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Discussion Starter #1
I would be interested in knowing your opinions and preferences regarding single shot rifles, as I have a renewed interest in the subject.

This year I purchased my first tapered, hunting weight barrel for my Encore frame in 243 Win in preparation for the invasion of the Virginia ground hogs.Previously, the Encore has sported a 22-250 and 300 Win Mag bbl in the 26 inch heavy configuration, so I was quite surprised when I first picked up the same rifle with a tapered 24 inch bbl. The balance, feel and simplicity had an aesthetic appeal unlike any other rifle I have ever used.

So, I my considerable collection of bolt, pump and semi auto rifles is beginning to look less and less attractive for almost any application I can think of. To make matters worse, I am now infected with the Zen of the single shot and resisting my urge to sell of everything but my rimfires and handguns.

Has anyone else caught this bug? What is your favorite single shot and caliber? How does the aesthetic "feel" of your single shot influence the joy of the hunt, and pleasure of the outdoors?
 

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Beartooth Regular
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I've had that bug since I bought my first Ruger No.1 about 20 years ago. I prefer them to any other action type while hunting in areas that don't have animals that bite back.

There are more reasons than the obvious for hunting with single shot rifles. One is balance. As long as they are kept in proportion, they are balanced very well and come to the shoulder almost on their own. They are typically much shorter with same length barrels than other action types. My No.1 RSI with 20" barrel is right at 36" long and it handles like sweet grace.

They can be tempermental, just as any two piece stocked rifle can, but most are more than accurate enough for hunting applications. With single shots, to me, the most important accuracy factor is the first shot from a cold barrel hitting the same spot every time. Shooting 3 or 5 shot groups with a single shot hunting rifle is not a true telling of the rifle's performance in the field (unless you are on a big p dog town). Single shots can be fairly rapid repeaters with extra cartridges in the non trigger hand, between the fingers like the old African double rifle shooters use, but that is kinda defeating the purpose of using a single shot in the first place.

I haven't shot a Contender, but have hunted with and shot Ruger No.1's, Sharps, Winchester Hi-walls, British Farquharson's (not mine), a Hagn and a Peregine (neither of the last two were mine either, and that is sad). I've also shot a Dakota No. 10, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, for some reason. All that I've shot were capable of sizzling accuracy and available in just about any cartridge under the sun.

Unless I'm going out into a place where I'm just as likely to run into a big coastal grizzly as anything I'm hunting, I always reach for a single shot.

I'm looking forward to adding more single shot rifles to my collection, right now all that I have kept are the Rugers. My sights are set on a Farquharson and Hagn, if I can find one for less than a house mortgage.

Seems like since I first caught the bug you mentioned, single shot rifles have outnumbered all other action types combined 3 or 4 to 1 ratio in my collection. In the past few years I have trimmed that down, but the singles still outnumber the rest.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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I've been totally into the Contender now for about 15 years now in both the Carbine and Pistol configurations. I look at it as a great "test bed" for handloading from an experimentation point of view. No action length issues to deal with or feeding problems so to speak which enable one to have a lot of latitude with experimentation. Virtually any safe cartridge or wildcat can be chambered in these guns for the cost of a barrel that readily attaches in about 30 seconds. All this applies to Encores also. This is the closest thing to what I refer to as a "modular" firearm system one can get. Adding different barrels, scopes/bases, grips/forends and other accessories is reasonably easy.

From a field use/hunting standpoint, the way I hunt, I've never felt lacking for having a single-shot action.

Now I've bought my first Handi-Rifle about 6 months ago.

Here we go again.:D

None of this is meant to disparage other gun/action types as I really love my other revolvers and rifles and such but I find that I'm doing far more shooting/reloading for the single-shots.


Regards
 

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My first single shot longgun JC Higgins bolt action 410 shotgun;) Boy I shot so many varmints with that single shot, Not counting how my my father before me, even shot a nice buck with a slug 20 years ago. Now I use this for a new hunters learning to hunt, good gun to learn with, I remember my father saying ok Rick one shot one kill, make sure the shot produces itself before the squeeze. Many good memories with that single shot 410. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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Single Shots

Have always liked single shots with emphasis on Ruger #1 & 3. Have #1 in 375H&H, and another in
45-70, and a #3 in K-Hor. All are far better shooters than I. Like a whole lot of folks I suspect, I started with a single shot 22 and a single shot 12 gage. Still have the 22, and once in awhile take it to the range. The 12g went the way of a lot of others that I wish I still had.
Will probably get flamed when I say that I have never liked the looks of a Contender in Rifle/carbine configuration. Will admit that most
of them shoot extremely well, but to me shooting one would be like taking a pink poodle pointer hunting--just don't look right.
Paul
 

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I fell in love with a Ruger No.1A in 30-06 the first time I picked it up! I built a .300 Win Mag from a 1B and a Bishop stock and foolishly traded it in for a push feed M70. Next to my 1895G the No.1 is the fastest handling rifle I own. I've used a friends T/C rifle and pistol but I couldn't get used to the looks enough to buy one of my own. Good luck and let us know what you end up with! CEJ..
 

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Know the feeling...but those repeaters have a use too (it's a shame that I can't think of what that is right now). OF the modern rifles, like the Ruger #1 (actually...like the simple under lever of the #3 action better, but the stock shape of the #1). For small cases, like the Martini action. Like the Rolling Block action for big BP type rounds (know the Sharps is "it" for many, but I like the simple-as-a-rock Roller).

Guess you caould class a couple of the bolt actions as single shots...they don't have magazines or action cuts for magazines...but they just don't have the "taste" of a single shot.

No complaints about the T/C or other "crack barrel' types, they work well. I just like the old target scopes, which aren't very compatable with crack barrels.
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Favorite would be the cheapest of the bunch. Rebarreled, rebuilt, re stocked an old H&A falling block into a very accurate .22LR. Found an equally ancient Lyman external adjsting scope (a mdoel 438), and the pair just look "right".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You know...I have never killed a deer (31 to date) with a second shot that could not have been fired from a single shot. Every fast 2nd shot was a miss or a wound that had to be tracked. Even when you hit a deer and they move out of sight, its best to sit still for at least 15 minutes before following up. The chance that a repeater will bring home the bacon is about 10% better than a single shot in theory, but its probably less than that when you figure in the other variables.
 

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Thought about that last post...wish I could agree, but can't. Have been a few times when a fast second shot has made a difference. Occasionally I hunt the deep thick stuff where 50yards is a long shot (and ****ed rare to be able to see over 30yards). The deer are almost always moving, often running, and I've managed to bag more than a few tree trunks...swinging along leading the deer and the ****ed tree just jumps in the way.

I don't usually take single shots in the swamps/brush...at times, even though I prefer rifles, have used a fast handling 12ga. Lots of cussing about buckshot, but when you KNOW the range will be ultra-short, it does a ****ed good job.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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I really like the looks and handling of the Ruger No. 1, but my only experience with one left me disheartened. It was the varmint model in 22-250. It was my dad's, but I think I used it more than he did. Among the problems we had: the scope dad had could not be mounted with proper eye relief due to the forward position of the rings, extraction was erratic, accuracy was mediocre to poor (I didn't know about the forend bedding tricks I've since read about), and the lever kept getting caught in my pocket, popping the action open at inconvenient times.
Even with all that, I'm STILL tempted by them. I think if they made one with the Alexander Henry forend and a 24-26" barrel in standard calibers (I'm thinking 270) I might spring for one some day. Seems like the perfect pronghorn/muley rifle for the plains! IDShooter

PS - I once shot a single shot .22 a fellow had at the range that was awesome. He said it was a Farquharson, but I've since had people question whether the Farquharson was made in rimfire. I have no idea, but I know it was incredibly well balanced and a joy to shoot. It had a super trigger and shot well despite being over 100 years old. Whatever it was, the maker done good!
 

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You can get extension rings for the Rugers, or, if you can find the old long-tube Leupold 4x scopes, they are supposed to be easy to mount with the standard rings.

Don't have the former but do have several of the scopes that I picked up used at gun shows. Guess I'll just have to get a #1 now.... durn the luck.....
 

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I've had Contenders for years and really enjoy them, both in carbines and pistols. One of them in .223 is about the most accurate gun I've run across (16" Carbine with 3x-9x Burris).

I've had Ruger #3s and #1s in several calibers. Didn't care for the #3s, but still have a #1 in .30-06 that I'll never part with for a number of reasons, including looks and accuracy.

What I've really become fond of over the last few year is the H&Rs and NEFs in various calibers. They are not overly expensive, yet they are quality guns. I have one in .243 that is as accurate as any bolt-gun I've shot and has become a favorite coyote gun. A friend has one in .223 that is his coyote gun and it is a very good shooter. Another buddy has one in .22 Hornet that you couldn't buy from him for any amount of money.

The idea that you only have one shot makes you a better hunter, in my opinion. I will hold off taking a shot and try to get closer with a single-shot. I have passed on shots because they were a bit too far, knowing that I only had the one shot and no follow-up, and didn't want to take a chance on wounding the animal. These are things that we should do anyway and I think the single-shot really brings them home to anyone using one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I very much like the NEFs as well, and have owned them in 223, 30-30 and 270.

The 30-30 I cut and crowned to 19 inches bbl length, and gave to my Dad on his 78th birthday with 2 boxes of ballistic tip handloads. His right eye was failing and he had to shoot left handed. he got 4 more deer with it.

The 223 is the NEF survival rifle, which shoots 3 types of factory ammo under 1 MOA. The 270 had a muzzle break with little effect which added 2 inches to the length, so I sold it.
 

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Loader, here is my biased opinion, for what it is worth.

I bought a used Ruger #1 in .25-06. Couldn't hit a thing with the contract barrel. I scrapped that barrel and mounted a Shilen SS and reamed it out to .25-06AI. Installed the front pressure screw and never needed it. That gun shoots just under MOA with 90 to 120 grainers. I then bought a #1V in .22-250, put extended rings and a Leupold 6.5-20 on it. This gun has around 3k rounds through it and it still shoots 3/4" @ 100 and I have never done any of the forend tricks to it. My third one is a #1V in .223 Rem. Again I put extended rings on it and a Burris fixed 12x. At 5k rounds, I had extreme "Gator-Back" in the throat (my hot handloads). This gun still shot 1/2" up until I scrapped the Rem barrel and installed a Bohler Hammer Forged barrel and reamed it to .223AI. This rifle now shoots 1/4MOA when I do my part and no forend tricks either. I really enjoy my #1s. The varmint models work extremely well on Montana Prairie Dogs. So far my best is 527 yds. with a 50 grain bullet in the .223AI. Will work on farther shots this summer.

Allen F.
 

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single shot

I just bought a NEF Handi Rifle in 30-06, 22" barrel. I have been dying to shoot it, and just got a scope on it today. It must be a loud little critter. Does any one know of a Kanadian outfit that fits other barrels to this rifle. H&R in the States won't touch it because of some licensing nonsense. After our Prime Minister's performance, I won't blame the States for ignoring us in Kanada. KJ
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Canadian friend -

Don't worry we won't forget the incredible kindness you people showed on 9/11...

If you handload, you really don't need any more bbls. The '06 does it all, from 110 gr PSPs at 3300 fps to 220 gr RNs at 2500 you are good for groundhogs to Elk.

How restrictive are your reloading laws?
 

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NEF

loader: Thanks for the encouragement. My Mom had four brothers involved in WWII, and one of them fought in the Korean war. I was five yrs. old when he came to our house after returning from Korea. I remember my Mom running out on to the street and hugging him. He was a big, tough guy, but we all cried that day, even my tough old Dad. Don't some of these clowns nowadays read any history, the true stuff, that is? I realize that I have one of the best all around calibres, and I reload for everything from soup to nuts, so I guess I can struggle along with one barrel for now. I have around 150 different firearms, so I am not usually satiisfied with one of anything (firearms - not wives or jobs!!) So, far, we don't have any real serious restrictions on reloading, but I'm quite sure once some of the busybodies read up on this aspect of "evil guns", we will have plenty of stupid laws coming at us. May God bless the military men and women overseas.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We Yanks have too many warts on our own noses to start cutting them off other folks, especially friends and neighbors. The years have taught me to be a realist, and to abandon the notion of perfection in fellow humans and the nations that govern them, including my own. You live in a beautiful, clean, underpopulated country among people with good, empathetic hearts and courage to match. You may have a few enemies, but you don't create them...for that you have my admiration.

Do you have a similar problem with Encore frames and bbls? The initial investment is higher than the NEF, but the extra bbls are reasonable.
 
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