Assault rifle laws need not apply
I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it, until they screw up (which doesn’t look likely): Ruger is innovating. It’s been a theme for Ruger for most of its existence, but they have really upped the ante with recent developments. In the heat of the innovation they came up with an excellent product, some 25 years in the making.
The Scout rifle from Ruger will keep you well outside of the assault rifle laws, but well within a position of tactical advantage. After all the Assault rifle laws have no control over bolt actions. But this bolt action doesn’t have to subscribe to standard assault rifle specifications to be powerful, tactical or effective. The Short barrel length and the normal stock combined with an intermediate eye relief scope for two eye situational awareness and the high capacity magazine makes this gun spectacular. In fact it encompasses just about everything Jeff Cooper wrote about the “perfect” scout rifle.
Cooper decided that a gun capable of long range hunting (up to say, 350 yards) with enough power to take out a 450 pound animal, but also capable of easy carry, lowered weight with a high capacity and easy reloading was what the world needed. It wasn’t until the original Steyr Scout rifle (which Jeff Cooper himself worked on) was released that it started to make sense. But Ruger wanted an American version. So Ruger talked with Gunsite directors and started the process of making an American Scout rifle in the image of Jeff Cooper’s philosophies. This rifle would be far outside the realm of assault rifle laws.
The realm it wasn’t far outside of however, was that of the hunter, the civilian in need of a longer range defensive weapon and the tactical shooter working to stop multiple threats as a secondary interdiction team.
Forget the assault rifle laws, seriously
The Ruger Gunsite scout is that rifle. No Assault rifle laws to deal with, but incredible firepower, good swing, light weight and reliability. Sure it’s not as fast on the follow up shot as most assault rifles, but in the trained hand, this thing is lethal, accurate and infinitely usable.
Ruger tried this sort of thing out a few years back with some almost successful Ultralight M77 with a number 1 rib for the front mounted scope. Bear in mind one of the crucial points to the scout rifle idea is the intermediate eye relief of the FORWARD MOUNTED optic. The point is to be able to assess danger from a better vantage point, and yet, be able to adjust quickly for longer shots.
Is it the perfect hunting gun with just the right amount of tactical presence to it, though?
It’s pretty good at doing what it’s made for, that’s for sure.
I’ll admit, I’m less of a fan of the Ruger M77 than some other major makers, but I’m starting to like what’s being done with the bolt actions from Ruger.
This Scout rifle is made for balance; it’s got a wood stock which weighs 4 ounces more than a composite stock, but without those 4 extra ounces, the balance is just slightly off. It uses a high capacity magazine, but not a mil-surplus one, that would be too easy (Ruger says it’s all about the reliability and heft of the magazines that they source from accuracy International at a heavy cost). If they were looking for absolute versatility, they may have slightly missed the mark, but for reliability, they seem to have cornered the market in the space.
It’s got a flat sided receiver and lugs which keep the action from turning. Crisp checkering on the forend and the palm swell a forward mounted rail for optic mounting and an interesting (almost too much like a Steyr Scout). The front TWO sling swivel mounts are interesting, but allow better slung behavior with the longer mags. The cold hammer forged barrel (a somewhat new thing for Ruger) is 16.5 inches long. That’s right: 16.5 inches on a real rifle, for handling and comfort. According to the ballistic data, the accuracy is not affected much by the shortened length, but the velocity is, and therefore by association,, the long range capability. For 100-150 yards this thing should be just about perfect. Up to about 300 yards it’s manageable, and it’s possible out to about 350-375 yards, but beyond that, the drop might not be realistic enough o keep you on target.
Oh yeah, it’s solely chambered in .308, and there is still a ton of demand for this gun, despite the release date over a year ago.
The point of the gun is this: the ultimate in versatility for a survival gun.
- .308 is an excellent round to try and find compared to other more niche rounds
- It’s short, but accurate
- Lightweight at less than 7 lbs.
- It’s got a fairly proven design, with some excellent enhancements
- The cold hammer forged barrel has a longer life and better accuracy than button rifled barrels
- It has a less than five pound trigger, that seems high, but pulls well
- 10 round box magazines with easy detachability
- Decent iron sights
- Rock solid forward mounted optic mount
- Adjustable buttsock spacers
- Under $1k (just barely under 1k, with the demand most people are paying above $900)
- Just over 38” overall length
Try to argue with those stats; you can’t.
Try to find another gun that can guarantee reliability and accuracy like a bolt action, not to mention durability and ease of use as well as ease of replacement of parts; you can’t.
Maybe Jeff Cooper was on to something…end sarcasm
If you have an issue with assault rifle laws; need a good quality, more portable bolt gun; looking for the best survival gun you can buy that ISN’T a semi-automatic action, and this gun will probably fit the bill.
It’s a bit steep, but the extras that come with it in the design are probably what keeps demand so high, and value so heavy.