I'm a pistol guy, most only experience I had with rifles was plinking at range with iron sighted 22s, SKSs, ARs. And in the Corps during range quals with the M16. Anyway, I had been wanting an inexpensive bolt action centerfire for range plinking, almost got a Savage. But saw the American was coming out, decided to wait on the 308 version. 308 for lower ammo cost, and more than enough for my purpose.
Since the rifle was low buck, decided the rings and scope would be low buck too. Chose the Simmons Whitetail Classic Truplex for the scope, good reviews and only $110 on sale. When it came in, popped it on the rifle with spacers, ~ 3/8" seemed about right for ring height. Bought some 10mm low rings off Amazon for 9 bucks. When installed, scope was a little too far forward for me when slid all the way back, so reversed the bases so notches would go to the rear, allow me to move low rings rearward. Pics:
Ruger gives you a free checkpad, added that. Ruger has a bipod for $25. Bought that with the American purchase discount, along with a T shirt and cap. Put it all together, had a peep. I was too low when looking thru scope, so stacked 4 strips of mousepad, taped them together lightly so they wouldn't compress, stuck stack on the stock with 3 discs of velcro to hold it on, cheekpad went over that. Much better. Popped out bolt, bore sighted on a doorknob at the end of my hallway. Ready to go, pic at range:
Had to wait cause it's been windy, all the calm days missed my weekends. Called for more wind today, but decided to at least go and pop off some rounds. It was kind if windy, but it was coming in almost directly from behind, just slightly from my right. Started at 25 yds shooting 150gr FMJ. 1st shot was near dead center! Took another shot to make sure it wasn't a fluke, high and right. Another shot, higher and righter. Checked rings, the mounting bolts were loose. Ruger pad has a zippered pocket, luckily I had popped a 12mm wrench and allen wrench for the rings in there. Tightened bolts (1st of 3 times), allen screws for ring tops were tight. Took another shot, dead center again.
Inexperience strikes: Took it out to 100 yds, couldn't hit the stick on target. Checked rings, slightly loose, tightened, tried again, no go. The backer was used, so couldn't tell where rounds were hitting. Brought it back to 25yds, near dead center shot. ??? Took it to 50 yds. I had stacked 3 stick ons vertically, 2 8" bottom, 1 12" top. I took a shot at middle one, hit the bottom third of the top target. About 10" high. At 100, I had been shooting at 12" top stick on thinking if I was on center at 25, I'd at least be on the target at 100. Wrong!
Adjusted scope, took another shot at middle target. Couple inches high, left. Adjusted, still a little high. But wind was getting worse, had to time my shots between gusts. Decided to run it back to 100 and break out the good stuff, Federal Matchking 168gr BTHPs. Only got off 3 shots before dust started to kick up. 1st shot high, adjusted, next 2 shots were touching, molesting the bullseye. Was happy to take that, called it a day. Pic of last 3 shots:
Rifle: very happy with it. Recoil didn't hit as hard as I expected with such a light rifle in 308, probably due to nice recoil pad. Bolt easy to work, plenty of scope clearance when cycling. Stock a little long for me (I'm only 5'7"), but it worked ok. Reports that stock flexes, hits barrel when on bag or bipod. Mine flexed a bit on bipod, but gap only closed up, didn't hit. Trigger was good at factory setting, might try adjusting later to lowest setting, but leaving it alone for now.
Scope: relief was lacking, had to position myself just right for a good picture. Adjustable objective was right on, very clear pictures at respective yard settings. Could easily see hits at 100 at 20x... once I was hitting the target. Some complain crosshairs too thick, seemed ok to me, but it was only out to 100 yds. Happy with it for my intended usage.
Rings: really loose that 1st time. Slightly loose 2 more times. Going to take rings/bases off, clean everything, use blue locktite on all threads, see if that helps next time. Allen bolts stayed tight. Black paint on bolt heads coming off a bit where wrench flats contacted.
Bipod: it's a Shooters Ridge Rock Mount. Went on easy, worked fine. Had to tighten mounting screw once.
Pad: pretty nice for free. Lacing stayed tight, tucked excess in zippered pocket. Left side/top has soft slightly padded surface, I like the Ruger logo on the right side. Probably not so good for lefties. Also has cartridge loops on right. Was going to pop some rounds in them to see how they would do thru range trip/shooting, but forgot.