New Gun: Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 7.62x39mm

New Gun: Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 7.62x39mm

With an eye toward creating a jack-of-all-trades, Ruger recently released its American Ranch Rifle chambered in the potent and prolific 7.62x39mm.

Is Ruger's new American Ranch Rifle the perfect utility firearm?

  • The new 7.62x39mm American Ranch Rifle should be a solid utility rifle, perfect for throwing in the back of a truck and taking shots at coyotes and pigs.
  • Ruger has given shooters the ability to quickly increase the rifle's capacity, making it compatible with Mini Thirty box magazines.
  • The American Ranch Rifle comes with all the features standard to the American line and is highly manageable; with the 16-inch barrel, the gun tips the scales at less than 6 pounds.

If bolt-action rifles are your thing, it’s a great time to be alive. Almost weekly, new variations and chamberings of venerable designs sprout up, opening the platform to yet another segment of the shooting world. Best of all, given the leaps forward in manufacturing processes, bolt actions are both affordable and honest-to-goodness accurate in nearly all their iterations.

One of the major players in the production of this style of rifle has been Ruger, which has come up with some of the most popular economy bolt actions around. The company’s American Rifle line has become a veritable playground for shooters avoiding the poorhouse while getting behind the trigger of a slew of different chamberings.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle 7.62x39mm - 1

The line has allowed the New Hampshire company to really tinker around with the bolt-action concept and has given it a chance to venture into some rarely trod territory. Ruger’s newest chambering for its America Rifle Ranch Model is one such example.

The compact, lightweight utility rifle has recently been married to one of the most prolific intermediate rounds in the history of firearms — the 7.62x39mm. This is an intriguing development, to say the least, and one that is certain to pique the interest of any shooter with the yen for a true jack-of-all-trades rifle.

The 7.62x39mm Ruger American Ranch Rifle should be the ticket for a number of tasks: putting coyotes on heel, thinning the ranks of pesky pigs, or even as a survival gun option. Heck, few could argue, with abundant and cheap ammo, that it wouldn’t make a dandy plinker.

While the rifle ships with a five-round, flush-fit magazine, it is compatible with Ruger’s other famous 7.62x39mm rifle’s magazines — the Mini Thirty. This compatibility gives shooters the ability to increase the rifle’s capacity to 10 and 20 rounds. While many will welcome this adaptability, a number of shooters are certain to have their noses bent out-of-place with Ruger opting for proprietary magazines.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle 7.62x39mm

The Ruger American Ranch Rifle comes with a number of features common to the line, including: cold hammer-forged barrel, adjustable trigger, integral bedding block system, lightweight synthetic stock and threaded muzzle. The last feature is particularly useful, especially when it comes to using the rifle for nuisance animal management, with the 5/8-24 thread pattern compatible with any .30-caliber muzzle device (think suppressors).

The rifle boasts a 16-inch medium-contour barrel, keeping it at a manageable 36 inches in overall length. And at 5.9 pounds unloaded, few rifles are less of a burden, even on long humps. To boot, given the 7.62×39’s relatively mild recoil, the rifle’s light weight shouldn’t turn it into a painful thumper.

As mentioned before, the American Rifle line is the definition of affordable, and the new Ranch model is no exception. With an MSRP of $599, there are few excuses not to add a 7.62x39mm bolt action to your collection.


Ruger American Ranch Rifle
Caliber: 7.62x39mm
Stock: Flat Dark Earth Synthetic
Sights: None-Scope Rail Installed
Barrel Length: 16.12 in.
Material: Alloy Steel
Capacity: 5
Thread Pattern: 5/8-24
Twist: 1:10 RH
Finish: Matte Black
Weight: 5.9 lb.
Overall Length: 36 in.
Length of Pull: 13.75 in.
Grooves: 6
Suggested Retail: $599.00


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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