Ruger Precision Rifle Gen3 by Phillip Hayes

  • Friday, 08 November 2019 08:05
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Ruger Precision Rifle Gen3 by Phillip Hayes: An improved long-range option

Originally released in 2015, the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) was designed to give shooters a practical and affordable precision rifle that could compete with much more expensive offerings. The RPR also included several deviations from the traditional bolt-­action design, most notably the AR-type chassis, which opened up a plethora of readily available and affordable interchangeable parts.  

The test rifle, chambered in 6.5mm Creedmoor, weighs 4.85kg and has a 26-inch threaded barrel fitted with Ruger’s Hybrid muzzle-brake. The barrel is of cold hammer-­forged 4140 chrome-moly steel, with 5R rifling at ­minimum bore and groove dimensions. 

The most notable difference between the Gen 3 and previous generations is a redesigned M-Lok-type handguard with six screws attaching it to the receiver. The M-Lok system is popular locally and most retailers stock M-Lok attachments.

The upper receiver and one-piece bolt are CNC-machined from pre-hardened 4140 chrome-moly steel. The bolt has three locking lugs with a 70-degree throw and has a removable extended aluminium shroud on the rear end which moves into a buffer tube in the stock as the bolt is retracted. The shroud has a plastic cap at the back which can be removed, revealing an Allen key and striker channel cleaner. Care must be taken when replacing this cap as it twice came off during range sessions.   

The bolt-handle is oversized and threaded, thus can be replaced. The Picatinny rail on the receiver is 20MOA, and the underside of the handguard is fitted with a small rail at the front for attaching a bipod or sling.

The folding stock can be adjusted for length-­­­of-pull, the cheek-piece can be raised, lowered, moved forward and backwards and the butt plate can be canted. The stock, attached to an AR-type buffer tube, has QD sling attachment points, a short ­Picatinny rail on the underside and is ­finished off with a soft rubber recoil pad. 

Adjustment of the cheek-piece and length-of-pull was initially somewhat finicky but I soon got the hang of it. The instruction manual states that the length-of-pull should be set first; this can be done in ¼-inch increments, and only then should the cheek-piece be adjusted. Both are locked into place with cam-levers.  

The stock can be folded by pressing a single button, and can be locked in the folded position by twisting the opposite end of the same button 90 degrees. Having a folding stock can be convenient when handling a rifle in confined spaces or for travelling, but with the RPR it is essential, as bolt removal is achievable only with the stock folded away. 

The adjustable trigger has a blade-safety, and the test-rifle’s was set to 2½lbs, but can be adjusted from 2¼ to 5lbs. I found the trigger good enough for precision work from 100m to 500m, breaking cleanly with no over-travel. Trigger adjustment does not require the stock to be removed; simply insert the supplied Allen key next to the mag release lever and adjust the set-screw. Timney makes a replacement trigger for the RPR.

Read the full article in the December 2019 issue of Magnum.

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