Ruger Left-Handed Gunsite Scout 308 Bolt-Action Rifle


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

June 16th, 2011


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Ruger left-handed Gunsite Scout 308 bolt-action rifle.



LC6 trigger.



Integral recoil lug uses angled bolt to pull it into the stock firmly.





Flash suppressor.






Bolt release.



Thick, soft recoil pad with spacers to adjust length of pull.



Ten-shot steel magazine.



Magazine release.



Massive claw extractor.



The Gunsite Scout proved to be very accurate with several different loads.





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 fighting rifle.

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 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 ejector.

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 work.

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 inches.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity Accuracy
Set Point Custom 175 2550 0.72"
Buffalo Bore Sniper 175 2504 0.69"
Handload Barnes XLC 168 2434 1.63"
Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 168 2480 2.25"
Federal Gold Medal 168 2519 1.10"

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

For magazines and accessories, go to

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

To order the Gunsite Scout rifle online, go to

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

To order the ammunition featured here, go to and

For custom-loaded precision ammo, go to

To order the XS Sights Scout Rail, go to

For more information on some of the best world-class firearms training available, go to

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.




Sights are rugged and adjustable.





Scout rifle comes with forward sight rail for mounting extended eye relief optics.





XS Sights Scout Rail has integral ghost ring rear sight.



Warne quick-detach rings.



Leupold intermediate eye relief Scout scope with custom Gunsite raven logo.