It has now been about eighteen months since I
reviewed the Ruger American Ranch
Rifle. That first specimen was chambered for the 300 AAC
Blackout cartridge. This new version of the Ranch rifle is very
similar, so I won’t re-plow the same ground here, but will
deal only with the specifics of the 450 Bushmaster version.
The Ranch rifle shown here wears the correct
tan stock color. The early 300 that I reviewed was shipped with
a black stock, but all production American Ranch rifles now have
the correct tan color. The rifle has the same superb bedding
system and Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger. It has the same
seventy-degree bolt lift, but wears a magazine which protrudes
from the bottom of the stock to accommodate three of the large
450 Bushmaster cartridges. The 16.12-inch barrel wears a very
effective muzzle brake, which can be detached, if desired. A
thread protector is provided to cover the 1 1/16x24 TPI threaded
The 450 Bushmaster cartridge was developed
for use in the AR-15 rifle system, thereby limiting its overall
length to fit the AR magazine. In the Ruger, the three-shot
magazine is long enough to allow for a longer overall cartridge
length, increasing powder capacity to any given bullet weight.
One of my favorite bullets, and probably my absolute favorite,
is the Barnes homogenous copper tipped bullet. It feeds
perfectly from the Ruger magazine, weighs 250 grains, and offers
ideal performance, even when pushed very fast. In the Ruger, I
was able to safely push the Barnes bullet to 2500
feet-per-second (fps), beating the factory load by almost 400
fps. This really ups the power and performance of the 450
Bushmaster cartridge beyond what can be obtained in the AR-15
rifle, by seating the bullet out of the case by about 3/16 inch,
and using Hodgdon H-110 powder. Neither Hodgdon nor Barnes list
this load, so I will not give the data, but the load was
absolutely safe IN MY RIFLE. As always, work up a load that is
suitable in your rifle.
Accuracy was excellent, especially with the
handload using the Barnes bullet. The Hornady factory ammo was
almost as accurate, turning in three-shot groups of about one
and one-half inches at 100 yards. The handload broke the one MOA
The Ruger Ranch rifle comes with a one-piece
scope base. Atop the base I mounted a Leupold VX-6 1 to 6 power
scope, which is ideal for such a rifle that may be used as close
as a few feet or out to a couple of hundred yards and more. The
optical clarity is superb. The scope focuses closely enough to
clearly see the muzzle brake through the scope when set on its
Shooting the 450 Bushmaster rifle was very
enjoyable. Even from the bench,
this lightweight rifle was a pleasure to shoot, due to the
excellent stock design, muzzle brake, and the soft recoil pad.
The rifle proved 100 percent reliable with proper ammunition. I
tried some very blunt lead pistol bullets, but they did not feed
reliably. The semi-pointed factory ammo and all other handloads
using bullets of similar shape fed, fired, and ejected
perfectly. The thirty-six-inch overall length and 5.5-pound
weight make the Ranch rifle a delight to carry in the woods or
field. The bolt runs smoothly, and the Marksman trigger is an
excellent trigger for such a rifle, offering adjustability and a
Again, I won’t go into all the details of
the Ruger American rifle design,
as I have covered that in previous reviews, so I refer the
reader to those previous reviews for the intricate details, but
for someone wanting a powerful big-bore bolt gun for use on deer
and hogs, the 450 Bushmaster version of the American will be
hard to beat. It is much lighter, handier, and less-costly than
an AR-15 chambered for the same cartridge.
The 450 Bushmaster American Ranch Rifle is
light, handy, powerful, accurate, reliable, and made in the USA.
The Ruger American Ranch 450 Bushmaster rifle
is available now, with a suggested retail price of $599 US as of
the date of this review, but a little shopping should find one
for a bit less. That is less than half the price of a new 450
Bushmaster AR, and the Ruger weighs about two and one-half
pounds less. The Ruger American Ranch Rifle is an excellent
choice for a lightweight Thumper.
Check out the Ruger American Ranch Rifle
online at www.ruger.com.
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Ruger American Ranch Rifle
online, click on the Gun Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
For a closer look at the extensive line of
Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
To order quality 450 Bushmaster ammunition,
go to www.midsouthshooterssupply.com
extra magazines and accessories, go to www.shopruger.com.
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