Ruger No 1

Varmint Hunter

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2001
Long Island, New York
There are always exceptions but day in and day out the bolt actions outshoot the 2 piece stocked drop bolts like the Ruger #1's.
I have yet to see a competitive Ruger #1 rifle being used at a benchrest match or longrange shoot.
My personal experience with #1 heavy barrel rifles was disappointing. All of my bolt guns shoot rings around these rifles. They are great rifles for shooting biggame within reasonable ranges IMO.
Just my 2 cents
I was curious what everyone thought the problems would be with them.

The stock is one piece, right? Not like a Thompson Encore which has a two piece stock that breaks open. You could shoot it off of a the bench without having to break the action open like the Encore. That would certainly make it hard to have a consisent return to battery.

One would think that a Ruger No 1, assuming it had a one piece stock and the barrel was floated, would work out really well.

It is basically a barrel with a drop down firing mechanism and ejector. As long as the firing mechanism was repeatable and held the back of the case square it should shoot.

Just a thought.
The stock is a two piece unit and the lack of consistency has to do with the way the forearm is hung.

Often variations can be eliminated by using different forearm mods, e.g., bedding, flexible shim, Hicks accurizer (forearm pressure tuning device).

Another problem is the lousy trigger. I can lighten 'em up, but I cannot get rid of the creep. There are no inexpensive triggers out there. I have had more problems with the Moyers trigger than I care to describe. Best alternative is the Kepplinger single set trigger. **** fine unit.

Another problem with some of the #1 models is the quarter rib. It bridges the barrel and receiver and will, on some rifles, heat up and cause a change in the POI due to scope movement. This can be resolved by milling the rib or installing a Moulds Weaver style replacement rib. This rib also allows a more rearward placement of the optical sight.

I have several #1s and most will stay in the 5s & 6s. My 500 Nitro Express #1 (27" NBRSA-HV barrel), will shoot 3 into .7" @ 50 with irons.

I had a #1 in 378 Weatherby with a 30" tube. Very accurate but brutal to shoot as it had no brake. I sold it to a friend who installed a brake and loves the rifle. Not sure what kind of groups he's getting.

The #1 can indeed be accurate but it's much easier to work up a LR bolt gun. More accessories and experienced 'smiths.

I cannot stay away from the damned single shots.... they look so good and carry so nicely. But, they are an eccentric critter....
So what about the Ruger No 1 action. Is this action suitable for a long range rifle? It would shorten the overall length of a LR gun because there is no long bolt to accomodate in the stock. Could have a 30 inch barrel and the rifle would be the same length as a bolt action with a 24 or 26 inch barrel.

Is the action strong enough to support heavy long barrels?

Is the action rigid enough and are the tolerances tight enough to have repeatable pressure on the back of the case and repeatable firing pin pressure, etc?

Interested in thoughts and opinions ...

I have a 300 weatherby in Ruger # 1 and it shoots 1/2 min of moa. This rifle shoots as good as my as any of my bolts. I think many of them shoot very good and others do not.
based on all the reasons mentioned above, it seems either a #1 will shoot decently, or if not, it never will. unfortunately, more often than not, it wont. when my buddy got in to LR, he was hell bent on doing it with a #1 because its his favorite model. after trips to the smith, working with loads, reading all he could about accurizing a 1, etc, he no longer ownes that #1 and traded it in for a 300rum sendero. while he still wishes it would have shot like he wanted, said it ended up being a waste of time and money in the long run.

why take a chance going thru all that, when it might not be worth it. play it safe and go with a bolt.


[ 01-15-2004: Message edited by: Mountain Man ]
I like em. Here's a 300 Tomahawk with a 30"lilja barrel and a KDF brake that shoots 240 smk around 3010fps.


and a target recently shot at 415yds.

I still like 'em even after shooting a target like that.
I forgot to mention that my gun was built for hunting and not 1000 yds BR competition. I was not concerned about a 10 shot group best agg. just the first couple of shots being where they are supposed to be. I'm still pleased out to 1220yds so far.
re the Ruger #1s, I have one in 6MM Rem. that's been tuned. It it will put first three
rounds very tight together. But, as pointed out in thread, this is not perhaps a ten or 25 shot string rifle. To "accurize" the #1
a set screw had to be added to the forearm
hanger. The forearm wood was then "free floated" so any contact or grip pressure passes through the forearm hanger. (no barrel contact accept one point forward on hanger. Scope mounting requires extended mount on rear which was difficult to find. One unfortunate thing to remember, Ruger has
been known to produce some good barrels and
some Uh, of the others. ref. the Palma Long range Target Rifles Ruger Donated years back received some curious comments. What said for factory #1, may help explain the wide variablity in Ruger experiences. Custom heavy barrels properly set up would be way to go. others milage may vary, rjb

[ 01-20-2004: Message edited by: rjb ]

Care to tell us what's been done to get such stellar performance? Specificaly trigger, forearm etc.

I've allways wanted one but have shied away, now I'm starting to wonder.....
I'm a bit buggy on the falling block actions too, but maybe I'm over #1's. I've had 4, none shot without substantial money and effort being thrown at them. Next perhaps a Hagn or Dakota 10.

All said above is true in my experience. Forearms, triggers(I'm okay with a Mowry, love the Keplinger), barrels, etc. One AB that I had was a waste, sold it to a friend who wanted a challenge. Now with the forend mod., Kep trigger, blocks instead of a rib mounted on it's second 28" Lilja tube, it shoots. Love is cruel.
7x57AI BTW.
I've not done any major amount of tweaking to the #1. Ray Romain built the Tomahawk from a used 6mm that I acquired. I suppose if there was any tweaking he did it before I shot it. I know we talked about the pros and cons of a #1 and he told me not to worry. There were things we could do with the forearm, etc. Triggers...Ray said there is an after market trigger that works sometimes but I chose to use the factory one. I've adjusted it for my preference and is about 1 3/4lb. Good for me. Maybe I got lucky. I just loaded it up and started shooting. Personally, I have not had to do any tweaking. You can call Ray at 814-265-1948. He could certainly help more than me.
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