Ruger SR762 Review
For today’s video, I’m reviewing Ruger’s new .308 AR-style rifle. Spoiler Alert: It’s awesome.
Losing Isn’t All Bad
I don’t win things very often. Not surprising, since I’m not especially competitive by nature, and therefore I don’t often compete in anything in which there is something to win. And when I do, I am usually content with not being last place. Most recently, the thing I did not win was Ruger’s 10/22 design contest. Ruger asked for design submissions and then they picked 10 of the designs for fans to vote on in an online poll. The winning rifle will be produced by Ruger and offered for sale to the public, and the winner was to receive $5000 in Ruger product and a special tour of the Ruger factory.
My design was one of the lucky 10 finalists, and I was actually in the lead for a large chunk of the time the poll was open. You can see my submission in the above link as “Chris from Tennessee”. Ultimately, however, I lost to Gary from Michigan, who came up with an excellent idea for a 10/22 with aperture sights, an integrated scope rail, and the adjustable stock from the new Ruger American rifle series. Gary’s an instructor for Project Appleseed, and his design will be ideal for anyone interested in attending one of their rifle training clinics. Or just anyone who wants a good .22 LR semi-auto… I like his concept enough that I just might be able to overcome the bitterness of defeat and buy one when they come out. You can read more about Gary’s explanation of the rifle concept on his guest post at The Firearm Blog.
Fortunately for me, all nine of the runners up (or is it runner ups?) in the Ruger contest were given the opportunity to pick any single firearm from the Ruger catalog for free (at least before the IRS takes their share). Sometimes being a loser has its benefits. Ruger had just come out with the SR762 the week before the contest started in October, and while there are plenty of other Ruger firearms I would be happy to own, I knew right away the SR762 would be my choice.
An Easy Decision
I’ve had my eye on an AR-style .308 for a long time. I’ve just never been able to think of any reason that’s compelling enough to actually shell out the cash for one. I’ve owned other .308 semi-autos, but they never seem to perform well enough to do justice to the cartridge they were designed for, and I wasn’t willing to pay the extra cost for the rifles that would. It’s really tough to find a rifle in this category that’s under $2000, runs reliably, is easy to mount optics on, and is capable of accuracy better than 3 or 4 MOA.
But recently, we’ve seen some .308 ARs enter the market that offer an attractive combination of quality, features, and price. There have been “affordable” big caliber rifles available on the AR platform for some time, but the attractive prices come with some sacrifices, most notably in the areas of reliability and quality control. But now Ruger, Sig, and S&W are offering what appear to be very solid options in the $1500-2000 range that don’t come with the same strings attached as the budget rifles.
But What’s It For?
Even with these mid-range AR options available, there was still something holding me back from wanting to make a purchase: what would I do with this rifle? If I want a home-defense carbine for doing rapid fire drills and suitable for running around with at a class or a 3-gun match, I have a standard AR-15 in 5.56×45. And if I want to shoot at longer ranges or hunt medium-size game with a .308, there are plenty of affordable bolt guns on the market with sub-MOA accuracy. Maybe a .308 semi-auto carbine would make sense for the guy who needs to have just one rifle to do it all. But I’m fortunate enough to not be in that position, and I can own multiple firearms, each suited to a specific role. So what role would be filled by a .308 AR?
Well, when you’re faced with the option of owning one for free, I’ve discovered the better question is “who cares?” When Ruger sent the paperwork for me to claim my prize, I didn’t even have to think before scribbling “SR762″ on the form. I try not to spend money on guns “just because”, but that doesn’t mean I can’t own one for reasons that basically amount to “it looks cool and seems awesome and cool and I want one so I can be cool.” And now that I have had a chance to shoot it for a while, I can think of plenty of even better reasons to keep it around, most of which are outlined in the video above.
But one thing that wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the video is just how fun this rifle is to shoot. The recoil is enough of a push for you to really feel the power behind the round, but not so much that it leaves you with a sore shoulder. That’s a huge bonus the SR762 has over shooting from the bench with a stiffer-kicking bolt action. And the fact that it’s pretty dang accurate doesn’t hurt either. After seeing some other reviewers achieve consistent sub-MOA groups with handloads in the SR762, I’ve recently dusted off my Lee press to see if I can duplicate their results. Even if I can’t turn it into the tack driver that others have, it’ll still make a great rifle for shooting the Heavy Metal division in 3-Gun. I might not win, but sometimes being a loser is pretty sweet.