By Mike “Duke” Venturino, GUNS Magazine
Just a few years ago I would have never dreamed Sturm, Ruger & Company would develop and market a line of “AR-type black rifles.” Nor would I have thought yours truly would write the introductory article about one of them in these pages. How times change!
This new addition to Ruger’s SR lineup of autoloading rifles shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Prior to it there has been an SR-22 and an SR-556 (the numbers indicating their respectively calibers). For that latter version, Ruger also offers an upper chambered for the 6.8mm Remington.
At the end of 2013 they announced a larger version, taking the .308 Win/7.62 NATO. For the nitpickers who might quibble the two rounds are not the same, that is exactly how they are listed on Ruger’s website and how at least one major ammunition manufacturer labels some of their packaging.
Anyway, for those who are used to handling standard-size AR’s, this new Ruger will seem like one fed growth hormones. In other words, it’s a large rifle. Factory catalog weight is 8.6 pounds unloaded. With a 1.5-6X Meopta scope mounted, my sample is 11 pounds; that’s with a 16.12-inch barrel. Overall length is only 34.75 inches. (That’s 1.25 inches less than an M1 Carbine.)
Speaking of the scope, there is a full-length Picatinny rail mounted atop the receiver and extending about two-thirds the length of the barrel. The forearm is drilled and tapped at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock so more rails can be attached for those folks who like to really gussy a rifle up with all sorts of accessories.
Duke found he had to remove the folding rear sight (above) in order to get the scope
back far enough for comfortable use. Both jobs were easily accomplished. The fore-end
(below) is drilled and tapped for accessory rails (included) and Duke found it very
comfortable to hold as-is. The bolt release and safety are in the usual places found on an AR.
From the Ruger factory, these SR-762 rifles come with front and rear sights attached to the Picatinny rail. Front sight is a post in protective wings adjustable in the usual AR way—i.e. by pushing down the plunger with a full metal jacketed bullet tip so the post can be rotated up or down as the case requires. The rear sight is also typical AR with large and small folding apertures and fully adjustable for windage. Both front and rear sights can be folded down so as to be out of the way of a scope, yet available in case the scope is disabled.
Sent to me along with the Ruger was a set of German-made Era-Tac mounts with integral rings provided by Meopta. These were for the 30mm diameter of the Meopta scope. However, when scope, mount and rings were attached to the SR-762, the folded-down rear sight was still too tall. It interfered with the scope’s rear bell. I had to dismount the rear sight entirely to do my shooting with the rifle scoped. That is a simple matter as only a proper fitting Allen wrench is needed.
Let’s go back to the SR-762’s forearm briefly. The last time I handled a Ruger SR, it had all the Picatinny rails attached, which made the forearm nigh-on impossible to grip comfortably, even with the mild recoil of the 6.8mm Remington. Sharp edges were biting my hand no matter where placed. The perforated, rounded, synthetic forearm on the SR-762 is not an offender in that respect.
There are two other stock factors. The finger-grooved, rubber pistol grip is by Hogue and the buttstock is the extendible style. It has six positions, starting at 11.5 inches for length of pull and extending through 12.5, 13, 13.75, 14.25 and finally out to 15 inches. The buttplate is heavy-duty aluminum, checkered, oval in shape and 1.5 inches at its widest point.
The 6-position M4-style stock, shown here collapsed, adjusts length-of-pull
from 12.25 inches all the way out to 15 inches.
The front sight easily folds out of the way when optics are used. The 4-position
gas system is adjustable depending on the loads used and the system can be turned
off completely for use as a single-shot rifle.
Inside the perforated forearm is a fluted barrel finished in black matte, as are all steel parts on the rifle. It ends in a detachable flash suppressor of the same type put on SR-556 and some Mini-14 rifles, but of course in .30 caliber. According to Ruger, the barrel is cold-hammer forged of chrome-moly-vanadium steel, rifled with six grooves and a right-hand twist of one turn in 10 inches.
Also according to Ruger, the SR-762’s bolt is operated by a 2-stage chromed piston. Interestingly the gas system can be regulated to four positions to give the most positive function with a chosen brand of ammunition. Also, the gas system can be closed completely to turn the SR-762 into a manually operated, straight-pull repeating rifle. I didn’t mess with the gas system at all because functioning was fine right out of the box. The only failure I experienced in firing a couple hundred rounds was in one failure for a round to feed completely and that was in the first 20 or so rounds fired.
Operation of an AR-type rifle probably doesn’t need to be described here, but I’ll give it a quick go. Feeding is from a 20-round box magazine; three come with each rifle. To make the rifle ready for firing, first the safety should be turned to its “safe” position and a loaded magazine inserted into the magazine well, making sure it clicks into place. The bolt is retracted by means of the charging handle at the rear of receiver and let go. As it slams shut it will pick a round from the magazine and chamber it.
The rifle is then ready to fire when the safety lever is turned to the “fire” position. When the last round of a magazine is fired, the bolt will lock open. The empty magazine is released by pushing the button on the right side of the magazine well. After a fresh magazine is inserted, the open bolt will be released by pressing its lever on the left side of the receiver. Incidentally, the trigger on my sample was not of the traditional 2-stage military type. It was single stage and let off at 3 to 4 pounds with a mite of creep along the way.
The only hindrance I ran into in accomplishing everything I needed to do was getting my fingers around the bolt’s charging handle. It sits right under the rather long rear bell of the Meopta scope, which limited access to it. That is actually a problem with the scope and not the rifle. Actually the scope model is the MeoStar R1 version with a third turret on the scope’s left side for an illuminated red dot. It can be turned off or adjusted to various levels of brightness.
Duke fired these types of factory ammunition in testing the Ruger SR-762. Photo: Yvonne Venturino
The very clear, easily adjustable scope was a nice surprise, as this was my first experience with Meopta’s products. My only complaint about it is it’s fairly large for a scope of only 1.5-6X.
In the couple of months the rifle was here with me in Montana, we got some of the most frequent snowstorms I’ve seen in 40 years as a resident. Still, I was able to shoot the SR-762 on several occasions at both 100 and 300 yards from inside my shooting “shack.” One of the most pleasant things about it, considering from where I was firing, was it piled up its ejected cases rather neatly in one area instead of flinging them all over the place.
In regards to shooting, I found only two types of factory ammunition on hand with the most plentiful being Black Hills’ 150-grain Ballistic Tip. Also included were some Winchesters with 147-grain FMJ bullets. All shot rather well with groups running from about 1.5 to 2 MOA at 100 yards. At 300 yards groups ran 3 to 5 inches.
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