American Rifleman - July 2019 - 48

RUGER

Meanwhile, the rifle's method of CH adjustment comes from
Ruger's Precision Rifle (RPR): a plastic cheekpiece held in
place by the tension of a tightened cam lever. The system
is capable of up to 1" of up-and-down adjustment, and a
2" slot cut into the stock allows this piece to be shifted
forward and backward as needed.
The HLRT feeds from AICS-style, single-stack magazines
that are inserted into the rifle's aluminum magazine well/
trigger guard assembly. Ruger advertises the 6.5 mm PRC
HLRT's steel magazine as having a capacity of only three
rounds, but I did find the follower spring to be pliable
enough that a fourth cartridge could be squeezed under
the feed lips with just a little effort, and that doing so
did not have a deleterious impact on reliability. The single
magazine provided with the rifle clicked audibly into place
once properly seated, and did not drop free of its own
accord when the M14-style release lever was depressed.
All three HLRT variants make use of a 26", cold-hammerforged, 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel with right-hand
5R rifling. The 6.5 mm PRC model's barrel features a 1:8"
twist rate, and is cut to the very bottom of SAAMI's spec
for bore and groove diameter for the cartridge. The freefloating, heavy-contour barrel measures 1.16" wide at the
receiver, tapering to 0.83" at the factory-installed Hybrid
Muzzle Brake-another component appropriated from the
RPR. Should the user desire to remove the brake, to mount
either another device or a suppressor to the gun, the barrel's muzzle is threaded 5/8x24 TPI, what has become the
industry-standard thread pitch for .264-cal. rifle barrels.
Like the rest of the Hawkeye line, the HLRT uses a
Model 70-style three-position safety situated just aft of
the bolt. In the rear-most position it physically blocks the
bolt from retracting while also deactivating the trigger. The
center setting frees up the bolt but not the trigger, and
pushing the safety fully forward readies the rifle to fire.
While obviously designed to be manipulated by a righthanded shooter's thumb, I've personally always found this
arrangement to be fairly easy to work with as a lefty.
The trigger is a pivotal component in the design of a
precision rifle. Although it has no direct influence, either
positive or negative, over the firearm's inherent mechanical accuracy, the trigger does, however, dictate just how
accessible that accuracy is to the shooter. There's no sense
in going to all the effort and expense of developing an
otherwise finely tuned precision instrument if a subpar
trigger renders that accuracy moot. A bad trigger makes
it virtually impossible to keep the gun pointed precisely
where it needs to be at the moment of ignition. On the
other hand, a good trigger makes a rifle easier to shoot
Taken from the RPR,
the HLRT's Hybrid
Muzzle Brake comes
installed from the factory, and is effective
in diverting gases to
dampen felt recoil.

48

JULY 2019

Length of pull and comb
height are both adjustable on
the HLRT-each via a system
borrowed from other rifles in
Ruger's product lineup.

well by essentially getting out of the way and allowing the
firearm's underlying accuracy to shine through. The HLRT's
target trigger is an exceptional one.
A two-stage design, the first stage consists of approximately 1/8" of slack, with the second stage breaking crisply
with no overtravel. Using a Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge, the
10-pull average of our test sample came to 2 lbs., 2 ozs., of
pressure, with no result deviating from that mean by more
than 4 ozs. This pull weight may be a bit light for some-
dry-fire practice with a new firearm before heading to the
range is always prudent-but I found it to be conducive
to fine results both at the bench on paper and in the field
on steel. The trigger is adjustable, however, it is a fairly
complex process best left to a professional.
Field testing of the new target Hawkeye involved two separate guns. Accuracy and function testing was first conducted
at NRA Headquarters in Virginia with one rifle, and then later
on I had the good fortune to spend three more days shooting
steel targets at long range at FTW Ranch in Barksdale, Texas,
with a second HLRT. Both performed similarly, with zero
malfunctions through approximately 400 combined rounds
of ammunition, and although I did not have an opportunity
to measure the Texas rifle's pull weight, it seemed to closely
match the calibration of the Virginia gun's trigger.
My accuracy results with the rifle at short range were
superb; there's a special pleasure in shooting one-hole
groups, and the HLRT gifted me with a couple. Both
Hornady loads managed a sub-m.o.a., five-shot, five-group
average, Precision Hunter turning in a 0.86" result and ELD
Match besting that slightly with a 0.78" average. There
were no malfunctions during my testing, however, the bolt
was a bit sticky from the factory, an issue that was quickly
cleared up by applying a bit of lubricant.
For those unfamiliar with FTW, or the Sportsman's AllWeather All-Terrain Marksmanship long-range precision and
safari training courses taught there (ftwsaam.com), the
operation takes place on a 12,000-acre ranch crisscrossed with
35 rifle ranges up to 4,549 yds. (2.58 miles) in length-so it's
basically Disneyland for those of us who see a golf course as
the wanton waste of a potential gun range. I had, on previous occasion, connected on an 18" steel plate out to a mile
with the .300 Win. Mag.-chambered HLRT, and on this most
recent trip to Texas was able to duplicate that feat with
the 6.5 mm PRC-albeit at a much more comfortable level
of recoil.
And while we're on that topic, the recoil impulse of the
6.5 mm PRC isn't terribly substantial, but it is relatively fast
and sharp, which I could see being an issue through a lighter
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN


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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
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 5
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 48
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 49
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 50
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