schematic looks like it could be substantial]
    2) Make the charging-handle oversized and support-hand-pinky friendly. [hard to say from the schematic]
    3) Make the loading lifter smooth & non-pronged [looks like it so far]
    4) BONUS! Make the loading lifter stick in the depressed position once the first hand-inserted shell pushes it into the receiver to feed into the magazine. I’m not aware if this [can] exists in a semi-auto, but my Benelli nova pump shotgun does this and it’s the best thing ever and makes dual-reloading a breeze.
    5) Do all this, then Don’t charge > $800 for it.

    • gusto

      adjustable gas with the normal setting being for lighter 24g trap/skeet loads

      include brakcets for cast left or right

      Make it bottom load and eject

      • Some GUy

        I don’t see any op-rods in the diagrams, which makes me believe it may be recoil-operated like the Benelli SBE.

      • AndyHasky

        Someone should just take the Ithaca model 37 and modify the action to be semi-auto. That would be cool

    • Austin

      I would be surprised if it was as low as $800 initially, I think it’s gonna be ~$1000.

      • ozzallos .

        The hallmark of the American line seems to be affordability. My bet is sub $500

        • Austin

          Looking at the price of reliable semi-autos(might be my mistake) $1000 seems to be the base line

  • chootem

    Ruger actually had a decades long and successful run with the original over and under Red Label. The recent lower cost “reintroduction” was short lived, and the side by side Gold Label was very short, which collectors love! No company is immune to product flops, but the Ruger of today is marketing genius. I doubt you will see it unless it works and is competitively priced.

    • lifetimearearesident

      The re-introduction model is already out of production? I didn’t know that. But I was not following it in detail either. What went wrong?

      • J.T.

        They weren’t able to produce it at a low enough price to sell at the price-point they wanted.

  • gunsandrockets

    gas operated or inertia-recoil operated?

    • Kelly Jackson

      inertia-recoil based on that sketch

      • gunsandrockets

        That would be great.

        I would love to see an inertia-recoil operated rifle too, even if it is just a plain 30-06 hunting rifle.

        Heck, why not a handgun too?

  • gunsandrockets

    A hunting shotgun doesn’t need a detachable magazine, and such a magazine system might add complexity and weight to the shotgun. So the Ruger shotgun project might not be focused on hunting? Gun Culture 2.0 instead?

  • John

    Seeing first hand how friggin’ awesome the Ruger Gunsite Scout is, I have a decent amount of confidence in Ruger putting out a great product right off the bat.

    As long as it’s not in the price range of Beretta or Benelli, I would definitely look at one.

  • MPWS

    Granted Ruger knows firearms, it should be interesting contribution to otherwise stalling market. Bolt arrangement surely looks good, so does the recoil attenuation mechanism – albeit little too complex. I wonder how many strokes will that buttpad sleeve last.
    In any case, wish them good luck.

    • MPWS

      I recall Mossberg had used some 18 years back interesting recoil attenuation mechanism developed for them by Hogue; do not know how far it went.

  • Bub

    Would not be a big surprise if they did. Ruger gets an outsize amount of it’s revenue from new products defined as those introduced in the last 24 months.

  • Treyh007

    Are y’all surprised….. Ruger is at the top of the list as far as new innovative products! Weather you like them or not you have to admit these guys pour out new products Every single year. I’m a huge Ruger fan and was bummed when I heard the RL was done. I’m excited to hear they might be putting out a SA Shotgun. Keep’em Coming Ruger! ????

  • Bal256

    I would consider this if I knew if the stock design allows for short manlets like me to wield it normally.

  • jon spencer

    Bet it won’t be out by next duck season and I need / want a new shotgun for that.
    Maybe I will get a Tri-Star Raptor and use that for a few years.
    What I really want is Ruger to make their Precision Rifle in .22 LR.

  • RickOAA .

    Wait a year.

  • wjkuleck

    Keep in mind that Ruger first used a tang safety with the original M77; I have one, wish they’d never changed it. My Red Labels also have a tang safety, as does my Gold Label.

  • Zebra Dun

    Why haven’t they by now?
    Because every single shotgun action is patented or doesn’t work.
    Go for it Ruger!