In 1946 William B. Ruger applied for his first patent on a blow-back operated, semi-automatic .22 calibre pistol. In 1949 Bill Ruger and Alexander Sturm released this pistol for sale, and the Ruger dynasty began. The pistol was ideal for the American marketplace it was accurate, reliable, and inexpensive, and ensured the new company's success.
In 1951 Alexander Sturm passed away, but Ruger continued the business. At this time the fledgling television industry was popularizing the early American West, and Colt had not reintroduced the Single-Action Army after WWII. Ruger decidede that a Western-style six shooter would be a successful venture, and the Single Six was born.
This was not a Colt copy but a new design based on the Western look. Again Ruger scored in the marketplace, and this has been pretty much the rule ever since. With few exceptions this company has shown itself to be accurate in gauging what the gun-buying public wants. They have expanded their line to include double-action revolvers, single-shots, semi-auto and bolt-action rifles, percussion revolvers, and even a semi-automatic wonder nine.
William B. Ruger died in 2002 at the age of 86.
Schwing, Ned (2004). 2005 Standard Catalog of Firearms - The Collector's Price & Reference Guide, 15th ed., Krause Publications.