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Review: The Ruger American Rifle

Shooting

Review: The Ruger American Rifle

Chances are, Bill Ruger would not have cared for the American Rifle, since he drew his inspiration from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and this bolt-action is as 21st-century as social networks or Snooki (who is enough to make any person of taste and refinement long for the 19th century). It’s a rakish rifle that’s completely new, and it’s a good look at how rifles will be built in the future.

The bare bones are these: It’s a 4-shot repeater that comes in .243, .308, .270, and .30/06, weighs 6.25 pounds or less, depending on caliber, has a 22-inch barrel (not a 24-inch, endless thanks to Ruger), and an MSRP of $449. And it’s made in the United States.

In designing the American Rifle, Ruger did a couple of ingenious and very smart things. First, the detachable-box magazine is rotary, which makes it very shallow, and allowed Ruger to give it a rounded bottom. This in turn permits the use of a very slender stock with no bulk or wasted weight, and which feels great in the hand, much like a lever-action.

Molded into the stock at the front and rear of the receiver inlet are two aluminum bedding blocks which Ruger calls Power Bedding. (Why “power” bedding? I have no idea.) In any event, the blocks are shaped like flat-bottomed Vs and they fit into corresponding slots in the receiver. So, when you torque down the bedding screws the receiver is located very precisely, and pulled down tighter than the grip of Grim Death itself.

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