Friday, September 28, 2007

Ruger No.1 Rifle in 45-70 Govt.

***Previously Posted on Chuck for...

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, it is a very light rifle and 400 gr bullets at 1900fps (57 gr IMR 4895) are in the painful range. It is a lovely piece and demonstrates good repeatability at 100yds, grouping is tight considering the recoil aversion I experienced after about 10 rounds. Shooting from a prone position with heavy loads is asking to get hurt. Although the rifle came with nice scope rings, they will not get used and the folding leaf sight will be replaced when I find a better peep that will fit well.


Zak J. said...

My understanding of falling block is that it also gives you a couple extra inches of barrel length without lenghtening the rifle, which makes it a good choice for brush hunting game that might fight back, e.g. lions or bears, cape buffalo (where you can find them). But with a kick like that, what's the realistic reload time in case your shot goes a little wide?

Would you recommend it (with a lighter load) for javelina, mule deer or other smaller game (not African lions) that prefers brush?

Chuck Butcher said...

45-70 is a cartridge for heavy realatively slow velocity rounds, if you wanted to shoot smaller game a smaller caliber would be a better idea, particularly something that involved reaching out and less damage inflicted. The Ruger No 1 comes in a lot of calibers and is cabable of very high pressures in any of them.

Reloading a heavy recoil weapon is a matter of practicing. It could be very important, which is one of the reasons for double barrel express rifles.

Anonymous said...

Like 99% of articles about the Ruger no.1 (no matter what calibre) there is never a mention of ejection of the fired/unfired cartridge.....and its control. Usually a person who likes to shoot accurately reloads !!