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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Ruger American Rifle Gen 2
The author sporting his Ruger American Gen 2 rifle and a fine deer he took using it.

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The Ruger American Rifle Gen II Is a Serious Upgrade to the Ruger Line – We Got Our Hands on it First

I aimed my first shot at the top of the red diamond, and it hit just to the left of that point. I racked the bolt on the new Ruger American Rifle, loaded another round of the Winchester Deer Season XP in 6.5 Creedmoor, and lined up the reticle on the same spot. Shot number two touched the first shot.      

Time to get nervous, my usual response. Can I do the same with number three, or will I blow it? Nerves and overthinking and the next shot likes to go six inches wide.   

Instead, I stood up and did some deep breathing. Then, I got back behind the Ruger and drilled the last shot nearly on top of the others. Total group size, fired from a rest at 100 yards, .46 inches.        


Which was my overall reaction to Ruger’s newest version of their American Rifle. The new rifle represents a serious upgrade over the standard American Rifle, and it was clear to me that Ruger really did some fine work here.

Ruger American Rifle Gen II Review

What’s New?

In 2012, Sturm, Ruger, and Company introduced the original American Rifle, a budget-friendly option for hunters who wanted a solid, very functional rifle without high-end, costly features. The American sported a poly stock and a detachable magazine, and it’s been a mainstay of Ruger’s hunting offerings ever since.

Today, the line includes numerous variations, like the Compact, Predator, and Ranch models.

This new American Rifle took that solid foundation and added:

  • A new synthetic stock with adjustable length of pull via spacers, plus an adjustable comb height using replaceable snap-on components.
  • A tri-color “Splatter Paint” finish on the stock, which looks very cool.
  • A spiral fluted barrel (except on the 450 Bushmaster) with a Cerakote finish, which looks even cooler.
  • A barreled action and an improved, three-lug stainless steel bolt with a smoother operation than past models.
  • A new, three-position tang safety with a bolt lock.

In addition to 6.5 Creedmoor, the new American Rifles will be available in 204 Ruger, 223 Rem., 243 Win., 6.5 PRC, 7MM-08 Rem, 7MM PRC, .308 Win., 30-06 Sprg, and 300 Win. Mag, plus the bigger bore 350 Legend and 450 Bushmaster cartridges.

Ruger will debut different barrel lengths, finish, and Cerakote color combinations, and calibers in the future, though the timelines and variations are yet to be decided.

Stock, Looks & More

Ruger American Rifle Gen ii

As far as looks, the synthetic stock on my rifle was finished in what Ruger terms Gray Splatter, a darker gray background with black and muted white splatters across the surface. The stock and forearm had a grippy feel to them, and the forearm featured a lengthwise indentation along each side for solid finger holds. The stock also had a black, slightly raised synthetic cheekpiece and a recoil pad that really did absorb recoil.

The barrel was threaded for a suppressor and came with a radial muzzle brake attached. For the original American Rifles, threading was only available on the Hunter model.

The trigger featured a bladed safety and broke at a very clean one pound, nine ounces, on average. No take up. I squeezed, and my shot was gone. Very nice.

No sights, but the rifle comes standard with a Picatinny rail mounted atop the receiver.

This Is a Hunt-Ready Rifle

I also used Hornady Outfitter and Winchester USA Ready 6.5 Creedmoor in my testing, and both brands made three-shot groups of between .85- and 1.0-inches.

But the Deer Season XP and the rifle—which also placed three-shot groups of .83-, .90- and 1.0-inches—are going to be my hunting go-to combination.

Ruger’s done a fine job on the new American Rifle, and it’s a firearm I would love to use on future hunts.

Specifications: Ruger American Rifle Gen II

  • ACTION: Bolt
  • CHAMBERING: 6.5 Creedmoor (As Tested)
  • RECEIVER: 4140 Carbon Steel Blend
  • STOCK: Synthetic, Splatter Gray Finish
  • BARREL TYPE: 4140 Carbon Steel Blend, 1:8 RH Twist, Cerakote Finish
  • MAGAZINE: Detachable, Poly, Three Rounds (As Tested)
  • TRIGGER: Bladed w/Safety, 1 Lb. 9 Oz. Avg. Pull
  • SIGHTS: None. Picatinny Rail Mounted On Receiver.
  • WEIGHT: 6.5 lbs.
  • LENGTH: 41.25″ w/Muzzle Brake
  • ACCESSORIES: Spacers to Adj. Pull, Extra Cheek Piece for Comb Adj.
  • MSRP: $729

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