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Ruger No.1A – 303 British Improving accuracy
Preparing for use • These patches came out of the barrel before a shot was fired. • The forend was pulled off and the barrel channel inspected. This was dry and unsealed so a quick wipe of Tung oil (or boiled linseed) helped seal the wood.
What Scope? • The No.1A 303 rifles came with high rings (size 5). Why Ruger would choose to ship this type of rifle with this size ring is beyond me. • The scopes are; • Bushnell 4200 1.5-6 in Ruger medium rings (size 4) • Nikon Monarch 2-8 in Ruger medium rings • Leupold VariX-III 2.5-8 in Ruger medium rings • Leupold VariX-II 1-4 in Leupold low rings • I went with the Leupold 1-4.
Initial Shots • For the first five shots a shoot/clean approach was taken. • Some suggest this adds no value, others feel it does. • I chose to do it as it is no real problem, and I do notice the barrel reduce fouling as it is used. • After four shots the barrel was not fouling as much as it did on the first round. • This is after shot 2, you can see the copper coloured patches on the back of the shooting bench.
First Groups • This first group was fired at 100m with 180gn Privi Partisan ammunition. • The velocity was a fairly steady 2300fps. • Accuracy was an uninspiring 3inchs for 3 shots. • I have owned this ammunition since 1993 – 18 years of storage and it still works fine. • Target is 3inches across the white zone, 5 inches total.
Forend Off • This group was shot without the forend on the rifle. • It printed a whole 8 inches LOWER than the group with the forend on the rifle. It was also slightly left of aim. • Accuracy was the same 3inches for 3 shots. • Target is 3inches across the white zone, 5 inches total.
Installing a screw • In the past, I’ve tried a number of suggestions to improve my No.1 rifle accuracy. • The one method I have found that is certain to improve accuracy involves drilling and tapping the under barrel hanger. • The grub screw goes in here.
Preparation • Ensure the rifle is unloaded and the action is cocked. • Take the forend off. • You will see the small groove that the hammer spring guide rides in. • We are going to drill a hole through the hanger at this point.
Tools • A hand drill. • A starting bit (1.5mm) • A finishing bit (2.5mm) • An M3 Tap • An M3 screw (preferably a grub screw) at least 12mm long with a semi-pointed tip.
Drilling - Step 1 • You need to start the hole for the screw. • As the inside of that groove is on an angle, you start the hole using the small drill bit at a 90deg angle to the surface of the groove. • You are not drilling through the hanger, just putting a 1mm deep starting hole in the hanger for the actual threaded hole. • NOTE: The spring guide moves when then mechanism fires. To find the right spot for your screw ensure the mechanism is cocked – this puts the guide forward and allows you to put the screw in without interfering with the guide. • Too far back, foul the hammer spring guide. Too far forward and you foul the forend retaining captive nut. • Try and keep the guide hole in the centre of the groove.
Drilling – Step 2 • Now that you have a starter hole, switch over to the larger (2.5mm) drill bit. • I transferred my rifle to a drill press to assist accuracy for this step. • You are drilling a 2.5mm hole all the way through the hanger. • You do want to just touch the barrel – creating a tiny crater in the barrel surface to give the grub screw a locating point on the barrel. This crater is less than 0.5mm deep!
Using your standard M3 tap and some tapping fluid tap the hole. It will be tight, and the slot for the guide rod is ever so slightly smaller than the tap. Keep at it with steady pressure and it will work. Once the tap is through and bottoming out on the barrel you may choose to use a bottoming tap to finish the hole. I bought a second M3 tap and just ground it down to work as a bottoming tap. Tapping
Screwing • Take your grub screw and screw it into the hole you just made. • Tighten the screw down until it touches the barrel, then add ¼ turn of tension. • Check the function of your cocking/firing. • Re-fit your forend.
Shots after • I had 10 rounds left of the Privi ammunition. • The first three shot group was two turns of screw – 2.75inches. • The second three shot group was one turn – 2.25 inches. • The last group was ¼ turn – 1inch. Success! • Target is 1.5inches across the white zone, 2.5 inches total.
Ruger No.1 for lefties? • Many have suggested that the No.1 is an ambidexterous rifle, suitable for the left handed members of the shooting world. • A friend of mine is a lefty, and he was keen to try a No.1. • With the low mounted scope he found it difficult to feed due to the action wall on the left side. • A higher mounted scope would present less of a problem.
How do the different models compare? • From top to bottom • No.1H in 375H&H • No.1S in 338 Win Mag • No.1A in 303 Brit • No.1B in 300H&H (shipped as a 30/06) • No.1RSI in 6.5x47 Lapua (custom wood and barrel – shipped as a No.1B in 223)
Rings? • These are all rings to fit a Ruger Rifle, they are mounted on a 25mm wood dowel. • From front to back; • Leupold Low • Ruger Low (size 3) • Ruger Medium (size 4)