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The Keefe Report: The Ruger Ranch Thirty

The Keefe Report: The Ruger Ranch Thirty

For a company that is as American as apple pie, Ruger has been in the 7.62x39 mm business for a long time. The company introduced the Mini-Thirty rifle back in 1987—not long before the fall of the Iron Curtain—and it was big enough news to make the cover of American Rifleman. It turns out the 7.62x39 mm was a pretty good cartridge. It could do most of the jobs then performed by the .30-30 Win., and the running dog capitalists and their lackeys flocked to it. 

But what if you like the 7.62x39 mm cartridge but want something besides a semi-automatic? As popular as the 7.62x39 mm has been, relatively few bolt-action rifles have been chambered for the affordable cartridge. Well, Ruger might have the rifle for you. Based upon requests from customers, Ruger has adapted its Ruger American Rifle to accept the steel detachable box magazine of the Mini-Thirty rifle.

The full name is the “Ruger American Ranch Rifle Model in 7.62x39 with Mini-Thirty magazines.” That's a mouthful, and as imaginative as the “Springfield Armory SAINT w/Free Float Handguard.” I think people will end up calling it simply the “Ranch Thirty,” and it is my hope Ruger follows their lead.

The gun, built on the affordable and proven Ruger American Rifle Action, has a cold-hammer forged 16.12”-long barrel with a 5/8-24 thread at its muzzle for those seeking to add a suppressor. A cap is included for those who do not. The stock is flat dark earth, and the gun includes the Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger.

The new gun ships with a five-round-capacity detachable box magazine, released by pushing the magazine catch at the rear of the magazine well. Know how the Mini-14 magazine release works? It’s the same principle. And in case you're looking for more capacity, this little handy bolt gun will accept any Ruger factory Mini-Thirty magazine, including 20 rounders. The Ruger American Rifles I have fired have been remarkably accurate—especially considering their modest sticker prices—and I cannot wait to take it out to the range to see what a good barrel can make of the 7.62x39 mm’s accuracy potential.

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