Ruger American Rifle Review
Part 5 - Internal Features
May 12, 2012

Ruger American Rifle Review

The previous parts of my Ruger American Rifle Review covered in detail the external and operational features along with disassembly of the American Rifle.  In this part of the review I'm going to focus on the internal features of the Ruger American Rifle.  Keep in mind that throughout this review you can click on a photo to bring up a high resolution photo allowing you to see the finer details in the photo.

 


Bolt Assembly

The bolt assembly for the Ruger American Rifle is shown below.  Ruger advertises this as a "full diameter" bolt which means that the bolt body is not necked down.  Instead, the area just behind the locking lugs is the necked down area to allow the lugs to engage with the lugs on the receiver.  This full diameter allows the ability to make the bolt body and receiver a close fit so that you have very little wobble or play when cycling the bolt.  This reduced wobble or play makes for a smooth action.  The bolt is made from stainless steel and my guess is the handle is made from some type of alloy steel.  The rear bolt shroud is some type of polymer material.  The bolt has a slot cut down the side that maintains the alignment of the bolt lugs during cycling.

Figure 1
Ruger American Rifle Review

The body of the bolt has another gas port on the bottom in the event a case ruptures and hot gasses try to pass down the firing pin hole.  In these two photos, you can see that I have cycled the bolt many times during my evaluation and the bolt handle is starting to wear some of the matte black finish off where it contacts the receiver.

Figure 2
Ruger American Rifle Review

I have included this figure below which was taken from the Ruger Instruction Manual.  The only disassembly that Ruger recommends of the bolt assembly is the removal of the bolt shroud (#2 in the photo below), so this figure gives you some information about the parts that makeup the bolt assembly.

Figure 3
Ruger American Rifle Review
Ruger American Rifle Review

The bolt is marked with a serial number that matches the receiver on the front end located in the bottom of the bolt stop alignment slot.

Figure 4
Ruger American Rifle Review

Each of the bolt lugs has a slight ramp to assist with engaging the lugs in the receiver when locking the bolt in place.

Figure 5
Ruger American Rifle Review

The bolt has a three lug design that only requires 70 degrees of throw to lock and unlock the bolt.  You can also see the plunger ejector and extractor in the photo below.

Figure 6
Ruger American Rifle Review

On the rear end of the bolt you can see the firing pin back and one of the double cams.  Note that this firing pin back is in the position for bolt shroud removal and not the normal position  resting in the notch.

Figure 7
Ruger American Rifle Review

The balanced design of the double cocking cams reduces the total force required to cock the bolt.

Figure 8
Ruger American Rifle Review

In the photo below you can see the surface of the firing pin back that contacts the sear.

Figure 9
Ruger American Rifle Review

The photo below shows the opposite side of the rear of the bolt assembly.

Figure 10
Ruger American Rifle Review


Receiver

The alloy steel receiver has a black matte finish and comes drilled and tapped with a pair of aluminum Weaver #46 mounts.

Figure 11
Ruger American Rifle Review

The trigger housing is pinned to the receiver as shown below.  The round portion of the receiver measures 1.350" in diameter.

Figure 12
Ruger American Rifle Review

On the bottom of the receiver are slots cut which rest on top of the bedding blocks in the stock.  The bottom of the receiver is drilled and tapped for the stock attachment screws.  Also notice that in front of the receiver is a ring which is actually a barrel nut.

Figure 13
Ruger American Rifle Review

Figure 14
Ruger American Rifle Review

When looking through the magazine area, you can see that the scope mount holes are drilled and taped through the full thickness of the receiver.

Figure 15
Ruger American Rifle Review

When looking through the ejection port, you can see the lugs on the receiver and the internally threaded area that mates with the barrel.

Figure 16
Ruger American Rifle Review

Figure 17
Ruger American Rifle Review


Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger and Tang Safety

The Ruger American Rifle comes with the new Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger which has a tang safety incorporated into the aluminum trigger housing.  In the photo below you can see the tang safety in the "safe" position (pulled back).

Figure 18
Ruger American Rifle Review

In this next photo the tang safety has been moved to the "fire" position (pushed forward) and you can see how this rotates the safety shaft.  The safety shaft has a flat portion that when rotated to the fire position allows the upper portion of the trigger to pivot forward releasing the sear  When in the "safe" position, a round portion of the safety shaft blocks the upper portion of the trigger from moving forward to release the sear.

Figure 19
Ruger American Rifle Review

In this next photo, you can see that tang safety is in the "fire" position and I have pulled the trigger.  Notice through the sight/lubrication hole in the safety housing that the upper trigger portion has moved forward and the sear has been released.

Figure 20
Ruger American Rifle Review

These next two photos show the right side of the trigger housing with the tang safety in "safe" position and then in the "fire" position.

Figure 21
Ruger American Rifle Review

Figure 22
Ruger American Rifle Review

The trigger release actually blocks rearward movement (pulling) of the trigger.  If you look up behind the trigger, you can see that when the trigger release is not pressed, the top of the release bears on the pin in the trigger housing circled below .  Pressing the trigger release pivots the top of the release forward so it will not bear on the pin when the trigger is pulled.

Figure 23
Ruger American Rifle Review

The Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger is adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds based on Ruger's advertising.   To adjust the trigger you must remove the barrel and receiver assembly from the stock.  To increase the pull weight, you screw in the screw circled below.  To lessen the pull weight, you screw out the screw.  I was able to adjust the trigger pull weight initially from 3.7 to 6 pounds on this rifle.  In the process of this review, I have dry fired it many times and the trigger pull weight has decreased to an average of 3.5 pounds.

Figure 24
Ruger American Rifle Review


Stock & Power Bedding System

The polymer stock is designed to be light and includes stiffening ribs in the forend for strength.

Figure 25
Ruger American Rifle Review

Figure 26
Ruger American Rifle Review

The stock has two stainless steel V-blocks molded into the polymer structure.  The machined flat areas on the receiver sit on each side of these V-blocks.  When you tighten the stock screws, the only portions of the stock touching the receiver are the V-blocks.  This gives you not only a floating barrel, but what seems to be a floating receiver except in the area of the V-blocks.

Figure 27
Ruger American Rifle Review

This photo shows you the front area of the forend and the how the forward sling swivel stud is supported.

Figure 28
Ruger American Rifle Review

 

Thoughts

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.  When you look at the details of the dual cocking cams, bolt design, Power Bedding system, safeties, and the Marksman Adjustable trigger, there is nothing complicated about these designs.  Actually they all seem quite simple and this group of simple features combine to give this rifle great shooting potential and value.  The real question is will this rifle shoot?  The answer to this is covered in the next part of this review.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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