Saturday, February 04, 2017
New Gun Day!
Not home yet, but on the way!
My good friend Jason from Lipsey's called me to say that their exclusive .44 Magnum/.44 Special Ruger #1s are in! I love Ruger #1s…back when I was a kid and couldn't afford anything, I was enamored with single shot rifles. I lusted for a Rolling Block (Hi and Lo Walls were so far out of my reach I didn't even imagine owning one), but ended up with a beat-up cut-down Trapdoor 45/70 that I shot the crap out of.
By the time the Ruger #1s appeared 47 years ago, I'd drifted pretty solidly into handguns. About a dozen years ago, though, I was at a Ruger event in southern California (back when you could have shooting events in southern California) and had a chance to shoot a #1 in .450/400 3-inch Nitro. It was, quite literally, a blast. By the end of the event, only Diana Rupp from SPORTS AFIELD and I were left to shoot up a case of the heavy recoiling cigar-sized cartridges…Diana, because she's a dedicated safari hunter; me, because I'm an idiot who likes the big boomers. I went home and ordered my own #1 in .450/400.
Order of Edwardian Gunners' Vintage Cup competition for SHOOTING GALLERY. Most of the rifle event focused on double rifles, but there was one for single barrels…a running impala stage. I put all 4 shots in the kill zone of the running target from 25 yards (I think…one was a neck shot, which would have worked well), the big boomer bucking and roaring. I also shot it in the SG Safari Rifle competition in Montana a couple of years back. It is great fun to shoot it you like recoil, but it's a bit like shredding $10 bills and throwing them out your car window.
So I decided to reload for it, maybe do some lighter loads for practice…bought the dies, bullets appropriate powder…then read Ross Seyfried's article in Double Gun Journal (sorry…I can't find it on the Internet) on downloading the .450/400 and it scared the crap out of me. I short, the big Nitro cartridges don't lend themselves to powder-puff loads.
At the same time I had a chance to get a #1 in 45/70 — HA! A cartridge I understand! I cartridge I've loaded for pretty much forever! I jumped at the chance. Eventually, I fitted a Picatinny rail segment to the top and fitted a long-eye-relief Leupold Scout scope to it. That was going to be my go-to gun for New Zealand a couple of years ago, but oddly enough, when I submitted the #1 and my Ruger GUNSITE Scout rifle for permits, only my Scout rifle was approved.
The only other #1 that I really wanted to add to my battery was a .44 Magnum (another cartridge I'm pretty much intimately familiar with). Ruger had made some #1s in .44 Magnum, but the vast majority of .44s were the #3 Carbines, a little utility single shot that was discontinued sometime in the mid-1980s. I'd off and on looked for a #1 but never stumbled into one at the right time at the right price. The #1s have always been very low volume specialty items, and right now all the #1s are only available through Lipsey's.
When Lipsey's announced that they were going to add the .44 Magnum to that line-up, I jumped at the chance. It has taken a few months for them to get into the pipeline, but, hopefully, mine will be here next week!