@ 09:27 am (GMT)
Gregory KitchenHi Mike,
As I've browsed the internet for falling block rifle info I've definitely found more people who love the No. 1 than those who have given up on it in frustration due to accuracy issues. I suspect I would probably fall somewhere in between, looking for reasonable accuracy (I think I would be ecstatic with 1 MOA), but also loving the simplicity and elegance of it. And while I'm sold on the utility of the synthetic/stainless combo of most bolt actions, it's tough to beat the classic look of wood/bluing, especially on a falling block rifle.
I found a comparison that was done between the No. 1 and the 1885 here:
where a modification was made to the No. 1 forearm that made it nearly as accurate as the 1885, just shy of 1 MOA, although he still liked the 1885 better for other reasons. As you say, tinkering with the load would probably make even more of a difference, and doing both might even get it to sub-MOA. That would really be something.
I've really cooled to the idea of an 1885 at this point given what's been done to the modern version. I just don't like the idea of paying for a product that has been intentionally complicated to discourage me from working on it. It was the simplicity of the falling block action that attracted me to it in the first place. I don't know how complicated the No. 1 action is, but Ruger has videos on their website showing how to disassemble and reassemble it, so they're at least not as antagonistic about people working on their own rifles as Browning/Winchester seem to be. I would love to get my hands on a Dakota Model 10, but they run several thousand USD for even a used model.
I also noticed that Ruger has introduced several new models of the No. 1 for 2018 on their website. I don't know if that means they have decided not to discontinue it after all, as Nathan discussed in a thread here last year, or if they're just trying to use up whatever No. 1 parts they have left. There are a couple of curious offerings in the bunch, including a 30-30 Win with a stainless barrel and a 257 Roberts Mannlicher with a stainless barrel. I think a 243 falling block would be a lot of fun to mess around with. Too bad more companies don't make them, but I guess I should just be happy that there are a couple of decent, affordable options to choose from.