Ruger Custom Shop 6mm Creedmoor -Road to Precision
Ruger Custom Shop 6mm Creedmoor in the Wild.
We’ve all heard or read the same same introductions to gun related products. They are literally same same every flippin’ time. I stopped reading them and I stopped trusting these fabricated reviews and infomercials for the fact that they are bought, generic, and typically dishonest. I can’t stand them, so I avoid them. This is not one of those reviews and neither are any of my reviews. --Go see for yourself on my YouTube Channel Rangetech North America (<<LINK) OR stay here and read what I have to say about the Ruger Custom Shop 6mm RPR..
Out of the box it was a rocky start. No, it was not good, but I carried on with the review. After my initial shock at opening the box and finding the foregrip and barrel badly misaligned I took the rifle apart down to the forend and re-installed the screws applying blue Loctite as I went because this is not my first rodeo.
Things come loose without blue Loctite after all.-- it was invented for this very reason. Mechanical devices exhibit vibrations and movement which cause things to loosen off over time; and, I’m a busy guy that doesn’t want to have to re-zero and recheck my rifles every time I go out.
At this point everything appeared correct...
After the initial setup of the rifle, I set it aside as I waited for the scope to arrive. What I chose after careful consideration was the relatively new Leupold Mark 5 #180222 with the PR2-MIL FFP. I hand picked the PR2-MIL FFP reticle for the low clutter/high functionality/fine line design. I really like my precision and this scope delivers but the Mark 5 review is for a future article.
For those not familiar with the reticle it is a blend of simplicity and ingenuity. It is a reticle that both the beginner and the expert can appreciate. (Above Image Courtesy of Leupold and Stevens.)
Figure 1 Leupold Mark 5 in Warne Scope Mounts Skline Precision Mount w/20MOA slant
The Mark 5 5-25 scope was mounted in the Warne Scope mounts Skyline Precision 35mm 7842-20MOA 1 PC Precision Cantilever Mount with 20MOA built in slant.Link This was intentionally chosen because eventually I will be switching out the 20MOA rail for a 40MOA rail allowing me a full 120 MOA of elevation adjustment with the scope. That’ll allow me to really stretch this rifle out. The mount also weighs very little while still maintaining Warne Scope mount strength through a carefully thought out design.
Mounting a scope to a new rifle is always a little nerve wracking for me. I’ve had them be so perfect that I needed just a single click, but this wasn’t that case.
BORE SIGHTING FOR INITIAL ZERO
What I discovered when I bore-sighted and went out to shoot was a little baffling but before I get into it lets share some positives about the RPRs from the beastly 338 Lapua down to the micro sniper rifle 22 Long Rifle variant.--they all shoot exceptionally well if you take the time to set them up correctly. Each one has shot bug-hole groups with match ammo. ...but in this case, I hadn’t noticed something, and it bit me a little hard. –more on that later.
Initial bore sighting showed some odd results, but I moved on with initial break-in of twenty rounds to give the barrel a good start to life. By shots 18, 19, and 20 I had a nice three shot ragged hole with the 6mm 108 grain ELD-M ammo from Hornady. Impressive considering how tiny these bullets are dimensionally. Let me say though that this testing was not just a test of functionality of Hornady ammo. I used Hornady and Berger ammo. In a later writeup I’ll discuss the 6mm Berger Match 109 grain ammo, 308 OTM tactical 175 grain ammo, and both 140 and 156 grain 6.5 Creedmoor ammo.
3.5 MILS to the left
After my first round I was left wondering where my shot went. I was none too pleased when I found it had hit significantly right of center. In fact, it was 3.5 mils to the right which is no bueno. After I dialed in 3.5 mils of left windage my cross hairs and point of impact came together but I wasn’t happy because weird stuff happens when a bore is that far out of true compared to the scope –if it’s the bore that is.
I was really not in the mood to ship the rifle back to Ruger without at least giving myself a chance to see if I could locate the issue.
After all, many gun issues come down to user error. I didn’t want to be the guy sending back a rifle with nothing wrong. I’d rather spend a minute and fix it myself since I have a few skills. (I do not recommend that everyone do this though—you must have the proper tools, knowledge, and background)
I dug into the rifle again and voila, the problem showed itself. The scope rail had shifted in an odd way when I torqued it down. It was also full of machine oil from the shop at Ruger, which though not my fault would have been picked up if I had checked it over more thoroughly. As a rule I go through every rifle I buy and make sure that bolts, screws, and bases are properly attached and torqued to spec.. This should be your rule too, no matter what rifle or manufacturer. Every manufacturer has the occasional bad day and every manufacturer is short staffed these days.
This will not be changing anytime soon so the sooner you become more self reliant the better.
Once, I had gone through the process of bedding the scope rail and re-mounting the scope it became obvious from bore sighting the rifle that the scope was now in line with the bore. I had to take off almost all of the left hand windage adjustment to center the scope which I feel much better about. I was left with a windage adjustment of less than an MOA. This means there will not be any weird angles to contend with like there would have been had I run with the jenky setup. It's also very likely, if not certain, that the scope rail would have eventually shifted too. This would have led to a bunch more headaches down the road so better to just do it right...right? It took about half an hour of time, some blue Loctite, and some rubbing alcohol to clean the mating surfaces.
So, in the long run this is a reminder to all of us that we need to do our part to make sure our rifles are set up correctly before expecting them to shoot like Chris Kyle’s rifles. As you can see from the photo below, the rifle shoots amazingly well. That’s three shots with the 6mm Creedmoor and the slightly dropped shot was definitely me.
Figure 2 3 Shot Group, shots numbers 23,24, 25 are indicated by the green line.
Following the zeroing at 100 meters the rifle was taken to 930 meters/1000 yards where it stacked 3 round groups on several targets. I’m really excited to shoot this rifle more. I’m super happy with the results just using the Berger and Hornady commercial ammo. I will be reloading my own though. –that’s a big part of this journey for me and it’s where the whole thing turns to art instead of just science. In fact, the Redding Dies just showed up an hour ago.
For those of you gun nerds out there that just gotta know the nitty gritty details, the specifics regarding the rifle and the setup are listed below.
The 6 Creedmoor custom shop Precision rifle is $2499.USD complete. It delivers a bunch of new features and a build out that is, well, just exactly what I would have told them to do in the first place.
As you can see the rifle now features a Magpul KOE 2Plus grip, ambidextrous safety, barrier/blockade stop, custom heavy contour 26” 1:7 twist match 5R barrel, with 5/8-24 thread barrel thread. Mounted to the barrel is a APA muzzle brake which does a fine job. The Trigger is a TriggerTech Ruger Precision Rifle model which is new to the market.
On a side note: I am about to start testing the latest Triggertech which will be showcased shortly. You’ll want to follow our blog and the YouTube channel Rangetech North America for more on this exciting new development. No doubts it's gonna be excellent.
NOTE: the ambidextrous safety is now a feature.
FIT AND FINISH:
The finish of the rifle is a type 3 Hardcoat Anodized with a grey Cerakote. The stock is the same as previous Ruger Precision Rifles but with the added custom pad which the customer can attach if they choose. I added padding with my previous precision rifles, so I was very happy to see this.
Figure 3M-Lok accessory slots in magazine well and forend w full-length Arca Rail/Barrier Stop (I chose to switch to AMEND 2 MAGS for the improved base plates which makes inserting/changing mags much easier)
The aluminum free float hand guard comes with M-Lok slots and a continuous Arca rail on the length of the bottom of the hand guard. This really makes things a lot easier for both tactical and competition shooters. Worth noting is that in the side of the magazine-well there are also M-LOK slots for adding match-saver rounds or other accessories. Truly, this rifle is well setup!
Let me also add that in the past I have chastised Ruger for not making this rifle’s fit and finish to a level high enough for professionals. My opinion has changed with the introduction of this rifle, and I believe that with just a little bit of improved QC on Ruger’s part this rifle should be going to militaries and police departments that are without the massive budget for custom built rifles.
The rifle comes with a 20MOA scope rail which is a good choice but not a great choice. Almost all serious scope manufacturers produce scopes with 96-100MOA of elevation so if you want to really take advantage of that elevation to really get out there you’re going to either be buying a 40 MOA rail or a scope mount such as the Warne Scope Mounts Skyline precision scope mount with 20moa of slant built in.(This link is sometimes slow)
I really appreciate this Warne scope mount by the way. --It is light, rigid, and craftsmanship is second to none. It’s also very sleek while offering many options to accessorize, such as adding one of Warne's slick new scope levels.
WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE:
Hidden within the rifle is an improved firing pin tip. Hopefully, no more pierced small rifle primers. More on this IF it’s an issue. Previous RPR versions would pierce small primers occasionally. Ruger has once again proved that it is listening to feedback and addressing customer’s issues.
The bolt throw is 70 degrees with the three-lug design. It locks up smoothly and quietly. The bolt body is nitride coated to improve lubricity while running the bolt and it is noticeably smoother than my both gen 2 6.5CM RPR and the gen 1 6.5CM RPR I originally tested. If you’re curious to see some of those reviews please visit Rangetech North America on YouTube or RUMBLE.
It’s worth mentioning that the barrel is still replaceable by the average person with a few simple tools like a barrel action rod, go/no-go gauges, a torque wrench, an AR armorers’ tool, a shop vice, and a little patience. There are loads of videos on how to do this and I’ll be doing it myself IF I ever wear out one of Ruger’s barrels.
Final thoughts on the 6mm Custom Shop RPR and outcomes from testing.
The rifle delivers amazing precision. A near perfect first round hit at a mile down a complicated twisting windy canyon is everything I dream of and the 6mm Custom Shop Ruger Precision Rifle and Mark 5 Scope mounted in the Warne Skyline MSR mount delivered just that. Shots at ¾ of a mile were stacking on top of each other one after another until I grew old of it and moved on to further targets.
What this means to me is that anything closer in will be a piece of cake and you can know that the rifle will deliver shots like a laser beam.
So, here’s the lowdown.
If you have been following us for a while you know that we strive for full disclosure and don’t pull punches when it comes to manufacturer’s discrepancies.
...I paid for the rifle, scope, and mount out of my own pocket. I did get some discounts not available to most but that’s because I’m in the industry. That’s it. The review is NOT at all influenced by anyone. No one asked me to do this or any review. I chose to do this myself because I’m a happy customer of all these companies and I want to see them thrive. When I'm disappointed I expect the manufacturer to make it right with as little headache to me as possible.
PROS VS CONS:
In fact, the parts build out on this rifle is what I wished for and did with my previous precision rifles from Ruger. Starting with each build out I switched off the Ruger brake which is good but not great. In this case they went with an APA brake which delivers maximum recoil reduction and stabilization of the barrel keeping you on target for fast follow ups and shot confirmations. The previous brakes were sufficient for accuracy, but they lacked a little in the follow up due to the path the recoil took the shooter.
Moving back from the brake and looking at the heart of any precision rifle we see that Ruger changed out the barrel and went with an M-24 straight contour barrel. This again is my favorite barrel contour and I make no apologies for its added weight. The straight contour delivers laser accuracy and puts structure where it’s needed—from the breach to the muzzle. I have never been disappointed with this contour, and it is what I use and recommend to anyone building out a precision rifle.
Which is something I rarely do these days. I rarely build rifles because there are enough companies such as Ruger who are produced amazing rifles. We have set records with these rifles such as a first round hit at 2515 meters with the 338 Lapua version on a 14x 20” target.
More importantly My students achieve success with them over and over making shots at a mile with the 6.5 Creedmoor version.
Before we go any further back we need to discuss the new fore-end. The new version has an integral arca rail built in which allows the use of a myriad of excellent tripods such as the Leupold Carbon Fiber Pro Guide tripod talked about here.
TRIGGERED BY THIS BUILD:
Ruger has further improved the build with the use of the Triggertech trigger designed specifically for the RPR. I was and am very happy with the RPR but be warned that once you go Triggertech you never go back. This was sort of the cherry on top of an altogether great system. Triggertech triggers use a patented roller bearing system which delivers crispness second to none.
The trigger is also easily adjustable with ¼ turn clicks which deliver precise predictable adjustment making the achievement of your desired pull weight super simple. The trigger is adjusted externally with the provided Allen key.
I prefer 2.5 pounds trigger weight typically but I also shoot tactical style typically in many weather conditions. Numb cold fingers lose their sense of touch. So consider what your needs are and adjust accordingly.
Triggertech is also releasing a new RPR trigger which we are starting to assess as of this writing.
FIT and FUNCTION:
The rifle is perfect for the family who all want to share in the experience the satisfaction of long-range shooting together but don’t have the budget for a rifle for everyone. The RPR buttstock which may not be pretty leaves nothing needed when it comes to adjustability and stability for just about any shooter size.
My only complaint over the years which you can hear in one of my RPR reviews here was that the action was not as smooth as I figured it should be. Previously, I rectified this by polishing the bolt and action with valve lapping compound but there is no need to do this on the custom shop version.
We’re all impressed with it here at Rangetech.us. We did have a hiccup in the setup but that is in the past and as I started to write this article the bedding compound under the scope rail was setting up.
The action is nice and smooth without the hiccup the old versions had where the bolt handle slid over the buttstock attachment. The trigger and the newly specced Magpul KOE-2Plus grip with its steep angle and rubber coating fit the hand so well. There is no struggling with the rifle. Set it up, forget about it, and go shoot it. You won’t be disappointed I promise.
Ruger are also fantastic about taking care of their customers so long as the customer properly explains what’s wrong but take the time to go through the rifle before rushing it off. You'll thank me for this and you'll be a lot happier with any rifle you buy if you follow these set up steps.
The rifle is my new favorite. I'm literally off to the mountains of central Idaho with it to have some fun so I am outta here...see you in the next one.
WARNE SCOPE MOUNT'S TRIPOD
TRIGGERTECH RPR TRIGGER
LEUPOLD MARK 5 5-25 SCOPE
Аmend 2 Mags
Threats to Global Freedoms
The Far Right's Race to Support Putin
EBERLESTOCK TERMINATOR SNIPER BACKPACK SYSTEM
Final/Final RESULTS: Sub .25MOA at 100 Yards/One Mile First Round Hit