Recently, Sturm Ruger & Company issued a Safety Bulletin on the highly touted new Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). This safety bulletin only effects a certain batch of the Ruger Precision Rifles manufactured so far, so owners will need to follow the instructions from Ruger to determine if their rifle needs to be examined and fixed.
The BlueSheepdog Crew had the opportunity to shoot the Ruger Precision Rifle at SHOT Show 2016, and we were very impressed. The accuracy of the RPR was amazing (approximately 1/2 MOA at 100 yards with a 3-shot group), and the highly functional stock with easy and fine adjustments for length of pull (LOP), cheek weld, and butt stock height were very nice. As we wrote in our review of the Ruger Precision Rifle, the action of the bolt was slightly more loose than we would prefer, but the end result was an outstanding rifle at a price in the range of most shooters.
Ruger Precision Rifle Safety Bulletin
The Ruger Safety Bulletin for their Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) is not a general recall, but instead focuses on specific rifles (regardless of caliber) having an aluminum bolt shroud and within the serial number range of 1800-26274 to 1800-78345, or 1801-00506 to 1801-30461. Only these rifles need to be examined and potentially retro-fitted to fix a problem Ruger has found.
Newly manufactured Ruger Precision Rifles with a serial number beginning with 1802 or 1803 are NOT affected by this safety concern, and do not need to be retro-fitted. In addition, RPR’s with a polymer bolt shroud are not included in this Safety Bulletin.
If your rifle does not fall within these (2) categories Ruger has expressed confidence the RPR will work as designed and without any further examination. However, if your RPR does meet the (2) criteria listed in the Safety Bulletin, please read on for a potentially very dangerous safety issue.
The RPR Safety Concern
Some of the Ruger Precision Rifles have experienced interference between the aluminum bolt shroud and the cocking piece (also known as the firing pin back). Ruger advises, in rare occasions, this interference can disrupt the firing mechanism of the RPR and cause improper functioning. This interference can cause the following undesirable events to occur:
- Light primer strikes
- In extreme cases, the rifle may not fire when trigger is pulled
- If #2 occurs, the RPR may fire when bolt handle is subsequently lifted.
This interference appears to be very minimal, but with a potentially very dangerous side effect. Some owners may not have fully appreciated the interference, as the two parts in question will often work themselves out from repeated bolt manipulation
How to Determine if Your Rifle is Affected
If your Ruger Precision Rifle falls within the Safety Bulletin serial numbers (1800-26274 to 1800-78345, or 1801-00506 to 1801-30461), and has an aluminum shroud, then your RPR could potentially be affected by this safety concern. However, if the shooter has experienced light primer strikes, failure to fire, or discharge upon lifting the bolt handle you should contact Ruger to obtain a FREE replacement bolt shroud immediately. In addition, the shooter should not use their RPR until the replacement shroud is received and properly installed.
Ruger believes that most rifles within this range will never experience an issue. In fact, if you have already fired 100 rounds or more through your RPR without having an issue it is very unlikely your RPR is affected with this safety concern. Even still, if you are unsure if your rifle is exhibiting the characteristics of this Safety Bulletin, Ruger encourages you to sign up for this offer and they will send you a FREE replacement bold shroud regardless.
What You Should Do if Your Rifle is Affected
If your RPR meets the criteria of this Safety Bulletin, or if you are unsure of the safety of your rifle, you should sign up for Ruger’s FREE replacement bolt shroud. Ruger will ask for your RPR serial number, and contact information so they can send you the replacement bolt shroud. Ruger will also provide instructions on how to remove the old bolt shroud and install the new one.
The replacement appears to be a relatively easy fix, but if you are not comfortable working on your rifle be sure to take it to a certified and reputable gunsmith so the bolt shroud can be installed correctly.
How to Determine if Your Bolt Shroud has been Replaced
Newly manufactured Ruger Precision Rifles will have serial numbers starting with 1802 or 1803 or higher. Replacement bolt shrouds of the new design are easily identified with the presence of a round dimple on the angled surface directly behind the firing pin back.
If your bolt shroud already has the mark, it was manufactured with the new design and will not require any action on your part to ensure your rifle is safe to fire.
NOTE: Some rifles have been fitted at the factory with replacement bolt shrouds that do not bear this dimple. Shooters should refer to the serial number to verify whether their rifle is potentially one of the rifles affected.
Ruger Precision Rifle Safety Bulletin and Sign-In
Ruger Customer Service
It would be great if every product manufactured never had to be fixed, however that is not a reality. Unfortunately, even in the high precision CNC machining process of making modern firearms, a slight miscalculation can cause a series issue.
Though I am disappointed there is a problem with the Ruger Precision Rifle, I am very pleased with Ruger’s fast and determined response to the issue. Ruger has been a leader in the firearms community in recent years, in both new models of firearms and in total sales. It is always refreshing to see one of the “Bigs” own up to a problem, and offer a quick and relatively painless solution. In the end I have not lost confidence in the Ruger Precision Rifle, and have gained appreciation for their customer service.