A friend of mine recently solicited my help in setting up a rifle for his 12 year old son as his first hunting rifle. We looked at several models and he (the son) finally chose a Ruger American Compact in .243 Winchester. The rifle felt pretty good and the trigger was pretty remarkable for a budget class shooting iron. We picked up a set of Leupold Rifleman rings and a Nikon Prostaff 2-7x32. Father and son split the cost of the rifle- not a bad use of yard mowing money in my estimation...
Mounting and bore sighting the scope presented no significant issues and after running a few patches down the barrel we headed to the range. We zeroed the rifle in just 5 rounds and the short, stiff barrel was remarkably accurate with the plain Federal Blue Box 100gr. ammo. I managed a couple of 1.5" groups at 100yds without any trouble from prone over a daypack. I'm pretty sure that rifle would respond to handloading or selecting a different load with sub-MOA accuracy off a proper benchrest.
The zeroing chores done- we handed the rifle over to Isaac- who had never fired any thing except an air rifle previously. In all fairness- Dad and I had him on a pretty substantial program with the air rifle and he's gotten pretty good at it. A few more moments safety instruction and some shooting coaching and his first effort was a nicely done 2" group at 80 yards on 3x. Then we reloaded and he fired a 1.5" group at 80 yards on 4x. A couple more at 100 yds resulted in a flyer, but still in the kill zone on anything bigger than a gopher.
All in all- Dad and son are quite happy with the purchase- particularly considering the new rifle, scope and rings were less than $550. With a box of ammo and sling totaled just shy of $600.
Pretty nice way to spend a day all things considered. I do hope that Ruger will produce this in a left hand action at some point in the near future.