Ruger Rifle Magpul Makeover

Make (An) America(n) Great Again!
; .

The Magpul drop-in Hunter American Stock — Short Action,
shown with Magpul bipod and sling.

The rifle was accurate, but I wanted more. Don’t we all? Besides, telling my Ruger American rifles apart by merely glancing at them would be a bonus. I was accumulating Ruger Americans faster than a crazy cat lady. Did I have a problem?

They’re all very accurate in factory guise, but sometimes the need to customize is too much to ignore. So, we piddle. Not like cats in a litter box, but the piddling making our guns more “ours.” It allows us to personify them on a personal level.

When I bought my standard Ruger American, it came with a rotary magazine fitted flush to the stock. It provided four rounds of ammo. Carrying one in the chamber upped it to five rounds.

The Need For More

Using Magpul’s nifty 10-round magazines wasn’t an option — this model wasn’t designed for them. Of course, we always want what we can’t have, so I kept my ear close to the ground, always looking for a way to convert my “plain Jane” rifle to accept the 10-round magazines.

Then I saw it on the Internet. Magpul makes drop-in stocks for Ruger American! And best of all? It allows the use of P-Mag magazines. Bingo! Called the Hunter American Stock–Ruger American Short Action, it’s just what I wanted (needed)!


Admittedly, I’m more of a lever-action kind of guy but this Drop-In stock has benefits. Especially since my already-proven standard Ruger American would be used — recycled? — for the project. I’d be able to adjust length of pull and comb height for a custom fit. Plus, this Magpul stock is very ergonomic, a big word meaning comfortable.

Removing the barreled-action reveals the key to the American accuracy. Two V-block bedding blocks allow the barreled action to be tightly snugged up to a stable platform in the synthetic stock, allowing the barrel to be free-floated.


The standard Ruger American in original factory guise.

Drop In, Anytime

The heart of the Magpul stock is its anodized aluminum bedding block, wrapped in reinforced polymer. Two oversized steel recoil lugs, much larger than those on the factory stock, are placed into recesses for bolting the barreled action to the stock. The lugs are sandwiched between the barreled action and aluminum bedding block, providing a rock-solid mounting system for free-floating the barrel.

The stock is equipped with a magazine well that accepts the PMAG 5 7.62 AC, allowing use of detachable box magazines without custom inletting.

Order Up!

A call was made, and the stock ordered, as well as other accessories like sling, quick detachable mounts, lightweight bipod, and of course, several 10-round magazines. These DIY projects are very basic, not requiring much mechanical ability. As the name says, “drop-in” is just that. If you can operate an Allen wrench, you will have no problems.


I’m not a fan of scopes with huge objective lenses. I prefer compact scopes that look balanced on the rifle they reside on and I see a scope within my budget when checking emails one day. It’s perfect for the project. It was Primary Arms SLx 1-10X28 rifle scope with a 34mm tube. Eye relief is a noggin’ saving 3.2″–3.5″. Its profile is perfect for me as I will be using it as a hunting rifle.

Weight is 19.1 oz. and length is only 10.5″. The reticle is red when power is turned on from a CR2023 Lithium battery with a BDC style reticle for both windage and elevation. I used a Primary Arms GLx 34mm Cantilever Scope mount for mounting the scope.

Other Accessories

The Magpul is built for accessories, and they have a slew of hardware for whatever your needs may be. I went with QD hardware for their simple sling, along with a lightweight bipod.


Typical targets from Tank’s rifle with both factory (left) and cast handloads.


I used a box of Black Hills 155-grain green-tipped MatchKing ammo and a tried-and-true cast handload using a 165-grain a RCBS FNGC slug loaded over 20 grains of 2400 loaded in Winchester brass and sparked with a Winchester large rifle primer. Velocity runs at 2,000 FPS. Accuracy was no surprise, as I’ve shot this rifle a lot in the past.

Most factory ammo runs around ½” for 3 shots at 100 yards and my cast load usually shoots around 1″ for 3-shots at 100 yards. The Primary Arms scope makes hold-over easy with its BDC-style reticle. The Magpul stock is comfortable to shoot with and feels good in the hand.

If you’re looking for an easy way to dress up your tired Ruger American short-action rifle, Magpul has the stock and accessories for you to do so.

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