More 7.62×39 Bolt Actions? Ruger American Ranch Rifle (Yes, Please!)

While the 7.62×39 Russian round enjoys a reputation as a fantastic overall cartridge, it has sadly been largely relegated to generally inaccurate platforms. Now, before the fanboys get all over me, yes, the AK can be accurate – its just harder to get one than say an AR or bolt-action. Fortunately, that is changing. With the success of the Howa mini-action, it seems that Ruger cannot let the offshore-made rifle have its way with the bolt-action market.

Seeing the opening in the market, Ruger has announced the Ruger American Ranch Model chambered in 7.62×39 Russian. This gives the round an excellent platform by which to prove its versatility and accuracy instead of the clunking AK platforms or even Ruger’s own Mini Thirty.

For specs, the rifle has a 16” barrel, threaded suppressor-ready 5/8×24 with a 1/10” right-hand twist using 6 conventional grooves. The stock is Ruger’s well-liked synthetic American-style stock, featuring a length of pull at 13.75”. No sights are included, but the receiver includes a pre-mounted picatinny rail. Total weight is 5.9 lbs.

As a bonus, the bolt-action rifle takes Ruger’s Mini Thirty magazines. The Mini Thirty includes factory options for 5, 10, and 20 rounds with aftermarket options up to 30 rounds. That’s a lot of firepower for a bolt-action gun.

MSRP is set at $599, which in Ruger style will likely street for a bit less.

In short, I want this. Thank you, Ruger.


Specs from Ruger:

  • 5-round Mini Thirty® metal box magazine. 10 and 20-round magazines available at com.
  • Ergonomic, lightweight synthetic stock designed for quick, easy handling blends a classic look with modern forend contouring and grip serrations.
  • Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ trigger offers a crisp release with a pull weight that is user adjustable between 3 and 5 pounds, allowing shooters to make that perfect shot.
  • The one-piece, three-lug bolt with 70° throw provides ample scope clearance and utilizes a full diameter bolt body and dual cocking cams for smooth, easy cycling from the shoulder.
  • Patent-pending Power Bedding®, integral bedding block system positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel for outstanding accuracy.
  • Compact threaded barrel (5/8″-24 thread pattern) is cold hammer-forged barrel results in ultra- precise rifling that provides exceptional accuracy, longevity and easy cleaning.
  • Features a visible, accessible and easy-to-actuate tang safety that provides instant security.
  • Soft rubber buttpad is crafted for maximum recoil reduction.
  • Factory-installed one-piece aluminum scope rail.
  • Also includes – magazine; sling swivel studs.


TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


  • Dan

    Will someone PLEASE make a bolt action in 5.45×39? Please?

    • Jolly


    • PK

      My suggestion is to get a bare short action intended for 5.56x45mm, then have a gunsmith make a barrel for it using a Green Mountain blank. Modifying the bolt face to open it from 0.377 to 0.394 is usually no big deal, and then you’ll have your 5.45x39mm bolt action.

      • Tassiebush

        Are you aware of any 10round 5.45×39 AR mags? Because that sounds quite cool!

        • PK

          No, but that’s once again something not insurmountable… possibly something offered as a custom item to California shooters to remain in compliance with the law. Possibly a 10rd 5.56 mag with a different/modified follower and a little work done to the feed lips… possibly just a 10rd AR mag, as-is! They are fairly close, but I can’t recall if I ever tried to get 5.45x39mm to feed out of a normal 5.56 mag.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The case taper on the 5.45x39mm makes them a poor fit with the guide ribs of a standard 5.56mm AR mag. Nathaniel F. told me that his experimental attempt to load a STANAG magazine with 5.45mm was basically a complete failure past the first round.

    • No one

      The East Germans actually did this in the 1980s with the SSG-82, supposedly the rifles were passable, but not terribly accurate.

    • burningwar

      I think 545 is a dead caliber in the US and increasingly so worldwide. The few Warsaw Pact countries that adopted it are abandoning it in favor of 5.56/NATO compatibility.

      • Mike

        Interesting comment. Which countries did switch to 5.45×39?
        How expensive is it to manufacture different calibers?

      • int19h

        The few Warsaw countries that are abandoning it are those that have joined (or are planning to join) NATO, which is obviously a special case – ammo commonality trumps any perceived advantages or disadvantages.

        Those exceptions aside, which other country shelved 5.45 adoption plans, or adopted it and then switched to something different? North Korea seems to be embracing it enthusiastically, and it’s also becoming popular in Syria, as well. Long term, I would expect it to get more popular in countries that are allied with Russia, for obvious reasons. So, just like 5.56 and US.

    • Kaban

      No one will. Ammo.

      People who got their hands on East German SSG-82s did manage to produce shootable stuff. But it is rather tricky and requires expensive/custom dies.

      Producing a weapon in rare caliber with no factory ammo and generally meh ballistics (US shooters has like 9000 options to shoot varmints etc.) is not gonna happen.

  • Adam W

    I can see why they would go with the mini thirty mags, since they already produce them for $1462.34/each, but I feel like the shooting world would have been a better place if they would have used the AK mag.

    I know, they would need more steel in the stock, and there are tons of dimensional difference between manufacturers, but still… being able to run all surplus mags/ammo/pouches would have been WAY cooler.

    +1 cool point towards Ruger for even getting this far. I also want one.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      They are more or less stuck with the consequences of a poor (at least from my limited information) decision to have the Mini Thirty use proprietary magazines instead of AK mags. If I had a company that already had a x39 magazine in catalog and I was making a new x39 rifle, I would probably do the same in hopes of selling more of my magazines instead of someone elses.

      • burningwar

        AK magazines are very spacially inefficient, largely due to their latch system. Furthermore, it requires special reinforcement to be reliable and durable (even magpul had to ditch their all polymer designs for the 30round AK magazines), simply because the nub protrudes all the way out there. Designwise, I would take a Vz58 magazine before an AK magazine, though the Vz58 magazine has the downside of only being readily available in aluminum.

        The flip side of this argument is Mini14/30 magazines aren’t much of an improvement over STANAG style magazines and in some ways, are lacking. However, in x39, it has the advantage of having a decent curve in the 20 round magazine.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Magpul is still manufacturing their AK MOE mags, and they’re selling fine. They always intended to sell a range ready all-polymer design alongside the metal lugged mag. In fact, the new AK-74M mag from Magpul is going to be another all-polymer MOE.

      • nova3930

        Yah. There’s also costs to consider too. All the TDP, tooling and manufacturing capability exists within Ruger for the mini-30 mags. They don’t make an AK mag that I’m aware of. To use an AK mag in their rifle would require either spooling up production in-house or sub-contracting to someone else for supply. Both are added cost on rifle development and production.

        And. At the end of the day, how many magazines is a typical person going to buy for a bolt gun anyway? I think the answer is probably 0-1. I might snag one of these and if I do, even for myself I’d only snag a 20rd mag or 2, mostly for the convenience of 1 ammo box = 1 full mag…..

      • nimrod

        One has to remember that when the Mini 30 came out it was intended and marketed as a brush hunting/sporter carbine not a pseudo range commando tactical rifle. One also has to remember how long it took for Ruger to come out with a high capacity mag for it. Frankly I bought a Mini 30 when it first came out because I liked the Mini 14 but wanted a 30 cal to hunt with, 5 rounds being the max hunting capacity in my state. I still have it and have never found a need or desire for hi cap mags for it. It does what it was intended to do.

        • rjackparis

          Thats like saying I only have 5 chickens I don’t need to count passed that.

  • Joel

    Wonder how it stacks up in the accuracy department, and against top shelf competitors like the CZ 527 Carbine.

    • Steve

      Ruger on youtube showed it getting about the same accuracy as the CZ. Plus Ruger said today when I called it is a 311 not a 308 barrel.

  • Auslander Raus

    Oh no, the ghastly tan stock thing rears it ugly head.
    Not much desert around here.

  • AC97

    But Ruger already made a bolt-action 7.62×39, and it was called the Mini-30…


    • No one

      Thread over, everyone go home.

    • William Nelson


  • Brett baker

    As previously stated, left-handed, please. Magpul, you have another mag to make!

  • Student of Life

    I believe this may be the ultimate youth hunt deer rifle. Inexpensive, mild recoiling, effective to 300 yards, and most importantly uses cheap and readily available ammo that allows the kids to practice before the hunt. Even better if it likes the Wolf soft points. Hopefully Ruger will consider adding iron sights in the future. Now to save my pennies for a few of them….

    • Patrick

      That’s what I was thinking. My preference would be in 6.5 Grendel since it is lighter recoiling, there is a great bullet selection in 6.5, and it has better ballistic characteristics at a distance.

      • ostiariusalpha

        The Grendel was purpose designed as an intermediate cartridge for hunting, and it excels at that task.

        • Patrick

          Not sure about it being purpose built for hunting. I think it was designed as an intermediate military round that maximizes capability of the dimensional constraints of the AR15 platform.

          That said, it’s never failed me when hunting. 120gr Barnes TTSX and TSX bullets have cleanly taken 8 pigs from my rifle at up to 300 yards.

          • Quasimofo

            I thought it was primarily designed to be a long range target cartridge for the AR-15 platform, with medium game hunting also being a consideration. But, Arne, Bill, etc. tell different stories…

          • Patrick

            Who really cares 🙂 It’s a great round that is accurate, has light recoil, is effective at extended ranges, and does a great job hunting. I hope it grows in popularity. The one downside is that it’s really only appealing for handloaders.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Bill Alexander was pretty clear about his initial design intentions for the 6.5 Grendel, though he always put forward the hope for a military adoption; certainly, a lot of its fans looked at the Grendel’s energy retention, and got excited at its combat potential. The 6.8 SPC was the one designed as a combat round from the outset though.


      • Student of Life

        Can’t agree more about the 6.5 and the ballistics. Unfortunately for me, it comes down to the cost of ammo since I’m usually the one paying for it. More than once I’ve seen youth hunts where kids (ages 6-16) who have never shot a rifle show up and hunt with whatever gun their volunteer guide has. The rifles are usually a bolt action in 270, 308, or 3006. The poor kid may fire 3 rounds the evening before and then they’re off to the woods (with their adult guide of course). One of the reasons I recommend that the guides with new hunters try to set up their shooting lanes with shots no further than 200 yards.

      • Kaban

        FYI, 123gr Finn-tipped Grendel and 123gr x39 has exactly same muzzle velocity. I fail to see how can it be “lighter recoiling”. Of course, its trajectory will be so much better along the way, but the kick will be the same.

    • john huscio


    • Just Say’n

      7.62×39 effective in deer to 300 yards? Meh…

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    I’m really curious if this has a more reloader-friendly .308 bore? That could REALLY open up the world of available projectiles for reloaders and hunters for use in this rifle.

    The available .310 projectiles are lacking in the variety department.

    • Steve

      It is a 311 bore according to ruger today when I called

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        Good for factory ammo, bummer for reloaders. Ah well.

        Thanks for calling!

  • Stuki Moi

    Squinting a bit, and pardon my sacrilege, but this could almost be viewed as a more pragmatic scout rifle, than the scout itself…..

  • BorodaJoe

    I’m going to have to see some shot groups before it goes on my christmas list. As for not using AK mags I say good it is suppose to be a light handy rifle a 30rd. steel appendage stick out the underside would defeat the purpose.

  • Roadkill

    I keep seeing a lot of grief on the magazines. Me, I’m really happy. Howa’s 10rd mags are running around $45. Cz’s 5rd magazines are running at $40. Mini-30s 5rd on sale for $23 on CDNN(reg price $29). The 10rd is $35 and the 20 is $30. Certainly, that’s high for a semiauto mag, but it seems to be the best bargain for bolt magazines. Also, there is the issue that the mags have been on market for 30 years. Lots of reviews, plenty of stock, and used mags are available. I am interested to see how this works out. Maybe, we’re going to find out that the mini series magazines just functionally work better in bolt guns. A mini-14 mag using .223 version might piss off Mossberg a lot.

  • tazman66gt

    My uneducated opinion is that they didn’t use the AK magazines because of the hit or miss on their usefulness, especially with ex-combloc magazine. Then people blaming the rifle instead of magazines for poor performance.

    • Foma Klimov

      What? Military surplus AK mags are pretty much universally tough and reliable as hell, and is what you want to run, even if they have a bit of rust on them. It’s the commercial stuff that sucks. The Soviets never armed their troops with disposable nancy mags with tilting followers.

      • tazman66gt

        Yep, everything AK is perfect, right? Gotcha.

        • int19h

          He didn’t say they’re perfect. He said that they’re tough and reliable. Anyone who doesn’t agree with that obvious statement should be smacked on their head with a milsurp steel AKM mag to beat some sense into them – shouldn’t take long (and the mag will still function afterwards).

  • The Heretic

    Now if they will just make rifles that take their “native” magazine, e.g., for this rifle, the AK mag, for 5.56, the AR mag, etc…

    • tazman66gt

      Probably because they didn’t want people blaming the rifle for issues caused by bad magazines. I know, I know, all AK magazines are perfect.

  • civilianaf

    Oh Hell to the Yes! Want one now!!!!!

  • Audie Bakerson

    I’d rather have a Mossberg MVP that used AK mags.

  • InfidelCrusader

    I like it, I’ll probably get one, but I would have liked a little more barrel. I understand they’re trying to keep it compact but a 20 inch barrel wouldn’t have made it too much bigger. In my opinion the payoff in range and accuracy would be worth it.

    • Palmier

      Not much payoff for x39 in longer barrels.

      • InfidelCrusader

        Perhaps not, but there would be some payoff. I look forward to seeing this rifle get put through its paces and finding out just what level of range and accuracy it is capable of producing.

  • scaatylobo

    I have a CZ in 7.62 X 39,and I would happily buy a Ruger in that caliber.
    It would be my truck gun,and I am a fan of that caliber and the Ruger bolt gun too.
    Don’t hurt that I have a perfectly good shootable Ruger mini 30 !!!.
    Runs like poop through a goose with all that I have found to shoot through it.

  • James Young

    I’d like to see some accuracy tests with this rifle before I would consider purchasing. The weight is nice.

  • William Nelson

    Iron sights, Ruger. Iron sights. It’s not that crazy of an idea, you know.

  • Rob

    This is the first Ruger rifle I have actually wanted in 30 years.

  • Goody

    Is it a 311, or 308?

  • Steve

    I called Ruger today and it is confirmed that this gun is a 311 and not 308 barrel. That along with the ruger mini mags will make this a winner for sure.

  • Nobody is perfect and with the computer problems the last few days things are going to happen sometimes. A duplicate hasn’t happened in a very long time,

  • InfidelCrusader

    I suspect that’s why Ruger chose to go with that length of barrel. The increase in performance didn’t justify the added cost of a longer barrel.