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News Brief

Introducing the Ruger American Rifle

by G&A Online Editors   |  January 3rd, 2012 54

With 2011 drawing to a close, Ruger announced its first new product of 2012, the Ruger American rifle. Ruger’s new gun is another stark example of the low pricepoint bolt-action entries that have been flooding the market in recent years. It’s a trend that’s growing with Remington, Marlin, Thompson/Center and others throwing their hat in a ring that has been dominated by Savage in the past.

The Ruger American features the Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger, offering an adjustable weights between three and five pounds.

A lightweight stock has “a classic feel,” the company said, while still offering some more contemporary features, such as forend contouring and grip serrations, along with a soft, durable recoil pad.

A three-lug, full-diameter bolt will provide a 70-degree bolt throw, the company said, and dual-locking cams should make for smoother cycling from the shoulder.

The American also features Power Bedding, a bedding block system that locates the receiver and free-floats the hammer-forged barrel for enhanced accuracy.

The American will also feature a tang safety that is easy to actuate, and a four-round rotary magazine with a flush-fit. The receiver is also drilled and tapped to allow for mounting of included scope bases.

The American-made bolt-action rifle will be offered in short- and long-action calibers. It retails for $450.

Be sure to check G&A magazine and G&A TV for tests and evaluations of this rifle and more guns from Ruger.  


  • blaze

    I think Ruger has some of the best marketing and R&D folks out there. The market for firearms has been plagued with takeovers and failures lately. With so many great names on the chopping block, Ruger has really taken advantage of the opportunity and come out with, in my opinion, some great firearms. The list only seems to be getting better and better. Cudos to Ruger, and thanks for being American made!

  • woodzy

    i do not understand the fazing out of the open site rifles,i personally hunt mostly in the pines and woods were there are lots of trees and more often then not the deer are on the run,and by the time u try to find them in ur scope they are long gone.also they tend to fog up when its snowing or raining..scopes are great in open fields.but in most instances the average hunter is in need of open sights..and it's nice to have an over under scope mount that way u have the choice of open sight or scope instantaneously.also it seems that all these new 400$ bolt action rifles have serious problems with the action on the bolts themselves they are so rough and hard to eject and set the next round you end up loosing your target..all though i have not tried this particular rifle i have tried most others..the only smooth action bolt action rifle i have seen is still the savage.

    • Decker

      A Remington 7600 or a lever action will give you the iron sights your looking for?

      • Antonio

        Yeah, I like the idea of a 30-30 lever action w both iron sights and a scope, especially for the woods.

    • trketed

      Some of us old farts don't see as well as we once did, so a scope is the answer. As woods as opposed to open field, a good red dot and two Mark one eyeballs will get it done. If your scope fogs – you didn't pay enough1

    • Sigint

      Ever consider a 'red dot' for action scenarios?

  • Antonio

    Agreed on the need for iron sights, especially in the woods. Great back up for scope for people like me that bump into everything. A real value-add in the Scout rifles.

  • Tracy

    I've owned several Ruger bolt actions over the years and they've all shot well. This rifle looks like a winner on the face of it, but we'll have to wait and see on the actual quality of fit. I hope the bolt's not rough as a cob. I really like the rotary mag set up. I'd like it even better if the rifle were controlled feed, but oh well. The two position safety with unload capability on safe is, as always, questionable. The nice thing about a three position safety is that the bolt is locked on safe. It looks like with this Ruger, if you are wandering through brush with the safety on, you could catch the bolt on a branch and accidentally open it – not a good thing. No doubt this was purely a cost consideration. All in all, it looks like it might be a good choice for messy days when I don't want to expose the fancy walnut on my T/C Icon.

  • FirearmPatriot

    This looks like an excellent rifle for the price. I assume it will come in a varity of calibers. It looks like it has excellent potential for accuracy giving the floating barrel and firmly supported receiver. Can't wait to try it out.

  • Dave

    If this new Ruger rifle is anywhere close to the quality and has the accuracy of my 25 year old
    Ruger No.1 30.06, I'll take one.

  • bhp9

    I do not like 70 degree multi-lug bolt guns. They prevent you from a making a rapid second shot because they have a much stiffer bolt lift than the 2 lug Mauser system. I don not like plasticky stocks as they are cold, clammy and slippery in bad weather. I do not like hammer fudged barrels as they tend to throw shots as they heat up.

    I recently had an old sporterized Military Mauser rebuilt with a super accurate custom Shilen barrel for a paltry $650 bucks. It had a gorgeous walnut stock, real hand checkering (not junk machine cut checkering). I put a Timney trigger in it and glassed and floated the barrel. I polished the barrel to a mirror finish and re-blued it. It will shoot 1/2 minute of angle all day long with its light sporter weight barrel. Few people know that German Military Mauser actions were built to such a high standard of quality that today it would be considered blue printing. They were made from forgings not modern junk castings. Thats the way they used to make real quality rifles.

  • JRB

    I agree that it is pretty lame of manufacturers not to add iron sights. Modern scopes aand rings are very good at holding zero, but I have had broken scopes, and rifles to lose zero while I was already in the field. I had iron sights thankfully, otherwise my hunting trips would have been disasters. It is true that a lever gun would solve the problem of iron sights, but why can't I have both backup sights and better range? I would prefer a lever action in a modern rifle cartridge, but again these are not affordable for most people. I think we can do better. We have in the past.

  • old vet

    These days if you do find a set of "irons" on a rifle, they won't be "iron" at all. Most likely they will be some sort of poly. or aluminum. Unfortunately, even with cnc milling any good old forged receiver will be priced way above any cast or turned from stock rifle, today's investment castings are strong and durable. And forged rifling can shoot pretty good. I do miss the good old wooden stocked works of art from the past.

  • Schnelson

    When I first saw this new Ruger rifle I thought it looked a lot like my T/C Venture in .223. I already own an old M77(round top receiver) in 30/06 and it shoots better than I can hope for. Give me a predictable trigger pull, quick bolt throw and reload (ala Sako, Venture, etc.), good accuracy, stable stock/bedding at a reasonable price and I'll be VERY interested. Almost bought a Savage instead of the Venture, found out the Venture shot as well as they said it should and am happy with my choice. At the lower price points I go for results, not a work of art. After all, pretty doesn't matter to a deer or a coyote. Can't wait to get my hands on a new short-action American!

  • Bill Padgett

    If its Ruger its a winner! If I could could only have 1 gun it would be my m77 25-06 tack drivin hard hittin,door nail dead. enough said its a Ruger..

  • Andy94538

    Andy94538 part 1

    I would want to see numerous changes before I would consider one. I would want to see iron sights with ghost-ring receiver rear sight as STANDARD ISSUE. Controlled-round feeding is a REQUIREMENT. It is my understanding that these push-feeds can be converted by machining part of the bolt so the cartridge can rise under the extractor when closing the bolt. This is subject to verification and testing and MUST FUNCTION CORRECTLY AS SPECIFIED EVERY TIME.

    • mrbigtex

      Have you considered that maybe this rifle isn't for you? Rifles are different for many reasons and many different uses. Not all rifles are ideal for all people.

  • Andy94538

    Andy94538 part 2

    Finally, the top has to be relieved and cuts made into the receiver to accept five-round chargers for reloading. The magazine MUST hold five cartridges, with a sixth cartridge in the chamber. In the Army, I learned the "Murphy drill" where we had one cartridge in the chamber, fired, the bolt locked back and the empty clip ejected, we stuffed an eight-round clip into the receiver, and fired the next cartridge. This was a timed event, with time between the two shots based on range to target (i.e., We were expected to engage a fifty yard target faster than a five hundred yard target.). We could do this faster than you could change magazines on an M14.

  • Andy94538

    Andy94538 part 3

    I continue doing this drill with my sporterized Springfield I have been using for over forty years. It takes longer to change box magazines than it takes to do the Murphy drill. Ideally, one shot is all you need. However, when Murphy's law kicks in and something goes wrong, the ability to do the Murphy drill when dealing with dangerous game can be a life saver.

    Unless Ruger makes the necessary changes, I think I will stick to my old sporterized Springfield.

    • old vet

      You can still find "old sporterized Springfields" at the shows and some estate sales. However the cost is going to be quite higher than this Ruger . I believe if anyone does come up with a new product that meets your wants, It will cost big bucks, and price is an issue for some of us. Can't see much use for "Murfy Drill" in the deer woods and any such environment would require a different class of firearm. However I'm sure you would fare quite well with your training.

  • the gas man

    looks my ruger m77 300 mag is going to have a new neighbor in the gun case-i have love my 300 mag since i bought it in 1992 -this new ruger looks to fit all my wants for my next rifle for under 400 bucks wow-i paid 450 for my 300mag

  • the gas man

    looks like andy better keep using his springfield -go with it until you find something to to replace

  • Brad6273

    This will be a great entry level rifle. If you " must have this" and , "must have that", "I have a custum this", and "I have a custom that", this rifle isnt for you. It will work fine for most everyone else and I am sure Ruger will sell a boatload of them. Buy what fits your needs!!

    • old vet

      Very good points. I have a feeling this may even turn out to be somewhat above entry level. I agree with some this should have irons but don't see it happening it takes another process and many will never use them, or for that matter even know how anymore. Sad but true.

      • Falco63

        I've been looking at .308 Bolt Action Guns all day under $1K and none of them have Iron sights, Remington 700, Winchester 70, Savage, Weatherby, Thompson, Mossberg, Marlin…none of them.

        • Texasfan85

          Look for remington 700 bdl with wood stock the have open sihgtbut you cant get them in 308onl 30-06 .270 and .243

        • Al Bordeau

          Savage Hog Hunter 11/111 .308. Irons + threaded muzzle. In stock 4 round box, fixed mag. Nice starter rifle for the kids to step up to high power shooting. No scopes .No kids with scope eye, and angry parents.

  • benji

    all they did is steal the accutrigger and accu stock from savage

  • Laserbait

    And I, like Andy94538, have a few REQUIREMENTS: Must be able to seamlessly switch from right hand bolt action to left hand pump action. The mag MUST hold at least 32.5 rounds, and mount in the buttstock. Once these requirements have been met, and verified by me, I will buy one.

    • old vet

      How about the compass in the stock, oh wait, better be a GPS.

  • Neil

    I saw that someone else mentioned what I was going to. Most definitely needs iron sight. Any rifle worth it's salt needs them. Scopes are fine, but they can break in the field, and iron sights offer quicker target acquisition.

  • Sam

    The video did not include an accuracy report, with groups of at least three shots. The fact that it is missing kind of makes one suspicious, especially with all the verbage about the stock and the "power" bedding. Apparently this is a combination that made for pillar bedding (extremely worthy in the older Savages) and allowed for production cuts of the normal recoil lug. One of you stated it looks like a lot stolen from Savage. I have a Savage .308 pillar bedded (cheap stock) that shoots five shot groups as small as .24 tip to tip with match ammo. This rifle likes three kinds of match ammo. I can't see any improvment in the new Savage accustocks. My Rem 700P will do this with only one match load and it cost me WAY MORE than the Savage. AND the trigger needed work. Will have to wait and see how this Ruger holds up, as well as the Savage Axiom., how well they shoot and what breaks or doesn't break before I will buy either one of them. And yeah, I like you guys who know how imporatant iron sights can be. Can't beat people with real life experience.

  • old vet

    One of the finest shooting '06s I ever saw was a friends Savage 110, with a Not bedded, ugly hardwood stock, it was printing 3/4 100 yd groups any time you asked it to. Back then, all the Savages were basically "parts bin" guns. The 110 design just worked. Today if you check the Savage sight, anything with accu trigger or accu stock is going to cost more than "entry' level. The Savage entry gun, the "Axis" has Neither.

  • shootbrownelk

    What the heck kind of scope do you have that keeps breaking or "fogging-up"? I've hunted with scope sighted rifles for over 40 years and have never had a problem with either. I've had to remove rear iron sights to mount scopes low and close to the bore. Finding a running deer in a scope a problem? Turn the power down, I've seen guys from the eastern states come out to Wyoming and hunt with their scopes turned up to 9X….they had the same complaint. Mostly it was just that they were unfamiliar with their rifles. Now that I have "Way past retirement age" eyes, I couldn't use iron sights as well as using GOOD glass anyway, count me as Glad to see them go! Ruger has ALWAYS made reasonably priced, tough as hell firearms…and they do it right here in the USA, with AMERICAN workers.

    • Draeger

      Yeah, I like iron sights where i can get them, but in 30 years I've never had a broken scope, or had one lose zero on a hunt.

    • Cbt_Engr

      Yeah! What he said!

  • Cbt_Engr

    I don't get all the whining about what this new rifle either has or doesn't have. If it doesn't fit your desires, go find something else! As far as iron sights for woods hunting — obviously this isn't a "woods gun". Get over it. And the whine about the tang safety — Got two things to say about that. First, those of us who have owned original M77's for many years love that tang safety and have been begging Ruger to go back to it. They finally listened. Secondly, if you can't safely unload a rifle without it have a "special" safety, then either take a gun safety course or go find another hobby — but in either case, stop you're whining!

    • Draeger

      nicely said

    • Jason

      Love it!!

  • old vet

    For the bucks you get, a stable composite stock, what should be an accurate bedding system, a good trigger, short or long action, a good barrel. Grab one and run.

    • old vet

      P.S The Ruger rotary MAG.

  • Jeff Kleefisch

    Bill Ruger promised a 308 M1A type rifle at reasonable prices to me years ago. I have since saw the light and proudly own a Springfield Armory M1A. It is the finest rifle ever built!!!!!!! Accurate as sin and reliable as your best dog. No failures to feed!. No problems, justs shoots ansd shoots. I'm at over 4K rounds and I can hit 4 inches with 5 rounds at 300 yards repeatedly.

    Great rifle!! The mini 30 sucks!

    • old vet

      Ruger did develop a .308 semi in early 70's called XGI. Had too many problems. Have a catalog with it listed from back then. Do not believe any were delivered.

  • CFowler

    I have read several comments that are based on pure personal thoughts not one had any facts that dealt with this product. Wait until you have one in your hand and have used it for several weeks then make your personal decision concerning how you like it. How did other guns get mention concerning this? They have nothing to do with this particle rifle. Stay away from the rabbits and focus on the topic at hand.

    • old vet

      Bloggers are not gun writers, some of these comments refer to Rugers of the past and what is thought of the company in general. Sure some will stray from subject, But sometimes they actually make a point. You are NOT required to read them.

      • Cbt_Engr

        As the old sayin' goes: 'nuff said.

        • old vet


    • Falco63

      Yeah I was just thinking, one whine after another…

  • jimmy james

    What kind of ammo was he shooting? Cough, cough. The worst surplus ammo I ever shot didn't create that much smoke. FWIW…I have a Savage Edge in .308 that shoots dime to nickle sized groups with match grade ammo, but the stock trigger stinks. I have already ordered a Ruger American in .308. Can't wait.

  • old vet

    Dime to nickel size groups, but trigger stinks? Way to compensate. I don't get why manufacturers intentionally put crappy triggers on an otherwise sound rifle then promise the wrath of warranty Gods if you try to fix it. Good luck with your American.

  • ole rem 600/308 guy

    Guess my thought is that at the price paid, it might be a worthy idea to talk to a good gunsmith on what options would be worth cutting dovetails in the barrel for front and rear sights that would best fit my personal needs. At the same time question wheather it might be worth the effort to work some majic on the trigger to make it the best it can be. I remember I bought a starter single shot 22 for my kids, and decided that it was necessary to have a trigger job done, and I don't remember anyone who shot that rifle who wasn't impressed with how great it was to shoot. It was a great morale booster for a new learner.

  • Jason

    I want one! I love ruger firearms. I just hope they come out with a lot of accessories for this gun i own the sr.40c and the 10/22 and both are great cant wait to add this one to them.

  • Guest

    You are kidding right? I have always been impressed with Ruger's new innovative products, until now. This rifle is a Savage Axis copy. Looks like they bought the stock from the same place. Their new 22lr auto pistol is a Taurus 24/7 copy. Right down to the butt ugly saftey lever. Ruger needs to step it up a notch in my opinion.

  • jimmyjames

    I just bought a Ruger American in .308 at a gun show for $300 and took it to the range and shot head to head with my Savage Edge in .308. Best group I could get out of the Ruger with 5 different ammo's was 1&1/8" using PPU168GM. I got a 15/16" group out of the Savage with WW Supreme 150G ballistic tips. Not too shabby for either $300 gun.

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