Ruger struck upon a heck of a package when it introduced the American Rifle a few years back.
The Connecticut company delivered an accurate and practical bolt-action rifle that had all the bells and whistles, including a move away from proprietary features. The one thing, however, Ruger didn’t include as a part of its new line was a hefty price tag.
The American Rifle remains one of the most affordable bolt-actions on the market. And it is a line that continues to expand to fit a large swath of the shooting and hunting community.
Ruger’s latest enlargement of the American Rifle line is its recently introduced Predator. The rifle includes the features that made the line’s growth explode in popularity; but Ruger has thrown in a couple extras that make it appeal to predator hunters and long-range shooters.
Along that line, the primary aspect likely to get coyote hunters and the like howling is the Predator’s barrel. Ruger has incorporated a couple of twist into its new firearm in an attempt to make it more accurate and useful.
First off, the cold-forged barrel is heavier than any other in the American line. This addition should give the rifle superior harmonics and aid in mitigating heat build up after shooting long strings. Even with a heavy barrel, Ruger has kept an eye on maintaining the Predator's field-rifle chops. The gun tips the scales at a svelte 6.35 to 6.62 pounds – depending on caliber – with the barrels taper keeping its weight within reason.
The other feature of the barrel certain to get ear perked up is the inclusion of threading at the muzzle. This makes the rifle suppressor ready right out of the box, a feature certain to win fans among the growing crowd who use the accessory for hunting. The threads are standard for respective calibers, 1/2″-28 for its .22 and .204 rifles and 5/8″-24 on rifles chambered for larger calibers.
Presently, the Predator version is available in six calibers – .223 Rem., .204 Ruger, .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win.
The Predator line boasts a moss green composite stock and also comes outfitted with a one-piece aluminum scope rail. But it also has retained a number of features that have become highly popular in other versions of the American Rifle.
The line comes with the Ruger's Marksman Adjustable Trigger standard, allowing the pull weight to be modified from between three and five pounds. The rifle utilize the company’s Power Bedding system, stainless-steel bedding blocks that positively locate the receiver and free float the barrel.
The Predator retains the Ruger American Rifle's three-lug, 70-degree bolt that provides ample scope clearance. The bolt also utilizes a full diameter body and dual cocking cams for smooth, easy cycling from the shoulder. The rifle has a four-round (five-round for .223 Rem. and .204 Ruger) rotary magazine that fits flush with the stock and offers the smooth feed.
The Predator is slightly more expensive than the standard model of American Rifle. But with an MSRP of $489, the firearm is extremely well priced, even for the tightest of budgets.