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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Ruger American Rifle Generation II
The Ruger American Rifle Generation II in the field.

Out of the box and into the field, the Ruger American Rifle Generation II did not disappoint. This is my download on this great new rifle.

So, there I was…deep in the heart of Africa stalking my prey. My rifle in hand and trusty guide leading the way through the tortuous bush. Ok, maybe it wasn’t Africa, and the bush wasn’t so tortuous. But it was an exciting hunt for an animal that once roamed the African plains until it became extinct there. I am talking about Scimitar Horned Oryx, and they are a testament to modern American conservation efforts. There were a number transplanted into Texas and as the saying goes, the rest is history. The location was Southwest Texas, and my handy rifle was the new Ruger American Generation II. Ruger had great success with the first American model, yet in a very Ruger way, felt it could always be better. And better it is. Looking for the perfect gift? Well, I can tell you that given the choice, Ralphie from A Christmas Story would have much better preferred the Ruger American chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

A Quick Walk Around

The Ruger American-made rifle has been the benchmark for accuracy, durability, and performance in bolt-action rifles for over a decade. Designed with customer feedback in mind, the Ruger American Rifle Generation II is available in a variety of calibers and is sure to become the first choice for hunters and firearms enthusiasts. Additional calibers and configurations will be available in 2024. The gun is visually a departure from the first American. First is the 20-inch spiral-fluted, cold-hammer-forged barrel. It not only brings performance to the gun but excellent cooling as well with its extra surface area while reducing overall weight. At the end of the barrel sits a radial muzzle brake that can be easily removed should you choose to mount a suppressor. The barrel, receiver, muzzle brake, and bolt handle feature a Cerakote finish.   

Ruger American Rifle Generation II

So What’s New?

In fact, there is very little semblance between the first and second American rifles other than they are both bolt guns. The American II features a Monte Carlo-type contoured stock with a cheekpiece. It has an adjustable length of pull making it easy to customize for almost any shooter. It can be set at the standard 13 ¾ inch LOP all the way down to a compact 12-inch LOP. The stock also has a splatter finish which is designed to provide improved grip without being too abrasive or aggressive. It creates a unique look as well. The gun is a shooter and Ruger’s patented Power Bedding integral bedding block system positively locates the receiver and free-floats the cold-hammer-forged barrel for outstanding accuracy. Helping that accuracy is the Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger. It breaks cleanly and can be adjusted to between three and five pounds. The recoil pad is one of the best and provides excellent recoil management.

Ruger American Rifle Generation II

The rifle’s receiver is topped with a factory-installed optics rail compatible with Picatinny-type scope mounting systems. This simplifies optic mounting. The single-piece, three-lug bolt cycles smoothly and features a full-diameter bolt body, dual cocking cams, and an oversized bolt knob that can be unscrewed and replaced by the end user. The bolt’s 70-degree throw keeps it clear of any mounted optic. Ruger has improved the finish on the bolt action for smoother manipulation. Tighter overall tolerances, including chamber, boosts accuracy potential. A three-round detachable box magazine feeds rounds into the chamber. A tang-mounted safety completes the action.  I had the pleasure of hunting with Paul Pluff during my Texas adventure, and he was especially excited about the new safety on the rifle. “The new American Gen II has an intuitive three-position tang safety. It locks the bolt to prevent inadvertent opening while you are out hunting or moving with the gun. There are many times people have accidentally had their bolts open on a hunt and had the round fall out. Of course, they discover this as they come up on their prize animal. This is no longer an issue”.

Ruger American Rifle Generation II

In the Field

As I said earlier, the gun is a shooter. I did real-world testing of the gun on a beautiful 40,000-acre ranch near Alpine, Texas. I was honored to be invited by Ruger to use the hunt as a testing ground for the American Gen II. This was a spot/stalk-style hunt on a herd animal that seemed to have psychic powers. As we would spot them in the distance, they would almost immediately begin to move. Once we did find a good male, we sat out on foot across the rolling hills and canyons of West Texas. This is the first place where I appreciated the rifle. Coming in at just over six pounds, it was very easy to carry. After almost six miles we were able to sneak up on the savvy bull and get into position. Using the terrain, we had available, we were able to get into a very comfortable 185-yard position. I could feel my guide screaming “shoot” in his head as I eased into the rifle. I was using Hornady 143-grain ELD-X for this hunt and with good reason. A full-sized male oryx can be almost a yard wide at the shoulders and push 450 pounds. I pressed my first round and it struck exactly as I aimed. Three more fast follow-up shots followed. What I noticed, especially under stress, was that the gun had barely any muzzle rise, and the bolt moved like glass. The rifle performed flawlessly and in short order, I had my first scimitar oryx down.

Ruger has always been good about listening to the end users of their guns. The American Rifle was a great gun without question and most companies would have just been happy with that. Ruger has taken a good gun and made it better. The Ruger American Generation II is a performance-driven gun that will serve you well on hunts as well as just on the range.

Ruger American Rifle Generation II

Ruger American Generation II Specs

  • Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Overall Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Overall Length: 41.25 inches
  • Barrel: 20 inches
  • Magazine Capacity: 3
  • MSRP: $729

www.ruger.com

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