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Thread: Ruger American 7.62x39 review, pt 2

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Default Ruger American 7.62x39 review, pt 2

    I just got back from the range after the first shooting session with the Ruger Ranch Rifle.

    Shooting the rifle left me with a combination of joy and frustration.

    First the good.

    The little rifle is a joy to shoot. It recoils into the sponge rubber recoil pad with the sensation of a .22lr, only more noise. The trigger is crisp and breaks well and in such a light rifle allows one to hold very well as the gun discharges. The rifle fed from the box mag well and I had no hang ups.


    Bad;
    It does refuse to eject the last round on a regular basis. Probably something to do with the last shot hold open on the magazine follower. That last round wants to flip around backwards and fall into the action. I really feel the ejector spring could be a bit stronger, but I have not taken the bolt completely down and there might be some residue inside the plunger cut. I do know that others have had the same issue with this rifle. I am going to try cleaning the plunger cut real well before calling Ruger on that issue.

    This little sucker is LOUD! I did put a muzzle brake on it and that might make it a bit louder than normal, but it really gets your attention.

    Accuracy;
    I had a Barska 3-9 compact scope mounted in a set of heavy rings as close to the bore as the large scope bell would allow. The cross-hairs on this scope are a bit thick but precise enough to do the job at 100 yards where they just barely cover a one inch dot. I have had this scope on a couple of other rifles and it is repeatable, adjusts precisely and holds zero.

    I used Wolf steel case to get the rifle on zero. I fired four 3 shot groups to get a 25 yard zero and then moved out to 100 yards. I used the same ammo at 100 yards to position the group 2.5" above POA for a 200 yard zero with this specific round.

    After zero I shot groups with 4 different ammunition types. The Wolf Steel case, Wolf Military Classic, white box spam can ammo of generic Russian manufacture and PPU commercial soft point. Each of the ammo types was 123 grain and the PPU is jacketed soft point commercial grade.

    The Wolf steel case grouped into 1.5" side to side and .80" top to bottom. That is about par for this ammo out of both my AK and SKS rifles when scoped. So the RRR is shooting at least as well with that ammo as anything else I own and I suspect it will be more consistent with that ammo over the long run.

    Wolf Military classic shot into 2.1". Not real good but not bad and a very usable group size. I only shot one group of 3 shots so I might have done as well as the other Wolf ammo on another group or on another day.

    Russian spam can ammo shocked the crap out of me. It grouped inside .90" in the tiny triangle you want and expect from good shooting ammo. It was better than any other ammo choice.

    PPU from Privi Partizan. This is brass cased soft point commercial grade ammo. It is what one would expect to use for general purpose hunting and is designed for medium sized game. It also costs four times as much as the other ammo. The PPU shot into a vertical string that I would not call a group. Three shots strung out three inches separated in a line 5.75" tall and .500" wide. The "group" was also six inches to the left of the POA and below the POA.

    That was very disappointing! Especially so since the surplus ammo grouped so well and proved the little rifle would shoot. This was an ammo problem, not a rifle problem.

    I am really tempted to pull some of the PPU bullets, mike them and weigh the charges. I suspect that the ammo is loaded with .308 bullets rather than the .311 standard for that bore.

    This was also the last group I shot, the close of 9 straight shots with only time to reload 3 rounds into the magazine between groups. The barrel was warm, but not hot.

    However, the Ruger Mini14/Mini30 platform has the reputation of stringing vertically as soon as the barrel warms. The Ranch Rifle may share that tendency. If that is the case buying a 20-30 shot magazine might be a useless endeavor, since you can not hit anything after the 4th or 5th shot anyway!

    I was getting tired and dehydrated as I finished the groups so I did not wait for the barrel to cool and shoot another group with the soft point ammo. I will try that ammo first from a cold bore next trip out. I hope it does better next time.

    The warning here is that you can not zero with surplus ammo and then use soft point commercial without checking the zero first. You might be unpleasantly surprised.

    I feel better about the rifle after shooting it. The little gun is accurate, with ammo it prefers. It is an easy shooting rifle, carries well and will do the job it is designed to do. I think it would make a good starter rifle for young shooters, women, or even small girls, since the recoil is almost nonexistent and the accuracy potential is present, as well as providing a cheap shooting truck gun for the average guy that wants more punch than a .223 and more accuracy than an iron sighted lever gun.

    If I can get the ejector squared away and get some large capacity magazines for general purpose plinking It will be a dandy. I am still contemplating the use of a scout scope on this one, or perhaps a red dot, just to make it easier to carry.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.


  2. #2
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Good write-up.

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    Thanks! It sounds like an intriguing little rifle.

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    Very interesting. I never would have thought different ammo would effect accuracy that much but my experience is rather limited and I have a lot to learn.

    I wonder if a cell phone camera could be used as a high speed camera to observe the final ejection problem. Mine has a slow motion setting that I used to watch a machine I built a couple of years ago. It would be interesting to try that. Might help other people. Oops, never mind I was thinking this was a semi-auto rifle.
    Last edited by jim Glass; 10-06-2017 at 04:24 AM.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I was contemplating the use of a red dot sight on this rifle, but the accuracy potential is so high that would waste part of the rifle's capability. But I am also looking at this as a woods rifle for medium range, medium sized game.

    With the range capabilities of this cartridge limited to the 300 yard area even a high power scope is a bit of a stretch, especially if it is a large scope and a large scope would overwhelm this rifle and defeat the purpose of its existence.

    I believe that this rifle would be a good candidate for a 1-4x25 glass mounted a bit high so one's hand would fit between the scope and the action for easy carry.

    Now that I am certain the rifle will shoot I am going to concentrate on making the rifle easier and more comfortable to carry. I have several rifles that shoot wonderfully but are a pure pain to carry in the woods.

    I am looking at this rifle as a substitute for the flat sided, easy carrying lever actions of a past era.

    Even the cheapest Marlin 30-30 is $400+ retail and the Henry is even more costly, and savvy pawn shop owners, the ones that stay in business, know what they are worth and charge accordingly. I have not seen a "cheap" lever gun for many years.

    One reason why the "economy rifles" of today have been so widely accepted. You can go to Walmart and buy a new bolt action cheaper than you can find a used 30-30.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Thanks for doing a review.... with specifics and actual results, this si the stuff most will find helpful.

    I am surprised the surplus ammo did the best as well......Hummmm..Go figure?

    Ammo does make a lot of difference...which is why so many people go to such lengths to come up with that perfect load....

    Quote>
    However, the Ruger Mini14/Mini30 platform has the reputation of stringing vertically as soon as the barrel warms. The Ranch Rifle may share that tendency. If that is the case buying a 20-30 shot magazine might be a useless endeavor, since you can not hit anything after the 4th or 5th shot anyway<

    That was my experience with an early Mini-14........first 3 right on the money....then started walking off.
    Was not impressed.......seemed big heavy clunky, and just a lot of "stuff" sticking out.....Unlike the other Rugers I have......that are smooth and doe well
    Swapped it off....

    I do kinda like the 7.62 x 39....for the reasons given....but all my shooting has been in a SKS.....
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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    My 83 year old mosin was like that. After swagging the barrel I found out why it was inaccurate. Now I use 303 bullets in my reloads and it does better. I hung an old 20 pound propane tank up at 400 yards. I thought it might make some sound when hit or make it sway. Nope. Went right through.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    One of the primary reasons I bought the bolt action 7.62x39 was to find out what the real accuracy potential of the cartridge was and what the different combinations of gun/cartridge should be expected to do.

    I had heard both the cartridge and the rifles available for them criticized so often that I do not trust anyone's "reports", especially after my own experiences.

    I have both an AK and an SKS with scopes mounted. They both use the good solid side mount particular to the AK platform. Yes, I bolted a side mount on my SKS. In both cases the accuracy I obtained convinced me that, 1/most people are not aiming their AK/SKS rifles before they pull the trigger, 2/Most of them are not as good using open sights as they claim.

    I was getting consistent 2" groups and often smaller from these rifles when they were scoped. All the while the "experts" were telling us the AK could not deliver better than 6" clusters at 100 yards, and the SKS could do about 4".

    I was also curious about the potential accuracy of the cartridge itself. How good was Soviet Block ammo? Was it loaded to the same standards as NATO or commercial ammo even at the huge volume of production seen by the 7.62x39.

    I believe that the answer to that is obvious. Soviet produced ammo from any source is as good as any NATO ammo available, except perhaps the match grade stuff. When you can get sub 1" groups from Russian spam can ammo that costs $0.20 per shot who can complain?

    Much the same experiences we were having a few years back when we were shooting crudely scoped MN rifles and that $0.18 cent a shot Bulgarian spam can ammo into 1.5 inch groups.

    The cartridge has the same accuracy potential as any other modern offering.

    I think the only way I am going to be satisfied with a soft point hunting load is to buy the dies and reload some myself. There is a good selection of .311 soft point slugs available today. After all, it is the same diameter as the British, Jap and several other military offerings and the selection of slugs is better now than it has ever been.

    My real problem is going to be developing a hand load for hunting that will be as accurate as the FMJ surplus ammo. Usually it is the other way around.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 10-04-2017 at 02:39 PM.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    BTW, my Ruger factory magazine arrived today.

    It fits as it should and functions fine.

    I tried two different brads of aftermarket magazine and neither would fit. Only the factory mags directly from Ruger, at $40 each, will work in this rifle.

    I am not sure I really need a bunch of high capacity mags with the intended use of this rifle. In my state you can not hunt with mag that holds more than 10 rounds and range work does not require more rounds. If you are using it as a predator control rifle the big magazine might be handy and it would be fun for general plinking. This is one of those rifles that shoots cheap ammo, hardly more expensive than good .22lr stuff.

    I bought the twenty round mag just due to it being the same price as the 10 round model and since I already had the 5 round mag that came with the rifle I am already set up for range work and hunting.
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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind having one but, it seems that anyone who has more than one or two is labeled negatively. Lol. I seem to have inherited more than I've purchased. I bet a lot of people could say the same.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    I wouldn't mind having one but, it seems that anyone who has more than one or two is labeled negatively.
    If that is the case someone better buy a new label maker when they get to my place!

    How about cars? We labeling car owners because people drive cars into crowds? I own three cars right now, I must be a baaad man.
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    So I guess my

    Black Guns Matter.

    T-shirt is out

  13. #13
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    There's a NRA banquet here next week. Even though I'll be labeled a terrorist, I need to go. For $35 you get to eat and a chance for some nice stuff.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    When did belonging to the NRA make you a terrorist?

    You are watching too much PBS and network news.

    I quit caring what those toupee wearing, talking head pretty boys thought of me a long time ago.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 10-04-2017 at 08:08 PM.
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    Can we put a silencer on them? Apparently, no one can tell where they are coming from if they have a silencer. Of course, I can't tell that now so....never mind.

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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    When did belonging to the NRA make you a terrorist?
    I was being facetious, unlike this guy:http://www.google.com/amp/thehill.co...nization%3Famp

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    That guy keeps getting fired job after job because of his speak-first/think-later affliction.
    Wilderness Survival:
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    And you guys still keep tuning in listening to the talk, reading the "opinions", and justifying the advertising that keeps these morons collecting paychecks.

    A simple three week boycott of the NFL has brought the league nearly to tears, but no one thinks they can make these "news-casting" bozos shut their mouths.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Using Olberman's criteria, free speech is journalism from an era when journalists sought truth to report not espouse their own version of some ideology that makes them judge, jury and executioner.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Sooo....That gun shoots that "terrorist machine gun ammo"?........
    Must be evil......
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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