Hunting: Quality rifle not expensive

As an avid deer hunter for more than 40 years, I’ve come a long way from the .303 British carbine ri

As an avid deer hunter for more than 40 years, I’ve come a long way from the .303 British carbine rifle I bought for $45 and now are selling on for $499, without a scope.

We all know the price of firearms has continuously risen, but not on all of them. As many of you know, I’ve had/tested and written about quite a few new guns, but when my friend, Paul Galcik of Schuylerville, suggested a new gun story idea, I was hesitant at first.

His suggestion was to put together a quality, accurate rifle and scope combination for under $500.

At first I thought, no way, but when he mentioned Ruger American, I remembered an incident at the Shot Show this year when I had a chance to shoot the new American rifle.

When I first shouldered the American, I was very impressed with its design features, and when I put three shots in a quarter-sized group from a bench rest at 100 yards, I was impressed with its accuracy.

After talking with Paul, who had checked the prices in his wholesale catalogs, I spent some time on the internet to see what they were going for and found that you could really own this Ruger and very good scope combination for less than $500.

My choice, a factory-new Ruger American .308 caliber compact rifle, I found for a “buy-it-now” price of $310.

As for my scope choice, I found a 2-7×35 Burris FullField II for $128. And even with a box of Hornady’s SuperFormance 165-grain SST ammo costing $28, I was still under $500.


The Ruger American is offered in eight centerfire and three rimfire configurations.

Features include the Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger with a crisp 3-  5-pound pull, lightweight stock with contouring grip and recoil pad, 70-degree bolt with smooth and easy round cycling while the gun is shouldered, integral bedding block system that positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel, hammer-forged barrel resulting in ultra-precise rifling for more accuracy, longevity and easy cleaning.

It also has a tang safety, flush magazine, drilled-and-tapped receiver that includes a factory-installed scope base and weighs 6.25 pounds. It’s a lot to offer for just $310.

Having used Burris scopes before, a FullField II with the Ballistic Plex reticle was an easy choice. It has high-performance optical glass that provides excellent clarity and contrast for a quick and clear acquisition of target, no-glare lenses, simple integrated eyepiece and power ring with non-slip grips, easy windage and elevation steel-and-steel adjustments and 1/2 MOA click value.

Of course, the true test is shooting at the range.

Paul mounted the scope and used a collimator (bore sighter) to pre-align the scope, and we headed to the range. Using the Hornady 165-grain bullets, it took just three rounds at 50 yards to perfect both windage and elevation.

Then we moved the target to 100 yards. Two shots almost touching in the 10 ring was all I needed. The next stop for the American will be this Saturday morning when I enter the Allegany County deer woods, where I’ll hopefully make my own buck tale.

There are several other things that led me to this hunting rifle combination. The Ruger American won the NRA Rifleman Magazine’s Golden Bullseye Award for Rifle of the Year, Burris Optics recently was recognized by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers for its Excellence in Manufacturing and Hornady received two Golden Bullseye Awards for its Superformance ammunition.

I’d like to add one more award from me — the deer hunter’s buy of the year.

Categories: Sports

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