The Ruger Predator capitalizes on previous models, and may even outlast them.
It’s been a couple of years now since Ruger introduced their American line of rifles, which were a definite departure from the firm’s very successful line of Model 77 guns.
Unlike previous Ruger offerings, the American line features a push-feed, multi-lug action, along the lines of some older Sako designs. The American was meant to be a low-cost rifle to compete with other low-cost designs on the market such as the Savage Axis or Stevens 200 rifles.
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So far, the American has proven to be heady competition for the other rifles in its price class thanks to its reasonable cost, well-thought-out design and, well, the Ruger name never hurts.
Now that Ruger has established its new line of rifles with a firm base of happy customers, it’s time to start offering derivations. The brand has put out both stainless steel and compact models of the American, along with their newest model, the Predator.
The new Predator version of the American rifle is essentially the same as the original rifle, with a heavier barrel contour and a moss green synthetic stock.
Thanks to the trim design of the American and Ruger’s decision to stick with the original stock contours, this heavy-barreled model only weighs in at 6.5 pounds, making for a very utilitarian package.
While the trend these days is towards wider (and always heavier) bench rest-style stocks, I’m glad to see that Ruger has decided to keep the original, sleek stock on the Predator model.
Many years ago when Ruger was still producing their first tang safety-equipped Model 77, their varmint rifles were heavy-barreled guns with sporter stocks. These guns offered excellent accuracy in spite of their skinny stocks, and are now highly valued by those lucky enough to possess them.
The new Predator American is very much in line with these older Ruger rifles and is an excellent notion.
The cartridges the new Predator comes chambered for are a fine assortment of fodder for either the varmint or predator hunter. So far Ruger offers the gun in 204 Ruger, 223 Remington (with a 1:8 twist for heavier bullets), 22-250 Remington, 243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester.
To allow the sophisticated shooter out there to keep their options open, the new Predator comes standard with a threaded barrel.
These days hunting with suppressors is legal in 32 states, and it’s likely that more will open up in the near future. When it comes to popping wary predators, a suppressor can make a big difference in your daily bag, which is why Ruger’s new gun comes ready to accept one from the factory.
All things considered, I think the new Predator is the most intriguing offering yet in the American line of rifles. In all likelihood it will prove to be at least, if not more, successful than the models that came before it.
Featured image via Ruger.com