The .308 Ruger Precision Rifle - Custom Rifle Excellence at Production Price

The Ruger Precision Rifle is designed as a highly portable, lightweight solution to tactical problems or sporting use.

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During the 1980's, Sturm, Ruger and Company had a significant law enforcement market presence. The excellent Speed and Security Six revolvers competed well with the Smith and Wesson revolver line. In fact the Ruger Speed Six was issued as a duty revolver for the Columbus Police Department along with Smith and Wesson's Model 64.

Ruger lost its way for a while and inexplicably discontinued the trim but rock solid Speed and Security Six revolvers in favor of the overbuilt GP100. Dropping medium frame revolvers from the line marked the end of Ruger revolvers in cop holsters. All that was left for cops in the Ruger line was basically its excellent Mini-14, which was adopted by many departments before the AR craze and the federal government giveaway of free M-16's to departments in need.

Recently Ruger began re-entering the LE market with some innovative, new designs. While their handguns haven't made much headway as duty weapons when compared to Glock, their smaller handguns, such as the LCP, have found a lot of acceptance as off-duty guns; and their SR-556, AR-556 and SR-762 rifles have made major inroads into the patrol rifle market as well. All of which is good news not only for cops, but civilians who are interested in law enforcement quality firearms.

Ruger has followed up on the success of their patrol rifles with a new, long range tactical rifle: The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). While the RPR is a bolt action rifle, it is reminiscent of the AR15 design.

Available in the tested .308 Winchester caliber, as well as 6.5 mm Creedmoor and .243 Winchester, the RPR is designed as a highly portable, lightweight solution to tactical problems or sporting use. Weighing in at 9.7 lbs., the RPR features a left-side folding stock that is adjustable for length of pull and comb height. In the .308, the version most likely version to be used by LE. The barrel length is 20 inches, giving it an overall maximum length of 41.75", and a folded length of 30". This makes it easily transportable and storable in a case.

The medium contour free-floated barrel comes with a thread protector installed to allow for a suppressor or muzzle brake, and is combined with a trim Samson Evolution Keymod Handguard, and a full-length top Picatinny Rail. The bolt has three lugs with a short 70 degree throw and a tactical bolt handle. The trigger is the Ruger Marksman Adjustable (2.25 to 5lbs) model. There is an AR style thumb safety in the standard position accessible from the handgrip. In .308 caliber, the lower receiver accepts the two included 10-round Magpul magazines, M110 and SR25 magazines, and some M14 magazines. Magazines are released M-14 style, with a latch ahead of the trigger guard. All good features-great actually-but the proof is in the shooting.

I took the RPR to the range after mounting a Shooters Ridge swivel bipod and a Vortex 4-16x Illuminated Variable riflescope.

I brought along only one type of ammunition for the test-Hornady's 168 grain A-Max TAP Precision load. I had a department issued M-14 magazine loaded up and ready to go, so that seemed a good way to test the accuracy and shootability of the RPR, as well as to see how it ran with a GI M-14 magazine.

Let me say shootability is outstanding. The Precision MSR stock is one of the quickest and easiest to adjust on the market. After folding it out and locking it into place, simply unlock the dual locking levers and slide the comb and or buttplate into the position that works best for you.

The 20 round M-14 magazine easily locked into place and more than cleared the ground beneath. The RPR has one of the smoothest bolts I've ever cycled on any rifle, without a trace of wobble. I had previously tested the trigger and found it to be extremely crisp and in the three pound range. Even with the trigger safety lever, I would not want adjust it any lighter.

I touched off the first round. I am not one who likes a lot of recoil, especially these days. I was one of two snipers on the Union County Sheriff's Office SRT unit for six years. My preferred rifle was a custom 6.8 SPC AR15 that I could shoot all day long without fatigue and with great effect. I did not relish getting beaten up by a standard .308 bolt gun. But the RPR is different than any bolt gun I've fired.

Recoil was a relatively mild push, and milder than any .308 bolt gun I've ever fired, in the neighborhood of what one would expect from a semi-auto .308 AR. Some of the recoil mitigation likely came from the hand and wrist absorbing it through the AR style pistol grip. I was highly impressed.

After dialing the scope in, I was able to easily hold one inch groups with the RPR at 100 yards. Had I been firing from a proper bench, and had the sun not been in my eyes, I know I could have easily done better. During shooting I found that the M14 magazine had a tendency to release after a few shots, which is why Ruger advises the RPR will work with SOME M14 magazines.

The .308 RPR is a great tactical rifle, and in the 6.5 Creedmoor or the .243 Winchester version, it would make a great predator rifle that can handle rough use and easy stowage in an ATV or blind. With an MSRP of $1399, the price is more than reasonable for a lifetime of accurate, reliable service. It is great to see that Ruger is on the right track again.