Ruger’s New Hard-Hitting Rifle


Maybe it’s just a macho thing, but many people find firing large caliber rifles as much fun as function. I have an elk hunt booked on public land in Colorado this fall and will need all the right elements for success including an accurate, hard-hitting rifle with a great scope. Last year, I tested a Steyr rifle in 338 RCM (Ruger Compact Magnum) and was amazed at the mildness of recoil from the large magnum caliber, just one step below Cape buffalo medicine: the .375 H&H Magnum. The new Ruger Guide Gun has a short 20-inch barrel with a short action that’s ideal for the spot-and-stalk tactics needed in Colorado, especially when pressured bulls hide in thick, dark timber where a quick second shot may be critical.

RugerGuideGun 030The rifle is stocked in a handsome Green Mountain laminate, which gives the rifle a cool camo effect without sticks and leaves. The barrel is matt stainless and tipped with a muzzle break that can be moved and replaced with a dynamically-matched muzzle weight or a thread protector. Ruger rings come in the box and the stock offers an adjustable length of pull (LOP) for a better match to the shooter’s characteristics and hunting conditions. I’ll be wearing lots of insulation in the high mountains, and the shorter LOP helps to shoulder the rifle more quickly.

True to its name, the standard iron sights are excellent for a guide’s back-up rifle as the front sight features a stand-out white bead and the rear sight a white post to the notch, allowing for instant alignment in a time of crisis. I’ll mount a scope, yet the standard sights are very effective for moderate range shooting. This rifle has many options such as break or non-break, open sights, and integral scope base… and I can’t wait to fire it. I’ll test felt recoil using the break against the use of a Limbsaver Recoil Pad, which should easily handle the moderate recoil of the .338 RCM. For full stats and more information, check Ruger and Limbsaver‘s websites. RugerGuideGun 005

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.