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Sturm, Ruger & Co reckon their new Gunsite Scout Rifle is a credible rendition of Col. Jeff Cooper’s “fighting carbine” Scout Rifle. Guns & Ammo mag described the Col.’s concept back in May ’09: “Three kilograms maximum weight, one meter maximum length, a forward-mounted telescope, and chambered in .308 Winchester.” Cooper wanted a rifle that could go anywhere and do anything, from self-defense to an entire day’s hunting, taking game up to 500 pounds (so much for travelling light). In a country where gun owners can afford multiple quality rifles for multiple tasks (especially defense), the Scout Rifle never really caught on. So why is Ruger teaming up with Cooper’s Gunsite inheritors to bring it on back?

Something to do with money perhaps. Nothing wrong with that. And, as the unidentified scientist intoned at the opening of The Six Million Dollar Man, we have the technology . . .

The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is a new platform in the Ruger M77 family. While the Scout Rifle has M77 features such as controlled round feed and integral scope mounts (scope rings included), the 10-round detachable box magazine is the first clue this isn’t your grandfather’s Ruger rifle.

The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle has a 16.5″ medium contour, cold hammer-forged, alloy steel barrel with a Mini-14 protected non-glare post front sight and receiver mounted, adjustable ghost ring rear sight for out-of-the-box usability. A forward mounted Picatinny rail offers options in mounting an assortment of optics – including Scout Scopes available from Burris and Leupold, for “both eyes open” sighting and super-fast target acquisition.

A Mini-14/SR-556 flash suppressor is effective on reducing the muzzle flash that may be present on some .308 Winchester loads when fired out of the short (16.5″) barrel. The 5/8-24 muzzle threads allow most standard .30 caliber muzzle accessories – flash suppressors, muzzle brakes, and sound suppressors – to be installed.

The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle features a matte black oxide alloy steel barrel and receiver on a black laminate stock with sling swivel studs and checkered grip and forearm. A soft rubber recoil pad, with three 1/2″ spacers allows the length of pull to be adjusted and allow the rifle to be properly sized for different shooters, or to give the shooter the proper fit with outerwear or defensive gear of varying thickness.

The rifle’s trigger guard and magazine well are formed with glass-reinforced nylon. The magazine release is a push-forward Mini-14 paddle just ahead of the trigger guard.

C’mon, you like it! (Except for maybe the wood finish that screams LOOK AT ME! I CAME FROM A TREE!) Ruger makes its best case for its seven pound .308 at the bottom of the presser, but kinda misses Colonel Cooper’s main point: it doesn’t matter when gun you use as long as you know how to use it. Oh well. Marketing needs must.

As they say, beware the man with one gun, for he probably knows how to use it. Never has this been more true than with the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, the one rifle to have if you could only have one. It is the perfect lightweight, hard-hitting, do-it-all bolt-action rifle – where rugged, reliable Ruger meets the practical, tactical.

Practical, tactical what? Don’t you just hate it when the guy with the answer to mystery dies while trying to share it with the hero? Hey, I thought TTAG’s Armed Intelligenstia settled the question of “which gun would you want when the SHTF?” (Hint: It’s not an ArmaLite AR-10 either.) Ironically, the consensus was . . . the Ruger Mini-14. If things go seriously south, you want LOTS of easy-to-schlep ammo. The 308 round is too much cartridge for the job.

Anyway, the new Ruger Gunsite Scout runs $995. Which is a lot of coin for a little gun. Or not if you need it.

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  1. Meh.

    The “scout” concept is something Cooper dreamed up on his own, based on an armchair exercise and with specifications he made up from thin air. IOW it’s not a response to any real demand from anybody but Cooper. If there was a demand for “scout” rifles, other manufacturers would be making them. For that matter, a couple of aftermarket manufacturers can sell you all the components to turn any run-0f-the-mill bolt gun into a “scout” rifle if that’s what you really want, and you can do it for a lot less than Ruger is asking for theirs.

    The .308 cartridge is problematic, too. Cooper chose it because it’s still in military use but why should that matter to a civilian shooter? The .30-06 has better ballistics, virtually the same recoil, and can be found in every bait-and-tackle shop from Moose Jaw, Montana to Resume Speed, Alabama.

    I predict this will be, to use a gun-related idiom, a flash in the pan.

    • Hold on…stop the presses…wait a dog-gone minute….

      Are you serious? .308 is “problematic”. No demand for a scout configuration?
      May I ask…under what igneous rock you live under?

    • I like basic concept but like most “GUYS” I could never leave it stock out of the box. Really the great appeal to me is the action with the detachable mag. Give me the action and Ill build my own idea of what it should be.
      The .308 is by no means problematic, it is tried and tested. I cant comprehend anyone suggesting its inferior to the 30-06 when its in fact an evolutionary improvement of the venerable .30. The glorious .308 is as true blue American as the .45acp and in my neck of the woods (Az. desert actually) mocking either are gonna get you sent home before the BBQ is served.

      Lastly Moose Jaw is in Canada!

    • Martin, In 1996 i graduated PA Gunsmith School, I built a scout rifle to Col Coopers specks. Even with all my guns It has always been my go to gun. [ I always bring spare rifle but never used any of them] You must shoot one in the field under hunting situations. I have hunted Pa, WV, New York, Montana, Colorado & Canada. Taking Mule Deer, White Tail and Black Bear. and have never been under gunned. This is the finest snap shooting firearm Ive ever owned, BAR NONE… Nikon 2X, Mauser bolt, W/Custom 10 round mags, Shilen SS match grade BBL 18″ [blued] 3 point ching sling. match .308 chamber. custom hand laid stock. Aluminum bedding, Wt 6.5 lbs empty. I was impressed with the offering from Styre, but handling the Ruger I bought one. Used it last year. Try one hunting, then re wright your post…m

  2. I don’t exactly consider a bolt action as a “fighting carbine” in this day with the availability of all the semi-auto “battle” rifles and carbines available.

  3. @Diamondback: Now that you mention it, it might be interesting to see some kind of “scout” rifle built up on the Semi-Aut Remington 7400, or as I like to call it, “The Poor Man’s M14.” You can get one with an 18″ barrel, 10 round mags are available, and IIRC the carbine versions even come with simple iron sights. You can even get .308 cal if you really want, although I’d choose the more ubiquitous .30-06. About the only Cooper-esque feature that would be missing is the LER scope, and there’s probably a way to do that on the Remington as well.

  4. I like the original scout concept rifle, – lever action marlin or winchester. the 30/30 is always the cheapest sporting ammo in a store . and every hardware store between here and timbuktu has it . inexpensive light rifle . a magazine you can top off as you shoot. and with hornodays lever eveloution ammo, as powerful as a 308. They have a 20 in barrel, but used ones with a 16.5″ tube are plentiful .
    but I wish ruger luck with this, It looks like a nice rifle

  5. Ruger has made a rifle where others have failed. Yes there have been custom guns but nothing in a reachable price range. MSRP does not reflect what you will pay for one. $850 or so should be the going rate at your local dealer. For the most part 308 will do everything an ’06 will do but in a shorter case. Heavy bullets do not matter with todays bullet tech. There will be no 7400 as the rifle action is weak and will break under heavy use. I have built a couple of rifles under the same concept. I will buy this gun as soon as I can. Ruger has done a fine job. Please remember we are not a nation of riflemen anymore so most people will not understand the no black rifle concept.

  6. I will take my Mauser 98K in 8mm over any of these new scout rifles. Oh and it cost $250.00, ammo is Cheap. The M1 Garand is a close 2nd.

  7. This looks like a credible attempt to achieve the idea. I’ve owned several ‘scout’ type rifles over the last 21 years, 2 of the Savage 10FCM, my original Mdl 7 conversion and currently a 30/30 trapper.

    Martin, maybe I can clarify the purpose of this a bit without flaming anyone. The demands this piece satisfies –

    Light weight – light, packable rifles with quick handling are desired everywhere by those who use them somewhere other than the range. They also make real-world fighting problems somewhat easier. I am interested to see how well this was achieved.

    Acceptable power – the .308 efficiently carries power to any realistic distance one might need it. You can have bigger with more if you like, or perhaps have a special situation. The ammo is also readily available pretty much anywhere you could take the rifle.

    Quick target aquisition – I think this must be experienced to be understood, but it is the reason we put red-dots on our military carbines. Getting on the target RIGHT NOW with enough power to need only one hit wins fights. Technique + tailored hardware provides a significant time advantage.

    Semi-auto would perhaps be an interesting path to pursue, but I’ve not seen any rifles built this way that met the concept.

    An example of these ‘demands’ in a different arena – the M-4 carbine/6.8SPC/Aimpoint combination. This carbine is lighter than any of the rifles it replaced, designed to be a quick handling, ergonomic piece when moving the gun is important. The .223 has been found wanting by many who use it, leading to the 6.8 to keep the handling but improve the power. The Aimpoint is used because it allows looking at the target and shooting, rather than aligning a set of sights or even the focal plane of a scope.

    In attempting to design a tool that can be adept in many situations there are always trade-offs, especially versus specific scenario’s. The scout rifle is such a tool, capable of being effectively employed across a broad spectrum of tasks, although others might be better for a specific situation.

    I intend to aquire one and put it through its paces. If Ruger did it right my AR, the precision rifle and even the old trapper will get a long rest in the safe.

  8. Darrin thanks for the excellent reply. It’ helps put into focus my jumbled thoughts as i consider this rifle vs the Springfield M1A Scout Squad. It boils down to the trade-off between semi-auto in the m1a to the lack of weight in the Ruger.

  9. I am looking for a rugged, handy, all purpose rifle in .308. Tonight (2/17) I looked at Springfield’s SOCOM II and Armalite’s AR-10.
    The SOCOM was $1500 -$2k(many variants ), The Armalite was $1500 and I was told the Ruger Gunsite Scout could be ordered for $650. The SOCOM and Armalite were comfortable, pointed well and obviously very well made. The SOCOM felt a little too heavy for what I want in an all purpose gun. I don’t like field stripping the M1 action for cleaning, either. I really liked the Armalite. I am very familiar with the AR style action, but finally decided that the pistol grip and carry handle make the rifle a little harder to tuck in a vehicle. Neither shop had a Ruger, so I will wait until I can handle one. I like bolt actions, even though I am left handed. The Ruger with the IER scope should allow me to easily reach over to operate the bolt. I don’t want a left handed version, as I like to train using firearms that are readily available. Bolt actions are easy to clean, very dependable and very rugged. I keep a rifle with me most of the time and they get knocked around a bit.
    All 3 rifles would seem to be about the same length. The Ruger specs as the lightest, and with the available 5 round magazine will make a comfortable hunting rifle here in the New England woods.
    So, I will wait until I can check out the Ruger. If it doesn’t work for me, than the Armalite will be my choice.

  10. I think Ruger has made a credible offering for what admittedly is a niche market.
    Having followed Col. Cooper’s writings back when he was still with us I do see a few nits with the Ruger Scout. The Col. specified 3kg or 6.6 pounds. The Ruger is a tad over at 7 pounds even. I’m thinking he would have taken exception to the flash hider on the front though I can see some justification. And the main point for a forward mount scope was to allow recharging from stripper clips which I cannot find mentioned in any description of the new gun.
    Last note, I hope Ruger or someone quickly offers an additional 5 round clip to make the gun “street legal” for hunting purposes. It’s a minor yet obvious detail that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere yet.
    Am definitely looking forward to an opportunity to handle on of these in the near future.

  11. *shrugs*

    I don’t really need a ‘scout rifle.’ I just want an M77 with a box mag. I’ve been looking into the M77 brand for a while now, and this one now seems like the one I’ll get. Now if only it came in .30-06…

  12. Ruger has hit the nail on the head with this one. The Gunsite Scout Rifle has got to be the best product I’ve seen come to market in years. They’ve designed it to be as reliable as possible while adding features to try to stay true to the scout rifle concept; an admirable job.

    Some may chide its price (not so high considering where gun prices have been going lately), its lack of accepting stripper clips (could reduce magazine reliability), its high priced single stack Accuracy International magazine, etc. However as mentioned before there are tradeoffs between features. A light weight bolt action rifle is a lot easier to carry all day then a heavier semi-auto although you don’t get the “gotta waste” ammo and accuracy rapid fire. Also, ammo in 308 is heavier and bulkier than the same number of rounds in 223, but it can perform a wider spectrum of tasks, and is still readily available. Finally costs to some seem high but how much would it cost to get the same action in the same caliber with fixed sights and a 10 round capacity! I say the price is reasonable (albeit painful compared to gun prices in years past… but hey no pain no gain… you see what they are charging for even crap in Kalifornia!!!).

    You may not want the Ruger Gunsite Scout or need it if you already have a nice larger caliber rifle; Mauser 98, M1A, M1Garand, AR10, MosinNagant… (just kidding about MosinNagant although I love all 5 of mine, and for the person who doesn’t want a scope they are definitely the best value.) Even AKs and their variants may be suitable substitutes if you live outside the Dictatorship of Kalifornia; again all depending upon your needs and wants.

    [Disclosure: 5 days left on my waiting period before this rifle is to take the “active duty” role away from the other rifles in my arsenal.]

    PS. Uncle Lar, the forward mount scope if for both eyes open shooting, allowing natural and rapid target acquisition. Stripper clips would be very nice, as would bolt open top loading but ultimate reliability was their goal and they sacrificed the top loading to the firearm gods. At least the 10 round mag helps ease the recreational shooting. And yes, you can get 5 round magazine for hunting. Its mags aren’t cheap but they are very reliable.

  13. It’s always fun to read all of the opinions. Took me a while to arrange the moniker “Scout Rifle” in my old brain housing group. I have three primary gun safes in my brain, one each for sporting rifles, battle rifles, and target rifles. I suppose this Scout rifle will fit in the informal fourth category of what I call “truck guns”. Something you can slide in a soft case and toss behind the seat just in case you get overrun by feral hogs on the way home from Walmart. At $800, I don’t imagine this Ruger Scout will ever replace the model 94 currently sleeping behind the seat in my pick-up.

    As for the 308WIN, I can certainly identify with Colonel Cooper’s intentions. I’ve had life-long affairs with both Lady M14 and Miss M40. Some rifle chambered for 308WIN will be the last rifle to ever leave my collection. While I’ll admit there are combinations slicker and sexier than the 308, there just aren’t that many. The drop and drift out to 1000 yards are as natural to me as pissing without hitting my boots. I’ll take what I know in my bones before some smart fellers idea of performance.

  14. OK Boys, I think I got somethin here that will shed some light on this here subject an maybe save some o you fellers (Especially the smart ones) some Money. Back in the great W-W-2 we already had these so called Scout Rifles but back then we called um “Jungle Carbines”.

    Now before you get all flustered, I know Col. Cooper meant well when he come up with this here concept but maybe where he served in the Marines in the pacific, they didnt have no Englishmen with these here fine rifles for him to look at and see for him self…

    so I say in the beginning here that Col. Cooper is hereby absolved of any mistakes he made by Copying an already bein used design. It go’s without sayin that he meant no harm an only wanted to help us by havin a rifle that the democrats couldent take away…(Theres a who lot o Liberals readin this that are screamin about now but thats just too bad).

    So, I went over tha checklist Col. Cooper came up with an the only criteria that dont match is that it aint made in America….But Ill get to that later.

    Now HERE is a fine ol Jungle Carbine in 308 (Thats 762X54 to you Liberals) that sold on-Line for $300.00 : (Now Im not sayin that Im the one who bought it, Mind you) And you can also get these in 762X39 (Thats the Evil SKS/AK round, to you Liberals)

    an Here is what it Might look like if I got my hands on it:

    but I would have added one of there extended mags to it so’s to keep with the 20 rd guidelines of Col. Cooper:

    and then my finished rifle would look somethin like this:

    Now, about the “wandering Zero” Myth. None of Mine ever have…but if yours does, try “Free Floating” the Barrel (Now I dont expect biginners or Liberals to know what that means but I figgure you old timers will teach um for me).

    Now, I figgure that after all is said an done Id have me about $500.00 in that “Jungle Scout” (Includin a Dandy Scope) an thats just about half of what the Ruger go’s for…..

    So, you fellers heed what Im sayin: I aint sayin that this here Ruger scout aint no good, Jus the opposite, Its a mighty fine rifle. All Im sayin is that the idea been around fer a long time an if some O you fellers that having a hard time makin ends meet wants a nice handy Scout rifle but cant afford this here Ruger, then heres one you can own for a lot less, (An at the Range, I bet ya ittl turn more heads than the Ruger will, Hands Down!)

    Your Obt. Svt,
    Col Korn,
    Chief o Mayhem, In the Great WW-2 (An tha Cold War)
    Currently Chief O Security an Sanitation,
    OXOjamm Studios.

  15. I have 2 Fals’s and a mauser sporter in 308 already. Love em for what they are. I took the fal para hunting a couple years ago and its freaking heavy to be carrying up and down a mountain all day not to mention awkward. I therefore acquired a Rem model 7 in 350 rem mag. Sweet rifle for elk, charging lion, or buffalo but a little overkill for a deer and I don’t always get around to making my handloads.

    This scout rifle hangs a lot of people up because of the name and the forward mount scope but to anyone who carries a rifle all day in order to get 1 good shot, its nice to have a rifle that can deliver on weight, balance and power. The forward scope mount is just another option. Currently I am planning a 2-7x leatherwood with warne qd rings AND my spare trijicon reflex. Once zeroed, I should have both a magnification option and a quick acquisition option for hunting / stalking.

    My ruger will arrive any day and I am very much looking forward to comparing it against my model 7.

    5 round mags are available from brownells and accuracy international.

    Oh and by the way – the guy mentioning the jungle carbines is right. Cooper made the idea famous and named it but lightweight, short barrel rifles are nothing new. I had the pleasure of playing with an enfield #4 jungle carbine a bunch of years ago and its what set me in motion towards this type of rifle for carrying / hunting / everything purposes

  16. it is more fitting to call it survival rifle, suitable for bush pilot when got trouble wnhen their plane go down. It is suitable in the jungle hunting, i will like it more if it is in 18.5 inch barrel and with the magazine of M-14 & Fal, i can dream can I?

  17. Great posts one and all. I was never a big fan of the scout concept until I purchased a Marlin 1895 SBL in 45/70. I bought the rifle because I liked the looks. I have many other very nice rifles to fit all roles. I bought a leupold scout and mounted it. I could not believe how damn fast target aquisition is. I will use this rifle this hunting season and plan to have a ruger scout in the near future. I have 5 boys so I will need cool rifles to pass down.

  18. I read the post about the use of a bolt-action in use for self-defense. 1st from what little real world experience I have, but experience I do have in law enforcement and military situations, the post was wrong.

    The bolt-action can be used very effectively for an offensive and defensive role given some training and knowing how to work angles. I have seen a lot of trained proffesionals in and out of the business who can shoot and move quickly and hit accurately with a bolt gun. And the Ruger has already been assessed to get it done out to a 1000 yards on a 20×40 steel maiden.

    I owned a Ruger Frontier for years and the only reason I got rid of it was b/c of the 300WSM it was chambered in, but I did effectively engage targets out to 700yds with it.

    So for the guy that wants a rifle that he can not only hunt with, but also fight with the Ruger GS scout or the Jungle Scout would be a great one to look at.

    P.S. You also can get the Jungle Rifle in 308 which is easier to find than 303.

    “I carry a pistol to fight my way back to my rifle, which I should have never been without in the first place.”

  19. A very interesting carbine. The one rifle to have, when the world as we known it, is no more? Perhaps, but I understand that the magazine can’t be topped off through the open bolt. That’s the only draw back I would have.

    Others fault the concept of a bolt action in a semi-auto world, but have those guys ever seen the movie “The Road”? In a doomsday scenario, ammo conservation ranks supreme. Big stockpiles won’t help you when the food and water run out and you’re forced to find other supplies. Or when desparate crazies set your house on fire and a quick exit is demanded. Ammo is heavy and you can only carry so much. Oh…and you can’t drive, because of all the road blocks and there’s no gas, food or retail anything that hasn’t been drained or looted to buy anyway. No, you have to go on foot with only the ammo and supplies you can carry.

    The propensity of popping off rounds, as fast as the trigger finger can pull, especially when scared to death, is very ill advised. In fact, discharging the weapon for any reason will only attract those who want your gun, ammo and anything else you might have, now that you’ve announced yourself and your position.

    A bolt action makes you think about each shot you may be forced to take, one bullet at a time. As bad as the experience of ground infantry combat is, the army make great effort to keep the ammo coming.

    No resupply chain will exist for a guy and his family trying to survive as long as possible, under dog-eat-dog, doomsday conditions.

    Yes, I like the Ruger Scout bolt action carbine concept, because less can definitely be more.

  20. i got the 30 06 savage edge with a 4 power bore sighted scope for 306 last year.
    the only thing the scout has got id want that the coopers rifle has is the 10 round magazines
    i bought some ammo from palmetto armory for 13.95 a box and they even packaged it for long term storage for me. 150 or 180 grain is the same price

    extra 4 round magazines were 38. i had to search all day long to find them
    great gun

  21. Well I own a Blaser tactical2 .338 Lapua Mag with a max range nightforce scope and love to shoot it but have to drive a long way to enjoy it and at $4 plus a round it kinda hurts the pocket book. I needed an easy to carry, travel with long range scout rifle and the Ruger Gunsite .308 was a dream come true. The word is “flexibility” and this rifle is great for short, medium and longer ranges. It is easy to pack and carry, especially in an emergency and it has the power to stop all humans and large predators. Try defending yourself from a grizzley bear with a .223 or .556……I would have to bet on the bear. A .308 with quick site acquisition and a 10 rd clip changes that game completely. As a survivalist, I will always pack and carry the gunsite over others I have in my collection.

  22. I’ve been shooting a stainless scout rifle, .308 all this summer and it’s great. From 2 feet away to 300yds. it’s very versatile. To the guy who likes the jungle carbine, I’ve owned many of them, and after many magazine changes, have never had or saw a magazine that worked. The 10-shot scout rifle magazine, and the ruger 5-round magazines work perfectly. The scout rifle is on back order everywhere, and the factory works 6 days a week on back orders. That’s it for tonight.

  23. I finally ordered my left hand Ruger Scout in .308 yesterday from my LGS. Had to accept the 18″ barrel and laminate stock to get the lefty version. (not a deal breaker). Naturally, I had to read as much as I could online. It was very interesting to read all the armchair commandos on many different websites (including this one) that ridiculed this concept, and predicted that it would be a short-lived product with no market. Then there was the “if only it came in .650 super magnum with a 50 round drum”, and the usual “it’s no better than my $49 Mosin”. Those Mosin buyers say that about every gun, btw.
    Anyway, I cancelled my C308 HK clone purchase and opted for this gun instead. I always wanted that HK, because they do look cool, but I can’t afford to run .308 in a semi for more than a few mags. I wanted an all purpose gun that will complement my AR, and this fills that niche.

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