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Robert forwarded me the announcement email with the subject “NEW GUN!! OMG NEW NEW NEW NEW!”, so you can tell that he’s wallowing in my usual pre-SHOT Show pain. You see, I have a pet peeve about companies introducing “new” rifles when they’ve only changed one or two little things about their existing products. Like making it a new color, or changing the caliber in which it’s chambered. Like this latest announcement from Ruger, now offering their very nice American Rifle (introduced last year) in two new varmint calibers. I mean, it’s nice to see more options in chambering, but calling it a brand new rifle is more than a little overkill. Needless to say there’s more coming, so I’ll go stock up on whiskey.

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      • Apropos: On Wild West Alaska I noticed Jim recommending to a young woman a .338 Federal, which she proceeded to buy for a meat hunt down the Kennai. It looked like a Gray Ghost Ruger. I thought to myself “and where in Alaska is she going to buy ammo?” If she’d read a Ruger discontinue notice, she might of decided to go for the .30-06. Maybe. “It’s so popular even Ruger and Sako stopped making a gun for it.”

        • The .338 Federal will survive because you can chamber it in an AR10. Don’t expect it on the counter at Walmart though.

        • .338 WinMag you can find all over the place in Alaska.

          .338 Federal? Probably almost nowhere.

  1. Neat! I wonder what the twist rate is in the .223.

    I hope they make one of these in 6.5 Creedmore. I might like one to try out the caliber and it would help the caliber gain wider acceptance if they chambered it in a budget gun.

    • I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the Creedmoor and I think I’m ready to take the plunge. A savage is at the top of the list right now, though I wouldn’t say no to something like an NEF handi rifle to get into the game.

      • Yes the fact that the creedmore comes with the right twist for heavy bullets makes it appealing to me because it means I don’t have to pay for specialty barrels for something like a .260.

        What Savage creedmore model are you looking at?

    • Davidson’s has the base model of the American in 223 in stock today. They are saying it is a 1 in 8 twist . MSRP is $450 or so, and out the door at the LGS for around $350 after taxes and fees.

  2. The American in .243 is going to be my new hunting rifle. I like the way it feels and it’s not overweight. It’s a mass produced meat rifle and I’m okay with that.

    • How is availability on .243? I am not too familiar with American calibers but I presume its 6mm?

      From personal experience a mass-produced,”soulless” rifle is usually a good starting point to make something unique.

      • .243 is available and I believe it’s 6mm if memory serves. I believe you guys in Norway have larger game, moose, elk and the like. Here in CA the deer seem to be pretty small and then there’s wild pigs. I think the .243 is a good all around choice for here.

        I doubt I’ll ever build anything on my basic rifle. It’s just going to be the basic fudd hunting rifle. Something to help fill some freezers.

      • .243 is available everywhere here, even during most ammo crises.

        I have a Savage Axis .243 that is my backup deer and varmint gun. Great rifle – very light, short overall length, and a great trigger. It’s really comfortable to carry around all day versus my heavy old built-like-a-tank BSA CF2 .270.

        May not impress those that like fancy wood stocks and jeweled actions, but it gets the job done. Just another recommendation to go along with this review.

      • The .243, a necked-down .308, is fine for roe deer, the most common Scandinavian game. But why use .243 when you could use 6.5mm? And why isn’t 6.5mm more popular in the US? Beats me. I’ve borrowed a 6.5mm for decades in Sweden, and it’s sweet for deer, even kronhjort.

        • Because a lot of American hunters suffer from what is known as “NIH syndrome”

          There is even a lot of ignorance involved in those who suffer from NIH. My wife’s deceased stepfather once stated angrily, “I don’t like foreign food” just as he dug into a plate of spaghetti.

        • There aren’t as many gun owners in Norway as in the US (about 500 000+ out of a population of 5 million). This means that there is a narrower selection of ammo, this is why 308, 30.06, 8mm mauser and 6.5×55 are the most popular calibers. 6.5 was actually outlawed for a while as not being powerfull enough (this was to increase sales of commercial rifles due to there being many surplus Krag-Jørgensons).

          You on the other hand have a much wider selection, for instance there may be less than 1000 guns in 7.62x54mmR in Norway. Add another zero for 7.62×39 (I was thrilled to find a shell casing, due to it meaning that someone uses that cartridge). But the narrow selection also makes it safer to make wildcats (if its hard to get ammo, might as well make the best ammo/cartridge you can).

          But generally 6.5 will drop the animal (maybe not a bear but there have probably been cases in Svalbard).

        • 6.5mm pills over 140gr weight will have superb sectional density, and therefore will penetrate quite deeply, even on dangerous game.

  3. I’ve thought about buying a bolt rifle in .223 just to shoot cheap steel cased ammo. Any one chime in with how Wolf/Tulammo might perform in these? Not looking for MOA accuracy but I imagine it could do fairly well enough to hit some good steel out to 400yd.

  4. For just over $300 these guns are awesome values. .223 and 22-250, yes please! May not be a new gun, but I’ll take it.

    Does anyone know if there are any aftermarket stocks for these rifles yet?

    • I would love a compact in 357 magnum. Why do gun companies not make pistol caliber rifles? They are very scarce because they’re in high demand.

  5. I might buy the compact in 223 to teach my wife to shoot. Should be managable for her frame and have nearly zero recoil.

    • I bought a Mossberg MVP in .223 for that very reason, but my wife hates rifles… My daughter, though, is enjoying shooting it a ton. As much as I love that Mossberg, I’d have passed on it for the .223 American if it had been around a year ago. A bolt action .223 is a great centerfire trainer and ammo is a lot cheaper than the other stuff I shoot, so I get more range time as well.

  6. I drove over to Cabelas to buy one of these in .243 last week but they were sold out of everything except 30-06 and .270. (neither of which I want for a coyote rifle)

    And for the record 22-250 was already available on the full size.

    What I would really like is if they put one out in a 6.5mm caliber. At this point I don’t even care which one. 260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmore, 6.5×55 Sweed. Any of them would be acceptable. Creedmore or Sweed would be preferable, but I’d buy one in .260 Rem if available.

    I also really wish they would come out with a NOT BLACK stock. Tan, Coyote, or a hunting type camo would be fine. Something light colored because black gets hot in the Arizona sun. (yeah I know krylon is cheap)

  7. I just bought a new Ruger American 223 for use on my farm here in Tn. I cannot say enough good things about this rifle ! For the money you cannot buy a better gun . This rifle is going to put a serious dent in Savage AXIS ! a Co worker has it in 270 & loves it ! Here`s a heads up for you also The Savage B Mag .17 is junk I traded mine in after 6 weeks 3 of those it was back at the factory for repair !

  8. I bought a Ruger American in 223 a few weeks ago. I have been to the range twicw with it and it’s an awesome rifle! I shot WIn and Rem off the shelf ammo the 1st time and went back with reloads. The groups improver immediately! I’m very happy with this rifle! Also, the recoil is very light. I have arthritis in my R shoulder and this rifle didn’t bother me at all! The only negative i see is a lak of a real wood stock. Maybe a laminant? But that would push the price higher and I probably wouldn’t be able to afford it.

    Great Rifle!

  9. The reason I went for the Ruger American in 22-250 is that it comes in a short action. Why would you want the Savage Axis when it’s only long action for cal. Like 30-06. Seems ridiculous to put a small cal. LIKE 223 in a giant long action, it seems clumsy. That’s my rant. What does anyone else think

  10. So the review is actually a rant complaining about marketing tactics that every company does no matter what type of merchandise it is? I think its common place in every industry, so buck up or shut up! Did you see the newly designed Porsche 911? No one has since its inception into the motoring world since 1963, but they still make the claim that it is newly designed every couple of years. What do you do when you hear that claim? You look at it just like they want you to. They did their jobs, and the monkeys all look. Oh, and for the record, I went with the .223. I read some good, actual reviews on it. Thanks for all the in depth information! The truth about guns is surely leading the industry in NEW information and insight!


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