Back with a Bang: SIG Sauer, Ruger & Beretta’s Nostalgic 2024 Lineup
Leading gun makers are honoring their iconic models with special anniversary editions, blending nostalgia with modern craftsmanship.
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While 2024 looks to have a lot of new guns– and a couple of new gun makers– inbound, it seems like some of the big names are content to just throw out some fan service for the diehards.
While some will surely find it exhilarating, others may be turned off by the lack of innovation in these “instant classics.” Either way, there seem to be lots of anniversary editions headed to gun shelves near you.
Here is a quick rundown (and we are only in the second week of January!)
SIG Sauer’s 40th Anniversary of the P226
Debuted in 1983, the SIG Sauer P226 was the company’s entry to replace the M911 .45 ACP Government Model in American military service and was just a double-stack variant of the SIG P220.
Although it lost out (due to cost) to the Beretta 92, the P226 was adopted by the U.S. Navy SEALs as the MK25 in 1989 and has remained popular enough to still be in production in at least four different variants today– all 9mm.
SIG has teased they will declare February 26, 2024 (2/26/24) as P226 Day and will have several programs and promotions throughout the year to salute the pistol. While they don’t have a specific 40th Anniversary model out currently, it is not 2/26 yet, so consider this your spoiler alert.
Ruger Diamond Anniversary Models
Bill Ruger and his largely silent partner Alex Sturm founded the company that bears their names in 1949, with the legend being that Ruger manufactured the initial firearm offering, his Standard .22LR pistol, in his garage workshop.
With that, the company is marking its 75th anniversary this year with at least five new, specially marked, models.
These include a small run of 250 Ruger Diamond Anniversary SR1911s in .45 ACP that bear lots of engravings and walnut grip panels as well as a lockable case, with a suggested retail of $1,799.
A more budget gun is a Mark IV series pistol in .22LR with some understated 75th-anniversary engravings. It has a fully adjustable rear sight with an undercut Patridge front sight, and a heavy, tapered barrel. MSRP is $599.
Then comes a pair of 75th Anniversary 10/22s, both are $399 stainless models with either an unstained “blonde” hardwood stock adorned with dark checkering or a dark stained and checkered hardwood stock.
There is also, for some reason, a 75th Anniversary Ruger LCP Max in .380ACP with a stainless slide and special markings. The ask is $479.
Ruger’s 60th Anniversary of the 10/22
Also being celebrated by Ruger this year is the 60th anniversary of the original introduction of the 10/22 rimfire plinker.
With millions and millions of these little carbines made since then, and two more traditional offerings of the 10/22 in the company’s Diamond Anniversary series, the 60th anniversary 10/22 is a bit more modern, using an adjustable Magpul Hunter X-22 stock, top Picatinny rail with an adjustable rear aperture ring sight, and a birdcage flash hider on a threaded muzzle.
MSRP on the 60th Anni 10/22 is $639.
Beretta’s 50th Anniversary Manurhin MR73
Manurhin was a traditional French handgun maker for decades and many may not know that they produced the P-38 for the French military as well as the PP and PPK for Walther behind the scenes for many years.
They also produced a bomb-proof revolver, the MR73, which was designed specifically to be able to withstand tens of thousands of full-house .357 magnum loads in training and hard use. Why so beefy? Well, they were pitched to French police use and competition shooters, earning fans from both camps.
Over the years, Chapuis Armes, a French gun maker, picked up the brand and was then, in turn, gobbled up by Beretta in 2019. That sparked a move to begin bringing these storied wheel guns into the country using Beretta’s massive distribution network.
Now, with the MR73 in production for over 50 years, Beretta is bringing in a limited run of 50 specially marked anniversary models to the U.S.– priced at $11K a pop, which is only $220 a year if you look at it like that.
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