Every Ruger firearm ever produced features a unique serial number stamped into the gunmetal that includes information about the date the firearm was manufactured. Unfortunately, Ruger does not ship a comprehensive manual on how to read those production dates with their products. This can lead to confusion if you come into possession of a Ruger firearm and wish to know the date of its production. Fortunately, Ruger makes an online tool available to Ruger owners to help read Ruger serial numbers and determine the weapon's date of manufacture.
Access the Ruger website. The company's website link is provided below in the "Resources" section of this article.
Position your cursor over the "Customer Service" menu button at the top of the web page, then click on the "Instruction Manuals and Product History" option in the drop-down menu.
Click the "Show All" option next to the firearm type that corresponds to your Ruger. For example, if you are looking up a pistol's production date, select the "Show All" link next to the "Pistol" category.
Locate your specific firearm's model number in the drop-down list that appears and click on the appropriate link.
Match the serial number on your weapon to the serial number ranges that appear in the new pop-up window. This will tell you the year of manufacture for your Ruger firearm.
Firearm manufacturers usually etch the serial number on the top of the barrel near the bolt handle on a rifle or on the side of the frame on a pistol. Other often-used locations include the butt of the rifle, the side of the rifle receiver or on the back of the pistol grip beneath the hammer slot.
Always treat a firearm as if it were loaded. Make sure the safety is on at all times and never point it towards a person or any areas where people might be located.