Ruger Precision Rifle
Ruger Precision Rifle
Gun snobs are gonna hate this rifle! You know who I’m talking about…. those guys with the long range rifles, that cost more than your car, and seem to think that spending a lot of money makes you “tacticool”. Well, their days are coming to an end with the release of the Ruger Precision Rifle. Add a Bushnell Elite Tactical Scope or Burris XTR II Scope and you are seriously into long range shooting for less than $3000 – which is less than what most guys spend on the rifle alone. But can the Ruger Precision Rifle match up to the high dollar rifles? All reviews so far seem to think so…
Ruger has just introduced the Ruger Precision Rifle, with a bolt action, customizable features, in-line recoil path, and cartridge options in .308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .243 Winchester.
“Whether shooting tight groups at 100 yards, or reaching out to steel plates at 1,000 yards or beyond, shooting the Ruger Precision Rifle is a highly satisfying experience,” Ruger CEO Mike Fifer said. “The engineering applied to the action of the Ruger American Rifle brings world-class performance to Ruger long-range marksmanship.”
“Competitive pricing is a part of the Ruger brand. We could have built a semi-custom gun for $4,000, but it would have been a novelty—rarely found in the real world,” said Mark Gurney, Ruger’s director of product management. “We wanted to keep the price of the Precision Rifle reasonable so that it would be available to just about anyone.”
The Ruger Precision Rifle’s upper receiver and one-piece bolt body are CNC-machined from pre-hardened 4140 chrome/molybdenum alloy steel. The lower receiver is machined in two pieces, right and left halves, from 7075-T6 hard-coat anodized aluminum. That method simplifies manufacture, allows more precise control of machining in the magazine well and makes assembly of small components easier as they can be placed in position in one half before the other half is attached.
Development of the Ruger Precision Rifle started with the stated goal of sub-m.o.a. accuracy using American Rifleman’s protocol of averaging five consecutive, five-shot groups. The end product managed to exceed that goal by a fair margin, as internal testing conducted by Ruger has yielded an average of 0.83″ at 100 yds using multiple guns. The sample sent to American Rifleman for testing performed even better than that, achieving an average result of 0.76″ at the same distance using three ammunition loads.
Forgoing a traditional rifle bedding system, which transfers recoil asymmetrically, the Ruger Precision Rifle instead utilizes a linear recoil path to provide the greatest accuracy potential. By directing unwanted movement and vibration straight back into the buttstock, the Ruger’s in-line recoil path minimizes their potential impact on the barrel of the gun as it fires.
“A good bedding system ensures the gun responds the same way during recoil every time, but this gun really isn’t bedded per se. Our gun has a much simpler system, with no friction interfaces between the receiver and stock which can move,” Gurney said. “There is only a buttstock, which is threaded on the back of the receiver, and is such a solid, in-line connection that it is essentially an integral part of the receiver.”
The rifle’s barrel is cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome/moly steel with 5R Rifling. According to Gurney, 5R places a land opposite each of the barrel’s grooves, resulting in less aggressive upset and distortion of the bullet as it engages the rifling, thereby aiding in accuracy. The 5R design also features less sharp-edged lands than those present in conventional-style rifling, reducing powder fouling and jacket failures in quick-twist barrels. The company further optimized the Precision Rifle’s accuracy by utilizing the tightest possible chamber and groove tolerances—also taking extra care to ensure a centralized chamber and minimal headspace. Rigidly affixed to the rifle’s receiver via a barrel nut, the gun’s barrel can be easily replaced by a competent gunsmith using a barrel wrench and headspace gauges.
All Ruger Precision Rifle barrels are medium-contour (0.75″ at the muzzle) and are free-floated within their fore-ends. Twist rates were selected by Ruger to ensure the rifles could stabilize the longer bullets within each chambering that are most popular with long-range shooters. The barrels are threaded at the muzzle (5/8×24 thread pattern) to facilitate the use of compensators or suppressors, and come with a thread protector. A 20-m.o.a. canted Picatinny rail is secured to the top of the receiver by four screws, allowing for increased long-range elevation adjustments with the gun.
Despite all that can go into accurizing a rifle design, it is often the trigger that either makes or breaks a precision firearm—after all, can the rest of a gun truly be considered accurate if a poor trigger makes taking good shots extremely difficult? Fortunately Ruger avoided this potential pitfall altogether by outfitting the Precision Rifle with its fine Marksman trigger. A lever-in-blade design with a user-adjustable pull between 2 lbs., 4 ozs. and 5 lbs., the Marksman trigger installed on our sample gun was superb—breaking crisply at 2 lbs., 7 ozs. Adjustments can be made externally with a wrench that comes integrated into the bolt’s shroud.
The AR Baby
Ruger then married this action to an innovative chassis that is incredibly easy to customize because Ruger had the foresight to make the stock, grip, safety selector, and handguard attachments compatible with any AR-style analogue. Do you prefer a traditional A2 rear stock? Simply swap out the parts. Are you a fan of the Ergo Ar-15 pistol grip? If you can turn a screw, it takes less than five minutes. Would you prefer to use handguard from another manufacturer? It takes minutes to make the change yourself. And yes, you can even use different AR-compatible safeties. The Ruger Precision Rifle offers flexibility in magazine usage as well, claiming to work with Remington M110, Knight SR-15, AICS, and PMAG magazines equally well (the rifle ships with PMAGs).
The stock can be folded to the left side for easy storage and/or transport.
Ruger Precision Rifle Features and Specifications:
• Bolt-action Precision Rifle based on the Ruger American Rifle with easily manipulated, 70-degree bolt lift featuring dual cocking cams and smooth-running, large-diameter bolt body
• Inline recoil path manages recoil directly from the rear of receiver to the buttstock, not through a traditional bedding system, providing the very best accuracy potential
• “Upper” receiver and one-piece bolt are precision CNC-machined from pre-hardened (minimizes distortion) 4140 Chrome/Moly alloy steel
• “Lower” magazine well halves are precision machined from 7075-T6 aluminum, type III hard-coat anodized
• Multi-Magazine Interface functions interchangeably with M110/SR25/DPMS/Magpul and AICS magazines; supplied with two 10-round Magpul PMags
• Highly accurate cold hammer forged 4140 Chrome/Moly barrel with Ruger 5R Rifling at minimum bore and grove dimensions, minimum-headspace and centralized chamber;
• Medium contour (.75” at the muzzle) barrel features 5/8-24 threads and thread protector installed.
• Barrels can be easily replaced by a competent gunsmith using AR-style wrenches and headspace gauges
• Ruger Marksman trigger is externally adjustable, pull weight range is 2.25 to 5.0 pounds; wrench is stored in the bolt shroud
• Left – folding stock hinge accepts any AR-style stock; supplied with fully adjustable Ruger Precision MSR stock with soft rubber butt pad and bottom Picatinny rail
• Customizable ergonomics: May be configured with any AR-style grip, rail and selector;
• Supplied with extended trigger-reach AR-style grip, Samson Evolution Keymod rail, and 45-degree reversible selector
• 20 MOA Picatinny rail secured with four #8-40 screws for increased long-range elevation capabilities.
• Oversized bolt handle for positive bolt manipulation, with 5/16” x 24 thread for easy replacement; disassembly tool stored in the bolt shroud for easy striker channel cleaning
• Magazine well front is contoured for a positive grip or bracing against shooting supports
Getting your hands on a Ruger Precision Rifle is going to be difficult. I’ve been told my people in distribution that Ruger is making 12 precision rifles per day… so only around 360 a month….. not good! I’m sure Ruger will increase their production capacity for this rifle, but it’s going to be a very long time before they are commonly available. If you want a Ruger Precision Rifle, you probably need to get on a pre-order list some where. If you plan on waiting to buy one off the shelf somewhere, you’ll be waiting a very long time.
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