Ruger American Rifle, budget long range rifle?


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Ro1911
September 4, 2012, 10:13 PM
I have basically decided on buying the ruger American, but I have some questions.

#1 308 or 30 06 for long range shooting? I already have to buy 30 06 for an M1 so I'm kind of leaning that way but I have always heard that the 308 is a flatter shooting round, does it matter which caliber I pick?

#2 they say the stock is "bedded" what does this do? Is rugers bedding good or bad?

#3 are there any options out there in the same price range I should look at besides savage (I just don't want a savage, and yes I know they are good guns). My budget is about $300-$400.

#4 ruger says alot of good things about their barrels, is what they say true or are they just blowing smoke up our....I think you get the idea?

#5 any opinions on there magazines would also be useful, I've heard every thing from there garbage to there awesome, so what do you think?

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Jasper1573
September 4, 2012, 11:54 PM
#1 308 is not necessarily a flatter shooting round, though most believe it to be a more accurate cartridge than the 30-06...I have a couple of rifles in 308 and they are my favorite guns; however, you may prefer the 30-06 since you are already shooting the M1
#2 from what I see on the Ruger web site, the Ruger bedding appears to be a modified pillar bedding, but there may be more to it than I can see. Bedding stiffens the stock and makes everything more stable and less apt to move around during the shot...it is important that the barrel is free floated, and Ruger states that their Power Bedding free-floats the barrel...this will improve accuracy
#3 the only thing close in that price range is the Remington 700 ADL; if you can find one (Remington stopped producing them and replaced them with the SPS), they are in the $400 to $500 range and are good shooting rifles
#4 chances are the barrel is well made, but Rugers aren't noted for exceptional accuracy; that is, I don't know anyone shooting a Ruger competitively. However, for a hunting rifle, I am sure they will do just fine.
#5 no experience with the rotary mag...maybe someone else can chime in

By the way, what is your definition of long range? Out to 300 yards most rifles will perform well with a decent scope on top. Past 300 yards, I would choose a Savage or Remington...I have shot both and they are capable of sub-MOA performance with good ammo and a steady finger on the trigger.

Ro1911
September 5, 2012, 12:00 AM
I was talking 400-800 yards and being accurate enough to put all the rounds into at least 24"-18" circle when I said long range, I am capable of doing this if the rifle is. The ruger accuracy thing does concern me a bit but I don't have super high expectations or needs either.

Jasper1573
September 5, 2012, 12:24 AM
I suppose the purpose of the rifle may be more important than its extreme accuracy. For a hunting rifle, I suspect it will meet most folks' needs.

If it is to be used as a long range target rifle, I would choose the Rem 700 or Savage with a heavy varmint barrel. The sporter type barrel on the Ruger (or any other rifle for that matter) will tend to perform poorly after 5-10 rapid shots heat it up compared to a heavier barrel, potentially reducing the accuracy.

I am a fan of the older style Rugers...not so sure Ruger has it all figured out as they enter this new "low priced economy rifle" market with Mossberg and others.

You will likely get what you pay for in this rifle. I read a couple of reviews and, as you noted in your original post, they range from very good to barely average, depending on the person's opinion and their personal preferences.

Ro1911
September 5, 2012, 12:56 AM
Ok, purpose wise I don't hunt, I might if I had the chance but as a general rule I don't. I'm looking for a light weight rifle to compliment my AR15, to me weight is more important then barrel diameter. I only need it to make two to three shots at a time. I know the rifle I want is expensive, but I don't think I need any thing above this ruger, I might be wrong but if I am I bet I could quickly resell this with deer season coming up pretty soon. I'm betting it will be fun to play with for awhile at least.

allaroundhunter
September 5, 2012, 01:08 AM
I was talking 400-800 yards and being accurate enough to put all the rounds into at least 24"-18" circle when I said long range

18" is a little over 2 MOA at 800 yards. Do you reload (based on your first post I don't think you do, but I have to ask)? I am not sure if the rifle will be capable of that with factory ammo, but Federal Gold Medal Match would be my go-to round if I were to try.

At 400 yards, the rifle will definitely be able to keep rounds inside of an 18" circle, and I would expect it to keep them inside of a 10" circle.


How much were you looking to spend on optics?

Ro1911
September 5, 2012, 01:52 AM
I've got a few good scopes already, mostly inherited from my grandfather, I was looking at the luepold mk6 I have, I've got a 3x9x40 trijicon too, I haven't desided, i guess you could say im optics rich and rifle poor right now. I'm mostly into ARs so I'm totally new to this sort of stuff, and no I don't load, I just don't have time right now. I am kind of getting the feeling that I should save up for the Remington 700, I might just get both eventually.

kutz
September 5, 2012, 09:28 AM
Get the Ruger American in .270 mine is flat to 400yds.same poa is poi from 100 to 400 yds at 18" metal disks. Don't know where I'm hitting them but hit them every time. 100,200,300& 400 yrd targets all go ding. Using hand loads.

adelbridge
September 5, 2012, 03:55 PM
the American isnt chambered in any long distance or magnum rounds. There arent many aftermarket parts for the Ruger American at the moment. Buy a used 700 and if you like long range shooting you can do just about anything to it with off the shelf parts.

allaroundhunter
September 5, 2012, 04:09 PM
the American isnt chambered in any long distance or magnum rounds. There arent many aftermarket parts for the Ruger American at the moment. Buy a used 700 and if you like long range shooting you can do just about anything to it with off the shelf parts.

Really? And here I was thinking that the .308 is a viable long-range option :rolleyes:

Yes, the aftermarket support on the 700 is better (and why I have one), but saying the the American does not come in any long-range calibers is blatantly false.

Jim Watson
September 5, 2012, 06:25 PM
How much shooting do you plan on doing at one time?
The Ruger American is a lightweight hunting rifle, 6.25 lbs, and even with a pound or so of scope will be a hard kicker in any of its calibers except .243. I would not want to shoot that light a .30 rifle more than enough to sight it in for hunting. But you might be tougher.

A .243 will shoot just fine at 400-800 yards.

firesky101
September 5, 2012, 11:11 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loV3sz-c86k&feature=related

Here is a review where they shoot steel at 1000yds with a .30-06 American rifle.

lefteyedom
September 6, 2012, 06:29 AM
Remember, 30-06 ammo for a M1 is just that, for the M1 and it's gas operating system requirements. Like the old song said "You got to keep them separated"

Get a 308 Remington 700 with a 20' heavy barrel. You will have a great all around hunting rifle and target rifle as well.

I built mine out of my Dads old long action Remington 700. Bought a Sendero 26" 308 barrel off of Gunbroker and topped it with a Bushnell 3200 fix 10X scope.

When Wyoming legalizes hunting with suppressor, I will have the barrel shorten to 20" and threaded. Till then is just plain fun to shoot.

If you get bit by the target shooting bug a $400 will only be a down payment on your first dedicated target rifle.

primalmu
September 6, 2012, 08:47 AM
I would also like to mention Savage. I just purchased a Savage Hog Hunter in .308. Its got a 20" barrel (which seems to be the sweet spot for .308 accuracy) and all the aftermarket stuff you could want since its based off Savage's prominent model 11 action. Triggers and stocks shouldn't be difficult to find, and I believe with a new stock you can convert it to a detachable magazine. Accuracy in the reviews I've seen has been superb, and I got mine for $445 + $20 transfer.

I was considering the Ruger American but was really turned off by the cheesy plastic magazines. The heavy-ish barrel was a major plus, too.

mljdeckard
September 6, 2012, 09:27 AM
I have handled a Ruger American in .243, I plan on getting one for my little sister to trade back for one of my dad's old rifles. They are very tight and appear to be well made. I also see that all of the major manufactureres have really tightened up their game in the last 20 years, MOA is the expected standard.

If I were looking for a long-range rifle, I would probably do something else. This is a great rifle for just about anything. And if it is MOA at 300 yards, it will also be MOA at 800 yards. But long-range rifles are set up differently for a few reasons. If you are going to carry it all day and shoot it once, weight is your manin consideration. If you are going to carry it 50 yards and shoot it all day, stability and consistency are your main concerns. If I wanted to get a distance rifle, I would go to tha pawn shop and look for a rifle that a guy bought, thinking he would do the sniper thing, and then found out it was a lot of work and practice, and sold it when his wife got pregnant.

BTW, there is a difference in loading for 30-06 between M-1 Garand rounds and most other commercially available loads. You can't always just switch them back and forth.

The_Armed_Therapist
September 6, 2012, 10:30 AM
If you already have .30-06 and would like to keep it the same, if possible, then do that. Some .30-06 probably do better than .308, some the same, and some not quite-so-good. The .30-06 is just fine. If you were looking for something marginally better, both the .270 and the .243 shoot a little flatter than the .308 and .30-06. The .270 carries about as much energy, whereas the .243 will be less powerful at those distances (which, if you aren't planning on hunting at those distances, should be fine...). In fact, don't even bother with the .308. Stick w/ .30-06, or if you really want something a little better, go with .270.

Second, the Ruger American is definitely a sub-2MOA, even with most factory ammo. If you do your part, the American should do 24" groups at 800 yards, even with most factory ammo.

helotaxi
September 6, 2012, 05:16 PM
And if it is MOA at 300 yards, it will also be MOA at 800 yards.This isn't necessarily true. Discounting wind effects, every little flaw in the load and rifle begins to manifest at longer ranges. A 50fps velocity spread in a normal .308 load is less than a 1 MOA variation in impact at 300yds and greater than 1 MOA at 800. Effects are magnified at longer ranges and not in a linear fashion.
BTW, there is a difference in loading for 30-06 between M-1 Garand rounds and most other commercially available loads. You can't always just switch them back and forth.Yep. Same with loading for the M1A compared to other .308/7.62 platforms. You have to stick with the faster suitable powders to keep the gas volume and port pressure down with both of them.

The .30-06 is on average 100fps faster than the .308 with like bullet weights. This means that it is always the flatter shooting cartridge with the same bullet and it will also exhibit less wind drift. It will also have more recoil in rifles of the same weight. With the right bullets, the .243 is flatter shooting than either with significantly less recoil. Unless they are required to by the rules of the class they are competing in, no competitive shooter uses a .308. It simpy gives the shooter too much of a handicap against those shooting the hot 6, 6.5 and 7mm loads with regard to ballistics and the smaller bullets don't beat the shooter up as badly.

You said that you didn't want a Savage, but the reality is that the cheapest and easiest way to get a real shooter of a rifle is with a Savage. You can get a high quality barrel and install it yourself for a fraction of what a gunsmith would charge to rebarrel a Remington and the Savage factory barrels have proven over the years to be at the top of the accuracy heap with regard to factory rifles.

murdoc rose
September 6, 2012, 05:27 PM
Have you looked at the tc venture? or maybe a used m70 or m77?

Personally I like the feel of the American. Everyone I have talked to that has bought one seems to like it. Have yet to shoot one myself though and if i was to suspect anyone shooting one in my neck of the woods isn't shooting more than 200 yards.


+1 for 30-06
If you go to any gun shop or walmart for that matter you will have more off the shelf ammo choices than for any other caliber.
If you hand load you can do anything you need it to do.(I'll take it you do or just have a bunch of m2 ball ammo sitting around)

meanmrmustard
September 6, 2012, 05:48 PM
.308 win. I find it more accurate in most bolts than 30-06 (don't know why, maybe felt recoil...idk) and anywhere I buy 06, .308 is right next to it in every factory loading that the Springer ammo is other than the super heavy stuff.

chaser_2332
September 6, 2012, 05:55 PM
rugers are the kimber 1911 of rifles, they look good but you can always buy better performance for the same money.

helotaxi
September 6, 2012, 06:06 PM
rugers are the kimber of rifles, they look good but you can always buy better performance for the same money.
I would think that Kimber was the Kimber of rifles...

chaser_2332
September 6, 2012, 06:10 PM
fixed it

firesky101
September 6, 2012, 08:59 PM
Hey chaser you sold me my aetec, guess what I am putting on my American when I pick it up tomorrow.:D

Ro1911
September 6, 2012, 11:21 PM
FYI I know there is a difference in ammo for an M1 and ammo for a bolt gun, but I can buy 100 rds of what ever the bolt gun likes and have the other 1000 rds in M2 ball for the grand, that way I have alot of ammo that will work in both and some that is specifically for the ruger. Also in my area 3006 can be found in almost anystore that has any ammo even kmart has 3006 and 30-30.

Also, I'm not obsessed with target shooting, I'm hoping this can be a starter drag bag rifle, that I can use and abuse for now and maybe upgrade later. I already said that I plan on shooting it 2-3 times max and yes weight is important to me, I plan on carrying this thing around a bit and the weight was the first thing that attracted me to it.

P.S. I really don't like the 700, it's heavy and IMO overpriced (at least the ones I would want are) sorry if I sound a little pissy in this but when the budget is $400 suggesting $1000-$2000 rifles doesn't help.

powder
September 7, 2012, 12:22 AM
New: Ruger Am or Savage Access.

Used: 700, A-Bolts, Howas.

Long range accuracy I prefer the 22-250: used on the 700 platform can be found in the $500-$700 range.

Have an interest in reloading?

BBDartCA
September 7, 2012, 12:36 AM
Get it in 30-06. Even though your Garand loads will probably be different, its simply more practical to keep around one set of brass. Your typical "garand safe" loads are going to be pretty close to 308 performance, BTW. With the '06, you can handload to take care of anything on this continent, pushing a 180g bonded bullet at 2750 fps, for example. Unless you are a very serious benchrest shooter, you are probably not going to see any difference between 308 and 30-06 at real long ranges. 400 yards shots on unwounded animals is best left to the real experts or the starving.

mljdeckard
September 7, 2012, 10:39 AM
I'm not sure I would call 22-250 long-range.

helotaxi
September 7, 2012, 09:43 PM
Long range accuracy I prefer the 22-250:You must have a very different idea of "long range" than I do. The .22-250 might have potential if you could get one with a fast enough twist barrel to allow shooting actual long range bullets (75+ grains) but factory barrels are too slow. As such with a factory barrel, the .22-250 hits a wall around 400yds and suffers from wind drift issues well before that. Not a great recipe for work out to 800yds for sure.

powder
September 8, 2012, 12:08 PM
Oh well, this will be good.


Please cite your research, on say the .308 vs. 22-250 at 500 yards, with a 200 yard zero.

chaser_2332
September 8, 2012, 04:24 PM
500 is not long range, check the same numbers at 1000

helotaxi
September 8, 2012, 07:13 PM
Oh well, this will be good.


Please cite your research, on say the .308 vs. 22-250 at 500 yards, with a 200 yard zero.What is your "magic" 22-250 load? Bullet and velocity.

I argue that the .308 is barely adequate as well, so why would I use that as a comparison? No one that has a choice uses the .308 for "long range" either. Compare it to a .243 or .260 which are both actually cartridges in use for long range shooting.

Jim Watson
September 9, 2012, 12:24 PM
You can shoot Long Range and not have a choice, but still do good work.
You might shoot Service Rifle where an M1A or the limited issue military version of AR10 are your only choices other than .223.
Likewise you might shoot F-T/R which has the same caliber restriction, or Palma or Fullbore which are .308 only.
You might be a military or police sniper and be issued a .308.

.243 and .260 are seen in the less limited forms of Long Range shooting... but not much.
There are other 6 and 6.5mm cartridges that get more attention.

I have shot a fast twist heavy bullet .223 and it does pretty well at Mid-Range but does not keep up with a .308 at Long Range even though the charts say it should. Now the guy with the fast twist .220 Swift is a different matter, but that is very specialized kit.

powder
September 9, 2012, 12:51 PM
What is your "magic" 22-250 load? Bullet and velocity.

I argue that the .308 is barely adequate as well, so why would I use that as a comparison? No one that has a choice uses the .308 for "long range" either. Compare it to a .243 or .260 which are both actually cartridges in use for long range shooting.

There is no "magic load", it's basic ballistics from an ammo. manufacturer's charts: 500 yards? No, it's not long range IMHO, but 6mm/.243/22-250/ is much flatter shooting in the OP's stated range of 400-800 yards.

However, the NIB Ruger American in .308 is a great BUDGET choice, as is the used 700 platform in 22-250. IMO the 22-250 is also more fun to shoot!

Personally, for 1000+ yards I'm in the .300 WM club of Browning Eclipse M-1000s, but that's not what THE OP wants to discuss...

helotaxi
September 10, 2012, 01:26 PM
You missed my point. With light bullets that are suitable for the standard slow rate of twist that .22-250s ship with, the .22-250 is a terrible long range cartridge. It shoots pretty flat, to a point, but it lacks in the BC department which means that it gets blown around in the wind. Drop is easy to compensate for and at a known distance, it is essentially irrelevant. Wind drift becomes everything at that point. With the 1:14 twist that the Remingtons ship with, you're fairly limited on bullet weight.

Comparing the 53gn Vmax (best BC available) from a .22-250 (which some guys have had trouble stabilizing, but we'll assume that this particular rifle can make it work) @ 3700 fps and compare it to a rather mundane .308 load actually suitable for 500yd+ work (168 Amax @ 2600 fps), the .308 load exhibits nearly 3" less wind drift at 500yds and by 800 the difference is over a foot. Figure in a 208Amax at 2450fps and the difference in drift goes to 28.5". And again, the .308 is hardly a good choice at this type of distance. The .243 with a 107 SMK equals the above 208 Amax load with an easily achievable 2900fps and significantly less recoil. That bullet will work in the available barrel twist for the American as well. Sorry, for intermediate to long range work in an off the shelf rifle, the .243 is going to be the superior choice.

powder
September 10, 2012, 11:27 PM
What point? The only point you made was that you did not like my opinion, and offered no substantiation as to why. The only point you make now is that windage (BC) is suddenly your point of reference?

The OP wants an affordable target rifle, lets not muddy the waters with BS straw-man arguments: The Ruger American is a great brand new rifle option, the used Rem. 700 in 22-250 is a great used option, or .308 or 30-06, or in my personal preference the .300 WM. The .243/6mm is not one of my choices as I already have great 5.56 and 6.55 options at MY disposal. However, it is not about my choice but the OP's.

Take a look at the Savage Axis as well.

http://www.savagearms.com/#





"You missed my point. With light bullets that are suitable for the standard slow rate of twist that .22-250s ship with, the .22-250 is a terrible long range cartridge.

That bullet will work in the available barrel twist for the American as well. Sorry, for intermediate to long range work in an off the shelf rifle, the .243 is going to be the superior choice."

helotaxi
September 11, 2012, 09:21 AM
If you're talking long range target shooting at a known distance, windage is the ONLY thing that matters as drop is completely consistent and predictable. He asked about the Ruger American which isn't available in .22-250 in the first place so your injection was outside the conversation firstly and the .22-250 is not a good recommendation secondly. The American IS available in .243 and the .243 is a better long range option than the .22-250 for sure and the .308 as well.

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