Return of the Red Label


  When I was in college, I was a member of our university’s trap and skeet team. I’d grown up with pumps, and although they are great field guns, I needed a legitimate competition gun to shoot at school. Like most other college kids, I didn’t have a lot of money, so I put a Ruger Red Label on layaway and paid it off a little bit at a time until I could take the gun home. I broke my first 25 and 50 straight targets with that Red Label, and I eventually carried it to the collegiate championship in San Antonio, Texas. It was a great gun, and I really enjoyed shooting it, but I foolishly sold the Red Label after I got out of college, a mistake I still regret. When Ruger ceased production of that gun in 2011 I was a little sad, viewing it as the end of an era. However, the Red Label is back, and now it’s better than ever. Ruger now builds the Red Label with a one-piece receiver and all parts are CNC machined for the utmost reliability. This month, I had a chance to shoot the revamped Red Label and really enjoyed the new gun. It fit and felt like the old Red Label, but it has less recoil and more standardized parts. Ruger is back in the shotgun game, and the new gun is better than the outgoing model. See my full review of the Red Label in an upcoming issue of Gun Digest magazine or visit for more details.