Ruger American Ranch Review: Summary
To be expected from a bolt action rifle, but the Power Bedding improves this as well.
As long as you’re using the correct ammunition and shooting techniques, this rifle is extremely accurate out of the box. It isn’t quite a precision rifle, but it could feasibly get there.
The stock changes things up from what you’re used to, and it feels great holding the rifle.
Although it is a plain bolt action, the tan color and modernization looks pretty neat in our opinion.
It has a picatinny rail, but there is only so much you can do. If you want to get way into it, you could change out the frame or the trigger, but generally speaking, you’re only looking to add a scope.
Bang for your Buck
The rifle is competitively priced.
- Power Bedding System. This system changes up the norm, and goes a long way to increase the reliability and accuracy of the rifle, all while reducing the amount of felt recoil.
- Accuracy. Due to the ergonomics, adjustable trigger, and free float barrel, this is a very accurate rifle.
- Safety. Very safe rifle, especially considering you don’t have to pull the trigger to remove the bolt.
We Don't Like
- Recoil. Like we mentioned before, this is a light rifle firing a big projectile. It has some inherent recoil, especially in .450 Bushmaster.
- Magazine capacity. Specifically for plinking, these mags are pretty small.
Hello and welcome to my Ruger American Ranch review.
My hunting partner recently replaced a decades-old bolt action rifle with a Ruger American Ranch, which is somewhat of a modern spin on an old bolt action rifle. I was opposed to it at first, because it kind of breaks the classic bolt action mold. However, after a couple hunts together and getting to shoot it at the range a couple times, it’s easy to see why this rifle is so popular.
I liked it so much that I had to go get one for myself. In this article, we will have a full review of the Ruger American ranch, and I’ll try my best to cover all the things that I love about the rifle.
What is the rifle for?
As we mentioned, this is a bolt action rifle. It is available in a couple calibers that are extremely popular for AR-15s: 5.56 NATO, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39, and .450 Bushmaster. This covers quite a few tactical rifle cartridges. Our review will be focused on 5.56/.223 and .450 Bushmaster, as these are the only calibers we are familiar with.
With this range of calibers, you realistically can do any type of shooting that you’d like to do. 5.56 NATO is a great round for plinking, hog hunting, coyote hunting, varmint hunting, and other small game. 7.62x39 is similarly great for plinking and smaller game hunting. For larger game, like deer, .450 Bushmaster is a great option.
With this range of options, these rifles are really broadly applicable. For the 5.56/.223 version, we would use it for plinking and smaller game hunting. If you’re looking to hunt deer, .450 Bushmaster is an excellent option. Due to the fact that this is a bolt action rifle, we wouldn’t recommend it for home defense.
Ruger American Ranch Review: Breakdown
These are bolt action rifles that come with a synthetic stock that is flat dark earth in color. The rifle has a 16.12 inch barrel, are 36 inches overall, and weigh in around 6 pounds. The 5.56 version has either a 5 round or a 10 round magazine, while the .450 Bushmaster rifle has a 3 round capacity.
As you can see, this is a very lightweight rifle. Ruger was able to significantly cut down on the weight with their synthetic stock. The stock has a very modern look, especially when you pair it with the picatinny rail on the receiver. While this rifle focuses on the reliable bolt action, it does have an extremely modern look.
The biggest pro of this rifle is the accuracy. This was the one feature of the rifle that I wasn’t prepared for. It shoots extremely accurately, with almost any ammunition.
The accuracy can be boiled down to a few features. First, Ruger’s Power Bedding system. This technology, which is patent-pending, essentially free floats the barrel.
Without getting deep into the mechanics of it, the Power Bedding is essentially a newer replacement to the traditional recoil lug. It goes a long way in increasing the reliability of the rifle by modernizing this feature and limiting the amount of movement in the receiver. This also decreases the recoil significantly.
The next feature that adds into this is the adjustable trigger. This trigger can be adjusted from three to five pounds, which allows for an extremely crisp pull. With all of these features put together, you can expect MOA accuracy, assuming you are using quality ammunition.
Ruger American Ranch Review: Safety and Reliability
Another huge pro of this rifle is the reliability. Obviously, it’s a bolt action rifle, so reliability is to be expected. However, Ruger has increased this reliability using their Power Bedding system, as we talked about before.
One other thing that comes along with a bolt action rifle is extremely easy maintenance. Bolt actions require very little maintenance, and what little maintenance they do need is very simple.
The consistent contact between metal and metal makes the rifle very reliable. The bolt has a relatively short throw, and the angle allows for plenty of clearance for any optic you might like.
In terms of safety, this rifle has a very easy to use safety on the top of the receiver. It is a simple tang safety, and it really couldn’t be much simpler to use. It serves its purpose, and will allow for consistent safe usage of the rifle.
One other great safety feature is that you can remove the bolt assembly without ever pulling the trigger. This significantly increases the safety of the rifle, and reduces the chance of an accidental discharge.
Comfort and Shootability
The ergonomics of this rifle are excellent. We already talked about how the stock cuts down on the weight of the rifle, but another feature of the stock is that it has some great grip. There is plenty of texture and curvature, which will fit your hand well.
The bolt action has dual cams for cocking, so chambering a new round is extremely smooth and easy. You will easily be able to do it from your shoulder, so you won’t have to reset after each shot. This helps to increase the accuracy as well.
We will talk once more about the Power Bedding system. Like we mentioned above, it does help to minimize recoil. However, keep in mind that you are shooting a very large projectile out of a very light rifle. Projectiles of .450 Bushmaster ammunition can be very heavy, and the rifle is under six pounds. A little bit of recoil is to be expected. The rubber butt pad and the muzzle brake will eat some of this up, but keep in mind that it will be there. This is one of the few cons of the rifle.
Accessories and Upgrades
The rifle comes with a magazine and sling mounts. Right off the bat, there are a couple things that you might want.First and foremost, you’re going to want a sight of some type. Since we recommend this mostly as a hunting rifle, we are also going to recommend some sights that would be great for hunting. These Nikon sights would be a great option, and they come with the scope rings to be mounted on a picatinny rail system:
NIKON - AR RIFLESCOPES WITH MOUNTS
This Leupold sight is another great option, but keep in mind that you will still need some scope mounts. With a picatinny rail, this is very easy to mount.
LEUPOLD - VX-1 RIFLESCOPES
Since the rifle only comes with one magazine, you may want a second one. Those are for sale here:
RUGER - RUGER AMERICAN 5RD MAGAZINE 223/5.56
RUGER - RUGER AMERICAN 3RD MAGAZINE 450 BUSHMASTER
You’re also going to want a sling of some sort, assuming you are going to take the rifle hunting. As for slings, it really comes down to personal preference. I like this leather sling, but any option works:
SINCLAIR MANUFACTURING - MONTANA SLING
The Ruger American Ranch is a great overall bolt action rifle. Hopefully, this review will help you in your decision. If you want a review for any gun, feel free to leave a comment below!