Ruger’s CEO Fifer Announces Retirement

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Revenue up 4x. Market cap more than 6x. Shareholder returns? Eight times that of the S&P 500.

Those are just a few of the things that Michael Fifer accomplished in the past 10 years as the CEO of Sturm, Ruger & Co. And while the company’s growth is not likely to end anytime soon, Fifer’s run as company CEO is. On August 2, the company announced that Fifer would be retiring on May 9, 2017.

Fifer will leave Ruger in far better shape than when he took over. In addition to the dollar figures in growth, the company expanded its manufacturing capacity and employs more people. He will also leave the company with no debt.

While many shooters took exception with the late Bill Ruger’s opinions about civilian gun ownership and increased gun regulation, Fifer has proven to be a solid supporter of the shooting community and gun rights. Under his leadership, Ruger has been a solid supporter of the NRA and NRA-ILA. Also during his tenure, the company introduced many concealed carry pistols and modern sporting rifles. Oh, and shooters can now get Ruger branded 25-round magazines for the 10/22. I also wonder what Ruger Sr. would have thought about the company selling sound suppressors.

Replacing Fifer is Christopher Killoy. Killoy has been with Ruger since 2003, and has been the company’s COO since 2014. Prior to his time at Ruger, Killoy worked at Smith & Wesson and Savage Arms. He is a 1981 graduate of West Point.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • The Lee Iacocca of the Gun Industry.

  • Swarf

    Ruger actually listens to customers and prroduces products they want, of good quality at fair prices and then they make a reasonable profit.

    Imagine that.

    • Swarf

      Now if they would only listen to me about making 10 and 15 round mags for the 77/357 and stealing refining and strengthening Kel-Tec’s PMR-30 like they did with the P3AT (LCP).

      • Reef Blastbody

        Ruger acquiring/partnering with Kel-Tec would be quite interesting. Run it as a wholly owned subsidiary and “skunk works”, give George Kelgren a generous R&D budget, and access to Rugers CNC and laser sintering (Metallic 3D printing/manufacturing) machines.

        • Swarf

          Absolutely. I’ve been saying that for years.

          I hear Kel Tec defenders say that they run at capacity and blah blah blah, but from my end, I see very forward thinking ideas that seem to fall down once the shininess of the new idea wears off and it comes time to roll up the sleeves and crank out quality product reliably and consistently.

          I say let Ruger handle that part of it and let Kel Tec handle the whiz bang.

          • Jay Lee

            As far as manufacturing capacity at Keltec, they refuse to leverage debt to purchase more CNC equipment and choose to pay cash for everything (according to Chad in an interview with Nutin at their facility in Florida). So growth is really slow and would explain one reason they are slow to expand and get product out quick enough to meet market demands.

          • Paul White

            *that* I can get the spotty QC is just…ugh

          • Swarf

            Yeah, I hear that all the time also.

            But if they are selling out of what they produce already (despite the fact that the front sights randomly fall off) to the point that they can’t keep up with demand, then they are clearly either making enough money to increase production without debt, or management is blowing gobs and gobs of cash buying themselves time-traveling motorcycles made of cocaine.

            Something doesn’t add up with their excuse.

        • Edeco

          Gasp, no. That’d be like darting a fearsome jungle leopard and caging it. Kel-Tec must be wild and free!

      • 277Volt

        10 round mags for my 96/44 would make me a happy man.

        • Biglou13

          I agree

      • Tim Pearce

        Ruger KSG 😉

    • Paul White

      please Killjoy, more affordable revolvers!

      • Reef Blastbody

        Dear Mr. Killjoy,
        Please throw the full weight of Ruger in endorsing and supporting passage of the Hearing Protection Act into law, removing suppressors as NFA controlled items.

        Thank you,
        A Satisfied Ruger firearms owner.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Better than most CEO’s who put the company in the toilet and then retire with a billion dollar pension.

  • Art out West

    I wish him well in his retirement. Ruger has done great things under his leadership, and the company has been a solid supporter of American’s civil liberties. I own 3 Ruger firearms (Security Six, SR22, and AR-556) and love them all. They are great guns.
    Please note that two of these are from the New (post Bill) Ruger.
    Bill Ruger was a great man in many ways. He was a firearm and manufacturing genius. It’s too bad that he didn’t believe in the right to bear arms, and that he threw the American people under the bus to try to protect his company. That sucked.
    It is my view that the current management of Ruger has thoroughly repudiated Bill’s view on gun rights, while continuing Bill’s focus on quality, innovation, and value in firearms. That is a pretty good combination. Well done Mr. Fifer, and congratulations.
    Now, I need to find a way to buy a 10/22 and a Mark series .22 pistol. Classics.

  • Black Dots

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the sequence of the last two paragraphs:

    – Bill Ruger didn’t think civilians should own a lot of cool things
    – Under Fifer, Ruger made a lot of those cool things
    – The new CEO’s name is Killjoy.

    WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR RUGER’S PRODUCT LINE?!?!?!?!

    • Giolli Joker

      My same thought. 🙂

    • datimes

      Just what every company needs…a killjoy.

    • Reef Blastbody

      Pure speculation/WAG (wild a$$ guess) here, Fifer has turned Ruger around, and from the looks of things, he’s much more of a “gun guy” than Bill Ruger, see the SR-556, Ruger Precision Rifle, SR-22, Silent SR suppressor, factory branded standard and extended capacity magazines, etc, and would choose a successor who would carry on and expand on the groundwork he’s laid.

      Also doesn’t hurt that the COO and soon to be CEO is a veteran, and a West Point grad to boot.

  • iksnilol

    Smart move, he’s rich, all he needs now is the time for hookers and blow.

    Godspeed you magnificent CEO… Godspeed *tears welling up*

    • “…time for hookers and blow.”

      In the morning?

      • iksnilol

        Morning, lunch, evening, night.

        It’s always time for hookers and blow if your ticker and wallet can take it.

  • Rhialto the Marvellous

    Maybe Ruger’s new CEO will have decent springs installed in their magazines instead of the poor, weak pretenders they use now.
    Otherwise they make a pretty decent firearm I guess, though I don’t buy Ruger anymore because of the springs.

  • gunsandrockets

    To be fair, how could any halfway competent CEO not prosper under the unusual conditions of the gun marketplace that have reigned for the last 8 years?

    • Mr Giggles

      It’s possible, just ask Colt.

      • ahil925

        He said half way competent…

  • gunsandrockets

    Thanks Ruger! Keep up the good work!

  • Jim B

    He may have built the company but as of recently, customer service has suffered. I was totally shocked at the way CS responded to my issues with LC9s mags, which are known for failure. No need to put it all here. My 1st negative experience with Ruger in the last 30 years.

  • James Young

    The best kind of CEO

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Impressive and in an industry as turbulent as a the firearms industry it’s great they have no debt!

  • Bigbigpoopi

    PLEEEEEASE stop with the warning manuals on the guns themselves OK?

  • Oldtrader3

    Bravo, Mr. Fifer!

  • Frank Stratton

    To bad, as a gunsmith I have seen thier QC suffer with market share. Worked on a lot of Rugers that needed tlc to work reliably. But have seen this across the whole industry. Bean counters and investment firms rule. That is good for my business, not the the consumer.

  • Nigel Tegg

    Ruger GSR + M14 Magazines = Winner

    • Swarf

      Mossberg saw that obvious niche and stepped up. I like the GSR, but the proprietary mags leave a bad taste in my mouth.

      Metaphorically. Smart-asses.

      • iksnilol

        I was interested in the Mossberg, but it’s heavy compared to other rifles for the same cartridge.

  • Tim Pearce

    I think the plan has been to make Bill Ruger spin in his grave so much that they can generate electricity off of it.