Which Type of Single-Shot Rifle Is Best?


Tequila jake
November 7, 2006, 11:20 AM
Which type of single-shot rifle, falling block or break-open, is best from the following standpoints:

1. Which is the strongest, i.e., will take the highest pressure cartridges?

2. Which is easier to clean?

Tequila Jake

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November 7, 2006, 11:55 AM
I know for a fact that the Encore can take a 500 S&W, a 500 Nitro, 458 Lott, 416 Weatherby and a few others....

I HAVE seen one become dissasembled due to an overloaded 500 Alaskan, however...

I am not sure about the falling block Sharps, but they win in the style department. :)

Cleaning has to go to the Encore as well....



You ever make it into Texas Jacks? :)

November 7, 2006, 11:59 AM
The falling block must be the strongest. As in Ruger #1 and Browning high wall.
Holland & Hollands are break open though.
They are both easy to clean The breakopen even easier.
I have to clean my Sharps from the muzzle because the tang sight (even folded) blocks the rod from being inserted from the breach. :(

Tequila jake
November 7, 2006, 12:01 PM
db tanker,

Ocassionally make it into Texas Jack's. However, I work in San Antonio and am in Fredericksburg only on the weekends, when I am usually taking care of honey-do's. Are you a Cowboy Action shooter? I tried it once and it was a hoot. However, don't have time for it now. I ocassionally shoot muzzle-loaders, but don't seem to have much time for that anymore, either.

Tequila Jake:banghead:

November 7, 2006, 12:09 PM
falling blocks are very strong, then there's interupted threads like a field gun but I think falling block actions are stronger they are also heavier all other things being equal.

As to chambering a round the same way each time I'm not quite sure since both break open and falling blocks are usualy accurate. Single shot bolt actions can go from being very cheap training tools to skys the limit competition guns.

Also understand muzzle loaders are single shot too and they can be very acurate!

November 7, 2006, 12:34 PM
Hi Tequila...

I think the Falling Block is probably stronger and the Break-open slightly easier to clean. But I think the important point is - given they are both made by reputable makers - both of them are as sturdy as a Sherman tank.

I live in southern Ohio right now but used to live on 16 out by Helotes and work at DataPoint. One of my sons still lives off FM1863 just a couple miles East of Bulverde. Small world. :)

November 7, 2006, 12:49 PM
Easy, Ruger #1 followed closly by TC Encore.

November 7, 2006, 01:41 PM
I am looking into the CAS but jeez...to go at it right its expensive. :(


November 7, 2006, 01:59 PM
Falling blocks are the strogest. The Encore is strong, but can come unlatched under heavy loads unless you make the trigger guard/action latch spring unbearably heavy.

Moreover, the Encore design doesn't readily accomodate 'shortfat' chamberings as have become the vogue - the receiver wall spacing is simply too narrow to accept barrels of appropriate wall thickness beyond a .532/.515" case head diameter.

November 7, 2006, 02:11 PM
the Encore design doesn't readily accomodate 'shortfat' chamberings as have become the vogue

What's the benefit of shortfats in a single shot, though?

The newfangled rounds claim to replicate or nearly replicate the performance of a standard round, but in a short-action bolt gun. There's no need for a .300 WSM when you can use a .300 Win Mag and keep the barrel and action slimmer, which is a benefit in a single shot. Or am I missing something?

November 7, 2006, 02:22 PM
My question is --- what do you want to use it for? Single shot rifles are a class all by themselves and if you get hooked on them you are hooked good. I shoot a couple of Uberti 1885 High Walls (38/55 & 45/70) and I just love them. My loadings for both guns are to black powder velocity and the results are great. The 45/70, even at BPV is more than enough for most hunting requirements. These two rifles will also serve you well if you are into CAS. A quality repro High Wall or Sharps will give you great service and a great deal pleasure. The modern break singles ( Contender and H&R) are great but lack the charm of the older designs IMHO. The single shoot Rugars are deadly serious modern firearms and in 45/70 will handle anything you can buy over the counter.
Do a web search for single shot rifles to really get into the subject.

November 7, 2006, 02:28 PM
The modern break singles ( Contender and H&R) are great but lack the charm of the older designs

With one exception:


H&R's Classic is as charming as any!

November 7, 2006, 02:29 PM
Or am I missing something?Nope. I didn't say that the lack of .550 case head chamberings was a shortcoming - just that it was a fact. :)

Well, there is *one* benefit to a shortfat in an Encore - you don't have to drag the case belt across the extractor. Belted cartridges in the Encore can be a real PITA if you're in a hurry.

November 7, 2006, 02:33 PM
I must admit that I have a growing fetish for a Ruger No. 1 even though I really have absolutely no reason to get one. It's just a unique looking rifle that feels really good every time I touch one at the gunstore. If I ever decide to get a 30-06...

November 7, 2006, 02:51 PM
Does anyone have the H&R classic?? i would really love it except for the basic shotgun action behind the perty wood and sights. good looking single shots are hard to come by for us poor kids.

November 7, 2006, 02:52 PM
I don't have one but I know someone who does.

He loves it, and he's a gun connoisseur.

Nice color case hardening, too. I got to touch it.:D

November 7, 2006, 02:56 PM
I think of all of my firearms as single shots.

November 7, 2006, 03:59 PM
A Ruger #1 or #3 probably easily has the strongest action available.

I have both #1's and an Encore.

As for cleaning its not hard to clean a Ruger at all, just drop the falling block and clean away.

But as was stated above, once you get the single shot bug its hard to shake. I like the look of all of them from the NEF to the High Wall. They are just all such classic looking rifles.

Tequila jake
November 8, 2006, 11:03 AM
db tanker,

Yeah, I agree about CAS being expensive. About the only way I could afford it is to buy used equipment. Might be able to get a couple of decent revolvers for $350 each (maybe), a shotgun for around $300, and a rifle for $400 - $500. However, you then have to add the belt and holsters ($150 for used/low-priced new ones), a gun cart ($?--depends on whether you buy or build), clothing, ammo, etc.

Based on buying used or lower-priced new stuff, I don't see how you can get into the game for much less than $1500-$2000. If you go for new, high-qualilty equipment, the sky's the limit...

And then there's the cost of ammo. A typical monthly match will use maybe 100 rds of revolver and 20 rds of shotgun. And if you ever expect to be competitive, you're going to want to practice about once a week. Don't think I could ever afford that much ammo unless I handload....

So, maybe I'll just stick with muzzleloading. It's a lot of fun, the folks I shoot with are the salt of the earth, and it's a LOT cheaper....

Tequila Jake:banghead:

November 8, 2006, 11:13 AM
You are right on the money with muzzelloading being a lot of fun and cheaper. You have to shoot what makes you happy. I will tell you that if you don't want to be bitten by the single shot rifle bug don't even think about picking one up. They are the natural progression from the front end loaders and it would not that much to be bitten.
Enjoy the front end loaders they are great fun.

Tequila jake
November 8, 2006, 11:32 AM

I'm afraid you're right. The older I get, the more I like the old-fashioned stuff. Really enjoy my muzzleloader, like my Winchester 94 better than my bolt-action, like my SA revolver better than the DAs, etc., etc. If I get a single-shot I'll probably be hooked for life.

I've only shot one single-shot rifle, a high-wall in 40-65 belonging to my brother-in-law. Went to a BPCR meet with him and shot a few times. Really enjoyed it, but don't know if BPCR metallic silhouettes would be my cup of tea. Shooting at those chickens at 200m, off-hand, looks VERY challenging.

Tequila Jake:banghead:

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