Why the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is My Rifle

When Blake Hiatt sent in his This Is My Rifle photo, he got plenty of questions about the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle he posed with. So in response to some of those, here are his impressions of the gun.

By Blake Hiatt

WW1 saw the introduction of the machine gun, the 1911 pistol and the venerable 1903 Springfield. The 1903 Springfield, developed to be used by front line troops, had an overall length of 44″ (about 68″ with bayonet). It was hardly an ideal weapon for trench warfare, no matter how hard hitting the 30-06 cartridge may be. Imagine going “over the top” and jumping into a German trench toting a rifle that’s around 5.5′ long. Unwieldy for hand-to-hand combat, to say the least. On top that, the Springfield only held 5 rounds, which were loaded via a stripper clip.

Fast forward a hundred years and imagine if those doughboys had the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle in those trenches with them. With a 10 round detachable box magazine and 39″ overall length (49″ if you slap on a modern 10″ bayonet, about 60″ with a WW1 version) you have to think the boys ‘over there’ in the trenches of The War to End All Wars would have much preferred a rifle like the Ruger Scout over that 1903 Springfield. Of course, the civilian market would have been a lot poorer without all of those Springfields that were made available to the general public after hostilities were concluded.

Why compare the WW1 Springfield versus the Ruger Gunsite Scout? For all practical purposes, the Ruger’s Scout Rifle is a modern interpretation of 100 year old assault rifle. Ruger’s Scout rifle has a tried-and-true bolt action featuring a Mauser style claw extractor coupled with a sturdy no-nonsense bolt. The Scout’s bolt is smooth, but more important, feels substantial when cycled. (The extractor on the gun is something else. I was shooting standing up, cycled the bolt and the ejected cartridge landed on a table 5′ away.)

The 10-round magazine feeds reliably and is easy to load. I’ve run roughly 100 rounds through the Scout with zero failures to feed. The polymer magazines, oddly enough, seem a bit sturdier than the steel magazine. The steel magazine works, but that’s about as much credit as I can give the original factory magazine. The polymer magazines, with the dust caps for storing when loaded, are far superior to factory original. Yet, both magazines are offered through Ruger.

Both magazines pictured are 10 rounders. I don’t know why the polymer magazine has a lower profile than the steel magazine.

The iron sights on the rifle are well set up and easy to use — good enough for me to ring an 18″x24″ steel target at 200 yards. I have read other reviews of the Gunsite Scout that talked about the excellent out of the box accuracy. I can attest to the truth of those reviews.

Another thing the Gunsite Scout has going for it is what I call the “coolness” factor. The rifle, with the 10 round box magazine, picatinny rail, flash suppressor and laminated stock, just looks tough. While I have no intention of putting optics on the Gunsite Scout, the addition of the rail does make it much easier to mount a scope. But while I won’t use it, I’ll leave the rail there simply because I think the gun looks better with it there.


Another nifty option with the Gunsite Scout is the additional 1/2 spacers, which can be used to adjust the length of pull.


Ruger has done a great job creating a gun that shoots well, is easy to move, accurate and reliable. The Scout is easily the favorite rifle living in my safe.