Over the years I have owned and played with many Ruger Singleshots, finding out in the process that they had some peculiarities. First of all, they do not like a hard rest when sighting in. Second, the forearms, if too tight against the barrel, will cause the shots to string vertical. This seems more prevalent in the smaller calibers. As you notice, the forearm is attached to the hanger with a screw that is at an angle. The tighter this screw is pulled down, the more pressure it puts on the front of the forearm against the barrel. When this pressure exceeds about seven pounds, the shots will string vertical. Also in the case of the No.3, there is a barrel band that can cause trouble if tight against the barrel. Before doing any modification to the forearm, turn the screw out until it is loose, then turn it back in until it's just snug. Mark in your mind where the slot is. Now shoot some three shot groups from a soft rest, like a folded over pillow. If the groups are circular, leave the forearm alone. If the shots string or the groups are overly large continue with the suggestions below.
On the No.1, the following has reduced vertical stringing. First remove the forearm and examine it. You will notice that it is designed so the back of the forearm butts against the receiver under a lip and fits up the forearm hanger extending from the receiver. These are the points you will be working with. Take some sandpaper and remove all of the finish, but no wood, on the back of the forearm where it butts against the receiver. Apply a couple of coats of Brownell release to the front of the receiver and around the sides where the forearm butts against. Mix a small amount of Brownell's Acraglas Gel and apply a coat on the back of the forearm. Put the forearm back on, with a couple of business cards between the barrel and forearm tip, snug it down lightly. When the Gel starts to set up, scrap the excess off of the outside. Let it set up for 24 hours. After setting up, remove the forearm and clean up any excess Gel on the inside. Now for the tricky part...Remove any finish that is in the slot in the forearm that the hanger fits down into, but no wood. Apply lots of release to the entire hanger and spring! The idea is to get Gel in the bottom and on the sides of the slot on the hanger forward the spring, but not up into the ejector spring. This is why I say to use a small amount of Gel! Put the two business cards back in and snug the screw up again. Let all this set up for 24 hours. After all is set up, remove the forearm and clean up any excess Gel. Put the forearm back on and snug up the screw. Take a couple of dollar bills and see if they will slide between the forearm and barrel, all the way down to the receiver. If not...with a scrapper remove enough finish and wood from the inside of the forearm until the bills will slide down to the receiver. It's best now to spray a few coats of lacquer on the inside of the forearm to seal the wood.
Now shoot some groups....are the groups, more or less circular? (Remember, a soft rest!) If they are, you can begin your load development. In rare cases this method does not stop the stringing.
If you encounter one of these finicky pieces, place the rifle in a well padded, strong vice at the receiver, top side up. Remove the forearm. Apply plenty of release to the barrel from the forearm tip back at least 4 inches. On your bathroom scales, fill a coffee can with enough lead to weigh seven pounds. Apply Gel to the inside of the forearm from the tip back two inches. Tie your can to a heavy string and slip a large loop over the forearm. Put the forearm back on the rifle with the string near, but not in the Gel. Let the can hang clear the floor. You might have to support the tip of the barrel. A step ladder works well for this. When the Gel is set up, the floated forearm will be putting an even seven pounds of pressure on the barrel at the forearm tip at the pad you put it. This method has worked on all the Ruger's I have owned and many of my friend's. There is one more step to do on No.3's. With a Dremal or round file, remove enough metal from under the barrel band to keep it from touching the barrel. Remember to use a soft rest when sighting in.
Best Regards from The Hammock........James
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