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Old October 21, 2013, 05:28 AM   #1
Picher
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Impressed by the Ruger American

A few days ago, a friend asked me to sight-in and check-out his new Ruger American, in .308 Win, a gift from his son. Cabelas had "installed" a Leupold VX-2 on it, but not well-positioned for him. I decided to re-install it, finding one base not firmly tightened, so it was removed and re-installed with Locktitie, turning it 180* to better support the rear of the scope after moving it back about a half-inch.

The trigger was over 5 lbs, so he wanted it lighter. It took several turns to get it down to 3.5 lbs, but it ended up smooth, with a safe amount of pre-travel and minimal backlash.

The recoil pad is similar to Limb-Saver types.

I was very impressed with the V-Block bedding system, which tightened-down as firmly as other pillar or aluminum-block bedding systems, using a hex wrench.

The scope was bore-sighted at 50 feet to be about 1 1/4" above bore line, using a Sweeny-Site-Align card, (but not the Laser). First shot was about 3" high at 30 yards, then cranking the scope down, next shot, 3" high at 100 yds, cranking down 12 clicks to center and the next two shots with Federal 150s went into the center, 1/2" apart, one almost dead center. Federals were the only name brand he could find.

The guy wanted to use Rem Core-Locts, but they are unavailable. We both looked for some at three stores and couldn't find them. I had a half-box of older ones lying around for many years, so I tried them and they went into the 3" bull also, but an inch to the right and a quarter-inch low, an inch apart vertically.

The rifle is very accurate, has a good trigger, solid bedding, nicely designed action. The bolt lift is a bit hard, but it should get easier after break-in. Cleaning the bore, I noticed a nice tightening as the patch got within a few inches of the muzzle...a perfect situation, one that is typical of the Tikkas, Sakos and most custom barrels. The rotary magazine fed flawlessly.

Bottom line: I won't hesitate recommending this rifle, especially to people who are looking for a decent, new rifle, at relatively low cost. They were advertised recently for just over $300 at a chain store. I'm more impressed with the American than recent Rem 700 ADLs seen recently at a local store.

I'd like to have shot the rifle more, but with the scarcity of .308 Win ammo, decided it was fine. The guy said he hasn't shot a deer over 100 yards in his area and wanted it zeroed there. (The BDC on his scope will allow him to adjust easily, should a longer shot be presented.)
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:46 AM   #2
jmr40
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The American is the best of the budget rifles in my opinion. Many shoot as well or better than the top end rifles. It is more accurate than most Hawkeye's in my experience.
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:49 AM   #3
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Yep!
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Old October 21, 2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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Now if they would just make one in 6.5 Creedmore.
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Old October 21, 2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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An aftermarket stock or two would be nice, particularly something made of wood.
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Old October 21, 2013, 02:37 PM   #6
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I sure have no beef with mine in 30-06. The issue of bipod use did come up and may be a factor or concern for some shooting situations.
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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+1 to the 6.5 creedmoor or .260 rem

And they also need to add .25-06 and .35 whelen to the long action lineup.

And they need to add a .384" bolt face to the lineup so they can add .223

And .204 ruger

And .17 rem

It would be really cool to have a $350 rifle with that kind of cartridge selection

I doubt it will happen, but I can dream can't I?
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Old October 22, 2013, 03:31 PM   #8
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I love my RAR in .308!

If your friend registers it online, Ruger will send him a nice cheek rest/cartridge holder.
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Old October 22, 2013, 04:40 PM   #9
rlott
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My hunting buddy just bought one in '06 with a Leopold 3-9. We took it to the range last weekend & I was thoroughly impressed. Very accurate, nice trigger and, the price is definitely right.

In fact, it has me thinking hard about getting back in the '06 market. As light as it is I figured it would kick like the devil but not so. I have a Win Model 54 in 06 that weighs at least 3-pounds more. I quit shooting it much because it kicks like a mule - cheek slap to the point of tears sometimes.
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Old October 22, 2013, 04:46 PM   #10
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I was thinking of getting Tikka T3 in .223 Rem, but should they be offered, might just get a Ruger for about half the price.
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Old October 22, 2013, 04:47 PM   #11
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If the ol 06 is kicking the goomba out of you tone it down some, you don't NEED 06 firepower on anything in the lower 48 states a 243 or 7mm-08 kill deer/yotes/pigs just as dead and won't leave you black and blue in the process.
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:30 PM   #12
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I agree with you 100% Kachok, but those kinds of statements are what gets fights started on this forum, just giving you fair warning
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:46 PM   #13
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I am not too worried about anyone who would debate that a high powered 30 cal was the minimum on whitetail deer. That is macho nonsense, nothing wrong with using an 06 I have one and like it too, but I don't need it, my 6.5x55 puts them down just as fast. Flame away.
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Old October 23, 2013, 08:09 AM   #14
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In the not too distant past someone was taking a RAR to 1000 yards at the range... And doing well! They had modified the stock to ensure free float and to stiffen it. A quick search would pull that up if you are interested.
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Old October 23, 2013, 08:40 AM   #15
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One thing that people fail to mention is the difference in deer size across the country and even in my fair state of Maine. Deer in the Northern parts of this state are much bigger than their counterparts in Southern Maine. They need to be to sustain themselves in harsher winter conditions, including deeper snow.

I've seen such large deer in Northern Maine, thinking that two of them were moose until looking through binoculars verified the deer. The IF&W hasn't attempted to trap and move deer from Southern to Northern areas, due mostly to size differences. A deer that weighs nearly 300 lbs is more difficult to bring down than 6-80 pound deer in the southern states, even shot in lethal locations.

That's not to say that a 6.5x55 or similar cartridge wouldn't do the job, but a .243 Win at 200 yards would be less than ideal for the average hunter. (Judging from what I've seen, the average hunter would have a tough time HITTING a deer at that range with about anything.)

Last edited by Picher; October 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM.
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Old October 23, 2013, 09:20 AM   #16
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Everyone seems to forget about elk in the lower 48. That being said, the 7mm-08 will take them down with a good bullet and shot placement. I've seen it. I use -06 class cartridges for them, but that's what we have. I have shot one with a .308, and wasn't too impressed with bullet performance with the same bullets I use in the -06. There are too many factors involved with a single incident to poo-poo the 308 based on that alone.

I'm interested in an American Rifle, as it was recently suggested to me in another thread for my do-all gun. For that particular gun, I'm thinking .308 after all the tips on a couple of forums and some thinking. It's good to hear that they are so well-loved.
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Old October 23, 2013, 10:13 AM   #17
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Have not forgotten about elk, moose or black bear, all of the above I have seen harvested on many occasions by 6.5x55s and 7x57s, so there is no reason to doubt a 6.5 Creedmore or 7mm-08 could do the same. IMHO not the ideal cartridge for them but they certainly do the trick with a high penetration bullet.
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Old October 23, 2013, 04:31 PM   #18
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So why would I buy an M77 Hawkeye for more than twice as much as the American...

I can tell ya as a stockmaker, the walnut stock isn't worth an extra $400...
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Old October 23, 2013, 05:02 PM   #19
Kachok
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Better stock, Mauser style action, better finish. The M77 is just a nicer rifle, but the American is the better value in terms of utility.
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Old October 23, 2013, 06:23 PM   #20
steveNChunter
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Quote:
So why would I buy an M77 Hawkeye for more than twice as much as the American...

I can tell ya as a stockmaker, the walnut stock isn't worth an extra $400...
As a stockmaker, why don't you start making walnut stocks for the Ruger American? I know the recoil lug in the stock and the "power-bedding" piece is why we don't see aftermarket stocks, but it could be done.

I know I would buy one, and so would ALOT of other people

On the other hand, what would be involved in making a stock like that would cause it to be pretty expensive, defeating the point of buying a cheap rifle
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Old October 24, 2013, 09:47 AM   #21
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I expect Ruger to drop it's 77 after making a deluxe version of their American... perhaps with a wood stock and nice finish. They know the market and they know the design is a great one, with profits not to be "wasted" by producing bargain rifles.

The Tikka T3 was once a "bargain" rifle, and without modifications, has increased in price dramatically, as have other guns.

For instance, it pains me to see my first Ruger, a Standard Auto, purchased around 1961 for the discounted price of $30, now selling for nearly $400, while ammo, prior to the shortage, had increased only slightly.
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Old October 24, 2013, 10:05 AM   #22
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I don't think that Ruger will drop the M77 any more than Weatherby will drop the Mark V. There will always be a market for that as well. I think there's a difference between a rifle being "nicer" and a rifle being "better". Some people want a nicer rifle. If the American is a good as is being said, it will probably take a bite out of M77 sales. If I had the money, though, I'd pick an M77 over a Ruger because of the aesthetics. It's a classy looking rifle. Aesthetics plays more into gun buying than I think a lot of people are willing to admit.

For most of us, guns aren't just tools. I don't care what my wrenches and hammers look like as long as they work. A small part of me goes after the guns that are visually appealing.
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Old October 24, 2013, 10:33 AM   #23
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Would Ruger drop the 77 if the American was just as accurate? Let's see
Would Remington drop the 700 if the 783 was just as good? Anyone else remember the 788?
Would Savage drop the 110 if the Axis shot just as well? That is laughable.
Would Weatherby EVER get rid of the Mk V even if the Vanguard was outeslling it 1,000 to 1?
Some rifles survive on their history or loyalty. Even the most hardcore Ruger fans would have to admit that the Savages and Tikka rifle shoot at leased as well as their 77s but they don't care, their 77 has served them very well and they see no reason to use anything else they will buy another 77 as long as they make them.
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Old October 24, 2013, 02:18 PM   #24
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As much as I like my American, I would rather have a 77 still.

I bought the American to plink with and for the possibility of a hunt out west some day. I can afford to have $500 wrapped up in a rifle that may gather dust in the safe and not get a lot of use vs $1000 for the 77.

A nice Ruger M77 is on my bucket list though. I have always thought it to be the sharpest production bolt action out there. I also love the Mauser bolt action.

Dont know what caliber yet though.
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Old October 26, 2013, 07:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kachok
Would Ruger drop the 77 if the American was just as accurate? Let's see
Would Remington drop the 700 if the 783 was just as good? Anyone else remember the 788?
Would Savage drop the 110 if the Axis shot just as well? That is laughable.
Would Weatherby EVER get rid of the Mk V even if the Vanguard was outeslling it 1,000 to 1?
Some rifles survive on their history or loyalty. Even the most hardcore Ruger fans would have to admit that the Savages and Tikka rifle shoot at leased as well as their 77s but they don't care, their 77 has served them very well and they see no reason to use anything else they will buy another 77 as long as they make them.
There will always be a market for premium versions of any product, especially ones that men lust after. I have been seriously jonesing for a nice used wood stock Weatherby MK V lately, even though I know the cheaper synthetics have better all weather performance and the Vanguards offer similar (or at least extremely high) performance for 1/4 of the price. But just LOOK at the Mk V! Almost too beautiful to take hunting, but very desirable and prestigious nonetheless. It's a work of art.
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Last edited by FairWarning; October 26, 2013 at 07:58 AM.
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