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.
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.
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.