ruger-precision-rifle-featured

Ruger Precision Rifle: Part 1

In Blog by Don11 Comments

Hey guys, it’s your favorite bearded Norseman from the north again. This time I’m here to talk about the Ruger Precision Rifle, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The very first thing I need to do is point out that this is a rifle people are either going to love or hate. There really doesn’t seem to be any between with people. Well that’s not entirely true because I was definitely ready to love the ruger precision rifle, but hated some things about it. Now that I’ve had some time with it to change the things I didn’t like about it, I’m actually pretty happy with it. I’m going to start with what I think are the problems, and what I’ve done to change it around and improve it.

Ruger Precision Rifle: The Ugly

First thing that needs to be pointed out about the Ruger Precision Rifle is a prime example of the Project Triangle and the battle between being feature packed, quality, and cost. One thing that I’ve immediately noticed is that the finish on the rifle is not durable at all. In the short amount of time I’ve personally known this rifle there has been an incredible amount of wear in some points where the finish is obviously going to take the most abuse. In addition to that the handguard is pretty miserable.

I personally experienced this one being very much off center relative to the barrel. On top of all that though my biggest gripe is that the handguard flexes. The sling stud to mount a bipod to the handguard is attached via Keymod. This method of attachment is generally good, but in this case even if you torque the crap out of it you still have slop in the rail. Combining the slop in the rail, along with the general thinness of the handguard and it’s noticeable flex, translates into a cant in the rifle, and no way to lock it down to prevent it. That was kind of a mortal sin in my book when it came to a precision rifle.

Good, Fast, and Cheap. These are in constant struggle against one another.

Good, Fast, and Cheap. These are in constant struggle against one another.

ruger precision rifle handguard

The thinness of this handguard in certain areas, combined with the poor method of attaching the rail means there is slop in the rail and flex in the handguard.

The handguard of the Ruger Precision Rifle also presents another pretty noticeable problem too with that continuous rail on the top. By continuing the rail at the same height right next to a 20 MOA rail this causes what I feel is a level of pain in the ass that’s not needed when it comes to optics. I’m going to be getting into some geometry here so bear with me. Okay so the bore axis is on one single plane, and on a standard rifle with no change in MOA for the base the axis of the scope is on a parallel plane. In order for us to really stretch the legs on some of these cartridges we use our 20 MOA rail to get some extra elevation out of our rifle. By putting the scope on a 20 MOA rail we are putting the axis of the scope on a completely different plane than that of the bore. They are no longer parallel, but intersecting.

standardUntitledBiggest problem

“Thanks for the lecture Don, but what the hell does this actually mean for me?” I can hear you saying to your screen. Well it means this: In order to mount the large objective lens diameter optics we use for long range shooting, we need to mount our scopes relatively high in order to make sure that our objective bell actually clears that extended rail. Mounting a scope as low as it can go means it’s closer to the bore’s axis. The closer to the bore axis, the more consistent the sight picture will be.

Also by mounting a scope high we increase the torque forces on the scope and mounts during recoil. To me it really feels like the full top rail was a sacrifice in performance capabilities for the sake of aesthetics. As you can see from the above pictures by putting the extended rail in front of a 20 MOA, and with the blue and orange lines representing the same scope at different heights, you can see how we need to raise the scope so it does not contact the handguard.

Ruger Precision Rifle: The Bad

The stock I felt was a nice try, but a poor implementation. Once again the wear factor in the finish came to the front with some noticeable wear already present on the finish in areas where wear is to be expected. I also didn’t really like the level of adjustments in the stock. It really felt like the length of pull had to coarse of adjustments. The plastic upside down U-shaped piece that made up the comb height I felt was too flimsy. In addition while I like the idea that the tools to take down the bolt and adjust the trigger were stored on the rifle, I was most definitely not a fan of the bolt shroud.

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Ruger Precision Rifle: The Good

There are actually quite a number of good pieces about the Ruger Precision Rifle as far as I’m concerned. First off the fact that it is compatible with AR-15 stocks, free-float handguards, and grips is a huge bonus, as well as the fact that barrels can be switched using tools that any gunsmith that has dealt with an AR-15 should have on hand. To me this meant that I was able to change out the parts that I felt were huge detriments to the rifle extremely easily. The barrel comes threaded with 5/8-24 standard, which gives us an enormous amount of available muzzle devices to choose from. Suppressors, flash hiders, brakes can all easily be mounted to this gun right out of the box.

The magazine well design is a huge advantage because of it’s ability to take M110, SR25, DPMS, Magpul, and AICS magazines gives us a huge availability of magazines to run with. Additionally I also tested this rifle with the new Magpul AI magazines and they work just fine and with no problems. The fact that I can stick a Magpul 20 round magazine in this thing and have to reload half as often as the guy next to me with the AICS 10 round magazines, for roughly 1/4 his price is extremely attractive to me. And overall I’d say disassembly of this rifle was pretty easy. This had two effects for me, the first being I could change the parts I wanted to pretty easily, and the second being I could take it apart completely in order to Cerakote it.

Alright. Now what?

I really hate to be that guy, but I’m going to call an intermission on this piece. I’m going to give you guys some time to digest as well as comment on my take on this rifle while I prepare the next piece detailing the modifications I’ve made!

Don is a Minnesota college student working his way through school as a firearms coatings specialist. An avid shooter with a love for just about all things gun related, gladly sharing his somewhat unique experiences with anyone who will listen. If you have any questions for me, email us!

Comments

  1. Couple questions, as I was (am) very interested in this platform.

    Do the wear points reveal aluminum or steel?

    Would you recommend the rifle in it’s current version?

    1. Author

      Aluminum. One thing that I like about this rifle that ruger did was it didn’t use steel where it wasn’t required. This saves a lot of weight in the rifle.

      See some of my gripes are purely from my own experience thus far, and it might not be indicative of everyone’s experience. Not only that but I have my own way of doing things and liking things. It could very well be the case that the rifle is perfect for someone right out of the box. For me, it didn’t feel that way. As it stands right now, I would recommend the rifle with the proviso of if you don’t like something about the rifle, it more than likely can be changed. Like I said at the start, some people are going to absolutely love the rifle, and others are going to absolutely hate it. At this very moment however, I absolutely love mine.

      What I’d like to see out of Ruger is a MKII version where they change some of the parts out. I’d definitely advise you to look into part 2 which should be publishing next week because I delve into this very subject.

      1. I’d like to see them sell the receiver set so users could add stocks, grips, and handguards as they see fit!

        1. Author

          That would actually be kind of a cool idea. You could probably even hit a lower price point with it, really tearing the throat out of the competition. It could also eliminate a lot of the possible gripes too. One thing that would be essential though would be something like an action block for a vice. But if Ruger were to reach out and embrace the aftermarket like that it could really lead to them kicking the doors down.

  2. I wish shooters would get over the finish wear “problems”. A rifle is a tool, not a work of art. I don’t care if my torque wrench gets a scratch on it or if my rifle gets a scratch on it, as long as one torques accurately and one shoots accurately. It’s not beauty contest. The only parts of the rifle that need to be free of blemishes are the bolt, chamber and bore. Thanks for the review. I am considering this rifle in 7.62.

    1. I agree with you, Adam! There are collectors items and there are rifles you shoot the snot out of…

      Scratches and wear add character and show you use them, it’s something to be proud of. Who shoots better? The guy with the safe queen or the guy with the finish worn off from barricade work and wear n’ tear?

      Why 7.62?

      1. Glad to hear we are on the same page. 7.62 for several reasons: I am ex-Army and it is familiar to me, my 700 is chambered in 7.62 and I already have a lot of rounds stocked up for that and I like to buy weapons in calibers that I believe I could procure in a crunch. 9, 45, 7.62, 5.56 etc. 6.5 sounds fun and is arguably a superior round, but it does me no good if I can’t find it when it really matters.

    2. Well I shoot a nice gun a lot better than an ugly one I don’t like.

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