Picked up a gorgeous barely-fired safe queen a year ago... ...a Ruger #1 stainless/black lam (2003). Topped her with Ruger ring mounts and a Leupold VX-3 6.5x20.
I free-floated / glassed, installed a Kepplinger trigger, and began a ladder load workup (now ~80% finished). Nosler brass, Barnes 145 LRX, H1000, and CCI mag primers. Last trip to the range tested charges of 77.2 to 80.8 grains (no pressure signs at all) in 0.3 gr increments using a Bulls Bag rest - not
the Lead Sled shown in the pic. Results were not at all what I expected: at 300 yards, the maximum vertical spread was only 2-1/8"... ...and 12 of the 13 shots landed in a 1-3/8" vertical spread. ...not too bad for one of those vertical stringing Rugers with a 3.6 gr charge variation. Wind was a problem - variable from near 0 to 15 mph ESE & I was firing due north so horizontal spread was greater (5-1/4"). MV ranged from 3205 to 3365. I'm making one more trip to validate the results and expect I'll settle in at ~79.3 gr and a MV of ~3270. ...may or may not ladder the seating depth (now at .045" off lands) - probably not - seems to be where I've consistently had the best performance with Barnes and this one seems to be doing OK there too.
I almost bought one of these beauties back in '01 but talked myself out of it - kids in college and all... Ruger quit making them a couple of years later and I kicked myself ever since... ...until February, 2011... ...when finally I joined The Brotherhood - better late than never.
...and I couldn't be happier about it.