Ruger #1 Opinions and Thoughts?


Peter M. Eick
April 4, 2010, 10:28 AM
Search is giving me grief so I will ask the question.

I am thinking about picking up one in 25-06 or 22-250 new since both are available and I heard that Ruger is making them with better barrels and a bit more quality then recent past.

I know the #1 has a spotty history for accuracy and the triggers can be real hit or miss. I also have read that forearm bedding pressure is key to getting it to work accurately.

My interest is purely shooting at the range for fun and play. I know I am not buying a tack driver and have the expectation of around a 1" give or take 100 yrd rifle. It has style and class though that I like.

What are your thoughts, comments and opinions on the Ruger #1 varmint?

What about the standard (26" standard barrel) vs. the varmint (24" thicker barrel)?

Any special tricks comments or experiences to offer?

Finally, how hard is it to change the caliber? I was really wanting either a 220 swift, a 38/55 or a 222 all of which are very expensive "factory".

Thanks a bunch. I have half the money set aside already so I will probably pick this up in the next month or so.

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April 4, 2010, 11:22 AM
I like the #1, have five currently, 7x57 1a, two tropicals, 375 H&H & 458 Win, two standards, 22 Hornet and 30-06.

I do not know current offerings but would think a 38-55 and 222 are not there, I would like one in 38-55.

Triggers are not great, I have replaced all mine with either Moyers in the tropicals, which is a remake of the early 3 screw adjustable Ruger trigger, and Kleppinger set triggers in the others. The later Moyers triggers seem to be a fairly rough casting, so I ground the grooves off the face, contured it more like that of a good double shotgun, reblued and really like it better than the finely grooved aluminum trigger Ruger provides.

The Hornet and '06 are very accurate, the little 7x57 is one of the earlier ones with a long throat and only does good with long heavy bullets.

The tropicals are well, stand up and shoot type guns, not fun off a bench but the few times I have padded up for that they have been exceptional.

I have not done a lot in the way of tuning or developing real accuracy loads, but offhand would have nothing to complain about in these rifles. Accuracy will most likely not be up to the standards of a good bolt action rifle, but then there is the "cool" factor in the single shot. From what you say about your use, it mirrors mine and I do not think you will be dissapointed.

April 4, 2010, 11:32 AM
the little 7x57 is one of the earlier ones with a long throat and only does good with long heavy bullets.

this isn't a ruger thing it's a 7x57 thing.

I've owned a ruger no1 and enjoyed it greatly (300wby) my only beef with the platform is for some strange reason used n0 1's are as expensive as new

Peter M. Eick
April 4, 2010, 02:57 PM
I noticed that about the price. There is seems to be a platform floor at about retail or above. You don't see a "cheap one" out there.

222, 38-55 and 220 swift have all been made in the number 1 already. All a quite expensive when you find them on gunbroker.

This is part of my thinking on getting a 25-06 new one. Shoot it until I am bored with it then rechamber it to something I would like more like 38-55 or 222.

April 4, 2010, 03:15 PM
I bought a used #1 in .30-06 several years ago. I have not hunted with it very much, as I have a pet deer rifle that I usually use; but I really like the # 1. It is elegant, very slim and comfortable to carry and mine has the best trigger of any rifle I've got. Not quite as accurate as my Model 700 but plenty good enough.

April 4, 2010, 03:44 PM
I hear about the cost. I'd like to get a #1 RSI in 7x57 but it's going to be a wee bit down the road before I can. I figure I'll just buy a new one since the used are essentially the same price.

Is the current trigger still something in need of replacement? Or do I really need to? I'm used to the stock trigger on an old Mauser 93 at this point.


April 4, 2010, 09:13 PM
I have two Ruger #1's, one in .30-06 and the other in .243.

The .30-06 did 2" groups at 100 yds, and the .243 was better, sometimes doing 1" groups. No consistency.

On the .30-06 I tried shimming the forend, installed a Hicks accurizer, etc. Some improvement, but not enough.

I finally gave up and sent both to a gunsmith for rebarreling, floating the barrels, and trigger work. The gunsmith said he could get a clean 3# pull out of the factory trigger, but if I insisted on Keplingers he would install them. I decided to let him work on the factory triggers.

After around a year and a half, I got them back. What a difference!

The .30-06 now does 1" groups and the .243 does more like .75" with just about anything. They both prefer handloads to factory.

IMO, the #1's will never be benchrest material, and they aren't easy to work on, according to that gunsmith. So, if you want an accurate rifle, there are easier paths to choose and you will probably get better results.

However, if the appeal of the #1 falling block just won't go away, you can build a decent rifle out of one. Initial cost plus custom work can run $2K... :)

Peter M. Eick
April 4, 2010, 09:27 PM
I know I can get cheaper more accurate bolts but I am willing to sacrafice a bit (some) accuracy for style.

The Ruger #1 definately has style going for it.

April 4, 2010, 09:30 PM
I don't own one, but they are one of my top three favorite rifles of all time. I bought a TC Encore and with the level of customization and the money I have invested, I can't justify buying one. If I did though, it would be the RSI 7x57.

April 4, 2010, 09:51 PM
I have a #1V in 25-06 that I bought last spring. $800 plus tax ordered through WalMart. It is, hands-down, my favorite rifle, for several reasons. It's a beautiful piece of work - nice walnut and elegant styling, even though it is a bit on the hefty side with that heavy 26" barrel. As far as gunsmithing goes I couldn;t say, because I haven't done anything but break it down and clean it. Breaking down the #1 is daunting at first, but is very doable without any special tools. From then on, it's a piece of cake.

It is a consistent .75" grouping rifle in all bullet weights except with Sierra 120gr Game Kings. Consistently, it will shoot .5" and under with that bullet and 50grains of RL22.

I'll add this: Ruger provides rings for all their #1s (and others), because of the special mounting they cut into their receivers. Don;t think that these are just some off-the-wall rings "tossed in" as a bonus. No, the rings they provide are absolutely top-notch.

Dr T
April 4, 2010, 10:18 PM
I bought a #1 RSI in 30-06 in 1986. It is an elegant little rifle. Due to its short length, it handles nimbly. It shoulders like a fine shotgun: When shouldering the gun, the crosshairs of the scope end up just about where I am looking. The scope is a Burris Signature 4 x 40 fixed power that is very bright.

The trigger on mine is OK--or maybe I am just used to it. It is a little mushy, but it works.

The action is very, very strong. I will not publish the load data, but my pet hunting load is over the current published maximums for the bullet and powder with no signs of pressure (however, the load does show up in some of the older manuals). It chronographs at 2650 fps for a 180 gr. Hornady Interlock flatbase out of the 20 inch barrel and shoots into about 1.25" to 1.50" consistently.

When the rifle came from the factory, the rib was out of true. In order to get the gun sighted in properly, I used the Burris Signature rings that allow you to properly align the scope to the bore. The biggest negative is that it is almost too pretty to take hunting: It has very nice factory wood.

It is not my most accurate rifle, nor is it the most powerful. But it is the one that I have the most confidence in.

April 4, 2010, 10:57 PM
The Ruger No. 1 is a fantastic rifle, however having shot both I prefer the Browning (now Winchester) 1885. It has a better trigger and free floated bbl, resulting in better overall accuracy, however the drawback is the limited chamberings available. At one time a Low Wall was produced, but I don't believe that was resumed with the new Winchester line-up, and I doubt any were produced in obscure cartridges, which is something that Ruger is great about (though generally limited production runs that rapidly escalate in value). For that reason, I think a Ruger No. 1 Tropical chambered for .416Rigby is in my [somewhat distant] future.

I wouldn't bother with the varmint profile bbl, because IME they don't tend to be tack drivers anyway (though the ones I have shot were good 'nuff). If the chambering that you want is hard to acquire and/or expensive (as I believe they are), I would look pretty closely into finding a suitable donor 1885 instead. The .222 would be a simple conversion i you can find a chambering like .22Hornet. Same goes for the Ruger. Fear not, the actions (of both) are plenty strong.


April 4, 2010, 11:40 PM
I use an older (80's) vintage N0 1s in .270 as my primary whitetail rifle during gun season. Price is driven by demand. The No 1 is elegant, reliable, and harkens back to an earlier time that makes us gun buff lust for one to play with. There are multiple threads on tweaks to maximize the potential.

Find one that raises your blood pressure and take it home. You will not be disappointed.


April 5, 2010, 05:43 AM
I had one when I was a teenager in 7mm Mag. It was one of the best, if not the best, rifles I have ever owned. I was conned by a gun shop owner when I was 18 into selling it. He told me fixing a cracked stock (friend fell down a mountain hunting with it) would cost more than the rifle was worth and "generously" gave me 200 bucks for it.

I will own another one day.

April 5, 2010, 07:08 AM
i own quite a few single shot rifles, my number 3 ruger in 45-70 has a long throut as does my browning 78,s have and they will take the 525gr postal bullet seat out long, but my ruger number 1-s in 45-70 has a short throut and needs the bullets seated a lot deeper. i have been thinking i might have the throut lenthened in the number 1. eastbank.

April 5, 2010, 08:14 AM
Have some nice scroll engraving done, color caseharden the receiver, put some higher-grade walnut on it, and it would be a really nice rifle. :)

April 5, 2010, 08:41 AM
Never had a No 1 but had about 9 other Rugers in various calibers including 2 handguns. Liked the styling and kept hoping that each succesive purchase would yield a more accurate arm. Not so. Gave the govt model 22 sa to my Son. It was the best of the others. Sold off the rest of them and I've made a lasting separation from Ruger products.

April 5, 2010, 10:11 AM
I've had a No.1 Varmint, chambered in .220 Swift since the early eighties and have found it to be the most accurate of all the many rifles I own (and, yes, that would include the one Savage 112 bolt-action that I have :)), and that is "right out-of-the-box" with factory Hornady ammunition. Three-shot groups, from a rest @ 100 yards, flirt with sub-moa all day long. There's been no tinkering with the bedding nor with the factory trigger-though I'd be less than candid if I didn't admit to giving some thought to a trigger up-grade; Ruger's factory effort, at least during that era, reflected a preoccupation with trial lawyers rather than with marksmen.

I think that the heavy varmint barrel contributes to consistent accuracy and because the receiver is so relatively short, the 26" length that is so beneficial in milking all of the ballistic performance out of cartridges like the Swift, the .22-250, the .225 Winchester, etc., is kept from making the rifle ungainly in the field.

As much as I like my No. 1, I'd be the first to concede that the Varmint Model-though handsome in its own right, isn't the prettiest No.1 to be had. But it might well be the most accurate of all the No. 1 variations.

April 5, 2010, 11:30 AM
I had an absolutely gorgeous #1 in .243 and I could never get it to shoot well. I finally sold it. For the last 15 years, I've had a Browning B-78 in .22-250. It's a pleasure to shoot and I can generally hold a sub-1" group without a lot of problems.

Most of my shooting friends have had hit or miss (pun intended) luck with #1s.

April 5, 2010, 05:42 PM
Back in the fall I traded for a no 1 in 22-250. Installed an old Burris 6-18 Fullfield on it. Best 5 shots into just under an inch. It may never do any better. I don't care. It's beautiful.

Peter M. Eick
April 5, 2010, 08:21 PM
Well I am glad to see I am not the only one that looks at the number 1 as a symbol for style.

Thanks for all of the advice and comments. Now I have to decide on the varmint profile or conventional. Part of me goes both ways. I will have to see what my dealer can find in the next few weeks.

April 5, 2010, 08:36 PM
I am a big fan of the No.1. I have one in .25-06 and I have been pleased with its performance. I have not developed a sub 1" group at 100yds though. Overall, the falling block action looks very appealing and the accuracy is not bad. I think the 25-06 is fantastic (my $0.02).

April 6, 2010, 12:53 AM
They're poor photos, I know, but it's all I've got at this time. I'm surprised we haven;t had more pictures posted.

Personally, I prefer the looks of the non-ribbed Varmint models to the others.

April 6, 2010, 01:05 AM
Here are a couple of better shots...... a little better, anyway.

April 6, 2010, 08:49 AM
my ruger number one S in 45-70 with 1x4 leupold scope, and my latest single shot,a little sharps 1874 in 44-40 win. with a 3x malcom scope. eastbank.

April 6, 2010, 09:20 AM
My 416 Rigby No.1 shoots pretty good, I know they are only 3 shot groups but firing from a bench isnt all that comfy.:cool:

April 6, 2010, 10:29 AM
The #1 rifles are pretty much a "niche" rifle, for a certain type of shooter. I fit that niche perfectly.

There are many other rifle types in my rack, but the #1 has always spoken to me and I heed its call. Soon there will be a new one here, in .303 British, as Ruger has announced production in that caliber. The stock number will be 11348, and the model will be #1A (the lightweight one). This seems to be a match made in heaven, in my opinion. I placed my order the day I heard of the new chambering.

Not long ago, I was testing some loads in a light Interarms Mark X .223, grouping around the 1" area but nothing spectacular. After finishing with the .223, the #1H in .416 Rigby was put to use. Firing 370-grain cast bullets at 2050 fps, the .416 fired a TEN-shot 100-yard group of 7/8" of the proverbial ragged-hole groups, and better than my best .223 group of the day.

The #1 has strength, versatility, and above all else, CLASS.

April 6, 2010, 10:40 AM
dubbleA, that is VERY impressive!

I know what you mean about firing such loads from the bench, and hoo-boy, there's NO doubt that the primer functioned.

Shortly after my wife and daughter gave me my .416 #1, I tested a load that drove the 300 Barnes X-bullet at 2990. After that, I figured I'd best keep my dentist on speed-dial.

Lately most of my .416 shooting has been with cast bullets, but even then your 2600 figure is easily attainable with the cast bullet. However, I find there's little need for such loads here in Nevada....unless some poor sucker just HAS to experience "the real Rigby". Very few want to fire the second round...

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