Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
May 24, 2011

In today's world, it seems that people are trending in the direction of having specialized products for each specific job, sport, or activity, and believe me, I am one of those people.  For years, I was a "one rifle man", mainly due to economic reasons (wife, kids, cars, house, educations, dog, etc.).  As I have gotten older and have been able to afford more toys, it seems that my once "one rifle man" approach has shifted towards a modern desire for specialized firearms for each situation (deer hunting short range, deer hunting thick brush, deer hunting long range, varmint hunting, silencer capable, extended magazine, strategic defense ... I think you get the picture).  As I was making my way through the videos from the recent 2011 Shot Show, I became intrigued by Ruger's new Gunsite Scout Rifle.  The thing that really stuck in my head while watching the videos was a comment that the rifle "wasn't designed to do anything specific", but instead it was "designed to do many things well".  That was when the light bulb went off in my head.  Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS).  If you can only carry one rifle at a time, why not carry the most versatile?  If you could only carry one wrench, I bet you would carry an adjustable wrench.  So maybe the "one rifle man" concept wasn't such a bad idea after all.

As I started doing my research, I found out that the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle was developed as a joint venture between Ruger and Gunsite and this rifle represents the fulfillment of Jeff Cooper's vision of the Scout Rifle.  Cooper's criteria for a Scout Rifle were:

  • Unloaded weight with accessories of 3.0 to 3.5 kilogram maximum (6.6 to 7.7 pounds)
  • Overall length of 1 meter (39.4") or less
  • Low magnification forward mounted telescopic sights
  • Chambered in .308 Winchester / 7.62x51mm NATO
  • Capable of 2 MOA at 200 yards

When you glance over Cooper's criteria, you can quickly see a rifle that meets these standards would be a very versatile rifle indeed.  Therefore, my interests in the Ruger Gunsite Rifle continued to grow.  Once I found out that a local gun store had a Gunsite Rifle on the shelf, I had to go check it out.  After handling it in the store, I decided I had to get one for a review.  Ruger's MSRP for this rifle is $995, but the local store had it for $749.

 

The following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger website on 3/15/11 and gives an Overview, Key Features, and Specifications for the Ruger Gunsite Rifle.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.  I may also add commentary after these marks as necessary to explain some items if needed.

Overview:

  • 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 have only one. It is the perfect lightweight, hard-hitting, do-it-all bolt-action rifle.

Key Features:

  • Flash Suppressor reduces muzzle flash and can be removed form the 5/8-24 muzzle threaded barrel for the fitting of most standard .30 caliber muzzle accessories.
  • Forward Mounted Picatinny Rail allows for the mounting of modern optics, like an immediate eye relief scope (not included), for "both eyes open" sighting and super-fast target acquisition.
  • 10-Round, Detachable Box Magazine with push-forward, Mini-14 style, magazine release just forward of the trigger guard (5- and 10-round magazines available at ShopRuger.com)
  • Soft Rubber Recoil Pad with buttpad spacers allow the rifle to be properly sized for different shooters, or varying levels of outerwear or defensive gear (three 1/2" spacers included).
  • Accurate Sighting System with ghost ring adjustable rear aperture sight and a protected, non-glare post front sight.
  • Patented Integral Scope Mounts machined directly on the solid-steel receiver provide a stable mounting surface for scope rings, eliminating a potential source of looseness and inaccuracy in the field (scope rings included).
  • Non-Rotating, Mauser-Type Controlled Round Feed Extractor is the most positive case extraction system ever invented, and features a fixed blade-type ejector that positively ejects the empty cases as the bolt is moved fully rearward.
  • Developed with Gunsite, this rifle is "Gunsite Approved" and features logo engraved on the grip cap and name roll marked on the receiver.
  • Also Includes rugged, one-piece, stainless steel bolt ; three-position safety ; studs for mounting sling swivels ; medium contour cold hammer-forged, allow steel barrel ; glass reinforced nylon trigger guard and magazine well.

Specifications: 

  • Catalog Number: M77-GS
  • Model Number: 6803
  • Caliber: .308 Win.
  • Stock: Black Laminate
  • Capacity: 10 Comes with a 10 round magazine, 5 round magazines are available
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Front Sight: Post
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable Both windage and elevation
  • Barrel Length: 16.50"
  • Overall Length: 38.00" - 39.50"
  • Weight 7.00 lbs. Just over 8 pounds with a full 10-round magazine
  • Length of Pull: 12.75" - 14.25"
  • Twist: 1:10 RH
  • Groves: 6
  • Suggested Retail: $995.00

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that they are from my perspective and it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide for yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • Detachable 5- and 10-round magazine capable and other non-Ruger magazines are available on the market
  • Capable of multiple optic configurations (forward mounted or traditional) and comes with a set of Ruger 1" rings
  • Short total length and adjustable length of pull via shims under the buttpad
  • Attractive wood laminated stock
  • Proven M77 Hawkeye receiver & bolt combination
  • 3 position safety
  • Reliability of a bolt action rifle with simple and quick disassembly for normal cleaning
  • Complete disassembly for an extensive cleaning was also simple
  • 1.5 MOA capable

Pro/Con?:

  • Before installing your optics on the Picatinny rail, make sure the 4 mounting screws are tight.  The ones on my rifle were only snug.
  • Verify the tightness of the mounting screw for the rear ghost ring sight.  The site screw on my rifle was only finger tight.

Cons:

  • The older rifle I received (relatively early serial number) did not have a fully floated barrel.  Ruger has updated their manufacturing process and this should not be an issue on current rifles.
  • Since I see one of the greatest uses for this rifle being a hunting rifle, I wish it would have also come with a 5-round magazine.  I'm sure Ruger purchases the magazines in bulk and could add one to the package at a minimal price increase.

 

Bottom Line:

After nearly 100 days of studying, photographing, disassembling, reassembling, shouldering and shooting the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, I have come to an opinion about this rifle.  I like it.  It is short, light weight, built on a proven action and has an attractive look.  In Part 5 of this review, I show the rifle in both the standard and scout scope configurations and believe the greatest benefit of this rifle platform is in it's intended Scout configuration.  I also shot the rifle with the iron sights and found it to be printing high and to the left while the rear sight was fully adjusted to it's limits.  I sent the rifle back to Ruger and they corrected the issue.  It now zeros perfectly at 100 yards.

Could this truly be the only rifle you need?  If you are carrying a good set of binoculars and don't need additional optical magnification in your scope, this scout configuration rifle just may be the one.  Looking back over the years of hunting in the south, could this rifle do everything I needed?  Easily.  At the end of the day, it is for you to decide.  My recommendation on the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is this.  Take time to study this review and any other reviews you can find.  Next, visit your local gun store and see one for yourself.  And last, think about where, how and who will use this rifle and you may find that the unique features of this rifle are just what you are looking for in a rifle.


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