Guns & Ammo caught up with Senior Editor Garry James at the 2016 NRA Show, where we saw two Ruger No. 1 rifles belonging to famed gunwriters Elmer Keith and Jack O’Connor.
Garry walked us through the two guns, chambered in .375 H&H Magnum, and reminisced about being a young editor for Guns & Ammo and working with Elmer Keith.
The Ruger No. 1 is a single-shot falling-block rifle introduced by Ruger in 1967. The No. 1 was loosely based on the single-shot Farquharson rifle of the late 19th century. The rifle is loaded by actuating a lever underneath the gun that drops the breech block at the rear of the action. A single cartridge is inserted and the block is closed, readying the rifle for firing.
The Ruger No. 1 rifles featured in the video belonged to Elmer Keith and Jack O’Connor, two of the most well-known gunwriters of the 20th century.
Elmer Keith, born in 1899, was known for his work with handguns, particularly revolvers. He is famous for spearheading the development of the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .41 Magnum rounds. Keith was known for his fondness for large-caliber rounds that pushed the limit of handgun cartridges in the mid-20th century.
Keith was also known for his work as a gunwriter for both Guns & Ammo and American Rifleman. In the ’50s and ’60s, Keith wrote a monthly column for G&A and explored new guns and ammunition releases for American Rifleman.
Like Keith, Jack O’Connor was also known for his editorial work in the firearms world. While making a name for himself as an outdoor writer, O’Connor worked as a professor of English and journalism until he quit in 1945 to pursue writing full-time.
O’Connor is known for his position as the shooting editor for Outdoor Life Magazine, where he served for 31 years. He also served as the executive editor of Petersen’s Hunting until his death in 1978.
Above all else, O’Connor was known for his affinity for small-bore hunting rifles, particularly the .270 Winchester, which he helped popularize.