I found an absolute treasure when I opened this well-balanced package. Both beautiful and menacing, the black steel and aluminum shaped with angular lines whispered of functionality and purpose.
I removed the rifle from the box and unfolded the stock, locking it into place with an audible click. From stem to stern, the Precision Rifle was a thing to behold—nearly 40 inches long, with half that length consisting of just the barrel, and chambered in .308.
The eye marvels to travel down from muzzle break to buttstock and note all the utility in between. I mean, if a standard bolt-action rifle is “functional,” this thing is a customizable “multi-tool.” My initial impression was that the rifle was very similar to an AR, replete with a top rail, pistol grip and other
muzzle break to buttstock and note all the utility in between. I mean, if a standard bolt-action rifle is “functional,” this thing is a customizable “multi-tool.” My initial impression was that the rifle was very similar to an AR, replete with a top rail, pistol grip and other accoutrements common to that style. This design proved intentional and thematic throughout the build.
The Hybrid Muzzle Break initiates the business end of the rifle and does an excellent job of reducing recoil. It also comes with a thread protector, which implies a wealth of options. Many precision rifle series (PRS) competitors use muzzle breaks or suppressors, so this capability is important: You can simply screw in your favorite option or use the stock break.
The barrel might seem a tad short to optimize the use of the .308 round, but upon testing, it absolutely works. The 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel is cold forged, giving it durability. It is covered by a KeyMod handguard, further adding to the capability of accessories that can be added to satisfy the shooter’s needs. The dazzling silver bolt intriguingly breaks up the sea of flat black. The three-lug design throws neatly and firmly once you master the action. It is manipulated by an oversized handle—which I appreciated.
Beneath the bolt, the mag well exhibits even more options: It accepts AICS, M110/SR-25/ DPMS and some M-14 magazines. The Precision Rifle ships with two Magpul Gen3 PMAG 10-round magazines. (Being from Colorado, I handled these with reverence and a bit of shame.) Ruger was wise to choose such an esteemed magazine to consistently feed its long-range beast.
The pistol grip, trigger guard and safety are all reminiscent of the AR-15, so for me, this was like reuniting with an old lover: My thumb matched to the safety, and my trigger finger landed easily alongside the guard. The trigger has an easily adjustable range of 2.25 to 5 pounds. Mine broke smoothly and consistently at 2.5 pounds—an optimal weight that allows you to find your mark in the scope, squeeze and bang.
Moving further astern, the Ruger Precision MSR stock is more akin to a tailored suit than a rifle.
Adjustment abounds. The comb height, or where you rest the full weight of your head on your rifle via the cheek, is capable of rising significantly.
I was still new to long-range shooting, so I quickly began to appreciate how much difference this made when considering parallax. At the range, I have seen many a wonderful rifleand-scope combination with cheek risers cheaply taped on to compensate for proper eye level with the optic. Ruger has this locked in; no adhesive required.
In addition, the butt pad is adjustable, allowing the user to have the proper length of pull. This measurement is considered to be the distance between the middle of the trigger finger to the end of the gun’s butt. It is critical and should not be overlooked.
As I have learned, the challenge of shooting long distances in part means eliminating variables that can cause mistakes. This includes the human body (as much as possible) and means all efforts should be taken to remove chances for error caused by a poorly fitted rifle. A small mistake at 500 to 1,000 yards is greatly amplified farther downrange.
Ruger set a frenetic pace, packing design features into the stock. This also included a folding capability that shortens the rifle down to roughly 31 inches for transport. Ruger also set up the Precision Rifle to accept any AR-style stock to its buffer tube. Again, the capability for customization is the hallmark of this rifle.
I was challenged to choose suitable accessories for the rifle—items that would help wring out every bit of accuracy I could muster for testing. Despite my normal career-based inclinations to add a light and sling, I thought about long-range shooting and therefore, stability and accuracy. Burris provided an XTR II 5-25×50 scope (an amazing optic), while Atlas Bipods contributed its BT46-LW17 model, as well as a BT12-QK01 monopod to steady the operation.
AN EYE FOR ACCURACY
The Burris XTR II boasts Hi-Lume—multi-coated lenses that allow excellent light-gathering and sharp sight pictures. The scope tested came with the SCR MOA reticle on a first focal plane; this means that when you dial up the magnification, the reticle also increases in size. This is wonderful for viewing your mils on distant targets, particularly out beyond 500 yards, where normal vision begins to falter with smaller targets.
The optics are durable, being fog- and waterproof, and come with the Burris Forever Warranty. Using this scope to shoot out to 1,000 yards was a breeze. The turrets give tactile feedback during adjustments and are rugged enough to not get bumped from settings if glanced off a table or barrier.
Parallax modification was easy and much appreciated by this novice distance shooter. The reticle also has an illuminated portion that activates with the turn of a dial. This knob has “off” detents in between every brightness setting, allowing shooters to choose their favorite and switch in, as opposed to dialing up through the whole reel.
Stretching out to 600, 800 and finally 1,000 yards, it became clear the rifle really is that good.
STAND AND DELIVER: ATLAS BIPOD AND MONOPOD
The Atlas BT46-LW17 bipod supported the front of this weapon and provided an incredibly stable platform. Shooters will truly appreciate the diversity of this bipod and the ease with which it mounts.
Crafted of T6061 aluminum, the unit is beefy and weighs around 13 ounces. Mounting it to the Ruger’s lower Picatinny rail was a snap (literally). The ADM-S lever on the Atlas allows it to slide up and lock on quickly. It can be removed just as easily. The legs of the bipod move independently of each other and have to be adjusted one at a time. This separation is different from similar products and creates possibilities. In situations when barriers must be used to fire from, having one leg vertical while the other is horizontal allows the shooter great stability. The bipod’s adjustable height ranges from 4.75 to 9 inches.
The Atlas monopod has an elevation range of 3.75 to 4.65 inches and is mounted neatly to the rail under the buttstock. This small feature packed a huge value into the end of the gun by allowing me to set my elevation from the rear. The only variables I needed to control at that point were recoil and
windage. While not a solution for every shooting scenario, this piece will stabilize most prone or other flat shooting.
RANGE TO TARGET: REALLY THAT GOOD
With everything mounted to the Ruger, the last challenge was finding a range capable of allowing it to “stretch its legs.” I arrived at the range and deployed the Ruger with all the aforementioned trappings.
The rifle lived up to its name. After bore-sighting and during zeroing, I shot a sub-MOA group with Federal Premium 168-grain MatchKing. Switching to long range, I began at 400 yards and delivered consistent and predictable hits on target. Stretching out to 600, 800 and finally 1,000 yards, it became clear the rifle really is that good.
The range I used for testing did not allow target inspection and only used steel plates, so grouping information beyond 100 yards is estimated only. However, the Ruger delivered dependable hits on a 20-inch target at that distance. Another shooter with the same rifle described it as “boringly accurate.” I couldn’t disagree more with the “boring” part; I felt a thrill each time I sent one downrange, waiting those seconds before hearing the ringing steel confirm my hits.
The Burris provided clear images of the target and allowed me to dial my elevation adjustment in order to hit my progressively farther goals. Like its namesake, the Atlas (trio) held up stoically and supplied crucial stability from different shooting positions. Thus equipped, the Ruger Precision Rifle is an honest-to-goodness, long-distance shooter with the modularity of a set of LEGOS.
|100 Yards||200 Yards||Steel Plate|
|Smallest Group||Avg. Group||Smallest Group||Avg. Group||
|Federal Premium MatchKing 168 grain||
9 of 9
|Winchester Super X 180 grain||
7 of 9
|Hornady American Whitetail 165 grain||
9 of 9
Ruger Precision Rifle
Calibers: .308 Winchester (tested), 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
Action Type: Bolt action, push feed
Barrel: 20 inches
Magazine: Two 10-round Magpul PMAG magazines
Trigger: Adjustable (2.25–5 pounds) SIGHTS: None (full-length optics rail)
Stock: Folding synthetic with adjustable length of pull and comb height
Weight: 9.8 pounds
Overall Length: 42.75 inches (folded: 39.25 inches)
STURM, RUGER & CO.
B&T INDUSTRIES, LLC
BURRIS OPTICS COMPANY
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.