Love it or hate everyone is pretty polarized when it comes to the Ruger Precision Rifle. The difficulty in getting one not withstanding, we wanted to show you just what is available when it comes to this precision rifle platform. We did it because we could and because we wanted to show you what is out there. We get a ton of requests about this RPR hopefully this answers the questions out there.
Starting with the base rifle I think Ruger hit a home run here. Retailing at $999 this rifle has some really desirable features, 70 degree bolt throw, 3 lug bolt, the ability to use multiple magazine types, everything from the AICS to the SR25, including M1A mags. They read what is popular on places like Sniper's Hide and adapted this rifle to follow. An adjustable folding stock with AR15 furniture, that makes changes very, very easy to change up and upgrade as the end user sees fit. In a word it's versatile.
Our base rifle from Ruger was super accurate, it shot factory Hornady 140gr AMAX lights out so why upgrade it. Well, first to demonstrate how easy it was, and secondly because not everyone was crowing about the barrel, Samson Handguard and the out of the box accuracy like I was. Immediately companies stepped up as they took notice of the almost 175,000 views in the Sniper's Hide Forums. You had LongRifles Inc and Patriot Valley making barrels, guys were happy to swap out the factory barrel for a custom one for under $800. In most cases the barrel changes were done with pre-fit barrels. In other cases guys were sending them in for the changes and they had the rifle back in less than two weeks. I believe they are even advertising a 4 day turn around on a barrel.
When I first reviewed the rifle back in July, I demonstrated my accuracy, it was a sub 1/2 MOA rifle and guys pretty much thought I a "special" rifle hand built from Ruger. So for me, I wanted to show I can repeat this when I swapped out the parts without having to send it off to a gunsmith. Even with filming I swapped everything in a few short hours and only needed the gunsmiths at Mile High Shooting to loan me their headspace gauges to make sure I was right. Adam at Mile High believes my eye ball is about 45 thousands off, not bad but still not good for a headspace.
What did we Upgrade
We changed out everything available to us at the time.
- Barrel - Custom LongRifles Inc K&P rifle cut barrel chambered for the Hornady Factory 140gr AMAX round
- Handguard - Seekins Precision SPR3 Triangular Keymod Handguard
- Bolt Shroud - LongRifles Inc Bolt Shroud with SH Monogram
- Safety - Seekins Precision Ambi Safety
- Stock - Magpul PRS
- Grip - Magpul MOE
At this time there is no trigger upgrade but several companies are working on one.
As well there are Pre Fit barrels coming from companies like Criterion Barrels which will retail for about $450. When you consider this is a $999 rifle that is an inexpensive upgrade for a custom barrel. But check out the posts from Patriot Valley Arms and LongRifles Inc as they are on top of the Ruger Precision Rifle in a big way.
The biggest complaints I have read in the forums is stress in the Ruger Hammer Forged barrels. Some users claimed to have them walk with only a few rounds down the tube. Whether it is stress in the barrel or a looser fit between the jam nut and action I cannot say, but $450 to get a little piece of mind is pretty good deal.
What does $2400 get you ?
That is the retail cost of everything we did, from base rifle to finished upgrade. (Upgrades were $1400) And honestly you don't have to spend that much as we did some things I believe are unnecessary. In fact many of these changes can be done over time as you grow into this rifle. I still believe out of the box it has features you won't find with a Savage or Remington 700. As an example, the ability to use different magazines, the 70 degree bolt throw and the folding stock. Even after upgrading the stock to a Magpul PRS it still folds which is great for cleaning and transportation. I would much rather have a 3 lug bolt over a two.
We did not True anything with this change, we just slapped the parts on as you see in the video above.
For a user to get a donor 700 or Savage you still have to get a Chassis (Any where from $600 to $1200+) you are gonna true it, and still you have the time gone with the rifle at the gunsmiths. Current wait times hover around 9 month and average over $3500 for a complete build even on a donor action. Plus who really works on a Savage ? Change the handguards this month and spend $250. Wait a month get the PRS stock, $225, and then 3 months later after some use change the barrel. $650... you can even change the caliber. If you bought a 308 RPR change it to a 6.5x47 --- easy. That is the versatility of this platform.
One hole 5 Shot group at 100 yards with Factory Hornady 140gr AMAX bullets. This was the reamer used by LRI, it's why we change barrels out, not only this but the ability to handload and create a variety of good shooting loads.
We repeated this accuracy out to distance so it proves the platform can be changed out, upgraded and still maintain the accuracy potential of other rifles out there.
With the Prime 130gr Factory Ammo I was able to keep a 1/2 MOA accuracy, but at 100 yards it wasn't one hole like the Hornady. At distance however it definitely kept 1/2 MOA even out to 1125 yards as demonstrated.
7 Rounds on Steel at 1125 Yards. We made sure we showed you this in the video above. The low right strike was my first shot as I had no dope at 1125 with the new barrel. I made a small adjustment and then followed up with 6 shots on steel all within a 1/2 MOA using the Prime Ammo. At 100 yards the Prime Ammo was still good as seen below even though the barrel was cut for the 140 AMAX.
This was the worst the rifle did all day.
Was it worth it
I think in a lot of ways, even though I had a really good rifle out of the box, the upgrades were worth it. I really like the Seekins Precision handguard over the Samson. That was an easy fix. The Magpul components were not as necessary, I just did it to show the direction you can go. I highly doubt I will change them back. I like the look of the rifle. The LRI barrel is definitely showing it's value. You can't argue with results and I have them in spades. 450, 600, and 1125 on steel were all right on the mark.
Whether or not it's worth it to you, the reader, I have not idea. Am I am saying you have to run out and do this, not at all. But this does answer a lot of the questions I get every week. We have 175,000 views on the Ruger discussion topics since July. Clearly there is an interest. If I was to demonstrate all this with a $4500 rifle you'd say, "It better do that" but with a $999 rifle, even with the $1400 in aftermarket upgrades, its' still better than most.
The Production Class in the PRS Rifle Series is under $2500, for $999 you can get started, shoot a year of PRS and then upgrade and move up the ladder. That is why I am showing this, because it's about getting new people into the sport without me telling them my favorite rifle is a $7000 Accuracy International.
Here is the original video so you can see the before and after as requested.
Thanks again to
Chad Dixon and LongRifles Inc
Glen Seekins and Seekins Precision
Adam Rehor and everyone at Mile High Shooting Accessories for allowing me to invade the shop.
Read the discussions in the forum.