If you’ve ever built or configured a precision rifle, you may be familiar with an undiagnosed condition that has afflicted me for some time. The symptoms are broad but almost invariably it is the feverish desire to build another rifle. And it begins to foment as soon as the previous one is broken in.
One way I have managed to regulate this terrible disorder of mine is to embrace rifle systems over individual rifles. It may sound a bit like a weak defense, but let me explain. Rifle systems with similar chassis and features are easier to become proficient. They can be easier on your bank account depending on what you choose. Today our topic is regarding a series of rifles that much like a system keep many features in common; the Ruger Precision Rifle family.
Just a Ruger?
You may have read my article about the Ruger RPR 22Lr, or the piece I wrote about the 6.5 Creedmoor RPR. And in both of those pieces I mentioned the phenomenon that was the arrival of the RPR to the precision rifle world. Until Ruger introduced their rifle, the precision rifle world was dominated by custom built rifles. The cost of admittance was high, usually to the tune of three or four thousand dollars just for the rifle itself.
Ruger managed to squeeze right into the vacant market of less-expensive production precision rifles at what seemed like the beginning of the PRS craze. And in a cunning move they swept up a massive share of the market which continues to grow like wildfire. The RPR has changed the way the PRS community looks at production rifles from mainstream manufacturers. What once was looked down upon is now commonplace even at the podium.
The NRL 22 matches have proven that the precision shooting craze isn’t limited to centerfire rifles. Whether you are an adult or a youth shooter there is much that can be learned from rimfire shooting. The RPR 22LR is the smallest of the RPR family, and an excellent place to learn the basics of marksmanship. It is a bolt action box fed rifle, built into a chassis system just like the entire RPR family. As with every member of the family it features a fully adjustable buttstock. And it’s modular chassis is made to be accessorized. Great controls that are well thought round out these rifles as excellent for training or for competition.
The RPR 22LR can be used as a tool to perfect your processes and techniques if you plan on competing. And if you just like shooting it can provide a lifetime of inexpensive plinking fun for both children and adults.
One of my kids just recently used the RPR 22LR to pass his hunter safety program here in our state. He even managed to get an honorable mention for marksmanship. The easily customized rifle was a perfect fit for what he needed, and he continues to shoot it still. And should he choose to keep with it, his experience from the wee 22 will carry right over to the next rifle.
The original RPR came out as a short action chambered in 308 and 6.5cm. It is probably still the most popular RPR of the whole family.
Utilizing SR25 patterned magazines and compatible components already available in the flooded AR market made the rifle both appealing and familiar to the AR crowd. The controls my kids learned on the rimfire RPR will have them pre-familiarized with this larger version of the rifle.
The medium to long-range capabilities that came with the RPR opened the long-range shooting craze to folks who before then couldn’t or wouldn’t spend the money for a custom. The RPR produces incredible accuracy patterns, it punches above its weight I guess you could say.
Another appealing benefit is the similarities of the RPR to America’s favorite rifle, the AR 15. It doesn’t just feel similar, it also looks like one. And as much as we often pretend looks are secondary, the similar looks and aesthetics to the AR have certainly affected the RPR’s popularity. The RPR created a space, that quickly started getting crowded with other manufacturer options like Savage, Howa, and even Mossberg.
All Grown Up
The RPR has even been produced in the larger calibers, like 300 PRC, Winchester Magnum, and 338 Lapua Magnum. With chamberings such as those, there are few things out of reasonable distance for the RPR family. I’ve shot a few Lapua’s in my day, and I was impressed with the way the Ruger performed. Just like it’s smaller siblings, the rifle flat out performed. Making hits beyond one-thousand yards was like shooting five hundred yards with a 308. Running the longer bolt and magazines were flawless. And the massive muzzle brake tamed the 338 to be quite manageable.
As I mentioned at the beginning, a series of rifle systems can add value to your purchase. Learning to shoot long-range on the 6.5 Creedmoor RPR makes it an easy step up to the magnum version of the rifle for even more distance. And if you want to train on the cheap for a competition, the little rimfire RPR can help you work out the kinks in your game without spending as much.
The RPR is still a production rifle, and you can tell the difference between a custom built competition gun and the humble RPR. But once the timer starts it depends a lot more on the nut behind the trigger than comparing the price tags of the rifles being shot.
Both young and old can benefit from the Ruger Precision Rifle family. Graduating from one rifle to the next can increase familiarity and comfort for all. And the modularity of the rifles can allow everyone to customize the rifle to their own purposes whether that be competitive or otherwise.
The obvious popularity of the RPR family could be a result of some brilliant marketing over at Ruger. But I think thousands of happy and religiously loyal RPR owners cant be wrong. I think it’s more a combination of a good product. Marketed well to a customer-base that was ripe with desire for just such a product. If you are looking into the precision shooting game, you’d be well served by looking at the RPR family.