The New Ruger Precision Rifle–Everything Done Right?

With reasonable weight, an easily adjustable stock are excellent accuracy, the Ruger Precision Rifle would make a great gun for almost any long range chore.

With reasonable weight, an easily adjustable stock are excellent accuracy, the Ruger Precision Rifle would make a great gun for almost any long range chore.

Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Ruger Precision Rifle

Read more at Ruger: http://www.ruger.com/micros/rpr/

It’s a good feeling to be somewhere with the most striking woman in the place on your arm. It’s also fun to be at a gun show and have a gun everyone wants to look at and buy, even if that gun is not for sale. A few weeks back, I had that exact same experience. I always get a table at the Greensboro Gun Show, because it’s a great gun show and I always need more room in my safe. On Thursday, before the show, I picked up my “test and evaluation” Ruger Precision Rifle. I decided to put it on the table without a price tag to see what the reaction might be and I was amazed. I’m certain I could have sold that rifle ten times over.

Everything you need and nothing you don’t a full length 20 MOA rail, adjustable stock, AR 15 grip and front tube, and remarkable accuracy.

Everything you need and nothing you don’t a full length 20 MOA rail, adjustable stock, AR 15 grip and front tube, and remarkable accuracy.

The left side of the RPR.

The left side of the RPR.

In recent years, there’s been a groundswell of interest in long range rifles with tactical features. Gun enthusiasts like the idea of shooting guns similar to what our military uses and our recent military operations in desert country have spawned some pretty interesting long range rifle concepts, like fully adjustable chassis stocks, threaded muzzles, large capacity box magazines, extended 20 MOA scope rails and use of common AR15 accessories to allow modularity and ease of customization.

Several companies have introduced their versions of this type of rifle with prices ranging from the price of a decent used car to about twice the price of the standard version of the base model rifle. I believe that Ruger has produced the best of this lot. Ruger has always built a quality gun. As a company that makes firearms that fit into almost every category, they probably enjoy more brand loyalty across a wider spectrum of shooters than any other brand. Having said this, brand loyalty had little to do with the attraction of the Precision Rifle at the gun show.

Specs for the three available models.

Specs for the three available models.

Simply put, the Ruger Precision Rifle is very well thought out, so well thought out that there are disassembly tools stored in the rear of the bolt body. Unlike many of the adjustable stocks currently available, the Ruger’s stock has a wide range of adjustment that doesn’t take a long time to adjust. Two major manufacturers have chassis rifles that use the Magpul PRS Precision stock which is heavy, slow to adjust and has minuscule amounts of movement.

The stock fold release is easy to use on the left side and the oval button on the upper side of receiver is easy to access. The stock needs to fold to remove the bolt.

The stock needs to fold to remove the bolt.

The idea of an adjustable stock on a tactical, long range rifle is to quickly adjust for a difficult position. The level of adjustment needs be generous and it needs to happen fast. The Ruger has almost an inch of cheek piece adjustment and three inches of length of pull. These adjustments can be accomplished lightning fast with a cammed lever that works like a bicycle seat adjustment.

The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) also uses a straight line stock with the bolt coming back into the stock when retracted. The stock folds to allow bolt removal and easier transport. When the stock locks into place, there’s zero movement, important in a precision rifle. The pistol grip is standard AR as is the Keymod 15 inch front float tube. Ruger supplies a section of Picatinny rail and a sling swivel attachment with the rifle. The trigger is the bladed type so many rifles use these days and it was both light and crisp enough for precision shooting.

More modularity comes from the variety of magazines that can be used. Most precision tactical rifles use single stack ten shot magazines that sell for well north of the $50.00 number. The Ruger has a new feature they call Multi Magazine Interface that allows use with both side and front latching magazines used in AR Platform .308, as well as M14 style front latch magazines.

One of the most impressive features is the ability to use different magazines. Standard M14 magazines as well as 7.62 AR magazines worked perfectly in my test gun. The three lug bolt strips the round off the magazine with the bottom lug.

One of the most impressive features is the ability to use different magazines. Standard M14 magazines as well as 7.62 AR magazines worked perfectly in my test gun. The three lug bolt strips the round off the magazine with the bottom lug.

While the company stipulates that some M14 magazines might not work, my test rifle worked just fine with my M14 magazines and this is important because PMags and steel M14 magazines are cheap and much more compact for their capacity.

While it has that kind of look, the Ruger RPR isn’t a chassis rifle, it uses an upper and lower receiver assembly, with the trigger and magazine housing comprising the lower receiver and the bolt, stock and barrel all assembled in line on the upper portion. This keeps the unscoped weight down under eleven pounds. The modularity extends into the design further, allowing the barrel to be changed as with AR platform rifles and using the same tools.

Of course, with any rifle, the proof is in the shooting. I chose the .243 Winchester chambering, and based on the gun show crowd, I made the wrong choice, but I don’t think I did. I come from an NRA High Power background. I’m a Distinguished Rifleman and former High Master. I had friends who experimented with the .243 and liked it. It’s not the current hot caliber at Camp Perry, but it’s easy to find, with a wide variety of loads and the numbers are almost as good as the 6.5 Creedmoor.

I tested the Ruger with three different loads. Hornady Superformance SST 85 grain, Remington 100 grain Corelokt, and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 55 grain Fragmenting Polymer tip.

I tested the Ruger with three different loads. Hornady Superformance SST 85 grain, Remington 100 grain Corelokt, and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 55 grain Fragmenting Polymer tip.

The other part I liked is that the .243 comes with a 1-8 twist 26 inch barrel and I’d suspect the extra two inches of length and good choice of load will put the .243 up to 6.5 Creedmoor numbers. Besides, should I decide the .243 was a bad choice, I can easily swap barrels to any barrel in the .308 family.

I scoped my test rifle with the excellent Leupold 6.5-20 and used the lowest BSquare rings that would clear the front rail. This put the adjustable cheek piece at just off the bottom setting. Accuracy testing was done from prone off a bipod. This is a tactical rifle, and I felt it should be shot like one. I used three different loadings for my testing, none of which were competitive match loads. While the shortcoming of the .243 is a lack of out of the box match loads, there are plenty of quality bullets that can easily make the .243 a fine long range performer. I used two 100 grain loads, the Hornady Superformance 95 grain SST boat tail, and I couldn’t resist using some good old Remington 100 grain Core-Lokt. I also had a couple of boxes of Winchester Ballistic Fragmenting Polymer Tip Silvertips and I thought it would be good to see if the Ruger RPR could handle a lightweight bullet.

Initial results were good, but not great with everything hanging right around MOA accuracy. Surprisingly, the best group came from the 55 grain Fragmenting Winchesters. I felt the Ruger should do better so I went over things, I cleaned the barrel again, since there are no guard screws to tighten, I checked the screws that hold the two halves of the lower receiver together and found the rear screw a bit looser than I thought it should be. Snugged up, with a clean bore, I returned to the range to the 200 yard line at Piedmont Handgunners Association, my local range.

The group from the Hornady 95 grain SST at 200 yards.

The group from the Hornady 95 grain SST at 200 yards.

Resolving to hold hard, I managed five shot groups averaging a bit more than a half minute. The Hornady Superformance produced the best average, and the 55 grain Balistic Silvertips produced the best group, just .872” at 200 yards. The 100 grain Core-Lokt put in a great showing with one group at just 1.177”. Core-Lokt is still remarkably good ammunition even though it’s an almost 50 year old product line. I’m curious just how well this little rifle will shoot with a real match bullet and a bit more time on the barrel.

Accuracy Results at 200 yards off a bipod                                                     Best Group                            Average

Winchester 55 grain Ballistic Silvertip Fragmenting                                              .985”                                         1.587”

Remington 100 grain Core-Lokt Pointed soft point                                              1.177”                                          1.703”

Hornady Superformance 95 grain SST                                                                     1.009″                                        1.344″

The Ruger Precision Rifle performed will with every brand of ammunition I tried.

The Ruger Precision Rifle performed will with every brand of ammunition I tried.

I’m convinced a good rifleman could slick up the bolt, install a good set of match sights, load some real match ammo and shoot a High Master score with this rifle at Camp Perry. The Ruger Precision Rifle strongly resembles and has many of the features that allowed the Tubb 2000 rifle to take Camp Perry by storm several years ago, except the Ruger has those features in a mass produced rifle at a fraction of the cost.

Ruger has done a great job on this one. It will serve well as a target gun, a tactical competition rifle, and for long range hunting applications. They’re so confident, they’ve introduced the Ruger Precision Rifle Challenge, a website where RPR owners can report their success and compete for the best shot at a wide range of distances from 100 yards for group size to 1,600 yards on a metal plate. It’s going to be interesting to see just how accurate the little Ruger is going to be.

Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Ruger Precision Rifle

Read more at Ruger: http://www.ruger.com/micros/rpr/

A generous bolt handle makes operation easy and fast, the familiar bladed trigger breaks clean and light. Magazine release is M14 style and the gun will run my M14 magazines just fine in .243

A generous bolt handle makes operation easy and fast, the familiar bladed trigger breaks clean and light. Magazine release is M14 style and the gun will run my M14 magazines just fine in .243

Prone Accuracy testing was done prone with a bipod at 100 and 200 yards.

Prone Accuracy testing was done prone with a bipod at 100 and 200 yards.

One of the best features was the fully adjustable stock. Both cheek piece height and length of pull were fast to adjust and had a wide range of movement.

One of the best features was the fully adjustable stock. Both cheek piece height and length of pull were fast to adjust and had a wide range of movement.

The Keymod float tube forend comes with a section of rail and a swivel attachment point.

The Keymod float tube forend comes with a section of rail and a swivel attachment point.

Muzzle Standard threads allow easy use of a suppressor or compensator.

Muzzle Standard threads allow easy use of a suppressor or compensator.

I tested the Ruger with three different loads. Hornady Superformance SST 85 grain, Remington 100 grain Corelokt, and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 55 grain Fragmenting Polymer tip. There wasn't a load that performed badly.

I tested the Ruger with three different loads. Hornady Superformance SST 85 grain, Remington 100 grain Corelokt, and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 55 grain Fragmenting Polymer tip. There wasn’t a load that performed badly.

During my testing, I used the Bullseye Camera AmmoCam to monitor groups. It is a remote camera that lets you see real time results.

During my testing, I used the Bullseye Camera AmmoCam to monitor groups. It is a remote camera that lets you see real time results on a laptop or tablet.

 

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Don Schwebel October 14, 2016, 7:21 am

    What is the difference between the 18001, 18004, 18005, and the 18008 in a 308 cal. I am in the process of purchasing a 308 but I am confused. Which on do I purchase. I do want a threaded barrel.

  • Michael Pistone June 25, 2016, 5:35 pm

    Sadly the article is riddled with technical inaccuracies; as such I have little faith in the authors conclusions or his pathetic shooting abilities.

  • Gerhard Barnard January 10, 2016, 2:11 pm

    There are so many lefties that also LOVE this rifle – will Ruger make a left handed one version? Come on Ruger, PLEASE make a left hand version as well!!

    • Aydene March 27, 2017, 9:42 am

      I’m left handed and have fired many righty bolts over the years. I do have a Savage .243 in left hand bolt and it makes it easier. However; how you place your right hand and hold fast while crossing your left hand over is not too difficult to learn and use well within a short period of time. After all – left is right and right is wrong!

  • Michael Benedict December 13, 2015, 12:45 pm

    Great review! RPRnation.com has a nice list of upgrades for this rifle.

  • Rogue October 22, 2015, 7:52 am

    I like pretty much everything about this gun except the weight. The weight would not be a problem for use as a bench gun or even a hunting gun out in a bean-field stand where you shoot off a rail. In fact it would be an asset. Probably great for a law enforcement sniper rifle too. But for general hunting at 11 lbs empty then add a scope and 10 rounds it could get cumbersome real quick. This is heavier than some long barreled 338 Lapua Magnums. Savage and Remington both make a 26″ 243 in at least one of their models with a 1/9 twist and I know the Rem 700 varmint is cheaper and much lighter though I would prefer the 1/8 twist of the Ruger Precision it should still be suitable for 90 some grained or heavier 6 mil bullets. The Ruger sure does have that kool factor though.

  • Doug September 23, 2015, 12:57 pm

    RH action in a bolt gun can work better for a LH shooter off of a bench than a RH action. The grip of your firing hand stays consistent. Loading and ejecting brass all happens where you can see it. Standing or knelling, not so much. Depends on how you are going to use it. I’m a LH eyed and handed shooter, but I find that RH bolt action varmint rifles work better off of a bench while prairie dogging much better than my LH rifles.

  • Chris Grisham September 22, 2015, 11:28 am

    looks very interesting…..
    Now how about a LEFT HAND version????
    Are the manufacturers listening??
    One third of the people are left handed, maybe more!
    Is it really that difficult with CNC technology to make LEFT hand parts??

    • Game eye March 24, 2016, 12:05 pm

      I’m with you ,I’m a lefty,but Iam afraid that after a lifetime of having to shoot right handed guns(I’m 60 now) that it would probably just mess me up,but it does get old having caseings thrown in my face,specially after running through a30 round clip,lol
      And I’ve resrecached about how many are left handed and it’s more like 1 out of 7, and some say world wide more like 1 out of 10 are left handed,I think this makes us an minority and we should start lobbying congress for more left hand guns,baseball gloves etc.LOL,

  • Dusty September 22, 2015, 11:23 am

    Interesting platform. Ruger nails it again- but whatever did you mean by “reasonable weight”? A 10 pound unloaded .308 w/o glass would be what? 12-13 pounds? (What does a .458 Winchester weigh these days?) My second accessory might be a wagon to haul it from trunk to bench…

  • Miller Franz September 21, 2015, 8:31 pm

    Is the action long enough to handle 6.5 x 55 Swedish?

  • Robert K September 21, 2015, 8:22 pm

    Thanks so much for this great and thorough article. That is one sweet rifle! I’m not so sure I should be thanking you for this craving I suddenly have to own one of these beauties. 😉
    I’ve always wanted a fine rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, and this one looks as though it’ll fit that bill nicely. And thanks for the tip about swapping out barrels, if need be. That certainly makes selecting an initial chambering more of a no-brainer; it doesn’t have to be a do-or-die thing. I only hope that Ruger’s planned on making enough of these rifles for some of us to eventually be able to get our hands on one. I’ve talked to a few dealers who’ve essentially said, “Good luck trying to get your hands on one anytime soon.” I sincerely hope that won’t be the case.

  • BRASS September 21, 2015, 6:21 pm

    I love the idea of an AR style bolt action .308 with an adjustable stock, 1913 optics rail and threaded for a compensator, flash suppressor or sound suppressor.
    I’m saving up as fast as I can and salivating at the thought of switching from scope to red dot to iron sights, etc., and developing hand-loads for these options. For me, this gun can be used from 50 yards to 500 yards and from neighborhood defense to predator hunting, tactical shooting, target, bench practice and more.
    I’m impressed, hope I will be after I spend the big bucks.

  • KMacK September 21, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Done right? Maybe, until the glass gets whacked. Then, with no backup iron sights, you just have an expensive club. The fact that Ruger didn’t even bother spending another $25.00 for some cheap folding sights tells me that all this is, is a very expensive paper punch,
    I know Glass is the way to go these days, but remember the mantra “One is none, two is one”? It applies to sighting devices too.
    Thumbs down, Ruger. There’s saving money and then there is going cheapo. You just went.

    • bbbs53 September 21, 2015, 9:58 pm

      Please pay your local trusted gunsmith to install you a set, they will be better than theirs anyway.

    • Game eye March 24, 2016, 12:13 pm

      I understand that you are disappointed about the sites,but as you said yourself $25 will put a set on there for you,Rurger has to try to keep costs down so poor people like me and many other can possibly get into this new exciting sport of Long Distsnce shooting,that’s what this gun was designed for,Iron sites aren’t going to help in a match at 300 to 500 yds.,lol at least not with my eyes.
      But I do respect your opinion,we all have one.

  • Combat Veteran Seabee September 21, 2015, 4:58 pm

    Are there any plans to make a left-handed version or a conversion kit?

  • Robert September 21, 2015, 2:34 pm

    If this rifle works as advertised, and the few reviews I’ve seen indicate it does, it’s a game changer. A gun that cost a fraction of what the typical precision rifle cost and delivers nearly identical performance. I’m looking forward to trying out the 6.5.

  • Lee September 21, 2015, 10:11 am

    For a gun thats under $900 wholesale, I beyond impressed. I bought one in a 243win right off the bat. Slapped a Vortex PST FFP 6-24x50mm scope in a JP Mount on it. I found its sweet spot of 42.0gr H4350 under a Nosler 107gr BTHP. It was grouping under a dime, and though I haven’t chrono’d yet, I can tell you its only getting two miliradian drop on the 500 yard line which is half of what my 308win does with 175’s… This thing is a laser…

    • Jim fallon September 21, 2015, 1:34 pm

      Nerd

    • Rick September 25, 2015, 8:53 am

      based on your reply you are a hand loader. so what powder did you use for the .308 and did you try the 68gr, amax?

    • jeff shadrick April 18, 2016, 7:13 am

      Thinking of purchasing the 243 this week. Are you still impressed with this Ruger?

  • DrThunder88 September 21, 2015, 9:28 am

    You say you “can easily swap barrels”, how so? Does the Ruger Precision Rifle have aftermarket, prefit barrels like Savages? If the RPR uses the same threads as Savage prefits (especially standard shank prefits), that would be amazing and make the possibilities for 308-sized swaps nearly limitless. Since the rifle is derived from Ruger’s American rifle, however, and since nobody makes barrels for the American except for Ruger, I suspect barrel swapping will be a literal endeavor. The choices will be other RPR take-offs and possibly sporter weight American take-offs.

    • bbbs53 September 21, 2015, 9:55 pm

      From my experience with Ruger, there won’t be a quick change barrel. “Easily” is a relative term, if it is like most of their rifles, it will need a vice, wrench, and a set of gauges and possibly a reamer to change the barrel. That is if Ruger will sell you one. Getting the headspace right is important if it is going to shoot to point of aim every time. Just the slight variation between receivers and barrels, all within tolerance, doesn’t mean they will screw together, top up, and have correct headspace. It isn’t an around the home shop job, it should be done by a qualified gunsmith. Incorrect headspace can be very dangerous at these pressure levels. That said, I can’t wait to give the .308 a run. Not to say it couldn’t be made takedown, it could, just not easily.

      • PJ December 12, 2015, 7:13 pm

        Since they use a system similar to the Savage, barrels will be bought with the chamber finished so you don’t need a reamer. Headspace is set with the lock nut. Tolerance variations don’t matter at all.

        • SH April 22, 2016, 12:58 am

          Does no one read the articles anymore before commenting? It clearly state it uses AR barrels and the same tools as the AR to change the barrel! No it’s not an American barrel, not a Savage barrel, no headspace is not an issue, just as it isn’t on any AR, small frame or large frame. Jeeese

  • dennis j September 21, 2015, 8:06 am

    I like the bullseye camera instant feedback on the laptop monitor. Also the multiple caliber platform!

  • Hank September 21, 2015, 7:52 am

    I hope Ruger will make this rifle in 300 Win. mag. I will be first in line to buy one.

  • Greg September 21, 2015, 7:02 am

    That comment about the PRS was dead on. Does anyone know if Ruger is planning on marketing that stock, say as an AR accessory?

  • Miles September 21, 2015, 6:40 am

    I want one of those stocks on my ar10

  • Donnie Morgan September 20, 2015, 11:18 am

    Awesome rifle will it be coming out in different calibers? lovin this rifle good job Riger.

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