Thursday, 8 September 2016

Ruger American Ranch 300 Blackout - Update

I'm a big fan of Ruger firearms. I currently own four and I have a fifth on it's way from the land of the free. So naturally when Ruger announced the American Ranch rifle in 300BO, I placed an order and as it turns out, I was one of the first in Australia to take possession of one.

I'm not going to go into specifics about the cartridge, except that it was originally developed for use in AR style rifles and is able to be suppressed with subsonic ammunition. In the police state that is Australia, suppressors are illegal so the subsonic part doesn't mean much here. (We can touch on this subject some other time)

When I got the rifle home, I disassembled it immediately. I removed the rail from the action and the action from the stock.  Typical of most factory rifles, there was oil between the mating surfaces of the action and bedding block. Why oh why do manufactures feel they have to give their rifles an oil bath before they leave the factory?  

The RAR utilizes a v-block bedding system to enhance accuracy, but having oil on the mating surfaces will reduce the accuracy of any rifle.
A quick de-grease of the action, bedding blocks and also the rail was required and then I reassembled the rifle. I fitted my Leupold LR/T to the rifle and it looks a little odd, perhaps even crazy with the shade fitted. I do shoot under a spotlight quite a lot and the shade is great to remove the glare.

I am a hand loader and rarely buy factory ammunition except for rimfire.  I had some Hornady 110gr V-Max, Nosler 150gr Ballistic Tips and Hornady 150gr Interlock SP's sitting on the shelf. A quick check of the ADI hand loaders guide and I was in business. I also popped into one of the local gun shops and bought some Remington UMC loaded with 220gr match projectiles.

The following Sunday, I took the it to the range to see what this little rifle was capable of. Initial results are quite disappointing to say the least. The best group was around 3 inches but most were about 4.  The conditions were really crappy, with a strong wind but it still should have done a lot better than what it did.  

The 110gr and 150gr loads all produced groups.  The Remington UMC on the other hand, I could not get it to group at all. It would throw one round 6 inches high of the aiming mark, the next, 2 feet lower.  The folks that I have spoken to about this think that I have run out of elevation with the scope and adding a 20moa rail will solve the problem, however I think the scope is broken. Ill try it with another scope soon, or I might just use my Vortex Sparc II red dot and see how it goes.

I plan on taking the rifle out to the farm in the very near future to try and get it sorted out. Time will tell just how good it is I suppose. 

UPDATE Sep 2016

I changed scopes on the rifle just in case the Leupold Mk4 was faulty but it turns out that it wasn't.  I fitted my trusty old dinged up Japanese made Bushnell Banner just to be on the safe side.

I have managed to find a subsonic load that works extremely well with the Ruger.  A 208gr Hornady Amax with 10gr of AR2205 (equivalent powders are H110 and IMR4227 - please check your loading manual before using this load)

At 100m with a not so steady rest produced a group of .75 MOA. Once I get a proper bench set up I will tweak the load to see if I can get it shooting better. 

Once again, Ruger has produced a rifle suited to the budget conscious that performs brilliantly. I can see myself hunting pigs with this rifle during the stinking heat of the upcoming Australian summer.     

Nioa is the Australian distributor for the full range of Ruger firearms.  Visit to view the full lineup of Ruger rifles and handguns.

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  1. How'd you go removing the screws that hold the rail down mate? Mine are tight as hell, presumably Loctite'd.

    1. It was on fairly tight but didn't seem to secured with loctite. There will be a fair bit of oil underneath it. Let me know how you get on with it.