Ruger RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor: Precision at a Friendly Price Point
The Ruger Precision Rifle took the precision shooting world for quite a ride when it first came out. Ruger made an excellent move by introducing an affordable rifle into an arena that was dominated by expensive custom-built rifles and actual sniper rifles. In another stroke of genius, they managed to make a rifle that appealed to the AR-15 crowd at the same time, which brought even more customers into their fold.
The Ruger Precision Rifle utilizes a bolt-action receiver that is built into a chassis. The rifle seems to almost clone the aesthetics of the extremely popular AR-15, using the same pistol grip and similar operation for the safety. The model I have also included a folding buttstock for shortening the footprint of the rifle when transporting.
The 24-inch hammer-forged barrel uses 5R rifling, which is the only good kind of rifling if you ask the internet. The 1:8-twist barrel is ideal for launching the heavy bullets that many long-range shooters prefer. The 10.5-pound rifle comes in at right about 45 inches long or 35 inches folded.
Ruger in the Precision Shooting World
Having been one of those in the precision community with a preference for the custom-built rifles, it took me some time to actually give the Ruger a try. To be honest, I looked down on it a bit. Perhaps like many others, I was angry that it shot just as good as rifles that cost twice as much or more.
But it didn’t take long for the RPR to prove its worth to those in the community, and now it’s common to see them shooting at top Precision Rifle Series events. I shot in the Hornady Precision Rifle Challenge this past summer and saw several shooters with RPRs, including Doug Koenig, who took home the top Production Rifle trophy.
Getting to Know the Ruger Precision Lineup
I figured it was time for me to open up to the Ruger, so I took the opportunity when it came. I opened up the box to find the all-black rifle complete with a magazine, bipod, and a few other items. I took a few minutes to familiarize myself with the rifle and get a feel for the controls and such. For me, there are a couple of things that stand out when first handling a rifle. The first one is throwing the bolt.
I shouldered the rifle and ran the bolt a few times. You can tell a lot about a rifle by the feel of the bolt throw. The Ruger was smooth and had a positive lockup feel when closed into battery. You could also feel a metal-on-plastic sensation a little bit, which I assumed to be the piece at the rear of the bolt. Not that there was anything negative about it, as plastic on metal frequently gives a low-friction feeling that I like. The bolt lift was not bad but did take a little bit of getting used to.
The next feature that seals the deal for me is the trigger pull. I don’t consider myself a trigger snob, but I do enjoy a perfect trigger whenever I can get one. The trigger on the RPR was a good one, clean and without the abrasive skipping often felt on triggers of lower-tiered firearms. I’ve also never been a big fan of blade safeties. That being said, I wasn’t so hateful of this one to look for a way to remove it.
The main safety was in the same place as your traditional AR-style rifle, which made it very convenient and familiar to use. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they put it on both sides like ARs often do, but certainly not a deal-breaker. The RPR runs on .308-sized P-Mags, and it came with a 10-round magazine.
Running the bolt forward on a cartridge felt smooth and controlled. I could often feel the slightest bind as the bolt closed the last few degrees, almost like the extractor was snapping over the cartridge rims. As I brought the reticle to rest on my point of aim, I took up the slack in the trigger and gave it a steady press.
I repeated the process another four times and made a nice little vertically strung group. I have noticed this tendency during this cold time of year, where both rifle and ammo are below freezing temperatures. As the bore warms and each round is chambered into a progressively warmer chamber, the velocity increases and brings the point of impact up a touch with each shot. Horizontal dispersion was minimal, and the overall group size was just under an inch.
That's not too shabby using what most would consider plinking ammo, and the results were even better when shooting 140-grain match ammunition. I pushed the RPR out to half a mile to see how it performed. As I suspected, it was easy impacts. Recoil on the rifle wasn’t terrible, allowing me to spot my impacts at those extended ranges.
I was not going to let this rifle go without seeing how it does with a suppressor. To that end, I pulled out my Yankee Hill Machine Nitro N20 suppressor. I noticed only a small change in point of impact, likely due to the light weight of the Nitro. It was beautiful to shoot in the open country of the mountains and listen to the long journey of the bullets as they hissed through the sky before they thumped into the target. I think the RPR deserves a good suppressor, it makes a great little rifle even better.
At first, I wondered why they made it a 24-inch barrel versus a 26-inch barrel, but after running around with this thing, I understand why. It is already really long, even with the 24-inch barrel. If I had the ability to order the RPR from the factory, I would have done so with a shorter barrel length that was more like 20 inches.
The folding stock is great for reducing the length of the rifle, at least when you are trying to transport it. But another one of my complaints has to do with the folding mechanism, mainly that it only locks in the shooting position. It’s not a deal-breaker for me, but it would be really easy to get something pinched in the pivot point when the stock inevitably comes swinging back as you try and maneuver it.
The magazine release was also a touch tough for my taste. It was easy to falsely engage the magazine on this rifle to where it looked like it was in, and it stayed there, but was not really secured. The magazine release also seemed to require a touch more force than I would expect for such a simple and common motion. This is likely something that can be adjusted or corrected by the user, so don’t worry too much about it.
As I suspected, the Ruger Precision Rifle is just what I thought it would be – a great-shooting production rifle with an entry-level price tag but professional results. Sure, it’s not as nice as the custom precision rifles out there, and you can feel that it has been mass-produced. But nonetheless, the rifle performs very well in its capacity, giving the user accurate shots, a familiar manual of arms, and pleasing aesthetics.
Above and beyond that, there are countless ways to customize and improve the rifle with excellent aftermarket support. I have some nice rifles in my safe. I wouldn’t trade any of them for a Ruger RPR, but I wouldn’t mind having a couple RPRs in the safe to give them company.