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Spacehog

Ruger American Ranch 7.62x39 Review

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I was looking for an intermediate range deer rifle and the Ruger American Ranch in 7.62x39 really caught my interest. Recoil magazine had an article on it where they claimed sub MOA with Federal ammunition and an average of 1.5 MOA with cheap steel case ammo such as Wolf white box. Quite frankly I did not buy into it, but after handling the rifle, I found it to be light, have a very smooth action, and a threaded barrel in 5/8x24 for my .30 can. The caliber also appealed to me because of my love for AK's and the multiple 1000s of rounds I have stored for feeding that addiction. I ended up picking up the rifle for $434.00 out the door.

The rifle is a bolt action that takes Mini thirty magazines and comes with a 5 rounder that operated well. Insertion and removal was smooth. The mag release clip is pretty much straight AK, but there is no need to "rock and lock" as the mag inserts and locks straight up. The safety is located on the neck of the rifle (where I like it) for seamless intuitive engaging and disengaging.

The trigger is very good straight out of the box. It has virtually no take up once the safety trigger bar is engaged, no over travel, and it breaks very cleanly and predictably. It is adjustable from 3.0-5.5 pounds (although you must remove the action from the stock to adjust it). I tuned mine to 3.25 lbs, and I won't be replacing the trigger, it is that good out of the box. (when replacing the action to the stock , I tightened it to 80 inch pounds per the Ruger specs of 60-80)

Before going to the range, I outfitted the rifle with Vortex rings off Amazon, a Nikon P223 3x9 scope (from my parts bin), and my YHM Phantom Ti .30 Can. I brought (2) different types of ammo: Tulammo, and Golden Tiger. I will hunt with Hornady SST's but did not have a chance to pick some up. Plus I really wanted to see if this rifle lived up to the hype and could turn in close to 1 inch groups with ammo we are used to seeing turn in 3-4" groups in our AK variant rifles. It lived up to the hype:

Tulammo:  The best group turned in a 5 shot 1.27" group at 100 yards

Golden Tiger: Turned in a best group of 0.967" The first shot was lower and opened up the group. The next 4 shots made a large ragged hole at 0.4 MOA. No kidding.

 

I haven't been posting much, but I was so impressed with every aspect of this rifle, that I really wanted to share with the forum, what a terrific performer and value this rifle is. I do not know how the pics will turn out, as I had to lower the resolution to get them to upload, and can't figure out for the life of me how to get them to post between text like the old days.

Bottom line: Great bolt action rifle. Buy one if you want a great shooter.

ETA: Ruger also makes the American Ranch in .223, 300BLK, and .450 Bushmaster as well as 7.62x39.

Ruger AR 2.jpg

Tulammo.jpg

Golden Tiger.jpg

Edited by Spacehog
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Sounds like a great acquisition, nice accuracy.

Deer/hogs better keep their wits about them.

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Shoots much better than my CZ-527M in the same caliber.  I have to run high dollar Lapua or Federal blue box JSP to get what you are getting from Tulammo.

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Ruger has really been stepping up their game lately. I'm glad to see it. They have some nice bolt guns straight out of the box. 

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6 hours ago, netpackrat said:

Shoots much better than my CZ-527M in the same caliber.  I have to run high dollar Lapua or Federal blue box JSP to get what you are getting from Tulammo.

Just to be clear, I shot several groups with the rifle. Not every group was like the ones above. Those were the best for each respective ammo.

Worst group with Tulammo was 2.25 to 2.5”, Golden Tiger faired better with the worst group at ~1.8”.

Funny thing was that the rifle actually shot better once it heated up. The only thing I can think of is the first few groups were shot while the barrel was rapidly warming up with the can on, so each shot was shot at a different temperature. 

Looking forward to seeing what it will do with some higher quality ammunition. But regardless if it inproves much or not, I am happy with it.

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1 hour ago, evlblkwpnz said:

Ruger has really been stepping up their game lately. I'm glad to see it. They have some nice bolt guns straight out of the box. 

My primary beef with Ruger in the past has been it seems like their liability lawyers are fundamental members of the design team. As a result, I think some features that have made it into their firearms in the past, got in the way of the shooting experience in lieu of safety, this making sure they covered themselves in case of a lawsuit.

That is understandable I guess in today’s culture, but fortunately they hit a home run with this one IMHO. 

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2 hours ago, Spacehog said:

Just to be clear, I shot several groups with the rifle. Not every group was like the ones above. Those were the best for each respective ammo.

Worst group with Tulammo was 2.25 to 2.5”, Golden Tiger faired better with the worst group at ~1.8”.

Funny thing was that the rifle actually shot better once it heated up. The only thing I can think of is the first few groups were shot while the barrel was rapidly warming up with the can on, so each shot was shot at a different temperature. 

Looking forward to seeing what it will do with some higher quality ammunition. But regardless if it inproves much or not, I am happy with it.

 

Your worst groups are better than my CZ's best groups with the same ammo.  I'd be really interested to see what your rifle would do with some Lapua.

Edited by netpackrat

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6 hours ago, netpackrat said:

 

Your worst groups are better than my CZ's best groups with the same ammo.  I'd be really interested to see what your rifle would do with some Lapua.

I will post up some more groups once I get some quality brass case x39. I will need to sight in again with the Hornady SSTs prior to Nov. 17th. Won’t be Lapua, but it should produce better results than what I have already tested.

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I've been eyeballing the 300 Blk AR mag version of this, but I just can't justify it since I already have a 300 Blk AR pistol that will do what I would need to do, kill hogs inside of 100 yards.

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7 hours ago, Spacehog said:

I will post up some more groups once I get some quality brass case x39. I will need to sight in again with the Hornady SSTs prior to Nov. 17th. Won’t be Lapua, but it should produce better results than what I have already tested.

The Federal JSP in the blue box is a little better out of my CZ than even the Lapua, but I didn't find any of the other Federal ammo to be worth a shit.  The Lapua runs around 1.25moa, and the blue box will do just a hair better than that.  Winchester JSP from the silver box is the 3rd best and usually does about 1.5moa, while Hornady Zombie Max is a very consistent 2moa.  IIRC the Czech made S&B was 5th best at around 2.2, and everything else turns into a shit show from there on out for me.

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Honestly if the CZ wasn't so pretty I would probably have dumped it a long time ago.  It also had problems with misfeeds and failures to fire due to light primer strikes right out of the box.  I seem to have gotten those bugs worked out of it thankfully...  The misfeeds went away when I bought 2 new magazines (one that shipped with the gun is defective), and I had to make a spacer for the striker spring to boost the preload on it.

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9 hours ago, netpackrat said:

Honestly if the CZ wasn't so pretty I would probably have dumped it a long time ago.  It also had problems with misfeeds and failures to fire due to light primer strikes right out of the box.  I seem to have gotten those bugs worked out of it thankfully...  The misfeeds went away when I bought 2 new magazines (one that shipped with the gun is defective), and I had to make a spacer for the striker spring to boost the preload on it.

I just looked up your CZ and read a couple of reviews on it. I don't blame you for wanting to hold on to it. It truly is a beautiful rifle. It seems that the accuracy you are seeing out of it is par for the other reviews I read 2.5 - 3". The Ruger American Ranch stock is pillared and the barrel is completely free floated from the receiver to the end of the barrel. This probably accounts for a lot of the difference. I have also found that the tension on the action screws mating it to the stock can open or close groups with adjustment. Possible get a torque reading on your screws and adjust 5 inch/pounds at a time up or down within the CZ specs to see if it tightens up the groups some. Just a thought.

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16 hours ago, evlblkwpnz said:

I've been eyeballing the 300 Blk AR mag version of this, but I just can't justify it since I already have a 300 Blk AR pistol that will do what I would need to do, kill hogs inside of 100 yards.

I understand. I have gone the same route with 300 BLK in an AR SBR. I mostly shoot subs out of it, but with similar ballistics between the 300BLK Supersonic and the X39, it would make a fine short range deer/hog gun for sure.

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I just ordered some of the Hornady 190 gr subs. I hope to take them for a test drive on some hog flesh soon ;) I never thought I'd be hunting hogs with an AR pistol, but here I am, lol.

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I am not generally a Ruger fan, but I was impressed when I worked on the first American rifle. The pillar system is well thought out and simple. It came in for a trigger job. The early triggers were horrendous and were not meant to be taken apart (rivets), but I figured out a way to do a trigger job without disassembling it.

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On 11/5/2018 at 4:57 PM, evlblkwpnz said:

I just ordered some of the Hornady 190 gr subs. I hope to take them for a test drive on some hog flesh soon ;) I never thought I'd be hunting hogs with an AR pistol, but here I am, lol.

Just keep in mind with blackout subs, you are basically going to be shooting them with a .45ACP equivalent.

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11 hours ago, evlblkwpnz said:

Interesting. I wonder if they will offer that bullet for reloading. I load up subs with 208 grain AMAX over 10.5 grains of AA1680. Very quiet, but I have recovered some of the AMAX bullets after firing that were almost pristine. No expansion and the only deformity is the rifling on the bullet jacket. 

Appreciate the heads up on this ammo. I will definitely try some.

Edited by Spacehog
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10 hours ago, netpackrat said:

OK, an expanding .45ACP equivalent.  That doesn't make it hunting ammunition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs-q6eO3FKI

Looks like it will take a decent sized hog well outside of the range I would be hunting at.

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On ‎11‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 10:33 PM, netpackrat said:

A spine shot like that doesn't really tell much.

I suppose I'm going to find out soon if things settle down in the next few weeks. I'll get some pics if I am successful.

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