Nothing is perhaps as “American” as the AR-15, but not all of us want a semi auto with a modular design. So what about another “American gun”?
Ruger has recently introduced a 6 and a quarter pound bolt action rifle which can be had in .243; .270; .308 and .30-06 and has a user adjustable trigger.
The new Ruger American Rifle puts a new spin on America’s rifle; after all wasn’t the bolt action the gun that shaped America? Oh, by the way, the Ruger American Rifle puts shots on target at under a Minute of Angle (under 1” at 100 yards), and costs less than $450 (MSRP), a reasonable cost, and in many cases, a superior price point.
The rifle comes with a Weaver base and Winchester 70 style mounts. That’s a bit interesting considering that Ruger bolt actions typically come with Ruger style rings and mounts. The Ruger American also makes use of the famous rotary rifle magazine that the Ruger 10-22 made a staple in America. The Ruger American has got some American value too: it features an ultra fast lock time ignition system; a free floated barrel and an ultralight stock.
The Ruger American uses an investment cast receiver with a few angles to keep the rigidity in the fully bedded stock, as well as a special gas venting area on the bolt head to help with a ruptured case extraction. The bolt is fairly substantial and the dual cams are insurance against a bound bolt or striations due to bolt misalignment. The tang mounted safety and bolt release are easy to actuate and unlike many other rifles, the bolt is easy to take apart and service. The tang safety is in the right spot and the Ruger American has a cocked striker indicator. The Ruger American is also perhaps putting a slap on the face of the Remington 700 with a passive trigger safety which prevents the accidental release of the trigger.
Speaking of the Ruger American trigger, it’s adjustable from about 3.2 lbs. to 5.5 lbs. via a screw under the action to allow a lot of customization for the shooter. The use of high quality polymers in the stock and the four round magazines in the Ruger American is kind of what Ruger is good at. The innovative features that make Ruger American rifles interesting are the same types of innovations that made Ruger such a powerhouse in the industry.
The Ruger American stock is super lightweight and uses an overmolded set of stainless steel blocks to secure the action to the stock. Of course the stock is built for free floating the barrel and action mating areas. The barrel represents a pretty major investment for Ruger on behalf of the Ruger American: the cold hammer forged barrel is something of a new thing for Ruger and gives a nearly perfect bore finish for enhancing the accuracy. It’s part of the reason the Ruger American can guarantee sub minute of angle at 100 yards. The rifle in its entirety is under 6.5 pounds which is virtually unheard of for a bolt action with a 22 inch barrel.
The bottom line is that the Ruger American is making a legitimate statement for Ruger, they have been so innovative in the pistol realm of late, but they have just launched something set to turn the traditionalist’s heads rather than turning the traditionalists on their heads. If the Ruger American has its way, it will be crashing through brush and slung over the backs of hunters everywhere in North American by the end of the year. At such a low price point and so many features dialed in, it’s not going to be long before it has a loyal and outspoken following.