Ruger American Predator – Very Impressive Bang For The Buck

The Ruger American Predator Rifle won’t win any sexy rifle contests but it’s a shooter and you won’t need to rob a bank to afford one.

Sometimes we get a rifle in that doesn’t look overly sexy in the packaging, but then proceeds to blow your socks off. The Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor is one such weapon. When it comes to accuracy, this thing is a monster.

Left side of the Ruger American Predator Rifle where you can see the bolt release and safety.

The American Predator ships in a cardboard box, and is very much a no frills gun. At an MSRP of $529, and a street price closer to $429, I wouldn’t expect much. The Ruger fits in with a particular niche of economy class rifles, right with the Thompson Center Compass and the Savage Axis 2. I like that we can now buy quality rifles at this price point, but one should not expect Mercedes Benz level extras.

You can clearly see the integral V-shaped bedding blocs that match up with machined out slots on the action. Not pretty but very functional.

The Ruger comes in a green plastic stock, that in a worse mood I would call cheap. It is not, however, flimsy. Looks are deceiving on this one. The stock is thin and small, but the rigidity is good. In fact, it is better than others at this price point. The comb is undersized for proper cheek weld, but that can be fixed with some thin foam and duct tape. Don’t laugh, that is how we adjusted them on the M40A1 back in the USMC. I didn’t see functional adjustable cheek pieces until 2006. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it works. Inset into the stock is a plastic rotary magazine, with a 4 round capacity.

The blade in the trigger which is much like a Savage or a Glock, allows you to have a lighter trigger pull that is still safe. The author didn’t even notice engaging the “blade.”

The trigger on the Ruger American Predator is user adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds. I left mine at the out of the box setting, which was 4.5 pounds. The trigger is crisp, with no take-up. There is a blade in the face of the trigger that acts as a safety, much like a Glock or Savage. I have heard complaints about this, but I have none. It is the kind of thing you don’t even notice when shooting, and not out of the normal at the price.

The barrel comes from the factory threaded 5/8-24 which is awesome because it means that you can add your own muzzle brake or suppressor without needing to pay a gunsmith $80-$150 to chuck it up in a lathe and thread it for you. That’s added value and we think all rifles should come threaded with a thread protector cap.

The barrel is on the thin side, which initially had me concerned about accuracy. But it does help keep the gun light. In 6.5 Creedmoor, out test model tips the scales at a svelte 6 ½ pounds. A nice touch, the barrel is threaded from the factory for suppressors or muzzle brakes.

The bolt is a three-lug configuration, with a 70-degree throw. You aren’t going to confuse the Ruger American for your custom Surgeon in the dark, but I again have no complaints. The bolt is smooth enough, the handle is small but functional, and it fed from the magazine with no issues.

The real value proposition of this gun came from the accuracy though. Ruger says MOA accuracy, which is impressive at this price. But with Hornady 140 grain Match, our test model did ½ MOA, over and over. And it did it again at 600 yards. For a $450 dollar gun, under 7 pounds, that is extremely impressive.

The Ruger American turned in numerous 1/2 MOA groups at 100 meters.

 

1/2 MOA group at 600 meters.

Given the accuracy at the price, I am willing to call this a new standard in economy guns. Is it a work of art? No. Does it work every time and punch above its weight on precision? Yes, it does. And for the dollar, you can afford a mountain of training ammo.

Learn more about the Ruger American Predator Rifle, click here.

***Visit GunsAmerica to purchase your next Ruger American Rifle***

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Charlie BROWN April 22, 2018, 7:57 pm

    I have a 6.5 creedmore in a relatively inexpensive Savage. with Vortex Viper Optics. Honest to gosh it is hard to miss with that round.

  • Jake April 16, 2018, 1:02 pm

    Clay;
    Are there any plans for Ruger to produce this or any of their bolt guns in .224 Valkyrie?

  • Phantom 30 April 16, 2018, 12:23 pm

    Your article is using the discontinued model with the old magazine the current model has AI style 3 and 10 round magazine options. I sold my M40 to get one of these but in 6mm Creedmoor. Put a JP recoil eliminator on it and the recoil is so light you can easily spot your own shots. Its shoots 1/4 MOA groups. I mounted a Millett 6×25 scope which is actually longer than the end of the stock, but it makes aim small miss small reality.

  • Ricky Price April 16, 2018, 10:23 am

    I like a 24′ barrel on a long range rifle.

  • Zupglick April 16, 2018, 10:23 am

    Just another Barbie Gun. Since I don’t like tracking wounded game, I don’t use anything less than 7.62.

    • AMART April 16, 2018, 11:37 am

      That comes down to the shooter.. not the caliber.

  • Gary D Giannini April 16, 2018, 8:50 am

    Forgot to mention Suppressed !!

  • Gary D Giannini April 16, 2018, 8:49 am

    We have been Tack driving 500 yards with the Ruger 6.5 creedmoor in 2.5″ groups it’s an awesome gun for the price

  • Tom April 16, 2018, 7:48 am

    I bought a Ruger American in 308 just to try one out. I figured at that price I could always use it in one of the farm trucks. I like the little rifle. It’s light handy and makes for a nice little truck or camp gun. It works as advertised. However there are some cons to mine. Mine shoots 3 shots under an inch at 100yds with decent ammo un suppressed. If I add a suppressor it opens up considerably. The weight of the suppressor causes the barrel to touch the stock in the forearm area. I am sure inletting the forearm area a bit would fix this. Second problem is the rotary magazine. The latch on the magazine is thin at the piviot pin. I have had two break just by being placed in the gun with three rounds in the mag. Very poor designed latch. My final issue is that the bolt doesn’t lock when on safe. It constantly opens while carrying it slinged on my shoulder. I end up carrying it cradled in my arms and find myself checking it constantly. All in all for the money it’s a fair value. If Ruger would do away with the magazine and make it a fixed magazine, even without a floor plate it would be much better. Add a bolt lock while on safe and it would be about perfect. One of my daughter in laws has latched on to mine and uses it for deer hunting.

  • Tom Evans April 16, 2018, 6:39 am

    Clay, I look forward to all your posts and actually purchase some products you evaluate. I find your reviews to be spot on with the products I get and that’s great for the whole community. Keep up the good work.
    How about an in-depth review of some really high-end stuff like the Surgeon Scalpel, or a 6.5, Weatherby Magnum?
    Great job!!!!!

  • Altoids April 16, 2018, 6:36 am

    Finally, a review on a rifle that doesn’t break the 401k.

  • bbbs53 April 16, 2018, 5:02 am

    Come on Clay, a club is a weapon, a rifle is a rifle.

  • Jnagel32 April 16, 2018, 3:45 am

    Do you have any recommendations on a radial muzzle brake that is just a screw on and takes no machining for this rifle?

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