Over the years I have had quite a few Ruger firearms and for the most part my experience with the company has been a good one. My first real rifle was a Ruger, and both family and friends have also used a bunch of different Ruger models over the years.
My opinion has been that Ruger produced a good firearm for the price. Today we will be taking my first look at the Ruger American line of rifles. I’m curious to see if they match up to my decades of experience with Ruger. Today we will be reviewing the Ruger American 6.5 Creedmoor.
Go Wild, The Ruger American
There are many different Ruger American models, but the one I will be looking at today is the Go Wild model. This model comes with custom Cerakote and camouflage, and it’s chambered in the very popular 6.5 Creedmoor. As I opened the box I thought it had a handsome look to it, but looks don’t go very far in these mountains so I wanted to see how it performed more than anything.
Lifting the gun from the box, the first thing I thought was it seemed lighter than it looked if that makes sense. It was noticeably lighter than I expected it to be, and other comparable rifles nearby. This is obviously a good thing in my estimation, as I had planned on having my wife use the rifle during our hunting season. She is quite petite, so smaller and lighter is better.
With the gun shouldered, I ran the bolt a few times which felt better than I expected. The three-lug bolt of the American needs less lift to unlock from the breech, sixty-degrees of lift instead of the standard ninety-degrees. The smooth raceway had the bolt sliding very clean, and with the short lift it made it quick to reload.
Shifting my attention to the synthetic stock, it came as no surprise that the stock felt a bit cheap. Its unfortunate that many gun manufacturers are using these very flexible polymer stocks, but it is also very predictable. And to be fair, if the gun shoots well I probably wont be complaining about the flexible stock too much.
Burnt Bronze Cerakote protects the barreled action, that goes well with the camo pattern on the stock. At the muzzle of the twenty-two inch barrel its threaded 5/8-24 and comes with a radially ported brake to aid in recoil reduction. One in eight barrel twist is a pretty standard one and used here.
Feeding the rifle is done through a detachable box magazine compatible with AICS type magazines. This came as a pleasant surprise as I have an assortment of magazines I’d like to try in the rifle.
At the rear a tang mounted safety was easy to reach and manipulate. As was the bolt release on the left rear side of the action. With a simple design it was easily understood and in no time I was ready to outfit it. Ruger saw fit to include a scope rail already mounted which made mounting a scope much easier. To that I mounted one of my scopes in a pair of Warne low rings, the US Optics TS25X fit perfectly on top of the rifle. Though I think I will also add a stock-pack to get a better cheekweld.
Range time with the Ruger American 6.5 Creedmoor
After getting the rifle setup with a scope, bipod and some ammo, it was time to get it hot. I arrived at one of my shooting spots with an assortment of ammunition. Some Hornady Match 120 grain, as well as some Federal 130 grain Gold Medal ammunition. I had also brought some handloads of my favorite hunting load, which consisted of Cayuga solid copper bullets. I’ve used them several times in the past on both deer and elk, and if my better half was to use this rifle for hunting I wanted to see how it shot these bullets.
With a target set up at one hundred yards, I laid on my shooting mat to zero the little Ruger. Using the Hornady ammunition I zeroed the rifle, and fired a quick three-shot group.
After correcting the point of impact to correlate with my point of aim, and then it was time to have some fun. Followed by my other ammo selections, and all of them shot very comparable which is always nice. Then I turned my attention to the hill beyond my target, surely there was an opportunity to test this rifle at some longer ranges.
With my binoculars I picked out a couple targets that were about ten inches in diameter. One of them I ranged at four-hundred and sixty yards. Not too far but definitely something realistic for a deer in these mountains. After zeroing the turrets on my scope, I adjusted 2.1 MRAD of elevation to correct for the distance. The wind was dead calm, so I held center on the target, and pressed the trigger.
Since I hadn’t mentioned the trigger yet, it was better than I expected it to be. I’m not a big fan of blade safeties on bolt action rifles. But this certainly hasn’t prevented a clean and easy break on this rifle. The trigger had no discernable friction, the only movement I noticed was when it broke.
Observing the bullet impact my target a little high of center, I need to chronograph these bullets from this rifle. As I think they are flying a little faster than I expected. After firing another shot to confirm, I began a search for another even further target. One was found that measured eight-hundred yards away according to my rangefinder. This was a shot I was confident the little Ruger and I could make. With 5.2 MRAD dialed into the riflescope, I leveled up the rifle on my rear bag. Adjusting the parallax on my scope made a clear image of the target, all that was left was a clean release.
I could do this all day. This Ruger American was just a hoot to shoot, I was impressed with how much I liked it. I made this and several other shots at similar distances, until I was quite sure that the rifle would be suitable for a spot on our hunting team. The fun factor doubled when I installed my Yankee Hill Machine Nitro N20. The titanium suppressor added mere ounces to the rifle, and took away the need for hearing protection in this wide open country. Watching and hearing bullets impact at these great distances was very satisfying.
There was much to like about this rifle – the weight, reliable function, perfectly reliable detachable box magazine. A reliable accuracy on par with the price point, and a great trigger. It is just a handsome little rifle as well.
The strikes I might score against the American would definitely be the flimsy stock. While it wasn’t obvious that it reduced the shooting performance, I can’t help but think it would shoot better in a more rigid stock or chassis. I think this would be an excellent choice for a rifle with a very short barrel. It was tempting to cut it off at 16 inches to make it even lighter and more maneuverable. But obviously, that is my selfish purposes showing through.
I was optimistic that this rifle wouldn’t let me down. After spending a good deal of time shooting it, I feel it has lived up to my expectations from Ruger rifles. The only thing I wasn’t able to test was the rifle’s durability over a few seasons of hard hunting.
For sure, the rifle will get at least one chance to go on a hunt, and I am really looking forward to it. I know I wouldn’t feel under-gunned with this rifle, so if the $769.00 MSRP is within your budget, give this handsome little Ruger a try.
We used the Ruger for a deer hunt this season, and managed to take these two little bucks with it. One shot was all it took for both of them.