It's a simple rifle, an accurate rifle and an affordable rifle. The Ruger American Rifle is a means of heading afield with a reliable firearm without breaking the bank or having you sleeping solo on the sofa. However, we riflemen also like to personalize our chosen rifles, whether it be through choice of optic, caliber or ammunition, or sometimes by replacing certain parts to give a different feel or level of performance. Some guns are easier to work with than others, but the Ruger American is a rifle that doesn't require an engineering degree to tinker with. Let's take a look at some options to take your Ruger American to the next level, and make it something a bit different.
Ruger American Rifle Trigger Upgrade
To me, the trigger is the nucleus of a rifle. The finest rifle can be a nightmare if it is equipped with a terrible trigger. And, with all due respect to Sturm, Ruger and Co., the Ruger American Standard has a pretty awful trigger. Yes, the Predator model has a much better trigger, but the Standard has a trigger that, well, sucks. I've thrown a digital trigger scale on some and found that they break at nearly seven pounds. That's too heavy for me, and too heavy for accurate shooting. The first stop on the road — for this author at any rate — would be at Timney Triggers. For just shy of $130, you can drop in a Timney and completely change the feel of your rifle, irrespective of caliber. Adjustable for weight of pull (from 1.5-4 pounds), and for creep and overtravel, a Timney breaks like an icicle, and will only enhance accuracy. Fundamentally, the Ruger American is an accurate rifle, but without a trigger that allows you to keep the rifle on target you're fighting an uphill battle.
Ruger American Rifle Stock Upgrade
The stock of the Ruger American — a molder polymer affair — certainly functions, but may not be exactly what you're after. It's really not a big deal to change stocks, and thereby radically change the rifle. There are a couple of cool options, depending on what it is you're after. The MagPul Hunter American stock offers a pretty radical departure from the traditional hunting stock, and if that's your thing — it's much more of a tactical/target stock — then take a good look at this stock. Using reinforced polymer construction, steel recoil lugs and an aluminum bedding block, the American Hunter stock will hold the Ruger American action firmly in place, and like a good trigger, aid in accuracy. It is available for the short-action rifles only, and is compatible with the Mag Pul P Mag 5 7.62 AC magazine; which is a solid design in and of itself. The Hunter American stock is adjustable for both length of pull as well as comb height, in four cool colors, at a price of $299.95.
Should you find you enjoy the feel of good old walnut, or even a laminate wood stock, Boyd's Hardwood Gunstocks have plenty of options to choose from. There are traditional walnut stocks, maple stocks and a wide choice of laminates — in colors from traditional to rather funky — that can be totally customized. There are two models available, the Boyd's Classic and the Boyd's Prairie Hunter, which can be customized not only by choosing the material and color, but length of pull, checkering pattern, tip and grip cap color, and more. To be honest, Boyd's offers enough choices that you may, quite literally, end up with a truly unique rifle. Hop over to www.boydsgunstocks.com and play with their GunStock Customizer; it's a ton of fun to see what you can come up with.
Bases and Scope Rings for Ruger American Rifle
Though the Ruger American Rifle is supplied with cross slot bases, there are other options available to mount a riflescope on that receiver. I make no attempt to hide the fact that I truly love Talley rings and bases, and feel that they are among the best available. They are machined to very tight tolerances, and offer designs strong enough to withstand some of the most hellacious recoil available, including the behemoths like the .505 Gibbs. I've found — after years of using them on many different rifles — that I have to adjust my riflescopes very little, even right out of the gate. Talley makes a combination base/ring for the Ruger American that removes one more moving part from the equation, keeping things as rock solid as possible. Available in blued or silver, in heights from extra-low to extra-high, in both one-inch diameter and 30mm, for both long and short action. P.S. — they're also available for the Ruger American Rimfire.
Bolt Handles for Ruger American Rifle
I found some cool replacement bolt handles over at Tactical Precision Manufacturing that will allow a simple switch out from the factory bolt handle. From mild to wild, they've got it; dragon scales, acorns and more, in aluminum or titanium. For around $100, you can really get a neat look for your rifle.
If you've got a Ruger American that you already shoot well, and that has proven itself in the accuracy department, have some fun making that rifle a personalized affair. Best part is, you can take your time and tinker according to your budget!