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Thread: Ruger "Scout Rifle" - Opinions?

  1. #1
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    Default Ruger "Scout Rifle" - Opinions?

    I just saw this advertised:
    http://www.ruger.com/products/gunsit...le/models.html

    Basically, it is a .308 bolt action carbine, 16.5" bbl, 7 lbs, scope mount forward of the receiver, takes 5 or 10 round Accuracy Int'l detachable magazines ($70 each!), MSRP $1K.

    My hunting experience is limited, but this is how I size it up....

    The Good:
    - .308 win: Good all-around cartridge for anything except big bears, and light for moose. Still, it is a popular round for good reason and Outside of Alaska it is probably good for just about any animal you'd hunt in the lower 48.
    - Bolt Action: Good for rough outdoors use.
    - 7 lbs: My browning xbolt is 6.5 lbs and I really appreciate having that lighter rifle on long trips with lots of walking. Good.
    - Price: With MSRP $1K I expect these to be coming in around $700 retail. That's not out of the ballpark for a decent bolt action rifle.

    The Bad:
    "Scout" style scope mount: As I understand it, the purpose of the long eye relief scope mount is to improve peripheral vision and allow faster target acquisition. This to me implies shorter range shots in heavier brush, which would make me really want to lean towards a lever action rifle.

    The Ugly:
    Magazines: For a hunting rifle I want a mag that sits flush with the bottom of the rifle for easier carrying. I also don't love detachable magazines (one more thing to break or lose), but I am more tolerant of ones like my Xbolt's rotary magazine which are small and not too expensive. These are also bulky and expensive. Blah.



    I'm just not sure what role these rifles are supposed to fill. If I want a gun where I expect to take 200-300 yard shots, I want a traditional scope. If I want a gun where I expect to take close range shots at game in brush then I probably want a lever gun (and maybe a different cartridge). If I want a gun for self-defense then I don't want a bolt action. In the role of an "all around" hunting rifle for the person who can only have one gun, I don't think those magazines make sense.

    Any opinions? This rifle seems interesting at first but the more I think about it, the less likely I am to be able to think of a case when I would bring it out of the safe for an actual trip.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nittanytbone View Post
    The Bad:
    "Scout" style scope mount: As I understand it, the purpose of the long eye relief scope mount is to improve peripheral vision and allow faster target acquisition. This to me implies shorter range shots in heavier brush, which would make me really want to lean towards a lever action rifle.
    I've made some nice shots with a scout type scope. In fact, my longest to date, and pushing what I would attempt with anything at 275yds.

    Shooting with a forward mounted scope has a lot of positives and few drawbacks in my experience.

    I will likely try to pick one of these up given that I've messed with the scout concept in the past with very good results.

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    This clearly shows what can happen if someone leaves a mini 14 alone in the safe with their wife's Ruger compact 308...

    Personally I tend to agree w/ chuck Hawks on the scout scope premise. I think it would be cool on a mod 94 but fail to see the benefit on rifles that could just as easily have it mounted on top of the actions. The narrow field of view is probably the most significant disadvantage to the IER scopes as it is about 1/2 that of the same power scope in a conventional configuration.

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    I just saw this announced on another forum. I like the concept; I've been looking for one rifle that fills the roles of both hunting & defense, with an emphasis on short/medium range hunting. I'd been toying with the idea of getting either a Springfield M1A, a Marlin 1895 lever-action, or an AR platform in .338 federal. I'd much prefer a bolt-action for their reliability.

    I like the weight, and the fact that it's compatible with traditional scope rings as well as a scout scope. I'd probably never buy a scout scope for one. I'm curious how well the magazines feed; I'd probably use 5 round for hunting and 10 round for fun at the range.

    I'm willing to bet that they stick with short action chamberings in keeping with the concept of a handy, powerful gun. I'd like to see a stainless version with an 18" barrel in either .338 federal or .358 winchester.
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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    The action is the same Ruger action and you can still use factory Ruger rings with a traditional scope like Leupold for example.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    . The narrow field of view is probably the most significant disadvantage to the IER scopes as it is about 1/2 that of the same power scope in a conventional configuration.
    If you're shooting with both eyes open the FOV is much greater than the mechanical limits of just the scope. The extremely wide "FOV" is one of the reasons I like the scout concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Personally I tend to agree w/ chuck Hawks on the scout scope premise. I think it would be cool on a mod 94 but fail to see the benefit on rifles that could just as easily have it mounted on top of the actions. The narrow field of view is probably the most significant disadvantage to the IER scopes as it is about 1/2 that of the same power scope in a conventional configuration.
    Every concept has debits and credits. For example, the FOV is more limited than traditional scopes, but IER scopes allow much better handling and carrying in the field since you can grasp the rifle around the action very comfortably. Some people love them; others hate them and there are perhaps a few like me in the middle that find them simultaneously helpful and annoying. As already mentioned, with both eyes open (and both eyes should normally be open when firing a scoped rifle) FOV is not an issue. If you can't find the target with ≈22' FOV at 100 yards you probably have the gun pointed in the wrong direction anyway...
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    Quote Originally Posted by nittanytbone View Post
    I'm just not sure what role these rifles are supposed to fill. If I want a gun where I expect to take 200-300 yard shots, I want a traditional scope. If I want a gun where I expect to take close range shots at game in brush then I probably want a lever gun (and maybe a different cartridge). If I want a gun for self-defense then I don't want a bolt action. In the role of an "all around" hunting rifle for the person who can only have one gun, I don't think those magazines make sense.

    Any opinions? This rifle seems interesting at first but the more I think about it, the less likely I am to be able to think of a case when I would bring it out of the safe for an actual trip.
    Your reasoning seems to be sound.

    The scout scope is probably better suited for DG/Protection purposes.

    AND, for a LA, like a Guide Gun.

    Nothing wrong with an IER scope, if that's what you want, but the dangerously short barrel, and that huge magazine, is not very suitable for hunting, IMO.

    Maybe the idea is a quasi Military Rifle. If so, you would need more than looks, for a military purpose.

    The "Hawkeye Ultra Light Rifle" is a better choice. It has a more practical 20" barrel.

    I think that most people buy guns that LOOK good to them, and this Scout Rifle has appeal because it's a little different, but when someone closely examines a rifle like this, as you have done, the appeal can vanish, in a hurry.

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    From what I have pieced together so far regarding this 308 carbine.

    It has a single stack magazine which means it must be longer than a staggered mag.
    The flash-hider mostly cosmetic and not large enough to be effective with 308 ammo from a 16.5 inch barrel.
    The laminated stock is fairly heavy.
    The accuracy is somewhat questionable.
    The price is rather steep.
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  10. #10

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    That is a rifle ment to be used with a red dot or something at a very low power. It would be a dandy brush gun for black tails and black bear. I would probably use it with open sights though. I dont think a lever action is all that much faster than a bolt action as long as you practice a little bit. Plus you cant use a lever action as fast if your prone anyways. It does seem pretty expensive, but i would be willing to bet a lot of you would like it if you got to get out and use it.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Its a Jeff Copper design.Before this rifle Jeff liked the 303 Enfield with scout scope set-up,purpose combat/survival
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I would be willing to bet it would fare as a great little packing rifle. As long as its accurate it should find its niche somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BowHunter89 View Post
    I would be willing to bet it would fare as a great little packing rifle. As long as its accurate it should find its niche somewhere.
    I can't see that. Not when there are numerus, OTHER rifles that are More "Packable", and obviously more practical.

    If you like an IER scope, you can mount one on most any rifle.

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    Is it just me or are rifles just getting uglier every day?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    NRA trying to prove military guns are hunting gun
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  16. #16

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    Here is the history behind Jeff Coopers Scout gun:


    A Brief History Of The Steyr Scout

    The Steyr Scout is the result of the collaboration of many individuals. The scout rifle concept was the brainchild of Jeff Cooper, noted author and shottist who in the early 1980 conceived of the concept of a light, handy, general purpose field rifle (as opposed to a "paper puncher") capable of handling targets up to about 800 - 1000 pounds in weight. In conjunction with several other shooters the concept was codified during several “scout rifle conferences” beginning in December of 1983. The basic requirements are as follows.

    Weight-sighted and slung: 3 kilograms (6.6 lb). This has been set as the ideal weight but the maximum has been stated as being 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds).
    Length: 1 meter (39 inches)
    Nominal barrel length: 48 cm (19 inches)
    Sighting system: Forward and low mounted (ahead of the action opening) long eye relief telescope of between 2x and 3x. Reserve iron sights desirable but not necessary. Iron sights of the ghost ring type, without a scope, also qualify.
    Action: Magazine fed bolt action. Detachable box magazine and/or stripper clip charging is desirable but not necessary.
    Sling: Fast loop-up type, i.e. Ching or CW style.
    Caliber: Nominally .308 Winchester (7.62 x 51 mm). Calibers such as 7 mm - 08 Remington (7 x 51 mm) or .243 Winchester (6 x 51 mm) may be considered for frail individuals or where "military" calibers are proscribed.
    Built-in bipod: Desirable but not mandatory.
    Accuracy: Should be capable of shooting into 2 minutes of angle (4") or less at 200 yards/meters (3 shot groups).

  17. #17
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    Although I like Rugers in general I have no need for this model.

    I do think the open sights complement the 16.5" barrel which presumably would be used for short range applications. An electronic red dot type of sight with thumb release attachment would be an easy add on for relatively low cost.

    I do like the 1:10 twist rate which allows the hand loader to load any of the hard hitting deep penetrating 180gr - 220gr 30 caliber bullets used in the 300WM - 300RUM applications. Even at 2350fps out of the muzzle the twist rate should provide adequate stability out to 250 yards for a 220gr Partition with 1800+ fps at impact for proper bullet expansion. A slight increase in velocity would allow a 200gr Partition be effective out to 375yards. Those distances should be fine for a bush rifle.

    Even tough the 16.5" barrel gives up velocity it does add rigidity for an opportunity in improved accuracy. Some may argue that the short sight radius take away that advantage. The bolt operated magazine doesn't give up accuracy or velocity like a gas operated .308 rifle system with the same ammo.

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    I don't own a "scout" rifle but I have been passively looking lately - Neither have I shot one of any kind but one year at Pierre South Dakota at the Varmint Hunters' Association rendezvous there was a guy who built them and, I swear, if you watched him shoot you would HAVE to own one .... (but I don't ... too cheap I guess) he was shooting ping pong balls lofted into the air while his back was turned and he did not miss while I was watching

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    If I'm not mistaken, one of the main reasons for the long eye relief scope was to unencumber access to top load the magazine

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    Quote Originally Posted by woundedknee View Post
    Here is the history behind Jeff Coopers Scout gun:


    A Brief History Of The Steyr Scout

    The Steyr Scout is the result of the collaboration of many individuals. The scout rifle concept was the brainchild of Jeff Cooper, noted author and shottist who in the early 1980 conceived of the concept of a light, handy, general purpose field rifle (as opposed to a "paper puncher") capable of handling targets up to about 800 - 1000 pounds in weight. In conjunction with several other shooters the concept was codified during several “scout rifle conferences” beginning in December of 1983. The basic requirements are as follows.

    Weight-sighted and slung: 3 kilograms (6.6 lb). This has been set as the ideal weight but the maximum has been stated as being 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds).
    Length: 1 meter (39 inches)
    Nominal barrel length: 48 cm (19 inches)
    Sighting system: Forward and low mounted (ahead of the action opening) long eye relief telescope of between 2x and 3x. Reserve iron sights desirable but not necessary. Iron sights of the ghost ring type, without a scope, also qualify.
    Action: Magazine fed bolt action. Detachable box magazine and/or stripper clip charging is desirable but not necessary.
    Sling: Fast loop-up type, i.e. Ching or CW style.
    Caliber: Nominally .308 Winchester (7.62 x 51 mm). Calibers such as 7 mm - 08 Remington (7 x 51 mm) or .243 Winchester (6 x 51 mm) may be considered for frail individuals or where "military" calibers are proscribed.
    Built-in bipod: Desirable but not mandatory.
    Accuracy: Should be capable of shooting into 2 minutes of angle (4") or less at 200 yards/meters (3 shot groups).
    The scope and mounting is interesting, and maybe even have some advantage, but the other specs. would not be my choices.

    I remember when the gun and the idea came out.

    I guess, I never thought Jeff Cooper's brainchild was all that brainy.

    Anyway, "light handy General purpose field rifles" abound. We can all make, or choose our own.

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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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