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The rifle for this review was provided by the Kentucky Gun Company

The time between receiving the presser for the Ruger Precision Rifle pressing the send button on my email to my friends at Ruger begging pleading asking nicely for one could be measured in nanoseconds. The next email was to the rest of the crew at TTAG to say, “Back off! She’s all mine.” And as if my prayers had been extra double answered, one day later an email hit my inbox from our perpetual patrons at Kentucky Gun Company to let me know that they had a RPR in .308 WIN that we could thrash around on as well. So within a day of each other, my FFL handed over two identical boxes with two nearly identical guns. An RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor (review here) and one in .308 WIN . . .

Those who have read my review of the 6.5 will know full how I feel about that gun. I gave it four stars only because I couldn’t give it 4.8. The buttstock was really the only thing that held the gun back from being what it theoretically could have been. That applies to the .308, too, but there are a couple of minor differences related to barrel and hand guard length and weight that justify a second review. Oh, and there’s accuracy, but more on that later.

The .308 version ships with a very handy twenty-inch barrel, a full four inches shorter than the 6.5 version and six shorter than its .243 counterparts. As in almost all things gun-related, barrel length is a topic of fierce debate, but I count myself in the camp that believes you should go with the shortest rifle barrel that will do the job at hand. All you’re sacrificing by going to a shorter barrel is a loss of velocity. Josh Wayner even did a lot of the heavy lifting for me to demonstrate that if nothing else, shorter barrels on a .308 aren’t inherently less accurate. So if you can get it done with a shorter barrel, you should, as the payoff in handling is well worth the velocity penalty.

Four inches may not sound like a lot, but it can mean the world when working off a barrier or out of a truck where that length can mean being able to quickly bring the gun to bear, or having to take a step back to give yourself more room to work. This problem is of course only amplified when you screw a silencer to the end of the barrel. Running the 6.5 and the .308 back-to-back, you can immediately feel the difference in barrel length. The .308 comes up quicker and allows you to move and work off barriers and obstacles much more easily.

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To keep things proportional, Ruger elected to go with a shorter rail from Samson. Viewed together, the .308 looks like the 6.5’s littler brother. That shorter hand guard never seemed to affect my shooting from bags, the bench, or off a bipod. Ruger used a fifteen-inch hand guard on the 6.5 and a 12.37 inch on the .308 so the difference is only 2.63 inches. The scaling seems to work quite well, and if you’re so inclined, you can even stick a KeyMod grip stop to the end of the gun, C-clamp it like Costa, and work that bolt like a madman. I’m not saying that I did, but I did.

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Blindfolded, I could still pick out the difference between the 6.5 and the .308 based purely off heft. On the same scale on the same day, the 6.5 weighed in at 10.824 lbs. while the .308 measured 9.886 lbs. Since they’re the same gun (functionally) from the chamber backwards, this weight savings came from everything forward of the magwell.

Curious about bore diameter relating to weight and such, I pounded a french press worth of coffee, and dusted off some underused math skills, and found that the change in bore diameter didn’t matter one bit. What did matter was hacking off a four-inch section of 4140 and cutting the aluminum hand guard back a few inches. As these weight savings came from the muzzle end of things, the .308 version is much faster to shoulder and doesn’t fatigue the support arm with offhand shooting.

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Where this lack of weight manifests itself quite clearly is in the recoil department. This was magnified by the very rigid and not very soft A2 buttstock I slapped on for a lot of the testing that I did. The Ruger buttstock, despite its flaws, does include a very generous rubber buttpad that soaks up some recoil. Without that weight and padding, the A2-equipped RPR was a less pleasant to shoot. Not as bad as shooting 3 1/2″ goose loads out of a light weight 12 gauge, but still noticeable. Screwing an aggressive brake to the front tamed a lot of this, and going back to the factory stock did as well. With the same brake, and a bit more weight, shooting a lighter recoiling cartridge, the 6.5 is still the pussycat of the two.

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The rest of the gun is identical down to the trigger, and the slight rattle from the safety lever. All of the minor gripes I had about the butt stock on the 6.5 rear their ugly head on the .308. That shouldn’t be a surprise at all since they’re functionally the exact same rifle from the chamber backwards. However, it was at least vindicating to see that both guns had cheek rests with some flex. I’m confident in saying that this is a problem across the whole line. But, just like the 6.5, this can easily be addressed thanks to the compatibility with AR-15 parts. On to the biggest difference.

308 178 gr BTHP

Where the .308 seemed to struggle against the 6.5 was consistent accuracy. The 6.5 shot the 120 gr. and 140 gr. A-MAX anywhere from .9 to 1.3 MOA hot, cold, dirty, and clean. No matter what I did, it just always seemed to shoot roughly .9 to 1.3 MOA at the 100 yard line. The 129 gr. SST was the real stand out though, showing very consistent sub MOA groups. The best five shot group was a touch under .6 MOA. I ran the 6.5 really hard during my testing. I didn’t perform a barrel break in of any type, I never cleaned it, and I got it glove melting hot. I treated the .308 the same way, but I fed it a lot more variety in ammo, and it just never consistently performed for me.

308 155 gr OTM

The best group I got out of the RPR in .308 was a .845 MOA group from some 178 gr. Hornady Match ammo. But in that same string of testing, I shot a 1.698 MOA group. I’d love to point to some error in my methodology, but I shot both guns on back to back days, off the same rest system, with the same optic, at the same target, at the same time of day. The results of my testing at the 100 yard line are below.

  • Hornady 168 gr. Match
    • 1.911 MOA
    • 1.531 MOA
  • Hornday 178 gr. Match
    • .845 MOA
    • 1.698 MOA
  • Hornady 155 gr. OTM Match
    • .993 MOA
  • Hornday 155 gr. A-Max
    • 1.079 MOA
  • Norma 168 gr. SMK HPBT
    • 1.545 MOA
  • Tula 150 gr FMJ
    • 2.475 MOA

308 155 gr AMAX 465 yards

Where these accuracy gremlins really start to manifest themselves was out at the quarter mile line and beyond. As I’ve mentioned in several of my rifle tests, I have a nice shaded spot at the 465 yard line that’s a great place to spend a day testing rifle accuracy. I shot the Norma 178 gr. BTHP and the 155 gr. A-MAX through the RPR for groups and managed to put down a 1.754 MOA and 1.737 MOA group respectively.

308 178 gr BTHP - 465 yds

The wind conditions on the day I tested the .308 were slightly higher (~5 mph) than the day I tested the 6.5 so I’m willing to spot the .308 a little cushion. Keep in mind, though, that the 6.5 easily kept it around the 1 MOA mark at the same distance. I chalk this performance gap up to two distinct weaknesses. The first being that this particular RPR in .308 just didn’t seem to be as accurate as the 6.5 that I tested (more speculation on that later). That’s surprising as .308 has a reputation as being an inherently accurate, consistent cartridge. The other weakness, and the one that no gun can really overcome is that the 6.5 just bucks the wind better. Even with slightly gusty conditions, a shooter has to do a bit more work to keep a .308 inside the same circle as a comparably built 6.5 Creedmoor.

This is the part where I’m going to immediately contradict myself – it doesn’t matter. There are lots of people, many of them my friends, who are DEEPLY invested in .308. Between dies, powder, bullets, and pallets of cheap(ish) NATO ammo, the rifle they buy is going to be a .308. For the new shooter getting into shooting long range precision, I’d absolutely recommend the 6.5 Creedmoor version of this rifle. Factory ammo is plentiful and cost competitive with factory match .308. More importantly, 6.5 is hands down an easier bullet to shoot in the wind. If you ever decide to get into reloading, you’ll have plenty of quality brass left over, and reloading for 6.5 Creedmoor is very well understood at this point.

But if you’re already invested in .308, don’t be scared off by these results. Sub 2 MOA accuracy at 500 yards is still fitting five bullets inside the vital zone of anything on four legs that can feed a family of four, and well within the confines of a ten inch diameter circle. If you’re in the business of learning how to call the wind, .308 is going to make you do your homework, and I’d argue that anyone who can shoot a .308 at any meaningful distance is going to be better at shooting a higher performance chambering like 6.5 Creedmoor if ever called to do so.

In the world of “practical” accuracy, sub 2 MOA at 500 yards is still pretty good, it just isn’t great. This gun never seemed to be a laser in my hands. But given the choice of those two rifles, I’d be facing a really tough decision. While the 6.5 is obviously more accurate, it’s heavier and more unwieldy to maneuver out of and around vehicles and barricades, where I spend the majority of my time shooting.

Keep in mind that I have attended a precision rifle match once in my life. Alternatively, I spend quite a few days in the fall, winter, and early spring in and out of a truck or blind and on foot in search of whitetail, axis, and pigs. A gun that handles well in a caliber that translates to dead right there terminal ballistics is a friend of mine.

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In my mind, the perceived lack of accuracy is offset by just about every other feature of the gun. And this is the rub as it relates to this RPR. If a $1000 Ruger Hawkeye performed like this, I’d give it a brutal review. But this gun is so well thought out and functional from the trigger to the magazine to its compatibility with the AR-15 platform and beyond, that I have a really hard time dinging it much.

I fully expect that someone in the comments section is going to tell me about their (insert hunting rifle here) will shoot circles around this gun with 150 gr. Core-Lokts. I won’t doubt that, and I’m sure their (insert hunting rifle here) is a fine rifle. But it’s not like this one, and here’s why.

Let’s take a Rem 700 AAC-SD like the one that Nick tested awhile back. He loves that gun and it shoots regular 1 MOA groups he says. I shot a similar Remington 700 SPS for a scope review and I found it to be a tack driver. When Nick wrote that review, he said street price was $650. I’m now seeing them priced closer to $700, and even if you find a screaming deal, you still need to get it to your door. That gun comes from the factory with a threaded muzzle which will save you some money.

But if you take that perfectly serviceable barreled action out of the stock it’s in, drop it in a nice chassis that accepts AICS Mags ($400-$700), put a 20 MOA rail ($50-$100) on it, and give it an oversized bolt knob ($150), you’ll be in the $1300 – $1650 range excluding shipping, and various other labor related charges that might crop up. You’ll also need to go get at least two magazines, and at the time this published, AICS mags were running $80/per. PMAGs of course are cheaper, but the only “chassis” system that will take those is Magpul’s new Hunter line. So plan on spending a minimum of $1400 and probably closer to $1800 when the dust settles to get your hunting gun on the level of functionality that the RPR brings to the table out of the box.

We can debate the necessity of the bolt knob, and magazine feeding, and adjustable stocks, and such. But the fact is that nobody in the top 10 of the Precision Rifle Series used a hinged floorplate to feed their rifle, and none of them ran stock bolt knobs, or factory stocks. The gun that Ruger made is very close to the guns I saw on the line at this year’s Bushnell Brawl. Ruger did their homework on figuring out the things a precision rifle needs.

At this writing, the RPR is running at between $1200 – $1250 on Gunbroker, unsurprising since it’s still relatively new. That’s several hundred dollars saved for a gun that’s ready to shoot right now. And if you get serious about competing in precision rifle, only to find that the accuracy of the factory barrel isn’t up to your standards, several shops are already cutting and installing premium barrel blanks to fit this gun. So if you get one that’s a mediocre shooter, you can go to a premium barrel for several hundred dollars instead of the $1000 – $1500 it might cost to rebarrel a 700 (I’m including blueprinting).

Many speculate that this gun will create a market like the AR 15 has and you’ll be able to mail order a barrel to your house and swap it out in an afternoon. Savage has certainly found a home in that market, and there’s no reason Ruger can’t cash in on it as well.  

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Specifications: Ruger Precision Rifle

  • Caliber: .308 Winchester
  • Capacity: 10 rounds (20 and 25 round PMags are available in the market)
  • Stock: Folding, Adjustable Length of Pull and Comb Height
  • Barrel: Cold Hammer- Forged, 5R Rifling
  • Twist: 1:10”
  • Barrel Length: 20.00”
  • Overall Length: 38.25” – 41.75”
  • Folded Length: 30.60”
  • Height: 7.30”
  • Width: 3.30”
  • Advertised Weight: 9.70 lbs.
  • Measured Weight: 9.886 lbs
  • Length of Pull: 12.00”- 15.50”
  • Suggested Retail: $1,399.00
  • Real World Pricing: ~$1250. If you’re willing to wait, KY GunCo has them for less than $1100

Ratings (out of five stars):

Fit, Finish, Build Quality * * * *
The Ruger American Rifle I tested a few months prior was rough in every way shape and form. The RPR is built of similar parts with a much higher degree of final finish. The only exception is the butt stock and I’d rate that 90% of the way to being perfect.

Customization * * * * *
If I didn’t think it would break Nick’s review engine, I’d award the RPR six stars for customization. Every single part of this gun is modular from the stock all the way to the barrel. There’s not a single thing except for the receiver and bolt that a person with a minimum of tools couldn’t swap out. This level of customization is only going to get better as this rifle gains market traction.

Accuracy * * * 
The 6.5 got a well-deserved five stars. The .308 version gets three because I know it is capable of much more. I don’t know why this one isn’t a lights out shooter like the 6.5. One gentleman suggested that a simple recrowning might fix some of the issues I saw, and frankly, it’s possible that a good cleaning would help. I did notice upon cleaning the 6.5 and the .308 back to back that the .308 seemed to have quite a bit more carbon and copper fouling after a fairly similar round count. The edges of the lands were sharp enough on the .308 that it would pick up bits of the dry patches I pushed down the bore, a behavior that the 6.5 did not exhibit. Naturally, this is all speculative on my part, but I think there’s work to be done to turn that particular rifle into a shooter.

Overall  * * * * 
I gave the 6.5 a four star rating that was much more like a 4.8. The .308 still gets a four star rating but its really more of a 4.1 or 4.2 because of the accuracy issues. It eked out a couple sub MOA groups, so it passes the 1 MOA for $1000 rule of thumb. And truthfully, I really do feel that in the hands of someone looking to optimize its accuracy, it could have done better. I ran the gun hard and didn’t give it optimal conditions in which to perform because I wanted to see a worst case scenario. The truth is that the 6.5 stood up to that better. That said, the .308 version still shoots reliably and accurately enough for 90%+ of shooters out there. Ruger still very much has a winner on their hands.

The rifle for this review was provided by the Kentucky Gun Company

72 Responses to Gun Review: Ruger Precision Rifle in .308 WIN

    • At 100 yards, no. Further than that the higher BC of the 6.5 gives it more velocity, flatter trajectory, lower TOF, and less drift.

      • Since that was a ‘virgin’ bore, may lapping improve it’s performance?

        That model rifle earlier reviewed in 6.5 Creed. had about 1\2 min. angle accuracy, I’m just curious why the .308 is twice as worse in accuracy…

        • There’s no inherent difference in the accuracy of a .308 and a 6.5 Creedmoor other than what’s been pointed out about the Creedmoor being a little less prone to wind drift. I’m guessing the exterior dimensions of the barrels are the same, making the .308 a thinner barrel. Otherwise, not every barrel is going to come off the line with the same accuracy, especially before they’ve been worn in. It could have easily been the opposite with the .308 the more accurate one.

          Lapping would help, but it would shorten the life of the barrel. Shooting a thousand rounds would do the same thing. It’s just a matter of wearing down the bumps and filling in the pits with copper.

  1. I’m a bit surprised at the lack of accuracy. Especially with the different ammo you fed it.
    Bummer.
    I wish I could shoot mine. ?

    • My SR762 is surprisingly a bit more accurate than this rifle with 168 grain match ammo. I’m actually a bit shocked, because I’m able to pull 0.7MOA groups with a piston-driven semi auto, while this one cant even do that. Curious how that works out. Maybe this one is just a dud?

      • I have yet to shoot my SR762. It’s scoped & ready to go but having a 4 month old has kept me at bay for now. 🙂 I hope to get this kind of accuracy myself. If the RPR can’t get the same or better, it’s really not worth it.

  2. TK, barrel will shoot-in over time, or shoot-out? You said it picked up pieces of the patch, is that something that’ll ‘fire-lap’ you think, or not.

    ‘Rattle-ee’ selector?

    • I haven’t shot this Ruger, but I do own a 20″ DPMS AR-10… it’s definitely not a 1MOA rifle. Averages around 2-2.5 with the same loads that do .5-.7 in my Savage 10BA. I’ve tried various weights and loads, factory and handloads. 3MOA with 7.62 NATO surplus (acceptable), 2MOA with 175gr SMK handloads (not acceptable).

      • Wish I had saved it, but American Rifleman did a review of a 16″ with their 5×5 protocol and got ~1moa. I know most people around here are not fans of dead tree rags but I don’t think they lied about the results. I have seen plenty of reviews (in AR) where they may have tried to downplay bad results but they still printed the numbers.

      • I get the same accuracy with either of my Armalite AR10’s. I think I’m going to sell one and go with bolt action. I wish this Ruger would have rec’d a better review.

    • I would love to see that ar 10 get that kind of accuracy… I would never believe it I would have to see it… Be there you know what I mean!

  3. Price for a RPR in .308 at Sportsmans Warehouse 1 week ago was $999.00 plus tax and they had 2 of them in stock in their Silverdale, WA store that day.

  4. Match ammo might be competitively priced in the Creedmore but if someone new is getting into long range shooting they’d be better served with .308. There’s plenty of cheap ammo out there that’s accurate enough to brush up your skills to the point where you could use match ammo in .308, not so much in 6.5 Creedmore. For a serious shooter, barrels tend to be more accurate after a thousand rounds. So either way buying the .308 would probably save a few hundred dollars.

    • True that. .308 is easy and cheap to find, and has more energy inside about 350 yards – where most hunting occurs – than the 6.5.

      • It takes every bit of 500 yards to for the Creedmore to catch up with the .308 energy wise, but there’s two ways to look at that. First, the .308 is a more powerful round until well beyond what could be considered an ethical hunting range. Second, the Creedmore is just as powerful as the harder recoiling .308 downrange due to it’s higher BC. For most game and most hunters the performance of either round is just fine. It will just cost more to practice with the Creedmore.

  5. Have yet to see a review on the 308 or 6.5 version of this gun where someone took the time (and money) to try and find a handload that shot 1/2MOA or better in either. It’s obvious that the bbls dont totally suck or they wouldnt shoot as good as they did with factory fodder. Given that, its just bullet weight, powder charge and COL to tune a load for max accuracy. Also, I think I read vs dreamed that these guns use AR bbls and bbl nuts/bbl extsn to mount the bbls. If so, bbl swap out should be a breeze for someone with the right tools.

    • Couple threads over at snipers hide where they did just that. It also seemed that several guys had bad bores, and some noted that they had .5 MOA cold, but broke down as barrel heated (and some posters were able to get consistent .5 MOA from the get-go). I recall that some posters had custom heavy barrels installed and found .5 MOA or better.

      • Like I told the owner of 2 of these guns who bought them for rentals at his range, he said they wouldnt shoot MOA, I said call Ruger, raise hell and send them back. Also, I havent seen anyone publish a review on the 308 who shot 168 or 175 Federal Gold Metal Match ammo or BLack Hills Match ammo. If a 308 wont shoot those to sub MOA, there is something bad wrong and should go back to the mfr. Ruger’s have never been known for their accuracy, especially their old bolt guns with that cockamamey combination action screw/recoil lug.

        • Had my 308 out last weekend doing a barrel break in. Later in the day I shot 3 rounds of 168gr SMK hand loads (that’s all I had with me ) that are meant for my 308 ruger American, and it was about 1/8″ off from putting two of the rounds in the exact same hole. Round #3 was 2″ higher, but I attribute that to the guy shooting next to me kicking my mat that the bi pod was standing on as I pulled the trigger.

  6. Nice review. I just picked one up “used” in 308 for $1000 as an impulse buy even though I was impatiently waiting for one in 6.5. I am fully stocked and geared for 308 and was hoping to expand my horizons with the RPR in 6.5 Creedmor. I pulled the scope off of my son’s (sorry Buddy!) R700 “as is” just to get some rounds down range for my hasty and unplanned range trip. I spent some time on the living room floor before hitting the range getting the stock setup for me but still struggled with it while shooting partially because the rings were too low for the RPR setup. This is not a surprise since the R700 is contoured and the RPR has the flat AR fore end. BTW, cold bore it shot dead center and 1.5″ high with the R700 setup at 100 yards. Not sure what the tells you but getting sighted in was 2 shots and I was in business.

    The rifle was very solid (save the safety), smooth and very comfortable to shoot ergonomically even with the too low rings. The trigger was very good and reminded me of the accutrigger on a Savage 10P I regret selling. By appearance and feel they pretty much ripped off the Savage design best I can tell. As noted, the safety was a bit sloppy but worked well. I tried the supplied 2 10 rd pmags and a DPMS 4 rounder that I have bouncing around in my range kit. All mags worked fine. Accuracy Disclaimer: I’ve rung steel man size steel at 1000 Y but have NEVER been a super sniper precision rifle guy. From prone off the ground with a bipod (Atlas) the RPR shot roughly moa for me with Factory 168g SMK and slightly worse with some Hornady 165g Interlok handloads with Varget that are designed to mimic 165 SGK loads. Those hunting handloads are easily moa out of my R-25 and also out of a 16″ custom barreled rifle I recently built. I was slightly disappointed in the groups but I was a bit rushed and it was cold/windy with well over 15 mph gusts. I was also dealing with every Tom, Dick, and Harry that was sighting in his muzzle loader that wanted to chat about the rifle or look over my shoulder when I was shooting it.

    I would love to own a GA Precision or Surgeon rifle someday but this will have to do for now. Overall, I was very pleased and expect to get the accuracy sorted out on this rifle. I am getting my Viper HS-T properly mounted this week and will hit it again this weekend. More to follow.

  7. So…in short Ruger will make a killing selling this silly looking thing that shoots about as good as a $400 pawn shop deer rifle.

    Why? It appeals to the mall ninja in all of us.

    • This rifle can be competitive with $3K-$7K rifles with a custom barrel & more rigid handguard for less than $1K more.
      That’s a benefit, e.g.:http://www.scout.com/military/snipers-hide/story/1616372-sniper-s-hide-complete-ruger-upgrade-review. Few people are going to compete in F target class with a deer rifle. That requires 5.56/223 or .308 anyway. ’06s are out now. I picked up an RPR .308 from Fin Feather Fur, in Ohio, for $999.99, they’re offering the 6.5 for the same money. These are the base models, not the newer “enhanced” models Ruger’s also offering now, which are about $300 more.

  8. I think that gun looks really ugly, but you’re opinion may vary. I think a bolt gun shouldn’t look like an AR clone, but that is just me.

  9. What ever happened to Josh Wayner? That guy did more for barrel length arguments than anyone ever. Every big gun magazine is copying his experiments! I just think he deserves more credit for what he did to influence the industry.

  10. Have a look over at http://www.rifleshooter.com they have done velocity vs barrel length for 223/556, 308, and 300winmag I believe. They cut the barrel down with a chop saw so no groups were shot for accuracy but they did measure ES and SD with their chronograph which is a good measure of potential accuracy.

  11. So the 24″ barrel 6.5mm is more accurate than the 20″ barrel .308? Could it be that longer barrels produce better real-world results, especially past 100 yards? Just something to think on.

    I know the theory and experiments behind short barrels. I also know competitive shooters still use long barrels, and the real tack driver rifles always still seem to have long barrels.

    • My guess is that the exterior diameter of both barrels are the same. Jeff Quinn over at Gunblast described the Creedmore barrel as ‘about 7/8 inch at the muzzle’. If that’s so, the thickness of the barrel walls are ‘about’ 0.3055″ for the Creedmore and ‘about’ 0.2835″ for the .308 at the muzzles.

      Long barrels are fine if they come with a corresponding increase in girth. When the bullet hits the rifling grooves it rings the barrel like a tuning fork. Those vibrations run down the barrel ahead of the bullet. If every bullet leaves the barrel at exactly the same speed it doesn’t really matter how much the muzzle whips around because every bullet will be thrown off in the same direction. No ammunition is perfect though. I’d guess that there’s a small advantage to a long barrel in consistent velocities, but only if the girth is thickened to retain the same degree of rigidity. If carrying a 15 pound rifle to the range is not an issue it would make sense to have a 26″ barrel.

  12. C’mon Tyler…recoil gripes? In a 10lb 308? Really?

    Otherwise, thanks for taking the time to do two write-ups showing that a similar product in a similar box isn’t necessarily similar in the important aspects.

  13. WRT the RPR’s rattling safety selector, Ruger now has a free fix for it — a spring that takes about a minute to install and solves the problem. Call Ruger’s customer support with the serial number of your RPR and they’ll send to you.

  14. I find the criticisms about length and weight to be odd, as well as the dismissal of the velocity loss that a shorter barrel brings. The RPR is not a tactical carbine. Neither is it brush rifle or a truck gun. Its intended use is as a long range precision rifle, primarily aimed at those who want to get into competitions. Weight and length don’t matter so much when you’re going to tote it to the firing line in a cart. Velocity loss is a problem in long range shooting. You don’t want a short, handy barrel when you’re trying to connect at 1000 yards.

    I get it: each person can use their guns for whatever application they want. But if you’re looking for a gun that maneuvers well in a truck or perches easily on barriers, there are better options than a long range competition rifle.

    • The problem with this is….it doesn’t shoot good enough to be a long range precision rifle.

      You could get an F-class Savage for about the same price. Would be like a Corvette vs. a riced out Honda Civic. Not a bad analogy.

      • Ok, but would you expect that F-class Savage to be as light and handy as your tactical carbine or truck gun?

        Ruger may have some problems to work out with this rifle. Or the author may have gotten a bad example. If the rifle doesn’t perform it’s intended job, that is a legitimate criticism. It still does not translate into criticizing the rifle for not being something that it was never intended to be. It’s like buying a safari rifle and faulting it because it has too much recoil to shoot prairie dogs all day.

  15. OK, I need to get up on my hind legs here and issue forth a rant.

    First, let’s use some common sense here: Unless you’re in a situation where you need to exit a vehicle fast, under fire, and you “have to dance with thems that brought you,” there’s no reason to use un-assing yourself from a car as a criterion for barrel length on a bolt action rifle. If I’m in a situation where I have an issue exiting a vehicle fast with a bolt gun, I’ve screwed up, big time, starting a long, long, loooong ways back up a decision chain, starting right around the point where I said “I’m going to involve myself in something that requires I exit a vehicle quickly with a bolt gun, because it sounds like fun!.”

    Then there’s the weight issue. Here, I’m almost to a point of demanding you turn in your Man Card. Why? Well, TTAG has had the very capable and adorable Ms. Kirsten Joy Weiss on these pages, doing all manner of trick shots that require shooting with accuracy. Many of Ms. Weiss’ shots have been made off-hand with her Anschuetz .22LR rifle. I don’t hear Ms. Weiss complain about weight or barrel length – ever. Ms. Weiss appears to me to have been born a girl (if Ms. KJW would argue with this, I will stand corrected), so I think we can exclude the possibility that she’s a “trans” female who was originally endowed with the upper body strength of a male. Apparently, today this makes me guilty of several micro-aggressions which cause various feminists to erupt in paroxysms of mortal cranial flatulence, but I won’t delve into the rathole of intellectual onanism surrounding trans vs. cis women just now.

    Why don’t you ask this young lady how much her Anschuetz weighs? To save you the humiliation of asking a girl how much rifle she’s hefting while she out-shoots you, I’ll give you the answer: Same as my Annie – over 10 pounds. The barrel length on a competition .22, which has to be shot standing off-hand (as well as sitting, kneeling and prone) is over 24 inches. That’s a short barrel for shooting off-hand, BTW. My Winchester 52B has a barrel length of 28 inches. It shoots marvelously well off-hand. The Win 52B/C/D was the target .22 for decades in the US, with some of the heaviest variants running upwards of 12.5 lbs. Apparently, that was back when men still made noises of large hardened steel bearings bouncing off each other whilst they walked to the firing line.

    What you’re also sacrificing when you shorten a barrel is your sight radius. Longer barrels aren’t so much inherently more or less accurate than long barrels, but the reduction in sight radius is a for-real issue when you’re using iron sights. A shorter sight radius magnifies small sighting errors. You whippersnappers, who still have good, capable vision, should be using iron sights, but I’m going to guess that you slapped a scope (the details of which you didn’t specify in the review) onto this rifle.

    First we had people whinging about the recoil on .223’s/5.56’s and seeking out muzzle brakes to tame this “recoil.” The very notion still makes my brain ponder “WTF are they talking about?” Now we have more whinging about recoil on a rifle where most of us “old guys” usually ask “what recoil?” when said rifle weighs more than 7 lbs. A .30-06 in a 1903 Springfield recoils more than a .308, it has a steel buttplate, and that’s still a “what recoil?” for this old man and many men much older than I.

    In the review above, you claim to have put a brake on this rifle – but you didn’t specify whether the groups were shot with or without the brake, or whether you tested for any effect of the brake on group size.

    Lapping: The fact that you’re seeing the barrel snag bits of the patch on the way down the bore is not good. That should not be happening. If you wish to lap out rough spots in a barrel after it has been cut and chambered, there’s really only one way to do it that that’s fire-lapping. David Tubb, a shootist who is as inhumanly accurate as Jerry Miculek is fast, sells a fire-lapping kit as do others. BTW, Mr. Tubb shoots better off-hand than most people shoot off a bench, and he has the awards to show for it. Firelapping will require that you load up the abrasive bullets with starting loads for the .308, and follow the instructions. I don’t want to distract from my harrumphing here to detail why you cannot hand-lap a barrel that’s already chambered and fit to length, but I shall if people are really curious.

    Backing way up to the start of this whole process, we have the issue of how the barrels were treated on break-in. Well, it’s not my rifle, but I sure as heck don’t treat new barrels like that. Getting a barrel so hot that you can’t touch it with your bare hand is how you start eroding the throat. I clean extensively within the first 50 rounds or so, and subject the barrel to only slow-fire.

    Sigh. Damn kids. I’d go outside and yell at clouds, but today in Wyoming it is a low overcast, so it would be a pointless diatribe on my part in all directions.

    Harrumph.

    • You my friend, need to seriously write a book! I haven’t read prose like that since Ruark, and I miss it greatly. Thanks for the laugh…it was needed!

    • Good rant. I get frustrated with the “every rifle must be short and light and look as much like an AR as possible” crowd. I think most of these folks have not shot a variety of full-powered rifles extensively. I believe their opinions are formed largely by following the current trend versus first-hand experience. Weight is your friend with target rifles.

      As for this particular rifle, I do not know why anyone would be surprised that Ruger is turning out rifles with inconsistent accuracy. It’s kind of Ruger’s thing.

    • “The fact that you’re seeing the barrel snag bits of the patch on the way down the bore is not good. That should not be happening.”

      OMG, agree completely, and couldn’t frankly believe such a thing was possible. Been shooting for more than 40 years and never heard of such a thing. There is no way to break in or lap such a thing. Send it back and ask the manufacturer if they’ve lost their minds.

      There is a reason why “custom” barrels cost more than factory ones, and there is a reason why serious competitors shoot them exclusively. Actually there are many reasons. Having said that, there is a lot of appeal to the new Ruger, including the overall modularity plus the adjustability of the stock. An entry-level tactical bolt rifle at a decent price point, DBM, and receiver rail. Can’t really believe it doesn’t come with a bipod spud, which wouldn’t have cost much, because I can’t really believe people are going to put vertical grips, flashlights and other such nonsense on a rifle like this. But the M4 crowd is fond of stuff like that.

      A precision rifle needs to shoot sub MOA, period, and not just some of the time. I will be interested to see what results are obtained with decent barrels. Beginners can buy one of these and do the range time they need to gain some measure of proficiency while shooting out the factory barrel. But they shouldn’t be too disappointed in their results, if the thing will only shoot 1.5MOA with good ammo.

    • Very well said. I always preferred iron sights until I had to accept the fact that I was in need of readers. I still try to shoot with iron sights to keep my consistency intact. I was awarded best marksman in the military shooting the fn-c1 in 7.62 nato, rear peep, front blade. When I first got to basic, that rifle did to me what it did to everybody else, at first, and that would be giving every one first shooting it a massive goose-egg on their cheek, we all lived to shoot another day. After a short while it was like you said, ‘what recoil?’ Nuff said! One more thing, we were all putting rounds on center of mass at the 600 yard range with those open sights. I can’t believe some of these range puffs, my daughter loves shooting my 1953 vintage marlin 30-30 lever, and consistently groups at 1″ or less at 50 yards, buckhorn sights to boot. A little over 2-2.5″ off-hand. Pretty good for a girl who stands not quite 5’10” and weighs in at 120 lb.

    • Dyspeptic Gunsmith,
      Great observations (rant) on recoil management and other topics. I thoroughly enjoyed your review and agree. For my part, I am amazed on the number of ‘growed -up’ men who reluctantly approach my ’03 Springfield like it was a Safari rifle. (How did we ever win wars with metal butt plates? I suppose they served their purpose in hand to hand encounters).
      I have a Remington model 600 350 Rem Mag that I would not want to shoot a few boxes of ammo at the range for the sake of my shoulder (or wallet ) but, it was not intended for plinking. It reminds me of the feminization of the pickup truck; carpets and power windows, air conditioning and most won’t see anything dirty or ‘scratchy’ in the bed. If they have 4 wheel drive many will never use it. We live in a land of plenty. Plenty of choices. Guess I’m just older than most and have an appreciation for the past. Happy Hunting…. and Smithing.

  16. I can’t wait to get my hands on this rifle. I’m that lost soul that is heavily invested in .308 winchester.
    My current .308 bolt gun is a 13 pound target rifle. I’m not humping a 13 pound rifle to chase deer and pigs, so this new Ruger is a welcome sight. This new Ruger RPR will pair very nicely with my 20 inch .308 AR. The fact that they also will feed from the same magazine is a major bonus. I’ll swap the Ruger butt stock for a PRS so it feels as close to identical to my AR as it can. I’m not so concerned about this one’s accuracy “issues”. A good hand load will cure fix that “issue”. I already have a great 155 grain load for my AR. I’ll just turn up the wick a bit and I’ll have this Ruger singing a sub moa song every time it thumps dinner. I’m not a competitive shooter so I don’t worry about shooting of barricades and that sort of thing. This new Ruger precision rifle has my name all over it. When I finish moving back to North Carolina from California, its getting surpassed. I’m already saving for the rifle, suppressor, and that silly 200 dollar tax. As far as the loose safety lever, Swap it for an ambidextrous from CMMG and its not an issue any more.

  17. I have been reading and watching on youtube all the reviews I can find about this rifle in 308 this the first one I have found that has anything negative to say about the accuracy of this rifle !
    Is everybody else lying or is somthing else going on here ?

  18. I don’t know about everyone else on this blog but 3 different rifle calibers of the same rifle with THREE different barrel lengths!? Just about every rifle I know of that guarantees 1/2 moa 5 shots at 100 yards have barrels longer that a measly 20″ for example; Sako TRG 42, Remington 40X, any of Don Fraley builds (Advanced Weapons Technology) etc. Maybe that explains why the 20″ .308 will only shot well under 100 yards and the Creedmore with a 24′ barrel would stand to reason that it would shoot better and a 26″ barrel for a .243? Why didn’t they just make them ALL 26″ and be done with it? I agree with TT and Dyspeptic Gunsmith!

  19. I consider myself an average or novice shooter. Out of the box, 90 minutes on the range with a $109 scope. 100 yard 3 group @ .625, 200 yard 5 group @ 1.3 and 300 yard 10 group (in 56 seconds) @ 2.8. Most pleasurable day on the range ever for me. Makes me consider competition.

  20. Well for me I bought the 6.5 creedmoor…. With in 5 shots I was zeroed ( out of the box ). Shot 1/2 moa at a hundred and two hundred yds…. I am not a comp shooter just a guy learning how to shoot… But everyone at the range was impressed… I was impressed that’s the best I have ever shot…. My ar15 and ar10 both shoot 3/4 moa at 100 yds but I hand load those rounds….. The 6.5 creedmoor were factory rounds…. I would buy another 6.5 just to have…. Hats off to ruger

  21. My 20 inch AR10 pushes my 155 grain hornaday OTM load at 2811 FPS and consistently holds 1.5 MOA. All I need my bolt gun to do is the same thing and feed from the same mags.
    1.5 MOA at 300 yards is around 4.5 inches. That’s a tight enough group to kill anything worth putting in my freezer.

    I’ll take one in 308 and put the money I save toward a suppressor.

  22. With the 6.5 CM you should expect no worse than .65-.75 MOA at any range up to 500 yards with minimal wind gusts. I am an average shooter and I have never shot worse than .75 with the 6.5 RPR.

    • I’d love to see a review on this rifle that can substantiate the 1/2 MOA (out of the box) comments I have seen on so many other sites. But from what I can tell, the authors ~0.9 MOA seems to be fairly consistent among reviewers. Was hoping to hear good things about this rifle as it has so many features I like, but it looks as though a heavy barreled Savage or Weatherby will out shine what is otherwise an impressive rifle.

      • It’s all about the ammo. With the 6.5 cm with 130 Berger hybrid, 42.5 gn of H4350, .015 of the lands you will shoot between .1 MOA to .3 MOA. all day long. Before I struggled to get consistently below .5 with factory ammo. The best was copper creek 142 and winchester 140 match. Both shot better than the 120 and 140 A Max and ELD.

  23. I’d love to see a review on this rifle that can substantiate the 1/2 MOA (out of the box) comments I have seen on so many other sites. But from what I can tell, the authors ~0.9 MOA seems to be fairly consistent among reviewers. Was hoping to hear good things about this rifle as it has so many features I like, but it looks as though a heavy barreled Savage or Weatherby will out shine what is otherwise an impressive rifle.

  24. I have one of the earlier .308 RPRs… S/N 4XXX. I’ve had it since late June of 2015. I’m still trying to get decent accuracy from it. I’ve loaded some of the new Hornady ELD Match bullets (208 gr). I’m hoping these will be decent.. My original goal was to try to use this for 1000 yd. target shooting, but with the 20″ barrel I don’t think I’ll ever get there. It certainly won’t using Sierra 168 gr. Match Kings. They are OK up at 800 yds. but at 900 and 1000 they definitely go subsonic and fly every which way. I was holding about a 12″ group at 800 yds. and 900 it took me 15 rounds to get 2 on paper (barely) and that is a 6 ft. target! Fired 15 or 20 at 1000 yds. with zero on the paper! So much for long range shooting. However… I’m not giving up yet. These new ELD bullets have MUCH better physical characteristics than the 168 gr. SMKs. They are considerably longer than the SMKs… more like a Creedmore bullet. In the meantime, I decided to get another gun in case this one doesn’t work out. I got a Remington 700 LTR, which also has a 20″ barrel, but I’m guessing it will probably be a better 800 yrd. shooter. We’ll see.. Its all part of the fun, attempting the impossible. If I had to grab one of these and run though, I think I’d still go for my late 70’s Ruger M77 in 7mm Mag. it is and always has been a super accurate rifle, as long as you don’t fire more than 3 or 4 rounds and heat up the barrel… it goes south pretty fast when it gets hot.

    I’m hoping by the end of summer I will have answered my question as to whether the RPR stays or goes. In retrospect I probably should have gotten the 6.5 Creedmore. Its more suited for what I want to do. Accuracy at long ranges. Maybe by then I can find a replacement Creedmore match barrel without having to mortgage my house to pay for it.

  25. Not sure where you are getting your factory ammo if it’s the same price at 6.5. You can’t really get 6.5 in bulk.
    here in Canada. 20rounds of 6.5( highest number per box) is around $20-25.

    I can get $1000rounds of 308 for about $480-550 any day.

  26. I’m not sure if you got a dud, had equipment (scope, mount) failure, it was operator error or maybe the barrel was badly fouled. I have a RPR in 308 Win and it’s accuracy amazes me everytime I shoot it. Every commercial match load I’ve tried is sub-MOA. Federal Gold Metal shoots 5-shot 0.6 MOA groups all day long. My hand loads shoot 5-shot 0.5 MOA groups all day long. 10%-20% of the 5-shot groups with my hand loads get down to 0.25 MOA.

    My only complaint is with the magazine/magazine well. It’s awesome they use standard mags but they are too short to handloads the bullets to an O.A.L. which puts the ogive 0.020″ or closer to the rifling. To me, that’s a must for a true precision rifle. So I would have rather have had a proprietary magazine that allowed hand loading to a proper overall length.

  27. My .308 Ruger Precision Rifle w/Vortex PST optics shoots 2.5 MOA with168 Berger VLD. My Rock River LAR-8 shoots the same bullet .75 MOA. I have not yet loaded custom rounds for the Ruger Precision Rifle to see if it can be tightened up; However, the .308 win has been around a while and there is no doubt that a rifle marketed to be precision should shoot 1.5 MOA or better. “ENOUGH SAID”

    • I use 45.0 gr. of Varget powder and 175 SMKs, seat the bullet for a COL right at SAAMI spec. It will shoot sub MOA all day long… probably around .75 or so. That being said… it won’t shoot (accurately) past about 850 yards. Its all over the place at that range. 800 yds. and I’m OK, 900 yds. I can hit the target (not the bullseye…) about half the time. Can’t even hit a 4′ x 6′ target at 1000 yds. At 1000 yds. its like dropping in a mortar round there is so much bullet drop. Its just not a 1000 yrd. gun. Consequently, I have ordered a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel from Snipe Arms. In about 3 months I’ll be able to update on how its working out. Only mod for the new barrel was a custom cut of the barrel down to 21 3/4″ from 22″ to achieve the best barrel harmonics. Hopefully I’ll now be able to compete with the rest of the long range shooters at our club. http://www.tcsa.org Tri-Cities Shootiing Association. Check out their 1000 yrd. range..

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