Ruger 308 Gunsite Scout Rifle with Polymer Composite Stock

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

December 16th, 2014


Click pictures for a larger version.







Buttstock spacers.





Magazine latch / release.



Barrel is free-floated for most of its length.





Three-position safety.



Massive extractor assures positive extraction.



Accurate Mag ten-shot detachable box magazine.







It sure does not seem to me like it has been four years since I first wrote about the then-new Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle. I certainly do not remember four years' worth of stuff between then and now, but I do remember firing and writing about different versions of their dandy Scout rifle during that time. The Gunsite Scout Rifle has proven to be very successful for Ruger, as they are producing the best example of Colonel Cooper's original concept to date.

This latest version of the Gunsite Scout Rifle is the subject of this brief review, as there is no need to plow the same ground that I covered in the earlier reviews of this weapon, but instead refer the reader to those previous reviews for details.

The latest version of Ruger's Gunsite Scout Rifle is, in my opinion, the best yet, as it wears a polymer composite stock, instead of the laminated wood stock of the previous versions of the rifle. Ruger offers the laminated wood versions in nine different configurations, including both left-handed and right-handed actions, chambered in either 5.56x45mm or 308 Winchester. What I like about the composite-stock version is that it drops a significant amount of weight from the rifle. Ruger lists the 308 sixteen-inch wood-stocked rifle as weighing in at an even seven pounds, but my sample weighed three ounces more. This composite stock Scout rifle weighs in at six pounds, five ounces on my scale, and the balance feels just right in my hands. That is getting pretty close to a full pound lighter, which really changes the handling dynamics of this rifle.

The stock on this Scout rifle is not a cheap plastic unit built to a price point. In fact, the price on this rifle is sixty dollars higher than the comparable wood-stocked version, but this new composite-stocked rifle also has an effective radial port muzzle brake, instead of just a flash suppressor as on the other versions of the Gunsite Scout Rifle. The stock features a textured finish on the exterior where needed, and has aluminum pillar bedding blocks to fully support the action. The 16.1 inch barrel is free-floated from the chamber forward. All of the metal except for the bolt and trigger are a matte black finish. The trigger and bolt are matte stainless. The trigger guard is integral with the stock. The stock has the excellent recoil pad and adjustable length common with the wood-stocked Gunsite Scout rifles, allowing for adjustment of the length-of-pull and overall length of the rifle.

The medium weight barrel is rifled one turn in ten inches, and measures 1.15 inches diameter at the receiver, tapering to .64 inch just rear of the front sight. The muzzle is threaded standard 5/8x24 TPI for attachment of the removable brake, or the addition of a sound suppressor, if desired.

I fired a variety of ammunition through the Gunsite Scout Rifle to test for reliability and accuracy. Reliability was flawless, with every cartridge feeding smoothly from the ten-round steel Accurate Mag magazine. Ejection was positive, and there were no failures to fire with any ammo tested. Velocities are listed in the chart below. Velocities were recorded at twelve feet from the muzzle, at an altitude of 541 feet above sea level. Air temperatures hovered around the forty degree Fahrenheit mark, with a relative humidity in the fifty-five percent range. Velocities are recorded in feet-per-second (FPS). MK is a Sierra Match King bullet. SP is a lead-core jacketed soft point bullet. DPX is a Barnes homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. SST is a polymer-tipped lead-core jacketed bullet. FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
American Tactical FMJ 150 2604
Buffalo Bore MK 175 2363
Winchester Supreme Match 168 2433
Buffalo Bore SP 150 2677
Hornady SST 165 2559
Cor-Bon DPX 168 2453

Accuracy was superb, as expected. Ruger hammer-forged barrels shoot very well, and I expected no less than match-grade accuracy from this Gunsite Scout rifle. For accuracy testing, I mounted a Leupold 8.5 to 25 power Mark 4 Target/Tactical scope, firing three-shot groups at one hundred yards. The best and worst groups fired are pictured. As expected, the match-grade ammo turned in the best groups, but even the imported FMJ ammo did really well, with sub-two-inch groups.

While on the subject of accuracy, I want to offer a short explanation of how and why I shoot rifles to test for accuracy. Nobody reads my reviews to see how well Jeff Quinn can shoot. They read to glean as much information as possible about the subject of the review. That is why I use the best equipment that I can afford to eliminate as much of me from the shooting equation as possible. I have a variety of rifle rests built by Target Shooting, Inc. to hold the rifle as steadily as possible. I use the Leupold 25 power scope to assure that I am aiming the rifle as accurately as possible. I use the best ammunition that I can find. The goal is to get as close as possible to the potential accuracy of the weapon being tested. If you are laying a rolled-up jacket across the hood of a pickup and firing the cheapest ammo that you could find, do not expect to achieve the same accuracy as I show here and in my other reviews. If you are using a Lead Sled on a wooden bench, do not expect the same level of accuracy. I am trying to show you what the rifle can do, by eliminating as much of my input as possible.

After accuracy testing, I removed the target scope and mounted my 2.5 power Leupold Scout scope forward of the receiver on the Picatinny rail. This type of scope mounting fits with Jeff Cooper's original plan, but I greatly prefer a scope mounted atop the receiver myself, so I swapped the Scout scope out for a Leupold VX-6 in 1 to 6 power. Set at no magnification, or even at 2 power, the VX-6 allows for shooting with both eyes  open, for a wide field of view, but the scope can be quickly cranked up to six power for longer shots, if needed.

There were two reasons for the original Scout rifle design having the scope mounted forward. One was to allow quick loading with the use of stripper clips through the top of the receiver. The use of a detachable box magazine eliminates that need. The second reason for the forward-mounted scope was the wide field of view with both eyes open, and the low-powered VX-6 does the same thing, so I see no advantage to mounting the scope forward on this Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle. Using the VX-6 has the advantage of a much brighter image in low-light conditions, such as in early morning and late evening hunting, so in my opinion, there is no downside at all in using the scope mounted atop the receiver. However, for those who prefer the forward-mounted scope, the Ruger comes supplied with the Picatinny rail, and also with Ruger rings to mount a scope atop the receiver.

The other details of the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle can be found in my previous reviews, as my goal here was to show the features of this latest version of the Ruger rifle. As stated above, I believe that this composite-stock version is the best to date of the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle. As of its introduction on December 16th, 2014, MSRP on the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle with polymer composite stock is $1099.00 US.

Check out the Gunsite Scout rifle online at

 For the location of a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at

To order the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle online, click on the GUN GENIE at

For a look at the extensive line of quality Leupold optics, go to

For more information on Gunsite Academy and the training that they offer, go to

To order high quality 7.62x51mm and 308 Winchester ammunition, go to,,,  and

To order extra magazines or 30mm scope rings for the Gunsite Scout rifle, go to

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.







Rifle comes with Ruger scope rings.



Leupold 2.5-power extended eye relief Scout scope.



Leupold VX-6 scope.



Variety of ammunition used in testing.



Smallest and largest groups fired with the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle.



Aluminum bedding blocks in stock.