American Hunter - December 2012 - 64

hardware
Field Tests for Hunters

■ Robust action

and Marksman trigger
promote accuracy.

Magazine Capacity

Ruger American
By Bryce M. Towsley, Field Editor

W

hen Bill Ruger developed the concept of the
 bolt-action rifle he
wanted it to be a rifle for
the working man, a gun
that Joe Lunchbox could buy with one
week's take-home pay.
Things have changed a bit; the buying
power of today's wages has weakened considerably since , while manufacturing
costs have risen. Today, the Ruger 
Hawkeye starts at  (manufacturer's
suggested retail price) and goes up as high
as ,. According to the  Institute,
the after-taxes take-home pay for the average manufacturing worker today is .,
or about half of what is needed for a new
base level Ruger  rifle.
But, Joe Lunchbox can still buy a Ruger
bolt-action hunting rifle for a week's takehome pay. Well almost: If he pays full
retail he will be . short, so he will
have to work a little overtime that week.
It's called the Ruger American rifle.
The new "American" rifle is Ruger's toe
dip into the growing "affordable" hunting
rifle market. It carries an  of . Of
course "street price" will be less and will
allow the working man to buy it for a week's
take home, just like Bill Ruger intended.
The American is a no frills rifle, but
that doesn't mean it lacks performance.
Ruger has kept the price down by stepping outside the gun making box and

using efficient and innovative design and
manufacturing techniques. The result is
a lot of rifle in an inexpensive package.
The Ruger American is available in
short action in . Win, . Win.; and
in long action in . Win. and .-. No
surprises with the cartridge selection, as
they are the most popular cartridges in
those action lengths. By keeping the selections limited it keeps the cost of producing
the rifle low. Fewer set ups, less tooling and
lower inventory all equal lower pricing.
The barrel and action are matte black
while the stock is black. The barrel is hammer forged and is -inches long. It's on
the thin side, measuring . inch at the
muzzle. Don't let that fool you. Thin barrels can shoot amazingly well. This keeps
the weight down, which is a good thing
in a hunting rifle. At . pounds this is a
light and lively rifle.
The barrel has a recessed crown and
is attached to the receiver using a barrel nut so that headspacing is precisely
controlled when assembling the rifle. If
the headspacing is set precisely, accuracy
is always enhanced.
Another aspect of accuracy is bedding.
The bedding on this rifle is innovative.
The action is bedded into the stock on a
pair of V-blocks. As any machinist can
tell you, a V-block holds any part with
precision. Using a V-block for bedding
is one of those forehead slapping things,
when you realize the simplistic genius
and wonder why you didn't think of the
  ❘

concept first. The blocks are imbedded
into the injection molded plastic stock.
There is a pair of corresponding sets of
dual cuts in the action to mate with the
V-blocks, so that they act as the recoil lugs
as well as bedding the action. The barrel
is fully free-floated, another trick master
gunsmiths use to improve accuracy.
The receiver accommodates a "full
diameter" bolt that rides in it like a piston in a cylinder, which results in a very
smooth action. The bolt has three locking
lugs, rather than the more traditional two,
which means a -degree rotation on the
bolt handle.
The extractor is in a machined slot on
the right-side bolt lug. It uses a springloaded ball that mates with a detent in
the bottom of the extractor to allow it to
slide to accept the case. The ejector is a
spring-loaded plunger in the bolt face.
The stock has a molded-in trigger guard.
There are also molded gripping ribs on the
pistol grip and fore-end. The top section
of the fore-end is thinner, which provides
a shelf for fingers to grip. The stock has a
cushy recoil pad, metal sling swivel studs
and a red Ruger logo grip cap.
The magazine is a removable plastic
box. This is a rotary style magazine that
holds four cartridges, yet maintains a low
profile. This keeps the stock thinner at the
gripping point for carrying the rifle.
The molded polymer stock houses a
pair of V-blocks to bed the action and
free-float a hammer-forged barrel.

 ❘  .


http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - December 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2012

American Hunter - December 2012 - 1
American Hunter - December 2012 - 2
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 4
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