For 2017, the Ruger Precision Rifle will now be available in one of the most popular chamberings: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington.
Ruger has gone a long way in opening the gates to the everyman who looks to bang steel at 1,000-plus-yards out.
Although the Ruger Precision Rifle still runs a pretty penny relative to the rest of the rifle market, in the scheme of chassis rifles, it is definitely at the affordable end. And the New Hampshire gunmaker has made certain that “economical” doesn’t mean “cheap” when it comes to its tactical bolt-action. Going on its second year of production, the platform in all its chambering options has proven an accurate and affordable choice.
And in 2017, the line has expanded in an inevitable direction. Like the majority of newly minted modern rifles, Ruger is releasing its Precision Rifle in a 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem. variant. The move certainly will keep the rifle well fed, as the round is as common as cornflakes, given the popularity of the AR.
Shooters with their wallets already broken open for Ruger’s new black rifle darling will have to keep a few points in mind when it comes to taking advantage of the ubiquity of ammo. The rifle’s 20-inch cold hammer-forged barrel has a 1:7 twist, compared to the more common 1:9. Thus, it is set up to handle the heavier, longer end of the 5.56/.223 bullet spectrum. It is ideal for stabilizing 77- to 90-grain projectiles, giving the rifle fodder to live up to its long-range potential.
Ruger has tailored another feature of the rifle to its potential projectiles with its magazine design. The 10-round AI-style Precision Rifle magazine is a bit roomier in length, ensuring the longer, higher ballistic coefficient projectiles load and feed properly.
Potentially, the small-bore variant of the Precision Rifle could be a bit more challenging to print tight groups at the extreme end of its range compared to the rifle’s .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor iterations. To be sure, wind drift and bullet drop calculations will have to be precise for the 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. Precision Rifle to excel at a country mile. But, like the whole line of rifles, Ruger has made sure it has armed shooters with a full range of tools to ensure accuracy once the math is done.
Like the previous Precision Rifles, the new edition has a free-floated barrel, left-folding stock with adjustable comb (height and length of pull), ergonomic pistol grip and Precision Rifle handguard. It is also outfitted with Ruger’s Hybrid Muzzle Break, 20 MOA scope base and the Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger, which can be dialed between 2.25 and 5 pounds.
Perhaps the real hidden virtue of the new Ruger rifle is its potential shootability. The 5.56/.223 rounds are known as being extremely forgiving in the first place, but combined with the Precision Rifle’s in-line recoil path — facilitated by its AR-style stock — the bolt-action looks to be a true kitten.
Like the rest of the Ruger Precision Rifle family, the new 5.56/.223 variant has an MSRP of $1,599.
Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem.
Stock: Folding, Adjustable Length of Pull and Comb Height
Barrel Length: 20 in.
Barrel: Cold Hammer-Forged, 5R Rifling
Handguard: Ruger Precision Rifle Short-Action
Twist: 1:7 RH
Weight: 9.8 lbs.
Height: 7.30 in.
Overall Length: 39.25 – 42.75 in.
Length of Pull: 12-15.50 in.
Folded Length: 31.60 in.
Width: 3.30 in.
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