Another Ruger Compact

Late October 2009

I'm torn between buying a new Ruger Compact in 260 Remington and making a project gun out of a Thompson G2 that I traded for.

I had been crunching the numbers on the 260 and was impressed with the ballistics. Then I discover that the 260 was available in 2008 from Ruger in the gloss finish blue/walnut compact. So I started watching for an 08 model on the auction sites. I have 2 compacts now, both in gloss - blue/walnut and figure I would like to keep them the same if possible.

The new Hawkeye model from Ruger has a Satin finish and some other minor differences. To further compound the decision process, Rugers' 2010 catalog shows the 260 only available in the Stainless/Laminate compact. Nothing against either material just too much different from the Compacts I already own.

The only thing I didn't like about the 260 was that it would still be a hand full of recoil in the compact model but give me something in between the .243 and .308.

So I decide a current production (Hawkeye) in satin - blue/walnut is OPTION 1

I traded for a Thompson G2 rifle with a 23" 223 barrel at the shop. Way back in the late 80's I owned a Contender Super 14 in 223. I got tired of trying to kill something with it and traded it off. Always kind of regretted it but 223 is anything but my favorite caliber.

I contacted Mason Reamers and for a reasonable price and a fun project I could convert the G2 223 to the superior 222Mag.

Let me regress briefly. The Contender was an incredible gun. Extremely accurate and one of the best made pieces of equipment on the market in my opinion. I was very proficient with it at the bench but not so much in the field. Just too much gun to pack and too much to hold up and shoot. Yes, I could have put a bi-pod on it which would have only made it that much more un-bearable to carry.

The G2 I'm now pondering is simply the big brother to the Contender. Yes it has sling swivels and it's a "rifle" but I'm thinking it might still be "not so much in the field" at least for my kind of hunting.

So with these 2 Options chewing on the back of my brain a customer walks in the shop and has a few questions about calibers. He's considering a 243, a 260, a 6.8MM SPC and a 25-06 was the last one I think. In the discussion I inquire about the 6.8MM because it's not one I am familiar with. He enlightens me and the discussion continues. I hand him a Ruger Compact in blue/walnut 223. He really liked the feel of the gun and I told him it was available in 243 and 260 in both blue/walnut and stainless/laminate. So I pull out a 2010 Ruger catalog to show him a picture of the laminate and looking at the caliber list I spot 6.8MM.

The customer left the shop to consider his options and I headed for the computer to learn what I could about the 6.8MM. In short the 6.8MM SPC is a 30 Remington case necked to .277. A joint effort by Special Forces and Remington. The ballistics on it are pretty impressive and it's intent was to operate from short barreled AR's.

If you've read much of my writing, you know I hate recoil and love Ruger Compact rifles. This puppy just had my name all over it.

Turns out that Ruger had this caliber available in 2009 and they were available at my distributors. By the time my new Ruger Compact 6.8MM in blue/walnut arrived on 11/6/2009, I had 30 rounds of fresh Remington brass loaded and sitting on my loading bench. I headed for the gun vise with the new Ruger and took it through the barrel polishing process. On 11/7/2009 I headed for the range to do the barrel break-in process.

I had mounted a scope on it so just kind of walked it in to point of aim while doing the "fire 3 shots and clean" procedure. My 21st shot made hole number 16 in the 3" target at 130 yards. So far I am really impressed with the cartridge and will pack it deer hunting at least part of the time.

Updates to follow.

The scope in the pictures is a Simmons Aetec SF that I had removed from another gun. These scopes are clear and hold zero well but the compact rifle required that the scope be all the way forward in the rings. Not a problem except the flimsy tube crushes just enough with the front ring that the Side Focus will not work. That's about as handy as a sun dial in a coal mine.

I picked up a used Simmons ProHunter in 6-18X40 AO and installed it the day after Christmas of 2009. These were great scopes while they were made in the Philippines. Now they are made in China and they are not the same scope. I searched until I found one of the older ones and it works perfect.

UPDATE: 1/2011

I had a great deer season in 2010 that ended with a triple kill using the compact 6.8. You can read about it here.

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Last Modified: Saturday, January 8, 2011 0:09 AM