If you’re into precision rifle shooting, you’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of the Ruger Precision Rifle. Featuring an aluminum chassis, AR-style forend, adjustable buttstock, and innovative magazine well that accepts many different styles of magazine, Ruger rocked the shooting world with a very low introductory price. In the world of precision rifle shooting (sometimes called precision rifle shoots or sniper shoots), it’s an exciting rifle because it can get competitors into a sport with a factory-ready rifle. Many competitors would previously be forced to build a rifle from a Remington 700 or other action, an aluminum chassis, and other parts. The Ruger offers almost everything in a reasonably priced package (about $1700 in Canada, $1300 in the US)
Ruger Precision Rifle Features
- Available in 243, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 308 Winchester. Get the 6.5 CM! 20-26″ barrel depending on cartridge
- Empty weight 9.7-11lbs depending on cartridge.
- Medium contour barrel, 5R rifling, threaded at the muzzle for brakes, flash hiders, or suppressors.
- Keymod handguard
- 20 MOA picatinny rail on the receiver
- 3 lug bolt somewhat similar to the Ruger American
- Magwell that supports AICS, M110, SR-25, DPMS, Magpul, and some M14 mags.
- Adjustable trigger from 2.25 – 5lbs
- Bolt retracts into the stock, enabling a true straight-back recoil path
- AR-style safety
- Folding buttstock adjustable for cheek height and length of pull. Bottom rail for rear monopod.
Ruger really brought their ‘A’ game with the usability of this rifle. The AR-style safety is exactly what all bolt action, pistol-gripped rifles need. The rear stock adjusts for length of pull and has an adjustable cheek riser that will help adjust for different shooters and different height optics. I would have liked if the buttpad could be adjusted for height and cant, as I felt the buttpad rode a little low when shooting from prone.
Changing magazines is as easy as most precision bolt action rifles. The fact that it can use so many different styles of magazine is really cool, because it means you can pick higher quality, lower cost, or share magazines. I tested it with some M14 magazines and found it worked just fine!
Mounting optics is just slightly more challenging than a typical bolt action because of the flat top rail that continues through the forend. You may need higher rings than you would typically need mounting on a bolt action rifle without a flat top rail like this one to clear the objective on the scope.
The bolt is easily accessible and is easy to run, but the way the bolt is machined means it kind of grinds/makes a zipping sound as it goes into the rifle. It doesn’t affect the operation of the rifle, but it isn’t quite as silent as other bolt action rifles. I noted the same thing in my review of the Ruger American Rifle.
The trigger pull on the Ruger Precision Rifle, just like the trigger pull on the Ruger American, is excellent. Almost no overtravel, no creep, and adjustable from 2.25 – 5lbs.
Ruger Precision Rifle Accuracy
Part of what makes a rifle accurate is ergonomics: a rifle that fits well, has a great trigger pull, and is solid will be more practically accurate. The other part is theoretical accuracy: what you can get on sandbags pacing your shots out and taking lots of time at the range. This Ruger Precision Rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor punches group after group into 1/2″ – 3/4″ groups. That’s excellent accuracy and it feels really easy when using good glass with the rifle, such as the Vortex Razor HD 6-20×50 I used when testing this rifle.
Competition to the Ruger Precision Rifle
For now, the RPR is in a class completely on its own for the price, but there are some competitors on the horizon. Weatherby teamed up with MDT to offer the Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis rifle, and of course you can always add an aluminum chassis like the MDT HS3 to a barreled action to make your own precision rifle. But there are still some advantages to the RPR. Because it was designed from the ground up, the bolt slides back neatly into the buttstock, the buttstock folds to reduce length and to remove the bolt, the safety is easy to use even with the pistol grip, and most precision rifles lack a keymod forend. For the price point that the Ruger Precision Rifle is at, it offers an unbeatable number of features.