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What to Know About Ruger’s AR-10, Weapon Recovered in the Lewiston Mass Shootings


Ruger, the Manufacturer of the AR-10 Rifle Recovered in the Lewiston Shooting, is Among the top Five Manufacturers of Crime Guns Traced by Law Enforcement

Last night, law enforcement officials confirmed that the gunman in Lewiston, Maine, likely used a Ruger SFAR, an AR-10 that fires a .308 caliber cartridge, even more powerful than the AR-15. Surveillance photos suggest that the shooter equipped his Ruger SFAR rifle with tactical gear, including an optic or red-dot sight, a flashlight, and 20-round magazines that were taped together for faster reloading, a tactic often referred to as “jungle style.” By taping two magazines together, the shooter was able to bolster his capacity to that of 40 rounds. 

Ruger introduced the SFAR AR-10 to market in September 2022, long after Ruger AR-15s were used in the deadly Sutherland Springs and Boulder shootings. Ruger’s launch of its AR-10 model also came after its CEO Chris Killoy testified before the House Oversight Committee regarding the use of AR-15s in the Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park shootings. During his testimony, Killoy refused to implement new safety features or condemn the marketing of firearms to “identified extremist groups” and “domestic terror threats.” Instead, he stated that National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry’s trade association, of which he is a board member, “does not control individual member companies or their ads.”

To date, AR-15s manufactured by Ruger have been used by mass shooters in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and Boulder, Colorado, and AR-10s produced by Ruger have now been recovered in two of the country’s deadliest mass shootings: Las Vegas and Lewiston.

Ruger is among the top five manufacturers of crime guns traced by law enforcement. In data collected by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund from police departments in 31 cities, Ruger was the fourth-leading manufacturer of recovered crime guns in 2021, with 3,494 recovered firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) also found that between 2017 and 2021, Ruger was a top five manufacturer of traced crime pistols, revolvers, and rifles, representing between 8.7 and 11 percent of all recoveries in those categories.

What to Know About Ruger

  • Ruger is currently the second-largest gun maker in the United States in terms of domestic production, behind only Smith & Wesson, and the two are country’s only publicly traded firearm manufacturers.
  • The company has so far resisted conducting a human rights impact assessment for its products, a proposal approved by shareholders.
  • Ruger offers “state-compliant” AR-15s that are slightly modified to remain legal under select states’ assault weapons bans but can be just as deadly, and in the past, the company offered “pistol” versions — like the kind used by the Boulder shooter.
  • According to a House Oversight Committee report, “Ruger’s gross earnings from AR-15-style rifles also nearly tripled from 2019 to 2021, increasing from $39 million to over $103 million.”
  • Ruger is a leading industry supporter of the NRA. The company is ranked second on the NRA’s list of “Top 10 Industry Allies,” meaning it sponsors NRA events, donates guns for Friends of NRA raffles, and helps recruit new members. In 2009, Ruger joined the NRA’s “Golden Ring of Freedom” for donating over $1 million to the NRA.

If you’re interested in talking to an expert about gun industry accountability in the wake of the mass shootings in Lewiston, please reach out to [email protected]