By Dave Workman
Chambered for the awesome .450 Bushmaster cartridge, Ruger’s American Ranch rifle is as interesting a bolt-action as the cartridge is powerful.
With a muzzle brake and smooth barrel, Ruger offers this rifle with a factory-mounted one-piece aluminum scope base on the receiver, a Flat Dark Earth synthetic stock with QD sling swivel studs and a soft recoil-absorbing butt pad. The stock is textured on the front grip surface and forend, so my guess is anybody shooting this beast will have a solid hold, rain or shine.
This stock got my attention because it will be impervious to the kind of fall and winter weather I’m used to in the Pacific Northwest. It boasts a patent-pending Power Bedding integral bedding block system and the 16.12″ cold hammer-forged barrel is a free-floater, cut with six lands and grooves on a 1:16″ right-hand twist and is threaded with an 11/16″-24 pattern). The overall length is 36″.
The cartridge is no pansy when it comes to punch. The .450 Bushmaster cartridge is based on the .284 Winchester case. It launches a 260-grain .452-caliber bullet at more than 2,180 fps, and a 250-grainer at just over 2,200 fps out of a 20″ barrel. According to Hornady, which loads this ammunition, the 250-grain pill produces 2,686 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle. Trust me, you only want to be on the back end of this rifle!
This is something of a short-range cartridge, shooting okay out to 200 yards with a trajectory that drops beyond this range. Essentially, it is a round with sledgehammer authority for brush country that will stop pretty much anything that moves on two or four legs on the North American continent.
Ruger built the American Ranch model to handle it; that much is for sure. The rifle features Ruger’s Marksman Adjustable trigger that’s adjustable between 3 and 5 pounds. It has a 13.75″ length-of-pull. It’s got a tough three-lug bolt with dual cocking cams that offer a 70-degree throw so there’s plenty of room for the handle to clear a scope, according to Ruger specifications.
The safety is located on the tang and the metal is finished matte black. It’s got a three-round single-stack magazine, so with one up the spout, you’ve got four shots to bring down the game. With the kind of muscle one has with the .450 Bushmaster, you should be able to bring down elk, deer, bison, bears, hogs and anything else within reasonable range.
Best of all, it weighs 5.5 pounds without a scope, so this is an easy-packing rifle for all kinds of terrain.
According to Ruger, the MSRP on this model is $599.00.