Before we get back to the Scout, permit me to digress. The NRA and the ACLU don’t agree on an awful lot, but they do object to including suspected terrorists on the no-buy guns list. The objection is that the FBI’s list of terrorism suspects has passed the million-name mark, and is maintained by unknown persons who are probably nitwits, and if you are put on it, you are never informed why, or how to get off it. Permit me to interject with an experience of my own.

Flying, to me, is about as pleasurable as having my brains pulled out through my nose, or listening to a Hillary Clinton speech, so I do very little of it these days. When I flew out to the SHOT Show in 2014, I found myself on the TSA’s Pre Check list. I had never applied to be on it, and had no idea why my name had been added. Possibly because I was so old that I was incapable of making trouble. Possibly because back in the late 60s I briefly held a Secret security clearance. Who knows? Who knows how to find out?

So I got in the line where I didn’t have to take off my shoes, or whatever, and went to the SHOT Show.

This past January, when I made the same flight, I was no longer on the list. Why was I taken off? I have no idea, and enthusiastically don’t care. But I still got on the plane. What if this had been the no-buy-gun list instead of the expedited-screening list? You get on and off at whose whim? What’s the name of the GS-2 nitwit who controls your destiny?

Maybe President Obama can explain this.

Anyway, the Ruger Scout. Having taken it hunting, I can report that it is a nifty hunting rifle. The armies of the world are going to shorter and shorter rifles (many of them to bullpups, and count on it, we will be last) because for an active individual the handier the armament, the better. The Scout’s compactness manifests itself in many ways, from the ease of getting it in and out of a vehicle, into a treestand, out the window of a treestand in a hurry, keeping it clear of overhanging branches, and so on. It will put a smile on your face.

As a survivalist rifle, it has no betters that I can think of and damned few equals. It does not have the rate of fire of an AR, but unlike the Powerful Assault Rifle (I notice that our President is now using that term) it is a zero-maintenance gun. No spare parts. No cleaning this or that. It’s the bolt-action version of the Kalashnikov; there’s very little you can do to stop it. If you get caught in a rainstorm, wipe it down with an oily rag, and if you have the stainless version, you don’t even have to do that.

In .223, you’ll be underpowered (depending on who you listen to) but you can greatly increase your ammo load. In .308 you can handle whatever comes your way. In either caliber, ammo is universally available in almost limitless variety.

Ruger says it’s the only rifle you need to do everything. Who knows? They may be right.