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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,

    I recently acquired a Ruger #1A chambered in .357 magnum, built in 1985 as part of a promotion for the California Highway Patrol.  As I understand it, about 1800 of these were made, with the CHP emblem roll engraved on the receiver.  A few escaped the engraver and went out as normal #1As.  I have one of those without the emblem.  I am an avid fan of the #1, currently shooting two others in .220 swift and .45-70.  When I saw this one marked down to &#36299 in my local shop I couldn't walk past it.
    I'm posting this in hope that someone else out there may have some experience loading for it.  Any data for this cartridge in a rifle would be helpful, actually.  Thanks in advance.

Smith
 

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Your gun has the unusual distinction of being the strongest .357 mag built.  

The only similar guns that I can think of were the british "rook and rabbit" rifles, which were lightweight single shots (often very fine) chambered in pistol type cartridges.
 

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As a matter of fact, rooks and rabbits were exactly what I had in mind when I first picked it up.  Crows and jacks are quite plentiful here in southwestern Utah.  I'm searching for proven rifle loads for both little varmints (jacks, crows) and big ones (wild pigs).  

Smith
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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For the pigs, I'd stay away from the JHP's.  They will probably blow up like grenades with full-velocity loads.  Maybe the Nosler Partition handgun bullet will be an exception.

Personally, I'd use the 180-185gr. LBT bullets, with a heapin' helpin' of WW296 or H110 for the piggies.  Some of the jacketed soft points in this weight range might do OK too.

For the varmits..... might be fun to try the lightweight hollowpoints.
 

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Smith, I've had good results with the 180gr Rem HP in bulk from Midwayusa. I stick with some Hercules2400 I've had forever. H110 makes some people happier velocity wise, tho. I sure wish I could run across a #1 in the 357 mag chambering.;)
 

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I'll second Mike's suggestions. When hunting wild pigs think long, heavy hard cast bullets. While I've never hunted them myself, so far, I have listened to several people who have and whom I trust not to blow smoke. Short of a .30 caliber rifle, hogs need lots of hard lead to bring down quickly. Mike's suggestion of a 185-grain LBT-style bullet is an excellent one, along with the 173-grain+ Keiths.

As for non-edible varmints try the Sierra 140-grain JHP. It has given excellent accuracy with any .357 in which I've tried it. For edible small game like rabbit I'd opt for a 158-grain LSWC or RN loaded to mild .38 Special velocities. Such loads will be a great training load for any youngsters you may have about as well.

(Edited by Bill Lester at 7:25 am on Nov. 11, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gentlemen,

I appreciate your replies...I enjoy this forum a great deal.

I am currently loading the BTB 185 and CP 187 with 16.0g H110 for my revolver, based on Mr. Stanton's preferred load.  This appears to be reasonably accurate in the #1, although I haven't yet started serious load development for the particular rifle.  Has anyone gone beyond this for a rifle load?

Mr Lester mentioned training youngsters.  As a matter of fact, I have two sons who are too young to shoot as of yet, (ages 8 weeks and the other two years old) but I look forward to teaching them to shoot responsibly and harvest game properly.  (This rifle would be ideal for that.)  They will also be taught the crucial role our second amendment rights have in preserving the freedom we now enjoy.  I believe it is critical that we teach the young ones, in order to keep alive our heritage for future generations.  (I realize I'm preaching to the choir, but freedom has been on my mind lately.)

As far as the pigs go, my .45-70s do nicely, but this #1 is so light, yet versatile, that it begs to be carried afield.  I realize it's best not to compromise ballistics for convenience, but I would like to optimize the loads on the upper end, even if only for academic reasons.

I'll probably stick to varmints with this one, and I'll try the sierra 140.  Any preferred loads?

Cordially,
Smith
 

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Don't feel you're preaching to the choir. Many shooters are of the notion that guns and hunting will always be part of our culture. Ain't necessarily so! You keep preachin' brother, I do almost on a daily basis to shooters and non-shooters alike.

As for loads with the Sierra 140, I've had very good results using 18.0 grains of H110 with Win. Magnum primers and 13.5 grains of 2400 with standard Winchester primers. All were loaded with either Federal or Winchester cases. Be careful with that H110 recipe, it's at the book maximum in two of my four reloading manuals. Either should be simply smashing on varmints.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bill...

I have now tried the Sierra 140 and really like it.  My loads with H110 often result in pierced primers but with a little more 2400 and magnum primers it works beautifully.  At 2000 fps it turns water jugs into rainclouds and rings far-off steel plates with a vengeance.  Extraction is easy, no appreciable primer flattening, and the brass comes out clean.

I'll soon have the local 'smith look at the firing pin...that's likely the problem.

Tomorrow I'll be out scouting for feral hogs for a Northern Arizona rancher and will probably take this rifle along for the occasional jackrabbit.  I'll let you know how it performs.

Enjoy,

Smith
 

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Do try the 185gr. WFNGC on piggies.  I believe that there are shooters using this in the .35 Rem at velocities over 2,000fps, if memory serves.  

Sounds like a neat gun.
 

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Hello,
Just found this forum. I too have a #1 in .357. Mine is also without the California Highway Engraving. Wife bought it for me about 2 years ago, NIB. It has replaced my .22 for just about everything. Kills cleaner and is as quiet or more so with .38 special loads. I don't use it for anything much bigger that the occasional racoon, woodchuck, or porcupine that needs dispatched. Been fooling around with the 148 wadcutters lately. Thinking about hunting sqirrels with it. It's just a very nice little rifle. Shame they don't run more of them. I'd also like to find a #3 in .44 Mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wray...

    Welcome to the forum.  You did well...I've only found one other fellow, a #1 collector, who has owned one, unfired, and made a healthy profit reselling it.  Now he regrets it.  
    I've noticed that I grab that rifle more often than not, when going out into the sticks.  My occupation takes me into remote areas of Arizona and Nevada fairly often, and I wouldn't think of leaving the truck without something that goes bang.  I'm rarely in bear country, so I don't feel I need a howitzer most of the time.  I only consider the mountain lions to be a minor threat, although my wife had a good scare a couple of years back.  It is quite adequate for rattlesnakes and other unlucky varmints that choose to occupy the area in which I am trying to work.  
   I recently bought another New England Custom Gun rear peep sight to put on the .357.  (The first went on the #1 .45-70.)  It's a great improvement over the factory sight.  I have kept the front sight as is.  
    Nothing larger than a pop can has a prayer out to about 125 yards.  The Sierra 140s do an amazing amount of damage to even the larger jackrabbits.
    I'm testing Ramshot Enforcer powder right now and will post the results when I'm satisfied.  Please share your favorite loads!

Cordially,

Smith
 
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