Ruger is on a roll; no doubt about it. Few gun companies have caused more excitement in recent times.
In my mind, it started with the LCP .380 and just continued to build through a number of products that Ruger cannot make fast enough. The LC9, SR-9c, SR 1911 and the SR-556 have all been so successful that Sturm, Ruger and Company has had a hard time keeping up with the demand. The company’s new TV show, /Ruger Inside and Out/ (in which I play a small part), shows the viewer just what goes on behind the scenes at Ruger, and the initial episodes have been hugely successful.
One of its most recent additions is a top-quality, 100 percent American-made bolt-action rifle that sells for less than 500 bucks. Available in four different calibers, the Ruger American Rifle is a whole lot of gun for very little money. Although many folks had speculated that it would be a variation of the very popular Model 77, this bolt gun is a completely new design. Using its knowledge, research and design capability, along with state-of-the-art materials and methods, Ruger built the Ruger American Rifle the American way ”to be reliable, lightweight, easy to use and super-accurate”and this bolt gun sells for half the price of its famous Hawkeye.
Why would Ruger potentially hurt the sales of one of its most popular models? I would venture to say that Ruger is confident about the reputation of the Hawkeye and feels those who really want it will pay the price. And while price is not everything in a quality rifle, the Ruger American gives up little to its more expensive cousin in terms of handling and accuracy, which will appeal to the more frugal among us (like me).
The Ruger American Rifle will be offered in both short- and long-action versions for those who prefer one to the other. The model tested for this article is a long action chambered for the .270 Winchester cartridge.
Story and photos by Dave Spaulding