Ruger No. 1 Hitting Power – .45-120 vs .243 Comparison

Shooting is fun. Shooting steel gongs is fun. Shooting steel gongs with a Ruger No. 1 custom chambered for the old, buffalo-era .45-120 cartridge (think Quigley Down Under) is even funner!

In an effort to compare hitting power, I take two Ruger No. 1 rifles – one chambered for the .45-120 cartridge hurling a 535 grain cast bullet and the other chambered for .243 Winchester using a 100 grain jacketed bullet. This represents two ends of the ballistics spectrum when it comes to bullet solutions.

Both cartridges will take down big game, up to and including moose, but do it in different ways. The 100 grain bullet from the .243, traveling at 3,000 fps, causes a lot of meat destruction due to its high velocity. The hard cast 535 grain 45 caliber bullet with a home-made gas check, on the other hand, travels at roughly half the speed but makes up for it with energy delivered and by punching a sizable hole with deep penetration, even if it doesn’t expand a great deal.

To the benefit of the sustenance hunter, a slower-moving 45 caliber cast bullet causes very little meat destruction. Using it, you can basically “Eat right up to the hole” since the meat surrounding the bullet wound does not get turned into jelly.

Another aspect of this video is the high degree of accuracy shown using peep sights on a long-barreled rifle. In this example you can see the peep-sight-equipped .45-120 shooting a tighter group than the scoped .243 rifle. The choice of aperture size when using the Lyman peep sight is also explained. All shots are taken at 100 yards at an 8″ diameter steel gong.

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