Mere days ahead of the 2013 SHOT Show, we get out first glimpse at the Ruger Guide Gun. The new series of rifles are rugged, compact rifles weighing between 8 to 8.12 pounds. The guns are chambered in serious calibers: .30-06, .300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag, .375 Ruger, .300 RCM and .338 RCM. When the .30-06 is pretty much the starting point, you know you’ve got a major boom stick.
The gun has classic lines, but is an eye-catcher due to its combination of stainless steel finish and a Green Mountain laminate stock. The stock is supposed to be resistant to changes through various environmental changes. Sitting in a rack of guns at the local shop, every shooter will notice this gun. Love it or hate it, it will get noticed.
One of the most visually striking things about the new guide gun is the use of a radical-port muzzle brake. It is the single thing on the rifle that looks a little out of place. It looks a little “modern” for a gun with pretty classic styling. However, a good muzzle brake can really ratchet down felt recoil. Ask any .50 BMG shooter. But, muzzle brakes make shooting the gun much louder. Ask the guy next to the .50 BMG shooter.
Ruger developed the muzzle brake with the understanding that you may not want to use the brake all the time. So they came up with a muzzle weight that is the same size and weight as the brake. A shooter can take off the brake and put on the weight without having to re-sight their gun. Ballistically speaking, the weight and brake are interchangeable.
The length of pull is adjustable using three 1/2″ buttpad spacers. Sure, it is a little old-school compared to the adjustable M4-style stocks that seemingly are found on everything, but they work. That soft rubber buttpad the spacers attach to can absorb a lot of that recoil. Ever shot a .338 Win Mag? It makes quite an impression on the unprepared.
The Ruger Guide Guns feature a proprietary LC6 trigger. Ruger claims the trigger “features smooth, crisp performance” as delivered. It does not appear the trigger is user adjustable. The rifle uses a three-position safety.
The gun comes standard with express style sights, which are frequently preferred for guide guns. A guide gun is often used by hunting guides when taking hunters on safari. Should the hunter’s shot fail to disable dangerous game, the guide must be able to quickly stop the charging animal, so fast sights like these are often preferred. However, there are also integral scope mounts that are machined into the solid steel receiver should you want to put glass on your gun.
The magazine floorplate opens allowing for the removal of cartridges without having to cycle the bolt.
MSRP is $1199 across the board.