In this Ruger Precision Rifle review, L.P. Brezny proves you can have astounding accuracy at a budget-friendly price point.
The Price of Long Range
If there has been one major area of concern regarding a shooter getting into long-range rifles, it has been in the area of cost. These advanced rifle types can and do often run well into the several-thousand-dollar range. The Remington XM 2010 .300 Win. Mag., for example, carries a price tag of $24,000 and change.
Even when trying very hard to stay within a budget, many rifles—including some of mine—can exceed $3,000, and with a workable scope system and suppressor, this figure can jump again by another $2,500. Therefore, it can be difficult for the average guy to get into this game by way of the dedicated long-range chassis style rifle.
Well, not so fast my friends! Ruger—seeing the obvious benefit of introducing an affordable yet high-quality chassis rifle—has hit upon a workable price point in their new Ruger Precision chassis rifle, which is offered from the factory in your choice of .243 Win., .308 Win., or the new 6.5 Creedmoor.
The Ruger Precision Rifle – Designed for Affordable Precision
Starting from the buttstock to the muzzle, this rifle carries seven patents and is a 100-percent Ruger design that has received a massive amount of attention to precision detail, quality tooling and blow-you-away performance downrange.
Ruger desired to build a rifle that was affordable for the average shooter wanting to get into long-range shooting without leaving quality back on the design table. In other words, the buyer gets a whole lot of product for the money. At a cost of just over $1,200 and change, but with a realized, over-the-counter sale price of under a grand, this rifle is the buy of the century, and you can take that to the bank.
Basing the receiver of the new rifle on a CNC-machined, one-piece 4140 chrome-moly alloy steel, the end result is one tough, non-flexible, barrel-mounting energy transmission system. The chassis system takes recoil energy and sends it in a linear path directly at the recoil lugs and rearward, thus the harmonics—being barrel whip and vibration—are greatly reduced, and the need for standard bedding, as in a normal full-stocked rifle, is non-existent.
The end result of this design is accuracy, and I mean tack-driving, one-hole groups if the shooter can do the deed. In terms of the rifle’s lower receiver, it is designed much like the AR-15, being constructed of 7075 T-6 aluminum. For the most part, the rifle retains so much of the AR-15 controls and styled furniture that components can be changed out for aftermarket, or remain the same. The rifle, being a turn-bolt gun, has much of the same feel as the M110-style military sniper rifle (7.62 NATO).
Outfitting the Test Gun
My test gun arrived from Ruger the last part of July 2015, and at once the rifle got a scope and mounts from Vortex optics. This rifle, like the AR-15/M-16, retains a completely flat receiver, and it runs directly inline with the buttstock comb.
Add the fact that the Ruger receiver retains a 20 MOA tilted upper rail (Weaver), and mounting a scope at first produced a few challenges for me. Using any rings and blocks that are not at least extra high is a complete waste of time. The scope needs to clear the forward section of Weaver rail that spans the length of the barrel as applied to the forend tube, and it also must be high enough to allow the shooter an unrestricted view through the scope.
The solution in this case was to install Vortex tactical extra-high rings. This moved the scope height to a correct level for proper viewing. Another method to address this mounting issue is the use of AR-15 elevated one-piece rings and rail blocks like the type offered by Rock River, Warne sight products and a number of other aftermarket systems.
With sights attached, I proceeded to screw down a forend bi-pod rail, quick release button sling attachments and then adjust the multi-position butt stock to fit my individual shooting needs.
With the new KeyMod style attachment system machined into the tube-style forend, everything went together like a well-tuned clock.
Since the Vortex scope retained a fully adjustable open-style sniper/target turret and etched MOA elevation and windage adjustment dots in the reticle, I simply turned to Hornady Ballistics data online and fed my computer the bullet data to build a firing solution that would then go afield with me within days of obtaining the new rifle.
The Precision chassis rifle uses a 24-inch, Russian-designed R-5 barrel pre-threaded and capped for a suppressor system if desired. I hauled along a .30-caliber can that would allow the use of 6.5 Creedmoor for testing. I had selected the Creedmoor over the .243 Win. or .308 Win. because it matched current advancements in ammunition and also fit target, varmint and future large-game hunting applications.
Performance in the Field
Day one on the range was hot and windy, but for the most part it was a following 15-mph breeze. At 200 yards, the rifle shot sub MOA (1.94) using Winchester 140-grain match ammunition. Moving quickly to 300 yards and switching to Hornady 120-grain A-Max loads, the Ruger chassis rifle smacked steel effortlessly.
With our club rifle range built in the middle of a large prairie dog town, I pulled up two milrads in the Vortex scope on a 300-yard dog and sent a 120-grain pill at a large grass rat that managed to duck just as the bullet exploded behind his head. The next round downrange, at 430 yards, was a different story—the 2.5-milrad holdover enveloped the dog in a cloud of dust and flying rock.
With the scope and rifle now dialed, I pulled for the 600-yard steel, slapped it almost dead center with a 4-milrad hold and then turned my sights toward several bowling pins downrange. At 630 yards my first round went a foot high, but with the splash observed I adjusted to 3.5 milrads and rolled a pin end over end. Conclusion: With three additional days on warm targets, I can confidently say the Ruger precision chassis rifle shoots.
Ruger Precision Rifle Cleaning
Cleaning the rifle amounts to depressing a hinged latch and folding the buttstock alongside the receiver. This allows the shooter to remove the bolt directly out the back of the receiver in one easy motion. This is straightforward and simple and reminiscent of clearing the Ruger American basic bolt from its receiver group.
If there was any issue with the rifle, it was learning that the magazine won't allow single-round feeding if the bolt has been pulled back all the way to the magazine follower stop. Single loading requires that the shooter stop the bolt rearward motion a bit short, send in the round, and it will feed on the breech ramp just fine. Aside from this very small detail, and one that is quickly learned, the rifle is nothing less than a class act in rifle making, design and function.
Ruger Precision Rifle
Trigger: Ruger Single Stage and adjustable; 2.0 pounds on a Timney scale/gauge
Barrel: 24-inch 5-R right-hand twist 1:8”. (Pre-threaded and capped for suppressor)
Receiver: CNC 4140 chrome/moly.
Magazine: (flexible brands 10-round capacity) * Will accept DPMS five-round for big-game hunting)
Sights: Dehorned (none) (Top full length rail (Weaver))
Butt stock: Target style/tactical sniper; fully adjustable for length/drop (hinged for takedown)
Forend: Free-floating tube, KeyMod (Bi-pod mounting rail included)
Pistol Grip: AR-style
Controls: AR-style left-side safety latch; magazine drop latch ahead of trigger housing.
Bolt: Short throw (Ruger American design)
Optics: Vortex Viper PST 4-16×50 EBR-1 Riflescope PST-416S1-A
The Vortex Viper PST with EBR-1 reticle in the second focal plane features a one-piece 30mm tube, aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum and windage and elevation adjustment.
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