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Q: When did Ruger start making the Ruger No. 1.
A: The Ruger No.1 was written up in all the outdoor magazines in the October, 1966 issues. The original plan was for the rifles to be available in October, 1966. However, it was the 3rd week of April in 1967 before rifles began shipping.
Q: What is the difference between a 1A and a 1B?
A: The 1A has a Lightweight,or A weight barrel 22″ long, with a Alex Henry forearm and Sights.The sling stud is mounted on the barrel. It was called the Light Sporter. The 1B has a Medium Weight barrel 26″ long, semi-beavertail forearm, with the sling stud mounted on the forearm and no sights. It is called the Standard Rifle.
Q: All the letters are confusing; what does the A, B, S, V, H, RSI, AB, AH, and K stand for?
A: The A and B have been explained above; this does seem to get complicated. I’ll start with the K, which in the beginning, indicated a stainless/laminate rifle; ie, K1B, K1V, K1S or K1H. Later, Lipsey’s LLC produced several Exclusives in the K1A models that were stainless, with walnut stocks. Calibers were: 7.62×39, .257 Roberts, .35 Whelen, 6.5×55, and 250 Savage.
The 1S, termed the Medium Sporter Has the Medium Weight barrel 26″ long, with a Alex Henry forearm, and sights, with the sling stud mounted on the barrel. The 1V, termed the Special Varminter has a C weight barrel 24″ long, a semi-beavertail forearm and target scope blocks. When the .220 Swift in the 1V was introduced about 1978, it came with a 26″ barrel. In the last several years, several chamberings of the 1V have had 26″ barrels. The earlier 1V rifles with the target scope blocks were for the Unertl type scopes. Later 1V’s used blocks that would take Ruger rings; even so, most rifles have the two tapped holes farther out on the barrel for the target scope blocks. The 1H was called the Tropical Rifle. It came with a 24″ barrel, Alex Henry forearm, sights and the barrel mount sling stud.In 1970, only two calibers were chambered in the Tropical; the .375 H&H Magnum with a C weight barrel and the .458 Winchester Magnum with a D weight barrel. In the early 1980’s, the AB was introduced; simply the A weight barrel, 22″ long, but with no sights and the semi-beavertail forearm. In about 2006, Lipsey’s LLC had a run of AB’s and AH’s, both of these only in 25-06. The difference here was that both had a 24″ A weight barrel. The AH did NOT have sights, the first time since 1970 that a Ruger No.1 with the Alex Henry was made without sights and the first time the A weight barrel was made 24″ long. The RSI was introduced in 1983; it has a 20″ A weight barrel with sights and a full length Mannlicher forearm. It was called the International. Keep in mind that these catalog designations apply only to rifles made in 1970, or later. From 1967 through 1969, rifles were serial numbered from 1 through 8437. Not all numbers were used; according to Joe Clayton in his book Ruger No.1, only about 7500 rifles were made with with the non prefixed serial number. For information about these very special rifles, the reader should refer to the article Ruger No.1 Rarity Tables in Collecting Ruger No.1’s on this Website. These early rifles were made in several configurations not made since.
Q: Where did the idea for the Alex Henry forearm come from and what is the purpose of the notch, or groove, at the front?
A: Bill Ruger was also a collector of firearms, having many antique single shot rifles in his collection. One such rifle made by the Scotish rifle maker Alexander Henry is pictured in R. L. Wilson’s book RUGER & His Guns on page 70, and has a forearm style similar to the Ruger No.1 Alex Henry forearm. The first magazine advertisement has: “Two forearm styles are available: a short, slim type in the classic style of Alexander Henry and a longer semi-beavertail style”. I have no idea of the purpose of the groove, or notch, and will not speculate here.
Q: What cartridges have been chambered in the Ruger No.1?
A: To date, 64 different cartridges have been chambered in the Ruger No.1: See here for the listing and serial# by years. The .44 Remington Magnum was made in 2017 in a 20″ barrel 1S; The 1A was caliber stamped 275 Rigby and a Stainless/Laminate 450 Bushmaster is being made in 2017.
too be continued!