2016 Improved Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor – First Impressions Review

2016 Improved Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor – First Impressions Review Ruger sent one of their new Improved Ruger Precision Rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor (model 18008) for the legendary Gear […]

2016 Improved Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor – First Impressions Review

Ruger sent one of their new Improved Ruger Precision Rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor (model 18008) for the legendary Gear Report review treatment. This first review is a quick rundown of some key features and what I found on the first trip to the range. Let me know what questions you have and I’ll be sure to answer them in the longer term review that will follow.

Unboxing

I’ve never gotten too excited about unboxings. There are far more interesting things below to talk about concerning the Improved Ruger Precision Rifle. So, this picture will have to suffice.

2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review - unboxing

Holy crap! It folds!

Mixed expectations

Some people fell in love with the Ruger Precision Rifle when it was introduced last year. Others… not so much. I had seen one of the original Ruger Precision Rifles at my local range. That is the only one that crossed my path “in the wild”. The owner was doing load development at 100 yards and about half of his groups had all three 6.5 Creedmoor bullets touching. Of course, he also told me that he just got the barrel back from being cryo treated. So, I wasn’t sure if I should expect such tight groups out of a brand new, non-cryo treated barrel shooting factory ammo. He also cautioned me that 100 yards wasn’t nearly as far as he normally shoots, but it was far enough for his load development protocol.

How the 2016 Ruger Precision Rifle shoots

I am impressed.

This was my very first time shooting the 2016 Improved Ruger Precision Rifle and the first time I have shot anything in 6.5 Creedmoor. Additionally, the 2016 Ruger Precision Rifle comes without a scope. Vortex Optics was kind enough to provide a  Razor HD Gen II scope in 4.5-27×56 FFP with their EBR-1C reticle… in MRAD. Add another first, as I’ve not used a scope set up for MRAD measurements before. All of this made me a bit nervous that I would be the weak link in this equation. Truth be told, I suspect I was.

After boresighting the 2016 Improved Ruger Precision Rifle as well as I could without a shooting rest that would hold the rifle perfectly still, I took three shots to see how far the Point of Impact (POI) was from the Point of Aim (POA). Here were the very first three shots out of this 2016 Ruger Precision Rifle (aside from what I assume was at least one test shot before leaving the factory).

2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review - 1st three shots

3 shots, one oblong hole

It was only 35 yards, as the range rules require all rifles to be sighted in a short range pit before moving to longer ranges, but not a bad group.

2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review -Shooting setup

2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review - 200 yard rangeAt the 200 yard range?

After dialing in the Vortex Optics scope on the shorter range I moved to the longest available range at the shooting club. It is only 200 yards, but I will stretch it out farther soon enough.

I was short on time and running low on ammo by the time I set up at a 200 yard bench. I was only able to shoot two 3 shot groups with the 2016 Improved Ruger Precision Rifle from the 200 yard bench. For what they cost it seems reasonable to expect that the rifle and Vortex Razor HD Gen II scope performance would be above average. However, I didn’t know how much above average or what to expect from the Federal American Eagle 140 gr Open Tip Match (OTM) ammo. While Federal’s AE brand is known for very serviceable ammo at good prices, I was not expecting “match grade” results.

The first group was nothing to write home about, measuring 2.3 inches across from center to center (a bit over 1 MOA). The 2nd group was 1.18 inches from center to center for about 0.6 MOA. Not spectacular for some people, but that is the smallest group I have EVER shot at 200. While I have been shooting for more than three decades, it was typically with a “minute of man” sort of approach to accuracy. So, a 0.6 MOA group with a brand new rifle with an unfamiliar scope on the very first box of new type of ammo is a pretty big deal. I have 3 more boxes of AE 6.5 Creedmoor, but have to save it for a few other rifles that should arrive for reviews soon. Hornady sent several different flavors of 6.5 Creedmoor and FedEx tracking shows it will be delivered on Monday. Looks like there may be another trip to the 200 yard range in my near future. 🙂

2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review - 0.6 MOA three shot group

2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review - 56mm scope fits fine

The 56mm scope fits fine

What has changed in the new 2016 Ruger Precision Rifle?

While many folks rave about the accuracy of the Improved Ruger Precision Rifle, a few of the choices that Ruger made on the original models left some scratching their heads. The most common complaint I have heard is about the plastic bolt extension shroud. Ruger will tell you something like… it was a strategic decision to keep cost and weight down, but some folks don’t care. They don’t want plastic in the bolt of their rifles. Period. Ruger addressed the plastic bolt parts concern, plus a couple of others, in the new 2016 version of the Improved Ruger Precision Rifle:

  • Muzzle Brake: Instead of a threaded barrel with a thread protector, Ruger has added a new muzzle brake… the “RUGER PRECISION RIFLE™ HYBRID MUZZLE BRAKE”. Ruger says it can reduce felt recoil by up to 58%.
  • Hand Guard: The original Ruger Precision Rifle handguard had a full length picatinny rail on top. The new “RUGER PRECISION RIFLE™ SHORT ACTION HANDGUARD 15inch” has no top rail, making it easier to mount scopes with larger objective lenses without interference from the rail. It also has a wider flat on bottom to allow for more stability of attachments, like bipods.
  • Bolt Shroud: As previously noted, this is meaningful to some, not to others. The former plastic shroud is now made from 6061-T6 billet aluminum.

2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review - on the benchOther quick observations:

I will cover this more in a follow-up review, but a few things that jumped out at me on the 2016 Improved Ruger Precision Rifle:

  • The folding stock is really handy for packing up the rather long rifle. The release latch is pretty stiff. I hope it becomes easier to unlatch it as it is used more.
  • There is a rather massive range of adjustment for length of pull. It took me a while to realize that LOP adjustment required unlocking both of the adjustment clamps. I’m sure it would have been obvious had I read the manual BEFORE trying to adjust LOP.
  • The cheek riser also has a rather large range of adjustment and is pretty easy.
  • I like a short, crisp, light trigger… and the Ruger Precision Rifle trigger is very nice.
  • Reading the manual revealed that the top rail is canted forward by 20 MOA. Sadly story, folks. I asked Josejuan to install the Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 3-18×50 scope on the Ruger Precision Rifle. He used the Vortex Optics 34mm Precision Extended Cantilever scope mount. The mount has a 20 MOA cant. So, that made for 40 MOA of cant… more than needed. I installed the Vortex Optics Raxor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 scope on the 2016 Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor - First Impressions Review - tight groupModern Mosin Sniper rifle via Vortex Precision Matched 34mm rings. The 4.5-27 scope is destined for a JP Enterprises rifle that I will take to the Blue Steel Ranch long range shooting course in November. However, it was already past midnight. I took the easy way out and swapped the whole scope and rings setups on the two rifles. The end result is that both rifles have 20 MOA of vertical deflection under the scopes. However,  the wrong scope is on the Ruger Precision Rifle. Oh well. I have a few weeks before the JP rifle arrives.
  • The 4140 chrome-moly steel upper receiver makes for a strong, but heavy rifle at 10.7 Lb.
  • I like the AR style safety, pistol grip and general feel of the 2016 Ruger precision rifle. If feels rather familiar, even though it is a different type of rifle than I have shot before.
  • 6.5 Creedmoor ballistics appear to be flatter different than what I am used to. I was in a hurry and didn’t look up trajectory numbers before shooting. I set the 37 yard zero at about 2 inches above POA. Guess what that translated to at 200 yards? My shots were hitting about 10″ higher than POA. OOPS! I’ll plug the ammo data in the Strelok+ ballistics app before the next trip.

Stay tuned! There is much more to come.

Federal_Premium_logoDude! Where did you get that Ammo?!

The 6.5 Creedmoor ammo for this test was provided by Federal Premium’s American Eagle brand. The 6.5 Creedmoor, 140-grain OTM is a new cartridge for 2016 from AE (part no. AE65CRD1, UPC 6-04544-61801-3, MSRP $33.95).

About Ruger

Ruger FirearmsSturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of rugged, reliable firearms for the commercial sporting market. The only full-line manufacturer of American-made firearms, Ruger offers consumers over 400 variations of more than 30 product lines, from the ubiquitous 10/22® and Mini-14®, to the new and exciting Ruger American Pistol, Ruger Precision Rifle, SR-556 Takedown®, AR-556®, LC9s®, 9E® and Ruger American Rifle®.

Vortex OpticsAbout Vortex Optics

American owned, Middleton, Wisconsin based Vortex Optics designs, engineers, and distributes a complete line of premium binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, tripods and related accessories. Dedicated to exceptional quality, value and unrivaled customer service, Vortex backs its products with its unconditional, transferable, lifetime VIP-warranty. Built on more than 20 years of experience in the optics industry, Vortex is rapidly emerging as a leading brand in the optics market.

About American Eagle

American Eagle® rifle ammunition offers consistent, accurate performance at a price that’s perfect for high-volume shooting. We’ve grown this already expansive line for 2016, adding some of the most popular newer calibers on the market. All feature quality bullets, reloadable brass cases and dependable primers.

 

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits.

A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management.

Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.