Ruger American Rimfire

Success of the first American rifle leads to Ruger expanding the brand.

by Chick Blood

This can’t be considered the last article to appear here about the Ruger American line up. In the future you’ll be reading up on the pistol and, hopefully, another on the centerfire Ruger American Rifle which earned the 2013 Golden Bullseye Award from the National Rifle Association’s iiAmerican Rifleman magazine as “Rifle of the Year.” Whether the latter ever becomes viable depends on a rumor I picked up at 2016 SHOT involving a major change in policy regarding the bolt assembly. Present standard operating procedures require the rifle be returned to New Hampshire for any servicing. That would include cleaning! How come? Absolutely no information on bolt disassembly is available. No way, not from anywhere inside or outside the factory.

Such a policy might be considered wisely made in a Legal Department but I insist it’s plain dumb from a marketing standpoint. The American Rifle is a reliable, lightweight, accurate, reasonably-priced hunter and I reckon those arriving at the choice picked a true winner. It is among the top sellers for Ruger. My fear is that it will be spending so much time travelling back and forth for anything beyond basic maintenance that the rifle is in danger of being hit with a bum rap for not being present when wanted in the field. The fear cancelled out any personal hesitation regarding my mentioning that risk to a couple of senior management types who’d joined the passing parade in and out of the Ruger booth.

Turns out, someone “up there” must have heard me and decided I wasn’t a total kook. The rumored whisper reaching my ears at 2016 SHOT included not just a change in the existing policy but the inclusion of a factory service jig to be included with each rifle shipped. This jig makes it possible for any informed, practicing gunsmith to disassemble and reassemble the firing pin assembly, the most verboten of bolt components. Further, the presently-forbidden bolt detailed takedown information would be readily revealed to “previously qualified recipients.” A very short list of those recipients includes us. Keep your eyes peeled for a future article.

For now, I’ll continue filling you in about the American Rifle’s new rimfire cousin released just over a year ago.

Read more in the May 2016 issue.

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