Ruger, named one of the America’s top 100 small Companies by Forbes Magazine way back in aught-10, is introducing a new bolt-action rifle platform chambered in the perennially popular .308 Win.
The Ruger Gunsite Scout is the brainchild of Gunsite instructor Ed Head (one of America’s foremost shooting academies and progenitors of the Cooper philosophy), and at first blush it’s clear to see that the magic word on this project was “compact”. Conceived as a large caliber answer to tactical defense for the civilian crowd, the Scout Rifle keeps things tight with a modest 16.5″ barrel and comes complete with 3 ½” spacer/recoil pads to adjust length of pull and abbreviate the back end. Without a scope (which it comes with) and unloaded, the rifle weighs about 7-pounds.
Taking a closer look at the gun’s mechanisms, Ruger and Mr. Head clearly poached the Scout’s action from the Ruger M77 and the magazine release/concept looks suspiciously like the integrated set up featured on Ruger’s Mini-14s (with the release in front of the trigger guard all fabricated out of glass-reinforced nylon). The Scout’s AICS standard box magazines hold either 5 or 10-rounds. It borrows much of its design elements (along with its name) however from Col. Jeff Cooper’s Scout Rifle concept of a combat carbine. All in all, this makes for a pretty justifiable hybrid—reliable action meets the ability to perform quick magazine turnovers.
The Scouts’ particulars all seem to reinforce it as a “when ‘it hits the fan” gun. Note for instance the front-mounted Picatinny scope rail. Clearly this is for ease of transition from scope to iron sights and “both eyes open” target acquisition—the sort of adaptability you’d want in a firefight. Furthermore, the scout comes equipped with a birdcage flash suppressor to help preserve a shooter’s “night vision.” This also means that the rifle has a pre-threaded muzzle in standard 5/8-24 which opens the door to all sorts of muzzle breaks designed, for say, recoil, sound or flash reduction (probably Ruger thankfully added this as an aspect of the “big game” .308 Win chambering).
But don’t let this gun boss you around—even though it announces itself as a defense gun, to our eyes, the Ruger Scout looks a lot like an easy-to-carry hunting rifle. With reports of it performing adequately up to 300 yards, the Scout could be an acceptable gun to keep in the back of your truck for on-the-fly hunting excursions.
MSRP has it listed at $995.00 but we expect the “show” price to be circling around $800.00.