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6.5x55 International Build

This is a discussion on 6.5x55 International Build within the Ruger Single-Shot forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Newbie here. Long time shooter and collector, but I don't spend much time on the shooting forums. However, I'm thousands of miles away from home ...

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Old November 20th, 2016, 12:12 AM   #1
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6.5x55 International Build

Newbie here. Long time shooter and collector, but I don't spend much time on the shooting forums. However, I'm thousands of miles away from home and building a special rifle, which brings me here today.

The backstory is long. My first assignment in the Army landed me in Germany. I got fluent in the language pretty quickly. By the end of my first year, I had my Jagdschein (hunting license) and Waffenbesitzkarte (gun license). Hunting in Germany had begun, and it changed the way I did things.

As many of you know, Germans frown on semi-autos. Many hunt with bolt action rifles, but zwillings (two barrel) and drillings (three barrel) guns are king in the land of the drive hunt. As a PFC, I couldn't afford any of these beautiful German guns. I also couldn't have a rifle in the barracks, so shipping and getting my own rifle proof tested wasn't an option either. So to comply with the rules and social norms I bought a Handi-Rifle in .30-06, a caliber in which the Germans love. It was ugly, but it did the job and I never missed a shot.

Fast forward a decade plus. I've been promoted more than a few times, I'm married, and we have two children. My wife and I have never found out the sex of our children before birth. We like the surprise. We also bet on the surprise. MrsDonkeys picked correctly on the first one, and her prize for winning was one of Italy's finest, a O/U trap gun with 12ga and 20ga barrels. In 2015 we had a girl, and I chose correctly. So it was my time, and I was finally going to get the Blaser K95 that I always wanted. Then I realized something, we had just moved to Russia, she had quit her job so I could take this assignment, and I still couldn't afford a Blaser K95.

So I began to look elsewhere. I wanted a single shot heirloom rifle that I could one day pass down to my daughter. It just so happened that Ruger was offering the No. 1 International with a Mannlicher stock in 6.5x55. The caliber was something that I loved, having been turned onto it by many of my European counterparts when I was shooting competitively. The lumber was less than stellar, but at the price I couldn't complain. But most importantly it was a beautiful single shot in a quality package that I could afford, even if it was bland compared to a K95. And so I ordered it, and I waited, and I waited. Finally my LGS called me one day to say it had arrived. I sent my father to go pick it up, and his first words were "It's pretty, but I expected more." Yes, he's right, it needed more.

So I contacted Jim Downing, a renowned gun engraver from Missouri. After a few emails and phone calls, we made a deal. I was on the waiting list to transform this No. 1 into the likes of the German single shot art that I've always wanted. That was a year ago...

This January, my Ruger No. 1 will go to Jim. I've given him full artistic freedom under one condition, that he puts a sunshine in the rifle somewhere. Sunshine is my wife's middle name. Somehow it grew on me, and when my daughter was born, I wanted her to have the name too. So since this gun will eventually be for her, and it is in honor of her birth, he has graciously agreed to work that into the details.

In the meantime, I'm left to finding a scope for the gun from afar. Engraving should be done late Spring of 2017. I'll be heading back to the US around then, and hope to have everything ready to start dialing in for its first deer season.

So engraving pictures will follow in the months to come, but it is scope time now. In keeping with the theme, I'm committing myself to American optics. That leaves two options, Leupold or US Optics. I'm open to suggestions, as I've never handled a No. 1 and I'm piecing this together online and from afar. I'm thinking a VX-6 or an LR-17 might be a good combo, but I do have concerns about eye relief. Any suggestions out there from the No. 1 professionals here?

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Old November 21st, 2016, 08:30 AM   #2
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Welcome from California's High Desert and to the forum. Answers will be found here.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 08:26 AM   #3
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Riding Donkeys: First off, THANK YOU for your service to this country and welcome!
Sounds as though you have a beautiful rifle in the making.
I do't know about US Optics but I have several Leupold scopes of different magnifications and they are all excellent. I chose VXlls ,not for cost, as they fit my desires,they look really good on No.1s and model 70s. Leupolds warranty is also lifetime and excellent, in short you won't go wrong with them.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 10:50 AM   #4
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I believe Leupold has a military discount. Not sure how it works though since I never knew it existed until after I got out of the Army.

I have quickly become a fan of Vortex scopes. A lot of bang for the buck. Great warranty if needed and a great military/veteran/LEO discount.
I was stationed in Germany as well. I was working towards my hunting license and gun permit when I was deployed. Girl I was dating father and uncle were hunters. Father took a liking to me when he found out I loved hunting as well. He had a Blaser R93? Switch barrel bolt action rifle. What a beautiful gun that was. A Swarovski topped it off. That has been my dream set up ever since.

You made a choice in calibre. I have two rifles chambered in 6.5x55. The first is a Howa 1500 and the second and favorite is a CZ500 full stock. It runs circles around the howa when it comes to accuracy.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
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Old December 21st, 2016, 01:21 PM   #5
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I would look for an older model scope: they are longer in total length, which not only allows for more options with eye relief but also looks more "1903 Mannlicher-Schoenauer ".(my choice)

With some research you can determine what brands and models of American made optics would be of quality and size for the project. A WTB ad in various chat groups may yield a suitable scope.

Maybe start with
and look at used guns to see some older scopes. The Hensoldt scopes would be a good proportion to match to an American optic. I am sure you have the older German optics in you head already.

Best of luck,

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Old December 21st, 2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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Welcome from New jersey. thanks for your service and the number one is a great gun and the caliber is one with killing power way beyond its ballistics.
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