For reasons not understood by me, many people seem to like to bad-mouth the precision of Ruger No.1s (and by extension, No.3s). Like all over-the-counter rifles, the “out-of-the-box” precision of Ruger No.1sand 3s can be improved with various after-market modifications. For example, very few rifles come “in-the-box” with scopes. Adding a scope is an after-market modification that improves precision. And most folks do that without a gripe. Likewise, most folks acknowledge that tuning handloads to the specific rifle improves precision. Tuning handloads to the specific rifle is an after-market modification that improves precision. So griping about “having” to “modify” a No. 1 or 3 seems a bit ‘picky’ to me.
Having said that, if a specific rifle model has a known design issue that requires modification in order to achieve reasonable precision with handloads, I think it is reasonable to gripe about that.
It is appropriate that I define MY term “reasonable precision”: For ME, because I do not shoot competitively, reasonable precision is minimally 1 MoA at 100 yards.
The No. 1s and 3s seem to have a precision ‘issue’ associated with the “hanger”. That part of the action that “hangs out” in front of the receiver. Much of the firing mechanism is located out on that hanger. Significant improvements in precision have been realized by people that install some method of stiffening the hanger relative to the barrel. There are two basic ways to accomplishe this:
1) Install a Hicks Accurizer – https://www.eabco.com/HicksAccurizer1.html
2) Machine a threaded hole into the end of the hanger that allows a grubscrew to be installed that applies tension between the hanger and the barrel.
I have not yet shot the No. 2 that is the subject of this project, so I don’t know the nature of it’s precision “right out of the box”. However, there is no harm is addressing the issue a priori, so I drilled and tapped the hanger for a 8-40 grubscrew. That’s what this post is about.
First, I set the barreled action up in my mill so that the area I was interested in milling was parallel to the mill’s table, and therefore perpendicular to the travel of the quill. I needed to mill a little bit of of the tip of the hanger in order to make an appropriate flat for drilling the hole. Using a 3/8″ mill cutter, I took the part you see in the rectangle below off of my hanger. (That picture is not my hanger.)
In the spirit of “There ain’t no free lunches”, this little fix isn’t as straight forward as it appears. The spring you see in the above picture is the “hammer spring”. At the distal (far) end of that spring is a “plug” that fits against that ‘tab’ you see. (I milled off the distal end of that tab.) When the rifle is cocked, a flat rod that runs through the spring, (to keep it from bending), slides into the slot you see in the end of the hanger. (It’s the slot the hole for the grub screw had to go through.) Before I realized that flat rod had to slide into that slot when the rifle is cocked, I left the grubscrew long enough to extend up into that slot even when it was screwed in “tight”. Unfortunately, that prohibited the flat rod from moving forward as the rifle is cocked, thereby preventing it from cocking. So, I removed the grubscrew, shortened it, cut a new slot in the top, and reinstalled it so that it was below the bottom level of that slot. However…
The ‘fiddling’ wasn’t over. Tightening that grubscrew changes – significantly – the trigger ‘pull’. It didn’t change the weight of the pull noticably, but it REALLY increased the “creep” when I screwed the screw in until it was “tight”. The reason I noticed this is that the trigger pull before the modification was perfect. After I screwed the grubscrew in “tight”, it had significant creep. The reason was obvious. The grub screw pushed the hanger away from the barrel, essentially “bending” it. What that did was create a bit of a ‘bind’ as that flat rod pushes into that slot. The ‘fix’ was to just tighten the grubscrew sufficiently to fully engage the barrel – about 2/3rds of a rotation after contact with the barrel, (0.66 rotations * 0.025 inches/rotation = ~0.0165″). There is still the slightest additional creep, but you really have to be ‘looking for it’ to sense it. We’ll see how that turns out at the bench. If that is an issue for me, the fix is to stone the bottom of the tip of the flat rod so that it ‘releases’ from the bottom of the slot without effort.
When I receive that, (providing that it ‘fits’ properly), I will drill and tap the barrel for it, install it, and put a scope on. THEN I will test-fire to make sure everything is close to ‘as expected’ in terms of operation and hitting the broad side of a barn. After that, I’ll make the stock.