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Old January 6, 2019, 12:48 PM   #1
the possum
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Ruger American: standard vs. predator?

I've been kicking around the idea of buying another gun I don't need. I'm just getting tempted by all these cheap entry level bolt actions, since so many guys rave about them.

If I do get one, it will be in .308, since I already have two other rifles in this caliber and would like to semi-standardize my ammo inventory.

What would I use it for? Well, mostly for fun. Long range plinking- dirt clods out in the fields at 500 yards and beyond. Punching paper in the back yard. Blasting stuff at the junk pile. Maybe a coyote if one happens by. (Can't use rifles on deer here in Illannoy.) I have a badly bubba'ed Mosin Nagant for this pupose now, and a Ruger would be a direct upgrade. I'd use surplus ammo for blastin', but plan to work up an accurate handload for bench shooting.

I have handled and compared several rifles in a store, like the Mossberg Patriot, Savage Axis, TC Compass, and Ruger American, and like the Ruger best overall. But I'm still torn between the standard model American vs. the Predator.

Reason is mainly because I LOVE the feel and balance of that light long barrel on the standard model. But I would rather have the better magazines of the Predator. And I'm not sure how different I could expect them to behave in the accuracy department. I'm assuming the heavier barrel on the Predator would not be affected by heat as much, after firing a string of shots. But does the thinner barrel on the standard model really have any problems here? Any owners that could contrast accuracy for me?
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Old January 6, 2019, 05:57 PM   #2
bobn
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I am on my second predator. first in 243 second in 6 creedmoor.
….. in the past I have played the several guns in same chambering. done with that. more than likely you will have either chambering problems or whats accurate and safe in one is not in the others. anyway they work and shoot well. bobn
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Old January 6, 2019, 08:28 PM   #3
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DO NOT GET THE STANDARD RUGER. Barrel is pencil thin, will heat up quickly and start walking on you. Go with the Predator.

If you want to take one shot, wait for the barrel to cool (5 min) then repeat. Mine is a great one shot cold bore on target rifle, just don't try to shoot groups of more than one shot.
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Old January 6, 2019, 08:32 PM   #4
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I normally say go with the less expensive option, but for the American, get the Predator. For the extra $70-100 it costs, you're getting a threaded barrel, you're getting a thicker barrel, a shorter barrel in .308 (a shorter, thicker barrel is the more rigid barrel and will group tighter), a one piece rail for optics, and the AICS magazines are better than the rotary mags, hold more than the rotary mags, are more common than the rotary mags, and cost the same or less than the rotary mags.

With all that you're getting, you can make the Predator to fit whatever role you want. A budget scout rifle? Yup, slap a red dot and a 10 rd mag in and you've got it. A long range rifle? Scope, 3 or 5 round mag, and a muzzle brake and you're all set.

With the standard American, you get an unspectacular budget rifle. The Predator is still a budget bolt action, but you get so much in return it's worth the money.

I'm debating whether I want the Predator or the S&W M&P10 for my .308 rifle.
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Old January 6, 2019, 09:43 PM   #5
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The extra cost for the predator is more than justified by the magazine option and heavier barrel.
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Old January 7, 2019, 08:40 AM   #6
ilmonster
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Also would go Predator for the heavier barrel (but not crazy heavy) and magazine system. Not much more cost, and less likely to walk when heated up if doing target shooting. Let us know what you decide!
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Old January 7, 2019, 09:47 AM   #7
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Get the Predator and get the one that takes AI magazines. The cost of the rifles is the same, the cost of spare magazines is the same. The AI style magazines are far, far better. Ruger should drop the 4 round rotary magazines on all of those rifles and convert them all to use the AI mags.

They feed and function just fine I've had 2 of the rotary magazines break recently when dropped on a carpeted floor when loaded with ammo. Ruger will gladly and promptly replace them. But not something I trust.

If someone has a short action and doesn't want to buy another that uses the AI magazine buy a spare 450 BM magazine. They function great with 308 class cartridges and are a much better magazine than the 4 round rotary magazines.

https://ruger.com/products/americanR...ets/26974.html

The supplied 3 round mag doesn't protrude far enough to be problem. Even the 5 round version isn't bad. I have a 10 round mag, but wouldn't want to carry it much. Fine for range use.

Magpul makes a 5 round magazine that can be found cheaper than the Ruger version and there is a tab that can be broken off the bottom of the follower to convert it to 6 rounds. Some places have a 5 round limit for hunting and people living in those states can leave the tab in place.
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Old January 7, 2019, 11:44 AM   #8
T. O'Heir
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"...at 500 yards and beyond..." That says, heavy barrel. However, the Predator's barrel, at 18", is kind of short. Isn't that heavy either. That $500ish without sights your budget range?
"...and will group tighter..." Nope. Barrel length has very little to do with accuracy. Has to do with velocity though.
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Old January 7, 2019, 04:01 PM   #9
std7mag
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Well T.O. ypur partially, well somewhat, about half....
No, your wrong...

The simple physics of it is that a shorter barrel, is more inherently stiff. Thereby creating more repeatable accuracy.
This is not to say that a long thin barrel cannot be accurate, even at ranges out to 1,000 yards or more. Just not as repeatable over a string of shots.

While a long barrel will give more velocity, if it's a heavy barrel also the added velocity will help accuracy in reduced flight time of the bullet to reach it's objective. Hence giving the bullet less time to be deflected by wind.
This is usually compensated for by using a heavier bullet with a higher ballistic coefficient.

Examples would be akin to shooting a Weatherby magnum with a 26" barrel, vs a Savage 10FP with a 20" barrel.
Both are plenty accurate, but the 10FP is more repeatable

To The Possum,
I'd go with the Predator, for the reasons others have previously stated.
Heavier barrel.
One piecs scope rail.
Magazine system. .
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Old January 7, 2019, 10:09 PM   #10
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jmr40 nailed it.
Get the heavier barrel.
Get the better magazines.

There is no downside, compromise, or sacrifice.
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Old January 8, 2019, 11:27 AM   #11
the possum
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Seems like the responses are unanimous. The Predator it is. If I decide to follow through with it, of course. It doesn't have the same feel and balance as the skinny barrel version, and I'd rather have at least 20" of barrel length, but if the difference in performance is that big a deal, I'll gladly defer to all your experience.

Quote:
In the past I have played the several guns in same chambering. [I'm] done with that. More than likely you will have either chambering problems, or what's accurate and safe in one is not in the others.
That's why I said "semi" standardized. I can use the same reloading dies, and likely share bullets and powder. And I'll stay within SAAMI standards, so even if a given load isn't the most accurate in one rifle, at least I can still use it in a pinch, unlike a totally different caliber.
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Old January 8, 2019, 12:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the possum View Post
Seems like the responses are unanimous. The Predator it is. If I decide to follow through with it, of course. It doesn't have the same feel and balance as the skinny barrel version, and I'd rather have at least 20" of barrel length, but if the difference in performance is that big a deal, I'll gladly defer to all your experience.



That's why I said "semi" standardized. I can use the same reloading dies, and likely share bullets and powder. And I'll stay within SAAMI standards, so even if a given load isn't the most accurate in one rifle, at least I can still use it in a pinch, unlike a totally different caliber.
It is unanimous, and FWIW, I agree. I have both, and this thread lead me to discover that they released the 7mm-08 in the Predator, so I'm going to have to have me that!

I have the Standard American in 7mm-08 and the Predator in .223. Both are great, but I like the predator the best over all.

I have also found that the optic in place makes a big difference on the balance of the weight, so you may still end up getting a good heft even with the heavier front end.
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