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Does anyone have a real feel for the level of interest in the Ruger #1? I am a huge #1 fan (see post of latest #1 project) but my weird interests are not always enough to justify a company keeping a model around. I remember when I grew up (I’m 37) Ruger would have 30-40 different #1 configurations cataloged. Now, it is down to a handful of distributor exclusive models each year. Perhaps the people I associate with are too like minded, but it seems like everyone I talk to misses the #1. I went to one of my local gun shops that usually has a few #1’s on the rack only had one. Also, not too many years ago, when there would be a decent selection, there were always a couple used ones on the used gun rack. Well, today they had one in .270. Only one new or used in stock. That seems to me that there is still “strong” demand, at least in my area. They also seem to move pretty good on gun broker.

So, do I live on a strange island of #1 fans, or do you all see similar interest in your area?


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The #1 is one of my faves. I think it is greatly misunderstood by those under 40.

It's a beautiful, functional, and interesting work of firearms art!
 

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I think you live on an island.......I can't remember the last time I saw a #1 in a LGS. I have friends that didn't know what a #1 was until I told them. About three years ago I came across a #1 International Red Pad on G/B. I believe it was chambered in .257 Bob, unfired with beautiful wood. I loved the gun at $800, but when it ran over $1500 I bowed out. I'm not impressed with the wood on the new ones, so I will continue to search out a nice used one.


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Well I might be on the island with you, crazy about the No.1's but there is a fear of them fading away. A few years ago there was rumors of Ruger dropping the line but it didn't happen, if I remember right I heard that Ruger was going to put out 5 or 6 different calibers each year not repeating any caliber, but not sure. I believe that with the new generation's obsession of black pistols and tactical guns there has been a loss in the appreciation for beautiful blued and wooden guns. That makes for a very sad day in my opinion but I do have faith, Ruger is introducing more firearms in more different calibers and configurations, let's pray that they stay with their tried and true firearms that they have been producing for over 50 years.
 

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I believe it has a loyal almost cult-like following but within the context of the firearms market as a whole it's a small group of aficionados. Like any large company Ruger is going to focus its efforts on where it can make the most money and that must not be the #1 or they wouldn't have scaled back on the product line. At least it hasn't disappeared entirely and perhaps there will be an uptick in interest in the future. But I agree there are a lot of shooters out there (mostly under 40) who have never seen or heard of a Ruger #1.
 

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Long live the #1. I now only own two but have had many in the past getting to old to hunt but will always have one or two great guns.
 

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I am a No. 1 collector of sorts. I have watched the MSRP almost double in the last few years, and noted that those who were previously buying/owning them were dropping out. I have seen this with a lot of things besides guns, but with that increase, although many stop buying who had done so before, it brings in new people who perhaps wanted a Sharps or Dakota and found them escalating out of THEIR price range and dropped down to the No. 1. I believe because of the rapidly increasing cost of the No. 1 and the above issues that it would be difficult to gauge the interest in the rifle, but the buyers out there for it are probably more affluent now than at any other time as it has moved into the realm of those (who can afford it) with more money to spend. It isn't going to get less expensive.
 

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Classic single shots all have a cult following, but, as Wave mentions, it's a drop in a very large bucket in terms of interest and sales. We have several current production Winchester 1885s made by Miroku and they have been doing the limited production, changing cartridges every other year or so thing a lot longer than Ruger. They've been a more expensive gun than the Ruger in the past, but now Ruger is catching up in price. Have also had a couple No 1s which I also enjoyed and wish I had kept.

Honestly, if you want a No 1, pay the price, now, and forget about the No 1 ever going back to a regular production gun as it was in the past. Personally, I'm glad Ruger hasn't pulled the plug, completely, on the No 1. I suspect that, sooner or later, it's going to go the way of the Red Label.
 

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I got hooked on the #1 a couple years ago but I always liked the looks of a #1. It seems like Ruger lost interest in the #1 after Bill Ruger passed. This was his creation and if he were still with us I think there would be more options in a #1.
 

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With the however many million guns Ruger intends to make and sell each year it amazes me that any No. 1s are still being made. We are fortunate that curmudgeon as he was, Bill insisted on producing single action revolvers and No.1s despite everyone in the industry telling him that it was a foolish choice.
As has been mentioned above few under the age of 40 even know what a No.1 is and that isn't going to change in the near future because you can't show up at the range with one, runs a couple of mag dumps and take a selfie before rushing off for a latte.
My crystal ball is apparently broken as I expected there to be a lot more guns like the No.1, K frame S&Ws and such saturating/depressing the used market as young'uns inherited their grandfather's collections and traded them for plastic wonders. Where are all those guns that never get to a range anymore?

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have hope. First, as a disclaimer, I am "only" 37 years old. I know that as a #1 fan, I am in the minority as far as age. I think the reason there is a "lack of interest" is that those under 40 have never seen them or are aware that they exist. If you will indulge me while I tell a story, I am fortunate that I am able to sneak out and shoot during lunch breaks. We will ignore the possible consequences of what is in my truck on any given day. I had a woman who used to work for me. She and her boyfriend, both younger than me, had gotten into shooting. Guess what they had? Polymer framed pistols (XD's) and had each built an AR. Well, occasionally, she would go with me on a lunch run to the range. She had never shot a bolt gun before. And you know what? She fell in love with the 1911 and especially the hi-power. Its all a matter of exposure. Her world has been opened up to what else is out there. I think a lot of it is just exposing people to what is out there and that what is the latest and greatest isnt the only game in town.

Also, I wonder if there will be a resurgence in the Ruger #1. I have heard/read that the hipster movement is starting to pick up hunting. This is the next extension of the field to table movement that has been going for a couple years now. Based on my limited exposure to hipsters, I think some of them would be very attracted to a gun like the #1. Time will tell.

Either way, I am also expecting a lot of these great older guns to start hitting the market, but I am not waiting.
 

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I have always been a fan of #1's. I have a medium Sporter in .338 WM, which was the only centerfire rifle I owned for years. I mostly used it for deer hunting, but when I bought it 25 years ago I had dreams of going elk hunting. Now that I have gone elk hunting, I re-sighted my .338 for an elk load and I bought a used #1 light Sporter in .270 as my dedicated deer rifle.

When I went elk hunting last year we went by horse through an outfitter. He wanted to check our guns before putting them in a scabbard. He was admiring my gun and said I was the first hunter he had with a #1, and mine was the first one he had ever held. Younger guy with probably younger clients? He said synthetic stocked bolt actions were very popular with his clients.

But I don't see #1's in local gun stores or at gun shows like I used to several years ago. Maybe it's because I live in Illinois where we are limited to shotguns or BP rifles for hunting so there isn't much demand for hunting rifles here? I used to see a nice selection of hunting rifles and shotguns around the area, along with single and double action revolver, but over the last few years it seems the guns being offered for sale are semi auto's and AR type of rifles. Still see a variety of O/U, pump and semi auto shotguns at the LGS and shows, but not like I used to.

Nothing against modern tactical type of semi auto pistols and rifles, (my night stand drawer has a Springfield XDM sitting in it every night), and I built an AR which I use for coyote hunting, but I just prefer wood and blued steel hunting rifles and shotguns. Definitely noticed a decline in the number of these traditional type of sporting firearms being for sale.

Wish I would have scraped together the money when I was younger to buy a classic side by side bird gun when I was seeing them on a regular basis.
 

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You younger guys who want a #1 someday should buy one when they see one, or you will be saying what I said in my previous post about a good side by side
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I dont know if I am young or old at 37, but I am always on the lookout for one. It was interesting as the other day I was reading a review of the Henry Single Shot rifle and the author (American Rifleman or Hunter, cant remember) made the comment that the single shot is making a comeback. Hope so.
 

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Henry has done a lot to revive the interest in the older style weapons, and they seem to be selling them well. Haven't had the chance to handle their single shots, but I have a golden boy .22M. Nice gun and I like it, but I gave up trying to buy a Winchester 9422M at a price I could afford. I hope the popularity of the Henry spurs some one at Brownchester to bring back some of their historical guns.
 

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Henry has done a lot to revive the interest in the older style weapons, and they seem to be selling them well. Haven't had the chance to handle their single shots, but I have a golden boy .22M. Nice gun and I like it, but I gave up trying to buy a Winchester 9422M at a price I could afford. I hope the popularity of the Henry spurs some one at Brownchester to bring back some of their historical guns.
Funny how that works, isnt that what Bill Ruger did to great success?
 

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brnwlms, from your earlier post I would say you are a shooting enthusiast and it's good to see someone your age being involved in the shooting sports. I don't know if you hunt and fish, but I hope are. I'm hearing that the number of hunting and fishing licenses being issued is down anong the younger generation.

I own guns because I hunt. If I didn't hunt I doubt if I would own any guns other than maybe a pistol and rifle to go target shooting with.

And it's probably just me, but I doubt if didn't enjoy hunting so much if just being a target shooter if I would be involved in wildlife conservation efforts or even supporting the 2nd Amendment as I am.

Have a good one!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you CWPhelps. I am what I guess you would call a student of the gun. I love to shoot and hunt. I shoot at least once a week, usually more. I am also a huge gun accumulator. I dont want to say collector as that suggests that they dont get used, merely looked at. Sorry, mine get shot as much as I have time for. Also, I am a huge reloader. I currently reload for 63 cartridges, and I dont have time to load for anyone else. I love to hunt, but unfortunately, I struggle with that due to places to hunt. Locally, in Southwestern Michigan, its mostly private land with a lot of competition and for one reason or anther, I have been pushed out of my traditional hunting areas. I used to go to Wyoming every fall, but travel is challenging with a two year old with another on the way in October. On the plus side, my two year old son already seems to show an interest in guns and firearms and is already reloading with a smile on his face. Have some great video of it. Personally, I cant think of a better legacy to leave my children.
 

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Yes William Ruger did just that. Couldn't get a Colt SAA, but I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk to hunt deer during pistol season and a SuperSingleSix to practice with. I could afford having single action Colt-like revolvers thanks to Mr. Ruger. Still looking for a Colt though.
 

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You are my daughter's age. Been through what you going through now. It is hard to find places to hunt and the time to do so. I'm a farm loan officer at a small bank in central Illinois, and I own some farmland myself. Access to land for pheasant and dove hunting, but pheasant numbers are down. I belong to a hunting club in Wisconsin where I can hunt deer and turkey, hunt the Shawnee forest in southern Illinois for in state deer and turkey. Hunt snow geese in the spring in the fields around my area depending on the flight. Been going out to Colorado with my brother and nephews for elk. But with travelling and out of state licenses, it gets pretty expensive. Good talking with you
 
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