From the Daily Courier in Prescott http://www.dcourier.com/Main.asp?SectionID=74&SubSectionID=100&ArticleID=57574
The Daily Courier said:PRESCOTT - The smallest gun Sturm Ruger & Co. manufactures is responsible for the biggest product launch the company has ever seen.
The .380-caliber Lightweight Compact Pistol is a shot in the arm for the company.
Production manager James D. Elliott, said consumer demand has blown a hole through the company's projected sales figures.
"We get calls every day from customers wanting to know how to get one," he said. "It's in great demand right now and I don't expect that demand to be filled at least till the end of the year."
Company officials thought they would sell 30,000 of the guns this year.
But Elliott said six days after they unveiled it at a popular gun show in February, orders surpassed 90,000 units.
Employees at the Prescott manufacturing building are cranking out 500 guns a day, and Elliott said they plan to increase daily production by another 50 guns beginning tomorrow.
Elliott said they began looking into manufacturing this type of gun for years and they were following calls from consumers who were asking for a concealable gun.
The 9.4-ounce pistol has a double-action-only chamber and holds six rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.
Elliott said it retails for $330.
"It's for someone who wants a compact carry gun," he said. "It's a nice gun, easy to carry, and it has some nice stopping power."
The pistol appeals to gun enthusiasts, people in law enforcement as a backup weapon, and to consumers who carry concealed weapons, such as Gary Gromer.
Gromer says he has carried concealed guns for about 20 years and placed an order for his first LCP earlier this year.
"As soon as we heard about them, we put an order in," he said. "There was just none to be had."
Gromer got his first LCP in May and he now has three of them.
"With these little LCPs, you can put in your pocket and you're ready to go," he said. "As soon I'm off work it's in my pocket from then until the time I go to sleep."
Elliott said they hired 49 additional employees to help meet the demand as they anticipate production up to 100,000 this year.
A new LCP comes off the assembly line every 52 seconds, according to Elliott, who said they sell the pistol to approximately 35 distributors nationwide, who sell it to dealers.
Elliott said about 32,000 pistols were shipped as of Thursday and 68,000 are on back order.
For information, visit www.ruger.com.
Contact the reporter at [email protected]