American Rifleman - July 2019 - 45

COVER STORY

uger's series of Mauser
98-derived Model 77 boltactions enjoys a long history
of rugged reliability, as was so ably
chronicled last year by Editorial Director
John Zent (December 2018, p. 44) in
commemoration of the turnbolt's 50th
birthday. Throughout that half-century
of production, however, the M77 line has
included precious few dedicated match
rifles-the family tree being populated
up to this point predominately with
hunting models-and as a result, it has
rarely been associated with long-range
precision shooting, despite the platform's
inherent suitability for such pursuits.
But the company bucked that trend
in 2018, however, with the introduction of the Hawkeye Long-Range Target
(HLRT), chambered in .300 Win. Mag.,
an M77 variant that seemingly swims
upstream of the line's prevailing venatic
heritage by offering a suite of features
meant to facilitate long-range competitive use. And this year, Ruger has
stepped even further down this diverging
new path by announcing two additional
members to the HLRT family. Shortening
its receiver allowed the company to
chamber the rifle in Hornady's duo of
short-action .264-cal. cartridges-both
darlings within competitive-shooting
circles-the omnipresent 6.5 mm
Creedmoor and its jacked younger
brother, the 6.5 mm PRC.
AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

JULY 2019

The Model 77 has a long history as
an early adopter of freshly developed
chamberings. At the time of this writing, the HLRT stands as one of only
two venues for the 6.5 mm PRC in
Ruger's catalog-and one of the few
non-custom-shop options for the new
chambering in the entire industry. For
me, this made the decision to use the
longer, more powerful 6.5 mm cartridge
to evaluate Ruger's new Hawkeye an
easy one.
For all its much ballyhooed (occasionally by me) virtues, the 6.5 mm Creedmoor
takes advantage of the .264's typically
long-for-caliber, and therefore intrinsically aerodynamic, projectiles but
doesn't push them to particularly
speedy velocities, limiting their ballistic
potential in favor of highly manageable
recoil. The Creedmoor launches Hornady's
143-gr. ELD-X Precision Hunter and
147-gr. ELD Match loads at 2700 f.p.s.
and 2695 f.p.s., respectively, at the
muzzle of a 24" test barrel. Squatter and
with a case length 0.11" longer than
6.5 mm Creedmoor-resulting in a
14.4 percent larger case capacity-
the identically barreled 6.5 mm PRC,
on the other hand, speeds the 143-gr.
ELD-X up to 2960 f.p.s., an increase of
260 f.p.s. relative to the Creedmoor,
while propelling the 147-gr. match
load at 2910 f.p.s. for an increase of
215 f.p.s. over the Creedmoor.

45


http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 6
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 7
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 8
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 11
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 12
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 21
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 35
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 36
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 37
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 38
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 40
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 42
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 43
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 44
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 45
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 46
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 47
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 48
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 49
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 50
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 51
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover3
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover4
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