Right now long range precision rifle shooting is running hot. There are several configurations of rifles used for this, but one of the most popular is the precision bolt action rifle built on a chassis. The problem from a buyer’s perspective is that these guns are expensive. An entry level gun starts at about $2,500.00 and they can go up from there.
Until Ruger decided to re-write the rules. The Ruger Precision Rifle is a high performance, chassis-built long range precision rifle that is out of the box ready. The MSRP is $1,399.00, which puts the “street price” close to a grand. One local gun shop is blowing them out the door at $950.00. That means that this gun is selling for a lot less than half of the “going rate” of other chassis-built precision rifles.
Price is one thing, but this gun can run with the top dogs on performance and accuracy, which is really all that matters. I first shot the RPR while I was attending the launch of the new Swarovski X5i long range scope system at the FTW ranch and long range shooting school in Texas. There were a few pre-production rifles available to use as long as we pledged our lives, our fortunes and our scared honor not to write about them until Ruger was ready to launch. We were shooting out to 1,400 yards and we had some very expensive custom rifles on the line as well, yet those Rugers held their own.
Later I was able to get a gun in my hands for some formal shooting, the results of which are posted below. As you can see, even right out of the box this gun is a shooter. The data listed below were the first shots out of the rifle. It was continuing to improve as it broke in and while I have not repeated a formal test, if anything it’s shooting better now after a few hundred rounds. In addition I have three shooting buddies who have bought RPRs, all in 6.5 Creedmoor. Without exception, each one is a 0.5 to 0.7 MOA gun with factory loads.
Mine wears the new Swarovski X5i 5-25X56 P scope. This is by far the best dial up system I have used on a long range scope.
The RPR has a hammer forged barrel with 5R rifling. While a lot of “snobs” turn up their nose at a hammer forged barrel, this is a big part of keeping the cost under control. Besides, what matters are the results. If you have a gun capable of achieving ½ minute of angle accuracy, who cares how the barrel is made?
The RPR is available in three chamberings. The .308 Winchester has a 20-inch barrel. The 6.5 Creedmoor (my choice) has a 24 inch barrel and the .243 Winchester has a 26-inch barrel.
The rifle has a 20 MOA Picatinny rail. What that means is there is elevation already built into the scope mount so that you will have the ability to dial up the scope to a longer distance.
The gun features a “Multi-Magazine Interface,” which means that you can use a multitude of different magazines including M110, SR-25, DPMS and Magpul and AICS magazines. It even works with some M14 magazines. The gun comes with two 10-round Magpul PMAG magazines. I have also tried DPMS pattern 20 round magazines and they work fine.
The three-lug bolt has a 70-degree throw and dual cocking cams. It is easy to operate from prone and with a full diameter bolt body it runs smooth and snag free.
The Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger is externally adjustable with a pull weight range of 2.25 to 5.0 pounds using a wrench that is stored in the bolt shroud. My gun’s trigger pull was 2.5 pounds right from the factory.
The gun is set up so that the recoil path is in line with the bore, which moves recoil energy straight back so it is easier to manage. Recoil is soft in this heavy rifle. There is an extended trigger-reach AR-style pistol grip and a reversible safety.
The buttstock folds on a hinge to shorten the rifle for easier carrying or storing. It also makes it easy to remove the bolt when you have the cheek piece raised. The stock locks into the open position. The buffer tube is an AR style and will accept any AR-style stock. The buttstock is adjustable for length of pull as well as comb height.
Other than bolting on an optic and adding ammo there is nothing a shooter must do to make this gun competitive in long range shooting. A turn-key chassis-built rifle that can run with the big dogs for a grand or less is game changing. I expect that a lot of other gun companies are scrambling to play “catch up” in the market.
I know Savage and Weatherby are both introducing new chassis guns in this price point. The Weatherby is chambered for .223 Remington and .308 Winchester. The Savage I shot was in 6.5 Creedmoor, which is the hot cartridge right now. It’s also in .308, .300 Winchester and .338 Lapua.
I will not be surprised to see more gun makers follow. Things have changed in this arena and this market should be strong in the future.
Ruger Precision Rifle
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
411 Sunapee Street
Newport, NH 03773
Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor.
Magazine Capacity: 10. Larger capacity magazines available.
Stock: Folding. Adjustable Length of Pull and Comb Height.
Barrel: Cold Hammer- Forged, 5R Rifling.
Barrel Length: 24.00-inches.
Overall Length: 42.25-inches to 45.75- inches depending on stock position.
Folded Length: 34.60-inches.
Weight: 10.60 pounds.
Length: of Pull: 12.00-inches to 15.50-inches.
Twist rate of rifling: 1:8-inches (6.5 Creedmoor).
Shooting Results Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor
Range test results for three, 5-shot groups at 100 yards.
Machine front rest with sand bag. Toe bag in rear.
Cartridge Vel. @ 15′ (ft/s) Group Size In Inches Smallest Largest Average
Hornady 140-grain A-Match 2704 0.8 1.0 0.9
Nosler 140-grain Match HPBT 2611 0.6 0.8 0.68
Velocity in feet per second. Oehler 35P chronograph, with first screen 15 feet from the muzzle. Accuracy in inches, three, 5-shot groups.
Sunny, slight gusting wind, 75 degrees Fahrenheit.