There’s always reason to view top-10 lists with caution when the results are narrowly focused on one outlet’s volume, although there’s no denying Gunbroker.com’s 2020 compilation of the top bolt-action rifles sold through its website sends a strong message. Ruger dominated the category and did so in convincing style.
Coming in at number three in the bolt action list last year was the Ruger Precision Rifle. The firearm dropped from the number one position it held in 2019, five-year reign that began with its introduction. That sounds like disappointing news for the company’s executive team, although it was a pair of Ruger’s own that knocked it from the podium’s top rung. Better yet, another of the company’s rifles is nipping at its heels in fourth place. Ruger introduced the first generation of the Precision Rifle in 2015. Initial chamberings included .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. Gen 2 arrived in 2016, with 6 mm Creedmoor added to the offerings. Today you can also choose .300 PRC, .300 Win. Mag., .338 Lapua Mag. and 6.5 PRC. The .243 Win. model is no longer listed as available.
There are seven different models available in Ruger’s regular lineup for 2021 and six manufactured for distributor exclusives. The latter group features some racy color patterns, including red, dark earth, brown and even a patriot flag motif. Otherwise, you have a more businesslike choice between Cerakote gray or black.
Ruger Precision rifles use the company’s folding MSR stock, which is adjustable for cheek weld and length of pull. It features a Picatinny rail at the bottom of the buttstock—which can be replaced with an AR-style version, thanks to the buffer-tube style system—and multiple QD attachment points.
M-LOK slots are on all four sides of the aluminum free-float handguard. The safety is ambidextrous. The Picatinny rail mounted on the receiver make mounting optics fast and, depending on chambering, is either a 20 or 30 MOA version. Bolts are one-piece, three-lug machined from 4140 chrome-moly steel. The bolt handles are oversized.
Barrel lengths vary from 20" to 26"—depending on model—feature 5R rifling and are all cold-hammer forged from chrome-moly steel. Add the gun’s TriggerTech with Frictionless Release Technology trigger or the Ruger Marksman model, both with the ability to vary let-off weight, and it’s easy to see why this rifle was reigning champ for five years in a row.
Models chambered in .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC will set you back $1,599. The new-for -2021 Cerakote grey in 6 mm Creedmoor is the top of the line at $2,399. Other versions have MSRPs somewhere between those figures.
For a closer look at Ruger’s Precision Rifle, take a look at American Rifleman’svideo review.