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Ammo recommendations or loads for Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 5.56?


Geth Prime
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2020 Supporter
I picked up a few of the Ruger American Ranch Rifles in the past month or so. Two shot well with ammo I typically load or buy. The 5.56 version, however, was disappointing with some of the basic factory ammo I shoot, and did not play well with my various AR-based handloads.

I wanted to inquire if anyone has had a good handload recipe, or, alternately, if you've found other decent factory ammo (besides the Hornday Match I tried, below) that shoots well with this rifle.

After the first not great results from last weekend, I picked up a few boxes of various factory ammo and went out this morning at my usual civil twilight shooting time at BRPC and just ran a simple pattern of three-shot reference groups (100Y, bench, Nikon M223 3-12x set to 8X, ~44F, no wind, unsuppressed)

  • Speer Gold Dot 64gr GDSP : ~0.625" (5/8")
  • Federal AE M855 62gr : ~1.5"
  • Hornady 73gr ELD Match : ~0.6875 (11/16")
  • Hornady 75gr BTHP Match : ~0.4375 (7/16")
  • PMC 55gr HPBT SGK : ~0.6875 (11/16") (never used this before; got as part of a trade, did better than I thought it would)
  • PMC Bronze 55gr FMJ : A bit over 2" (usually does very good with my BA barrels on ARs, not disappointing for bulk, but not great)
  • Tula 55gr FMJ : ~5.0" (use this in my Beryl Archer, so tried it just to see how bad it would be...)
I may pick up a few boxes of that Hornady 75gr BTHP bullet to work up a load from. Anyone else with experience loading for this rifle, any input is appreciated. Its not meant to be a match shooter, I just like to get a good load of my own going.

RARR556_7 Ammo 020820.jpg
RARR556_5 Ammo Ruler 020820.jpg
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Geth Prime
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2020 Supporter
Got a few boxes of the Hornady "Frontier" 5.56 75gr HPBT in yesterday. Wasn't planning on going to the range this morning but I was up stupidly early for unknown reasons so...

Forgot both my normal targets and my ruler so didn't get to take ruler measurements until I got home. First two sets are fresh targets, next 2 are same targets pastied and reused, the final one is a fresh third target. Why the magpul sight adjuster? It measures exactly 1" at the widest point...if you're foolish and forget your ruler at home, :) ). (100Y, bench, Nikon M223 3-12x set to 8X, ~40F, no wind, unsuppressed, sighting adjustments between sets)

Left to right:
Group1: (rough) a tad over 1"
Group2: (rough) ~1"
Group3: ~13/16" (0.8125")
Group4: ~5/8" (0.625")
Group5: ~1 5/16" (1.3125") - 6 shot group (3 round group after final sighting adj., and a 3 round confirmation group)


With the results from last time and this set today, I ordered a box of 100 of that Hornady 75gr BTHP bullet to try some hand loads with (and a box of the 73gr ELD from the last batch). Just need to see if I can get close with any of my powders on hand. Again, not looking for perfection, just a round that shoots decent that isn't a buck each for range shooting :) Edit: Thinking I might pick up a box of those SGK (Sierra Game King) 55gr HPBT bullets from the first post as well.

Once I get a few batches loaded, if I get anything decent worked up I'll post my load results, if anyone that might own this rifle is interested.

Edit: Trigger pull measures at very consistent 4.5#. I think I'll lower that down to about 3-3.5#.
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I was going to mention the Frontier line of ammo but I see you tried it. I have had very good results out of my RPR 5.56 with the 75gr BTHP and the .223 68gr BTHP. Very affordable, sportsman outdoor superstore has the best prices on Frontier.