Since the day I started shooting again in 2013 I have always had the dream of getting a Long Range Rifle. The idea that it was hard to get a license for big rifles was on my mind and it was expensive to put the money down to be met with the rejection of a license. Well I’m here to tell you to look at every calibre the same when shopping for your next rifle. As long as you can motivate the use of the firearm you don’t need to fear the idea of a declined license.
In 2021 I had accumulated a few rifles each with it’s own purpose but nothing that was really a long range calibre. I was trying to decide between the 338 Lapua Magnum and the 300 PRC. The 300 PRC has a lot going for it and the main thing was the flat trajectory. On wind however in theory it was very similar to a 338 Lapua.
I decided to pull the trigger on the 338 Lapua due to the increased barrel life. The rifle I chose was different to what I always did in the past. Money for shooting in South Africa is always tight. Because of this people tend to buy an affordable rifle and then with time build on this platform. A great example would be if I had bought a 300 PRC Howa, have a trigger job done, add a muzzle brake, and lastly add a chassis, the cost would build up pretty quickly. I decided to pull the trigger on an out of the box rifle. In comes the Ruger Precision Rifle. All you have to add is a scope and some scope rings.
Why did I choose to go this route? When you are looking at building or buying a Long range rifle, the starting point is always the bullet. The first decision is what bullet I want to shoot. The second decision is how fast would I like to shoot this bullet?
My criteria was that I would like to shoot a 285-300 grain bullet. The speed I wanted is around 2770 – 2850. For this I needed a 1 in 9 to 1 in 9.5 twist barrel. Barrel length needed to be minimum 26 inches. I wanted an out of the box rifle that I knew was tested in this configuration and had passed the factory requirements. The Ruger Precision met these criteria and it did it for under R 60 000. Now that is not a bad price for a serious piece of equipment. Other features that helped me decide on the Ruger was the 30 MOA picatinny rail, the 60 degree 3 lug bolt and the fact that the buttstock and barrel are in line with each other. This last feature assists in reducing recoil on such a big calibre.
The 338 also comes with a 18 inch fore end with a built in ARCA rail. This allows me to use my existing bipods. A Picatinny rail is included with the rifle if you would choose to use that instead. The rifle also has 2 x 5 round magazines included.
The Ruger Precision has served me very well in the last few months and has given me confidence to show up to a long range rifle match knowing that my rifle is not my limiting factor.
Now I am not saying that you must buy a 338 Lapua magnum over a 300 PRC. What I am saying however is to determine what bullet you want to shoot at what velocity. Then determine what rifle you want, and again add up all the bits and pieces you need to purchase to get to a competitive package. To date I have changes my muzzle brake on my 338 and added a bag rider and nothing else.
The Ruger Precision Rifle is a Serious contender for any Long Range setup!