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Problem with Ruger American bolt guns

I own a 6.5 CM Ruger American Predator bolt action rifle. I've upgraded it considerably:
1. Boyd'sClasssic laminated stock
2. Savage 110 alloy trigger guard
3. Timney trigger
4. flush cup sling swivels & Magpul modular sling
5. spare magazine
6. SWFA 3 - 15 x 42 mil/mil, FFP side focus scope

This rifle shoots 1/2 MOA with Hornady 140 gr. ELD-M and averages 3/4 MOA with 143 gr. Hornady ELD-X. In other words a very accurate rifle. And not something you'd expect from a budget rifle. especially when I consider that I paid $400. for it.

HOWSOMEVER... when hunting and on SAFE and carrying it with a sling or a Kifaru Gun Bearer rig the bolt repeatedly opens. I lost 2 cartridges before I realize what was happening.
My .300 Win mag Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker stays locked closed when on safe. Two small pins rise up out of the receiver into the bolt when the safety is ON. Nice solution. Excellent rifle and very accurate as well, but it was a $1,000. rifle in 1998.

I've written and called Ruger with this problem. Ruger said the gun is "safe" and that's the way it was designed. Ruger then offered to buy my rifle back for the purchase price. But with my investment in it that is a non-starter.
So now I'll have to see if there is any gunsmithing solution.

Otherwise I'll be using a ribber band tethered on the trigger guard and securely looped over the bolt handle to keep it from opening. What a redneck solution.



Well-known member
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Since Ruger is offering a buy back they are admitting there is a design flaw and have no solution to offer....BS!


Obsessed Member
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I would like to make sure I understand the issue.........when carrying the rifle with the bolt closed and the safety on, the bolt opens of it's own accord (it isn't being bumped or dragged against anything causing it to lift I mean) , and moves rearward far enough to extract and eject a chambered cartridge?

Or is it being bumped or dragged, and the force holding the bolt in the closed and locked position appears to be far too light for the task?

What position is the muzzle in when this happens, down towards the ground, parallel to the ground, or pointing at the sky?

Can you test the force required to open the bolt with the gun cocked (empty chamber and magazine of course, and muzzle in a safe direction)?

To do so, with the gun empty and held level, a spring scale (like a trigger pull gauge or fish scale) could be used to measure the amount of effort required to lift the bolt from the fully down and locked position, then contact Ruger Tech Support and ask what the range is for the Predator for bolt open force.

It has a dual cam for ease of bolt cycling as I recall, but still should take a few foot pound of effort to lift it and let it slide to the rear, as it would want to do if being carried muzzle up and the bolt were brushed against a leg, etc. and once the bolt is open gravity takes over, the bolt slides to the rear, extracting and ejecting the chambered round.

As for a fix, ( I can find no Ruger Recall for this) it may be possible (although I am certain it would negate the Ruger warranty) to alter the angle on the cocking ramps/cams to increase the amount of force required to lift the bolt to the point where it can slide rearward with just the force of gravity working on it.

Alternately, a spring and ball detent could be installed on either the bolt handle where it passes through the bolt locking recess in the receiver, and stock cut out, so that the ball bearing (powered by a captive spring) nestles in a detent "divot" created with a small ball nosed end mill, so that it helps keep the handle down and locked.

By adjusting the spring's force, it would be possible to have the bolt stay firmly in place yet not add too much to the force required to lift it to extract a fired round.

I have installed such a detent in the past on other rifles, mostly Krag-Jorgensen's when their owners just couldn't live with that silky smooth bolt lift and travel that those rifles are known for.

If you decide to carry it with an empty chamber, I would do so with the gun un-cocked, as it (rooster) on the opening of the bolt as I recall, and that would add to the force required to lift the bolt and would help keep it closed and keep dirt out of the action.


Bwana Mkubwa
Forum Supporter
if you're carrying the rifle on your shoulder, do so with the bolt closed on an empty chamber and the firing pin released. This will prevent the bolt from opening without force being applied.

When hunting, I don't chamber a round unless the gun is in my hands.

Savage type safety fix??

i'm looking at Savage's safety, a tang safety like the American BUT one that keeps the bolt closed.

Maybe if there IS a fix) an aftermarket company like Anarchy Outdoors can sell a fix. I'd sure as hell buy it!


Obsessed Member
As a point of reference, I measured the following from my Ruger American Ranch Rifle in .300 Blackout today using a Lyman digital trigger pull gauge. With the rifle sitting horizontal on a table, I hooked the backside of the bolt knob, right where it gets skinny, so the end of the bolt knob may require slightly less force, having more mechanical leverage, being further from the bolt centerline.

After 5 tests, it takes an average of 2# 12oz to unlock the bolt.

After 5 more tests, it takes an average of 8# 11oz to raise the bolt handle until the bolt would disengage the slide back.