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Experience with Ruger No.1's

27 Mar 2014
@ 03:23 pm (GMT)

Karl Thompson

How suited are Ruger No.1's to Long Range Work?

I have been lusting after a No.1 in stainless laminated with varmint weight stainless barrel for years, but curious about how suited they are to long range work. Does anyone here have experience with them? I know the triggers are routinely replaced as with most rifles, but I have heard various reports of their accuracy.

A guy I used to work with absolutely swore by his, and he owned a few and modded them to suit. Steve was an absolutely obsessed gun-nut, and rarely spoke of anything else. Some of the other guys at work looked down on No.1's and swore by their Sakos. When pressed, none of these guys could give a reasonable explanation why they didn't like them, other than the arrangement at the front of the stock. In truth, I think they didn't like single shots. Having spent most of my life shooting single shots, they don't worry me !


27 Mar 2014
@ 06:32 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
Hi Karl, several people have gone about making long range rigs based on the No.1 but it is not a straight forwards proposition due to the forend set up which shares some of the peculiarities associated with SMLE bedding.

In the past, those who made long range rifles based on the No.1 did so in order to shorten over all rifle length while adopting a long barrel. As an example, custom 26-28" barreled .270 Winchesters where not uncommon. But these were the days when long range excluded dial capable scopes with long shots being around the 400 yard mark. This lessened the need for sub half minute accuracy.

If you want to go this way, you will have to be prepared to experiment with forend bedding, first attempting to bed the socket and hangar while floating the forend as best you can.

If you really want a No.1, another option is to consider the .45-70 chambering. This takes the emphasis away from extreme accuracy, allowing you to experiment with forend bedding but without setting extremely high expectations that could lead to disappointment.
01 Apr 2014
@ 12:41 am (GMT)

Fred Kaisaki

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
Karl, I have three Ruger No. 1's. One is very accurate, sub 1/2 MOA if I shoot slowly. Heating the barrel will open up the groups. This isn't a problem for me. This is an older model in 243 Win., which has a 24" barrel and the original trigger, about 5 lbs. trigger pull. I free-floated the barrel by adding a shim on the fore stock hanger and sanding the pressure point bedding. After 30 years it still shoot wonderfully. The second Ruger, 223 Rem. is an OK shooter. I think that because it is a newer firearm, the non-adjustable trigger is too heavy. My last Ruger, 257 Roberts doesn't shoot well, 1 1/2 in groups. However, I purchased this rifle for short range whitetail deer hunting, as where I hunt shots are not longer than 200 yds. My take on the Ruger No. 1's is a mixed bag. Some shoot very well with a little work. The newer No. 1's need to have the trigger replaced and adjusted for longer range shooting. Floating the barrel is also required.
01 Apr 2014
@ 02:07 am (GMT)


Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
Some of the challenges and methods for obtaining top accuracy from a No 1 are well covered in an article, here is a quote (below), and a link to the article. There are several useful pictures within the article. Mr. Ruger wanted to have the shortest possible action length when the No 1 was designed......

"The accuracy issue can be traced to an innovative design feature that Bill Ruger incorporated into his original plan. The forearm and mainspring are attached to an extended hanger protruding from the front of the receiver. With the forearm, spring, and hanger in contact, upon firing, all parts try to vibrate at a different rate. Since this rate is uncontrolled it can not be duplicated from shot to shot. This of course means that each bullet leaves the bore at a slightly different angle and results in either vertical or horizontal stringing of groups, depending on the particular rifle. The cure is to dampen this vibration scenario and provide a bit of needed barrel support."

This is if anything exacerbated by thin barrels or the full length European stock on some of these rifles.

As Nathan mentions the big bore No 1's (45-70, 458 Win mag) often have surprising accuracy, also the "V" (for varmint) No 1's have a heavier, stiffer barrel, without the scope mount rib present on standard No 1's which is suspected to flex. I have not accurized a No 1 but such an elegant rifle deserves a little extra care and effort to bring it up to its best. If you can find a "V" in a caliber you like and follow the ideas presented in the article to optimize the gun you have the best chance of getting a result you will be happy with depending on the individual rifle you end up with. Good luck it is a gorgeous gun.
01 Apr 2014
@ 02:34 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
if you want to go down the single shot path..have a good look at the thompson contenders....there is a chap in the states who does some wonderfull long range rigs based on this action type.
01 Apr 2014
@ 03:15 am (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
I have a 83 vintage No1 in 375H&H which I bought new. 1 MOA accuracy with a worked original trigger.

It's a rifle I cherish and will never part with. It's great for Buffalo and big pigs.

There is just something about them that puts a smile on your face.

01 Apr 2014
@ 09:34 am (GMT)


Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
Here are the calibers and years of manufacture for the Ruger No. 1V with heavy 24" barrel (the 1V weighs about 8.5 pounds) and twin blocks for mounting the scope:

223 Rem 1980-2006
22-250 Rem 1970-2006
220 Swift 1979-2006 26"
22 PPC 1993-1993
6 MM PPC 1993-1994
6 MM Rem 1980-2003
243 Win 1982-1985
7 MM Rem Mag 1973-1978
25-06 Rem 1971-2006
280 Rem 1980-1983
300 Win Mag 1973-1978

For single shot fans:
01 Apr 2014
@ 06:17 pm (GMT)

Shawn Bevins

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
I own a Ruler#1 which has a Douglas barrel in a 270. The barrel is 22 inches but a heavy contour. It shoots under 1 moa if I do my part. It loves 130 gr anything. Its my meat gun.
03 Apr 2014
@ 01:19 am (GMT)

John Smith

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
I have a 1979 Ruger No. 1A in 7x57 and a 2011 Ruger No. 1A in 6.5x55.
From a cold barrel at 100 yards both will put that first shot in the 10 ring.
I have made no adjustments to either. I reload for both. They are the rifles I hunt with,
and I am very satisfied with them. The first one has taken elk. The
second deer.
03 Apr 2014
@ 08:16 am (GMT)

Tony Marasco

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
I also have a 1a 7x57-Would like to remove front sight/ramp/band.Ha anyone else done this?
03 Apr 2014
@ 11:04 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Experience with Ruger No.1's
Hi Tony, same deal, use heat. You will see examples of this on youtube.

Here is one example:



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