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Ruger’s latest offering, the American Rifle, is a bold push into the “budget bolt action rifle” market. There hasn’t really been anything of quality introduced beneath the $500 price point in some time, and if the first impressions I had of this gun at Media Day are any indication this rifle is going to go far…

While the stock and magazine are plastic (OK, “polymer”) they don’t feel flimsy at all. The barrel comes free floated from the factory and the action is bedded in some gigantic aluminium blocks in an interesting asymmetric design that ensures the action always slots into the bedding the same way each time. Even better is that instead of fitting the block into the stock the aluminium bedding block comes first and the stock is designed to accommodate it.

The trigger in this rifle is user adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds, and is designed such that the pull is exactly 3 pounds at one end of the screw’s travel and 5 pounds at the other end. In other words its idiot proof. The trigger itself isn’t exactly creep free but it’s not the worst trigger I’ve ever puller either.

What really interested me was the rotary magazine design. Despite the slender stock you still get a 4 round capacity (4+1) and loading the magazine is pretty damned easy.

Speaking of easy, working the bolt is smooth and relatively light. The reason behind this smoothness and lightness is that instead of a single cocking cam in the bolt there are two, making the forces acting on it symmetrical, decreasing friction and lessening the required oomph to open the bolt.

It’s not the perfect rifle, but it’s accurate out of the box (with built-in weaver rails) and has some really nice innovations. And at under $500 it might just be enough rifle for a great price.

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    • I’m not…

      Cheap & accurate… I think Savage figured that out about a decade ago. Heck, I have a friend with a Steven’s in .270 that can shoot 3-shot groups under 1/2″ with the cheapo Bushnell (or maybe a Simmons) that came with the rifle from the factory. Out the door, he paid $315.

      Something named the “American Rifle” should be a bit more classy in my opinion. If I wanted something cheap and plasticy, I’d visit the Jersey shore. Perhaps this should be called the “GTL Rifle”…

  1. Im sure taurus will reveal there taurus brazilian rifle that will be the same as the ruger exept it wont be built as well.

  2. These will be available in both long and short action. I read a very favorable detailed review on one of the web based review sites. The rifle tested was chambered in 30-06 and it shot sub moa with inexpensive Federal ammo. I will pick one up in 308 Win for a rainy day hunting rifle when they become available.

  3. Good review, except the stress of doing lots of posts at once caused an important omission. What cartridge size does it use? The label on a box of shells in one of the pictures says “30.06”. Are those the shells going into this gun?

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