I have always been very skeptical of the low end offerings with this new innovation and that gimmick and of course the "Tupperware" stocks. Well behold my son buys a Ruger American in 7mm-08 for the 8 year old grandson. With 40 rounds of Hornady factory ammo through it we loaded some Berger 140 gr bullets and to my amazement this sub $300 rifle shoots a consistent 1/2 MOA. I am impressed. BUT STILL SKEPTICAL
The budget rifles like the Ruger American and the Savage Axis are really for non-gun people that want a cheap factory rifle that is accurate. In that context, I think they make sense. If I were to own one, it would be a "truck gun" that would get a cheap scope and a spray paint camo job.
If one is looking for something to be the basis for a build, the more traditional actions should be the ones on the shopping list.
I considered a RAR, but was turned off on the thin, flexing forend. I bought a Marlin X7 and I'm very happy with it. It will shoot better than my Rem721 by a little bit, and it shoots as well as my Howa 22-250, in other words 1/2" groups are common. The only problem I really see with these "non-gun" people budget guns is that they tend to make some "gun people" sore about the money they have in their rifles.
Also, I consider myself "gun people", I'm on a gun club board, run their website, etc.
C'mon, the Ruger American is one hell of a rifle for the money. Its innovations and quality where truly necessary make it that bargain. It IS a rifle for riflemen that appreciate quality design and accuracy.
OK, back to the original topic, a Ruger American with a varmint weight barrel.
1. stainless (to slow throat erosion)
2. fluted barrel
3. 24" minimum length (for near max velocity)
4. target style crown
5. minimum SAAMI spec chambering (Tighter chamber = better centering of bullet to the bore.)
And please Ruger, make an all stainless hunting version. Great for nasty conditions. I have a Browning Stainless Stalker in .300 Win mag with a "Tupperware" stock that is pillar bedded and shoots very well.
Be nice to have a stainless rifle in 6.5 Creedmor that is easy on the wallet.
As Colonel Townsend Whelen once said, "The only interesting rifles are accurate rifles."
"There are no comfortable packs, only packs that are less uncomfortable than others."
A relative owns and operates a gunshop here locally. He's sold quite a few Tikka T3s over the past 5 years and has recently found customers purchasing the Ruger American rifles. The Tikka T3s have always been tack drivers, but the cost of T3s has been steadily going up. The feedback he's getting on the Ruger Amarican is that they're shooting bug holes. They seem to shoot way good for such an economical rifle. He's sold a number of the .22 WMR versions also, and those customers have also been claiming very good accuracy. So Ruger is doing something right.
Accurate rifles require quality barrels, and it seems Ruger is now mass producing quality hammer-forged barrels for their American rifles, as Beretta has been doing with their Tikkas for quite a few years now. Once a company gets the hammer forging equipment running well, they seem to mass produce high quality barrels, very CONSISTENTLY. And their cost per barrel must be pretty minimal in order to be able to sell the completed rifles for such low prices.
If they Beretta and Ruger ever start producing aftermarket hammer-forged barrels, the competition for the custom barrel manufacturers will get pretty stiff. Based on the Tikka T3s I own and the ones others I know own, I'd be content buying an an aftermarket Tikka barrel for a custom rifle build. And I suspect there could be a 50% or greater cost savings over the custom aftermarket barrels.
Well now I guess the question is Ruger American or Savage Trophy Hunter. For the most part they are the same price give or take considering with the ruger you have to buy a scope and the SP comes with it. Are the Rugers any more accurate than the Savage? How about the triggers? I'm looking for an accurate inexpensive .223 for varmints and not sure which way to go.
i dunno why, but i've been intrigued by the notion of a bottom feeder, plastic stocked bolt action for "long range" (quantify that with the yardage of yer liking). the three rifles that come to mind are the axis, x7 and rar. i poured over the minutiae spex of each and decided on the rar standard in .243win, which will arrive at me next week. add in an swfa 12x42 mrad i just got off the lrh classifieds, and a number of different bullet weights and manufacturers, powders, primers and cases, and in a few weeks i'll see how lucky i got with the rifle ... because with corner cutting materials and build, luck will be part of the accuracy equation to some degree. the stock fore end and butt will get "bedded and weighted", for sure.
btw, the ruger american "predator" - with just a teeny bit beefier barrel (NOT a heavy weight) of the same 22" length is due to hit the stores next month. WHAT is ruger thinking?? why not a 24" or 26" heavy barrel??? dang!
Well after all the pondering I decided on the Savage 11-111. I had in mind what I was looking for but couldn't fine one. Believe this or not Cabelas had a Savage they called a Cabelas exclusive. I think they may still have them. They call it the Prairie Dog. If interested you can get the specs on their site. Tell ya what she shoots exactly where I point er. Extreamly accurate. As of now my best is 5/8moa. Not all the time but then again I don't shoot that well all the time. Anyway if I miss I missed not the rifle. Like you I am working on some loads and think I have found it. I mounted a Mueller 8x24-44 one er. The complete setup ain't what i would call light. But not awful either. Should be a great varminter on a budget.