While models and calibers have been cut down over the years, the Ruger No. 1 is still available in a Light Sporter, Standard (my favorite), Varminter, Medium Sporter, Tropical and the International. While most stick with the basic profile of a single-shot with a fore-end, the International has an extended fore-end that runs completely to the muzzle, ala Mannlicher, and is available in .270 Winchester, 7x57 Mauser (which I tested) and .30-06.
Stocked in American walnut, while the price of the gun has gone up, sadly the grade of the wood has gone down. For a long time after the No. 1's introduction and under Bill Ruger's scrutiny, all the guns had much better than average wood, and I have the guns to show it. But the finish on my test rifle is smooth as silk, and while there is only a little figure near the toe of the stock, it does add a bit of class of this rifle.
One update on the No. 1 International is a larger checkering pattern on the pistol grip. The fore-end checkering is what you'd find on any other No. 1 and is of ample coverage.
The muzzle of the gun has a protective cap, which is rather nicely fitted around both the barrel and stock for that classic look. This fore-end "cap" is done so well that no gaps are evident; it blends in perfectly with the front sight assembly.
The rifle has a front sling swivel solidly attached by a through-bolt. Behind that is the famous Ruger stock screw, which anchors the stock to the barrel via an angled attachment. The theory here is that the screw pulls the barreled action back and down into the stock for a better fit and better accuracy.
Bill Ruger was a man who adored classic stocks, and he kept that look on the No. 1. From the receiver tang back, there is no Monte Carlo comb nor a line to disturb cheekpiece. The pistol grip has a more than comfortable sweep to it, with just the right amount of clearance within the confines of the operating lever.
The buttstock is finished off with a pistol grip cap, a live
rubber recoil pad combined with a black spacer and a sling swivel stud for field carry. In close corners around the receiver,
the wood-to-metal fit is finished "proud," which simply means that it is not flush with the final finish of the receiver.
The action itself takes its look from the Farquharson rifle, modified and scaled down to modern times. Compared to a bolt-action rifle, the action measures only 2.5 inches (showing), and for hunters who like to carry their gun hip side and in the palm of their hand, the rifle is only 1.5 inches wide at its widest point.
The operating lever is classy, matches the curve of the inner trigger guard, then flares out to follow the lines of the pistol grip. Ejection of the spent cartridge is flawless and can be internally adjusted to fully eject the case or to hold it forward of the safety for those who handload.
Out of the box, trigger pull on my sample was 3½ pounds with minimal take-up before the sear broke. The safety lever is tang mounted, allowing the gun to be the perfect companion for either right- or left-handed shooters. Pull the lever back to Safe and you can still move the operating lever to load or unload the gun.
On the International, iron sights are mounted on the quarter rib and work in concert with the gold dot on the handsome front sight assembly. Like all Ruger rifles, rings are included, and I mounted a Burris Compact 3-9X scope that was a good complement to this small-statured rifle.
Fast Specs: Ruger No. 1 International
- Type: falling block single-shot centerfire
- Caliber: .270 Win., 7x57 Mauser (tested), .30-06
- Capacity: 1
- Barrel length: 20 in.
- Overall length: 36½ in.
- Weight: 7 lb.
- Finish: blue
- Stock: Mannlicher-style satin-finished American walnut
- Sights: folding rear, gold bead front; supplied rings for integral bases
- Trigger: non-adjustable single stage; 3-1/2 lb. pull as tested
- Price: $1,222
- Manufacturer: Ruger
- Smallest Group: Hornady SST — 1.0 in.
- Largest Group: Federal softpoint — 1.75 in.
- Average of all ammo tested — 1.38 in.
- Accuracy results are averages of three three-shot groups at 100 yards off a benchrest.