When initial Ruger Precision Rifle reviews came out, I was skeptical about the gloriously rosy commentary noting groundbreaking features… it just screamed to me that someone was all too happy to whip out knee pads and a bib to be one of the first to review Ruger’s latest, so I waited a until now for my full review.
Initially my eyes rolled hard with the thought that Ruger has just dropped their standard Mauser-influenced action into a billet chassis and that did not sound particularly ground breaking. I was, of course, completely wrong on that point.
Another part of that reluctance was that everyone was espousing the precision greatness of the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) with almost every review being in the 6.5 Creedmore round. Sure, the 6.5 Creedmore has been around. However, the round itself is known for insane levels of precision. I was skeptical that maybe all the glowing remarks would not carry over into a more traditional round such as the .308 or .223 chamberings.
Not seeing a single .308 review of the rifle, I considered it my duty to get one ordered. Then the rifle arrived. My first words at my FFL dealer were, “Damn, Ruger nailed it on this rifle.” The only other rifle that impressed me as much out of the box for innovation, engineering, and quality was the groundbreaking Tavor design. This new rifle was nothing like any Ruger I had seen before and is certainly not your daddy’s Ruger.
As much as I hate to agree with some noted writers who love everything, I must say that the RPR is a competition killer in the precision rifle market. After seeing, handling, shooting, and testing this rifle, it is simply that good. Ruger’s Precision Rifle delivers it all in one package—and not just another package you need to upgrade later. It’s one that is arguably as good or better than anything available aftermarket right out of the box.
If I peer into my stable of precision rifles, I think of how the Howa 1500 series began to turn the heads of hardcore Remington 700 shooters. I have a factory barreled Howa .308 that can shoot sub-½-inch groups all day long with the right ammo and now I have the action nestled into a XLR billet chassis and have upgraded to a Timney trigger. I have done the same to several Remington SPS 700s as well with the net result of dropping about $1200-$1500 on upgrades to make it as good as the Ruger Precision Rifle is right out of the box.
Precision rifles generally start in the $2000+ range—my FN SPR A3G being a fitting example that is still less than any of the custom shop options. Many shooters plan to build a precision rifle from a Remington or Savage action knowing that in the end the receiver may be the only remaining stock part left on the gun. They spend around $600-$700 on a base rifle, then $250 on trigger upgrade, $1000 stock with box fed magazine capability, and $500 in action tuning and barrel re-crowning. If the factory barrel is not delivering on expectations, swapping out for a match barrel starts around $500 including installation. And it does not stop there. Other must-have accessories include an extended bolt handle conversion ($100-$150) and a 20 MOA scope base ($100) to give you more adjustment for longer shots. In the end, that $600 Remington 700 easily ends up being a $2700-$3200 rifle. Looking back, the off-the-shelf options start looking like great deals.
Remington has a similar offering as does Howa, and now Ruger joins the party with this rifle and is fundamentally changing the entire price structure of the market with everything noted previously included right down to the match barrel for a stated $1399 MSRP. It is without question the best deal on the market today and designed to be easy to upgrade should the desire strike you. Want a Timney trigger? Sure—drop that in; or any AR-15 barrel-nut compatible forend, even the bolt handle can easily be swapped out. Many manufacturers are now making aftermarket drop-in barrels including carbon fiber sleeved premium barrels that only require a simple DIY installation.
Like many of the newer high-accuracy rifles, Ruger made its precision rifle with its new high-tech machining capabilities and you can tell. The rifle’s all-around fit is extremely well-made. Out of the box, the RPR delivers everything a precision shooter would want including a really nice precision action, threaded suppressor-ready barrel, fully adjustable precision rifle stock with folding adapter, an AICS and Magpul-compatible magazine well, incredible trigger—that people get into arguments about whether it is worth upgrading, and a barrel that is arguably proving itself as one of the most accurate factory barrels on the market. It’s all there in the box for a $1300 MSRP complete with your choice of .223, .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6mm Creedmoor caliber options.
At this point, I have had time behind each caliber except for the new 6mm Creedmoor version. All are outstanding shooting guns, delivering sub-MOA groups. One of my more impressive .308 groups was a .3-inch 100-yard group.
At least with the samples I shot, the 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 chamberings seemed to be the most accurate. Each rifle is, of course, unique and the .223 was still easily a sub-MOA gun. The geometry was well-thought out on the stock, and the recoil was extremely forgiving after tuning and fitting it to me. With LR Magpul magazines, the Ruger Precision Rifle even delivers a last round hold open so you know when it’s empty during a spirited competition. The selector is a fast 45-degree AR-15 style that is notably quicker than other safety styles. The handguards are beautiful Samson Evolution handguards and you can easily swap with any AR-15 compatible handguard. A small compartment at the end of the bolt stores the bolt disassembly tool. The scope base included is 20-MOA. All nice touches and upgrades for any shooter. The newer versions of the Ruger Precision Rifle includes a few upgrades including muzzle brake, metal bolt storage area, and different handguard.
The total Ruger Precision Rifle package adds up to a gun that shoots extremely well, is stunningly accurate for the price, and is loaded with pretty much everything you could want in a precision rifle for far less than any other offering on the market. Ruger… simply amazing gun for the price… now where is my .223 and 10/22 variants?
Model No. | 18004
Caliber | .308 Win/7.62 NATO
Capacity | 10+1 rounds
Action | Bolt
Trigger | 2.25 to 5.0 lbs., adjustable
Stock | Folding, adjustable length of pull and comb height
Barrel | Chrome-lined hammer forged
Barrel Length | 20.0 inches
Folded Length | 30.6 inches
Overall Length | 39.25 to 42.75 inches
Height | 7.3 inches
Width | 3.3 inches
Weight | 9.70 lbs.
Length of Pull | 12.0 to 15.5 inches
Twist | 1:10″
MSRP | $1,399.00
What’s your favorite long-distance or precision rifle? Tell us in the comment section.