Ruger SFAR .308 Final Verdict - Is It Worth Buying In 2024

The Conclusion Of The SFAR Saga

After experiencing persistent failures to feed during our last range outing, we decided to ship our rifle back to Ruger for repair. The packing slip that returned with the SFAR indicated that while our rifle already has the most up-to-date gas block available, the set screws were either too tight or too loose and that is what caused the intermittent jamming.

Classic Summary
The Ruger SFAR .308 is back and better than ever following a brief trip to the factory for repairs, and we're going to determine whether it's reliable enough to recommend to you.
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  • 120-round reliability test with zero malfunctions of any kind
  • See the fully built-out SFAR with optic, light, bipod, and QD sling
  • Our final verdict: is the Ruger SFAR worth buying in 2024?

Specs

  • Caliber: .308 Win / 7.62 NATO
  • Barrel: 16.1" or 20"
  • Capacity: 20 Rounds
  • Gas System: Adjustable
  • Optics Mount: Picatinny Top Rail
  • Handguard: Flat Top W/ M-LOK
  • Furniture: Magpul MOE Grip / SL Stock

Ruger's staff torqued the screws to factory specs and test-fired 20 rounds without malfunction, which suggested that this minor quality control issue may have been the lone culprit. Of course, we could know for sure was to shoot the SFAR some more and observe how it performed with our magazines and ammunition under ordinary range conditions.

Ruger SFAR Reliability Test

To assess the repaired SFAR's reliability, we allotted 120 rounds of mixed .308 Win ammo - including PMC 147gr FMJ, Hornady 168gr BTHP Match, and Federal PowerShok 150gr Soft Point. Our plan was to fire the first few magazines in a slow and controlled manner, focusing on accuracy, before emptying the remaining mags as quickly as possible.

We deployed our Harris bipod and began to zero the newly reinstalled Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 LPVO at a distance of 25 yards, holding just a single one-inch grid square below the center of the target. Once the rifle was sighted in, we fired the rest of the first magazine from a seated rest so we could gauge the SFAR's accuracy and determine if Ruger's fix would solve our cycling problems.

The Complete Ruger SFAR .308 Win Build

As expected, we were able to achieve precise groupings with minimal effort and absolutely shredded the lower center of our splatter target. The first 60 rounds fed reliably without a malfunction of any kind, a welcome change from our first two range outings.

We were able to achieve a very tight grouping with the Ruger SFAR .308 Rifle

The next two magazines were fired in rapid succession, with several controlled 3 and 5-shot bursts followed by a mag dump while standing. Despite the increased rate of fire and lack of a shooting rest, we still did not experience a single failure to feed.

Ruger returned the SFAR to us with the gas system adjusted to the third setting, so we decided to fire our last 20 rounds on the second gas setting to confirm that the rifle would still perform reliably. We shot the remainder of our allotted ammo for the reliability test without issue.

The Ruger SFAR: When Performance Matches Potential

As we shared in the first installment of our Ruger SFAR series, we really wanted to like this rifle because it handles extremely well for such an affordable battle rifle. Its somewhat questionable reliability was the sole factor which initially prevented us from recommending this rifle to the average shooter in 2024, but after completing our third range session with the SFAR, that is no longer a concern.

Our rifle functioned flawlessly for the duration of the reliability test, indicating that improper installation of the gas system was most likely to blame for the SFAR's previous cycling issues. In other words, the problems we encountered were caused by a quality control oversight, not an inherent flaw in the SFAR's design.

The Ruger SFAR .308 Rifle On The Bench

Ruger's updated gas regulator seems to have effectively addressed early reports of some shooters experiencing similar issues with under gassed guns upon the rifle's release. And when we discovered an unrelated problem we could not immediately identify, Ruger took the necessary steps to make it right in a prompt and professional manner.

While no one wants to ship a brand new gun back to the factory for repairs, it is definitely encouraging to know that a manufacturer stands behind their products and will do whatever possible to ensure customer satisfaction. The Classic Firearms team is also pleased to report that the SFAR is more than capable of living up to its full potential.

Should You Buy The Ruger SFAR?

Yes. After our testing, we are confident that current production SFAR rifles are solid performers with lots to offer both new and experienced shooters in 2024. These guns are lightweight and incredibly shootable, with plenty of room for your favorite optics and accessories. Our built-out SFAR is ideal for mid-to-long-range engagements, but can function about as well in close quarters thanks to its 16.1" barrel length, adjustable QD sling, and Streamlight ProTac HL-X weapon light.

Shooters looking for a lightweight AR-10 with great features and solid accuracy right out of the box will not be disappointed with the Ruger SFAR .308 rifle. Moreover, in the unlikely event that your rifle doesn't function 100% reliably, Ruger's customer service will either ship you a replacment part or work with your FFL to bring the rifle to their factory in North Carolina for disassembly and repair. Simply put, the SFAR is a solid gun with great support that is also a lot of fun to shoot.

Ruger SFAR Showdown

Although we purchased an SFAR .308 with a 16" barrel for this range report and build series, the SFAR is also available with a 20" barrel in either .308 Win / 7.62 NATO or 6.5 Creedmoor.

Stay tuned for our follow-up video comparing all three rifles, with plenty of live fire and maybe even a friendly shooting contest amonst the Classic Firearms team. And in the meantime, check out our video on the best battle rifles of 2024.

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