At www.ruger.com , the serial number history section gives the starting serial number for each model for every Jan 1st.
The receivers, like every other Ruger part, gets dumped into inventory and pulled out at random for assembly as required when a run of that particular model is made - which could be every month or once every other year, depending upon the demand for the model in question.
A phone call, to the Ruger Service Dept, with the model/serial #, will get you the date and configuration any gun was shipped.
Case in point maybe... my 77R 270 Win comes up as 1974 by it's serial number, but the dealer I got it from had just got it in from the distributor new when I bought it in 1977. 270's were very popular then in the Rocky Mountain states thanks to the writings of Jack O'Connor, and my dealer had a hard time keeping them in stock. I had to reserve it ahead to get it when I did - there was a waiting list to get one. Who knows whether it had sat in the Ruger inventory or the distributors for about 3 years though. Well worth the wait though. A lot of mule deer, elk, pronghorns, couple of black bear, one caribou, one moose and a bunch of predators fell to it before I stopped hunting with it.
Manufacture date is one thing, shipping date is a complete other thing. EX: Ruger recently cleaned out a lot of old inventory, some reboxed in current style boxes. Some of these models have been out of production for 8 or 10 years or more and are just now being shipped. It's this excess inventory that sits around and/or get's shuffled around that's caused them to go to a Lean manufactruing concept. Less overhead sitting idle in inventory for them.
I know it's a different company but I have a Browning BL-22 with a date code of 1968. Browning says they did not make the BL-22 until 1969. I assume the date gets stamped into the receiver when it is made not when the gun is assembled
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