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Old December 5, 2011, 03:59 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Been wanting a Ruger falling block for a long time... your choice... #1 or #3 ???

I have not shot either, but got the chance to look over a #3 that my buddy is considering parting with... I see the levers, & mode of operation are different from the #1's I've looked over in the past...

what really is the difference between these 2 rifles ??? are they of equal strength ??? as far as function... which would be your choice, & why ???

one of the #1's I've been looking at is chambered in 416 Rigby, the #3 is chambered in 22-250... neither seems like my best choice for a falling black single shot...

so what do you think would be the ultimate cartridge choice for a single shot falling block rifle ???

I'm thinking 375 Winchester, 444 Marlin... your thoughts ???
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Old December 5, 2011, 05:29 PM   #2
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AFAIK, there isn't much difference between the two, as far as the action goes.

The #1 has a lever lock and the #3 doesn't. Also, I read that the #3 never had an adjustable trigger, but current production #1's don't really, either.

The forends both attach to a spring hanger, though the #3 has an aluminum barrel band for cosmetic purposes.

As far as caliber goes, I'm kind of partial to the .30-06, but the choice does depend on what you intend to do with the rifle. I only have two, one in .243 and the other in .30-06.

However, I understand some people collect these things...
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Old December 5, 2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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There are plenty Ruger #1 variations. I guess they have changed over the years as I have a #1-V in 25-06 and an identical looking (heavy bbl, no sights) in 300 win mag which I think was a special order barreled action. They are a reloader's dream for gently ejecting the brass without denting it. As you know they have dropped the #3 but your buddy's might be a good choice. Personally I wouldn't want to shoot the 416 Rigby. This HB 300 win mag stomps me and is not enjoyable.
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Old December 5, 2011, 05:55 PM   #4
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Ruger hasn't made a #3 in years.
Also I don't think Ruger made many in the .375 Win or the .444, if any.
There are a few No.1's around chambered for the .38-55.
I would look for a No. 1-A, H, or S model.
I have a No. 1-B, A and S model. I really like the A and S models but the B models are heavy.
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Old December 5, 2011, 06:04 PM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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sorry... the #3 I looked at had been already rebarreled to 22-250 with a light weight contour barrel, the fore end was still channeled for a heavier contour barrel... I already have several 22-250's from my father in law, & I don't shoot that cartridge much, so I'd consider rebarreling to a contour matching the fore end... then just decide which caliber maybe one I listed

I guess I didn't realize the difference in levers... the #3's seemed more "traditional" in the shape of the lever... & I thought maybe the #1 stronger, if the lever locks into the closed position ???

BTW... what are the differences between the model variations ??? I've seen the #1's in stainless laminate, & blued nice wood, with heavy & light barrels, other than that, I wouldn't know the differences
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Old December 5, 2011, 06:09 PM   #6
Flatbush Harry
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I recently bought a No. 1A in 6.5x55 Swedish, partially because of the caliber, partly because of the single shot falling block.

One thing I found was that my 65-y/o eyes struggled with the front sight. I bought a Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x36 to get a relatively light and compact scope for it...my thought was a good stalking rifle for pronghorn and deer, as an alternative to my Rem 700 in .25-06. I could not be more delighted. I'd also note that it is a sub-MOA shooter off the bench using 140gr Rem CoreLokts...I'm looking forward to testing some hand loads with Lapua brass and some Hornady A-MAXs.

I recommend the No. 1 unequivocally.

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Old December 5, 2011, 06:12 PM   #7
Magnum Wheel Man
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6.5 X 55 would seem like a good cartridge for a single shot to me as well...
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Old December 5, 2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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I own a Ruger No.1 in 45-70 Government. Great hunting round for 150 yards or less.

For an added bonus, the Ruger No.1 can take very hot 45-70 cartridges that put the 45-70 in the lower realms of a .458 Winchester. Those rounds, like Buffalo Bore for example, aren't cheap, but if you handload you can easily make every thing from mild to wild.
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Old December 5, 2011, 06:19 PM   #9
Flatbush Harry
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I've wanted a 6.5x55 for a while...never saw one in good condition. I was at a local shop that is a CZ dealer to order a CZ 550FS in 6.5x55 when the owner showed me a NIB No. 1A in 6.5 Swede. Took me three or four femtoseconds to jump on it. I may get the CZ but in 9.3x62 (I like exotic European calibers).

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Old December 5, 2011, 06:36 PM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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if I already didn't have 4 or 5 45-70's that would be a cartridge I'd consider as well... lately I've even been thinking about 50-70, I have an older ( looser ) Martini in that caliber... but it might be kinda cool to hot rod the 'ol 50 & see what it could do ???

currently in my vintage single shots I have a 32-40, 40-65 ( in rolling block form ) & 45-70 & 50-70 ( in Martini actions ) I have a Contender barrel in 375 Winchester & that is actually more punishing than my 45-70 hunter barrel ( of course the hunter barrel is ported )... I also have a 444 barrel set up for 3" equivilant 410 shot shell loads, & I have a 3 lead ball load for that chambering & can load "light" 444 loads in the Contender... but the Ruger could handle full house 444 loads... I got the chance as a young man to shoot a buddies 444 Marlin & was quite impressed with it performance on wooden fence posts
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Old December 5, 2011, 06:57 PM   #11
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FWIW -

The #3 was made as a barrel-band carbine only, originally chambered first in .45-70, then in .22H, .223, .30-40, .375W, & .44 Mag - with at least 3 factory barreled/chambered/marked in .30-06 (i've seen 1 so lettered).



The #1 was only made as a rifle, but in several models, in various multiple chamberings..


The #1A is a 22" light bbl sporter w/Alex Henry forend & sights.

The #1S is a 22" (.45-70) or 26" medium sporter w/AH forend & sights.

The #1H is a 24" heavy-bbl Safari Sporter in .375H&H, .416R, .458, etc. w/AH forend & sights.

The #1B is a 26" medium bbl w/beavertail FE & no sights.

The #1AB is a combination of the #1A & #1B - beavertail FE + sights, IIRC

The #1V is a 26" heavy bbl varminter, beavertail FE w/o sights

The #1RSI is a 20" light-bbl, mannlicher-stocked sporter w/sights.

ALL #1's except for some #1V's came with factory dovetails for Ruger rings, some with rings & sights.

All #3's were issued with iron sights, with scope mounts an aftermarket addition,
All #3's except the 1st run of .45-70's were factory prepped (D/T'd) on the bbl for scope mount bases.

.

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Old December 5, 2011, 07:02 PM   #12
Magnum Wheel Man
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PETAH... thanks for breaking down the models for me...
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Old December 5, 2011, 07:07 PM   #13
PetahW
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You're welcome.

Generally, the #1's were chambered for rimless & belted magnum cartridges; the #3 mostly for rimmed cartridges (except for the .223 & .30-06, natch)

Both the #1 & the #3 have lever locking latches - the #1's is external, while the #3's is an internal ball detent.

Finally, to answer your OP - the #3 is not for hard kickers, since the squared-off stock comb & no pad makes recoil a PITA with boomers.
That alone would make a #1 the better choice for most chamberings.

.
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Old December 5, 2011, 07:56 PM   #14
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While the #3 "S" shaped lever may look more traditional as far as American guns are concerned (Win. Low & High-walls, etc.).
Bill Ruger patterned the No. 1 after the British Farqharson...even down to the lever locking mechanism.
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Old December 5, 2011, 09:18 PM   #15
bobn
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when ii worked at the frontiersman in the early 80s we couldnt give a #3 chambered in 375 win big bore away. they got closed out, go figure....bobn
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Old December 5, 2011, 09:46 PM   #16
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I have a few No.3s

My first one was in .45-70, my second in .22 Hornet, and my most recent in .30-40 Krag. The Krag is a "Liberty Model" and has been beautifully restocked.

I also have a No.1 in .375 H&H. Blued, with lovely wood.

All of them have adjustable triggers, and open sights, although I have scopes on everything but the Krag.

The .45-70 will handle a 350gr bullet at 2200fps, and my gun has a nice thick ventilated recoil pad installed before I got it. Even with that, its not a gun to shoot with that load prone, or even upright, if you are un-prepared.

With a 2.5x post scope and "factory equivalent" handloads, my No.3 .45-70 has produced two hole three shot groups at 50 yds. Trigger pull is light, crisp, without a trace of creep or overtravel.

There are two allen head screws in the trigger to adjust them with.

The actions of the No.1 and No.3 are virtually identical, save for the lever triggerguard parts. They are equally strong.

The ejector tension can be adjusted, from just extracting the case to throwing it clear, at your option (the tension adjustment is underneath the forend. The safety is a positive sliding button in the tang position.

Some of them will shoot good groups, some not so well, but considering they are single shot sporting rifles and carbines, groups aren't what they're built for. Everyone of them I have ever met personally (and that is a few) has been able to put that first shot well within the vital area of the game for which it is intended, at any normal hunting range.

I'm very fond of them, and if I had one wish that Ruger would have to do, it would be for Ruger to bring out the "No.2" (or maybe No.4 would be the right number), the No.3 action in No.1 wood.
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Old December 5, 2011, 11:47 PM   #17
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Hello, everyone. Does anyone remember the customized No. 3's done by C.Sharps (perhaps Shilo..can't remember), back in the early to mid 80's?
Wood upgrade, heavy oct, or 1/2 oct. brl., fancy pewter forend tip. Very classy looking!
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Old December 6, 2011, 12:01 AM   #18
Jim Watson
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Quote:
I'm very fond of them, and if I had one wish that Ruger would have to do, it would be for Ruger to bring out the "No.2" (or maybe No.4 would be the right number), the No.3 action in No.1 wood.
A friend has one of these, although it took him two gun shows to accumulate all the bits. The No 3 "S" lever is not very comfortable with a pistol grip, so he cut it off and just flips the trigger guard bow to open. I like what Frank DeHaas did with the lever on a B78 to avoid that interference.
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Old December 6, 2011, 03:41 AM   #19
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The ultimate Ruger #3 falling block single shot cartridge? Hmmm. #3s tend to be in the light side, so nothing too stout. That leaves out 405, 444, 45-70 (bad memories of that one in a #3), any of the 416s, in fact pretty much anything that throws a heavy bullet real fast. I really like the idea of a 30-30 or 30-40, 44 Mag, 6mm Rem, 7X57, 8X57, or even just plain old 308. But since my tastes run towards centerfire 22s, I would have to say the ideal cartridge would have to be 22 Zipper, barreled 1/2 octagon/1/2 round and stocked in a pretty piece of wood.

And yes, the #1 and #3 actions are pretty much the same other than the lever.
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Old December 6, 2011, 06:49 AM   #20
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The ultimate No. 3 Ruger is a No. 1 Ruger. There's no working difference in the action except for the locking mechanism. But the No. 3 (mine was in .223) had no butt pad, just a plate (curved, too, if I remember right), no sling swivels and the wood wasn't as nice. I'm not sure but I think the barrels were shorter but the No. 1 that I had in .45-70 had the shortest barrel length of all the No. 1's.

One of the things I liked about them was their simple and positive action. Hardly any way one could do anything wrong with one of them. Also, having owned an H&R trapdoor reproduction .45-70, the recoil of a No. 1 in that caliber was positively mild. I thought the sights were so-so but I would say the same thing about almost any iron sights that come on rifles these days, if they even have sights. I rather like peep sights instead.

Ruger No. 1 rifles were made in a number of custom and commerative variations and some European rifle maker, probably German, used the Ruger action to create some rifles in their own distinctive style but I've never seen one in person.
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Old December 6, 2011, 07:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
Also, having owned an H&R trapdoor reproduction .45-70, the recoil of a No. 1 in that caliber was positively mild.
That might have something to do with the weight of a No. 1. I put my No.1 on a bathroom scale and it showed 9.5 pounds, though a .45-70 might be lighter because it has a bigger hole in the barrel.

Nothing tames recoil like a heavy gun. Compare the kick of a .44 magnum pistol to a .44 magnum carbine if you don't think so.
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Old December 6, 2011, 10:47 AM   #22
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No, as it happens, the two rifles (the trapdoor being a carbine, however) weighed almost the same with only ounces of difference. Surprisingly, the trapdoor was longer by about three inches. The difference was entirely in the steel buttplate versus a rubber buttpad. The No. 1 was only marginally easier to manipulate dispite the trapdoor requiring two distinctly seperate motions both for removing the empty case and reloading with a fresh round--and that isn't counting actually handling the round itself when reloading. In loading you have to cock the hammer (to half-cock), chamber the round, close the breech and cock the hammer to full-cock before firing. After firing you cock the hammer again (to half-cock) and open the chamber. It is much simpler than it sounds, however. Operating the breech is a matter of flipping it open and snapping it shut, although I suspect the manual (which I don't remember anything of) didn't put it that way. The hammer is huge and could be operated with your elbow probably. In comparison, everything about the No. 1 almost seems dainty, which is probably the last word you would expect to be used about any .45-70.
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Old December 6, 2011, 11:33 AM   #23
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I'm always ready to show off my custom Ruger #1...


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Old December 6, 2011, 01:40 PM   #24
BlueTrain
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That thing'll put your eye out!
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Old December 6, 2011, 02:00 PM   #25
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That thing'll put your eye out!

No but the stock did raise a big lump on my cheek. On the 3rd shot of a 5-shot string I got all hunkered down on the sand bags and kaboom, with the recoil, got my cheek pinched between the cheek piece and my hearing protectors. That group went to hell after that.

That's the good thing about Unertl. The rifle moves back and scope stays stationary for bit. Cool to watch in slo-mo.
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