Rebarreling a Ruger#3

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Fitzpatrick posted this 21 April 2019

has anyone used Pacnor for replacing a barrel on a ruger #3 ,do they do good work? I have a #3 in 223 that doesn't shoot like it should and thinking about changing it to something better with cast ,any recommendation would be appreciated .

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45 2.1 posted this 21 April 2019

Sorry, I can't help on the replacement barrel issue. I once had a #3 in .223 though (that shot like yours)..... and sorely wish I hadn't of traded it off in my youth. I would look at the bedding procedures for the forearm that are given for the #1 before I got rash replacing the barrel.

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joeb33050 posted this 21 April 2019

Maybe I'm having a bad day, but...

Pac Nor makes good barrels, as evidenced by the scores shot with them in ASSRA matches. See Dale Reynolds shooting 250s, 2 in 1 day.

The ASSRA guys are flocking to the RKS Ron Smith barrels, Ron has brought back the gain twist, it's fourth re-birth since Pope.

The Ruger SS action can be turned into a reasonable SS rifle after performing or paying for the 13 required modifications.

Or, if it was me, I'd sell the #3 and buy a good gun, the ASSRA guys are getting older or the other thing every day.

joe b.

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loophole posted this 21 April 2019

I read a long time ago that Ruger used barrels made by an outfit called Wilson in both mod 77's and the single shots..  I have owned 3 no. 1's and 2 no. 3 's as well as a couple of 77's.   My no. 1 30-06 shoots less than 1" groups with jacketed--never tried it with cast.  My .223 no.3 shoots about 1-1/2" groups with jacketed and about the same with cast--I mounted a lyman receiver sight on the left side of the receiver.  On the other hand I had a no.1 in 223 which had been rifiled by dragging barbed wire through the barrel, and wouldn't shoot anything into 3" groups.  My no.1 218 Bee  shoots nothing but cast bullets. Nikon scope--shoots 1-1/2" groups pretty consistently  I had a 77 in 25-06 which would not group any thing smaller than the heavier bullets, but this may have been too fast a twist rather than a bad barrel.  All are 3 shot groups off a good bench.

I had a Douglas 32-40 barrel installed in a no 3 years ago.  Don't remember the gunsmith but he did not report any problems doing the work.  I was hoping to make a cheap Scheutzen rifle, but I found that the lock time was too slow, the trigger not good enough, and no good way to mount a tang sight made that a poor idea.  The rifle shot cast bullets well, but I never spent enough time with it to know if it shot competitive groups.

I found that getting a good shooting Ruger was a matter of pure luck.  Some of my Ruger barrels were much worse than I ever got in a Winchester or Remington. Ruger refused to do anything about a bad barrel, but a good Ruger single shot would shoot with the best factory bolt action if you knew how to tinker with the fore-end bedding.  I learned to drill a hole in the fore-end hanger, tap it, sand out the channel in the wood so it did not touch the barrel, and experiment with screw pressure between barrel and fore-end hanger before even testing for accuracy.  I do not shoot competitively, but I don't share the suggestion that Rugers are not good rifles.  The only deer I ever killed was with my no.1 Ruger, and I can't see how there can be any better rifle for hunting and casual shooting than a good Ruger.    

This post reminded me that I never did learn whether the hanger had to be cut off to rebarrel, then rewelded after the new barrel was screwed in.  I wonder if just cutting off the hanger and screwing the fore-end to the barrel the old fashioned way would work?

Loophole 

  

 

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Fitzpatrick posted this 21 April 2019

I have a Ruger #1 in 45-70 its the lyman Centennial  with a heavy taper 28 in barrel that shoots 1 in. groups at 100 yd. all day long no matter what cast bullet i feed it ,was hoping to get the same out of the #3 ,Pac-Nor give me a list of calibers to choose from and they change the barrel ,I was thinking about maybe 444 Marlin or 32-40 just wanted something more suitable to casting and hunting

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loophole posted this 22 April 2019

I would go with either 30-30, 32-40, or 38-55, simply because you will find more molds and much more cast bullet data than for 444.  I fell in love with Rugers the first time I saw one, because the were the only readily available single shots.  I don't know if even today there is another traditional single shot design with good workmanship at a decent price.  I have not seen a no.3 at a decent price in a long time, and you might check prices and find the more common no. 1 I cheaper than the no. 3 they discontinued a long time ago.  I do not know if even the best barrel will make a Ruger any more accurate than a good factory barrel,  but the only good cast bullet Ruger I have seen other than the .218 Bee and the 45-70 is the 30-40.  I do not think that the best barrel I can buy will give me any real improvement over what my .218 Bee will do, because of the limitations in the trigger, and lock time.  I am just giving you a very non expert opinion.  Let us know what you come up with.

Loophole

 

 

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BudHyett posted this 22 April 2019

The Ruger #1 is the experimenter's rifle, The problems they have, lock time, trigger, forearm bedding, are items which must be dealt with. The real problem is oversized chambers. I had a Ruger #3 in .22 Hornet that had a truly oversized chamber. The only way to get it to shoot was loading a case full of  W-W 680 powder and seat a bullet only deep enough to stay in the case. And it had a 1 in 10" twist also. A testimony to Ruger Quality Control.

Given the above, rebarreling a Ruger #1 is an alternative. Superior barrels and chambers will greatly help the quest for accuracy. A tight chamber is also a boon to enjoy. One other caliber to consider is the .30-40 Krag. I witnessed one Ruger #3 in .30-40 Krag that repeatedly shot five-shot groups under one minute with cast. The .30-40 is a good hunting round.

If you are building a competition rifle, then I would consider selling the Ruger and adding the money for rebarreling to purchase a CPA Stevens 44 1/2, or equivalent, rifle. Calibers could be .32-40, .32-20 CPA, .32 Miller Short, or .38-55. You can shot CBA Plain Base, ASSRA or ASSRA Traditional, ISSA or ISSA Traditional and Wyoming Schuetzen Society matches giving you great return on your investment. Any of these calibers have published loading data available. Plus these rifles will hold their value better than a rebarreled Ruger #1. 

Country boy from Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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M3 Mitch posted this 23 April 2019

Isn't there another semi-custom maker who are making a rifle that looks like the #1, but is built to a bit higher standard?  I thought it was Cooper, but their web site does not show one. 

Another topic:  I have read that Ruger now makes their own barrels by hammer forging, which turns out by lucky circumstance to be both cheaper and to make a better barrel.  Apparently the change-over to hammer forged barrels corresponds, at least roughly, to a change from a red recoil pad to a black one.  From what I have read on here, though, the newer rifles have a simplified trigger that is harder to get a good light pull out of, compared to the older rifles.  2-piece trigger now, 3-piece then.  I am not sure when the trigger was changed or how you would recognize the old school, good one, except by knowing what serial # you need to go back before.  Maybe there is an additional pin or some other external sign.

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mashburn posted this 23 April 2019

Hello to all of you question askers of Ruger No.1 barrels,

I'm 75 years old and have built lots of Ruger No.1 varmint rifles for myself and also for lots of customers. I have not dealt with recent manufactured  Rugers. Like a lot of other manufacturers I'm sure Ruger has probably started making some pure junk. The latest manufactured rugers  that I ever worked on or owned was probably mid to late nineties. I have never owned a bad one. I had lots of number 1's and only a couple of bolt guns and both of the bolt guns gave superb accuracy. Some of the No.1's had to be tuned a little but not much. Nearly all of mine were No.1 varminters. The biggest problem with the No1 varminters was that the barrels weren't heavy enough in 22-250 caliber, the recoil made them jump too much so see your bullets point of impact and if you are out west shooting prairie dogs and the wind is blowing so hard that the birds are practically flying backwards and you can't see the point of impact ,you will  have heck doping the wind.

There wasn't a .223 or .22-250 that I owned or one belonging to someone else that left my shop that wouldn't shoot under and inch and usually closer to 1/2 inch. This is not a  cast load, this was with jacketed ammo.The bolt guns I owned were in larger deer hunting calibers and the only fault that I found with them was that the stock was too clubby around the receiver area. Yes, the .223 and .22-250 rifles mostly had long throats in those day and being a handloader I would just find a bullet long enough that I could seat out to the lands and work up a load. In the forearm problem. A guy mentioned  tapping the forearm  hanger and putting in a screw to put a little tension on the barrel and clearing out the forearm away from the barrel. This works, but if you rest the forearms on the bags way out on the front end it will more that likely shoot about  1 1/2 inches higher than it does when rested right in front of the action. It doesn't take near as much pressure as most people try at first. I think it was the same fellow mentioned not using the hanger and putting a block on the bottom of the barrel and putting a screw straight through the forearm and bedding the block and floating the barrel. This works pretty well but not as good as the screw though the hanger and up against the barrel . I also made a little v-block to put under the barrel where the screw would be pushing into the center of the barrel and not off to one side. 

Here is an example of a accurate No.1 .223. I traded my son a N0.1 .223 years ago with a single set trigger and about 900 rounds of hand loaded ammo. It had been setting in the gun safe for several years. They took it out a few months ago. My 16 year old grandson put three rounds into a 1 inch circle at 200 yards. one of the biggest problems with the varminters was the ejecton spring assembly rubbing on the forearm and this will throw a chunk in the wheel. This was the biggest problem I found and usually solved the problem with most and some didn't need any tuning, just good loads..

I'm sorry to hear that Ruger has started turning out the quality of rifle that you people are telling about, but then, they aren't the only ones.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Fitzpatrick posted this 23 April 2019

Mashburn do you feel like taking on another project like rebarreling my ruger#3 ,its 223 now I was thinking maybe the 357 AR its a 223 necked up to 357 or open to suggestions 

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John Alexander posted this 23 April 2019

Isn't there another semi-custom maker who are making a rifle that looks like the #1, but is built to a bit higher standard?  I thought it was Cooper, but their web site does not show one. 

==========

Dakota advertises a slick looking single shot that looks a little like a Ruger. You could probably pick one up is you had half a dozen Ruger No !s to trade.

John

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jchiggins posted this 23 April 2019

Anyone have experience with E. A. Brown 97D rifles? Just curious about them, although out of my current budget "guidelines".

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 23 April 2019

i doubt that serial # on ruger 1 actions will be reliable as to what they wound up to be.

************

all this talk about r1 reminds me that i have a nice but non-collectable r1s in 300 win. mag somewhere in my stash that i got in a barrel trade.  shortly after i traded that strange S forestock for a varmint type ... but never fitted the forestock ( the S sling swivel is in the way ) .... in fact just stored the gun because a 300 WM holds about 60 gr. of unique more than i usually shoot.  after 20 years socked away, i suppose i should try it out... maybe a rabbit shoot ...  dang !!  wonder if it has a 3 screw trigger ? ...  ha, i only have 1 piece of 300wm brass !! ...

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loophole posted this 23 April 2019

 My Rugers had decent triggers 35 years ago, then got very bad with rifles built 25 years ago.  I don't know what year the bad triggers started, but I believe it was after the no.3 was discontinued.  I can't remember when the Bee was offered.  Mine has a trigger that is about as good as I ever got in a Ruger single shot.  I didn't know that Ruger started making it's own hammer forged barrels.  You can learn more on this site than by reading a half dozen gun magazines every month.

  Loophole 

 

 

 

 

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BudHyett posted this 23 April 2019

I've followed the Ruger #1 at the NRA Annual Meetings when I could attend. Stopping at the Ruger display and asking to talk to an engineer, then introducing myself as a process engineer eliminates the usual salesman bullshit. Can't get an engineer, grab all the counterspace you can and refuse to move until you talk to an engineer. You will get the technical engineer in order to get you onto the side. Subtlety has not been a strong virtue in my life.

The first 4,000 were built by Leonard Brownell and are serious shooters and collector's items. Brownell was employed by Bill Ruger himself as the #1 was Bill's pet project and baby. I do not know who built the barrels for the first 4,000, but Douglas Premium XX Air-gauged were specified by Bill for the #1. With Bill Ruger passed away, Ruger #1's are limited in production each year. They are now more for collectors. I have several and they are my prairie dog rifles.  

Then the corporate attorneys got into the fray along with the accountants. That is when the E. A. Wilson barrels with oversize bores became popular. I remember slugging six Ruger 77 Varmint barrels in .280 Remington that ranged from .286 to .287. I know the engineer was very interested in our oversized bore experience.

 I am not a fanatic on light trigger pulls. Between two and three pounds with a crisp let-off is good. My #1's are set in this range and they get their share of prairie dogs. In the field with the #1's, it is the nut behind the buttplate is who needs the major adjustment.

 

Country boy from Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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JimmyDee posted this 23 April 2019

  i only have 1 piece of 300wm brass !! ...

That second shot might take a while...  but, wait: it is a single-shot rifle, right?

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 24 April 2019

My father was convinced for years that the solution was to saw the hanger off and attach it to the barrel. He did this to the No.1 that he used to set and hold the 100 yard ten shot group record for over a decade. This rifle was also described in a TFS article about a year ago.

I also inherited his only No.3 that he long since rebarreled to 7MM-08 with an octogon barrel, and he restocked as well as was his practice.

And the forend inletting:

I will note that the bench rifle (top) has the forend bedded the full length the two sporters do not. Both sporters have contact at the very front of the forend. The other sporter is a .25-06 also rebarreled by dad. Note that he by this point had changed his mind about cutting hangers off and instead drilled and tapped and used a wedge. He also bedded the end of the hanger in the forend. Next three pictures.

Of the ones he cut and moved the hanger he also changed the mounting screw for the forend to perpendicular to the barrel. This he also discarded in the later rifle. One other modification he made to all was to change the safety button to a different shape and a mortise it rides in.

I do not know how the two sporters perform with cast bullets simply because there has not as yet been time for me to try any. Given how both shoot jacketed I'm going to guess that they will group cast respectfully for a sporter. However due to the rules for competition in CBA these would only qualify for PBB or Heavy or Unlimited since they were rebarreled. That makes it pretty low on my list of important things to do to try cast bullets in either. Both are excellent hunting rifles.

I once asked my dad before his dementia set in if he ever wrote and article or journal detailing what he did to No.1 rifles and he replied "no." I then asked why not he replied "because it didn't always work!" It seems he could have taken that opportunity to show me the .25-06 and explain his latest thoughts on the subject but he did not. I would encourage all members who have techniques that they have found to work to accurize rifles to document and submit to TFS an article even if unproven. Once you are gone no one will ever know if you do not. Only later in life have I wished I had asked more questions and gained understanding.

 

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RicinYakima posted this 24 April 2019

You are a wise man, Mark.

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jchiggins posted this 24 April 2019

What about the no 1 RSI?  Are the bedding issues/considerations any different?

I have a no 1 varminter in 25-06 that I got in the early 2000's that shoots jacketed very well..used it in a couple 300 and 600 yd matches. Never considered trying cast bullets.  Hasn't been shot in about 12 years or so.  Too heavy to lug around for mule deer hunting.

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mashburn posted this 25 April 2019

Hello MarkinEllensburg,

It sounds like your Dad and I went through the same processes and wound up with basically the same means of accurizing Ruger single shots. I briefly described the things I tried in my response earlier in this discussion. I'm sorry to hear about your dads health decline. I live in fear of this happening to me. I'm 75 and fine mentally now, although some would probably question that. I keep a shop notebook so that if either of my sons decide to follow up my riflesmithing they will have something to refer to the things I've done.

I enjoyed your article,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 25 April 2019

Hello Fitzpatrick,

I retired from coaching high school athletics and industrial technology at the age of 54. Before retirement I was always involved  in doing some kind of gunsmithin just as a hobby. After retirement, since I was already tooled up, I opened up a gun shop which was mostly custom rifle building. This decision soon turned into a 12-14 hour a day 7 days a week job. It took me forever to quit because people would stay after me until I would agree to do just one more job and that went on and on. As of the last four years I have officially quit and now just work on my own projects. I have about 29 rifles here, of my own, that I never did  complete while running a shop .My objective is, to complete all of these while I'm still on top of Gods's Green Earth. If not for this I would jump on your Ruger No.3 job. I love single shot rifles.

Thanks for the offer,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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RicinYakima posted this 25 April 2019

Mashburn, On the day of my death, I want to have at least two projects I'm working on. And planning two more. Ric

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M3 Mitch posted this 25 April 2019

Something I am picking up on in this thread, and also have read in an online copy of Frank de Haas' book, is that individual #1 rifles will respond to different accurizing techniques.  No one that I know of claims to know why this is true.

Most gunsmiths know what to do, to accurize a bolt action, a 1911, an AR, or a Garand.  Not every guy does every gun, but "what to do" is pretty well known for these, not much discussion about what works and what's not important.  While not every unit will meet every owner's accuracy goal, for the most part these 4 guns can be made more accurate than I can appreciate, anyway, more or less every time.

From what I have read, some #1s shoot great right out of the box, some respond to various rebedding of the fore-end, mostly, and some just don't respond and are not accurate.

Whereas, for example, if you buy a CZ or Steyr rifle new, I have never heard of one that didn't just drive nails from the get-go.

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M3 Mitch posted this 25 April 2019

Isn't there another semi-custom maker who are making a rifle that looks like the #1, but is built to a bit higher standard?  I thought it was Cooper, but their web site does not show one. 

==========

Dakota advertises a slick looking single shot that looks a little like a Ruger. You could probably pick one up is you had half a dozen Ruger No !s to trade.

John

 

https://www.dakotaarms.com/model10.html  They are not real forthcoming about the price, but, yeah, I think it's considerably more than the Ruger.  That said, this looks like what the Ruger would want to be.  Guaranteed MOA shooting.  3# trigger.  The Deluxe model looks really good with that case hardened receiver.  I get the impression that if you want some different specifications, you just have to ask (and pay). 

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Fitzpatrick posted this 30 April 2019

Well bit the bullet and ordered a rifle from CPA , will have the Ruger#3 rebarreld when i find a smith to work on it .Thanks for all input and opinions they are greatly appreciated  

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