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Ruger American Predator .223 hit or miss?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DustyGmt, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Was looking for a mid range, economical target/range gun with moa accuracy. Might also serve as a deer rifle for my daughter to learn with if she is adamant about pursuing it and maintains interest.

    It seems quality is, or at least was very hit or miss and I read a pretty dismal review from ChuckHawks and the two test rifles sent for review were total duds back to back with no resolution from Ruger.

    I was just wondering what the consensus is on them here because I know quite a few of you guys have them. I'm specifically looking for input on the .223 variant. I'm hoping the handful of negative reviews I read were just the results of a glitch in QC. Often times these problems get sorted out...verdict?
     
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  2. VoodooMountain

    VoodooMountain Member

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    Nothing is a guarantee but most bolt actions today are capable of 1-1.5 moa with at least 1 or 2 loads.
    Consumers now expect every rifle to do what a premium rifle would do not too long ago.

    Odds of this on cheap rifles are likely better with a design like a savage with the accutrigger, floating bolt head, barrel nut ,consistent barrels, and accustock in some cases. Ruger American ticks most of those boxes.

    I have a ruger American in 308 and it is accurate. My savage 11, savage 10, howa 1500, ruger 77, xs7, etc. have all been capable of 1 moa with 1 or 2 loads.

    Barrel, bedding, and trigger are the 3 most important factors for out of the box accuracy for hunting purposes. Modern machining had made all 3 much more consistent and less expensive to produce
     
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  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    There a good rifle for the money. I've learned pretty quick to not care what chuck hawks opinions are.
     
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  4. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    My apologies in advance, mine is chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor, but I’m weighing in anyway. First, the barrel profile of the Predator is slightly heavier than a standard Sporter contour. Second, and these are critical points for kids (if your daughter is young or smaller in stature), is LOP is adult size. Third, for deer size targets at reasonable range it matters little which starter rifle you choose where accuracy is concerned.

    I’ve posted this before, but it’s a good comparison I feel with 1 added caveat; the Compact Model stock is no longer available. My understanding is the entire line-up has been revamped for a singe stock solution with the various magazine well options.


    Left to Right: Ruger Compact, T/C Compass, Ruger Predator LOP comparison.
    69241E0A-FA67-4C72-8D10-A26F35F0DC29.jpeg

    Initial groupings with Hornady 129gr Whitetail (good enough for hunting distance).
    2536FD9B-AF1F-43CD-AD62-34AED5DFEC53.jpeg


    61A70DD3-024D-469E-9DAC-0BFC739B73AE.jpeg


    The Compass was slightly more accurate but length of pull was much better vs. the Predator for my daughter, age 12. If you can find a Ruger Compact, or, if they begin shipping again in that configuration, I’d say grab one and be happy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  5. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I've had a few Americans, and none have shot more than 1" groups with best loads, and all but my 7mag would shoot better than 1" with almost anything.
    If deer are on the menu, Id suggest a heavier round with as the X39 or 6.5 Grendel, there are cheap ammo options for both, and good over the counter hunting ammo.
     
  6. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Seconded. I'd add .243 as well. .223 is certainly capable of taking deer, but one of the calibers mentioned will have a significantly better chance at achieving an ethical kill.
     
  7. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Compact models no longer available across the entire line, or just predator models? I have a compact american and can pretty easily swap it for her but I think its primarily going to be my fun gun. Just something to pass the time with when I want to take it slow and accurate....
     
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  8. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    When I attempted my stock swap I had the Predator with AI magazines. Initially I could find no available Compact stocks for sale and Ruger listed them as discontinued. That was last Spring. I call Ruger CS and inquired about whether replacement stocks for the Compact were still on hand and they agreed to sell me one. That stock required the Rotary magazine.

    The newer Ruger stocks with magwell cut outs, regardless of magazine style, all have identical removable magwell openings so that swaps may be accomplished without a whole new stock. I haven’t sought information on the line-up (RAR or RAP) since that purchase but the Compact, at that time, was being phased out. It could well have been to make room for the new stock design though so make sure to look carefully lest it cost you an extra $100 for a second stock.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  9. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Yeah I dont know what I was thinking. Brain fail. My compact is a 708. I think interchangability would be no bueno....
     
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  10. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    I think I'll be the primary trigger man for this particular gun, hunting rifle for her was more of an afterthought. Although I started a thread a while back on what an appropriate hunting rifle and cartridge would be for 10yo girl and I was surprised at how many folks mentioned .223 for the task. I started to look into it and it seems the .223 has made a comeback of sorts in terms of whitetail hunters using it, with success.

    But like I said, this is more a range toy than anything. I have a fair bit of .223 and since I usually shoot my 9's and AR's I figured carrying along a .223 bolt gun just to switch things up might be fun...
     
  11. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    These might explain things better. I did a write up when I swapped, but the sequence was: purchase new stock, remove action, purchase different length screws for action, purchase rotary magazine.

    Predator AI Magazine on older Ruger. Magazine release covers 1st action screw (hidden under release lever).
    A6924F68-73A2-4D00-BB5C-6DE2077F3E43.jpeg

    With lever removed (it’s pinned) action screw is accessible.
    BB2D2C75-E476-40C3-8F62-32D019475CA4.jpeg

    Compact stock in background, Predator in front (green). Note trigger guards.
    E30CDA6D-76C8-4B1A-BDC5-E0C150BE9F3B.jpeg

    Compact on our left, you’ll see the hole for the first action screw because the rotary mag releases on the muzzle side, on Predator, far Right, hole is hidden because AI mag releases on breech side. Also, the original Compact did not offer alternative magazine options (rotary only).
    5CAFB226-ADDB-42DA-9817-F64E59C6F230.jpeg
     
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  12. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    the only difference between the new and old actions is that the new ones have a larger opening at the bottom, to take rugers rather wide AI mags.

    so if you wanted to pull the stock from you 7-08 and put it on her gun that would work fine, you'd just have to use the screws from your gun as well. You would also need a .223 (or what ever cartridge you chose) rotary mag.

    If your going to shoot it mostly I'd probably just not worry about it till I needed to, then go to either a cut down boyds stock or an @one
     
  13. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    If you want to see the original thread https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/ruger-american-stock-swap-a-work-in-progress.836263/

    If it’s mainly for you, the only thing to concern yourself about is which generation stock it comes with JIC you should care to swap mag style or??? Honestly the Compass IMO is an apples to apples with the Predator but I’m rather forgiving of fit even with a 75” wingspan.

    If you’re near a Field & Stream, and I know how people feel about their “business” decision but deals are still deals especially when they’re selling at a loss, my local store was clearancing the CVA Hunter 20ga/.243 combo for $219 (2 single-shot swappable barrels). I have my 14 year old daughter shooting a Hunter in .44 mag and my 12 year old daughter shooting a .357 Henry lever, both of them since last year on those calibers.

    Iowa only allows PCCs in straight wall calibers so the combo does me no good or I’d have bought it. Next year the older one is graduating to muzzleloader and the younger to .44 and they’ve already had range time showing they’re ready.
     
  14. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    @Skylerbone if you get a chance to take a shot of the top view of the barrel in the forend. I want to know if the new style stocks have a nicer channel for the bbl or if it's still skewed to one side or the other. It would be nice if ruger fixed this because every single american on the rack I handled at the gun shop 6-7 years ago was like this.

    Edit to add: also is the bbl channel any wider to accommodate the heavier bbl profile or is it the same as any other american rifle stock?
     
  15. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    I'm now seeing the T/C compass model online for $250 and I'm very intrigued. It checks all my boxes and it has one added benefit, 5R rifling. One drawback, 1:9 twist. I could make my peace with that...@Skylerbone what can you tell me about your T/C. Do you have a preference between the two?
     
  16. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    I can tell you both Rugers and the T/C had some slight skew to the forends and I sanded all 3 to correct them. The Ruger trigger is what I imagine most would consider the preferred between it and the Compass but again, I’ve lived with great to abysmal so I can be forgiving with regards to pull weight and feel. I did a quick review on the Ruger, link here: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/what-do-you-do-with-a-brand-new-ruger-what.835421/ and on the T/C here: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/t-c-compass-quick-review.828831/

    I took pretty well to the Compass’s trigger after a few sessions and the Ruger was easy from the get-go, especially for a base model rifle.
     
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  17. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Not that weight is everything, but M*CARBO does sell a spring kit to bring the weight down if that'd help. It has a "hunting" and "benchrest" trigger return spring, with the benchrest only being guaranteed drop safe from 9" and down, with the hunting being drop safe, period. For $20, seems like a decent deal. I imagine if you use the spring kit and polish up the trigger, it would probably make it pretty decent although probably not as good as the Ruger.

    https://www.mcarbo.com/thompson-center-compass-trigger-spring-kit.aspx
     
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  18. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    I had the 16" model and never could get it to shoot under an inch, typical groups were 1.5" 5 shots. Not terrible but at the time I had a Mossberg Predator that was twice as accurate and came with a much better stock.

    On the Ruger, I liked the action and magazine system, the trigger was okay, and the stock was awful.

    I ended up selling it and buying a Remington 783 for $275 after rebate. It is all around a much nicer gun although the first one I got was a dud. Remington replaced it without an issue. The replacement shoots 3/4" 100 yard groups with 77 NCC.
     
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  19. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    The Compass trigger was adjustable for pull weight and overtravel, I chose minimal overtravel and a few turns shy of lightest pull. After 600-1000 grit it was perfectly fine, just not what many want which is glass break; it was more celery snap or a tad mushy.

    Again accuracy was on par and with rebate the Compass was under $200 at the time. With the Minox I had on hand the whole works came to $300 which is tough to duplicate for what is proving to be an close to MOA shooter. There’s more than a grand sunk into my Encore Pro Hunter by comparison.
     
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  20. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Same here, except for my RARP 223. That baby shoots sub MOA at 100yds especially with heavier pills, but groups do open up a little to just shy of 1.0 MOA at 300yds. She really likes Varget. She's a keeper.
     
  21. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    What is a PCC?
    Is CVA made in China?
     
  22. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    My Ruger American Predator was born with a bad stock. It was bent and touched the barrel from one side. It was also so flimsy that it would bend in other directions when I leant on it at the bench. The rifle shot 5.5 inches groups with affordable ammunition then, right out of the box.
    I upgraded the stock to a Boyd's At-One, had the trigger bettered in some way and the action and first inch and a half of the barrel bedded. It now shoots within one inch at a hundred yards with premium ammunition on a good day and it is quite picky about it. I am almost satisfied with it, but think that since I will had to put all that extra money on it in order to get there, I should have waited for Ruger to get the Hawkeye Predator on the market. ;)
     
  23. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    I have one of the American Predators in .223, but I couldn't stomach the standard green color on the stock so I found one that had the Kryptek camo treatment. It's the same stock, just a different look. Anyway...

    My biggest beef is that I don't like the rotary magazine at all. It can be difficult to load, but does feed reliably once loaded. Which leads up to my second beef... I like to single load quite often for various reasons, but this can't be done reliably in this rifle. You can't just drop the cartridge in the port and push the bolt home. You have to get the cartridge started up into the chamber before operating the bolt.

    It can be somewhat picky, but does shoot well with the right loads. I usually do use a suppressor when prairie dog hunting - which does shift the point of impact. But the the attached targets were shot without the suppressor. Also, beside the POI shift, the groups do open up a bit when the suppressor is in use.

    The target marked "3" was five rounds at 100 yds and the one marked "8" was 5 rounds at 200 yds.

    Series_171_100yds.jpg Series_171_200yds.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  24. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Pistol Caliber Carbine. CVAs are as hard to track origins on as most but they are designed and assembled in Spain and use Bergara barrels (same parent company). The rest is (I think) meant to be inferred, but never specified.
     
  25. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    So true! That magazine is detestable, even more in the coldest weather.
     
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