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Ruger Precision Rifle

Ruger Precision Rifle Review

Very few rifles have received the hype and fanfare like the Ruger Precision Rifle. With an MSRP of $1399, we all want to believe in a budget precision rifle that is match-ready out of the box… but does it deliver? This post tries to give you an honest and straight-forward review of what we experienced out of the box.

Guest Author & the Best Christmas Gift Ever

Recently a close friend asked me to help surprise her husband with a rifle for Christmas. She had heard him mention one rifle in particular, and asked if I recognized what kind it was as she slid a photo of it in front of me. Of course, I instantly recognized the most talked about rifle in recent years … the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). I helped her find one, and I have to believe that could go down in history as the best Christmas gift ever.

The lucky recipient of the Ruger Precision Rifle was Obadiah Barnes, a buddy I shoot with regularly, and I was ecstatic to see him get it. Not just because I was proud for him to own a capable long-range rifle … but I was also excited because he has the same detailed, balanced, say-it-like-it-is personality that researches and analyzes everything to death! So I was hoping he could help satisfy the throngs of people asking for an objective review of on the RPR. Ruger initially invited a handful of writers to a private ranch for a chance to experience the Ruger Precision Rifle … and of course the rifles they had there shot! But what can a normal customer expect when you buy one off a retail shelf. OB gives us a 100% honest assessment.

OB has a great perspective for this, because like a lot of us he’s a hunter that is very familiar with rifles, and he’s been working to extend his range over the past couple years using the equipment he has. So this new rifle is able to compliment the foundation he’s already started to build, and hopefully unlock a lot of potential. I wholeheartedly believe good equipment does NOT make a good shooter. A good shooter is only built by spending time behind the rifle, sending rounds down range and honing his skills. But good equipment can make a good shooter better. So I couldn’t wait to hear about the results OB was able to achieve with this rifle.

 

He also invited other shooters with a range of backgrounds to try the rifle, and took meticulous notes on their comments, carefully watched how each handled and shot the rifle, and kept track of the performance they were able to coax from the rifle. This included guys who’d never touched a precision rifle, one law enforcement officer, and guys with a safe full of custom precision rifles. So the resulting review is a compilation of those views, delivered by a very detailed guy. Of course, I (Cal, author of PrecisionRifleBlog.com) am a helpless control freak, so I couldn’t stop myself from making a few tweaks or inserting some comments from other sources on the Ruger Precision Rifle … but for the most part, the rest of this post will be OB speaking. It takes a lot of work to put this stuff together, so please chime in below in the comments and thank him for his helpful review!Ruger Precision Rifle Reviews

The Ruger Precision Rifle Review

Ruger filled an emerging market with a new feature-packed rifle. Every section of the rifle was designed with long-range shooting in mind. Perhaps the design team at Ruger wanted to shoot long-range, and like kids in a candy store, they tried to pack everything they wanted into this rifle. All the upgraded/specialized features for a long-range custom gun are here: adjustable stock, smooth 70 degree bolt, adjustable trigger, detachable box magazine, 20 MOA tapered scope rail, etc. Just add a decent scope, and you’re off to the races!

While this rifle is very capable straight out of the box, there is already a thriving aftermarket community offering all kinds of upgrade parts for this platform. Ruger designers intentionally made many of the parts compatible with the AR-15 platform, so many of its’ parts are easily interchangeable with a ton of parts out there that are readily available. The buttstock, handguard, bolt knob, pistol grip, and safety can all be swapped out.

 

One particularly attractive design elements is the option to easily replace the barrel with a pre-chambered, drop-in replacement barrel using AR-style wrenches and headspace gauges. That means the barrels don’t have to be custom chambered and headspaced for a specific action, which can dramatically cut costs. There is already a competitive market for replacement barrels. (Safety note: Ruger still recommends using a competent gunsmith. Barrels are NOT a safe place to do it yourself and hope it works.)

Let’s take a look at the specs of the Ruger Precision Rifle we tested:

  • Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Barrel: 24” Cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly, 5R rifling, 1:8 twist, muzzle threaded 5/8×24 for brake or suppressor
  • Stock: Side-folding with adjustable cheek rest and length of pull
  • Magazines: Two 10 round Magpul PMAG magazines (but will work with AICS mags and many others)
  • Weight: 10 lbs. 15.1 oz. (includes empty mag)
  • Price: $1,399 MSRP

Ruger Precision Rifle Review

Stock

Ruger Precision Rifle Folding Stock

My first impression of the buttstock was favorable. The cheek comb moved smoothly forward and back, up and down … and you can even reverse it. The cam action of the length of pull (LOP) held the stock adjustment firmly in place. Over the next weeks, I used this rifle a lot. Before other shooters tested the rifle, I’d always return it to the factory positions. Then I’d watch as they used the stock and it up to shoot. All the testers appreciated the stock’s adjustability. No tools were needed to adjust it in the field. It has smooth operation, and strong, uncompromising support. What is there not to like?!

However, you’ll find mixed reviews for this stock online, and I honestly could not understand why. But, I eventually found the problem: I was about to head, to the range, to do the accuracy part of this review. I attempted to reset the stock to factory positions, and the trouble ensued. I unlocked the locking cams and could not adjust the stock. So I thought maybe the tension was too tight. I loosened the tension knob, but it still wouldn’t budge. I loosened the tension knobs further, and the entire assembly burst into small parts on my bench (it was apparently under spring tension). Believe it or not, the stock still wouldn’t adjust! So I completely removed the remaining tension knob. Now, with both adjustment cams COMPLETELY removed, the stock would still not adjust! After some investigation, I noticed the machining was very rough on the cam’s locking collar, and it appeared friction from that rough spot had frozen it in in place. A drop of gun grease solved this issue, and allowed it move freely.

Not long after that, I noticed I couldn’t adjust cheek piece forward. It had moved so smoothly before, but was now locked in place. This time it was not a manufacturing issue, but user error. Like a typical guy, I hadn’t read the instructions. I’m fairly mechanically inclined, and rarely find myself needing to pull out a manual. However, this was not a simple arrangement of parts, but a solid engineering design that kept it from moving even if the cam lock was disengaged. The cam lever is not a solid bar, but instead it’s scalloped to only allow movement in one direction. So if you turn the cam 180 degrees and it locks movement forward and back. Once I learned the right way to do it, I had no issues.

Not only does the stock allow you to adjust the length of pull and cheek rest position (height and for/aft), but it also allows the user to cant the rear of the stock in either direction to improve shoulder contact. These types of tweaks can allow you to customize the rifle to better fit the shooter, and legendary shooters like David Tubb would tell you that can directly correlate to improved accuracy downrange.

A LE officer who used the rifle loved the folding stock. This allows you to put it in a smaller case for easy transport. (Safety note: The rifle will still fire with the stock folded.)

Synopsis: With a little gun grease and a reading of the manual, this is a great stock.

Bolt

Ruger Precision Rifle BoltRuger Precision Bolt Action Rifle

The bolt ran smoothly and cycled effectively. Like others, I was initially concerned about the plastic bolt shroud. That is often the first item people upgrade with aftermarket parts like Long Rifles Inc.’s billet bolt shroud. Some reported that bolt shroud came loose inside the bolt raceway, or chipped apart from use. When I first got the rifle, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I’d need to upgrade the bolt shroud based on everything I’d read on forums and seen on YouTube.

I watched a video overview of the rifle and thought the bolt disassembly seemed straightforward. It is not. I apparently did it wrong the first time, because it came apart on the fourth shot of a 5-shot group. During the malfunction, the firing pin and bolt shroud remained in the buffer tube, preventing the bolt from cycling. Once again, this malfunction seemed to stem from user error. I watched a video from Ruger on disassembly several times and finally figured out the correct way to do it.

After that experience, I was determined to see if something like that would happen again and I tested the durability of the bolt shroud. 114 rounds were fired during the accuracy portion of the review. In addition to that, the bolt was manipulated 200 times. Next, the bolt was cycled, then bolt shroud was removed and reassembled 400 times. After these 714 bolt manipulations without any issues, the bolt shroud did show minor signs of wear, but was still riding securely on the back of the bolt. Honestly, I don’t need to disassemble my bolts very often. So after lots of use, I’m thinking the bolt shroud may be the last thing I’d upgrade. The one failure I experienced seemed to be due to user error, and not the durability of the shroud.

Trigger

Ruger Precision Rifle Trigger

The trigger came from the factory set at 2.25 lbs. I measured the trigger pull 20 times, and it was consistent. I was able to adjust the trigger from 2.25 to 4.3 pounds (Ruger advertises 2.25-5.0). I was a fan of the consistent and clean break this trigger provides. It features a Savage-style safety lever within the trigger, which some say gives it a feel like a two stage trigger. It may not be preferable to some shooters used to conventional single-stage triggers. One shooter pulled through the blade and set off the trigger. It took him awhile to get accustomed to it, but it is a very capable trigger … especially for a factory rifle.

Safety

The safety is very stiff. I often had to use my off-hand to put it back on safe. I find it easier to manipulate it using the knuckle on your thumb, instead of the pad. The safety does rattle a little in the fire position. This is a very minor gripe, as I leave the rifle safe until ready to shoot. One of the testers said the safety was his “least favorite part of the gun” and the only thing he’d change.

Magazine Well

Ruger Precision Rifle Magzines

The Detachable Box Magazine (DBM) System on this rifle is well designed and functional. It has an innovative patent-pending design that allows you to use several types of magazines interchangeably, including the legendary AICS magazines, popular Magpul PMAGs built for large-frame AR’s, and other SR-25, M110, DPMS magazines … and even a few more! You have lots of options. Ruger includes two 10 round PMAGs, and we also used AICS and Alpha magazines during the accuracy test. All of them functioned fine. There is an audible click seating the magazine AND when releasing it.

The mag freely falls straight out when it is released. The LE officer who tested this rifle loved that feature. He liked the ability to drop a mag to the ground, change it out, while looking down range.

Handguard

The handguard is decent, but has some flex. As you can see in the photo below, mine is actually not centered with the barrel, and this is how it came from the factory. The majority of the accuracy test for this review was performed from the prone position using a bipod attached to the end of the handguard. That is how it would be shot in a precision rifle match, not off of sand bags. There is some evidence that suggests the offset and flex in the handguard had a negative impact on precision, but we felt like it was important to test the RPR in the way it is marketed to perform. More on this in the accuracy tests below.

Ruger Precision Rifle Handguard

Finish

The finish scratches and wears easily. When the stock is folded, the cam adjustments knobs rub on the side of the receiver. After only having the rifle two weeks, I’ve already decided that I’ll be Cerakoting mine.

Accuracy Testing

Ruger Precision Rifle AccuracyRuger conducted internal testing several months ago, and they measured an average group size of 0.83” at 100 yards (0.79 MOA) over multiple rifles. When first introducing the rifle, Ruger hand-selected a dozen gun writers to come test their new product at a private ranch in Texas, and (probably as you’d expect) the rifles they used shot slightly better than that average. One writer on that trip reported average groups of 0.76” at 100 yards. But as Ruger feels the pressure to increase production to meet demand for this new rifle, what can you really expect from more recent batches of rifles?

I believe in real world accuracy. The majority of our groups for record were fired from a bipod in the prone position, just like you’d be using it in a match. We used multiple shooters to get a good average. We fired a total of 23 five-shot groups at 100 yards using 3 types of match-grade ammo.

Group Size (MOA)

Accuracy Results

Avg

Min

Max

Velocity

Hornady Match 140gr A-Max

0.91

0.28

1.57

2,674

Prime Ammo Match 130gr HPBT

1.09

0.57

1.53

2,809

Berger 130gr Hybrid Handloads

1.08

0.82

1.35

2,837

 

The muzzle velocities above were recorded using a LabRadar Doppler Radar, which is accurate to +/- 1 fps. It represents the average muzzle velocities of all shots with that ammo. The muzzle velocity SD (standard deviation) wasn’t amazing for any of the ammo. They ranged from 12-20 fps SD’s, so with more consistent ammo you could likely tighten these groups up some.

We used a target analysis software to do all the group size calculations. It provides a few other helpful stats about the groups, like these:

  • Average Distance To Center Of The Group = 0.39 MOA
  • Average Group Width = 0.79 MOA
  • Average Group Height = 0.81 MOA

One thing we noticed during the test was the handguard had some flex, and was also slightly off-center in relation to the barrel. So after seeing how the groups were shaping up, I started to wonder if some of the inconsistency was related to the handguard. We fired most of our groups from a bipod (since that’s how most people will use the rifle in the field), but many other reviews test accuracy from a bench using sandbags. I wondered if the torque we were putting on the handguard by loading the bipod was having an impact on precision. So we removed the bipod and setup sandbags (still firing from prone) … and over several more five-shot groups, the horizontal dispersion of our groups shrank by 30%.

That doesn’t mean the groups were 30% smaller. It means the width of the groups shrunk, but the group height was sometimes the largest dimension of the group. That may mean you could shrink the extreme spread of the group if you used ammo with more consistent muzzle velocities (single digit SD’s), and used the rifle off sandbags. It may not be a dramatic change, but it may be able to get you closer to 0.6-0.7 MOA with this rifle. The group sizes in the stats referenced earlier are averages over all groups fired, which includes those off a bipod and off sandbags.

We’ve seen other online reports where shooters observed horizontal “walking,” and a few attributed that to the handguard. Our results seem to corroborate that theory. We have plans to upgrade the handguard, and in a future post we’ll give an update on if there is any measurable accuracy improvement from that modification.

So overall, the rifle we tested held around 1 MOA across all the ammo and scenarios. That might sound great to some guys and disappointing to others. I’d encourage you to read the “How Much Does Group Size Matter?” post from a few months ago to see how group size impacts hit probability at long-range. For example, it shows one scenario with a 6.5 Creedmoor capable of 1 MOA precision that is trying to hit a 20” target at 1000 yards, and it has a 70.4% probability under the specific conditions in that example. If you held all those conditions to be the same, and just swapped in a world-class benchrest rifle capable of 0.1 MOA accuracy … you’re hit probability would only increase 5%! You go from 70.4% with the 1 MOA rifle to 75.4% with the 0.1 MOA rifle! There are just a lot of other factors and uncertainties that come into play at long-range, and inherent precision of the rifle is just one of them. I’m not saying precision doesn’t matter, but you might be surprised what you learn in that post.

Ruger Precision Rifle at Long Range

I invited several people to shoot this rifle and give me their thoughts on it. A law enforcement officer who was wanting to get into long-range shooting, a high school senior, a couple of guys who grew up shooting rifles, and one more veteran shooter who competes in long-range matches. All of the long-range shots were done from a prone position with a bipod attached.

The high school senior had never shot over 200 yards. We started by setting up on a target at 260 yards, and he got a first round hit. I then adjusted the scope for 528 yards, and the first two shots were 12” high. So I dialed an adjustment on the scope, and he got consecutive hits.

I took the rifle out again to test it at further distance. The wind that day was gusting 12-15 mph, which I knew was going to offer some challenge. I first setup on a target at 821 yards, and was able to get rounds on target on the 4th shot. After getting on, I was able to connect with five consecutive hits. So I moved out to a target at 1,000 yards, which was a 12” circle over a 16”square. I connected back-to-back hits on the circle.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

After that I moved out to a 24” circle target at 1220 yards. I fired seven rounds, and heard the impact on four of them. When I went down-range, I confirmed three hits. The fourth hit was actually on another target a few feet away. I credit that to the gusty west Texas wind! 😉

3 Hits At 1200 Yards

I tried stretching it out to a target at 1,415 yards. However, the wind was blowing the bullet off target and I couldn’t spot where it was landing. So I wasn’t ever able to connect at that distance. Shooting long-range is fun, but I’m still a novice at reading wind at the longer ranges.

A 6.5 Creedmoor firing a 140gr A-Max at the velocities we recorded for the Ruger Precision Rifle will go transonic at 1020 yards (meaning the bullet has slowed to 1.2 Mach and may start showing signs of instability), and it goes subsonic around 1250 yards (meaning the bullet may become erratic and less predictable). So shots beyond that can be really tough to get consistent hits. But inside of that range, the Ruger Precision Rifle is clearly capable of repeatable hits … if the shooter is capable. 😉

What Would I Upgrade or Replace?

There is already a thriving market of replacement parts springing up around the Ruger Precision Rifle, including bolt shrouds, handguards, barrels, and other products. It seems like there are new products available every day. If it keeps up this pace, one day there may be as many options as there are for the Remington 700. It’s interesting to see how quickly so many have embraced this new platform, and shows a strong vote of confidence for the design.

We already mentioned that we’ll likely replace the handguard to see what kind of impact that has on accuracy. As we mentioned in the accuracy results, there was some indication that it could be having a negative impact on horizontal dispersion. Midwest Industries and Seekins Precision both offer replacement handguards for the Ruger Precision Rifle.

Beyond that, the only thing I’d replace is the folding stock latch. After several hundred rounds the folding stock is now loose. It has 1/8” side to side movement. The locking latch is tapered so that it easily unfolds and locks. But that means the bearing surface that ensures lockup is very small. It needs to be larger to ensure it is solid with zero play. Personally, I’d rather not have a folding stock than have one with play in the folding mechanism.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Review

Overall Take-Away

I paid full retail price for this rifle. Ruger did not provide it for review. So I’m giving you a 100% honest, tell-it-like-it-is view of my experience from initial impressions through the first several hundred rounds. Overall, I’d give this rifle four stars out of five. There are a few quirks that could be improved upon, but overall it is a solid setup that I’m really happy to own.

Ruger is trying to get new shooters to the sport at an affordable price. Sure, there are better parts they could include or upgrade, but I’d leave it as is to preserve the current price point. It is easily customizable, and you can upgrade it if you choose. Bottom line, the Ruger Precision Rifle is an excellent entry point and great foundation to build on for long-range shooting.

Ruger Precision Rifle Case

About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

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214 comments

  1. Nice review as always Cal
    You might have pulled my trigger to get one 😉

    • Hey, I couldn’t have done it without OB. He did most of the legwork on this one. I’m just happy to finally have something to offer people on the rifle that everyone is talking about.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Just wondering if they will put this out in 300 win mag?

      • They only have it available in short action for now (308, 6.5 Creedmoor, 243), where the 300 Win Mag is a long action. I’ve heard rumors they’re working on a longer action version, but they’re certainly just rumors at this point. I haven’t seen any hinting of this from Ruger directly, so who knows.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Dominique Bellerose

        Thanks a lot. I got exactly the same problem concerning the butt pad and the cam levers. What you wrote about that is totally what’s happened to me yesterday. Really helpful. Thanks again!

      • It’s a great stock ONCE I realized how to use it as well. I’m glad it was a helpful point. We try and write to help others when we can. Be sure to check the other blog posts. Lots of useful content in here for sure!

        Thanks,
        Obadiah (OB)

      • Got mine in 6.5 CM.on Jan. 7. 4th trip out with it shooting sub .5 to .7 moa @ 300 yards consistently
        with Harris bipod and $95 Sniper brand scope. I’m a nvoice shooterror with a cheap scope so I have to give the gun all the credit.

    • The problem with this rifle is availability. Can’t find it anywhere and have been looking for months (6.5).

      • Yes sir. You can find them on GunBroker.com, but you’ll likely pay $1400. Ruger will eventually catch up with the demand, but it might be several months.

      • Finding the 6.5 takes patience and luck. One of my shooting buddies found a source where he could get one for $859.95 and said he would turn me on to them. Same day I was shooting with the local police sniper team and they said they had fired the RPR in .308 the week before. Asked them where they got it. Turns out both the team and my friend went to the same shop that deals with LEO and Military. (Lawmen’s – in Raleigh NC, Charlotte NC & Columbia SC) .One phone call and I was hooked up for the 6.5 at $859.95 since I am retired military. Took a few weeks to get in but I had it. Luck, persistence, and keeping your ears open can frequently get you what you want. Managed earlier to get a $600+ discount on an Armalite A-31 and a tad over $450 on a S&W M&P A-10. Good luck.

      • Roger D Colvin JR

        Gun broker . com they have the best selection available but expect to pay full price.

      • Check mace sports in north carolina

      • Check H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City. I was over there earlier this week and they’d received a large lot of 6.5 RPRs and after delivering the back-orders, they had like 30-35 of them left. Don’t know the asking price. No .243s or .308s, only 6.5. Note date on this posting.

      • Gun Broker. com is where I got my RPR 308 for less then $1200

  2. Great, honest review! Many thanks!!!

  3. BUDGET……IS THAT WHAT you said…….1400.00 Dollars……..it’s like getting your car washed, BUT for an extra 100.00$ , I will do a good job……do the best you can each time, every time, LIKE AMERICA USED TO DO, and that 1400.00 precision BUDGET rifle would turn into a 300.00 rifle precision no charge.

    • Wow, Paul. Seems like a little pent up anger in there. Hey, nobody said you have to buy it. You obviously aren’t in this market. Most precision rifles that guys are running in competition average $3500-5000, so yeah … this one is a fraction of the cost. But hey, you can try out your $300 rifle if you’d like. Don’t hate Ruger for offering a product.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Snipers Hide on YouTube put the RPR up against an Accuracy International that costs over $7000. Ruger designed the RPR to shoot well out of its price range. What you save on the initial price of the RPR vs a competitor will usually pay for some major upgrades like a match grade barrel and world class optics.

      • Yes sir. It certainly punches above it’s weight, as boxers would say! I’d still take the AI rifle, if they were priced the same … but of course they aren’t. The value the Ruger provides out of the box is hard to ignore and likely the best on the market.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Hey Cal. Thank you very much for the review. Have read it a few times now. I’ve ordered mine in 6.5 Creedmoor. Have bought some Redding dies and am slowly stockpiling gear for reloading. I’ve purchased a Nightforce ATACR F1 5-25 and an Atlas quick release bipod. I’m also about order a replacement bolt shroud, bolt knob and muzzle break from LRI. As you can see – I’M EXCITED!!!!!!!
        Kindest regards,
        Munro
        Australia

      • Hey, Munro. That is great! Welcome to the long-range game. Sounds like you’ll have a very capable setup. I’m excited for you, and wish you the best of luck!

        Thanks,
        Cal

    • I disagree, Paul. For a precision rifle with a fully adjustable stock, easily changeable barrel, uses multiple types of magazines, has a good adjustable trigger, and still shoots to 1 MOA with factory ammo, then a $1400 price tag IS a budget rifle. What other off-the-shelf rifle does all of that for the same price?

      I own a custom built GAP rifle that doesn’t have all of those features, but was much more expensive to buy. It sure doesn’t shoot 3 times better for 3 times the price.

      • Trying to find a club in Colorado to learn from and join

        Maybe just maybe a Savage 110 FCP with a SWFA or Vortex scope o.k. it could probably do the job. Just maybe.

      • I agree 100%, this rifle is a must and a wont regret purchase( mine 1075.00 + tax). My group of three at 100 yards was like one single hole, I was able to hide the group with a dime. My only time at the range is to zero my 12 rifle or to teach my daughters and I wont waist ammo on shooting for fun- which is getting hard to find and costly.. It’s my only bolt rifle and already one of my best.

  4. Thank you heaps Obadiah Barnes for the great revise and honesty, it is very much appreciated. Thank you Cal for help OB with his new toy and support in the review, these information would never come “easily” to the real world people without you guys.
    All the best and have a great 2016!

    Mac

    • Mac,

      My pleasure. I think this blog is just plain cool. It was a total honor getting to write something for it. Glad this information was helpful.

      Obadiah

      • Well done, Obadiah. You and your fellow test-shooters put up some impressive results – better than I expected. I wish Ruger would make a 300 WinMag RPR!

      • Jeff,
        Thank you, and I am confident they will expand their chamber offerings with the popularity of the rifle as time goes by. This line by Ruger definitely has the market talking.
        Thanks,
        Obadiah (OB)

      • At least one reader mentioned that he’d heard talk or a 338 model that could be released later this year. I’d expect them to unveil any plans like that next week at SHOT Show. I plan to be there, so I’ll post some updates here if I am able to confirm any of those details.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • OB, tell your wife, “SHE ROCKS”, very lucky man, seriously! My wife is the same. This sight is awesome, thanks always Cal, and all that contribute. I am on the fence with this rifle, .308… 6.5…just don’t know.

      • Marlinlever,

        Thank you for the compliment. The .308 can be cheaper to shoot with a wider ammo selection. The 6.5 is better at bucking the wind. The 6.5 Creedmoor was developed for shooters who don’t reload. The only available ammo I have seen is all match grade. This makes it more expensive to practice with.
        You might check out the “HOW MUCH IT REALLY MATTERS” post. He has a WEZ SHOT SIMULATION graph that compares these cartridges at 700 and 1000 yards. I hope this data helps.

        Thanks,
        Obadiah (OB)

  5. Nice write up. I was picking up my new G34 duty pistol today at Pro Force here on SoCal and they had a few of these Rugers that were spoken for in .308. I asked to paw one a bit and I was impressed with this rifle that they sell for $999.00. It seemed like a lot of rifle for a great price. Will be interesting to set what people do with theses. Would be really cool of the made one of these as a trainer caliber.

    • Yes sir. I think these will eventually sell for $999 street price for all the calibers, but right now it’s hard to find 6.5 Creedmoor for anything below $1399. I agree it would be nice to have a trainer in this. Could always swap the barrel, but that adds cost for a trainer.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Cal, great review mate. These rifles are due to hit our shores in Jun/Jul16. So I’m getting in early on a pre order for a 6.5CM. Looking forward to it.
        Cheers

      • I ordered one in December and just got mine last week, out the door with taxes and background check was $974. And no, I don’t have a hookup or anything special with the shop… That is the price everyone pays, so price is dropping, you just have to find the right shop.

      • That’s awesome. Was that for a 308 or 6.5 Creedmoor?

      • That was for a 6.5 Creedmoor.

      • That’s awesome. I’ll take one! 😉 You got yourself a smoking deal. I bet hundreds of shooters wish they could get in on that deal!

        Thanks,
        Cal

  6. Thanks OB and Cal. I’m looking forward to the .338 Lapua version they’re talking about for later this year

    • Wow, ANG. That’s the first I’ve heard of that, but it sounds interesting. I figured they’d come out with a larger frame version at some point that was available in cartridges like the 300 Win Mag and 338 Lapua. Can’t wait to see it.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  7. Kudos to you and OB, Cal! Good write-up. Looks like a great entry level firearm, and should improve with honest, tell-it-like-it is critiques of the product. My only regret is I didn’t get to shoot it!!

    • You bet, Jim. Glad you found it interesting. It is quite the platform. I really expect a ton of companies to spring up around it offering upgrades and aftermarket parts like the Remington 700. Since they used a lot of AR parts, there is already a lot of options to rig it up to suit your preference for fit and function. Can’t wait to see what the market looks like a year from now.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  8. I like the rifle but would rather have my Rem 700 with a jewel and a stock upgrade thanks for the review

    • Hey, I hear you Jeremy. There is a huge market around the Remington 700 (triggers, stocks, chassis, rails, etc.). It definitely offers the most options at this point. It never hurts to have another platform to pick from though. And who knows, this one might have a market around it like the Remington 700 at some point. Ultimately, the Rem 700 can’t be the standard forever. It was designed in 1962 and is missing a few modern features that newer designs integrate, like 3 locking lugs, a safer trigger design (like AI’s), a barrel lock-up system that allows you to adjust the headspace so the barrel doesn’t have to be chambered to a specific action, etc. I’m not saying the Remington 700 isn’t an awesome design. I own 4 of them, including 3 high-end custom clones based on it … so obviously I’m a supporter. But, nothing lasts forever. The Schmidt and Bender won’t always be the best scope, and the Jewell won’t always be the best trigger. There will be a better design that the market adopts at some point. Who knows, this could be it for receivers. Then again, it might not be. I’m certainly not resigned to it replacing Big Green’s 700. It has a long way to go. But, it’ll be fun to see how it shakes out either way!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  9. Wow – have been waiting for you to review this gun! I finally saw one in person last month and my first reaction was that I felt the fore end didn’t quite feel right…man I feel validated! Anyway, still think it’s a great gun…if I didn’t already love my Savage/McMillan would totally get one.

    • Yes sir! That seems like the biggest room for improvement in my experience with the rifle. But it is a solid platform. Certainly a modern weapon. It’s hard to beat a traditional bolt action in a nice stock like the McMillan. But don’t feel like you have to switch … why not own both?! 😉

      Thanks,
      Cal

  10. Again a very nice job Cal, could you please remind me…… what was the name of the software you used to do the group size calculations and is there an iphone app that will let you walk up to almost ANY target, snap a pic and spit out some useful numbers?

    Thanks

    • Hey, Steve. I haven’t heard of the iPhone app you’re talking about … but I’m VERY, VERY interested if you or anyone else knows what that’s called. The software I used for target analysis is OnTarget. It’s an older software program, but I haven’t found anything better yet. Here is a picture of the output it gives you. You essentially mark the bullet holes, tell it the distance … and it does the rest.

      Target Analysis

      But seriously, if you remember the name of that iPhone app … please let me know. I’d love to find something easier or quicker, because I’m doing this all the time.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • I currently use an iphone app called Target Scan. It Is limited to typical NRA, NSRA, ISSF, and a handful of international standard PAPER targets. I have found It must recognise the preselected background from the list for the scan to be accurately processed. You can’t just put up a grubby old shoot n see and expect to get accurate group size data. Hummm market opportunity any one?

      • Interesting. I’ll have to check it out. I was wondering how it knew what the scale was, so it only working with predefined targets makes sense to me.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Hello,

        I use Ballistic on an iPhone, one of the features allows you to take a picture of your target and measure your groups. All you need to do is to put in the distance, scale the target with a reference of say 1″, mark the holes and then it calculates the rest. Ive been using it for a couple years now for both that and my ballistic calculations and it works great, I used it to get a first round hit on a milk jug at 600 the first time I ever shot that far so it’s numbers are definitely accurate.

      • I use Ballistic AE on my iPhone, and I agree it’s excellent. I only trust 2 ballistics engines, the JBM engine in that app and the Applied Ballistics engine. I guess I’ve never used the target analysis functionality in the app. I’ll have to try it out. Thanks for the info, Chris.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  11. A really timely review for people here in Australia. They have only become available to be pre-ordered here last week. Good to see an honest review of what looks to be good bang for your buck rifle.

    • Thanks, Phil. Really the credit goes to OB. We’re both committed to a very transparent view of what we experienced. We don’t do this for money, and don’t have sponsors or advertisers to worry about it. Our goal is just to help fellow shooters. Glad to know that approach is appreciated.

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • Phil. Where did you pre-order yours from? I’m in Australia and would like to have an RPR.

  12. Cal, thank you, I love your blog and thanks to OB for the detailed review on the RPR. This is really a budget rifle if you compare it to normal Savage or Sako rifle prices here in South Africa where I live. I am a novice on long range shooting but would love a rifle of this calibre.
    Arnold

  13. That Samson handguard is an issue, I have the same problem on one of the AR’s I’ve built using a 15″ Samson Evo rail. They have a video on their website how to install the Evo handguard and talk about the issue and how to remedy it by placing fingers in the end to apply pressure so that the handguard aligns properly with the barrel, it doesn’t work. I about pinch my fingers off when tightening and it still comes out off center.

    • Wow, Dave. That’s good info. Thanks for sharing. Honestly, it’d be the first thing I’d replace. It’s the only sub-par product in my view on that rifle. If you’re firing off a bipod (which is how most would shoot a rifle like this), then it seems to be a problem. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  14. I like the last photo with the rifle sitting in a plano style case with reused original padding. It would be great if one could source the same padding material so the side could be made matching.

    • Ha! I told Obadiah I thought that was a clever idea too. I’m sure you could find some of that high density foam somewhere. I’ve actually bought big blocks of that for one of my cases, and cut out foam pieces to fit a couple of my rifles and gear. I just swap them out based on what rifle I’m carrying. I sourced the foam blocks from Starlight, which is the company that makes what I believe is the best hardshell case in the business. I literally ran right over the top of it with my pickup one day (on accident), and it didn’t even scratch it. You can order blocks of foam from them or even send them a drawing of how you want it cut out and they’ll do it for you. Pretty cool deal.

      https://www.starlightcases.com/foam.html

      I’m sure there are other suppliers too. I use one of these snap-off utility knifes to cut my foam and it works really well. You can extend the blade way out to get a clean straight cut.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Cal, Thanks for the source on foam. One thought, I’ve taken to using an electric knife since the blades are about 7 inches long. I get far better cuts with it than with a snap-off utility knife. Just sayin..

      • Awesome! That sounds like a great idea. I will say I’ve had several shooters not believe that I cut my foam with a snap-off utility knife. It looks very professional, and like it was done with a CNC machine. Of course, that could just be my over-the-top attention to detail. A electric knife may have made it easier to get those results … but you can get stellar results from a utility knife if you take your time. Just sayin … 😉

        Thanks,
        Cal

    • It is a 36″ tactical Plano case that I already had.
      Below is a place that sources high density foam fairly cheaply. I will eventually redo the entire case. They sell cheap tools and have several how to videos on the site.

      http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/Kaizen-Foam-p13435.htm
      Their are several sites that will make custom foam inserts from a photo, and have a database of cases.
      Mycasebuilder.com
      This is less of a DIY project if you lack the skills or time.

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

  15. Great review OB. I’ve shot a few of these at the range, and have been pretty impressed, especially for the price.

    • Thanks C Ward!

      I have a long range rifle I had built up slowly over time, it did not have a ten round mag, but a factory blind 5 round mag. I had been invited to shoot a bunch of matches, but because of this limitation, I could not. I have a young family with a bunch of children so dropping $3500 was just not something that I could sell to my wife. I had planned to build a savage/ Remington 700 build because of all the aftermarket parts and the lower initial price point. When you add all the parts together you are over $1000. Cal had mentioned this rifle and I dismissed it initially. When I saw it… I knew he was right. I saw these going for $999-$1199. My wife bought mine at much higher price point. I believe there is a huge market for this rifle. I think this will increase the sport dramatically. It has for me and another friend of mine.
      So glad this review brought helpful data points for you.

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

  16. I have been waiting for a review by someone who wasn’t given the rifle. I have a ton of respect for Frank from Snipers Hide and what he does for the community, but I am always leery of reviews from non paying customers. Chalk it up to my suspicious nature.

    I have had friends ask me about getting into a precision rifle on a budget. I will recommend the Ruger. If I didn’t have 3 sub MOA rifles right now, I would get one.

    • Hey, there is always room for a 4th rifle! And yeah, I’ve learned a lot from Frank’s reviews … they’re great. But I try to stay independent for that very reason. I’ve had a lot of manufacturers try to give me money or become advertisers on my website. I’ve declined every offer to date, because I know as soon as I do I’ll be selling my independent status and people will start to wonder if I’m biases because of some insider deal. I always ask myself how much is that worth, and to me it’s priceless. It’s the whole reason I started this website. I was tired of reading reviews in magazines that were essentially just paid advertisements. I also think that’s why I’ve attracted the following that this website has. People are tired of those hidden alliances and glossy reviews.

      So I’m glad you appreciate the unbiased and independent nature of my website. It has certainly taken some discipline to keep it that way as it’s grown and larger numbers are thrown at me … but I just try to remember the roots of why this all started. And I will say there are some guys out there that still publish honest reviews, even though they’re given stuff and have advertisers. It’s just tough to not pull punches (even subconsciously) when they’re is provision involved. Luckily I’m in a position where I don’t need to make money on this website, and I can continue to be an idealist!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  17. It would be interesting to see how the ammunition performs in a match barrel (ie. Bartlein, Lilja, etc.) if the SDs and accuracy would be significantly different. I think barrels make a bigger contribution of velocity variation than people realize. The 6.5 Creedmoor loaded with H4350 or Varget would have expected SDs well in the single digits if charge weights are reasonably uniform.

    • The handloads were H4350 with very uniform charge weights. The brass was from different lots, so that is the only thing I could think of that could contribute to the higher SD’s. The guy who I paid to load those for me is typically able to produce ammo with SD’s in the single digits. I’ve seen him produce ammo with 10 shot strings with a 3 fps SD in cartridges from 6×47 to 338 Lapua Mag, and he used the same processes and attention to detail with this ammo. He was hesitant to use the mixed lot once-fired Hornady brass I provided, and I should have listened to him. I think that was what contributed to the higher than normal SD’s. But an SD of 12 fps is still not a trainwreck. I did finally get my hands on some Norma 6.5 Creedmoor brass, which I’m really excited about. I think the brass quality is one thing that holds that cartridge back from that last bit of performance. But you certainly might be right about the barrels affecting SD. I hadn’t thought of that.

      Obadiah plans to do a follow-up on what the rifle can do if you tune a handload to the rifle, push the SD’s into single digits, and replace the handguard. I’d expect the rifle to average closer to 0.6-0.7 MOA … but it would probably take a custom barrel to have a shot at getting it under 0.5 MOA. We’ll probably do that too, but maybe as it’s own step just to see how each one contributes to precision. I think the platform is capable of that. It’s still a factory rifle, but it’s impressive what they can deliver for $1400. I was thinking that I have 2 custom rifles where the stock/chassis alone cost that much!

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Cal, Initially bought my RPR 6.5 Creedmore for $859.95 + tax. Couldn’t beat the deal. Your analysis of this weapon is spot on. I’ve never fired factory ammo since I roll my own. I got a few hundred Lapua cases which are strictly for use in this rifle. Found a few good powders but H-4350 is pretty consistent. Pretty much restricted bullet choice to the Hornady 140 gn A-Max but will start running some of their new bullets in the near future. Accuracy for this weapon is great. Many sub moa groups while developing various loads. I’m really satisfied with the price of these rifles and encourage new guys in this long distance shooting to invest. Have an Armalite A-31 in .308 and Colt 2012 that can outshoot the RPR but their prices are a few times higher. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

      • Awesome, Fred. That is a steal! If I saw that deal, I’ll definitely pick one up. I’m sure that will make a few guys reading a big jealous, because they seem to be tough to find in 6.5 Creedmoor for any price really. Glad you enjoyed the content and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • I’m on a waiting list up here in Canada(Calgary) at local gun shop for a RPR 6.5,I’m #7 on list,shop expects to get 5-6 rifles within a month or so…..hoping a cpl others on list ahead of me back out,lol.
        RPR is retailing for $1600-$1800 up here with weak CDN $ rt now,,and flying off the racks.Cant find a 6.5 anywhere in Canada right now,.308 are few and far between.

        I’ve already bought 400x ELD-X 143gr for it,shopping for good brass and good scope while I wait impatiently.

      • Sounds like your doing the same thing (waiting) we are doing here in US, good thing to get the ammo when you come across it, been hard to find in some areas in our states. Then Hornady phased out( or at least I cant find it any more) the 6.5 140G BTHP Match rounds which were just fine for short distance hunting and shooting for the ELD-M/X which just cost more. I had 200 rounds before I received mine then had to purchase 150 of the ELD-M, I never go short on ammo and about to start reloading this yr. Good luck to you and welcome to the Ruger RPR family.

      • I have literally fired thousands of rounds of the Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Match-Grade 140gr A-Max factory ammo. It was good stuff. It was OUTSTANDING up until about December 2014. Up until that time, Hornady was actually using Hodgdon H4350. They even had the load recipe printed on the box (although you had to load it a little hotter than it said to get the same results). Then in Dec 2014, they took the recipe off the box and the powder they started using wasn’t H4350. The SD’s went from around 8-12 fps with the original H4350 load, to 12-18 fps with the newer load. I’d obviously have preferred it be lower, but that isn’t a train wreck. But, with the release of the ELD-X line of bullets, Hornady has apparently discontinued their affordable match-grade ammo line. A box of 140gr A-Max ammo was $24, and the new 140gr ELD-X ammo is $38 per box. Ouch! I’m not sure that new bullet wasn’t as much for margins as it was performance. I’m skeptical of their theory about melting tips, although I have to admit they did a fantastic job marketing the idea.

        Whatever the reason, Hornady has clearly lost sight of affordable match-grade ammo. That’s a shame.

        But, a start-up named PRIME Ammo has swung into the market at precisely the right time to capitalize on Hornady’s mistake. PRIME Ammo offers match-grade 6.5 Creedmoor for $25/box … very similar to the old Hornady match-grade ammo. And it’s just as good. I have fired about 500 rounds so far, and the first batch I had produced SD’s of 10 fps. The 2nd batch I bought has produced SD’s in that 12-18 fps range. All of these stats I’m talking about were measured with a LabRadar Doppler Radar chronograph, which offers best-in-class accuracy (accurate to at least 0.1%).

        PRIME ammo has a strategy of selling direct to the customer. They can offer great ammo at lower prices because they cut out the middle men (distributor and retail store). They use Norma brass, and a Norma 130gr Diamond bullet. It’s loaded by AmmoTech, which is owned by the same parent company as Norma. The ammo is made in Europe to tight tolerances using very modern equipment, and imported and marketed by PRIME ammo. Is it as good as handloads? No. It probably is better than most people’s handloads, but not the serious veteran handloaders. It is a great value. In fact, that is PRIME’s whole approach. They even have a plan to offer CostCo-style memberships where you can lock in the price you’d pay for ammo for a year, and are guaranteed availability. Now isn’t that a novel idea?! I’m looking forward to seeing how this new customer-direct model shakes things up in the ammo world. It seems like in the end, the customer wins when there are less people fighting for a slice of the profit.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • A little of my experience with the Prime 130 grain Match+ 6.5 Creedmoor round to add to what you had to say, Cal. Also some about the Hornady ELD-M 140 grain.

        When I made the determination that my RPR seemed to prefer a lighter (120 grain A-MAX) bullet to the heavier 140 grain A-MAX from Hornady, I gave some thought to picking one in between, and almost bought some of their 129 grain SST – realizing they were hunting rounds and not match grade. Instead I decided to give the Prime Match+ a try. I spoke with them during the initial purchase and was told they were using the Norma Diamond Line bullet – a moly coated 130 grain HPBT, and was also told that RUAG was loading it all for them. When I received my first order it was obvious they were not moly coated and I’m assuming it is the Norma 130grain Golden Target (same bullet but without the moly coating.

        After shooting 2 boxes of them, I ordered 2 cases. At this point I have MagnetoSpeed V3 times for a sample of 117 rounds out of the RPR – Keep in mind that the published Muzzle Velocity out of a 24″ barrel is 2851 fps. As a side note, out of one box I had an average MV of 2852fps. Ok – the numbers for the 117 rounds:
        Min MV: 2815 fps
        Max MV: 2901 fps
        Extreme Spread: 86fps
        Average MV: 2857 fps (only 6fps above the published MV)
        SD: 19.95fps, round that to 20fps. For the 1st 2 boxes the average was higher (2865) while the SD was 18.55 round it to 19fps.

        For a quick comparison, here are the numbers for 80 rounds of 120 grain A-MAX with a published MV of 2910fps.
        Min: 2850
        Max: 2926
        ES: 76
        Average 2898 (12fps below published)
        SD: 16.4

        Now about the new Hornady 140 grain match using the ELD-M bullet. Note that this is not the ELD-X, which weighs 143 grains, and has a lovely G7 BC of .315 (G1 BC is .625). The ELD-X is advertised as an all purpose hunting round. But back to the ELD-M, 140 grains, G1 BC of .610, G7 of .310. I only fired 40 of the ELD-Ms, so this is an even smaller sampling than either of the other rounds. But here are those numbers:
        Published MV 2710
        Min MV: 2731
        Max MV: 2791
        ES: 60fps
        Average MV: 2766 (55 fps higher than published)
        SD: 14.4, round to 14fps.

        Given all of this, if my rifle liked the 140 grain bullets better than it seems to, I’d probably go with the new 140grain ELD-M, but I’m going with the 130 grain Primes at least until I go through the entire lot I bought. I’ll re-evaluate at that time and possibly give consideration to going back to Hornady’s 120 gr A-MAX. Doesn’t appear that they’re going to turn those into 120 grain ELD-M bullets.

        But for the moment, I really like the Prime load and it shoots sub-MOA for me. The folks at Prime are great to work with – the benefit of dealing with a small outfit. In my most recent trip to the (100 yard) range, I shot a .31MOA 3-shot group, for 5 shot groups I had:
        1 x .37MOA
        1 x .47MOA
        3 x .69MOA
        1 x .87MOA
        1 x .90MOA
        and to sour the whole bunch, 1 1.02MOA group of 5. Keep in mind that those are max distances center-to-center, and all are even less if you measure from point of aim to point of impact. For me personally, this is a good day at the range.

        Besides, who doesn’t like rooting for the little guy especially when they’ve got a strong team? They also have match loads for .223 Remington, .22LR (several), 260 Remington, .308 Winchester and .338 Lapua Mag along with a line of handgun ammo. An added benefit to some might be that the Norma HPBT is not only match quality, but is suitable for hunting also – it’s still got the 1,000 ft-lbs of energy that’s needed for a deer shot at 700 yards (if you feel that’s an ethical shot for you) and should remain above 1,300 fps out to right at 1,200 yards.

        Final note before I say bye-bye again – about that new hyped tip on the Hornady ELD line: even Hornady says it really doesn’t affect things unless you’re shooting at distances greater than somewhere around 400 yards. That apparently is roughly when they believe the old tips began slagging down do to friction heat.

      • I’ve never fired a round of factory ammo in any of my “shooters”. I start out by ordering Lapua brass for my .308s and 6BRs with Hornady brass for my RPR in 6.5. Got some fair load suggestions from various forums and then developed them for the specific weapon. I normally go through 60 to 100 rounds each time I take the RPR out. Considering what factory ammo costs that would be prohibitive. Noticed a bunch of the guys recommend hand loading and I’m just here to support that concept. One tends to get more accurate by shooting more…. $35+ a box sorta cramps that process.

      • Yes, sir. Just depends on your situation. (And I shoot PRIME match ammo for $25/box … don’t mean to be argumentative, but you said $35 and that’s 40% higher than what I’m paying.) Just depends on if your short on time or money, I guess. If you’ve got the time, equipment, and attention to detail, handloading is a great option. I certainly have never found any factory ammo that was as precise as my handloads.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • You got me Cal….. I have plenty of time on my hands to reload and shoot since I’m retired military and VN vet. Nice thing with reloads, I can match each one to a specific weapon. When you shoot three or so days a week it is really economical. The $35 a box was based on what my local store is selling these rounds for. Keep the good info coming. Thanks!

  18. Cal, great article as always. I have a RPR in 6.5 and I love it. What hard case that’s fitted for the RPR is that at the bottom of the article?
    Thanks,
    Rodney

    • I’m not sure what the case is, but OB just removed the foam from the original Ruger box and inserted that in the case. You can tell the difference if you look close. The Ruger foam is high density, and the original case foam is that softer foam. I thought it was a great idea. It definitely works!

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • Rodney,
      It is a 36″ Plano Tactical case that I had already. I used the Ruger factory insert and just repurposed it for the case. Just check the layout if you want to DIY your own case insert. Depending on the scope you use… It may make it almost not fit. You can see this in the picture you had mentioned. Hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

    • Another option for a case would be a Pelican case (or their Storm line). I picked up a Pelican 1750 for around $200 from B&H Photo. It is long enough to put the rifle in it without folding the stock, and deep and wide enough to handle my 56mm Vortex Razor HD Gen II scope. I did my own cutting, so I have cutouts for the rifle with bipod & monopod mounted, a separate cutout area for the bolt, 4 cutouts for 10-round magazines, and a cutout to put the sunshade for the scope into. Thank goodness it has wheels! The rifle w/scope & such comes in at somewhere around 15-16 pounds, and the case adds another 25 pounds to that! But Pelicans are tough, you can ship your rifle and rest assured that the transportation folks aren’t going to damage it without dropping an entire 747 on it.
      Pelican also makes a Storm (IM3300) that should fit it and travel nicely – and frankly if I had it to do again, I’d go with the Storm because I like the latches more and it has 6 vs 4 on the 1750. Shop around for good pricing – as I said, I got my 1750 for right at $200 from B&H Photo, while it lists for around $325.
      Another, softer, option is the VISM by NcStar combination rifle case and shooting mat – about $50-60. Again, it can hold the RPR with muzzle brake without folding the stock, seems pretty tough, and has enough semi-pockets to hold things like range cards, MilDot Master, extra magazines, etc. right in it. Even has bullet loops for 10 rounds. Weighs around 6 pounds empty.

      • I found a great hard case by plano on ebay it has three layers of foam the middle layer is cut in blocks so you can remove blocks so your rifle is nestled between two other layers top and bottom and it was less than 100.00 bucks it is water proof and has a pressure valve.It really looks great and and is very sturdy.

    • Hey Cal, We pay 26-30.00 a box here in D/Ft Worth, Texas and I usually shop with Sportsmans Guide on the web, their prices are one of the best I’ve found for members, which I am. I’ll have to try some of that H4350 when I start reloading.

  19. Great review OB, Cal!

    A buddy of mine picked up the .308 here in UT for $999, which leaves him another $400 for a 6.5 Creed or .260 aftermarket barrel (Looks like Proof Research is prototyping them right now). For around $1400 and a little bit of work it looks like he’s going to have a pretty slick setup for PRS matches, .308-only matches like the Mammoth Sniper Challenge, and training with the .308.

    • I’ve heard of some guys going that route. This rifle cost $1399, so you land about the same place if you can find an aftermarket barrel for $400. Using the 308 barrel as a trainer sounds like a good option. I haven’t changed out the barrel on one of these yet. I wonder how big of a hassle that is? I’m in the middle of a massive barrel test right now, and I’m to the point where I can change out a barrel on a rifle built on a Rem 700 clone and I can swap a barrel in under 10 minutes. I bet I’ve done it 30 times in the past 3 months! It’s really simple on that setup, but the barrel has to be chambered and headspaced for that action … so once you do that you just screw it on tight. If you have to remove the handguard on the Ruger Precision Rifle to get to the barrel nut, it might take a little while.

      Anyone swap the barrel on this thing yet and know how complicated that is?

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • SnipersHide did a video about a bunch of RPR upgrades, but it wasn’t exactly step-by-step. From what I’ve read it seems like the barrel swap is a PITA the first time but pretty easy once you’ve broken everything loose.

        I’ll let you know how it turns out!

      • Frank Galli at SnipersHide did a video detailing some of the upgrades on his rifle (including an LRP barrel swap) but it’s far from a detailed tutorial. From what I’ve read it’s a PITA the first time you take it apart (much like some factory ARs) but once everything’s been broken loose it’s pretty easy.

        I’ll let you know how it all goes. If you’ll permit the shameless plug, I’ll be doing a full review of the project on the Tactical Performance Center “Dump Pouch” blog, magazine.tacticalperformancecenter.com

        We don’t have nearly as much long-range experience as Cal (we’re 3-Gunners and USPSA shooters) but we’ll try and shake it out as best we can 🙂

      • I’m currently in the middle of researching a new barrel purchase – now that I see from your comment above that you’ll be applying your no-nonsense testing approach to barrels there’s no way I’m making a purchase until I see your findings! Any clues on when it might appear?

      • It will be published in Bryan Litz’s new book later this year. I finished writing all the content just a couple weeks ago, which is why I haven’t been posting much. It’s a ton of content! I do plan to republish it on the blog a couple months after the book is released. I’m not sure how long it should take to the release. I’m thinking you should see it around summer. There are a couple tests in that book that I’m really looking forward to reading myself!

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Ruger has a BUNCH of “how to” videos on you tube. The company basically did a video version of the owners manual.

  20. The RPR has stormed on to the market. All over Lubbock these things are gone and backordered. The RPR was a brilliant move on Ruger’s part. Nice write-up here guys.

    • Thanks, Regan. We certainly didn’t find this one in Lubbock. Had to order it off GunBroker.com. Even then, they’re a little hard to find in 6.5 Creedmoor. You can find the 308 and 243 versions fairly easy, but they need to shift their production more toward 6.5 Creedmoor because those seem to be the hardest to find.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  21. Where did you find the case insert and what brand? Or did you make it? Nice!

  22. Great review OB, looking forward to more in the future. This really is an exciting product from Ruger that is going to reshape the current PR market for everyone.

    • Grant,
      I totally agree with you.

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

      • Tried to find a good place to jump in here – this looks as good as any. Thanks for the honest review of the RPR in 6.5CM. I managed to get one delivered at the end of Oct. 2015 and to date I’ve run 700 rounds through it – all factory loads: Hornady, Prime and Winchester (bleh!). For the most part, I’m right on board with your review, but a couple of semi-negative comments to add later.
        First, this is my one and only experience with anything that’s been called a precision rifle (thanks to this offering at a great price point). Second, as noted I’m a novice shooter when it comes to attempting consistent and accurate shooting. I shoot primarily at a bench, off of a bipod without a bag under the butt (just braced on my shoulder).
        In this time I’ve managed to get a 3-shot group measuring 0.18″ and a 5-shot group measuring 0.45″ at 100 yards. No, I can’t do that ‘on demand’ but I can consistently shoot sub-moa groups at 100 yards. Now, what I have also found is that apparently my rifle likes bullets lighter than 140 grains – my 5-shot group was made with Hornady 120 gr A-MAX, and the 3-shot group with Prime’s 130 gr Match+. I know another RPR 6.5CM owner who says his rifle exhibits this same preference for a lighter bullet.
        Trigger – like OB, I found it to be consistent when measured. Mine came to me set at 2 pounds 10 ounces and I’ve left it that way, and that’s the way it is 700+ pulls later. I’m used to a single-stage trigger on a rifle, so I have no complaints about it at all.
        The Butt – I had problems with it loosening up during use and then having the levers get all kinds of screwed up. My solution was to put in a rifle length buffer tube and install a MagPul PRS butt. Much better setup – of course it added $200+ to the price of the rifle.
        Bolt shroud – mine is loose and easily moves very slightly by hand. Hasn’t caused any actual problems, but may be part of the reason I feel that the bolt isn’t ‘precision rifle’ smooth. I’ll be replacing that shroud very soon. I’ve heard that others have smoothed out the action by having the bolt polished. A little roughness I can handle since it doesn’t seem to affect accuracy, I just don’t like the looseness.
        Safety – mine doesn’t rattle, isn’t loose and isn’t too tight. I have no trouble operating it at all.
        Handguard – after reading this review and others, I am looking into swapping mine out along with the short rail section provided to provide a mounting for a bipod. The screws on for the rail section loosen up too easily during use. I’ll be using some lock-tight on them soon to try to prevent that.

        Bottom line for me: I couldn’t have gotten into this paper chase to get as many bullets as close together as possible without the Ruger Precision Rifle. $1150 for me with tax, and I put a Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 scope, $2499, on it, and for under $3700 I was ready to head to the range. Add some other things, like a Harris bipod, a muzzle brake and a Pelican case to lug it around in, and I’m still “in the game” for under $4,000. I’m 100+% satisfied with the precision it provides on the range. Even the ‘problems’ I’ve noted are all minor and easily corrected – and with the exception of my problems with the lock-downs on the original butt, none of the problems approaches the category of ‘serious’. I plan on having this rifle around for a long time, and am fixing to order up a Criterion pre-fit barrel for it, just so I’ll have it here to replace the original barrel when it finally gets burned out :).

      • Thanks for sharing your experience. I’d love to hear what you think of the Criterion barrel, and what impact that has on accuracy. I’d suggest doing 5 five-shot groups before and after. Don’t filter the results … just 5 groups in a row and average the extreme spread over all of them. Then repeat with the Criterion barrel. I bet a ton of people would appreciate hearing the results of that!

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • It will be a while before I can report on the Criterion barrel – anticipated deliver is 12 weeks (call it mid-June), then there’s no reason to replace it immediately since the factory barrel should be good for at least double-again what I’ve already put through it – so the swap might not take place until 2017. The factory barrel is giving me sub-moa group at 100 yards with Hornady 120 gr A-MAX and Prime 130 gr Match+, so it’s grouping better than I can shoot :).
        I ordered just yesterday: 26 inch Heavy Target barrel with fluting and their countour matched muzzle brake (muzzle threading included in that cost). $775 ready to mount, although I’ll probably Cerakote also once I get it.
        I shoot with a fellow who has a Criterion barrel on a .223 and he says it is dead on, and he’s a rather demanding shooter, much more skilled and experienced than I am. Checking around on the web and they have favorable reviews — probably doesn’t hurt that they are owned by the same folks that own Kreiger.

  23. Thanks a lot Cal and OB I happened to be a lucky Canadian that put down some money and waited for a 6.5CM and am now happy I did. As you stated there is a lot of info on this Item out there on the Internet and I assumed it would be coming to your Blog soon.I have been reading your blog for the past 4-5 months and really appreciate the work you do to help shooters that are new to the sport advance and learn just what is in portent and what is small stuff.

    • Hey, Terry. I really appreciate the encouragement. I’ve had a lot of guys asking about this rifle, so I’m glad I finally had a chance to try one out myself and get something published on it. I think the 6.5 Creedmoor option is the way to go, but the 243 and 308 versions aren’t terrible options. I shoot both a 6.5 Creedmoor and a 6XC regularly, and that 6XC is very similar to a 243. It has identical external ballistics, but can do it with 7 grains less powder because of a more modern case design. But the great ammo options are what attracts me and most others to the 6.5 Creedmoor. There are also some great bullet choices for both the 6mm and 6.5mm bullets, and the barrel life isn’t too bad either. If I were buying one, it’s definitely what I’d go for … even if I had to wait for it. Best of luck to you!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  24. I enjoyed your review but have some questions. Did you preform a break-in process before you started the testing? I have a 6mm RPR that I have started the break-in and seems like I am close to starting the testing but living in the Midwest and sub zero temps has limited range time. I did experience the butt stock lockup and am going back to see what I did wrong. I am also ordering a new hand guard, the rocking quad rail is not acceptable for my Sinclair bipod. Do you have a recommendation? I am not using my folding stock to limit the wear and avoid your problem. I choose the 6mm for the extra barrel length and fast twist rate. I bought a 6mm Ackley Improved 30 degree reamer and am weighing whether to shoot the .243 until the throat gets longer or resize for the case capacity? Finally what optic did you use? I mounted a Sightron 8-32×56 on mine to meet my budget. Thanks for this blog!

    • Mike,
      I did perform a barrel break in as I believe that the vast majority of users would as well. This is marketed as a long range precision rifle, I tried to think from the perspective of a precision rifle shooter. I shot and cleaned after every round for the first ten rounds. I then cleaned after every five rounds for twenty rounds. This was when we started the accuracy portion of the test. Some reviewers tried to get the barrel as hot as possible to see its widest dispersion rate. We allowed it to cool between groups to maximize the accuracy potential.
      The scope that was used was a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22.
      I bought it used from a LE officer after reading the awesome scope test Cal did on this Blog.
      Thanks,

      Obadiah (OB)

      • Thanks and your wife is a keeper, you are a lucky man!

      • Thanks Mike she sure is.

        Thanks,
        Obadiah (OB)

      • I am looking to put the NXS 5.5-22 on the 6.5 RPR what scope rings and height did you use? I Like to get my rings ordered right the first time. Great Blog!

      • Joe,
        I used a Burris 30mm 1 piece ar15 scope mount. I would say it is extra high (when compared to standard scope rings I would say it’s extra extra high). It leaves 1/2″ clearance from the rail to the bottom of the front lens. Ideally, I prefer to mount it as low as possible. This mount didn’t come any lower, however.

        Hope this helps,

        Thanks,
        Obadiah (OB)

    • I just posted some comments above, but I’ll chime in here saying I had similar issues to the ones you mentioned: problems with the butt stock locks – for me they could get loose and then end up under other pieces of the butt and required manual disassembly/reassembly to get right again – swapped out for a MagPul PRS butt – which also requires changing to a rifle length buffer tube. I also have found problems with the short rail on the bottom of the handguard – it simply loosens up which takes away any benefit of the Harris Bipod I put on it.
      I bled a little more for my optics: Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56. With their extra-high precision rings that ran me around $2,700 ($2500 for the scope about $200 for the rings). A scope I’m very happy with.

  25. As always great review. It was honest and hit all the points people were curious about. I do have to ask, for an intro to LR gun, $1.4k is a bit steep. Do you think a savage, r700, or tikka in a chassis would be a better option?

    The actions/barrel combos are already MOA, and with some like the MDTac chassis youd have the full range of bonuses the RPR has.

    • Great question, Adith. I think our brains work alike. I hope to do a field test in 2016 to find the cheapest way to obtain a rifle capable of 1 MOA or better at 1000 yards. I can think of a few rifle setups that may be able to do that for less, but I’m not sure. I think I’ll try a Savage and Remington 700 factory rifles, and then try used versions of both of those (like buying a donor rifle from a pawn shop) and upgrade the stock and/or barrel. So yeah … there could be a better way to go, but I’m not sure. I do like that this rifle can do it out of the box, and has some of the advanced features that it will be really hard to fit in the budget for those other options. Of course it’s kind of a like a house. You can buy a fixer upper, and put in some sweat equity and save some money. But sometimes people just want “move-in-ready” and for those, the Ruger Precision Rifle might be a great option.

      Great question though! We’ll have to see how it shakes out. Do you have suggestions for factory options that might be able to match this precision?

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Really enjoyed the Ruger review – thanks Cal and OB – How about the T76 Longbow from Dakota ? Or the AR AT series as options ?

      • Thanks, Alan. Haven’t tried the Dakota T76 Longbow, but it looks interesting. They guarantee 0.5 MOA, so I’m sure it’s a shooter. Of course with a price tag over $4000 it better be! I’m not sure what the “AR AT series” series is, unless you meant Accuracy International’s AT rifles. Those are also pretty amazing weapons, but also in a different price category. There just aren’t a lot of options at this price point with the same features. But who knows, I might review those others at some point.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • That sounds like a great test! I actually just got into the LR game myself and decided to go cheap, I figure you don’t learn to drive in a Ferrari, right?

        The best platforms I have seen for this are:
        Remington 700 – Best after market, and was the golden standard for cheap LR actions. The QC has gone down after being bought out by Freedom Group.
        Savage 10 and 11 – The best factory trigger, and a barrel you can replace at home. The different models offer some advantages, but if youre throwing it in a chassis, you may as well get the cheaper 10 or 11 with a bull barrel.
        Tikka t3 – kind of like the jack of all trades, its action is almost as smoot as the r700 and the trigger is just as crisp as the savage but single stage.

        for optics there are really only 2 choices for the most cost effective solution.
        SWFA 10×42 – at $300 it is clearer than most optics, let alone at this price range. The major downside is being fixed at 10x.
        PA 4-14×44 – At $230 this is even cheaper, has variable first focal plane zoom, and a slightly larger objective lens (9.8% bigger). But the turrets are “mushy” compared to the SWFA and the clarity is arguably worse.

        Any combination of guns and optics should be cheap enough that with rings and a bipod your total will be 900-1200 dollars. I personally went tikka in 308 with the PA scope.

      • Wow, Adith. Of course you’d put a bunch of thought into this. That’s a really good synopsis. I actually agree with all your points. Except it might be fun to learn to drive in a Ferrari. Expensive and dangerous … but fun! 😉 Thanks for the input. Those may 3 platforms I build on to see how they stack up.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  26. Cal…another great review. OB, what optic did you use for the testing?

  27. Thanks Obadiah and Cal. As a young guy looking to get into precision rifle I was planning on a 26″ Remington 700P in .308 with the new Nightforce SHV 4-14 on top. However the new RPR was definitely making me second guess that because of the enhanced adjustment available with the Ruger stock over the HS on the Remmy.

    However I was a little surprised at the groups you got. Only 1MOA? I’m certainly not capable of that, but with the options available on the 700 and the better groups users seem to get I think I’ll stick with the more traditional rifle.

    For now, that is. Once the RPR has matured a bit I could definitely see switching.

    • Yes sir. Ruger even says in their internal tests of multiple rifles, they only averaged 0.83″ at 100 yards. I think you could shrink that with good ammo and a couple mods, but you certainly shouldn’t expect sub-1/2 minute groups with this setup out of the box. We found ammo it liked where it would average sub-MOA, but even with the mods I think you’d average somewhere around 0.5-0.7 MOA for a 5-shot groups over multiple groups. Sure, everyone can fire a tiny groups occasionally, but the real test is if the rifle can do that 10 times in a row. My first 5-shot group out of the Ruger Precision Rifle actually measured right at 0.25 MOA (photo below), but I just wasn’t able to coax that kind of precision out of the rifle consistently.

      Cal's 1st 5-Shot Group From Ruger Precision Rifle

      I’d just say to be cautious when you read about the group size those other setups are capable of. Be sure that is an average over multiple groups. It’s just easy for guys to overstate something. For example, I’ve shot a 0.11 MOA group one time with my Surgeon 6XC … but it’d be misleading if I said it was a 0.1 MOA rifle. It’s not. I fired that group one time. It is closer to a 0.3-0.5 MOA rifle over multiple 5-shot groups. It’s just easy to say things like that on the internet. I’m not saying a Remington 700P isn’t capable of sub-MOA, I just wouldn’t expect it to have 5-shot groups much under what you see here. There may be a couple out there that shoot really, really well out of the box … but it just might not be as widespread as some lead you to believe. I’m not trying to rain on your parade, but just trying to help you make a good decision.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Very much appreciated Cal.

        I’m also a little wary of buying “too much gun” too early so might stick with a more basic rifle until I’m sure I can milk 90% or more of it’s performance out and then upgrade. I got a Savage Trophy Hunter a few weeks ago and shot it for the first time yesterday – it’s more fun than blasting with the AR. But boy that skinny barrel heats up fast and even with my lack of experience it starts throwing shots around.

        Keep up the good work…this website is invaluable.

      • Absolutely! That’s very wise, and typically what I suggest to friends when they ask me about rifles. The rifles capability isn’t even relevant until you have good fundamentals and know that you’re really going to get into this hobby. Too many guys dive in gear first. We all know someone who is that guy. He has a $10,000 rig, but still can’t hit a 16″ target at 800 yards. Don’t be that guy.

        Skinny barrels can be really frustrating when you’re trying to train. You have to wait every few shots for the barrel to cool. It’s a pain in the butt. Honestly, it’s a big part of why I run big fat barrels.

        OB is a great example of healthy progression. He started with a Marlin rifle that actually shot shockingly well out of the box. Then he upgraded a few things, swapped a 30-06 barrel for a match 260 barrel, etc. He started extending his range and learning the long-range game with the equipment he had. At this point, he’s really getting into this stuff, so this jump made sense for him. He already has a good foundation, and now a setup like this can take him to the next level. But he was shooting a long time before he got a rig like this. I was the same way too. So it’s wise, buddy. Don’t feel pressure to own the shiniest gear. Practice with what you’ve got and get the fundamentals down.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  28. Thanks Obadiah & Cal!
    I’ve been eyeballing this rifle for a bit now. I did expect better accuracy from the hammer forged 5R barrel.
    I wished it came with; a SS barrel, a fixed ejector, and a solid handguard, a Seekins would end up on it like three of my other rifles.
    I’ve damaged my shoulder, how smooth is the bolt upon opening? The Savages and Ruger Americans take twice the effort as my Sako 75.

    • Andy,
      The bolt feels very smooth. You don’t have to slap the bolt or hit it for it to unlock. I have not shot the Sako 75, so I can’t comment on that. I hope this helps you Andy.

      Obadiah (OB)

  29. Great review. Thank you

  30. Great review! Thanks PRB.

  31. Good review. For those that can’t afford the $1400.00. I would recommend the Ruger 6.5 Predator. Mine shoots .5 MOA with factory 120 A-Max and 140 A-max. I did replace the trigger with a Timney. Is there another trigger available for the precision rifle, as I hate blade triggers?

    • Hey, David. Glad you found the review helpful. That’s pretty awesome what you’re able to do with the Ruger Predator. I’m not sure they can all do that, but it sounds like you’ve got a winner.

      I’m not familiar with the trigger options for the Ruger platform. Maybe Obadiah or another reader can chime in and help point you toward some options.

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • David,

      Several forums and reviewers had mentioned “replacement triggers in the works”. I have not seen any yet, but seeing how shot show is around the corner… We may see some, soon, hopefully. If someone could make a high quality single stage trigger, I’m sure they would sell. I am on the same boat as you David.

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

      Thanks,

  32. High guys,
    It is always refreshing to see enthusiasm in our shooting sports. Only a small portion of shooters I visit with truly realize how lucky we still are in this country we all love dearly. Shooting for fun is non existent in many countries. This includes many countries who do have many affluent individuals. These countries simply do not have good supply “trains” to feed the sport. It is one thing to get a hold of the latest greatest shooter from Americas progressive manufacturers. You then need the bullets, primers, powders etc…and all the rest. I do want to say one more thing. If those who comment on how EXPENSIVE the new Ruger platform is then they need a little reality check. Using NEW parts and pieces, not hobbled together parts and a Tupperware stock, true top craftsmanship and of course a super custom cut or other top of the line barrel…you would be fairly lucky to do it for twice the price. Put a custom barrel on the Ruger and I can’t help but believe that the shorter ranges will yield some super tight groups for those of us who like bugholes at 200 yards. Three things to remember for the longer shots are ..PRACTICE … PRACTICE…PRACTICE….PRACTICE….PERIOD!

    • Your exactly right! It’s an exciting time to be in this sport for sure, and we’re fortunate to get to play with toys like this. Think about it, 100 years ago people couldn’t even fathom that shoulder-fired rifles would be able to do what we’re able to do with them. And manufacturers like Ruger are pushing the envelope on turning out precision rifles like these out in a production fashion, so that rifles like this will be within reach of even more people. I don’t know if they has ever been a more exciting time to be involved with precision rifles. The pace of change and innovations that are coming out just seem to be getting more rapid. It’s certainly a lot of fun!

      And you hit on a great point that is always worth repeating. Good shooters are made built via practice, not equipment. Once you get the fundamentals down, then good equipment can compliment a good shooter … but it can’t make him one. Having said that, it sure is fun to shoot on good equipment. 😉 I can’t deny that! Having confidence in your rig can go a long way. Of course it’s a bittersweet moment when you finally own a good rifle setup … because you can’t blame it on the equipment anymore, just the nut behind the gun!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  33. OB and Cal,
    This was great, thanks for taking the time so we can make informed decisions.

  34. Well I was one of the lucky guys that got tom try it and buy it before it’s release date! I shot it silenced with no ears on supper sonic Ammo rds! Loved it! Then shot it with subsonic rds! Sold!!! So I fell in love with it and still do! I got mine in .308 for $959.99 before tax! Got it sighted in at 200 yards for hog hunts and hitting tight grouped with it all stock except the site mark scope and bi-pod! Great gun! Lots a great times to be had soon! Thanks for the review!

  35. OB and Cal thanks for taking the time to do such great write up on this gun. Sold on getting one now just need to make my mind up on which caliber. Leaning toward the 6.5.

    • Bill,

      Glad this review provided useful data points for you.
      Whichever caliber you decide- I think you would be happy. You can always change the barrel and caliber. Some people are buying the caliber that’s available and changing calibers since they were planning on swapping out the barrel for a match barrel…

      Thanks,

      Obadiah (OB)

  36. This post is not really about the topic of the article but is there a chance you might review the new sig line of scopes? The tango 6 look pretty good in my eyes.

    • I don’t have any plans to review it, but I was aware of the new line of Sig scopes. I was told an executive from one of the large scope manufacturers went to work for Sig, so I’d expect them to be good. They may have had the benefit of a lot of years of experience right from the start. If I test more scopes at some point, I’ll definitely consider adding them to the line-up.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  37. I recently bought the RPR in .308 Caliber and put a Vortex Viper Hst on it. After taking it to the range and using multipal different factory loads trying to find the one that suits it best I still cannot shoot 1 moa consistently to save my life! Any suggestions to help me through these tough times would be great! 😛
    Ps I have been using a bi-Pod

    • Yeah … in my experience, it was pretty tough to wrangle the rifle to shoot sub-MOA off a bipod. The rifle didn’t seem to leave much room for error. By that I mean I think the rifle is capable of sub-MOA, but just barely. It seemed like I had to really concentrate and do my part to get it to group inside that. The ammo and the shooter just both had to be pretty good to make it happen.

      I’d suggest you try it off sandbags or a pack of some kind. You can still fire it prone if you prefer. If that tightens your groups, I’d consider upgrading the handgaurd with one from Seekins Precision or Midwest Industries. If that doesn’t work, then I’d consider replacing the barrel with one of the after-market pre-chambered barrels that several seem to be making for it. At least that’s what I’d do if it were my rifle … other than just shooting hundreds of rounds out of it to practice and get used to it!

      Best of luck!
      Cal

      • Awesome, I’ll definitely have to get some sand bags and give that a shot. Just a little frustrating throwing down all that money and I can’t even shoot a group to write home about. Thanks for the quick reply it’s appreciated!

        Cheers,
        Matthew

    • Tibasaurus Rex has a very detailed video series on you tube about long range shooting. He has several lessons on barrel break in and set up depending on how you shoot, and how you preform maintenance on your rifle.
      If your needing to practice the fundamentals, you can buy ZQ-i ammo either online or from Wal-Mart for 50¢ a round. It is NOT the same as the junk tulammo they sell.
      The ZQ-i is NATO ammunition and built to their specifications. It is rated for 1.3-1.4 moa, so you should be able to shoot 1-1.5″ groups at 100yrd and 2-3″ groups at 200.
      The groups are not impressive, but it makes practice more affordable.
      I have a ruger American in 308 that I’ve been practicing on this way. 6 months ago it was all I could do to keep hitting a 10″ target at 200. Now I can rip the 3″ center out of it.
      I do run 168 gr SMK and my little budget build will shoot 0.8″ at 200 yds.
      Like Cal said, it takes LOTS of practice. Shooting match grade ammo just makes it a little more expensive.

  38. Hey Cal,

    I appreciate the review. I’ve been on the hunt for this rifle in the 6.5 creedmore for over a month now. My local shops are shooting me a great price under $1k but the rifles are allocated. Any word on when they will free up or why they allocated? Also, what handgaurd(s) might you recommend?

    • Brad, I have no idea when local shops will have some on the shelf. I’d bet it will be a while. If you want one in the near future, GunBroker.com might be the only option … although be prepared to pay a little more for it. That’s the cost of having an in-demand product before everyone else. A few guys have lucked into one for under $1k at local shops, but I bet the line stretches around the corner of guys who haven’t. So I wouldn’t hold your breath, although your local shop probably would like you too. They want you to wait and buy from them, so be wary of their input or the timeframes they’re telling you.

      I think I’d try the handguard from Midwest Industries or Seekins. Personally, I like the M-LOK on the Midwest Industries handguard, but I haven’t used either of them yet … so I don’t have a strong opinion.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • I ordered, and paid for my 6.5 cal on Dec 5 from a high volume dealer here in Marietta GA, I was told expect it first week of January and I still havn’t seen it as of Feb 09. I’m gonna let them hold my $996.00 for a while longer Before I go looking for a .308 stand in. I Havn’t seen too many of them on gun broker lately. I guess these are pretty hot right now, and my personal experience seems to prove Cal’s statement valid.

  39. Cal,
    How is the barrel attached on the RPR? I’m wondering about removing it for more compact transport or to be able to fit it in a pack in the field. Obviously in a situation where I didn’t need to get to it quickly. I doubt it’s as easy of a switch as an AI or anything, but just curious if it could be an option. Having never really fondled the RPR, I’ll defer to your expertise. Thanks.

    • Hey, Joel. I’m not sure, but I bet OB can chime in with an answer.

      • Joel,
        The barrel is attached with a barrel nut and then the hand guard is secured with its own nut. The barrel HAS TO BE HEAD SPACED CORRECTLY. The barrel can be swapped out, however, this does not mean that it is a “breakdown” rifle, or it just snaps together. You need a vise, wrenches, head space gauge ect.
        It already breaks down fairly compact. You could always replace the barrel with a shorter one perhaps? You wouldn’t want to take the barrel off other than to change the barrel out. I, definitely, could not do it in the field. Many owners will still take it to a qualified gunsmith to change the barrel out.
        Hope this helps,

        Thanks,
        Obadiah (OB)

  40. Ok thanks. I’m a certified armorer so this all makes sense. And it’s what I was assuming. Just wanted to make sure. Guess all rifles can’t be AI’s. lol

  41. I picked up a 243 precision rifle this last week in Western Colorado. I had been on a list for months. $1299.00 plus tax. Checked today and they still have one left. I looked at some of the earlier posts and I’m working a deal on a Sig Sauer Tango 4 scope.

    • That’s awesome. So many want the 6.5 Creedmoor, but the 243 Win is no slouch! The two cartridges I shoot most often are the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 6XC. The 6XC and 243 are very, very similar, and the external ballistics between the two cartridges are virtually identical. There are a ton of the top PRS shooters running hot little 6mm wildcat cartridges, like the 6mm Creedmoor and 6×47 Lapua … but the external ballistics of those cartridges are very similar to the good ol’ 243. Everything old is new again! Those newer cartridges are a little more effecient, which could theoretically provide slightly more barrel life … but the external ballistics aren’t much different.

      Compared to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 243 may not have the same options for affordable match-grade factory ammo, and it eats a barrel slightly faster … but those are deal-breakers for some guys. It does offer some ballistic advantages and reduced recoil, which is why I like the 6XC. But honestly, both the 243 and 6.5 Creedmoor are excellent for long-range precision shooting. They’d be in my top 10 list of cartridge options for shots out to 1200 yards.

      I’d love to hear what you think about that Sig scope. I don’t have any experience with their line of scopes, but I heard one of the execs of a large scope manufacturer went to work at Sig not too long ago … so I wasn’t surprised to see them come out with a line of scopes. Knowing that, I’d bet they’re good ones. Best of luck to you!

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • I have mine shooting pretty well the last string was 99 with 8 xs on the mid range target at 600. I would send a picture but am not sure how. I have replaced the bolt follower with an aluminum one and the hand guard with one from Midwest. My gun rocked on the attachment to the Sinclair bipod. I worked up a load for 105 AMax and now moving to pointed Bergers to see how it will do on a FClass target. I think the longer barrel and 1-8 twist in .243 was the right choice. I am shooting and not waiting for a 6.5 or dies and hard to find supplies for the 6.5

  42. I almost forgot, I am running a Sightron 8-32x 56, I plan to set the zero at 600 and work up from there.

    • Thanks for the info, Mike. The Sig scope I’m getting is the 6-24X50 and I plan to zero it at 400 yds and work out from there.

  43. Any chance there is a fellow shooter out there with and Extra RPR in 6.5 Creedmore that they would be willing to sell. I am desperate to have one in my hands and would be VERY appreciative. Might even throw in a whitetail or muledeer hunt on private ground in Wa. State for the right deal.

    • LOL!! I hope you get your hands on one(6.5 CM) soon, I had to wait 3 months on an order and I was ready to buy from anyone before it came in. I’ll say this ” the RPR in 6.5 is SWEEEEET”!!! man I do love mine and let me say- this man wont be selling his, I’m in FT.Worth, Texas and it’s a good thing your too far away cause I’d sure would like to try some mule deer :). Good luck and hope your an RPR rifle member soon.

      • Steve,
        I run mule deer and whitetail hunts on a little over 200,000 acres.
        Over the counter tags, some dandy bucks $1,750.00 unguided. Find me a 6.5 RPR and I’ll trade you a guided hunt for it$3,500.00 value!!
        Seriously
        Kelly

      • Try Kittery Trading Post. They did me right on a 6.5 and got in about 10 days. 1099 + 25 shipping. Scott is the man, so ask for him.

        No affiliation, just happy customer.

      • Gunbroker.com has them. You’ll need a ffl to do the auction. Just got my 308 today. Took just 14 days from the time the auction closed until I was able to start the barrel break in process. Closed the auction at $1150, then there was taxes and shipping fees. The 6.5CM were typically going closer to the $1400 mark.

      • I purchased mine from a private gun store for 1075.00 + tax and let me tell you I ran out with the rifle as soon as I could. 🙂

      • I ordered a 6.5 on Dec 5th and paid 995.00 for it. Needless to say three months passed and still no rifle. In the interim I went ahead and purchased a Night force Atac R 5.5-25X. A case of 140 gr. Hornady, a bi pod and many hours day dreaming about the day it would finally show up.
        But this past weekend, we had one of our largest Gun shows in Georgia. I scooped the only one in the show up for $1499.00.
        I left the show and went and got my $995.00 refunded.
        I just set her up last night and plan on sighting in this week.
        WOOHOO!

  44. Well done gents for a great review . Certainly appreciate your hard work that’s been put in here.
    May I ask , given that the muzzle is threaded for a brake do/would you consider it a benefit to add a muzzle break and if so could you recommend one for this rifle in .243 ? And whilst searching for a brake is the search looking for a .243 muzzle brake or 6mm ? Ps I’m a newbie to civvy Street type shooting . Thank you for your input , with kind regards from over the pond in “Bonnie Scotland “

    • Hey, glad you found this helpful. I certainly would add a brake to it. We just didn’t do that for the tests, because some people might claim that affected the accuracy results. So we decided to test it just as it came out of the box.

      I actually did a ridiculously thorough review of muzzle brakes using a 6mm cartridge very similar to the 243, and you can find those results here: http://precisionrifleblog.com/2015/08/21/muzzle-brake-summary-of-field-test-results/

      I bet that has all the info you might be looking for!

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • I put an APA Gen II Little Bastard on my 6.5
      https://www.americanprecisionarms.com/products-page/muzzlebrakes/gen-ii-little-bastard/
      They’ve got it in .243 and other calibers also. Street price is around $160. Just be sure to get the nut tightened down good – mine would back off during use until I grabbed a ‘pipe’/’oil-filter’ type wrench with cloth strap to get it good and tight without marring the surface. I never shot the rifle without the brake, so can’t say how it recoils without one, but with it, the recoil feels like a .22LR !! Definitely lots less felt recoil with the RPR 6.5 than my Browning X-Bolt 6.5 Stainless Stalker (no brake). To put it another way: I can shoot all I care to shoot at an outing and never feel any after effects (soreness or bruising) after say as many as 40 to 80 shots, while with the Browning, if I do something similar with it, there’s a bit of tenderness in the shoulder that might last a day or so.

      And the Little Bastard did pretty well in Cal’s review :). I agree with that review, even to the point that it directs a lot of noise back and to the sides.

      • Thanks, for the input. Yeah, on the muzzle brake test I found a strong correlation between the loudness of a brake and how effective it is at mitigating recoil. Unfortunately, those seem closely related. When using a brake, I just double-up on hearing protection (plugs + muffs), and it works great. A good muzzle brake seems to be the most effective way to mitigate recoil, and fortunately on these mid-sized cartridges the concussion is tolerable. The concussion from an effective brake on XL magnums like the 50 BMG can be punishing. In fact, on those big magnums (100+ grains of powder), I’ll stop shooting because I can’t take the concussion anymore long before the recoil gets to me. But brakes are fairly ideal for these mid-sized cartridges.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  45. Excellent articles – Will be adding this list to my go to website.
    That said, I have been looking for a new rifle for some time and this Ruger seems like a good choice. I put it in the tacti-cool segment of the market as it has the versatility of a tactical and the cool factor as just about anyone can modify to fit their needs and personality. My intent is to punch paper most of the time and maybe deer or prairie dogs a few times a year. Two questions I hope you can help on:
    Q-One: There are two companies offering replacement barrels that I can find. One is Criterion with a cost of $450 and the other being Long Rifle Inc at nearly 700$. Even though the action isn’t trued, the nature of the free float barrel makes this rifle good to start. If I re-barrel , I am either switching caliber or going for a big accuracy increase. My benchmark is market leaders like Lilja, Krieger etc. I haven’t seen these mfg in the winners circle or even referenced at my go-to sites for accuracy like 6mmbr.com. Why do you recommend LRI when the barrel cost is high even compared to more recognized barrel manufacturers.
    Q-Two – I understand the limitations and safety concerns on trigger weight for a field gun. 99% of my time is at the range with a few trips per year to the field. Does anyone make a custom trigger for this gun?
    Thanks in advance?

    • Hey, Kyle. I’ll do my best to speak to your questions:

      1) I haven’t personally used either of those barrels. It seems like many people see Criterion as a value/budget barrel, but they might shoot as good as any of them for all I know. I have no experience with LRI barrels, but I do have confidence in that company. Ultimately, I can’t recommend either of them, because I haven’t had direct experience with either. I wouldn’t expect a “big accuracy increase” just from the barrel. If it shoots 0.75 MOA, a new barrel might get you to 0.50 MOA … maybe a little better. But I’d be shocked if it could get you to 0.25 MOA. Of course, you should read this article I wrote that takes an objective and emperical approach to looking at how much group size matters at long range. It’s probably less than you think.

      2) Nope. I don’t know of any … yet. I bet some come out at some point.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  46. Hopefully I’m not duplicating posts since my phone died during the last one. My question is: there are two companies I found with barrels criterion and long rifle who is asking over $700 for replacement. While long rifle seems like a good company they’re not market leaders in match barrels. Based on your experience is changing Barrels merely to change caliber or can they “significantly” improve the rifles overall accuracy.

    My rifle of comparison are 80s vintage rem 40x with tactics stocks. Usually run me 1200-1400.

    • Chad Dixon, owner of Long Rifles Inc, talked about how much a barrel might improve the RPR on a podcast I listened to recently. I think this is a link to the podcast I heard: http://firearmsradio.tv/precision-rifle-podcast/prp-106-lri-with-chad-dixon

      He mostly spoke in general terms, but it sounded like it improves it slightly on some and some factory barrels are just good shooters and it won’t improve them as much. For this rifle we tested, I’m expecting an aftermarket barrel to improve accuracy by 0.2-0.3 MOA. If you got a really, really good barrel … it might improve it a little more. That is just a guess on my part though. It might do it more or less for all I know. It’s a gamble for sure, especially when you’re talking about $700. I think that market will become more competitive over the next few months, because more people will start offering drop-in barrel upgrades for the RPR. I actually believe a pretty large aftermarket community will come alongside this rifle pretty quickly. Competition is good for all of us! For now, you’ll have to see how well your rifle shoots and decide if it’s worth the gamble to see if it improves your groups.

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • I’ve ordered a Criterion myself. Went with Heavy Target, fluted in 26″ with their high-dollar muzzle brake installed. List $775. Note two things about Criterion: They offer a 15% discount to active duty or retired LE/Military; and for what it’s worth, they are (as I understand it) owned by same folks that own Kreiger. I have a shooting buddy with a Criterion barrel on a rifle of his and he swears by it. Lead time is about 3 months.

      Now remember that even the best barrel makers sometimes turn out one that just doesn’t quite uphold their reputation. It’s a bit of a crap shoot actually.

      One friend of mine also pointed out that there’s a ‘return on investment’ to be considered: whole new rifle – about $1100-1200 and you can sell off the original. Compare that to the $700-900 to get a new barrel made and mounted. For a pre-fit you’ve got the cost of the barrel plus another $75-100 ?? to get it put on and have the headspace adjusted by a gunsmith. If you want Cerakote then add another $100 to that.

      I even looked at Bartlein – call it somewhere around $350 just for a rifled blank. Then you’ve got to have it machined for contour and chambering and all of that – probably another $400-$500 to get it from Bartlein on to your rifle. Also, with Bartlein (high demand for their barrels because of their quality, and they told me very high demand for 6.5mm bores) there’s an anticipated 6-month lag between ordering and delivery.

      Lots of things to think about – with no real, absolute guarantee that the accuracy of the rifle is going to improve noticeably with a new barrel – especially if you, like me, are shooting factory loads. If the barrel is the most critical consideration for accuracy, then I’d hazard a slap up the side of the head that the load consistency is second for precision shooting (although some might argue that the trigger is #2 even though it doesn’t directly contribute to accuracy). The combination of a new barrel with hand loads might, MIGHT provide a little added accuracy. But would even both of those turn me instantly into a consistent .5 or .3 MOA marksman? Probably not – that’s where practice on technique comes into play.

  47. Obidiah, that was a GREAT review!! Most people say they didn’t like the butt stock, but your the only one I’ve found who had a solution for it!
    I’ve been researching the RPR for several months. When my FFL said he could actually get one, I started saving and began researching scopes for it.
    It only took 14 days from the time the auction closed on gunbroker.com until I had my 308.
    The cheek rest and the shoulder pad were about impossible to move. Once I got them apart, I applied some oil, reassembled and its smooth like butter!! Thanks again for the tip!!
    I’d like to add that the barrel is nicely centered in the hand guard. I have it on a 8.5″-12.7″ bi pod, and there is very little flex from the Samson. I think this might be a “hit or miss” issue from ruger.
    Some folks were talking about match grade barrels. LRI.com has match grade barrels for all 3 RPR’s in a couple different lengths starting around $675.with options for cerakoting and flutting. They also make the aluminum bolt shrouds to replace the plastic one that holds the tools.
    As for the optics, the SWFA fixed 10x WAS the scope at the top of my list until I stumbled across the Primary Arms 4-14×44 FFP. There are several versions of this scope. I’d steer clear of the $230 one and either get the ACS-HUD for target or PRS matches or the Orton for hunting.

    • Jason,
      I am glad you enjoyed the review and received a few good data points. It’s a fine rifle. The best thing you can do is start honing your skills with it, their are a lot of great scopes out there. I have shot out to 880yds or so with a SWFA fixed 20 power. The .308 is a great choice to practice a ton with. A friend of mine actually bought one in .308. His has a “good” barrel that he shot several .75 inch groups with steel case wolf ammo. My 6.5 was a little harder to do that with MATCH AMMO. I think the barrel is hit or miss on whether you get a decent one or not. I am a big fan of shooting as much as you can, and upgrading it as you (and your budget) grow as a shooter. Good luck and enjoy shooting that rifle!

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

      • Came across another website selling the RPR..
        gunsamerica.com
        When trying to get my hands on one, I had some difficulty navigating the site. I could never set up an account or register as a user. It may have been because I was using my phone, I don’t really know.
        Anyways, I figure any information on how to get one can’t hurt.
        Good luck

  48. OB, I would have thought your friends 308 would have struggled to keep up with the 6.5… That is an impressive 308 once you consider the ballistic coefficients of the 2 different bullets.

    • Jason,
      We were shooting at 100yds when they were side by side. His factory barrel was simply more accurate than my factory barrel (these factory barrels vary greatly, gun to gun, in accuracy). It would be a different story if both barrels were equally accurate and the distance was 1000- 1200 yds. At those distances, 6.5 is flatter shooting with less wind drift so it would be “easier” to hit the target at distance. Both are capable of connecting at that distance. The 6.5 Creedmoor does have better ballistics, it is just more in line with the shooting matches crowd. Whereas, the .308 is more geared to the military/ law enforcement and hunting crowd. I personally shot a 30-06 hunting rifle to 900 yds. Both are capable. Shoot that rifle 🙂

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

  49. I was wondering about the rifle case it was displayed in ould you give me the product info i would like to purchase one for my rifle its the 308 caliber thanks for your article and the info on the case.It was very informative article.

    • Roger,
      We discussed the case details on the Jan 10th comment. Their were several people asking about the case and foam inserts. Hope this helps 🙂
      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

    • Roger, I just posted in that 10 Jan series – you might look at the Pelican 1750 case. But check total rifle length, I think the 308 is a couple of inches longer in the barrel than my 6.5CM (24″ barrel + 2 inches of muzzle brake). But my layout in it is just as custom, if not as neat as, Obadiah’s. Check around for pricing – the 1750 lists for about $325, but I got mine for right at $200 from B&H Photo. Actually, at the moment I think it’ll take the added length, it has a total inside length of 50.5 inches, so with the stock unfolded and even my muzzle brake on it, I’ve still got padding at both ends of the rifle.

  50. Just put 20% down on the 308 version first in line should be here in 3 weeks. The plan was to rebarrel in 260 anyway and then I’ll have an extra barrel laying around for whatever. Still waiting for other aftermarket items to be available like a high quality fluted bolt hopefully ptg gets on board. I’m still curious if truing up everything replaced barrel and other accessories what type of rifle this can become if that would lead to a go to war type rifle that would be great I guess we will see. Nice write up as usual.

    • Interesting thoughts, Michael. I do bet guys like PTG will get in the game at some point. However, I’m not sure if this will ever be a “go to war” type rifle. The ruggedness and durability required of those kinds of rifles seem to be in a different league. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great consumer rifle … but I’m not sure if it’s not what I’d pick up to carry into battle.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • That’s what had me curious if the action and lower were something that could withstand that everything else can be replaced

      • Yeah, it’s a great question. I think only time will tell for sure. A well-constructed durability test or test-to-failure approach would be interested, but I doubt there are a lot of guys jumping at that opportunity. You’d have to sacrifice a couple rifles to have meaningful data, and these things are like gold at this point. I bet someone eventually does it … just probably won’t be me.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  51. Cal & Obadiah, with so many people asking about the case, y’all might have to write another review just on the case!! Haha!
    Obadiah, you were right about the308, that thing can shoot! Took it out last weekend and ran several rounds doing a break in. Once that was sorted I ran a couple match grade rounds through it. 168gr smk’s were almost going through the exact same hole on the target at 100 yards.

    • Jason,
      Haha, necessity is the mother of invention. I already had the case and needed a case for the rifle. I had a list of items for purchase, so I was not in a position to obtain a pelican case… Soooo…. I invested a little time instead.
      I have heard of rifles in both calibers having both accurate and subpar barrels. If it shoots well, I wouldn’t upgrade the barrel. Practice and get familiar with the rifle. You can always upgrade it if you choose, but if it does shoot well- spend the extra coin upgrading optics or in ammo practicing 🙂
      Enjoy it

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

  52. OB and Cal…..
    Thanks for this review and the Blog….I just received my .308 today….put a Vortex on it and can not wait to get to the range…1099.00 from Kitterley on Gun Broker + 25 shipping. This is a LOADED question…any consensus on how best to break in the barrel?
    Thanks bdsnook, Central Florida….

    • David,
      I love your play on words. I cleaned it first, then I shot. A “factory” is not lapped and finished (polished) as well as match barrels in my opinion. I have a friend that has a high end barrel and can barely get any powder residue from it when cleaning. His barrel bore was highly polished. Factory barrels I don’t feel come close to that. Some people just start shooting it out of the box. There is, however, sometimes a shipping grease (prevents rust) that covers the action and barrel. I like to clean that out. You could also use those initial shots to sight in your Vortex scope. Bottom line- sometimes people don’t do anything to break in the barrel, while others perform a cleaning every few rounds. I did the latter, and shot a few boxes of ammo to repurpose the brass (and have a little fun).
      Enjoy the rifle.

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)

    • David, When I got my 6.5 I really was just getting into this whole precision shooting thing and hadn’t read much about barrel break-in. I did not do it – probably mostly from my ignorance. I did clean the rifle before first use, just as I would with any new firearm. I don’t know if ‘breaking it in’ would have made a long-term difference for me or not; at this point I can consistently shoot .75 MOA groups at 100 yards with it with factory loads with the occasional much smaller groups.
      When I get my on-order Criterion barrel put on it, I plan on going through a break in process since it seems to be recommended by virtually all of the high-end barrel makers like Bartlein and Kreiger. My thinking is that a break-in process is at worst a “can’t hurt, might actually help” kind of thing.

      One recommendation I would make regardless is to get a good quality bore guide to use when doing any cleaning. I’ve had several made by Mike Lucas (do a web search for Mike Lucas Bore Guide as I hesitate to simply put his email address here, too many bots running around). Each ran me about $65 and work great. I use Tipton carbon fiber rods, ProShot nylon brushes and some (very expensive) custom made jags to clean my rifles – with this setup I doubt if any metal actually touches my barrels during cleaning.

      • Agreed. Lots of good points there. I DEFINITELY use a bore guide, and also use Tipton carbon fiber rods with nylon brushes. Honestly, I don’t use brushes much. I try to just give the solvent time to do the work. I’ve used all kinds of solvents over the years, but have been using BoreTech Eliminator for a couple years now. It’s pretty amazing stuff.

        I think barrel break-in is usually blown way out of proportion. I do think it’s important to clean a barrel really good before the first shot, but beyond that I have a pretty practical approach. It’s similar to the simple method Hawk Hill Barrels suggests (a top barrel makers in the PRS): Hawk Hill Custom Barrel Break-In Procedure.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  53. Entering into this area of PRS as it seems a natural evolution for a budding gun enthusiast. Only question I cannot find a solid resource on is caliber choice? .308, .243 or 6.5? My scenario would be long range target and long range SHTF scenario. Recommendations?

    • Chris, that’s a great question. All 3 are great options, so there isn’t a wrong choice here. Ruger put a lot of thought into the rifle, and also put a lot of thought into what cartridges they offered it in. So they’re all good options. While there are lots of opinions out there, I’d personally go for the 6.5 Creedmoor … and I bet that’s what most of my readers would do too. That’s why it’s probably the hardest model to find in stock. Here is a post I wrote a few months ago that shows how cartridge selection impacts hit probability on long-range targets. I actually use the 308, 6.5 Creedmoor, and a 6mm Creedmoor (very similar ballistics to a 243) in the comparison, so it should be directly applicable.

      How Much Does Cartridge Matter?

      The 6.5 Creedmoor and 243 have superior ballistics to the 308 for long-range work, and they also have less recoil. Now they also have less barrel life. Barrel life varies dramatically based on your shooting style (i.e. do you let the barrel cool down between magazines, or do you shoot really long strings of fire). But, just for a ballpark idea, I’d expect the 243 to have an accurate barrel life of 1600-2200 rounds, the 6.5 Creedmoor is probably 2500-3200 rounds, and the 308 could be 4000 or more. As you saw in the comparison (link above), the 243 only has a marginal ballistic improvement over the 6.5 Creedmoor … so the decreased barrel life may not be worth it. Also, for a SHTF scenario, the 6.5 Creedmoor still packs a lot of energy down range, although not as much as the 308. But I know guys who have taken whitetail deer with a 6.5 Creedmoor at distances over 800 yards (although I wouldn’t recommend that). My point is that it has more than enough energy to put down a soft target at long distances.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Thanks for the amazingly quick response. Stumbled on this blog from a YouTube video as I’ve been researching the Ruger Precision Rifle the last few days. Consensus seems to be that the RPR is a solid platform for most and a good jumping in point. This blog and all the comments have been a great resource today, definitely bookmarking this site. Thanks again!

      • Chris, Just to share my Ruger story, I have two 308’s- Leveraction and an AR10 and therefor decided to go with the 6.5 CM and am I glad I did. You may have to wait a bit for the 6.5 CM but you wont regret it. Welcome to the club 🙂

    • I’m kind of in the same boat with you Chris: budding enthusiast. I’ll tell you what guided me to purchase the RPR in 6.5: First I noticed that the big publicity announcement in Rifleman had just about all shooters, including the CEO of Ruger, firing the 6.5. Then in some casual conversation with an excellent marksman – with all types of weapons at all ranges from tactical to extreme long distance – and he is simply really sold on the qualities of the 6.5mm bullet.

      Other things that might affect your decision, and you can evaluate them yourself to see how they might affect your decision. First, remember that the RPR, at 11 pounds + scope weight, is not going to be a rifle you take out for a hunting trip in the woods or with a lot of hiking involved; it’s designed as a target rifle, not a hunting rifle. If you already have another rifle in one of those calibers it might be a cost factor (buy 1 type ammo for multiple rifles). Also, there is a cost and availability factor:
      308 Winchester: ammo is readily available and relatively inexpensive; cheap stuff just to practice with down as low as about $0.35 per round, even factory match grade available at around $0.70 to $1.00 per round.
      243 Winchester: again readily available, but slightly higher than .308. Cheap stuff down around $0.60/round; however there doesn’t seem to be a big supply of factory ‘match’ loads: see this posting at SniperCentral.com: http://www.snipercentral.com/243-winchester-6-16x51mm/
      6.5 CM: almost the opposite of both of the above – ain’t no such thing as ‘cheap’ since pricing runs anywhere from about $1.10/round up to around $1.60/round. There are few manufacturers loading them (you can almost count them on one hand), and your local hunting supply store probably won’t have them on the shelf. But there are hunting loads available – Hornady has 129 grain SST loads and their new 143 grain ELD-X Precision Hunter (that $1.60/round load), and Prime has their 130 grain OTM that I believe is also legal for hunting – seems it’s used in Europe for that by some.

      I made the purchase of my RPR in 6.5CM with my eyes open regarding factory availability and cost. So far all of my purchases have been via internet with various suppliers. Check out AmmoSeek.com for pricing and availability for any rifle calibers. They don’t list all such as Black Hills, but most of the big commercial brands like Hornady, Winchester and Prime for 6.5CM and the others.

      Just as a FYI: I’ve also purchased a Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting. So if I wanted I could feed both rifles with the same bullet. At this moment I’m using the Prime 130 grain Match+ in the RPR and I’m working to get good cold-bore shots out of the X-Bolt with the Hornady 143grain ELD-X. Whether I end up using the exact same commercial load in both rifles is yet to be determined because my RPR doesn’t seem to like heavier bullets. I don’t hand-load: no room, and no equipment.

    • Chris (and all), I just noticed there is a new source for 6.5 Creedmoor factory loads: Federal is now distributing 140 grain under their American Eagle flag (AE65CRD1); checking through AmmoSeek.com I see that the prices are running from $24.49 to $28.99 per box of 20 (plus shipping). Haven’t used them, but hopefully this is in indication that more sources of factory loads will start becoming available.

      • Thanks J.L. for that bit of news on the Federal ammo, I had no idea they made 6.5 CM. I like to use 2-3 different ammo’s for my rifle’s and keep them in the same grain in case I run out of my top choice( or can’t find) I can use the next, I usually write the zero ( windage and elevation) #’s on the inside of the rifles scope cap so all I have to do is flip open and adjust for that brand. Currently using Hornady 140g and need another.

  54. I think Jesus was the best Christmas present ever.

  55. Ammo? So I’m not finding out the hard way that 6.5 Creedmor isn’t going to be an impulse local purchase. I am not yet ready or wanting to get into the reload game so I am stuck having to probably shop online now. I tried AMMOSEEK.com to find e-tailers that sell 6.5, but the storefronts are few and the shipping is killer. Does anyone have any other online store recommendations and/or any other info for 6.5 Creedmor rounds? I’m planning on shooting Hornady, but I’ve heard the brank BlackHills or something. Since 6.5 is not “mainstream” I’m not looking in the right places thus far I suspect to find/gain access to this cartridge. Thanks in advance for the help.

    • Chris, I use AmmoSeek.com mostly. I do lay in a big supply when it find it in stock, so that I am not jumping lot to lot. You will see variance in muzzle velocity lot to lot with any brand, so you’ll end up chasing dope if you don’t lay in a big supply. Or you’ll run out and not be able to find any more.

      The last 1000 rounds I bought was Prime Ammo, and that can only be bought directly from the manufacturer. They essentially take out the middle man to keep the cost/round lower: http://www.primeammo.com/6-5mm-creedmoor-hpbt-130gr.html. It’s pretty good. I get muzzle velocity SD’s of 12-18 fps. That’s not a trainwreck, but also not something I’m very proud of. If nothing else, it’s loading using Norma brass. Brand new Norma 6.5 Creedmoor brass is currently priced at $1.40/case, and this loaded ammo is $1.26/round. That sounds like a winner in my book!

      Best of luck to you!
      Cal

  56. Cal, great article on the RPR I definitely want to get one for a training rifle. Thank you for the “what the pros use” articles. I read every one I could find and relied heavily on the information when I decided to build myself a “budget” long range rifle. I chose 6.5 Creedmoor, using a Bartlein barrel ($350), a used Weatherby Vanguard action ($400), Boyd stock ($125), Timney trig. ($125), Pacific Tool & Guage bottom metal with AI mag and pillars for bedding($180 they also provided the reamer rental $50). I had a well respected local smith chamber and install the barrel. I did all necessary stock preparations including epoxy bedding with pillars and final finish. Final cost in the $1700-$1800 dollar area. As inexpensive as I was able to do it, and it really shoots, sub .75″ all day with occasional 1/4 and frequent 1/2″ 5 shot groups. It shoots so well I duplicated the build with a Brux barrel chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. Also shoots as well. I am now at least competitive at our local events. The cost and time to build these “budget” rifles only go to show what a true deal the. RPR truly is. I can’t wait to get one, just need to sell an original Armalite AR-10 carbine to finance the deal. Thanks again for all your hard work and dedication to us shooters to provide the information you have given us to make our road into long range shooting an easier one.

    • Wow, Gary. That’s some great perspective. It sounds like you did your homework and stayed lean … but the RPR is just a killer deal!

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • Gary, I personally think you will like it once you get your hands on one. I am not near the experienced marksman that so many here are, and yet my RPR makes me look pretty good. I went to a 100 yard indoor range just yesterday to try out the Hornady 143grain ELD-X in it – the rifle is currently sighted for the Prime 130 grain Match+. I put 40 of the ELD-X loads through it in 5-shot groups. Using the ‘On Target’ software I determined that the average size of all 8 groups was .9 MOA – I almost always have 1 or 2 outliers (skill issue, not the rifle or ammo), now if I cherry-pick from those groups to shots that were touching within the groups, it shows the rifle is capable of shooting .36 MOA (.4 inch) groups at 100 yards. I did actually manage a .6 MOA 5-shot group with it. Here is a link to a picture of that group:

      http://www.mediafire.com/download/5jzdiu6jbda7nqd/BestGroup_RPR_143ELDX_2016_04_08.JPG

      A few days ago I was shooting outdoors with a 10 gust to 20 mph wind (swinging from 11 to 1 o’clock) with the Prime 130 grain Match+ rounds. Heck of it was that the range is set up such that I had less than 2 MPH wind at my bench. Here’s a shot of a 1-MOA group I shot that day (100 yards).
      http://www.mediafire.com/download/n046l844r2rvv4a/RPR_130gr_1MOA.JPG

      That’s with the factory barrel that now has exactly 900 bullets fired through it, and it’s been at least that precise since day 1 for me. I have a Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4-27×56 scope on it; I also have a Criterion barrel on order as a replacement for it when I shoot-out the factory barrel. It’s just too fun to shoot to let it sit for months when that happens while a new barrel is made :).

      While I’m here, I’ll just give some stats I got from the 2 boxes of ELD-X loads:
      Published MV is 2700 fps, with a G1 BC of .625 (G7 .315)
      Average MV from RPR 24″ barrel: 2683 fps
      Max MV: 2726
      Min MV: 2650
      Standard Deviation: 17.2 fps (diff between max & min = 76 fps)

      Right now I’m really liking this bullet as it shoots great in both my RPR and in a Browning X-Bolt with a 22 inch barrel I have. I also like that Prime 130grain Match+ round, but may switch to the ELD-X to use both for target with the RPR and hunting with the X-Bolt.

      • J. Latham, sounds like your well on your way to having a very capable precision rifle. I certainly have scope envy. It looks like your already well on your way to customizing your RPR to yourself. Like Cal a said, l too will be waiting for you and others who put a premium barrel on their guns to hear just what they will do. I also wonder if other tweaks such as squaring the action and lapping the lugs will eek out any additional accuracy. Seeing how popular these things are becoming, it’s only a matter of time until just about any usual “improvement” will be tried and reported on. As I said in my post, I believe the RPR is an exceptional value and a great conduit into precision rifles for the masses. It’s almost cheating, plus I just think they look pretty cool, although I do love my two traditional wood stocked rifles. Good luck in your goal to precision.

      • Hey, Gary. OB and I are actually working on a follow-up post where we are trying some upgrade parts and other tweaks to see what the impact is on accuracy. I’m anxious to see the results myself! The barrel should be in this week, so hopefully the results will be up within a couple weeks here. Stay tuned!

        Thanks,
        Cal

  57. Thank you Cal. Great Review. New to Long Distance shooting and looking forward to shooting my new RPR 6.5 I was able to find…at MSRP.

    Maybe I missed it in your article, but what type of hard case are you using? Looks like you used the foam directly from the Ruger box and and added a couple strips top and bottom.

    Thanks again!

  58. I totally enjoyed reading the article and all the comments. I’m very new to long range shooting and was lucky enough to find the RPR in 6.5 creedmoor at Cabelas in Omaha back in December. I’ve not but about 60 rounds through it but so far all I can say is WOW. I as others have stated have had trouble with the buttstock. I called Ruger and they had me return the rifle. It is still pretty finicky but maybe I just need to lube it up as others have stated. Someone posted that they had changed it out with a Magpul PRS. Will it still fold?

    • Hey, John. I’d bet it wouldn’t fold with that stock, but I’m not sure. Maybe someone else will chime in with the answer.

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • John,
      It will still fold. The buffer tube is attached to the folding mechanism. Many people use the Magpul PRS butt stock, but you may have to change out the buffer tube. Hope this helps 🙂

      Thanks,
      Obadiah (OB)