The trimmest model in the No. 1 line makes a fantastic brush or blind gun.
By Stan Trzoniec
The Ruger No. 1 single-shot rifle hit dealers shelves in 1967. The bolt-action M77 was a rifle for the masses, but the No. 1 was classy.
Bill Ruger was a classy kind of guy. He liked the lines of the Gibbs Farquharson rifle and got his design team to produce a similar-looking single-shot.
Weighing 7 1/4 pounds, the No. 1 Light Sporter is about a pound lighter than the standard model. It was initially chambered in .257 Roberts, 6.5 Remington Magnum, .38-55 Winchester and 7x57 Mauser. Having a shorter barrel of only 22 inches, the No. 1 Light Sporter is an ideal platform for the milder calibers.
The short gun is also handy in the brush. A typical Ruger, the rifle has no high comb or cheekpiece. While the traditionally styled gun comes with iron sights, a set of medium Ruger scope rings is supplied for the majority of shooters who prefer optical sights.
The buttstock has more than ample checkering. Hand-cut rather than impressed, the checkering is in a point pattern. A grip cap with the Ruger logo, sling swivel studs and a rubber buttpad with a black spacer completes this part of the gun.
Unique to this model is an Alexander Henry fore-end. It is shorter and requires attaching the front part of a sling to the barrel instead of the forearm.
Inletting of the select-grade walnut stock of our sample gun was almost perfect.
The action certainly has the lines of a classic single-shot, It’s only 1 1/2 inches at its widest point. Only about half of the receiver’s length is showing; the other half relates to the extension of the tang. Under the lever is the sear, safety bar, safety and safety arm itself. With the safety lever mounted on this rear tang,
The Ruger No. 1 is the perfect rifle for both right- and left-hand shooters. Pulling back the sliding shotgun-style safety blocks the sear. Pushing it forward allows the rifle to fire.
The mainspring is housed in the gun’s forearm. Mechanically, the No. 1 is considered a hammerless rifle. Moving the lever downward cocks the gun.
The operating lever itself follows the curve of the trigger guard and then flares out to follow the lines of the pistol grip. A latch locks the action in place. Pressing downward on the rearmost part of the lever allows it to be moved downward, dropping the falling block while simultaneously resetting the action and ejecting the cartridge.
The No. 1 can handle cartridges up to and including the largest African-game rounds and does so with aplomb. Ejection is flawless.
The trigger on my sample gun in .22-250 broke at 4 pounds without a hint of slack. The best group, under an inch at 100 yards, was with a handload firing a 175-grain Hornady bullet.
Hunters looking for a handsome deer gun that’s also lightweight should check out the Ruger No. 1 Light Sporter.
Reprinted from the December 2007 issue of Buckmasters GunHunter Magazine. Subscribe today to have GunHunter delivered to your home.