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Thread: Ruger No 1 or No 3

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Ruger No 1 or No 3

    Just throwing this out there, but which would you chose and why. a Ruger No 1 or No 3 ?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    A No. 1 without any question! It's a much nicer looking gun, with higher grade wood, and a nice locking lever. It also is available in a lot more caliber choices than a No. 3 Ruger. I'm not fond of the No. 3 barrel band for the forearm wood either. It's not pretty, nor does it promote an accurate way to mount a forearm. And considering the slight difference in price, the No. 1 is well worth the extra.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Depends. I wish Ruger still made the No.3 or something like it simply because the world needs an utterly bomb-proof, yet low-cost, utilitarian falling block. The No.1 is great if pretty is important to you, but knocking about $600 in high-end wood, sights, barrel-band sling mounts, and recoil pads off the price tag would sell a bunch of rifles - especially if you chambered some of them in "meat & potatoes" handgun cartridges suitable for woods hunting (i.e. .357 and .44 Magnums).
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    I used to own a No 3 in 45-70 that was the most punishing rifle I've ever shot. The lever would bruise my finger within five shots. The number 1 is shooter friendly, beautiful to look at and delightful to touch.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Well the No 1 is winning, what cal. do you guys like in it?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I had one in 22-250 a long time ago, now I have a No1 chambered in 30-30 Win. and so does one of my nephews.

    Here is a picture of my No1 chambered in 30-30 Win. post #45

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...0-30-Win/page3

  7. #7
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Nice looking rifle.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I have 2 number ones one a 1 B in 300 win mag and a 1 V in 220 swift. You didnt state the uses for this rifle, this information would determine alot. Hunting, game animals size , Target, informal or formal, Jacketed or cast bullets? For simple plinking a number 1 in a smaller cased lighter caliber of 30 or so would be alot of fun. For deer sized game and plinking a 308 or 7mm 08 would be good. For outright rthumping a #1 in 45-70 should do the job nicely.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    No cal decided on, just looking to see what others are using and for what . It would be a cast bullet rifle unless in a .22 cal.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Other than the action being the same, the two guns are as different as night and day.
    Only you know what about them you like .

    Jedman

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I have 3 no3s and 2 no 1s. I have had several more of each over the years. Right now my 3s
    are (2) 375 wins & a 223 Rem. My 1s are 45/70 & 30/06. My brother has a 3 in 45/70 and 1s
    in 22/250, 243, 375 H&H. All these rifles shoot better than your average off the rack B/A. Ohio
    has deer season for limited rifle cals. - straight case, .38 cal minimum. That is why I went out of
    my way to get 375Wins in 3s, they weren't produced in 1s. We shoot cast in 45/70s & 375s.
    I have a #3/375W with a 2x8 scope that is unbelievable accurate. In it I am shooting Speer 235g
    semi spitzers/ IMR-3031, turned in some very nice 100yd groups for a carbine/ barrel band. As
    to #3 vs #1 in 45/70, the #3 does thrash you. We are ordering butt plates/ recoil pad that replaces factory plastic butt plate on #3.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've had four #1's over the years and some of them was back when the #3 was readily available so that should tell which I prefer. For me life is too short to hunt with or shoot an ugly rifle, not that the #3 is ugly, I rather like it. However, there is an elegance to the #1 the #3 doesn't approach. It isn't a fine British or German single shot but it's pretty darn good!!!

    Two of my #1's shot quite well. The 22-250 and the 375 H&H. One other was a 300 Win Mag. and given previous experience with that cartridge the #1 was barely capable of hunting accuracy. The only one I have left is a 450/400 and only because I can't afford a double in that cartridge. It is exceedingly accurate with a reduced, 400 gr. cast bullet load I worked up. Full house jacketed loads are "accurate enough", more so than the 300 ever was. Of course the difference in recoil has to make some of the difference in accuracy between the cast load and the jacketed load.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I had a Ruger #1B in 7mm Mag, I found it heavy and awkward. Had nice wood, decent trigger. Never shot it, after 6-8 years I sold it. Got a a .375 Win Ruger #3 - NIB - I do prefer the handling over
    over the #1, but neither handles like a light Savage 99 .358.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    This great information, I am still rounding different cal in my mind. 223, 7x57 and 45/70 seem to fascinate me for some reason.
    I am selling off 3 or 4 guns to try to fund the purchase. Turned 66 this past year and think it is time to have 1 really nice rifle.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    I have 2 Ruger #3's I've kept - a .223 and .375 - Don't like the #3 in 45-70 but wish I had picked one up in 30-40 Krag - the #1 in 257 Roberts is gone, I like the shorter handier #3.
    If someone made a short handy 357 Max single shot I'd get it. All the Single shots can do with a bit of tuning but once they are set up most shoot as good as the shooter can.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    What caliber I would want is probably just my personal choice for various favorite calibers. I had a Lyman Centennial Ruger in .45-70 and loved it for the caliber, but also for the look those guns have. The longer, heavier barrel is more appealing to me for shooting. But for a hunting rifle, or just playing around rifle, I am a fan of the old 7x57 Mauser chambering, and the next #1 I buy will be that caliber.
    I've owned numerous bolt action milsurp rifles in 7x57, and shot cast bullets in all of them. Lot of fun, and very accurate at lower velocities. A #1 in 7x57 would probably rarely see any jacketed bullets in my hands.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    In about 1982 I swapped off the .375 Big Bore lever action and got a No.3. After shooting cast in it a while rechambered it to .375H&H. In the meanwhile was making my list and checking it twice, doing research into how to accomplish my goal of cast deer rifle with all the bullet points addressed. Arrived at a design and got it done. So my fave cartridge is that one, a cast boolit .375x45-70 wildcat that I call the .38 Long Cox.

    Runner up is the 9.3x74R in the No.1.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Artful, just get one of the 357magnum #1's and rechamber to 357max. Works great!!

    As far as #1 calibers go, my 375 H&H is very accurate with the BRP 310gr boolit, over 4759. If you want a lighter gun with plenty of "thump", as Good Cheer said, the 9.3 x 74R would be good. Also the 35 Whelen would be good, plenty of moulds to choose from and you could load it from mild to wild. The lighter gun, you will feel the recoil though.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    I like my Ruger #1 in 38-55
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I have a #1 in 7 x 57 mm and a #3 in .22 Hornet. Both shoot OK, but not spectacularly, with jacketed or cast boolits. I think my #1 has the old, long throat for the Military bullets, so it's difficult getting accuracy with the shorter designs.

    I got the #1 with the slim barrel, iron sights and the Alex Henry forend, the classiest form of the rifle Ruger makes. Maybe those fat forend types with thicker barrels and no iron sights shoot better, but they are not aesthetic enough for me. Only nifty-cool rifles are interesting, to me at least, and accuracy, to some acceptable level, can usually be tweaked out later.

    I found a butchered-up #3 in .30-40 Krag on a table at a Gun Show one time. The stock had been badly reshaped and the "S" part of the lever had been cut off, so the lever looked like the one on a Sharps-Borchardt. Hoping to get a hefty discount on it and use it for a cast boolit shooter, I asked the table owner how much. He quoted me a price in excess of what a new #3 went for. I told him that the "custom" work on the rifle must detract from the price, and he denied it. He said that this specimen was a factory-stock Ruger #2.

    There was a sign up at the Gun Show stating that misrepresentation of items for sale would get one kicked out of the place, so he must have been telling the truth. I went home without getting this rare factory variation.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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