Ruger collecting began in earnest in the early 1970s when collectors were first brought together as a group due to the efforts of Mark May. The name of the fledgling Ruger collector faction was the Phoenix Club. At the 1975 NRA Annual Meetings in San Diego Jay Hansen and Stephen Vogel collaborated with the Phoenix Club leadership, and the Ruger Collectors' Association was formed.
The original RCA headquarters was located on the second floor, above the coach house, at the Pavilion de Chasse, Vogel's estate at Fairfield, CT.
The principle objectives of the Association were threefold; to educate interested persons by an annual presence at the NRA meetings and selected major gun shows, to promote fellowship of collectors across the country and abroad, and publish a JOURNAL.
With a focus on all aspects on Ruger products and history, the RCA JOURNAL features interesting articles penned by some of the country's most knowledgeable collectors. Ruger-related historical events are chronicled in the JOURNAL as they occur.
As a National Firearms Museum affiliate the RCA has participated in every NRA Annual Meetings since it's formation by presenting a stimulating exhibit each year. The displays have won Best of Show on more than one occasion as well as numerous other awards and are always a center of activity during the show.
As a result of this coming together, pioneering books about Ruger firearms were authored by Davis, Crowder, Leuders, Dougan, Ross and Munnell featuring data that was available then, mostly by observation, conversation and experience. By the mid-1980s Ruger collecting was firmly established, resulting in more comprehensive works by Dougan, Clayton, Burke and Findley.
Stephen K. Vogel, co-founder of the Ruger Collector's Assoc., Bill Ruger's son-in-law and head of the export division at Ruger. ca. mid-1980s. Steve passed away in 1991. John C. Dougan's collection.
Ruger collectors seem to have a traditional view of responsibility, by the serious arms student, to utilize their knowledge, collection, support material and accoutrements to publicly and privately inform interested individuals and upcoming generations of collectors. With vision and perspective, they make every effort to insure a future for Ruger collecting.
As Ruger collectors mature they develop a vision of what they wish their collection to say and then deliberate on how to establish and structure it. A well rounded out collection, even a modest one, that conveys a story will be remembered long after the owner is forgotten.