Ruger no.1- are they worth it?

Fred Ea

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Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
113
Location
Hope Hull, AL.
I am thinking about buying a Ruger no.1 and was wondering are they worth fooling with. I have a friend that has one in 270 Win. And it shoots very well, but I have heard other people say you are taking a 50/50 change on getting one that will shoot well and it will break your heart. I just like the rifle, it operates smoothly and it seems to be pretty simple design and they look nice.
I would want something other than a 270 though for better bullet selection but haven't decided which cambering I would go with. My gunsmith said that he likes them ok and could do some accurizing somewhat to them but may have to rebarrel it to get it to shoot. He said if one is for sale, it is a good possibility that it won't shoot. If it shoots, it is not for sale. Any Ruger no.1 owners out there with some input?
FE:lightbulb
 

HARPERC

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Jan 28, 2011
Messages
6,794
Location
Spokane, WA
I've only had one so I'm no expert, but the only broken heart it gave was when I sold it to fund a divorce. I do know bedding etc. can make a big difference in how they shoot and would not jump to bad barrel until you sorted things out bit. Mine was a #3 actually, .375 Winchester. I shot a 10 shot cast bullet group of 1" at 100 yards, and did not consider it a fluke. Jacketed shot even better. A steady diet of 325 grain bullets eventually caused, some stock issues, got those resolved about the time it had to go.
I look for another one but haven't found one in a caliber, or model, I like for the price I'd like to pay. Although I've got an eye one that's close. Caliber isn't my first choice, stock is the MPI synthetic replacement, and it's almost cheap enough to consider a new barrel. Point being I think if you were to apply your 50/50 rule your odds of finding one used that shoots is as good as a new one. People sell guns for a lot of reasons, I sold a good one . Don't rule out Pawn shops etc. I don't know the odds good ones vs bad ones, but suspect there are more good than bad. It depends what your accuracy standard is, but it's true the best ones won't run with the best bolt actions..
 

Gene

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Jan 23, 2007
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1,326
Location
PA
Many years ago I bought a 1B in 6mm Rem. It just would not shoot. Complained to Ruger, and they said send it back and they would replace the barrel. It took a year to get it back (they continually said that bbl was on back order). With the new barrel, it did not shoot any better and I sold it.

About 6 years ago, I bought a new 1V in .25-06, Again, it did not shoot well, and I had it accurized and I installed a Moyers trigger. These improvements did help. But, it likes just one bullet and load: Speer 87 gr TNT over 59.5 grs. imr 7828. Its devastating on groundhogs, but I would not use that load on antelope, which is what I bought it for. I can get 5 shots under an inch at 100 yds with that load.

This past Monday, took it to the range, and found my old Lyman 12x scope would not adjust. I bought a new scope yesterday. Also, found that my old RCBS sizer die was causing necks with about .005" TIR. Bought a new, but used die set. Necks now about .001". Hopefully, I can get it back on track.

The Ruger #1 is a beauty, functions well and I believe it still sells well. But as said above, you have about a 50% chance of getting a good one.
 

rifle

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Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
16
Location
North Carolina
I have several,calibers big to small and enjoy hunting and shooting them.The new hammer forged barrels are very good.The forearm needs bedding to make them shoot right.Not hard to do.<img src="http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv217/rifle1/IMG_0002.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a>
IMG_0005-1.jpg
 

Hairtrigger

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Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
455
Location
NW OHIO
I have severqal NO.1 rifles, mosatly in 22 centerfire calibers but also have a 6mmPPC.
The NO.1's are accurate enough for woodchuck hunting the way I do it, rarrely shooting past 400 yards.
The stories I hear about poor accuracy in the NO.1 are on older rifles and usually not from the source. The accuracy gets worse every time the story is told
 

lloydsmale

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Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
991
Ive owned many through the years. Yes ive had a couple bad ones but id say overal ive had more bad 77s then I have had bad #1s
 

bullfrog

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Joined
Jul 27, 2010
Messages
202
Location
Bloomfield, Iowa
I have been able to get all my Ruger #1's to shoot by working on the forend. I like to float mine to not touch the barrel. These are all newer varmint models in small calibers (25/06 the largest). I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one. Just keep in mind you will probably have to do some forearm work to keep your zero consistent.
 

SidecarFlip

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Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
4,442
Location
S.E. Michigan
I have an older one in 300 Weatherby Magnun and I had forend issues which I corrected by actually making the forend touch the barrel. I like the rifle, it's a hard kicker but Bill Ruger's design and the asthetics of the rifle surpass anything on the market,,,IMO.

Like the above posts stated, older ones, forend issues, fixable however. It's a keeper for me.

The 'fix' is widely publicized on the Internet. Can't speak for the newer ones. Mine is 20 years old.
 

rifle

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
16
Location
North Carolina
I have an older one in 300 Weatherby Magnun and I had forend issues which I corrected by actually making the forend touch the barrel. I like the rifle, it's a hard kicker but Bill Ruger's design and the asthetics of the rifle surpass anything on the market,,,IMO.

Like the above posts stated, older ones, forend issues, fixable however. It's a keeper for me.

The 'fix' is widely publicized on the Internet. Can't speak for the newer ones. Mine is 20 years old.

Click on my post above and see the the photo of how I do the forearm. I clean out the high spots,then bed the tip and re-seal the wood.It now only touches the screw area and the end constaintly
 

Gene

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Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,326
Location
PA
Click on my post above and see the the photo of how I do the forearm. I clean out the high spots,then bed the tip and re-seal the wood.It now only touches the screw area and the end constaintly


I did look at that photo. Bedding the tip of the fore end is interesting. I tried it long ago, and mine shot worse. From all I have read, most shoot better floating. That's when I had a gunsmith named Korzinic in PA accurize mine. He did a good job; removed some wood around the back of fore end, then fiberglassed the first 1" or so. Then, he put a fiber cushion where the foreend hanger draws it up toward the barrel. I checked mine this morning and can easily slide a $1 bill from the tip back to the glass bedding. I am making no further changes.

Bottom line; yes the Ruger #1 is worth the money, but be prepared to spend a little more on a retrofit if you want it to shoot well. But remember, there are no guarantees.
 

Clark

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Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
756
I have 3 Ruger #1s; 223 Varmint, 270, and 7mmRM.

All three are accurate.

I got all three used.

The 223 was from an on line auction. It arrived, I cleaned out the Copper in the bore, I put a scope on it took it to the range, shot some 33 gr Vmax blems with moly and 15 gr Blue Dot 2.170" that I have hundreds of already loaded. I sighted in and then shot this target as the first groups from that rifle.

Ruger1V2007-5-2315grBlueDot33grVmax2170100yardstext.jpg


This is a good result for me at 100 yards. [Given my poor marksmanship and the gusty wind at Issaquah range]
The rifle is a keeper.
It went on to kill hundreds of rodents.

Ruger1bipod.jpg

Here is the 7mmRemMag Ruger #1 and a deer it just killed at 380 yards.
That deer as moving and the rifle sounded like a machine gun. From a bipod with ammo in a check pouch, the Ruger #1 can be fired quickly.


The 270 only has one group I have shot since cleaning out the Copper:
270 Ruger #1 Leupold 6.5x20
130 gr ballistic tip moly 50 gr canister IMR4895 3.34"
3244 fps [first shot with moly bore past in bore
3182 fps
3259 fps
0.44" 3 shot group at 50y
 

Picketpin

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
6
I spent a hour or so posting everything I know about #1 accuracy, the darned thing disappeared when I hit send. I hate computers!!

I bought my first #1 a 6mm "B" as we refer to it now, in 1967 two months after it was released for retail sales. Actually you ORDERED your new #1 from a dealer or direct from Ruger within certain parameters. Barrel weight and length, cartridge it was chambered in, fore arm choice and sighting choice. You could order the standard 26" barrel of "B" weight but elect to have it drilled and tapped for scope blocks. From 1967 to 1973 the scope blocks were NOT Ruger and were not supplied. They were 7 1/4" a[art and required the use of old style long tube scope with external adjustments, Unertl Lyman,etc. The first internally adjustable I remember that fit that bill was the 3200 Redfield. I still have one on a 1971 2506 "V". The "V: weight barrel was not in production until 1970 in the 22-250 "V" Prior to that if you were "building" a varmint rifle from the Ruger factory you ordered a "B" with blocks or at least drilled for them. In 1974 Ruger began drill the third set of holes back closer to the receiver at a 3 1/2: spacing that allowed the use of Ruger supplied blocks and rings and the more modern short/internally adjustable scope.

As scopes get short they have had to add the off set rings to get short tube scope to fit and even then not all scopes will work on a #1 whether it has blocks or the factory rib. Early on Buehler, Redfield and Conectrol made blocks that used the Ruger drilled holes and studs for the rib and replaced them and allowed the use of Redfield style scope rings and gave you external adjustment for windage. Buehler made a cantilevered base that used the rear st of factory scope block holes and the drilling /tapping of one more hole, hidden by the base that allowed mounting a more modern scope on the "V" before the drilled the third set of holes in 1974. I have a 1972 22-250 "V" that still wears this base and Buehler rings and a 6x18 Redfield that has accounted for thousands of dead varmints.

The early #1s from 1967 through about serial 130-05000 (Mid 1973 or so) were supplied with Douglas Match grade barrels, even in the light weight 22" barrel we now refer to as the "A" barrel


Enough history. The early rifles had a lot of hand fitting and a 3 screw fully adjustable trigger or at least down to 2 pounds and routinely shot....very well.

One has to remember that Bill Ruger always thought of the #1 as a "HUNTING" rifle and if yu were getting 2" five shot groups it was well within spec and minute of der. If you sent it back to Ruger because YOU could only get 2" groups they would send it right back. I have several of those letters.

How accurate are #1s is always the question. I probably own a hundred or so in the last 47 years. I've sold or traded some off over the years but nevr because it wuldn't shoot. The one that never shot well is sill here. My dad killed his last deer with it ad that ones here to stay regardless of accuracy.

The problem guys need to understand is that the #1 and any other falling block single shot rifle with a 2 piece stock has the same issues. Barrel harmonics and return to "battery" consistently

The very best #1s will ou tshoot many/most bolt guns with some /a lot of work. The best bolt guns will always out shoot the best #1s. It's simpy a matter of engineering and limitations. When you close the action on a bolt gun you are engaging the lugs and camming the barrel back into the receiver under tension and making the rifle a homogeneous construct. If it happens to be a solid bottom single shot on a short action with as little steel removed for the port then it's REALLY rigid

Regardless of how tight you breach a #1 or other falling block, when you close the lever and raise the block you are forcing the surface APART. Then there are the issues of the two piece stock and how you handle that.

All most of this information is over on the #1 Group on Yahoo for the looking.
The files section contains accuracy tips, reliable/trusted smiths and scores from our annual shoots.

Most #1s, regardless of age and barrel maker should be able to shoot at or near MOA with the load and bullet weight it prefers. We are back to barrel harmonics and where it comes to rest between shots. Most #1 shoot best with some upward pressure on the barrel. The #1 is designed with a bearing pad of wood at the tip of the barrel channel to exert this pressure. Way back in the 60s and 70s we were drilling the tip of the fore arm hanger and installing a set scew to bear on the bottom of the barrel. That sometimes increased accuracy and consistency. It's much easier now with the Hicks Accuizer that does the same thing but without drilling the hanger. It does require removing some wood inside the fore arm and sometimes works wonders.

Even without doing this groups can usually be improved by finding the fore arm pressure your rifle likes. No two are the same. If you have tried a series of loads and bullet weights you should find that your #1 prefers a specific load. If yu find that, then remove the forearm and shoot a group without it by resting the action directly on your rest or bags. Then re install the forearm just barely snugging the fore arm attachment screw. Shoot another group and then tighten the screw at some point the group will either improve more or go to Hell. Keep track of the number of turns or use an inch pound torque wrench so that this setting is repeatable.

Load work and barrel harmonics usually will get you near MOA and is where I usually quit with hunting rifles.

One note on the tip pressure. Joe Miller the owner of the #1 Group, #1 guru and all around nice guy came up with a newer fix about 5-6 years ago. He noticed that an older Model 52 Target gun he owned and had used for years actually had a piece of rubber in the forearm tip, from the factory. He did some experimenting and came up with the Unpatented Miller Little Rubber Thingy. I have now gone that route with most of the 37 #1s I actually shoot. Use a dowell and sandpaper and remove the wood at the tip of the forearm in the barrel channel. Then replace it with a piece of truck inner tube about 1" long that cover the inside of the barrel channel and exerts upward pressure as the fore arm is tightened. It does seem to work and stands to reason that over time the wood at this location gets battered under firing and over time changes density and gets harder, thus changing pressure. The rubber seems to allow the rifle barrel to more uniformly return to the same position from shot to shot and to dampen some of the whip/vibration of the barrel upon firing. Nearly all my hunting rifle #1s wear them now and all the varminters and target ones for sure.

#1 "V"s can be made to shoot at or near 1/2 MOA. Usually with the above and the addition of a good trigger or working over the factory trigger. The older 3 screw trigger was adjustable down to about 2 pounds and for creep and backlash. The Moyers trigger is simply a copy of this trigger. The new 2 screw triggers are NOT adjustable for trigger pull. You can stone the surfaces but it's not recommended and Ruger will send your rifle back either untouched or with a new factory trigger in it if they judge your modifications to be unsafe. The Canjar Single set was/is a great #1 trigger but out of production and hard to find. Right now the best seems to b the Kepplinger set trigger, it is spendy but work very well. I know the Jard trigger is out there but have not used it and not enough guys have actually used and tested them enough to offer a informed opinion.

I have factory "V"s in 204, 223, 22-250, 220 Swift, 243, 6mm, 25-06, 6.5 Creedmore, 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag, All shoot sub MOA except the two Mags, with their preferred load.

Now we get to the really trying to get them to shoot with a cartridge known to be inherently accurate into a tiny bug hole. The above alterations if necessary and MORE load work and precision reloading and brass prep. Then replace the factory hammer or lighten the one you have. The factory hammer weighs 785 gr. If you watch through a high power scope and dry fire the #1 with the factory hammer you can see the rifle deflect up to 1/8" under the hammer blow. The Moulds Speed hammer weighs 340 gr and the Competition hammer slightly less and come with a lighter main spring. You can cut one coil off the factory spring and get close. You can run into some reliability issues if it's all too light so it's certainly not anything I recommend for a hunting rifle. Sadly he, Moulds is ill and the hammers are getting hard to find. Brownells or AE Brown no longer list them.

I have Factory "V" with factory barrels that I have gotten serious with this includes a 22PPC and a 6mm PPC along with a factory barreled "B" that started life as a 218 Bee but became a 22BR and semi cusom rifles in 6mm BR and 257 Roberts "V"

The stocks are all factory wood stocks but they were pain but straight grained. All checkering was removed and the forearm bottoms sanded flat. They were painted ala bench rest rifles to make them smoother and the sling studs removed and the holes glassed in. Several have Teflon patches so they slide through the rear bag and across the front rest better. It's taken YEARS of tinkering and LOTS of load work/developement. This includes stuff that no hunting rifle needs but includes bullet grad in the case, measure and quantified, seating depth in increments of .001 and anything else I can think of. I ran through about 500 cases for the 22 PPC just to find 40 that all weighed within .01 of each other. Nearly all RELOADING scales are plus/minus .1 grains

Does it work? Our annual shoot is a postal shoot. it's divided into 4 categories by caliber. Any modification is allowed. You shoot two targets within 20 minutes and the two FIVE shot groups are averaged for group and the score is also the combination of the two targets, standard BR targets.

I finally beat Joe in the .224 or under class in 2013. It's taken 4 or 5 years. The group average was .424 and the score was 100 with 9 Xs. One group was in the .3s but my second opened up a bit, That was me not the rifle/load.

He did continue to beat me in the under .30 cal class with his 6mm PPC. I placed second. Again one great target and I threw a called flyer into the outside of the ten ring on the second group. I think the average was in the mid .5s with a score of 100 with 8 Xs.

I didn't compete with anything above .30 caliber but Joe won it also with a custom 30BR with a combined groups into the .4s and a 100 score.

The above .40 was won by a nearly factory 45-70 shooting slow caste bullets in just over 2".

The scores and groups are posted for the annual shoots in the files section.

Of the 5 I own that I have messed with the most all are true sub 1/2 MOA guns.

The smallest group of five shots I have ever fired with any #1 was .315 at 100 meters with my semi custom #1 "V" in 257 Roberts that Doug Shilen barreled for me in 1970 with a barrel that matched the take of 22-250 "V" barrel but carried on the factory taper to 28". It was designed around one bullet and one load with a 75 gr Sierra HP loaded at 2.75 OACL with the bullet JUST touching the lands.

The fun part is that other than the barrel that rifle is nearly stock and still wears it's factory trigger and wood, unaltered.

Now is it WORTH all the time and trouble? I'd have to say, YES. I have no idea of the thousands of hours of enjoyment I have realized in the shop or reloading room and at the range getting there.

I have many blt guns that are more accurate. Heck I need to do is by a Stolle or other custom BR rifle frm a guy that gets tired or wants to move one. They make great varmint rifles. BUT the come shooting tiny groups with the load work done etc.

Buy a Nosler Custom, it's guaranteed to shoot 3 shots into 1/2" WITH the load they worked up. Fun to hunt with, but not a lot of fun to tinker with. Spend $5K o a custom Stolle or other BR gun at it's already shooting bug holes with THE recommended load when it arrives. I have nothing to do with that other than pulling the trigger.

I much prefer spending the time and effort on a rifle like the #1 that requires some experimenting and attention to detail to truly shoot it's best.

Of all the rifles I own, and I own a LOT, I take more pride of ownership in my #1s
than nearly anything else and certainly more than things that cost thousands more.

Only you can answer whether it's worth it BUT you will enjoy your #1 even if all you do is hunt with it a couple times a year. As I read the previou s posts they seem to hold true with the old adage. You either don't own any #1s or you own all you can afford. There's very little middle ground.:)

Just a quick aside. I have NEVER glass bedded a fore arm. I simply don't see the point and have never had to. While guys have gotten decent result free floating barrels, none of the really serious #1 shooters do so. You can NOT shoot a #1 hot enough that cutting the barrel rib in half to relieve differential expansion makes a bit of sense. Same wirth releaving the rear of the rib UNLESS it is really bearing heavily against the receiver. If I happen to have a rib off I check and a few file stokes and some cold blue will resolve the issue. As I usually stop at MOA with hunting rifle ha wear ribs this is seldom if ever needed. LOTs of smiths have lots of ideas on #1s. Few are basing it on anything other than hearsay and fewer yet have ever worked on an appreciable number of #1s. They job is to spend your money. Most #1s do NOT need to be re barrel to an after market barrel just to shoot MOA. I have made many over the years in wildcats that couldn't be made from factory barrels. I've used Douglas, Shilen, Hart, Lillja and nearly every other well know barrel maker. None have shown a vast improvemnt over factory barrels. The issues are seldom the barrel itseelf

The same issues exist with Browning 78s and 85s and original Highwalls. You can buy a $6000+ Dakota single shot and it will work with the recommended load. Just don't switch bullets, powder or anything else. Most of that $6K is wood and workmanship and attention t detail that hand building buys. It does NOT overcome the basic issues involving a falling block single shot. Trust me I know. I sold the darned Dakota and bought 5 more #1s.:D

the best

Ross
 

thekyrifleman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
133
Thought my experience w/#1 was unique!! Bought one in 7mag, gorgeous!! To the range, 140gr Rem factory loads, no better than 3"!!! Surprised since my 7mag 700 would go inside an inch with hand loads. Ok, to the bench, worked up identical load, only benefit about 125fps faster....26" vs 24"...finally called the Ruger factory and was told "there is something wrong, send it back!" Got it back, new barrel, with a target, two shots at 50 yds about an inch apart.....Accompanying note said, "In spec"...so back to the range, after countless iterations, I finally gave up, went to my smith and had it rebarreled to 220 Swift. Bull barrel, chrome moly, even more gorgeous than before:rolleyes:!!! Don't know all that he did, but now groups average about 3/8"...at this point, all is well, however, I would like to change the trigger, best pull weight about 4#. Saw the Kepplinger mentioned with good results, anyone else have other trigger experience?
 
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