Back in December of 2010, I reviewed the new Ruger
Gunsite Scout rifle here. I was just back from a stint at
Gunsite in Arizona, where several of us had the privilege of
playing with the Scout for a few days. I went into the Scout
concept in detail in that review, so I won’t plow the same
ground again here, but instead refer the reader to that earlier
piece for that information.
Since its introduction to us at Gunsite, I
have been awaiting the left-handed version, and it is now in
production. I was offered the opportunity to purchase the
right-handed rifle that I used at Gunsite, but it wore a
prototype XS Sight Systems Scout Rail, and the folks at XS
Sights wanted to buy the Ruger for further development of that
rail. The XS Sights Scout Rail is now also in production, and
will be shown here on this left-hand Ruger, as it offers a lot
of versatility to the rifle in choice of mounting scopes and
other optical sights to the Ruger Scout Rifle.
Since its introduction to the public last
December, the Ruger Gunsite Scout has been a great seller.
Distributors tell me that they can’t keep them in stock, that
the rifles are all sold before they get them. Ruger advertises
the Scout as “The one rifle to own if you can only own one”,
or something along that line. I do not like the thought of only
owning one rifle, but I do agree with their advertising. The
Gunsite Scout is a very versatile rifle, as was promoted by Jeff
Cooper many years ago. It is light enough and handy enough
to carry easily, quick into action, and powerful enough to
handle most anything. It is a hunting rifle, as well as a
In the earlier review, I had no opportunity
to put the Ruger on paper from a benchrest, so I will do that
here with the left-handed version.
The Ruger Gunsite Scout wears a matte blued
finish on the metal parts, with a stainless bolt that is left in
its natural color. The steel magazines are a satin blue.
Combined with the black laminate stock, the Scout has a very
good-looking, business-like appearance. The sixteen and one-half
inch barrel wears a Mini-14/AC-556 style flash suppressor, which
does its job well. The flash suppressor is removable, with
standard 5/8x24 threads for the addition of a sound suppressor
or muzzle brake, if desired. Front and rear sling studs are
provided on the stock, and the butt plate has a thick, soft
recoil pad with half-inch spacers to adjust the length-of-pull
to suit the owner’s body size and personal preference.
Like all Ruger bolt-action rifles, the
Gunsite Scout has scope bases which are integral to the
receiver, making for one of the strongest scope mounting bases
available on any weapon. In addition, the Gunsite Scout rifle
has a forward rail for the mounting of a long eye relief scope
or another optical sight, such as an electronic dot. The Scout
has a very good set of mechanical sights; a protected blade
front, and a protected ghost ring aperture rear, the latter
being adjustable for windage and elevation correction. The
sights are quick on target, and easy to use, and the rear is
removable for the addition of a scope mounted atop the receiver.
The rear sight need not be removed to attach a forward-mounted
scope on the Picatinny rail. The Gunsite Scout comes supplied
with Ruger’s proprietary scope rings for the receiver bases,
and any Picatinny or Weaver compatible rings will fit the
forward-mounted Scout rail, as well as the XS Sights Scout Rail.
The Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle is very handy,
with an overall length of between thirty-eight and thirty-nine
and one-half inches, and a length-of-pull between twelve and
three-quarters and fourteen and one-quarter inches. The length
is adjustable by adding or removing the provided spacers from
between the stock and recoil pad. My sample Scout weighed in at
seven pounds, three ounces, and the trigger pull of the LC6
trigger measured a crisp four pounds, one ounce on my scale. The
rifle came supplied with Ruger scope rings, two stock spacers, a
padlock, instruction manual, and one ten-round steel magazine.
Ruger sells both ten-round and five-round steel magazines online
at ShopRuger.com. The hammer-forged sixteen and one-half inch
barrel has a medium-weight profile, is rifled one turn in ten
inches, and has six grooves with a right-hand twist. The
magazine release is conveniently located and easy to use, by
pushing forward on the lever just in front of the trigger guard.
The safety is a three-position type which Ruger has used for
many years now, and allows the action to be cycled with the
safety applied, or for the bolt to be locked with the safety
lever in its rearward-most position. The bolt works smoothly,
lifting ninety degrees. The Gunsite Scout has Ruger’s rugged
and reliable Mauser-style huge claw extractor and a fixed blade
I tried the LH Scout with a variety of
sights, including a Leupold Scout scope, a Trijicon
ACOG, a Trijicon Reflex, and
a Leupold Mark 4 target scope for accuracy evaluation. For
sighting options, the Gunsite Scout is as versatile as any rifle
can be, and can be set up to suit a variety of needs and
applications, including hunting, target shooting, and social
For accuracy testing, I mounted my Leupold
8.5 to 25 power Mark 4 scope atop the XS Sight Rail, firing from
the bench using a Target
Shooting, Inc. Model 1000 Rifle Rest. All accuracy and
velocity testing was done at an elevation of 541 feet above sea
level, with an air temperature hovering on either side of the
ninety degree Fahrenheit mark, with typical Tennessee Valley
humidity of around ninety percent. On the earlier Scout rifle, I
had fired upon targets out to 300 yards, but had not had the
opportunity to do any paper-punching, so I was anxious to see
what this LH Scout would do with some quality ammunition.
I was particularly interested to see how well
the Scout would do with the Buffalo Bore Sniper ammunition, as
well as with some custom hand loaded ammo from Set Point. Set
Point is a company that will custom-load ammunition to the
buyer's specifications, with a very limited number of
combinations available at this time, and I had them to load up
some 308 Winchester ammo using one of my favorite handloads,
which consists of the Sierra 175 grain Match King bullet loaded
over 45 grains of Hodgdon Varget powder. The Buffalo Bore Sniper
load uses that same fine bullet, and I think, but am not
certain, that the Buffalo Bore load uses Varget powder as well.
Velocity and accuracy results are listed in
the chart below. Velocity readings are the average of several
shots fired at twelve feet from the muzzle, so actual muzzle
velocities will be slightly higher. Accuracy results are the
average of five, three-shot groups fired at a distance of one
hundred yards. For testing of varmint rifles, I like to use
five-shot groups when possible, but on a hunting/fighting rifle
such as this Gunsite Scout, three-shot groups are indicative of
the weapon’s capabilities within the likely use of such a
rifle. Bullet weights are listed in grains. Velocities are
listed in feet-per-second (fps). Group sizes are listed in
The Gunsite Scout rifle surprised me with its
outstanding accuracy, especially with three of the loads tested.
With both the Set Point and the Buffalo Bore ammunition, it was
sub-minute accurate, and a couple of the groups using the
Federal Gold Medal ammo were under one inch as well. Shown are
the best groups fired with each of those loads. I was impressed
by the rifle’s accuracy, as it was better than expected. The
crisp trigger helped to get a consistent release, and I credit
the rifle, scope, and ammo with those results.
For most of my shooting, which was offhand at
a steel plate and various rocks and such, I used the Leupold 2.5
power Scout scope mounted out on the XS rail. Weighing in at
just under seven ounces, the trim little Leupold fits nicely
with the concept, and the aesthetics of the rifle. The forward
mounting made working the bolt much faster, as there was nothing
in the way to hinder the operation. Also, with that Scout scope,
leaving both eyes open made target acquisition much faster. The
Gunsite Scout rifle handled superbly, and feels even lighter
than it is. Feeding, extraction, and ejection were flawless with
all ammo tested, which included surplus military 147 grain ball.
The Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle has proven to
be very popular among shooters who recognize the advantages of
such a rifle, pioneered and promoted by Jeff Cooper many years
ago. The Scout concept has been introduced by other rifle
makers, but no one has yet done it as well as Ruger, in my
opinion. The Ruger Gunsite Scout incorporates the best traits of
the original concept, with rugged reliability, accuracy,
durability, and handiness of use, in an affordable rifle that is
built in the USA.
Check out the Gunsite Scout rifle online at www.ruger.com.
For magazines and accessories, go to www.shopruger.com.
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Gunsite Scout rifle online, go
To look at the extensive line of quality
Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
To order the ammunition featured here, go to www.buffalobore.com
For custom-loaded precision ammo, go to www.setpointammo.com.
To order the XS Sights Scout Rail, go to www.xssights.com.
For more information on some of the best
world-class firearms training available, go to www.gunsite.com.