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Throwback Thursday: Is the Ruger Precision Rifle Worth It?

ruger precision rifle

You want to get into the growing sport of precision rifle shooting and reach out and hit targets over 400 meters away. There are lots of rifles out there that claim they can do that, but most used in competition are custom made and very expensive.

However, in 2015, Ruger introduced its Ruger Precision Rifle to be a reliable and consistent rifle for long-distance competition shooting. It comes chambered in .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, .300 PRC, .300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5mm Creedmoor, and 6.5 PRC. MSRP varies by caliber, but they hover around $2,000-2,600. It’s a significant investment. The only question is, are Ruger Precision Rifles worth it? Keep reading to find out.

Ruger Precision Rifle Breakdown

First, let’s take a look at some features and specifications of the Ruger Precision Rifle.

Accuracy

This rifle is built to be accurate. After all, precision is its middle name! Out of the box, with the addition of a quality scope, this rifle will hit IDPA targets at 600 yards consistently. It will reach out to hit targets at 1,000 yards. The best part? It comes with adjustable components that are easily adaptable to the individual shooter, giving you a comfortable and consistent shooting profile for maximum precision.

In short: It’s dead-on accurate. Stack it with proper optics and a bit of training, and it’ll be a sub-MOA rifle for just about any properly experienced shooter. If you are not hitting your targets, it is your fault… not the rifle.

Reliability

The action of the RPR is simple and reliable. One point of contention is that the action is not always intuitively smooth. If any downward pressure is applied on the bolt as you start your push forward after the rear stroke, the forward stroke can become notchy and slightly bind. With some practice and breaking in, this issue should dissipate. However, the RPR chassis allows you to quickly install a new action with just the turn of a few screws, if you should so desire.

Handling

The Ruger Precision Rifle is based on the chassis system used by high-end rifles, built on a solid foundation designed from the ground up to mimic high-end rifle chassis systems. This system has the action directly attached to the chassis, which keeps the action stable and keeps the barrel away from moving supporting components.

Ruger Precision Rifle
The Ruger Precision Rifle has many desirable features for a long range rifle.

Straight from the factory, the RPR comes with a fully-adjustable rear buttstock and recoil pad. This buttstock can be quickly and simply adjusted for length with a simple movement of the rear throw lever. The stock is easily folded with the press of a button at the rear of the receiver, making this rifle easier to transport or store in confined spaces. The toe of the stock also has a rail section for adding a monopod, if desired.

The entire buttstock mechanism is an uncovered skeletal design that can be exposed to the elements and could be snagged on branches, weeds, and other hazards. But, this rifle is designed for precision shooting competitions, not crawling through brush and muck. On the top of the buttstock is a small cheekpiece that is adjustable, both horizontally and vertically, to ensure the shooter has a correct alignment of the eye to the scope and target. This cheekpiece is made of a textured Kydex material and has a plastic feel to it, though it seems to be sturdy.

Trigger

The trigger on the RPR excels. It is a bladed trigger, which some shooters may not like, but the pull weight is easily adjustable with an Allen wrench that comes with the rifle. Ruger says the trigger is adjustable from 2.25 pounds to 5 pounds and comes from the factory at about 2.5 pounds – a setting that I like right out of the box.

The safety is an AR-style 45-degree lever, which most shooters know and are comfortable using. The safety does not lock that bolt, so the rifle can be cycled while the safety is on.

Ruger Precision Handguard
The handguard on the RPR features M-Lok attachment slots.

Magazine & Reloading

The RPR comes with two 10-round Magpul polymer magazines. (It also accepts AICS magazines.) The magazine release lever is directly in front of the trigger guard. However, the magazines cannot be removed unless the bolt is open and pulled all the way to the rear. The empty mag also prevents the bolt from going forward until the magazine is dropped or a loaded magazine is inserted. You may not like this if you want to manually feed single rounds in the chamber. If that is your thing, then I recommend choosing another rifle.

Length & Weight

The .308 Winchester and the .223 Remington versions have a barrel length of 20 inches, with the 6.5mm and 6mm Creedmoor being longer at 24 inches. Magnum variations come with 26-inch barrels. The overall length varies due to the adjustable buttstock, being about 43 to 47 inches. Weight is approximately 10.7 pounds, depending on the configuration.

Ruger Precision Stock
The Ruger Precision Rifle stock is fully adjustable for the individual shooter.

Recoil Management

The RPR comes with Ruger’s hybrid muzzle brake, which does an admirable job of controlling the recoil of this heavy rifle. Since the barrel is threaded, you can easily put on any muzzle device you like, if desired.

Customization

The RPR comes from the factory with a threaded barrel and a threaded bolt handle, so customizations are easy. It is also modular and can be easily customized to each individual shooter using readily available AR components.

How About the Ruger Precision Rimfire?

The RPR may not cost as much as a true custom precision rifle, but it’s no budget blaster either. You might be thinking: There are cheaper rifles — such as the Ruger Precision Rimfire — that some claim do the same thing. How do they compare? Let’s take a look at their differences real quick.

Here is the straight-up answer. The Ruger Precision Rimfire is a .22 LR caliber rifle. It is a fun rifle for beginners, or a cheap date at the range. If you want to practice the fundamentals of precision shooting and target transition on a budget, the .22 LR Rimfire is a good choice. However, if you are looking for a serious rifle for shooting competitions or hunting, you’re going to want a bigger caliber — the Ruger Precision Rifle.

Ruger Precision Rimfire
The Ruger Precision Rimfire Rifle is a more affordable option, though it’s probably not ideal for competition shooting.

Final Thoughts

If you want a reliable and accurate precision rifle for long-range shooting, then the Ruger Precision Rifle is worth every penny.

Here’s why. It is:

  • Inexpensive – Most precision rifles will cost significantly more than the RPR.
  • Customizable – Out of the box, it can be made to properly fit almost any shooter.
  • Accurate – That’s what is all about, right? With a decent scope, it will hit what you want.
  • Modular – It can accept almost any AR furniture on the market for further customization.

In short, the Ruger Precision Rifle is a budget-friendly, highly accurate precision bolt-action rifle that hits the mark when you need it to. For the price, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the RPR again.

Have you ever used a Ruger Precision Rifle? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the Comment section.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April of 2020. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and clarity.

About the Author:

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared on large publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (35)

  1. First let me say I would consider myself somewhat new to long range shooting, about 3-4 years ago a co-worker was telling me about going out shooting long range and that peaked my interest.

    Sometime later I started my research on the different platforms in the marketplace. I purchased the RPR 6.5 Creedmoor due to the competitive price point and I was comfortable with the Ruger brand. I then topped it with a fairly inexpensive long range optic.

    My opportunities to shoot long range are limited, once a year we visit some desolate property in the desert where I can setup between mountains and foothills. First time out, after getting the scope dialed in at 200 yards I worked up to increased yardage targets until I got to 940 yards. At 940 yards I was hitting the paper on a 12” target. After the first outing I learned the importance of a quality optic and upgraded to a Leupold Mark V and began preparation for increasing my distance. My second trip out to the desert I was able to back up my 940 yard shot at 3” off bullseye. My goal was to stretch it out to 1275 yards and unfortunately was unable to hit the target. I found out after getting back home some of the trajectory/ballistic data I loaded in my range finder was incorrect beyond 1,000 yards, the other obstacle (at 1275 yards) which I was not prepared for was the mirage (from the heat) that was distorting the image of the target quite a bit.

    Overall, for a beginner to be able to shoot that distance with an out of the box rifle was quite impressive. I do believe the rifle has the capability of reaching out further for target shooting, maybe not hunting. I believe as I continue to improve my skill set and knowledge for long range I am confident that I can work that distance up a bit further.

  2. Love my RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor. On my best day we put a 8″ steel plate at the end of the range road. My laser showed it was @ 624 yds. Handloads used 41.5 grains of H-4350 powder, CCI #250 primer and Hornady 140-gr ELD Match bullet with 2.800 COAL. Fired one 5-shot group which measured 1 1/8 ” (not MOA, inches). I decided to quit for the day extolling my shooting prowess. My best buddy deflated my balloon with a quick response – “You’ve got a good gun.” As usual, he was right.

  3. I have 2 of them. I have a Gen. 1 in 308 and it didn’t come with the flash suppressor and it had the plastic piece on the end of the bolt I replaced it with the aluminum one I installed the muzzle break from one of the online stores. And then I have 1 in 6.5 creedmore gen 2. and love them. The triggers are excellent. I’d like to say if you’re not grouping good. It’s not the gun. It’s you

  4. Just an FYI: It doesn’t have to be a large caliber to make it challenging, and/or fun. The Ruger Rimfire Precision @ 25 yards is capable of making a dime size hole with 100 rounds. SO grandson hung up an old PC keyboard, and suggested we “call out our name”. 🙂 Another one is to drill some holes in a board, put some kitchen matches in them, and see who can light a match. Talk about teaching kids good basic skills, and have fun doing it, before they get into the mag dump years. LOL

  5. I have RPR in .308. A Nightforce scope on it. IMO it is very precise and I can hit the bull out to 400 yds consistently. At my age I don’t like firing from prone position. For me best results are from a bench.

  6. @STEVEN MACE and SAM H
    “Too bad Ruger doesn’t offer a LH version!” Also being a member of the correct-handed crowed, I have found if a bolt action is using a bipod, the right hand bolt works great for a correct-handed person, thus leaving the dominant hand on the control grip, like in tactical training.

    Imagine my surprise when I went into a sporting goods store, and on the counter was a 50 BMG with the bolt handle on the left side, BUT the ejection port on the right side. I laughed and thought, well some Right-hander FINALLY figured it out. LOL

    I have also found with sticky bolts, disassembling them, cleaning completely, then applying a thin film of Wilson Combat Lube on all the parts, the action smooths up nicely.

  7. I know this is an old post… but I have not seen anyone chime in on the single feed “issue”.

    If you get an AICS mag, you can single feed with the mag in. Someone also mentioned removing the mag; that works but in a competition setting and single feeding you need the mag in so your ammo does not drop down the well when you do a fast single feed.

    I have an RPR in 6 Creedmoor. Shot 1000 yards no problem. Very tame recoil. It is definitely worth it.

  8. @ DAN.

    The Ruger Precision Rifle Model 18080 .338 Lapua Mag. is “Ambidextrous”, as are
    the Model 18029 in 6.5-creedmoor,
    the Model 18028 in .308 win,
    the Model 18081 in .300 win mag,
    the Model 18083 in .300 prc,
    the Model 18042 in 6.5 prc and
    the Model 18085 in 6 creedmoor…

  9. I agree with Roy Ballard…what about a 30.06? I’m a lefty but also ambidextrous, I can shoot equally well either way, but a Lefty would be nice. The 30.06 is my everyday Big Gamer, have a 22/250 Clark Custom for Varmints, but I just Love the 30.06…Ammo’s Cheap, great knock down and great range! At first I wanted the 338 Lapua Magnum, but take a gander at Ammo Prices… DAAA-YUMMM, could buy a new house for what a day at the range costs! It would be nice if they came out with a “Distance Hunter” Version for reaching out & touching Big Horns in .06!
    D-

  10. I own an RPR chambered in 223, put a Vortex Viper PTS Gen II 5-25X50 on it. 1″ MOA at 300 yards (live in NJ) access to ranges longer than 300 yards are far and few between. In your article you mention you can’t single feed. This is true, however Anarchy sells a sled that is inserted into the magazine well and makes single feeding possible. Added bipod, new grip, titanium bolt shroud and a few more goodies and you have a rifle that is very accurate and looks great. Rifle is a bit heavy, was designed to shoot from the prone position and/or from tabletop so the weight is not an issue. Purchased new for less then $900.00.

  11. I was introduced to long distance shooting at the CMP Talladega range, using my 308 POF on the 600 yard range. After a while decided to get a rifle more suited to long distance shooting and found the Ruger Precision. Settled on a 6.5 Creedmore vice the 300 WinMag since I wasn’t going to be shooting more than a 1000 yards since there is no range that long available to me. Being retired military I was able to buy one for $1300 through the BX. Put an existing Nikon BDC scope on it, went to the range and was pleasantly surprised how much more accurate it was compared to the 308 POF, even with a 76 year old pair of eyes! Looking forward to putting some better optics, and through a friend settling on a Night Force scope. The most notable thing to me was the consistency and while I can’t yet put multiple rounds through the same hole in the target, I am a lot closer with the Ruger Precision. Next step….reloading!

  12. Good going Mike B. I have one too but have not shot it yet,due to health problems,but I intend to.
    I would sleep with it but my wife won’t let me 😀

  13. I have owned one since about 6 months after they came out . I haven’t shoot it much as I find it is a pretty boring rifle to shoot . Aim , pull trigger , bore a hole in your bull every time . I did replace my buttstock , simply hated that ugly problem prone thing . You see I live in the desert southwest with sand everywhere . This gummed it up very fast . Nice thing is it will take just about any AR type stock . Just make sure it fits the tube and you and be sure it’s thin enough to fold alongside the receiver .
    Using Federal 175 grain OTM I have put 10 shots into a .6 inch group at 100 yards . Done it so often it’s the norm . Tried another brands 165 gr BTHP and they went into 2 inches . Chronograph showed their load tweaked out Federal’s , but their bullet may be bad or my rifle doesn’t like it . Bought some 165 Federals , but have not tried them yet .
    But , anyway , yes , it is well worth the price and I’m glad I went for it .
    Chris

    PS . Did you think to try a follower depressor to allow single loading ? I’ve never seen the need to single load myself .

  14. I’ve owned the Ruger PRR in .22 WMR for about 9 months now. It’s a very fun gun to shoot and is surprisingly accurate. So pleased am I with it’s accuracy I’ll likely be looking for one in .308 Win.

  15. The post doesn’t mention one of the most important features: the 5R barrel! A 5R barrel uses 5 lands and grooves, instead of the traditional 6, so that the bullet is not “pinched” between two opposing sets of lands. Instead, each land faces a groove. This creates far less pressure on the bullet, and less bullet deformation. Until about 15 years ago, you could only find this feature on SUPER high-end guns, like the U.S. Army M24, or USMC M-40. The Ruger Precision Rifle is INSANELY accurate, and with 168gr Sierra Match King ammo, I’ve shot .3 MOA groups!!!! I CONSISTENTLY shoot .5 MOA groups with it! Also, it takes any SR-25/DPMS AR-10 pattern mag, AICS mag, and even most M14 mags!!!!!! For $1300, what more do you want? My buddy at the range got SUPER pissed, when my RPR out shot his SAKO TRG bolt gun, that cost $4200.

  16. It was mentioned that the rifle couldn’t be closed on an empty mag making it unsuitable for loading for single shot.
    I’m wondering if Sinclair makes a nylon single shot magazine follower for Ruger mags, like they do for AR mags used during the single load part of competitions? If not, I have modified one on my table saw for use with a different mag…

  17. I have the 6.5 Creedmoor & the .338 Lapua magnum; love them both. Amazing rifles. I am anxiously awaiting the .50 BMG version. Let’s go Ruger. It’s difficult to beat these rifles for the money. I would not buy anything else.

  18. My RPR does not have any of the magazine or bolt issues you have listed.
    I can single load cartridges with no magazine installed and have done so before.
    I can also remove the magazine with the bolt closed.

    Was this a change in the later models, because none of the early models had those issues.

  19. I’m on my second RPR, 6.5 Creedmor. I absolutely Love mine. I regret selling my 1st on. Will never happen again. It nails everything I aim at. I’ve not gone beyond 500 yards yet. Hard to find an open range locally to stretch her out. Over all? 10 out of 10 stars in my opinion and experience. Will definitely purchase another.

  20. I’ve owned a RPR 6.5 Creedmoor for about a year. Hit 865 yards consistently with it. Love it so much….. I just inboxed my RPR 338 Lapua. Haven’t shot it yet but I know I’ll love that as well

  21. I love this rifle and I’ve used it extensively. I own the first gen chambering in.308 and I added a Bushnel tactical elite scope. I’ve used it for hunting elk, white tail, and many other game animals with no complaints. It shoots so smoothly that even my sons used it when they were first hunting, although it is a little heavy for them to carry while hunting. Best rifle I’ve ever owned.

  22. I own 3 RPS’s. First gen .243, second gen 6.5 and .223. Best rifle for the money on the market today.

  23. After a couple of trips to the range I decided for the far superior Tikka T3x TAC A1. About the same price with all the best of the RPR but without the cons. Plus, tighter groups and easier to absorb the recoil.

  24. Bottom line up front, it!

    I own all three categories of RPRs. I started out with the .308 WIn, loved is so much, I bought the .338 Lapua Magnum. Then when my wife wanted to shoot, I bought her the RPR Rimfire. She loves it and shootS out to 200 yards no problem. As for Precision shooting, I don’t compete anymore, just with my friends and I routinely hit 10” steel targets at 1100 yards with both .308 and .338LM. Albeit, it much more of a challenge with the .308 Win. However using Hornady 4DOF calculator and my friends Kestrel, I can quickly Dial in my scope. However, use good glass for Best performance. I use Vortex and Night Force, but you can get quality scopes in other brands. I also use both FFP and SFP scopes. Prefer FFP at 800 yards +. I also do my own hand loading too. But, as the review says. If you miss, its you, not the rifle. Again, best bang for the buck in a precision rifle, IMHO. Buy it!

  25. I’ve had my RPR in 308 for about a year and a half, and it is an excellent rifle. I’ll admit that I didn’t care for the stock so I put on a Magpul PRS3, the original literally is sharp enough to cut YOURSELF where the rail section is at if not careful like my wife did. Initially I ran Federal 168 gr rounds in it and I had difficulty getting 1 moa groupings with it, but swapped to Black Hills ammo recently and am getting 0.75″ groupings. Add in that I bought my gen 3 for $800, put on a nice Warne mount and an Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50 first focal plane scope onto it and it’s one of my favorite guns to shoot. It is a bit heavy (14 lb loaded) for hunting but I am not bothered by it in that regard. But simply put, I easily hit steel idpa targets with it out to 500 yards with standard plinking ammo, and 1000+ yards with the Black Hills ammo. Worth the money? Definitely

  26. I own the Gen. 1 RPR so I had to add a Little Bastard mule brake. Additionally I added an Atlas bipod on the forearm and a CTK monopod on the butt stock.

    This rifle is ACCURATE, as in 1/2 MOA with 140 gr. Hornady ELD-M factory ammo. I use a Bushnell ERS 3.5 – 21 x 50 scope with an H59 reticle. Perfect for competition B/C I don’t have to dial with that Xmas tree reticle.

    Yeah, since the groundbreaking RPR other companies have taken their hunting rifle actions, slapped heavier barrels on and stuck them in various chassis-type stocks with varying results. But theRPR is still king of the “entry level” precision rifles.

  27. I own the RPR in 300wm, I also own a Remington Sendero ll, and I shoot in local long distance competitions tied for second on one comp with the Remington, but with the RPR the first time in competition, after getting it and setting it up, I took 1st I’m my class and 3rd overall! So yes, it’s worth every penny, I love it, and you can’t get me to give it up!!

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