The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 29, 2015, 09:57 PM   #1
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 510
Ruger No 1 Optics

I'm not a rifle guy. My new No 1 in .45-70 will be my only rifle, and 100 yds is very likely the longest range I'll shoot it, at least most of the time. I'm shooting paper only, I'm old and my eyes suck, and I'm not going to shoot competitively, if there is such a thing. My fantasy right now is that I'll shoot mostly cast, and I'll hoof 'em out there at whatever produces decent accuracy at loads that are worthy of the No 1. I'm not super-interested in trying to withstand .458 Winchester equivalent loads, and I have no interest in 19th century black powder loads. I 'think' I want Ruger No 1 50,000 cup loads, min to max, that produce decent 100 yd accuracy.

My desire for the past 50 years has been to have a single-shot falling block rifle. Don't know why. My desire for the past 5 years or so has been to throw a big fat cast bullet downrange from a big fat rifle that isn't a muzzle loader. Don't know why. The No 1 in .45-70 seemed like the right thing to do.

Okay. Not going to hunt hogs, black bear, rabbits or elk. Going to shoot paper. What are the options? Red dots, scopes, open sights are all just fine suggestions. I ask about optics because my eyes aren't all that great these days--I'm 60.

I'm quite clueless, but so far I'm thinking relatively low power fixed is a good way to go, but I don't want to end up with a rifle that has a dumb scope mounted 8 feet above the barrel on little sticks. If at all possible, I'd like a setup that suggests 'working rifle'...not 'pretty rifle'. I don't like gadgetry.

If 'optics' isn't the answer and 'learn to shoot' is, I'm okay with that.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 05:53 AM   #2
Tony Z
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2013
Location: North Central Pennsyltucky
Posts: 678
On my #1 (.45-70), I have a Leupold, (IIRC) 2-1/2 power scope. Bought the gun 30 years ago and originally wanted to put peeps on it. Since the gun would need drilled & tapped for peeps, I went the low power scope route, and I'm glad I did.

Real nice shooting gun, by the way.
Tony Z is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 10:06 AM   #3
Art Eatman
Staff
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,794
100-yard paper-punching likely could use more magnification than 2X or 3X. For the better precision in aiming, I'd probably select a mid-range priced 10X.

Since hunting is not involved, field of view is unimportant. And for a daytime activity, light-gathering is also not important. Nor repeatability of adjustments, since for 100 yards "set it and forget it" is the deal.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 11:57 AM   #4
steveno
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Minden , Nebraska
Posts: 1,404
make sure the scope has plenty eye relief. using anything but fairly mild loads the Ruger #1S in 45-70 recoils pretty fast. I used a Burris compact 4x on my Ruger #1s in 45-70. if you don't have enough eye relief you will find yourself sneaking up on the scope and this rifle will hurt you.

Last edited by steveno; June 30, 2015 at 01:51 PM.
steveno is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 12:25 PM   #5
kilimanjaro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2009
Posts: 3,963
I have a No. 1 in 45-70, and trying to get a tight group at 100 yards is not my idea of an enjoyable shooting experience. Open sights are all you need or want with this caliber.

Put some paint cans or water jugs at the 100 yard line, you'll enjoy it a lot more, shoot more, and shoot more fluidly than if you are straining to get a group.

You'll also save the wasted expense of a scope and mount.

Don't get me wrong, I have a dozen No. 1 rifles and target shoot several of them. But none of the calibers beginning with '4' should be used as target rifles. It's not fun shooting them for groups.

Enjoy your No. 1, a classic rifle, none better.
kilimanjaro is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 02:11 PM   #6
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,982
I have a JC Higgins 2.5x Post scope on my Ruger No.3 .45-70. I have gotten a 3 shot, two hole 1.25" group, but the post is not the best for shooting groups on paper.

My 14" T/C .45-70 has a 0x red dot sight. Intended for shooting things, not groups.

100yd shooting at paper, 50,000psi loads are just beating yourself up. Big bore elephant/waterbuffalo and grizzly loads are pointless for recreational paper punching, for me, anyway.

You aren't going to flatten the trajectory much, no matter what you do, and for shooting at a known range, the drop doesn't matter.

You can shoot a 400gr at 1800fps, but that same bullet might be just as accurate (or maybe even more so) at 1400 or even 1200. Paper don't care how hard you hit it, but your shoulder might. Mine does.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 03:24 PM   #7
ammo.crafter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2006
Location: The Keystone State
Posts: 1,550
.45-70

For 100yd paper punching I would use a 4-12x variable.

I also like big bore single shot rifles and currently shoot a .358 Bellm (.444 Marlin necked down to a .358) which has a lot of kick.

The variable scope will give you magnification choices to experiment with un til you find what you are com fortable with.
__________________
"The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
Patrick Henry, American Patriot
ammo.crafter is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 04:35 PM   #8
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 4,770
I have the same gun and am quite happy with my Vortex 2-8x.

Shoot those heavy cast bullets around 1500 God to keep your shoulder in tact.
Nathan is offline  
Old June 30, 2015, 10:18 PM   #9
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 510
Thanks to everyone VERY much for the tips, and also points regarding recoil. I have started to think more about that because lately my right shoulder tends to hurt quite a bit when it isn't doing anything at all. Also, I've been experiencing some issues with the entire neck and shoulder array feeling 'weird' when my head is in certain positions, either due to circulation problems or neck/nerve issues. So, those mortar-like trajectories are probably going to be the norm for me.

I'm also starting to experience, for the first time, multiple refills of the powder hopper during load sessions--and that's just loading 44 Mag and 45 Win Mag. Quite an eye-opener for me, being far more accustomed to charges ranging from 3 to 10 gr where a feller can load all day on one pour from the jug. Those 40 and 50 gr charges would just make life more painful all around.

I've seen a scope or two with eye relief of around 4", which to me seems like a LOT of eye relief, but when you guys say 'long' are you talking the 9", 13" and more of the 'scout' scopes lots of folks offer?
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate

Last edited by Bongo Boy; June 30, 2015 at 10:57 PM.
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old July 1, 2015, 01:14 AM   #10
idek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2009
Posts: 850
Quote:
I've seen a scope or two with eye relief of around 4", which to me seems like a LOT of eye relief, but when you guys say 'long' are you talking the 9", 13" and more of the 'scout' scopes lots of folks offer?
I grew up in a shotgun only zone for deer hunting. I believe it was recommended to have at least 4" of eye relief when mounting a scope on a 12-gauge for slug-shooting purposes. I'd guess that might be a reasonable safety precaution on a 45-70 as well (depending on how potent your loads end up).

The last two scopes I bought had listed eye reliefs of 4.9" (a Leupold) and 6" (Bushnell), so there are scopes with extra eye relief that still are not "scout scopes".

It seems to me that a Leupold FX-II 6x36 scope could be a good pairing with your rifle. Its moderate 6x magnification falls right in the middle of the ubiquitous 3-9x variable power scopes. Without any extra adjustment knobs or turrets, it's sleek looking, lightweight (10 oz.), and its 36mm objective would allow you to use low rings. It also has a listed 4.3" eye relief.

Last edited by idek; July 1, 2015 at 01:59 AM.
idek is offline  
Old July 1, 2015, 02:10 PM   #11
Axelwik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2012
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 436
For paper punching at 100 yards I'd stay with the lighter sub-28,000 CUP loads. Your shoulder will thank you.

For a scope I'd go with a good quality low-power one that can handle the recoil. I have a Ruger No. 1 in 375 Ruger and the Ruger rings have shaken loose. I solved the problem with some medium strength Loktite on all the screws. Leupold makes a nice little VX-2 1-4 x 20 that should work well. I have one on my Savage Alaskan Brush Hunter, also in 375 Ruger and it works great.

My No. 1 is set up for elk hunting at slightly longer ranges, so it has a VX-3 1.75-6 x 32.

Happy shooting.
Axelwik is offline  
Old July 1, 2015, 07:14 PM   #12
oldscot3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2007
Location: texas
Posts: 997
I have a #1 in 338wm and like to get a good clear sight picture with my head up, not craning my neck and therefore tilting my head down to get close enough.

My vintage Burris Signature 2.5 x 8 does this perfectly because the adjustment turrents are forward, rather than centered, relative to the bells. Most of today's scopes have the turrents centered and because of the #1 s unique mount, the scope is too far forward for my taste.

A low power 1.5 x 5 should help, or look for an older (USA made) Burris on E bay or Gunbroker.
oldscot3 is offline  
Old July 1, 2015, 07:34 PM   #13
Buzzard Bait
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 502
peep sight?

Well depends on your eyes but for that type of shooting a peep sight is a fun challenge. The aperture of the peep actually helps you to focus. I enjoy shooting a peep with a aperture type front sight. And my one remaining eye ain't got the greatest vision
bb
Buzzard Bait is offline  
Old July 1, 2015, 11:30 PM   #14
Hammerhead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,253
I think a simple gun needs a simple scope with great optics like a Leupold 6X 42mm fixed. Or get the 6X 36mm if you want something smaller or less expensive. A fixed 6X is great for paper punching/plinking and looks at home on a single shot.
Hammerhead is offline  
Old July 23, 2015, 01:57 AM   #15
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 510
Okay. Based on the comments here, prices and other intangibles I have narrowed down to two products that seem like they'd work okay.

The first is the Vortex Diamondback HP Rifle Scope 4-16x 42mm Side Focus, at $329, and the other is the Leupold FX-II Rifle Scope 6x 36mm at $300. I considered the FX-3 6x 40mm, but at $100 more it's getting way out of hand for casual paper plinking.

I like the fixed-power idea from the standpoint of simplicity, fixed eye relief and overall simple appearance, and it sounds like 6x would be fine for the shorter ranges I'm likely to shoot. I have pretty much no clue whatsoever, so I'm really relying on my interpretation of the many comments.

Maybe you can render an opinion: will the extra power of the variable make much difference for me when I attempt the occasional longer-range shots at say 200 or 300 m? I'm thinking all the extra power will do is add to my frustration at not being able to hold the gun steady enough--whereas the 6x will at least not make me dizzy and lose my lunch.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old July 23, 2015, 06:27 AM   #16
eastbank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 2,149
i have U.S. made 2x7 compact burris with medium duplex crosshairs and it has a ton of eye relief, i bought it from a friend who had it on a .416 remington with out any problems. i,m thinking of mounting it on a win 70 in .375 H&H mag, but it would do on any heavy recoiling rifle. eastbank.
eastbank is offline  
Old July 23, 2015, 07:51 AM   #17
Art Eatman
Staff
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,794
I've used variables for many decades. Lowest power for walking hunting, highest for bench rest sight-in or load testing.

Since hunting isn't involved, I don't see much point in a variable. Better a fixed power with enough magnification for precise aiming. That's why I suggested 10X.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old July 23, 2015, 06:07 PM   #18
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,289
My #1 in 45-70 has an old El Paso Weaver 3X with crosshair and post. It gets hunted, or did before I messed up a knee.
JMHO, but I think the Leopold 6X either the x36 or x40 would be just about perfect. The x40 would be a little brighter during the early morning or late evening hours. A couple of my scopes are 1.5-6X and at 6X work just fine on paper.
For a cast bullet load, I'd look at something in the 300 to 350 gr. range and load to about 1500 FPS for paper punching. Make a good deer bullet as well. If you want fun and pain, load a 500 gr. bullet to 1500 FPS in a stock Ruger #3.
My #1 is early enough that it will handle the old long nosed Lee 500 gr. gas checked bullet. Certainly is a thumper at both ends. I've had several Lyman 300 gr. bullets originally designed for the 45-60 but none of the four molds I have would cast a .459" bullet. The mold said .457" and .457" it was. Even playing with the alloy didn't help. That was the only mold that I never got to shoot good; actually to shoot not at all. Left a lot of lead in that barrel.
__________________
COMPROMISE IS NOT AN OPTION!
Paul B. is offline  
Old August 8, 2015, 07:26 PM   #19
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 510
I went with the 6x36mm fixed power scope. This seems like it's 'about right' to me all things considered. Now it's time to start loading some ammo.



The scope is a little high for me, but the good customer service people at Ruger tell me their low rings will only accommodate scopes with 32mm objectives or less, and that my 36mm will not clear the gun with the low rings. I really have my doubts, as the numbers I see show the low rings to be only .12" shorter than the medium ones, I think, and I have at least a 1/4" clearance right now.

I could go with a cheek piece, but I haven't found any that aren't a bit cheesy.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate

Last edited by Bongo Boy; August 11, 2015 at 11:46 PM.
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old August 18, 2015, 09:48 PM   #20
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 510
Ruger customer service was apparently mis-informed. I just installed Ruger low-height rings and the 36mm Leupold clears the mount with a bit of room to spare, and that's with the scope shoved to the rear as far as it will go, which is the worst cast for clearance. I'm pleased to report that lowering the scope this much puts it in just the right position for my eye.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old August 19, 2015, 03:56 AM   #21
idek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2009
Posts: 850
Looks like a nice setup. Glad the low rings worked. Like you mentioned, higher mounts tend to pull me off the stock of most guns, and I think a gun just looks better when the optics are snugged up closer to the barrel/receiver.

You'll have to give a range report once you've done some shooting. More pictures are also encouraged.

Last edited by idek; August 19, 2015 at 04:16 AM.
idek is offline  
Old August 19, 2015, 04:55 AM   #22
stubbicatt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2007
Posts: 1,707
I guess everyone has his preferences, but I have found that lower magnification is just fine, assuming the glass is good. I cannot imagine a 16 power scope on a 45-70. I have failing vision also, but peeps work just fine for me. While OP has no use for black powder loads, I find I get the best accuracy with that propellant, and the recoil is less severe.

Good luck OP.
stubbicatt is offline  
Old August 19, 2015, 04:57 AM   #23
old roper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 11, 2007
Posts: 1,829
Bongo Boy, Glad things worked out. I have couple #1 and you also have to leave enough room that you can feed the #1. I got one that I hunt elk with and I'm little higher rings than I use if I was just bench shooting or PD's.
__________________
Semper Fi
Vietnam 1965
VFW Life member
NRA Life Member
old roper is offline  
Old August 19, 2015, 10:32 PM   #24
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 510
Here's what it looks like with the low rings:



This is a 6x, not a 16x...just in case there was any confusion or in case I made a typo above somewhere.

Quote:
While OP has no use for black powder loads, I find I get the best accuracy with that propellant, and the recoil is less severe.
Let me retract my "no interest in" black powder loads. It wasn't that appealing to me, but I do love the smell of black powder, I guess it sure could be fun, and I think you've changed my mind. I just checked, and have 4 lbs of DuPont FFg, 1 lb of Fg, and 1 lb of Hodgdon Pyrodex--all of which is likely to be at least 20 years old in unopened cans. While I've never considered using it in anything but my mortars (I have quite a few scale models), I'd definitely consider it now. Heck it would be worth it to me just to fill the air with that wonderful aroma that can't be matched by anything I can think of. The original price tags are still on two of the cans: $2.75 for the Fg, $2.99 for the FFg. Those were the good old days, I guess.

It's been stored in those original cans and those cans have been inside a steel ammo can (I know, shame on me), and in the arid environment of Colorado since maybe 2000 or so. Any reason to think age has made it sluggish in any way? I'm thinking it's like new unless it deteriorates even without exposure to air.

I'd certainly have to change my gun cleaning habits drastically, that's for sure. A hundred rounds per pound for basically free...and I've never fired black powder except from cannons, mortars and other..uh, 'improvised' devices. Time to get that experience.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate

Last edited by Bongo Boy; August 19, 2015 at 11:28 PM.
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old August 20, 2015, 05:22 PM   #25
Husqvarna
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2012
Location: Sweden
Posts: 992
Quote:
A low power 1.5 x 5 should help
I second that. I wouldn't put too much of a scope on a ruger nr1

just for looks a 1.5-6x42 is probably max, makes it more sleek

1,5 is good if you want to touch of a watermelon and catch the juices

and you say you don't want to hunt but it is never wrong to be prepared
Husqvarna is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09784 seconds with 8 queries