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Thread: Ruger American Compact- .243 Winchester

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default Ruger American Compact- .243 Winchester

    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.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The young man should get a lifetime of enjoyment from his new first rifle.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    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.
    Fantastic to hear, i've been eyeing one of those for a new mountain gun, gotta beat my 10lb. .375!

    Have you had one of those pro-staff scopes in the field? How did it hold up?

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    ​Great choice for first rifle, Isaac should make plenty of meat with it for the family.

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    Glad to hear. I have a similar story in that a friend just purchased an American for his daughters cow elk youth hunt. It's chambered in 7mm-08 , looking forward to checking it out.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Fantastic to hear, i've been eyeing one of those for a new mountain gun, gotta beat my 10lb. .375!

    Have you had one of those pro-staff scopes in the field? How did it hold up?
    I think it would make an OK mountain gun- not as light as you'd reckon. I had some trouble with the LOP- it's pretty short and the butt is narrow. I think it would make a great rifle for the snow machine where you have a thick coat on and don't want to expose flesh to unload and load.

    I've got a 4x Prostaff on my 10/22 and it's held up ok. The 2-7x seemed like a decent scope for $150.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    One of my favorite rifles. Topped with a 2-7/33 Leupold. Solid stick.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I have been looking at the Ruger Compact Laminate stainless in .243 for my son. Did you guys look at the the traditional ruger compact (opposed to the Ruger American)?

    Sobie2

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    I have been looking at the Ruger Compact Laminate stainless in .243 for my son. Did you guys look at the the traditional ruger compact (opposed to the Ruger American)?

    Sobie2
    Yes we did. I personally preferred the 77 Compact but the folks who were spending the money liked the much less expensive American. Kinda hard to blame them considering the kid had just enough for his half that he made $20-30 per yard and $5 an hour stacking wood.

    I did help the Dad set up a 77 All Weather in 30-06 as his first firearm of any kind and he's well pleased. He figures the boy will eventually grow into one of those and pass the American on to his two younger siblings. Pretty solid plan, that.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I had some trouble with the LOP- it's pretty short and the butt is narrow.
    Yep the Youth is 12.5" and the Standard is 13.75", having both options is nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I think it would make an OK mountain gun- not as light as you'd reckon. I had some trouble with the LOP- it's pretty short and the butt is narrow. I think it would make a great rifle for the snow machine where you have a thick coat on and don't want to expose flesh to unload and load.

    I've got a 4x Prostaff on my 10/22 and it's held up ok. The 2-7x seemed like a decent scope for $150.
    Thanks for the additional info!

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    these look like great kids guns for sure. i know my son will be getting something in this price range because i remember how rough on rifles i was as a kid and it wasn't pretty.

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    nice little gun. now call up NECG, get one of their front banded sights, and a peep sight for the rear base. IMO, a new hunter kills with open sights before scopes.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjustinm View Post
    these look like great kids guns for sure. i know my son will be getting something in this price range because i remember how rough on rifles i was as a kid and it wasn't pretty.
    I hear you! My kid latched onto my Steyr Scout as his first hunting rifle and I grimace every time I hear it make contact with the rocks....
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I hear you! My kid latched onto my Steyr Scout as his first hunting rifle and I grimace every time I hear it make contact with the rocks....
    which is probably every five minutes...or when its not busy being used to clear brush or as a walking stick.

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    Just an update to the thread....young Isaac practiced frequently with the air rifle and scrounged as much .243 ammo as he could to burn at the range.

    Last night he took a caribou with his "not so new anymore" rifle.

    It's pretty cool to watch the circle go complete first hand.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    nice little gun. now call up NECG, get one of their front banded sights, and a peep sight for the rear base. IMO, a new hunter kills with open sights before scopes.
    An Enfield No.1. Mk III front sight fits over the muzzle in the full size American in 308 with just a little emory work and then JB Weld. I coupled this with the Weaver mount peep and QR scope mounts. Makes a good combo for up to 100 yards for my old eyes. Have carried it everywhere and banged it around and it seems very durable so far.

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    243's are good little guns and I do not think that one could get a bad one no matter the brand. My 1st rifle was a Savage 110 'plain Jane' that I shot for years. Sent many rounds down range with it. That rifle has been pasted on to other family members for over 50 years now and is still shooting good.
    Great to hear about 'new' shooters coming on line!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Just an update to the thread....young Isaac practiced frequently with the air rifle and scrounged as much .243 ammo as he could to burn at the range.

    Last night he took a caribou with his "not so new anymore" rifle.

    It's pretty cool to watch the circle go complete first hand.
    Way to go hodge. Congrats to Isaac on his bou!

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