Ruger No. 1: Best-Selling Single-Shot Rifle of 2019

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posted on April 2, 2020
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William Batterman Ruger ensured every gun that bore his name was built to perform and have the kind of long-lasting craftsmanship that allowed them to become heirlooms—passed down from generation to generation. Those qualities have endeared Ruger products to enthusiasts since the company introduced its first firearm more than 70 years ago.

They are meant to be used, but Ruger also understood when combined with fine craftsmanship it creates something timeless. He brought that approach to the industry with the Ruger No. 1, at a time when most sportsmen were choosing bolt-action rifles. The line is now more than five decades old and claimed top spot among single-shot rifle sales for 2019 among FFL’s using Gunbroker.com.

There’s good reason, too. Dave Campbell wrote about the rifle for American Rifleman on Valentine’s Day (purely coincidence we’re sure) and explains it’s a classic worthy of the most discerning enthusiast. “The man who hunts with a No. 1 probably enjoys hand-rolled Cuban cigars, cognac from France and dry-aged rare steaks,” he wrote.

The falling block rifle has a Farquharson-style internal hammer and tang safety. Its ejector is adjustable to only allow extraction, scope mounts are integral, rings are included and when combined with a cold-hammer forged barrel it’s virtually indestructible. It’s been produced in 47 different chamberings—from the powerful .450 Nitro Express to the tiny-by-comparison .204 Ruger.

Don’t be fooled into thinking they are all identical, though. Each run is a limited edition. The stocks and finish vary with chamberings, giving each a different presentation, if you will. There are currently 10 new models available and the cartridges they digest is diverse—.475 Linebaugh/.480 Ruger, .450 Bushmaster, .44 Rem. Mag.,.35 Whelen, .30-30 Win., 30-’06 Sprg., 6.5 Creedmoor, .257 Roberts, .243 Win. and .204 Ruger. Barrel lengths vary from 20 to 26 inches, depending on chambering and so does the metal finish. Most feature American walnut.

The Ruger No. 1 may be the canvas they work on, but the craftsman at Ruger apply different brush strokes to every one of these rifle’s that come from the factory. They’ve done that since 1967.

MSRP for the wood laminate version chambered in .450 Bushmaster available from Ruger is $1,899. The other nine are handled exclusively by either Talo or Lipsey’s distributors. Contact your local FFL for details on availability and ordering. They go fast enough to claim top honors in the single-shot rifle category.

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