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Ruger American Rifle, budget long range rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ro1911, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    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?
     
  2. Jasper1573

    Jasper1573 Member

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    #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.
     
  3. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    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.
     
  4. Jasper1573

    Jasper1573 Member

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    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.
     
  5. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    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.
     
  6. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    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?
     
  7. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    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.
     
  8. kutz

    kutz member

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    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.
     
  9. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    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.
     
  10. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    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.
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
  12. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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  13. lefteyedom

    lefteyedom Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  14. primalmu

    primalmu Member

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    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.
     
  15. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  16. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    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.
     
  17. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    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.
    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.
     
  18. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    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)
     
  19. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    .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.
     
  20. chaser_2332

    chaser_2332 Member

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    rugers are the kimber 1911 of rifles, they look good but you can always buy better performance for the same money.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  21. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    I would think that Kimber was the Kimber of rifles...
     
  22. chaser_2332

    chaser_2332 Member

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    fixed it
     
  23. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    Hey chaser you sold me my aetec, guess what I am putting on my American when I pick it up tomorrow.:D
     
  24. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    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.
     
  25. powder

    powder member

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    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?
     
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