It has been about two and one-half years
since I was first shown a prototype of the then-new Ruger
American Rifle. Followed up shortly thereafter with a full
review on a production rifle, I was impressed by the rifle's
light weight, fine accuracy, excellent trigger, and affordable
price. Other features that I really liked were the top tang
safety, and the low-lift bolt handle. The Ruger American Rifle
has proven to be very popular with hunters, and I currently own
two of them myself.
Now, Ruger has introduced a version of the
American Rifle that is purpose-built to fill the needs of vermin
and predator hunters, appropriately called the American Predator
Rifle. While marketed towards hunters of vermin and predators,
the Predator Rifle would also perfectly fill the role of a rifle
for deer, hogs, and antelope, as it is still relatively light in
weight, compared to many of the popular game rifles on the
The American Predator rifle shown here is
chambered for the popular 223 Remington cartridge, and its
free-floated twenty-two inch hammer-forged barrel is rifled one
turn in eight inches (1:8), with a right-hand twist. While not
excessively heavy, the Predator barrel has a heavier profile
than the barrel used on the original American rifle, and is just
about the ideal weight for a predator rifle, allowing very good
repeatable accuracy, while still being light enough to carry
comfortably in the field. The barrel measures 1.15 inches
diameter at the receiver, and tapers to .664 inch, just behind
the threaded portion at the muzzle. The muzzle is threaded
1/2x28 TPI, to accept standard sound suppressors, as well as
muzzle brakes and flash suppressors, if desired. Sound
suppressors are legal to own in at least thirty-nine states now,
with thirty-two states allowing the use of sound suppressors for
hunting, so having a threaded muzzle on the Predator Rifle is a
useful feature, especially for hunting vermin and predators.
The 223 American Predator rifle has a
five-shot rotary magazine that fits flush with the bottom of the
stock. The Moss Green stock is a lightweight synthetic that
incorporates Ruger's excellent Power Block bedding system, as
used first in their American Rifle, which was introduced a
little over two years ago. This has proven to be a very rigid
and precise system to secure the action into the stock. The butt
of the stock is fitted with a soft synthetic rubber recoil pad,
and wears a set of sling swivel studs, as should every hunting
rifle, and I am glad to see that Ruger supplied them on this
budget-priced rifle. The American Predator rifle also has
Ruger's excellent Marksman adjustable trigger, which is one of
the better triggers available on a factory rifle, at any price.
The American Predator rifle wears a one-piece aluminum scope
rail atop its receiver, which will accept any Weaver-pattern
Like the original American Rifle, the
Predator has a full-diameter bolt body, with a seventy degree
bolt lift. I like a low lift on a rifle. A ninety degree lift
puts the bolt handle really close to the scope, but the lower
seventy degree lift makes for faster bolt operation, at least
for me, and it also allows the scope to be mounted as low as
possible, for a better cheek weld on the stock. One of my
favorite features of the American centerfire rifles is the
location of the safety. It is centered right on the tang, just
as God intended it to be. The safety is easy to reach, and is
easy to operate, for both right-handed and left-handed shooters.
The safety pushes forward to fire, and makes it very quick to
release to get the rifle ready to fire.
accuracy testing, I mounted my mule, the Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to
25 power target scope using an ArmaLite one-piece mount. This is
my “go to” scope for all accuracy testing of AR-15 rifles,
to reliably evaluate the accuracy of the rifle, with as little
human error as possible, and with the one-piece mount atop the
Ruger bolt action, I was able to use this same scope and mount
to evaluate the accuracy of the American Predator Rifle.
Velocity testing was done with the chronograph set out twelve
feet from the muzzle at an elevation of approximately 541 feet
above sea level. Temperatures hovered around the sixty-five
degree Fahrenheit mark during all testing, with one hundred
percent humidity. Velocity readings are the average of several
shots fired, and the results are listed in the chart below.
Velocity readings are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet
weights are listed in grains. FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet.
HP is hollowpoint. TSX is a Barnes Triple Shock homogenous
copper hollowpoint bullet. The handload listed uses the TSX
bullet with 24.5 grains of Ramshot TAC powder, a Remington small
rifle primer, and Winchester commercial .223 Remington cases.
Accuracy testing was done at a distance of one hundred
yards, firing from a Target Shooting,
Inc. Model 500 rifle rest.
|Buffalo Bore HP
|Hand Load TSX
|Winchester USA FMJ
|Black Hills HP
|Wolf Gold HP
The Ruger American Predator Rifle function
flawlessly with all ammunition tested, with one exception, which
I credit to shooter error. The scope mount that I was using for
accuracy testing hung below the top edge of the ejection port,
and I had one empty case deflect off the scope mount back into
the ejection port. With a proper set of rings, this would not
have happened, but I like to use this ArmaLite base with the
Leupold Target scope, to achieve the best accuracy from a rifle.
My fault. Every round fed smoothly from the detachable rotary
magazine, as expected. Perfect. Accuracy was excellent, also as
expected. Every Ruger American rifle that I have fired has
proven to be exceptionally accurate. A couple of months ago,
while I was shooting
the Ruger SR762 semi-automatic rifle at the FTW Ranch in Texas,
I had the privilege of shooting alongside two shooters who were
using two Ruger American bolt guns chambered for the 308
Winchester cartridge, and they were making very accurate shots,
out to 1000 yards. This American Predator rifle did not
disappoint. Pictured are representative groups of some of the
best-performing ammo tested, along with the largest five-shot
group fired, which measured one and three-eighths inches. The
smallest group fired was under one-half inch, for five shots at
one hundred yards. There are rifles on the market which cost
several times the price of this Ruger, which will do no better.
The Ruger American Predator Rifle is reliable, lightweight,
accurate, smooth, easy-to-use, and very affordable. The
manufacturer's suggested retail price, as of the date of this
review, is only $499 US.
In addition to the 223 Remington chambering,
the American Predator is also available chambered for the 204
Ruger, 22-250 Remington, 243 Winchester, 6.5mm Creedmoor, and
the 308 Winchester cartridges, which should easily cover the
needs of any varmint or predator hunter, as well as serving as
an excellent deer and antelope rifle. The smooth-feeding
detachable rotary magazine holds five cartridges in the 223 and
204 rifles, and four cartridges in the 22-250, 243, 308, and 6.5
Check out the Ruger American Predator Rifle
online at www.ruger.com.
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Ruger American Predator Rifle
online, click on the Gun Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
For a closer look at the extensive line of
Leupold optics optics, go to www.leupold.com.
To order quality ammunition, go to
NOTE: All load data posted on this
web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor
GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data.
The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under
conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the
potential user of this data. Always use data from respected loading
manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated
in the source manual.
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