Chris Parkin is in the beautiful Welsh countryside, enjoying the weather with an equally enjoyable Ruger precision rifle in .338 Lapua.
Chris Parkin puts the Ruger Precision Rifle in .338 through its paces:
We spent the day at WMS Firearms Training to test the rifle and see how it performs on the range at 1000 metres. Immediately, whilst zeroing off the turrets, it became clear that the bore sighting worked remarkably well, and the rifle was smooth and stable to use.
One of the most impressive attributes of the rifle was its ability to manage recoil and muzzle jump. The Ruger Magnum muzzle brake compensated for any recoil whilst the in-line recoil path that runs directly from the receiver to the buttstock, rather than through a traditional bedding system, provided improved accuracy and performance. There was absolutely no muzzle flip or rise during the testing.
The bolt operation was excellent, with an oversized handle for easy manipulation, and Ruger have used a 5/16”-24 thread pattern to ensure replacement is easy. A cold hammer forged barrel, at 26” has been finished in a very aesthetic Type III black hard-coat. With a pull range of 2.25 to 5 pounds, the Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger functions well to ensure good performance. Out in the field, at a range of 1000m, the excellent functionality of the three-lug bolt was apparent. With a 70mm bolt handle, the long bolt pulls back into buffer zone in the stock and has three springs on its sides to keep it centralised and prevent it from stuttering as you load your ammunition into the chamber.
It feels like and old school Mauser 98 railroad feel.During the set-up phase of testing, the advantages of the AR style stock the 338 Lapua came with became clear. Both the cheek piece and recoil pad can be easily adjusted simultaneously to maximise performance, and locks back into place securely without rattling when being shot.
The rifle has a single staged trigger with an inner safety blade and pulls between 2.5lbs and 5lbs, although it felt more like just over 2lbs. One negative though is the AR underslung grip that is positioned far into the rifle rather than being slightly sloped and further back to provide a better reach to the centre pad of the trigger.The only downside is the noise. On top of my regular ear defenders, I have also got in ear plugs to help dampen the noise. It feels isolating to not be able to hear the bullets hitting the target, or the wind changes and coordinate as a shooter-spotter team. Having said that, it has been a fun rifle to use and one I have thoroughly enjoyed testing today.
For a 9kg rifle, including a scope and bipod, it was overall a very enjoyable gun to use and at £2,500 I am surprised by the level of quality. Perhaps it needs some slight modifications to be perfect across the board, but for a heavy rifle the Ruger Lapua 338 is well worth it.