Some of you were wondering about how the new No 1S in 44 mag that I recently purchased printed, so here goes.
First the rifle
...and some comments. I am being totally honest when I say that I can't remember the last time I've so fallen love with a new gun. Guess that says it all. This Ruger No 1 in 44 mag takes me beyond the facts and figures of features and performance and into me bonding with the gun to the point of bordering on obsession. I know I have it bad when two trips to the range with the No 1 and I actually forgot about all the other guns we brought along to shoot. That's very unlike me.
It hasn't been a love affair with the No 1 in 44 mag without some head scratching about what to use for sights, though. I had planned to use a low power Leupold 1.5-5x scope, but with the scope out forward on the rail, I simply could not get close enough to the eyepiece to see a full field of view as I cranked up the magnification. Even worse, with the medium height rings supplied, the scope was too high for me to get a good cheek weld. Lastly, I hated the way the scope hung over the loading area, making things a bit tight to load and unload rounds.
At this point, I just wanted to shoot the No 1 and get on with it, so we headed to the range and just used the factory open sights. Have to say, as long as the light was decent and I could see the sights, not bad. When the light was bad, seeing the sights was darn near a lost cause. Still, no complaints, shooting from my usual standing position.
Mostly what impressed me, though, was how comfortably the No 1 shot with standard 44 mag loads. I have a lot of experience shooting the 44 mag in light Marlin 1894 lever gun carbines and in those muzzle light/muzzle whippy carbines, you better tuck in tight with a firm hold on that forearm for the sake of recoil management. By comparison, the No 1, even though shorter than the Marlin by two plus inches, is not muzzle whippy at all. The No 1 is a much better behaved carbine, allowing me to relax and enjoy its splendid balance in my hands.
Next solution for the sights was to try one of my Ultradot 25s in low rings. Bingo! What a problem solver. No eye relief issues, no blocking the loading port, still get a decent cheek weld, super easy and fast to get on target and, best of all, never an issue with seeing the sights. Okay, not very traditional, but it really eliminates a lot of hassles for the sake of shooting. Ultimately, will be trying a Skinner peep, but, for now, the red dot works.
Now, this is where some of you may be disappointed if you were expecting a detailed load comparison shooting via a machine rest, blah, blah, blah. The fact is, I don't enjoy shooting from a rest and only do so for the sake of sighting in my guns and, even then, I sometimes don't bother and just shoot from a standing position or other field position and adjust the sights as I go along.
Nothing against those who do enjoy shooting from a rest and I do respect and admire those who do it well. Then, too, some folks, like my husband have physical ailments and are more comfy sitting and using a rest. Anyway, after this quick sight in target at 50 yards from a rest, using the red dot, all the rest of my shooting was from a standing position.
Also, here's what my husband can also do on the same 3" bullseye targets at 50 yards from a rest.
And here's what I bought the No 1 in 44 mag to do, me shooting from my preferred standing position. I suspect I could tighten this up a bit, if and when, I try a scope, but I'm happy with the red dot, for now.
Also shot this group with some Keith 240 SWCs that I get from a local reloader. Other than shooting a bit higher due to the lower velocity, looks like the No 1 in 44 mag does just as well with lead.
Will soon be trying a Skinner peep on my No 1 because I feel the soul of this gun cries out for traditional iron sights. Will report back when I do. Oh, and my husband loves this gun, too, and he's usually not fond of the 44 mag, by the way. He's even talking about us getting another No 1. Guess he's got the bug, too.