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.

Predictably, the #1 laid around the gun safe until Ken Jorgensen from Ruger, Ron Stein from COWBOYS and I had a chance to go to the 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!


Dan said...

Mr Bane-
I'm no reloader, but couldn't something like Trail Boss be used for the Nitro or the 45-70 for that matter?

Thanks as always for the Podcast!

Anonymous said...

For me, it's a No. 3, or nothing. If I was to buy a No. 1, it would be........., No, I won't buy a No. 1. Id buy another bolt gun.

Life Member

Anonymous said...

.450/.400 x 3. Gotta love a cartridge that comes in boxes of five!

I don't suppose I can pick a couple of boxes up at my local Big 5.

Mike P. said...

Is the Ruger No.1 in .44mag really on the Medium frame?


Michael Bane said...

I've never used Trail Boss in anything but cowboy loads, but a quick survey of the reloading sites turned up mixed results. This from an Australian shooting magazine:

First: Find where the base of the bullet to be loaded is located in the case and make a mark on the outside of the case at this point. Then fill the case to that mark with Trail Boss, pour it into the scale pan and weigh. This is your maximum load. Pressures will be below the maximum allowed for this cartridge and perfectly safe to use.

Second: Take 70-percent of this powder charge weight (multiply the maximum load from step one by .7) and that will give you your starting load.

Third: Start from this beginning load and work up in .5 grain increments to your maximum charge in order to find the most accurate reduced load. This will come at somewhere between 70 and 100 percent density.


HOWEVER…if you use this method on 45/70s, you get a massively over-pressure load!!!!!!!!



Anonymous said...

I have made purchases over at E Arthur Brown. Always good work. Just wondering if you have worked with them tuning #1/3's? They also are known for work on TC single shots....

Unknown said...

To my eye, the No. 1 is the most beautiful production rifle out there. I've kicked around the idea of getting one in .45/70 for deer hunting here in Ohio, but haven't followed through (yet).

Anonymous said...

I had a No 3 rebarreled to 357mag a couple years ago. I've to find another for 327 Federal mag.

Michael Bane said...

I used the E Arthur Brown picatinny rail on my 45/70. A .327 #1…wow, that sounds cool! I'm going to have a Marlin .33 H&R lever gun to .327!


Anonymous said...

My wife calls my #1 "the pretty rifle". I was looking for a rifle at the Heidelberg Rod and Gun Club in 1975, and all they had was a #1 in .30-06. I looked at it, and the guy behind me at the counter said, "If you don't want it, I have my checkbook out." So I pulled out my checkbook and paid $200 for it, new. Strapped the box to my bicycle, rode back to the barracks, and checked it into the arms room, but that's another story. I have a Leupold M8-3X on it. Enjoy yours in .44!

Martin Morehouse

Clasic Hntr said...

I know this a little behind but noticed that Anonymous had a #3 rebarreled to .357 Mag. Actually, Ruger made a run of #1 rifles in .357 Mag. They were made for a set of guns for the California Highway Patrol Association and were matched with a S&W revolver. Do not remember the model. Both guns had the CHPA shield on them. I actually was lucky enough to be able to purchase one of the "over run" guns that Ruger made available to some industry people. It did not have the emblem on it. It is really a joy to shoot the .357 Mag in a #1. Almost no recoil. A very good squirrel and short range chuck gun that could be used for smaller white tail at the shorter distances.

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