Ruger American Rifle Review
Part 6 - Range Test
June 6, 2012

Ruger American Rifle Review

For range testing, I mounted a Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 3-9x50mm DOA 600 Scope on the Ruger American Rifle using a set of Burris Signature ZEE Rings Weaver-Style Medium Matte which gave a very attractive shooting platform as shown below.  I feel the value you get from the Bushnell scope and Ruger rifle make a great match for someone wanting a good hunting rifle setup for a budget price.

 

Figure 1
Ruger American Rifle Review

During my range testing, I shot the following ammunition shown below.  I intended to use the PMC ammunition for sighting in the scope, the Federal and Winchester to represent some value hunting ammunition that you can get at most Wal-Mart stores, and the Hornady to give me an idea of accuracy with some match ammo.

Figure 2
Ruger American Rifle Review

This next photo shows my bench setup which included a Caldwell Rock BR Rest and Caldwell Medium Height Rear Bag placed on a portable Workmate bench.  With the legs pressed firmly into the ground, I found the portable bench to be stable but cramped for space.

Figure 3
Ruger American Rifle Review

The table below summarizes the data taken at my range test of the Ruger American Rifle.  As I'm sure you will notice, I don't show any group data for some of the ammunition.  I don't show the PMC was because I was using it to sight in the rifle and wouldn't expect it to be used in any real hunting application.  I don't show the Hornady 168 gr and the Winchester Power-Point 150 gr because I was having a really bad day at the range and feel that my results were in no way representative of the rifles capability.  It seems that the day before I shot a few too many clay pigeons and my shoulder was extremely sore.  Eventually I put padding between the buttpad and my shoulder and doing this allowed me to finish up the ammo I had taken to the range.

  Velocity (ft/sec) 5-Shot Group Size (inches)
Cartridge Advertised Measured Minimum Maximum Average
PMC Bronze 147 gr FJM-BT 2780 2695 - - -
Federal Ammunition 150 gr Soft Point 2820 2760 1.05 1.83 1.41
Hornady Match 155 gr A-MAX 2860 2757 1.06 1.58 1.36
Hornady Match 168 gr BTHP 2700 2465 - - -
Winchester Power-Point 150 gr 2820 2785 - - -
5-shot groups at 100 yards from a bench.  Velocity measured 10 feet from muzzle.

These next two photos show my groups using the Federal 150 gr Soft Points and Hornady Match 155 gr A-MAX cartridges.  All of  these groups were shot consecutively with a cool down period between each group to allow the barrel temperature to reduce from about 132° F to about 110° F.  It would have been nice to wait until the barrel temperature reached ambient temperature, but at about a 90° F ambient temperature, doing this was not practical.  I was able to shoot a total group average of 1.41" with the Federal and 1.36" with the Hornady 155 gr A-MAX for a total group average of  1.39" for all eight 5-shot groups shown.

Figure 4
Federal Ammunition 150 gr Soft Point at 100 yards
Ruger American Rifle Review

Figure 5
Hornady Match 155 gr A-MAX at 100 yards
Ruger American Rifle Review

Throughout all my range tests, I was continually impressed with how well the rotary magazine and bolt fed the rounds into the chamber.  It really did have a smooth feel and loading the magazines was easy to do.  Another aspect I noticed was how effortlessly the magazine pops out when you hit the release lever.  The only issue I found was that the empty cases appear to be flipping around and sometimes impacting the receiver as shown below by the marks just behind the ejection port.

Figure 6
Ruger American Rifle Review

 

Thoughts

Even though it wasn't a perfect day at the range, I was able to get some data that shows this rifle is capable of a 1 MOA claim by Ruger and clearly an eight 5-shot group average of 1.39" is an accuracy suitable for most hunting situations.  I have no doubt that it would be possible to spend more time and find a great off-the-shelf cartridge that would prove the Ruger American Rifle to be even more accurate.  As a reference, I like to see what type of accuracy the big name magazines get with their range tests and the Guns and Ammo Review was able to achieve some very impressive 3-shot group averages with their lowest being 0.77" with Federal Fusion PSP ammunition.  If I were to have shot 3-shot groups, I have no doubt that it would be possible to achieve their accuracy results.

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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