The first time I picked up this gun it felt very
familiar in terms of mass, size and balance, but I couldn't quite
pin it down to another specific gun. Then, while carrying it out to the
range, it dawned on me - the Enfield No.5 Jungle Carbine or an M38 Nagant. No, I'm not
Scout Rifle is anything but slick and modern,
aesthetically and/or functionally. I'm just saying that it is a tough
little gun that can deal with a lot of situations.
Black Alloy Steel
Ring - Adjustable
Integral Ruger Mount System
12.75" - 14.25"*
*Includes recoil pad spacers
Left hand model also available
Setting up the
Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle left me thinking
it is unfortunate that firearms are often placed in a niche through
association and not looked at in a broader context. Shooting the Scout
Rifle does not require a Stallonian rise from
beneath the surface of a lake or the ability to start a campfire by rubbing
two chipmunks together. The Scout Rifle is something more, like a
hunting rifle, even for an ordinary guy like me.
Originally, the plan was to mount a scope at the
traditional position and shoot some groups. I'm slow to embrace
accessories designed after 1965. But the Picatinny rail
kept reminding me there were more options available, so I
ended up mounting a scout scope as well as a red dot and shooting
through the metallic ghost sights as well. A few brands of ammunition
were selected to see if there was anything in particular that proved
optimal for the gun's relatively short barrel.
In the broader view...
shots at deer can range from inside 40 yards to the other side of 200
yards which, theoretically, is an ideal environment for a scout scope set up
where bases are see through and permit the use of either the scope or
ghost sights as the need arises.
I gave up struggling with the camera, rifle, scope and
ghost sights when I fell off the ladder before I could get a good
picture of the gun's line of sight, but the view through the ghost sight is actually quite
unobstructed. I could lift my head a tad and have excellent eye - scope
alignment. I could lower my head a tad and have a clear view right down
the barrel to the front sight.
OK, so I have not exactly been a scout scope... evangelist.
I have often made fun of people using a scout scope but, this time, I
got it, so I picked up a 2-7x44mm scout scope with a range finder reticle and 30mm tube.
The initial thought was that I would use the scope once or twice before relegating it
to loft storage. However, at 12 1/2" eye relief was excellent, the image was
sharp and clear, it had good contrast, and there were no apparent optical
aberrations. The scope was bounced around all day and did not lose
zero or demonstrate a line of sight shift.
When other sight systems are to be installed that require
removal of the ghost ring sight, it removes easily. The sight keys into the Ruger's receiver to prevent it from
shifting in any direction and it is retained by one graded fastener. Below - the
rear sight was removed so it would not obstruct line of sight and a red dot sight was installed at the
rear of the Picatinny rail.
Of course with the rear sight removed, the set of rings
Ruger includes with the rifle can be used for a more traditional scope
mounting arrangement. The scopes objective bell sits between the raised
locators on the Picatinny rail with plenty of clearance as suggested
Ultimately, it isn't as though there is a specific set
up that is better suited for the rifle, only set ups that favor
individual shooters. It is nice not to have to chase around for ring
sets, bases, rails, and sight sets and still have a variety of significant
sight mounting options available. If I wanted to extend the options to
Scout Rifle a more universal sight/accessory mounting Picatinny
system, I could have replaced the Gunsite rail with an XS System's
piece, Brownells # 006-000-175WB that would extend the rail all the way to bolt
Long barrel velocity
Ammunition has come a long way since the days of short
barrel = low velocity results. Special powder blends and optimized
pressure loads from manufacturers have yielded much improved short
barrel velocity. Hornady Superformance ammunition sells for
approximately $6 - $8 less than other premium brand ammunition, it is
loaded with quality Hornady bullets and it has a 150 fps - 200 fps edge
over its competition.
Groups - Inches
Premier - Swift
Metric, inches and
Internet group sizes
Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is accurate, particularly since the noted
results came from an out of the box rifle, shooting factory ammunition.
Unfortunately, if will have to compete with every message board post
that reads, "I took my Nagant M91/30 to the range and shot 0.2" 100 yard
groups using Milsurp ammo from Bolivia. I hope to
cut that in half as soon as I figure out how to mount a scope". Then the
next six posts by other people assert the same from
their vintage Enfields, Mausers and assorted Schnouzers".
The thing that amazes me is where all of these ace
shooters came from. Next time you go to a range
and walk out to check your target, count the guys on either side of you
who can't find a bullet hole in a 36" circle at 100 yards. So for folks
who live in the real world, I will say it again. The Ruger Gunsite Scout
Rifle demonstrates a high degree of out of the box accuracy,
The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is easy to pick up and hard
to put down. It is a fast handling rifle with a lot of personality. Even
if you don't have plans to carry it into battle, it will make a heck of
a hog or deer rifle.
Ruger's Gunsite Scout Rifle - Part I
Ruger's Gunsite Scout Rifle - Part II