Ruger Precision Rifle Featured

The Ruger Precision Rifle: Part 2

In Blog by Don49 Comments

Hey guys, it’s your favorite Vandal from the land of the ice and snow again. Once again I’m going to be talking about the Ruger Precision Rifle. This time though it’s going to be about what I did with mine, as well as my experience thus far with it. Strap yourselves in, this one is going to be a bit longer than usual I think.

Okay you barbarian, tell us what you did to it already!

In my last piece I talked about a lot of things I didn’t like, some of the things I was on the fence about, and some of the things I did actually like. When I originally started out on this project, Frank Galli over at Sniper’s Hide hadn’t posted his piece yet. We had some similar ideas though. One thing I think almost everyone is in universal agreement about though is that the hand guard that comes on the Ruger Precision Rifle from the factory can’t be described as great. I’ve personally used much more harsh language to refer to it in private. I decided that the hand guard had to be the first thing to go, so that’s what I did. I make it absolutely no secret, I’m a JP fanboy. I do work for them, I love their products. There really wasn’t much choice in which hand guard I went with as far as I was concerned. I went with the JP Enterprises MKIII Signature Series hand guard, extra long length.

The new hand guard on the rifle. Minor complaints, but nothing serious like the previous one.

The new hand guard on the Ruger Precision Rifle. Minor complaints, but nothing serious like the previous one.

This hand guard doesn’t flex, it’s easy and simple to attach, and as far as I’m concerned looks extremely good on the Ruger Precision Rifle. It’s also extremely easy to attach a rail section to it, as well as a sling stud, because at the 6 o’clock position there is a series of pre-drilled and tapped holes to facilitate this. And most importantly since it doesn’t have a full length rail on the top it does not interfere with optics as badly. The complaint I do have is that it doesn’t go right up to the receiver face, and doesn’t cover the base of the barrel. Not exactly a huge deal though. I’m going to see what I can possibly do or have done about it. It’s essentially cosmetic so I’m not breaking myself with worry over it.

Next I replaced the stock. It was a pretty simple decision, given how I felt the finish wasn’t good enough on the original, nor did I like how it adjusted. I decided to put a Magpul PRS stock on the Ruger Precision Rifle. There was however an ever so slight problem though. The tube used to attach the original stock to the Ruger Precision Rifle was in fact a carbine length tube. For those of you who may not know, the Magpul PRS uses a rifle length tube. So I had to hunt one of those down, which was a problem since pretty much everywhere I went to was completely out of stock. I ended up calling a buddy of mine over at JP to see if he might be able to help, and because I also needed the rail section. As usual they were able to get me exactly what I needed.

Magpul's PRS Gen 2.

Magpul’s PRS Gen 2.

Both the hand guard and the stock were things that I had planned before Sniper’s Hide came out with their videos. The next few parts I changed can essentially be blamed on that video though. One directly, and the other indirectly. I’m talking specifically about the bolt shroud and bolt handle. Changing out that bolt shroud made the action feel smoother by a truckload. To me the old bolt shroud made the action feel a bit choppy and gritty. The only thing I can really blame for that is the polymer was used to make it.  Additionally I’d also noticed that I could have an extremely tough time getting a really positive grip on that bolt knob when I would wear gloves.

Gloves are pretty much mandatory for some of the shooting I do since the phrase “Cold as balls” was invented to describe what the area I live in feels like for at least 4 months of the given year. Long Rifles, Inc. offers both of these in either “as machine” or anodized finish. Additionally they are also offering special Sniper’s Hide versions as well. I went with the raw, as machined, silvery color because I knew that it would look better than a black anodized finish would in the end after I Cerakote this Ruger Precision Rifle.

That looks pretty sweet to me.

LRI did an excellent job in my opinion. It definitely smoothed out the action, and gave me the positive grip on that bolt knob while wearing gloves that I was looking for. And it looked exactly like I expected it would, which means my plans for Cerakote should roll forward nicely.

LRI Direct Replacement Billet AL Ruger RPR Bolt Shroud

LRI Ruger RPR Direct Replacement Bolt Knobs

Forgive my poor camera.

Forgive my poor camera but here it is.

Well? How does it shoot already?

Alright so I think it shoots great. My biggest problem is that right now it’s cold as balls like I said. How many of you go shooting when the weather is like this? And keep in mind this is the warmest it’s been in a month here.

Data from the local weather station

Data from the local weather station

The Weather that I'm going to be dealing with later today

The Weather that I’m going to be dealing with later today


View down range

View down range

Anyways I spent the time at the range with this the other day sighting the Ruger Precision Rifle in, helping my buddy sight in his new 7mm Remington Magnum X-Bolt, and testing a few different things on my Ruger Precision Rifle. For example, magazines. The Ruger Precision Rifle is shipped with 10 round Magpul .308 magazines. However after the past few weeks I felt there was one hole that hadn’t been addressed yet. After Rich did his lovely piece on PMAG 5 7.62 magazines I felt they should be tested. So I got my hands on one and decided I was going to run some rounds through it as well.

06 - 2hy1gWY

As you can see the Magpul 5 7.62 magazine fits into the Ruger Precision Rifle.

The magazines as you can see load just fine into the Ruger Precision Rifle. There are no problems with feeding, and loading them is pretty straight forward. In short they work just fine with this rifle, and I can’t really complain about that too much. There is a couple of points to make though. While these magazines are much cheaper than the standard Accuracy International offerings, they are still more expensive than the SR25/M110 magazines from Magpul as well. Additionally the 10 round magazines are currently unavailable at this point in time, meaning they’re limited to 5 rounds.

With the 10 round SR25 magazines being roughly $19 MSRP, and the PMAG 5 7.62 coming in at $35, and the PMAG 10 7.62 coming in at $40MSRP according to Magpul, I think the choice of magazines is pretty self evident. Additionally it’s slightly easier to load the SR25 magazines. In short, stick with the SR25 magazines. Having the flexibility to chose between what you might already have on hand though is most excellent.

Get on with it!

Well I’m going to answer this by not really answering it and answering it at the same time. At this point I don’t think I’ve had enough time with the Ruger Precision Rifle and enough rounds through it yet. As it stands right now I’m shooting around MOA with it, which I’m really not happy with. I need to do some load development yet still. However I’m seeing some promise. One point to make is that the flex that existed in the hand guard is completely gone. Not only that but the stock feels much better and I feel like I’m on the Ruger Precision Rifle more consistently.

At this point in time I think I could shoot this rifle all day and still feel fine. I was also very tempted to just chuck the barrel and go right for the one produced by Long Rifles Inc, but I felt that before I dropped about half again the value of the rifle on a new barrel I should at the very least try the current one out. So I’m going to shoot this for a while, and later on I might be switching it out. Give me about 4 more months at most and I’ll give you guys a full range report.

Our writer in action.

Our writer in action with his modified Ruger Precision Rifle.

What Should I Expect In The Future?

Well there’s going to be one final follow up talking about how it shoots a lot more in depth. Additionally I’m going to be Cerakoting the Ruger Precision Rifle. Here’s a preview of what it’s going to look like. If you’re curious about the cerakote process, check out a couple of our articles on how it’s done!

Ruger Precision Rifle Cerakote

The Cerakote pattern I’ll be using on my Ruger Precision Rifle.

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!


  1. Nice write up man. I just shared it to Ruger Precision Facebook page. Lots of folks there will enjoy it. I bought Seekins RPR handguard which has flat bottom, better for barricades. I also didn’t want the LRI logo shroud so ordered stainless one from Delta Tactical (Omega Manufacturing) via EBay.

    You might consider Alpha Type II mags and loading longer. My 139 Scenars are shooting 5-6’s consistently with 42.2 H4350 210M at 20 thou off. I’ve got four Alphas and the feed and function is flawless in RPR. Shot a 0.161″ and the other day shot a 1.25″ at 400 yards, prone bipod.

    I agree on the LRI bolt knob, day and night difference. Just got mine on last week. Nice upgrade for sure. A Kahntrol Solutions 3 gun brake was a perfect addition to the RPR also. This rifle has tons of potential.


    1. Author

      Thanks for the feedback Dan. I’ve actually had this in the pocket for a few weeks now, and have been waiting for it to come up. I’ve been enjoying working with it enormously. The main reason I went with the JP Enterprises handguard over the Seekins Precision one is that I started planning this before the video by Frank Galli on Snipers Hide came out. After it came out I was kind of determined not to go the same path as him. The other reason is that JP Enterprises is a local company to me, and I’ve got a great connection with them. They’re a great bunch to work with, and they do a stellar job with their products. John Paul has built a great company and staffed it with some great talent.

      I’ll definitely try them, but it might be a few months before I do. Since I’ve written this I’ve had an opportunity to pick up some even better glass than what I’ve had on there. In order to do so I’ve had to sell the optic I had on the rifle already. So depressingly enough I’m not going to be shooting for a while. Another factor that’s really drawn me to this rifle is the overall savings one can make in it, and at nearly $80 a piece for magazines that gets a bit hard to swallow for some people. I’ll definitely be giving it a go though.

      It’s funny that you mention muzzle breaks too. Rich and I definitely have some plans regarding those in the pocket, but I don’t want to give too much away. One thing I definitely want to do is explore some options for barrels too. I’m definitely enjoying picking away at this rifle though. Hopefully part 3 will have some awesome new stuff for people to read about.

      1. Look forward to the next installment. Regarding barrels, a Hawk Hill spun up by Josh at Patriot Valley Arms in PA is likely what I will do when factory barrel is shot out. $650. Criterion offers RPR barrels for $450+ with 12-16 week lead. Chad at LRI offers barrels I’ve heard good things from. Proof Research revealed RPR carbon barrel at SHOT. $830 from Stockys with 16-20 week lead time. 26″ bull contour with 1.25 lb savings vs stock 6.5 barrel. Lots of choices, which shows how popular these rifles are. Aftermarket exploding. Triggers will be next I suspect.

        1. Author

          I’ve reached out to a couple of companies already, and some have told me they’d rather not bother with me which is kind of unfortunate. The biggest obstacle to me and getting any kind of feedback out there regarding different companies products is cost. As it is I’m paying for everything out of my own pocket, while also putting myself through college.

          Frank Galli did an excellent job with Long Rifles, Inc. and I don’t think re-covering ground he’s already done is what the community needs. But I’m still going to be looking at upgrading the barrel in the future.

        2. I’ve got a 26″ Criterion Heavy Target w/muzzle brake on order for mine. As you said, about a 12 week lead time. I’ll be putting the Seekins 15″ handguard on it when I swap out the barrel. Have already gotten rid of the stock and replaced it with the MagPul PRS stock – a big improvement! I also just put in a custom engraved titanium bolt shroud. I think that’s pretty much as far as I’ll take my modifications to it.
          I’m hoping the Criterion that I get is as good as one that a fellow shooter got from them for a Savage he has: in testing his hand loads with it, he’s able to get “three-shot, one-hole” groups with that rifle all day.

          A note for those looking for a RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor: H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City just got a shipment of 70 of them in. As of today, March 23, 2016, they have about 30 – 35 left in stock after filling their back-orders for them. Not any .243 or .308s; apparently Ruger would only ship them a single caliber and they went with the 6.5. I suspect other dealers around the country may have also received shipments recently, perhaps they chose a different caliber.

          1. Author

            You REALLY need to read the last few articles that I wrote. Badly need to read them. And you need to be glued to your chair for the next two Sundays. I really don’t want to ruin anything, but it will definitely be well worth the wait.

          2. Did you get the Magpul PRS AR15 or AR 10 stock? Also which rifle length buffer tube did you go with? Sorry I am new and just got my RPR Gen 2 in .308 and am not happy with the stock.

          3. Question of which PRS stock and buffer tube: think of it all as an AR-15 setup, so the AR-15 butt and a rifle-length buffer tube. The RPR (Gen 1) came with a carbine length buffer tube.

          4. Author

            The main difference between the AR-10 and AR-15 PRS stocks is the length of the adjustable comb. Personally I went with the AR-15 one because it was easiest for me to get. And yes to change the stock to what I wanted I needed to change it to a rifle length buffer tube as well.

        3. About triggers… I touched base with Timney and was told that they are in the development phase for a replacement trigger for the RPR. No estimate when it might hit the market. Also, apparently no plans to offer a 2-stage trigger.
          Frankly, I’m happy with the trigger that came with it, although I could see some benefit to a 2-stage trigger if it were available from someone like Timney, Jewel or other high-quality outfit.

          1. Author

            I would have been surprised if they gave you an estimate when it would hit the market. When you do things like that you give competition valuable information, and give them the opportunity to potentially beat you to the market. I’m not really broken up by the lack of a two-stage offering either since I prefer a single stage trigger myself. Regardless it’s going to get interesting here in I’d guess 6 months or so. A lot of aftermarket component companies are seeing how popular this rifle is, and they all want to get in that market.

          2. According to Timney the trigger will not be released now until Shot Show 2017 =(

          3. Not surprising given we’re already into September. Don has had good experiences with the Jard trigger for the RPR

          4. Author

            That’s fine. I’m enjoying my Jard trigger so far. With having a few afternoons off here finally I’d say you should keep an eye out the next few weeks.

    2. Dan, I have a Gen2 PR. Have you read about the NEW Magpul PRS Gen III fitment? MagPul claims it will fit ANY AR15/AR10 etc… either A1/A2 tubes. I’ve contacted Ruger and Magpul for comment. If so, this will be an easy fix for many applications. It’s a bit different in construction; there’s is no rail on the bottom which comes with a nice sliding cover. You can mount a small rail to the bottom for items such as a Monopod. Great article; I’m building mine now. Thanks.

      1. Very nice. Will look into that Magpul option. Was just looking at Luth AR. RPR 6.5 getting Seekins handguard, Jard trigger, and Burnt Bronze cerakoate now. Buttstock is all thats left.

  2. Hi Don,

    Feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected] if you’re looking for an aftermarket replacement barrel. We would be happy to offer a media discount if you are interested in using one of our barrels for an upcoming review article. One of those barrels should help get you shooting well under 1 MOA!

    1. That’s awesome, Josh! I’ll make sure he drops you a line! I was just talking about you guys with him the other day. My Rem/Age barrel is a hammer!

  3. Nice, informative and useful info here. Gives me ideas for the future of my own RPR in 6.5CM.

    I definitely agree on the swapout on the butt. I went the same route with a change out of the buffer tube to permit using the MagPul PRS butt. I had found that vibration during shooting sometimes loosened up the lock-down cam levers on the factory stock, and a couple of times one would end up seemingly locked under another movable part of that stock. This basically meant I had to disassemble both cam-levers to get things working right again. Yech!

    I’m novice enough at all of this to not have been concerned with other things you’ve changed, although now I’m considering a new bolt shroud – like you, I get the feeling it’s all kind of gritty and not what I should expect in a precision rifle; shoots well, feels bad when chambering the next round. Quite frankly, the shroud on mine feels sloppy when you remove the bolt and just try to wiggle that shroud – definitely wiggles.

    I’m looking ahead to the day when I do burn out the barrel – although with only 660 rounds through it right now, that should be a while. I contacted Bartlein and they told me they’re not doing pre-fits for the RPR and that for them, there’s a 4 to 6 month wait between ordering and receiving a 1.250″ rifled blank and they even commented that 6.5 orders are “hot”. When that swap-out does happen, I might also look into doing something with the handguard. Getting rid of that full length top rail might not be a bad idea at that time. I’ve got the Vortex Razor HD II 4.5-27×56 sitting high on it right now and with a Butler Creek cap on the front end, there is minimal space between the cap and rail when it’s closed – and I had to use Vortex extra-high precision rings to get that.

    Any comments on the trigger? I’m used to single stage triggers, and generally I’d say (from my novice viewpoint) I’m happy with what came with it. Ruger says it is adjusted to the low end of its pull (2-1/2 pounds) when delivered and I haven’t changed that at all. I measured it and it consistently measures at 2 pounds 10 ounces. I think it gives a crisp break, and there’s little, if any creep to it (but again my inexperience may be showing), but others that have shot a few rounds through it have been impressed with the view through the scope, the trigger and their results on the target. One young man actually put his first shot with it right dead center of the x on the target, and he called a pull on the next shot which ended up about 1/2 inch to the left of center at 100 yards.

    1. I played with one at a gun counter and I think, for a factory trigger, it’s pretty good. As you said, when adjusted to around the 2lb mark (my preference) it’s pretty crisp. I’m not a huge fan of the trigger blade safety thing, though!

    2. Author

      Part of one of my jobs sometimes involves selling parts for AR-15s at gun shows. This includes triggers. Because of that I’ve garnered a bit of knowledge about what I like and what I don’t like.

      Anyways the trigger on the RPR is very similar to a Savage Accutrigger in user interface. With the trigger bar it gets to mimic a 2 stage trigger, while having the pull of a single stage. So I guess this can be said to be a 1.5 stage trigger. Anyways the purpose of the trigger bar is supposed to act as a safety. Now I am most definitely a single stage trigger guy. I’d rather have seen this rifle with a great single stage trigger right off the bat. But when you talk triggers everyone has their own preference.

      With all that being said, I personally think there is one very major flaw with Ruger’s choice to go with this fire control system. It’s also a complaint that I had, and source of much grief, with my Savage 12 LRP. That is the combination of a manual safety, and a passive safety on a precision rifle. I want a nice, crisp, consistent, single stage trigger on my precision rifle. Not one that mucks around with the feeling by having a trigger bar safety. Two safeties on the trigger system strikes me as excessively redundant. In my Savage 12 LRP the trigger safety and the manual safety were not acting right and as such they caused problems with the rifle functioning properly. Now keep in mind this is my personal opinion. With a two stage trigger I’m always feeling for where that break point is, where as with the single stages I have on other rifles, there is pretty much no creep and I know that when I get to that pressure threshold it will break.

    3. I got my .308 Gen 2 last year with the improved shroud and handguard and they are OK. First thing I did was replace the stock with a Magpul PRS – I can’t understand why Ruger would put a carbine stock on a long range rifle. I did not put a single round through it with the old stock. Am pretty happy with the PRS. We (in New Zealand) have some strange firearms regulations. One of these is that any firearm less than 782mm in length is designated a pistol. This is measured with the stock folded. My 20″ barrelled 308 measured 750mm. To solve that problem I had to replace the barrel, so I decided to change to 6.5 CM at the same time, plus add a bit more length than needed. I installed a 28″ Palma profile (fluted) SS barrel from Dan Hardy here in New Zealand. Scope is a Vortex Crossfire II.
      Shot the barrel in two week ago using Hornady 147gr ELD. Since I did not plan to use this for serious shooting I did not do much analysis, but the muzzle velocity was 2830 fps which is almost 100 over the Dan Hardy 26″ barrel tests.
      Over the past two weeks I have started to work on a load. I am using Sierra 155gr matchking (which I do not think are still in production but I have a supply). The BC .570 @ 2800 fps and above .560 between 2000 and 2800 fps .555 @ 2000 fps and below. I am using IMR 4350 to get a slower burn rate and make best use of the 28″ barrel. Starter load is 42gr giving an MV of 2735 and ballistics show drop of 328″ at 1000 yards and remaining supersonic to 1350 yards.
      200 yard group is 1 cm, about .4 MOA.
      All in all, pretty happy so far.

  4. On the Ruger Precision Rifle: Can you tell me what the “T” numbers marked along the top of the barrel are referring to?

    1. Author

      The rail index numbers are essentially for doing what Rich said. They are a reference number for when you mount things to the rail, and have to remove them for whatever reason so they can go back to the same place.

  5. hello, i want to replace my stock with a magpul prs what model did you go with? 223/5.56 or 308/7.62? and buffer tube?223 0r 308? thanks

    1. There’s no difference between 308 and 556 buffer tubes, you will need an A2 tube for a PRS. I doubt it matters between 556 or 308 for the PRS as well because there’s no charging handle on the Ruger. The differences only matter putting together an AR15/AR10

    2. Author

      To clarify the point Rich made a bit more: AR-10s and AR-15s both use the same diameter buffer tubes. Essentially the difference is in what length the tube is, with their being two models. There is either the rifle length or A2 length tube (different names for the same thing), and the carbine length or adjustable stock tube. The RPR’s stock is originally on a carbine tube, so in order to put the magpul PRS on it you’d need to change to a rifle length tube.

      As to the model of PRS stocks, they are exactly the same with no difference between them. So I’d say go with either one. BUT you need to ensure you also get a rifle length tube as well. Here’s a link:

      Get one of those, as well as a magpul PRS stock, and an AR-15 armorers wrench, and a set of hex keys and you should be all set to change the stocks out.

  6. Actually, the PRS Gen 3 fits on a carbine or rifle length tube, so no need to swap out anything.

  7. The difference between the two is that the AR10 PRS has a shorter cheekpiece, a necessity with the longer charging handle. So, that said I would recommend the AR15 model as the adjustable cheekpiece is slightly longer. Offering more real estate for your cheek.

  8. do you think the PRI Gen III round hand guard would fit over the Ruger barrel nut? Is there any option out there to use a different barrel nut so other handguards can work or is it proprietary?

    1. I think it’s proprietary, jess, the only company I know that’s made a handguard specifically for the RPR is Seekins Precision

  9. Hi Don thanks for views on the Ruger Precision, I have not read all the above questions so apologies if you have already spoken to this, my concern is the size of the pistol grip, is there an aftermarket grip that would fit the Precision? apart from this I love the rifle.

    1. Author

      As Rich has already said, it uses AR-15 grips so just about any should work. However there are a few notable exceptions. Most prominent are the grips that include an AR-15 trigger guard, such as a Daniel Defense grip. However you should be able to cut it off and file and sand it down so it doesn’t look like crap.

  10. I’ve got a good one. I’ve bought a Ruger or in .308 and am convinced I should have bought a6.5 for the long range accuracy .Should I buy an aftermarket barrel in 6.5 which would make it more accurate for around 6 hundred or buy a new ruger or in 6.5 which it still would benefit from an after marker barrel. I’m new to long range shooting, work for a living so this is major to me or am I lost to all the people that would have done it right the first time.

    1. Steve, there’s nothing wrong with 308 Winchester as a cartridge. If the factory barrel isn’t giving you the accuracy you want I suggest a Criterion Pre Fit as a replacement. You could switch to 6.5 Creedmoor at the same time.

      How’s it shooting now?

    2. Steve, I purchased the original RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor and was very happy with it – and just after 1550 rounds I purchased a replacement barrel from Criterion. The original barrel probably had at least another 1000 rounds of accurate life left, but I got kinda ‘antsy’ and went ahead and had it swapped out. The Criterion barrel shoots just great, but not what I’d call measurably more accurate than the original, but like you I’m a bit new at the whole precision shooting thing.
      All things considered you might just want to pick up an RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor rather than investing over 1/2 the cost of a new rifle in a new barrel + installation. Advantages: you still have the complete .308 setup to use as you want with ammo that’s less expensive than 6.5 CM. You might even look around for some good quality match grade .308 cartridges and see if any shoot noticeably better. Disadvantages: with the new 6.5 RPR assuming you keep the .308 ready to shoot, then you’ll also have to invest in at least another scope for it. Either way, for commercial loads I’d highly recommend either the Prime 130 grain Match+, the Hornady 140 grain ELD-M or the Hornady 143 grain ELD-X loads. Might even try a couple of boxes of Hornady 120 grain AMAX. Between the 120, 130, 140 and 143 weights you’ll probably find one that shoots well in 6.5 Creedmoor. Personally, I’m shooting the Prime 130 grain Match+ in the RPR, and push Hornady 143-grain ELD-X through my Browning X-Bolt that is also in 6.5 Creedmoor chambering. The Browning isn’t a sub-MOA shooter, but accurate enough to take a Deer out to around 6 or 7 hundred yards, definitely within 600 yards.

    3. Author

      Steve I’m definitely going to back Rich up on this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with .308 Winchester as a cartridge, especially at the distances you’ve specified. The choice of changing calibers is yours, but whichever way you end up going I definitely advise you to practice. The way I describe it to a lot of people is that the meat is the weakest link when it comes to shooting. In my case though, going with the Criterion pre fit took me from a 1MOA or greater to 1/4 MOA, but I stuck with the same caliber.

  11. It’s shooting good, originally I wanted to kill deer acurately out to 6 hundred yards making sure of very clean kills . But after buying the rifle and meeting some of my friends at the range where they shoot distance I got hooked on wanting to shoot with them and felt that I had made a mistake buying a.308 and trying to not be left behind . Another question I is it practical to hunt deer with a 6.5 and get very humane kills, I’ve always shot Remington .270 and when I shot with them at the range felt something different while trying llong distance . I got hooked on doing both, hunting deer with accurate shots and shooting long distances.If I could hunt with the 6.5 and be sure of clean kills then the barrel would work. Or use the .308 to hunt and 6.5 to shoot long the best I could.but I would have to buy another vortex 6x25x 50 scope. I wanted to thank all you guys who know a little more than I do for your thoughts. Guess a man can never have to many guns.

    1. If we take 1000 ft pounds of energy as sufficient for an ethical kill on a deer, then 6.5 Creedmoor is more than adequate out to around 700 yards.
      The Prime 130 grain Match plus round with muzzle velocity of 2950 fps should have 1046 ft/lbs at 700 yards (with MV of 2850 fps, it still has 970 ft/lbs at 700 yards)
      The Hornady 143 grain ELD-X (Precision Hunter) has a lower MV of around 2680 fps, but still packs 993 ft/lbs at 700 yards.

      Remember that there are lots of anecdotal stories of deer being taken with a .22LR (usually the distance is not mentioned) – and a .22LR is not going to pack over 150 ft/lbs of energy at any distance.

      Due to differences in BC and MV, basically the 6.5 Creedmoor is going to outperform a .308 beginning out around 500 yards, that’s when the higher BC of the 6.5 “kicks in” and allows the bullet to retain speed and energy better than the .308. If you take that on out and read around most places put a .308 max effective range at around 1100 yards, but give another 200 to 275 yards to the 6.5 Creedmoor. Check this out: look at the table for Max Range for the various calibers available for their SRS-A1 that includes 7.62/.308 and 6.5 Creedmoor.

      1. J gave you an excellent answer, Steve! 6.5s are very popular for hunting in Europe and while I don’t hunt I have friends who do. I’ve heard several times that a 6.5 is sufficient for “any North American game.”

        1. Thanks for the compliment. I did a little more research and ran some numbers that will perhaps show Steve a little more graphically where the differences are. Some reference sites I used:
          Hornady Ammunition web pages
          Prime Match+ specs & my measured velocities

          Chuckhawks site lowers the required energy from the 1000 ft-lbs I used earlier to 800 ft-lbs. I used that to determine the maximum range that various rounds would reach and still have at least 800 ft-lbs. All the rounds mentioned here are either Hornady or that Prime 130 Match+ that I like so much (and it is suitable for hunting and in testing I did it was pretty much the most consistently loaded commercial cartridge I tried out). I show it twice here with 2 different muzzle velocities: 2850 and 2950 fps because I got 2850 out of my original RPR 24-inch barrel, but I’m getting 2850 fps out of the 26-inch Criterion barrel.

          800 ft-lb Distances Hold-over in MOA 10-inch diameter vital zone
          Round Wt MV at Range ft-lbs Less = flatter at same distance same as 5-inch max from center
          6.5 Creedmoor (Prime Match+) 130 2950* 900 827 21 0.53
          6.5 Creedmoor (Hornady ELD-X) 143 2700 850 843 23 0.56
          .308 Win (Hornady ELD-X) 178 2600 850 818 26.5 0.56
          6.5 Creedmoor (Prime Match+) 130 2850 850 813 20.5 0.56
          .308 Win (Hornady BTHP) 155 2700 600 827 15.5 0.80
          30-06 Springfield 150 2910 550 859 12 0.87
          30-30 Win (American Whitetail) 150 2390 200 836 3 2.39
          NOTE: 6.5 Creedmoor 130 grain (Prime Match+) MV: You must be able to shoot this
          *2950 from 26 inch barrel precisely at the range to remain
          2850 from 24 inch barrel within the vital zone!

          At the 800-900 yard distances we can get out of a .308 or 6.5 skill will play a big part of it. Notice that last column. That is how close, in terms of MOA, that you must be able to put a bullet to the point of aim to hit a deer’s fatal zone, with center of that zone as the point of aim. That’s what it takes to make an ethical kill at those distances. So if you aren’t consistently shooting sub-moa, it’s unreasonable to think you’ll make the shot.

          I included the 30-30 and the 30-06 just as points of comparison. The other thing to catch is how much difference the type of bullet makes, look at the 2 different .308 loads; one only reaches out to 600 yards, while the Precision Hunter ELD-X pushes you right out to 850 yards. Also, look at the “hold over” values – the 6.5 flies flatter than the .308 which also means it’ll be pushed by the wind less under equal conditions. I’ve got that Browning X-Bolt in 6.5 for hunting and just put a Burris Eliminator III on it, and with that rifle, I’m thinking I’ll probably limit shots to right around 400 yards (it’s about a 1 MOA rifle, not sub-moa).

          A final “BTW” – remember that in the past a slower, heavy (160/162 grain) FMJ 6.5 round was used to take lions and even elephants! That was in the 6.5×54 Mannlicher-Shoenaur. A couple of interesting reads about that rifle:


    2. Author

      Hey sorry I’m a bit late getting in here. Others have covered almost every other possible point I’d cover, except for one. The most important thing in all of this is the confidence of the shooter. With the information you now have at your disposal, how far do you feel confident taking a game animal with your equipment and your skill? If you don’t have confidence in yourself it’s all moot. My advice is for you to practice and work to make yourself confident. Depending on your state, you’ve probably got a lot of time before your next hunting season. That’s a long time to practice and work your skills and confidence up.

  12. hello what magpul stock is that gen2?and where can you get the rifle length tube? I got the gen 3 on now and the length of pull is a bit to long.if I had a 1/4 inch buttpad to replace the magpul one that would be a great help any ideas.THANKs

    1. It’s a Gen 2 and the LOP on the low end is about an inch shorter than the Gen 3, I’d try and find a Gen 2 somewhere new or used

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