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Problems with Ruger American

This is a discussion on Problems with Ruger American within the Ruger Bolt Action forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I bought a new RA 308 left hand bolt. I had heard it was very accurate. My gun however is anything but. I received the ...


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Old January 15th, 2016, 01:19 PM   #1
 
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Problems with Ruger American

I bought a new RA 308 left hand bolt. I had heard it was very accurate. My gun however is anything but. I received the rifle and installed a new set of Burris steel rings. I then bought a new Nikon 3x9x40 scope and mounted it up. Loaded up some 150gr over H414 and 150 gr over H335 and took it to the range. Zeroed it at 50 feet then went out to 100 yards. Now my zero at 50 feet was two shots so no groupings. At 100 yards first shot was not printed on 10x15 target. Moved right to edge of ring and shot, printed about 3 inch high and 2 inch left. Adjusted and shot and hit about 2 inch high and 2 inch left. Adjusted and hit close to center. Shot second group and hit all over the place holding on center. I use a gun rest that holds the front and back of the rifle. I shot about 50 rounds and it was all over the place center, 6 inch high 6 inch low left right.

I thought it may be a bad scope. bought a new Nikon 4x12x40 and checked to make sure the screws were tight. All was tight on rails and rings. Mounted the new Nikon scope and loaded up some more of the same ammo and took some Perfecta [not the best ammo but I can hit 3 inch groups at 200 with my M1A all day long. ] Same deal shot at 50 yds and it hit high left adjusted and was dead center. shot a third time to see where it hit at 50 feet after adjusting and it hit way high. I did not adjust but went out to 100 yards. It did the same thing it did before all over the place high low left right center. I am down to it has to be the gun.



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Old January 15th, 2016, 01:32 PM   #2
 
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Did you use blue lock tight on the base screws? I've noticed most guns come from the factory with a scope base that wasn't tightened enough or even with any lock tight on it.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 01:35 PM   #3
 
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The base was installed at the factory and they were so tight I could not move them with a lot of force either way. I blue locktight the ring to base screws. I did not locktight the scope ring cover screws but checked them when taking the first scope off and they were so tight it made a crack noise from high friction when removing them. Its not from being lose I promise you.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 01:39 PM   #4
 
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I always use an inch pound torque wrench and blue lock tight on everything. Maybe the frame screws are loose or something.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 05:08 PM   #5
 
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The barrel will heat up very quickly and start spraying bullets. You will drive yourself nuts trying to sight it in with multiple shots in a short time. Once you get a shot close to your target, stop and let it cool completely. Then fine tune it with a couple more shots. It's not a target rifle. More than accurate enough for hunting. It cost me a lot of factory ammo to figure this all out with my sons RAR LH SS .30-06.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 05:48 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Planetcat View Post
The barrel will heat up very quickly and start spraying bullets. You will drive yourself nuts trying to sight it in with multiple shots in a short time. Once you get a shot close to your target, stop and let it cool completely. Then fine tune it with a couple more shots. It's not a target rifle. More than accurate enough for hunting. It cost me a lot of factory ammo to figure this all out with my sons RAR LH SS .30-06.
I am sure heat can cause it to shoot a bit off but not flying around like mine was today. I was shooting one maybe every Min.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 08:49 PM   #7
 
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Just for fun, clean the barrel, buy some good ammo, like Horady Fuzion or even some match grade stuff. Then shoot 5 rounds at 100yrd waiting 2 min between shots.

Don't expect to come to excellent conclusions with less than excellent ammo.

DON"T CHANGE ANYTHING. You're changing ammo, scope, range all at once then wanting to find a specific problem.

Establish a baseline by shooting 5 rounds from a cool barrel first. Then go from there.

Do not underestimate how much heat will effect your thin profile barrel.
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Old January 17th, 2016, 02:35 AM   #8
 
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Took me many years to relive that most hunting rifles need be shot on cold clean barrel . I will shoot 1 shot clean wait shoot another. For hunting reasons I will leave gun in cold then check zero. My ra 308 predator is a great shooter warm or cold. Get lucky on guns once and awile. I am not a high volume rifle shooter. My 308 Hawkeye is back at ruger , bolt opens hard after fireing, stringing shots. Had rifle 10 years maybe 100 rounds. Hope they can figure it out,has sentimentle value.
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Old January 17th, 2016, 04:18 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrickj View Post
Took me many years to relive that most hunting rifles need be shot on cold clean barrel . I will shoot 1 shot clean wait shoot another. For hunting reasons I will leave gun in cold then check zero. My ra 308 predator is a great shooter warm or cold. Get lucky on guns once and awile. I am not a high volume rifle shooter. My 308 Hawkeye is back at ruger , bolt opens hard after fireing, stringing shots. Had rifle 10 years maybe 100 rounds. Hope they can figure it out,has sentimentle value.
Sorry but any rifle that had to go through that to shoot sub 6 inch groups at 100 yards is a rifle that is going on Gun Broker. I have had a lot of rifle and still do, Ruger 77 3006, Rem 700 3006, two 03a3 one rem one smith corona and they will shoot as dirty as you want with open sights 3 inch groups all day long. I did buy a box of lake city 7.62, and some IMR 4064 and some different mag primers. I thought I would load up ten rounds of 4064, ten 414, and take ten of the lake city. Three targets and see what that does. If they all shoot erratic then when I get the shipping lable it goes back to Ruger Tuesday.
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Old January 17th, 2016, 04:56 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike12 View Post
Just for fun, clean the barrel, buy some good ammo, like Horady Fuzion or even some match grade stuff. Then shoot 5 rounds at 100yrd waiting 2 min between shots.

Don't expect to come to excellent conclusions with less than excellent ammo.

DON"T CHANGE ANYTHING. You're changing ammo, scope, range all at once then wanting to find a specific problem.

Establish a baseline by shooting 5 rounds from a cool barrel first. Then go from there.

Do not underestimate how much heat will effect your thin profile barrel.

Spike12 is EXACTLY right. If you change everything at once,you will NEVER figure out what the real problem was/is. The fact that the rifle is spraying rounds everywhere indicates something is loose. You need to establish a base line. Make sure the rifle is torqued into the stock at the correct value. Make sure the scope and mount are tight and correctly installed. Use GOOD factory ammo. Start the sighting in process at 25 yards. This is to see if the rifle groups at all. If it is grouping, THEN move out to 50, 75, 100 yards. If it isn't grouping at 25 yards, THEN you may have a problem.

Remember, the American is a $500 hunting rifle, not a Multi-thousand dollar bench-rest rifle. Having said that, they are very accurate.Start with 3 round groups with time to cool in between shots. After all this, you MAY have a rifle that doesn't shoot well. Then you can sell the rifle with a clear conscience.

It is frustrating I know. Keep us posted.
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Old January 17th, 2016, 05:15 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by SafetyJoe View Post
Did you use blue lock tight on the base screws? I've noticed most guns come from the factory with a scope base that wasn't tightened enough or even with any lock tight on it.
wasn't tightened enough or even with any lock tight on it

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Old January 17th, 2016, 06:40 AM   #12
 
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Both my Ruger Americans came with both the scope base screws and the action screws loose & no Loctite. One had the stock touching the barrel at the forend tip. I relieved the stock in that area and Loctited and torqued the action screws to specs. They both shoot very accurately now. I know it's a bitch having to work on a new rifle to get things right, but Ruger in it's quest to build the most guns it can, has let QC go down the drain it seems. No inspectors working? Slap them together and ship them out is their new motto I guess.
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Old January 17th, 2016, 08:06 AM   #13
 
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No its not the rings or the rails. I checked when I replaced the scope. There was no movement and I could no tighten the screws at all. I took it back to the range today one last time before packaging it up and sending it back. Used 10 150gr hand loads over IMR 4064 with magnum primers Winchester. 10 rounds of NATO 7.62x51 and 10 rounds of Winchester factory ammo. Best group I got was about 3 inches with 3 rounds next one went 4 inches high and next 4 inches low. I would shoot one round and it would hit with in an inch at point of aim next one was 7 inches high next one 5 low. All shot on a rest with 2 min between shots and the barrel was never hot to touch. Warm but never hot. If this is the best it can do there is something wrong. I have had things lose before and never have I had so much of an all over the place shooting. Even when I have had something lose in the past when I went over the sights ect it was found and fixed. I have went over this taken it apart and changed scopes. Its the gun or its very bad luck and the scope is bad twice which I highly doubt. I have had scopes that are not great and will shoot much better than this. Its not that the gun does not like this or that ammo. My ARs some are very picky on what they like but even ammo they hate will shoot 3 inch groups at 100 yds. The only time I have see something like this was in my Smith Corona o3a3 when I loaded up some 110 gr 30 carbine bullets for it and it would not group worth a darn. 150 gr with the h414 and iron sights would group 3 to 4 inches at 100 all day.
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Old January 17th, 2016, 08:31 AM   #14
 
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OP It sounds like the RAR is not a good rifle for you. Admittedly, the RAR has had a few minor QC issues, predominantly the forestock touching the barrel (did you do the dollar bill test?) and unevenly torqued screws. Both can easily be dealt with, but one thing that cannot is the barrel profile.

The RAR is a hunting rifle, plain and simple. It was designed to be ridiculously accurate cold bore and for a follow up shot or two. Once the barrel heats up it will start stringing shots. If you plan on doing more than hunting, then I recommend selling the RAR and getting a RAP, which has a heavier barrel profile and will not string shots after just three or four rounds.

I'm not saying there isn't something wrong with your rifle. Just suggesting that even after the problems are resolved, you may still be unhappy with it. The Predator is every bit as accurate as the RAR (though I am not a fan of the color), but much better suited for fun at the range or any other activity that requires a higher rate of fire.
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Old January 17th, 2016, 08:44 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Scorpio View Post
OP It sounds like the RAR is not a good rifle for you. Admittedly, the RAR has had a few minor QC issues, predominantly the forestock touching the barrel (did you do the dollar bill test?) and unevenly torqued screws. Both can easily be dealt with, but one thing that cannot is the barrel profile.

The RAR is a hunting rifle, plain and simple. It was designed to be ridiculously accurate cold bore and for a follow up shot or two. Once the barrel heats up it will start stringing shots. If you plan on doing more than hunting, then I recommend selling the RAR and getting a RAP, which has a heavier barrel profile and will not string shots after just three or four rounds.

I'm not saying there isn't something wrong with your rifle. Just suggesting that even after the problems are resolved, you may still be unhappy with it. The Predator is every bit as accurate as the RAR (though I am not a fan of the color), but much better suited for fun at the range or any other activity that requires a higher rate of fire.
I understand about s thin barrel and heat. This is not that. If 2 min shots and a barrel that is only warm to the touch affects this rifle this bad its not even good for a hunting rifle. I highly doubt that this is the problem. If what my rifle is doing is how they all act I would have heard on the web a heck of a lot more complaints then I can find. I highly doubt its anything but peculiar to this particular gun. BTW I checked again the rails, I actually broke a star bit off snapped it clean trying to tighten down the screws before I got one bit of movement. I got a new star bit and checked and they all were very tight not one bit of movement and took quite a bit of torque to remove them. No lock tight but that does not matter if they are tight, may be a problem in future but not what is causing a problem now.
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