The Ruger Precision Rifle is a great rifle platform. I’ve had some great groups right out of the box, and have had no problems staying on target at ranges of 1000 yards and beyond. To me, the Ruger Precision Rifle is an “easy buy” for the new competitive shooter or practical field shooter. But what about optics? It can be very confusing and overwhelming when shopping for “just the right scope”. There are so many great scopes on the market it can be staggering to take in all of the options. In this article I want to give you some hands-on impressions of one of the most popular picks for optics for the Ruger Precision Rifle and similar rifles in the ~$1000 price range: the Vortex Viper HST 6-24×50 riflescope.
Here’s a discussion I recently had with the 6.5 Guys (Read: experts on competitive shooting and related gear) about this scope/rifle setup, with some reflections on our range time (out to 1000 yards) and hands-on impressions:
*Note: in the video the model “PST” is used, where this is actually the “H-ST” model.
A Look Through the Scope
Having used this scope in a variety of scenarios, ranges, and over the course of more than 1/2 of a year, I’m confident with not only the scope itself, but the entire package: Rifle + Scope + Mount (rings). While there’s no substitute for first-person experiences, I’d like to give you a general idea of what it looks like to look through this scope.
Note: Actual magnification and view is different when looking through this scope with the human eye. In my experiences, the first-person view is better than what the pictures below represent. These through-the-scope shots are to demonstrate comparisons of magnifications, and to give an idea of what the reticle looks like.
Let’s start with the “sight in” and “zero-out” view: I like to do this at 100 yards, and here’s what that looks like both at minimum and maximum magnification: (click for enlarged view)
Moving up to an “intermediate range” (600 yards) this scope provides a great picture of the target, and is easy to acquire targets with especially at low-to-mid magnification ranges: (click for enlarged view)
And what about when you’re pushing out to nearly a mile? Here’s what the view looks like at about 3/4 of a mile: (click for enlarged view)
These images were taken from video, and I’ll note that temperatures were pushing 108 Fahrenheit. Not at all ideal conditions (heat mirage from ground heat, etc) and yet the sight picture still looks really good.
Mounting the Scope
Yes, the most frequent question I’ve gotten about this scope is: “What rings did you use, and what height?”. It’s a fair question because there are a lot of factors to take account for. Ideally, you want to have your bore axis as low as possible (overall height of scope above the center-line/axis of the barrel). You also want something that is perfectly aligned and rock-solid. Finally, it’s confusing to try and calculate the actual height needed which is a function of the rifle coutour, and in this case, the 20 MOA inclination of the top rail (where the scope mounts).
So here is what I used: Vortex precision CNC machined scope rings, for 30mm scope tube, high height:
These rings are very high quality, don’t require lapping, and provide optimal clearance on the Ruger Precision Rifle when paired with the Vortex Viper 6-24×50 HST scope. As stated in the video above, I liked them so much I bought a 2nd pair for the Ruger Precision Rifle that I have chambered in .243 Winchester (more on that very soon).
Overall, this scope is a total keeper. I’m looking forward to a lot more shooting with this scope, and with the amazing 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. Truth be told, I feel a bit spoiled with this rifle- it makes it so easy to get on target and stay on target. I some times refer to this rifle as my “scalpel”.
Question for you all: what scopes are you using with the Ruger Precision Rifle or with other precision rifles? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences! If you are interested in long range precision shooting and competing, please check out the 6.5 Guys Website, and their YouTube Channel, they are great resources, and I think you’ll find their style and banter entertaining.
Happy shooting and reloading!