Ruger never stays idle: based on the popular Hawkeye Long-Range Target rifle, the well-known US company has just introduced the Hawkeye Long-Range Hunter rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC. Differentiating itself from the alloy steel/matte black Target model, the new addition stands out for its stainless steel barrel and action with a matte finish. This, according to the manufacturer, should provide “the avid hunter with the ultimate rugged and hard-hitting rifle”.
The Hawkeye Long-Range Hunter is actually compact and easy to carry, weighing just 7.25 lb / 116 oz. It features a 22" / 560 mm cold hammer-forged barrel, a factory-installed Picatinny rail for mounting optics, and a speckled black/brown laminate stock stock with adjustable pull length and soft rubber buttpad. The muzzle sports a removable Ruger radial-port muzzle brake, which significantly reduces felt recoil – a welcome accessory in such a light rifle chambered in pretty powerful calibers.
The 20 MOA Picatinny rail secured with four, #8-40 screws allows for increased long-range elevation capabilities. Moreover, Ruger's LC6 trigger offers good performance right out of the box for increased accuracy on the range or in the field: the “L” in the name reportedly stands for “light”, and the “C” for “crisp”. Whether that's true or not, the trigger is actually lighter and crisper than in other Ruger rifles.
Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range Hunter, reliable and accurate
Three things are paramount in a firearm: reliability, accuracy and effectiveness. The Hawkeye Long-Range Hunter excels in all three. The proven Mauser-type controlled feeding, coupled to a non-rotating Mauser-type controlled round feed extractor with a powerful claw and a fixed blade-type ejector, ensures full reliability. The three-position safety is easily accessible and allows the shooter to lock the bolt or to load and unload the rifle with the safety engaged.
The barrel is free-floated and features 5R rifling at minimum bore and groove dimensions, minimum headspace and centralized chamber – all this as a guarantee of accuracy.
As for effectiveness, depending on the game and based on our own experience both the 6.5 PRC and 6.5 Creedmoor versions are very good choices for hunting, with the “fatter” 6.5 PRC cartridge offering more velocity and power, and a flatter trajectory over extended ranges. Both versions ship with one AI-style magazine and share the same price tag of 1279 USD (MRSP: actual price in your country may vary due to VAT and import duties).
Also consider that magazine capacity in 6.5 PRC is 3 rounds, while in 6.5 Creedmoor it's 5 rounds.