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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


Most of the time today on my initial outing with the rifle was spent putzing around getting the the rifle set up to my body, and getting the scope mounted. Lots of time spent getting the LOP adjusted, cheek riser adjusted, eye relief adjusted, reticle perfectly leveled, bubble level mounted on scope, etc.

The first shot, my thought was, "Hey, did someone slip me a .223? I thought this was a .308!" The thing just doesn't recoil. Amazingly light. I think this is due to a combination of factors: The weight of the gun (quite heavy), the muzzle brake that is included from the factory, and the design where the barrel is perfectly lined up with the stock - recoil straight back into your shoulder. The typical hunting rifle has the barrel above the butt of the stock where it contacts you shoulder, so I suppose you get some kind of offset angle effect in the recoil. I was also using lightweight bullets, so that certainly helped the recoil too. Also, I had adjusted the stock so the buttpad was canted to fit the shape of my shoulder. No doubt that helped as well.

These Ruger Precision rifles are reported to start shooting better and better as they approach 80 rounds down the barrel. So today I was working on getting some rounds downrange for the gun to settle out. I was shooting the absolute cheapest .308 ammo I could find for this initial barrel burn-in. I'm intentionally calling it burn-in vs. "break-in" because I'm not doing the traditional shoot-one-clean-shoot-another break-in. Ruger doesn't recommend that as being necessary. The ammo was Remington Cor-Lokt 150gr. $16 for 20 rounds, the cheapest I could find. I would not expect this ammo to be super accurate, and with the rifle not being burned-in, I wasn't expecting great accuracy ... yet. And today I was shooting about 1moa groups. Just under an inch at 100 yards. Certainly not spectacular, but I was happy with it for a first shooting from a brand new gun with crappy ammo. I'll shoot some more garbage rounds through it to get the round count up a little higher, then try from Federal Gold Medal Match, and finally work up some handloads after that.

The trigger was great. I was very impressed with it right as it came from the factory. I do not have a trigger pull gauge. Nor did I look to see where in the range the trigger was adjusted to. I'll get to that later.

The controls on the rifle were stiff. The bolt did not wobble, it was nice and tight, but it was stiff. It will need a little break-in. Same for the safety. Stiff. The folding stock is highly adjustable and locks up very tightly. You can adjust LOP, buttpad cant, cheek riser height, and cheek riser forward/back.

The Vortex scope I mounted on the rifle is nice. I got the Viper PST 4-16x50 FFP illuminated model. I really don't know how to judge optics very well, so I got this scope based on recommendations from friends who know what they're doing, and online reviews. All controls are very smooth, precise feeling, and have good tactical feedback. The zoom ring is tighter than on other scopes I have, but my friends who were shooting with me (the ones who know more about scopes) said that was just fine and they liked the feeling that I was calling tightness. I mounted a bubble level to the scope to assist me in cant-free lining up of my shots.

The one thing I am not looking forward to with this rifle is the cleaning. When you fold the stock to the side and remove the bolt, you still have about a foot of space that you need to insert the cleaning rod before it ever gets to the chamber. And the chamber is a couple of inches forward of the ejection port. So it's hard to get in there to clean the breech face and the locking lug area. This is much like an AR the way it is set up (except this rifle doesn't hinge). I've never thought AR's were all that fun to clean myself. I'll be buying me a chamber brush and probably a rod guide for this rifle.

After today's outing (I shot 40 rounds), this rifle is definitely a keeper. I look forward to finishing the burn-in period and trying some good ammo in it to see how accurate it really is.

My biggest surprise of the day was the lack of recoil. There's just nothing to it. It most certainly does not feel like a .308 to me. You do realize it's a .308 when you stand to the side while your friend is shooting and the blast from the muzzle brake hits you.
 

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Nice!! Very nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Second shooting with the rifle and it was starting to settle down. Consistent sub-moa (barely), but I was still using cheap hunting ammo for barrel burn-in and honestly, I wasn't 100% comfortable behind the rifle yet. I was still tense and not relaxed. I might need to re-do the rifle setup for my particular body and shooting style.

Went over to a friend's son's house yesterday for some tips and experience reloading for precision. Son is a long range competitive shooter. Learned a few things that I haven't done in the past for initial brass prep - reaming flash hole, turning necks, weighing brass, etc. None of that will probably make any difference at my current shooting level, but it is still good to learn about it. Also got some good info on working up precision loads. We loaded 50 initial rounds for my rifle. Not working up loads yet. These initial 50 are just to do initial brass prep and prepare to fireform this new brass to my rifles chamber. After shooting those, we'll start work in earnest on load development using this brass. My reloading setup at home is OK, but I must say, I kind of fell in love with his Redding 7-station turret press. And he had a bullet seating die which must have come from Heaven. Extremely precise vernier settings and a neat little window where you insert the bullet so it gets nice and centered before you seat it.

So after another two or three trips to the range, I hope to better see some of the accuracy potential of this rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am most accurate shooting prone.
That's because you're skinny. Pretend you're me, insert a beach ball under your shirt, and then try getting into prone again! :(

None-the-less, I will be trying prone some more. Old + fat + prone != comfortable, but I'll keep working at it. I do have a very nice shooting mat that I will bring with me next trip to the range.
 

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I have a Redding T-7 press that I love. I have several turrets for it so I can leave all my dies set-up and not have to remove and reinsert the dies for different calibers. I can set-up 2 different calibers on each turret. I have full length and neck size dies for most calibers. That way I can use either depending on what want to do at the time. I like the Hornady Custom Grade die set for my 308. It does not have the nice seating depth mic but does have a sliding shelve to hold the bullet straight as it enters the die. Not as good as a bench rest die set but a lot better than my RCBS standard dies, and they were only about $35.00. I am getting one hole 3 shot groups at 100 yards when I do a good job with the trigger. At 100 yards I have to use the 60 power spotting scope to tell that more than 1 bullet went through the same hole. :D:D:D

Steve
 

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Great write-up! I really want to like the Ruger PR, and I still think they look really cool and area a good deal, but after handling about 5 different ones over the past few months at my local gun shop, I could never purchase one new. The bolt on all the ones I have seen is absolutely horribly finished, and IMO that is not acceptable at all when you are talking about a rifle that is $1100+. The bolt on the Ruger American series rifles looks better than the Precision rifle. All the review I have seen so far are really good though, and most of them have shown some really incredible accuracy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The bolt on all the ones I have seen is absolutely horribly finished...
I wouldn't jump right to "horrible", but I will say that the action on my Howa 1500 is definitely smoother than the action on my Ruger Precision. That's not saying that the Ruger is bad, it's saying that the Howa is fantastic. And the Howa cost right at 1/3 of the Ruger to boot. Thus far, the Howa is more accurate too. But we're comparing apples (handloads in the Howa) to oranges (cheapest junk hunting ammo I could find in the Ruger).

Tomorrow I'll be shooting some handloads in the Ruger. But these are not handloads built for accuracy yet. They are minimum load, cheap bullet handloads meant only to fire form the new brass I have, that will ultimately be loaded for precision (after fire forming).
 

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That is one badazz rifle. Good write up on it too. Hope your handloads for accuracy work out well. What bullet are you considering for the final loads? Or will ya be trying several brands & powders etc. to compare?

I got to check one out last weekend at a gunshow. A guy walked in with it over his shoulder while I was by the front door looking for good buys. I assumed he was not selling it, but had to ask anyway. He said that he just brought it in to get some stuff for it. He was selling his Glock 22 to pay for a good optic and some ammo. He had not fired it yet. I did him the favor of taking the Glock off his hads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For my reloads for accuracy, my starting point will be Sierra MatchKing 175gr bullets, Reloader-15 powder, Winchester brass, and Winchester Large Rifle primers.

I will also try the Sierra 168gr MatchKings since for the most part, I won't be shooting at the extreme ranges where the 175's would really shine (175's go farther before dropping to subsonic). I'm sure Hornady and Berger make some great bullets worthy of trying, but I haven't researched those brands yet.

I would have gotten Federal 210M match grade rifle primers instead, that was my first choice, but I could not find those anywhere. I also looked for CCI Benchrest rifle primers. I did indeed find those, but the only way they came were by the 1000, for $55 (Federal and Winchester per 1000 are closer to $35). I wanted to only buy a hundred or two for initial testing. If I like them, I can buy in quantity, but not now as I'm trying to come up with a good load. So I passed on the CCI's for now.

Alternate powders I plan to try are Varget and IMR4064.

Lapua brass is reportedly excellent, but very expensive. Maybe I'll try that after this initial batch of Winchester wears out. But Winchester is decent brass for an inexpensive price.
 
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