February 01, 2011
Petzal's Take on the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle
By David E. Petzal
I’ve never really grasped the concept of the Scout Rifle. Jeff Cooper, whose idea it was, pictured it as a short, light, bolt-action chambered for the .308 and fitted with an intermediate-eye-relief scope. He painted it as a gun you could carry at high port while you ran through blowdowns and then use to make a 600-yard shot. Or something.
In any case, I got to handle Ruger’s new Gunsite Scout Rifle at the SHOT Show, and I can tell you that it’s the gun that I want when the apocalypse arrives. (Most likely from economic collapse. As has been pointed out we are nine meals—or lack thereof—away from anarchy.)
It’s very short and handy—a 16.5-inch barrel helps—and its weight of 7 pounds even is just about right for a .308. At the end of the barrel is a flash suppressor that can be removed and replaced with other interesting devices. There’s a rail ahead of the receiver for an IER scope (I despise IER scopes with all my heart.) and a post front sight with wings. There’s a ghost ring rear sight which you can remove in case you want to put a real scope on the gun. The stock is gray laminated wood and is adjustable for length of pull. Since the Scout Rifle is intended for social purposes, not sporting, it has a detachable 10-round magazine. The price is $995.
I’ve seen a number of Scout Rifles, but none that I like so well as this one. Ruger got everything right; there is nothing to add or subtract that would make it any better. Get one, and a few spare magazines and case of 7.62mm Ball, M1959, or even better, Lake City Match, and you’re ready for whatever comes.