Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ruger No.1 Rifle in 45-70 Government

The Ruger No.1 is a falling block , under-lever, single shot rifle which follows some of the Farquharson design characteristics but contains features never previously found in rifles of this type. The No.1 buttstock is mortised onto the receiver with a bolt passing through the stock into the receiver. The forearm is attached to a heavy steel extension from the receiver. The hammer is concealed and retracted by the first opening motion of the lever and can never strike the firing pin unless the breech block is fully elevated. The swinging transfer block virtually locks the firing pin forward against gas pressure during firing.

At the top rear of the receiver is a sliding ambidextrous safety which can only be moved to safe with the hammer cocked. Loading and unloading can be accomplished in the safe position.

This rifle loads from the breech, or rear of receiver and ejects rearward as well. Fast operation of the lever can throw hot brass onto the shooter, the standard ejector mechanism can be modified easily to only partially eject cartridges. Directions are included in the manual.

This is one of the strongest actions available in a rifle and has been known to handle outrageous
pressures. This is not a recommended policy. Within the safe operating pressures high performance loads can be accomplished, loading data for 400gr bullets show muzzle
velocities of 2100fps and 500 gr bullets at 1900 fps.

The 45-70 Government cartridge is the oldest rifle cartridge chambered in modern firearms. It is a straight taper rimmed cartridge and the bullet, although a 45 is a .458 diameter bullet vs the modern 45 Colt which is .451-.452. Commonly available bullets are 250, 300, 350,
400, and 500 grain. For comparison's sake typical 30-06 rounds are 150, 180, 200, and 220 grain. Loading data for the Ruger No.1 show muzzle velocities of 2100fps with 400 gr and 1900 with
500 gr. A typical 30-06 muzzle velocity is 2600 fps. This is an extremely powerful rifle and is capable of hunting anything that walks the earth. The cartridge and un-cased bullet shown are .458 Speer Jacketed Flat Nose 400 grain which were loaded for Model 1895 Marlin.

With all that power comes significant recoil. This gun will hit the shooter quite hard and with big game loads is not for the faint of heart or small of stature.

Due to the relatively low speed of the rounds serious drop occurs over distance so the shooter must allow for an occurrence that is not common in smaller high velocity rounds. It is of very real importance to remember that rounds suitable for the Ruger No.1 are not suitable for other rifles chambered in 45-70 and serious care must be taken with vintage arms to not use rounds that even a Model 1895 Marlin is capable of using, that rifle is considerably stronger than the old Springfields.

From my first exposure to the 45-70 Govt, which was a Marlin Model 1895, I have wanted a Ruger No. 1 in 45-70. Today it arrived, the rifle you are seeing is unfired and anticipation is killing me - it is also not nice out today, mixed snow, rain and wind.



This thing kicks like a mule, I ran some 400gr 1900 fps loads for my 1895 Marlin (57gr IMR4895) through it and am quite sure this thing is never getting the very nice scope rings, that came with it, attached. I will very soon begin a hunt for a nice peep sight and update when I have located something worthy of this firearm. At full load with 500gr I don't want anything near my face and the factory leaf sights are inadequate. This post is about a tie with the Ruger Vaquero post for top popularity. There's some good lefty politics on here as well, check out the main.

Regarding Ruger No1 peep sights.
Hot Rodded Loads


joycemocha said...

Damn. I'm jealous. I am exquisitely fond of Ruger firearms and own a .22 pistol and a Ruger 30.06 (perfectly balanced for my frame, mild kick). I've shot other Rugers, and liked them.

This one might be a bit much for me, though--tho it looks well worth the challenge.

Chuck Butcher said...

Joyce, the 45-70 can be loaded as functional for big game with "fairly" light loads. It is going to exceed the kick of a Ruger M77 30-06 w/180 gr by a bit. My wife hunts with an M77 and she's not a large woman. Ruger builds some truly outstanding firearms.

A friend of mine's daughter shot my Bisley Vaquero with 300gr P++ and handled it fine (there's an article below). I'd try out a 45-70 before buying one and use factory 300gr. Yes, the Ruger No 1 has outstanding balance, it is really an awesome rifle, available in a lot of calibers.

Anonymous said...

In 1981 I bought a Ruger #3 Rifle. It is mechanically the same as yours. I have loaded everything from 300 grain to 405 Jacketed, 405 cast and 500 grain lead. My youngest son learned to shoot big-bore with this rifle when he was 10. I started him with low-end loads and a 405 grain cast bullet and he had no trouble at all. He slowly progressed until when 12 he could (with a little complaining) fire medium-hot 500 grain loads.

For balance, hitting power, and all around enjoyment it is my favorite. I am now 73 and still hunting wild pigs (200 Lbs and up wild Boar)with it. It is a truly one-shot-kill hunting rifle. With a well placed shot, the Pigs just collapse with no fuss.

John said...

I have owned and shot the 45-70 in Ruger No. 1 for about 20 years. The gun can hurt you at max loads and these days I am loading back down to reduced loads to try and preserve some vision in my right eye. This cartridge is effective on deer, etc at the original design velocities, around 1200+ fps and can be pleasant to shoot in that range.

Anonymous said...

Dont be a pussy put a scope on it - a nice nikon monarch 2-8 like mine then it shoots half inch groups at one hundred yards with 300 grn fnsp travelling at 2500fps. It will then only drop 4 inches at 200 yards. for the load - I'm using Rem cases, Federal primers and 59gns of ADI AR2207 powder. That will stop anything it hits. On the down side there is about 45ftlbs of recoil to deal with.


Chuck Butcher said...

I know Ranger, a 300gr will kick but in a manner not too incompatible with a scope. The 400 and 500 gr loads at speeds like 1800 fps mean a scope would be bad for your face.

This is a "target rifle" only in the sense of sighting in or for some fun. Without a folding sight the drop at anything over 200 yds becomes so excessive that long range shooting isn't reasonable. the ballistics of a round with that shape and speed are just ridiculous. I have long range guns scoped and non-optical but they are ballistically compatible with that and I don't need a scope at 200yds.

I have a pretty fair selection of rifles, partly because I just like them but also because guns have their features that make them very good for particular things.

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thomas said...

Hi Chuck, This is not a comment but a question. I have a Ruger No.1 and it has a side 4 on the 45 and a full Bull Barrel. On the other side is W.J.J. . Have you ever seen one or was it spepial

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