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Old July 20, 2011, 02:33 PM   #1
DanThaMan1776
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Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle: Barrel Length Issue

I'm interested in Ruger's Gunsite Scout Rifle as a general purpose rifle that I will pack around in my truck on the road and have out back for yotes and maybe take it out for white tails here and there. My question, however, pertains to the concept of a scout rifle as a whole. More particularly, is the 16.5 inch barrel going to significantly affect the terminal ballistics of the 308 round? Should I stick with the 22" savage 308 for deer?

Gun Talk TV had a Ruger guy on their show and claimed that the 308 loses rougly 30 FPS per inch of barrel lost. So I'll be roughly 180 FPS under what my 22" rifle shoots for each load. Assuming this information is accurate, what loads would you folks recommend so I can retain as much of the 308's terminal performance as possible?

If you think the performance loss would be significant and presuppose that the entire scout rifle concept is valid please make your case. I'm in the early stages of getting my head around this purchase. I can see my self really loving the rifle if I can convince myself of Cooper's Scout Philosophy
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Old July 20, 2011, 02:45 PM   #2
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I've found only 15-20 fps loss per inch as long as you stay above 20". Going to 16.5 could well be more. Also individual rifles will shoot the same loads to very different velocities even from barrels of equal length. I've seen 2 different guns with equal barrel lengths shoot the same loads as much as 75-100 fps faster in one gun than the other. The fastest shooting 308 I own has a 20" barrel. It routinely shoots the same loads 10 fps faster than my 22" guns.

Heavier bullets seem to need more barrel than lighter bullets. I'd stay with 150's or 165's in a shorter barrel

Read this. http://www.tacticaloperations.com/SWATbarrel/
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Old July 20, 2011, 03:05 PM   #3
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The Federal 150gr TSX chrono'd at 2700fps from the Ruger Scout. That puts the effective range about 500-600 yards for deer. What is the farthest range can you reliably hit a target the size of a paper plate on the first shot from a cold barrel? I bet you don't have to worry about terminal performance.

My biggest gripe with the Ruger Scout is the ridiculous magazine. I'll take a double stack mag that will hold 4-6 rounds any day of the week over that monstrosity.
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Old July 20, 2011, 03:23 PM   #4
jmr40
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The Federal 150gr TSX chrono'd at 2700fps from the Ruger Scout
I'm not terribly surprised by this. For some reason Ruger barrels seem to run a little faster than expected. The faster barrel in my first post was a Ruger. I have read posts from a guy on another forum who swears he is getting 95% of the listed velocity from his 16.5" Ruger Frontier in 300 WSM.
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Old July 20, 2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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Really?

Quote:
The Federal 150gr TSX chrono'd at 2700fps from the Ruger Scout. That puts the effective range about 500-600 yards for deer.
In field conditions? Really?
BC .369.... MV of 2700?

You are looking at a flight time of almost 3/4 of a second, holdover (even from a 400 yard zero)and wind values measured in feet ...... even assuming:

A rifle/load that shot to less than 2 MOA

a guarranteed stationary target-that deer better be asleep!

exact range known

wind values all the way to the target known, and the shooter know how to correct for them

zero error on the shooter's part

even if all that goes, by some miracle, perfectly, will a TSX bullet expand at less than 1500 f/sec?

I wouldn't try a 500 yard shot on a live animal with a .277 150 SGK leaving @ 2900 .......
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Old July 20, 2011, 03:34 PM   #6
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I have a Ruger Frontier in 7-08 that I will be developing loads for in the near future..... I am not at all expecting it to be a beanfield rifle. I have a chrony and will let you all know what happens.
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Old July 21, 2011, 11:20 AM   #7
DanThaMan1776
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Thanks for the input fellas. Jimbob86 I look forward to the chrony results.
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Old July 21, 2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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I lost 192fps from my Savage 16 to the Ruger Compact in 260 with 140s. My 308 pushes 150s to 2900fps, so a 2700fps load is practical. Stick with medium powders, like RL-15 and Varget. BTW, you won't need premium bullets at that velocity. I loaded some 150 Hornadys for an old friend with an old '06 rifle. About 2700fps and they provided golf ball exits on chest shots.
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Old July 21, 2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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Jimbob86 I look forward to the chrony results.
I am awaiting the Brown Truck of Happiness, bearing my rings from Ruger.
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Old July 21, 2011, 10:05 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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jimbob, I hate to tell you, but my father's reloads for his '06 were duplicates of GI performance, with 150-grain Hornadys. What, 2,700 ft/sec? Witnesses told of his one-shot kills at 500 yards.

I loaded a little hotter, but not all that much, I imagine. Anyhow, 350 is pretty easy, really. 450? Calm wind, it's not difficult.

If you know your trajectory and the distance, the only real brain-work comes in about the wind. (Lucky for me; one thing at a time's about all I can handle.)
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Old July 22, 2011, 12:42 AM   #11
bamaranger
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fps

I would not worry about a 150-200 fps muzzle velocity loss on a .308, and your rifle may not suffer that badly anyhow. Many published velocities are overly ambitious and the difference between a stubby scout barrel and the actual velocity of a more conventional sporter MAY not be that great. Only a chrono will tell, and I would not concern myself with 175 fps on game at game ranges.

I have a Savage scout and hunt it on whitetails often w/ 150 Sierra PSP's.
Wounds and killing effect seem identical to other deer centerfires, be it '06, .270, etc. Bullet in the right place equals dead deer pretty quick.

The big issue with the scout rifle concept is the forward mounted "scout scope". Of low magnification and in some versions limited field of view, it is NOT a long range deer rig. Discussing shooting game w/ a scout at very long range is unreasonable. Could I hit a gong at 400- 500 yds w/ my scout, ? Sure, especially under ideal conditions. But a moving, shifting game animal, visible perhaps for only seconds, blending into the terrain and undergrowth is an entirely different shot. Although a rifle optic is not a spotting scope, its pretty common to track and sort out racks/animals with the scope and the low magnification comes up short in that department. It is often criticizised for lack of brightness, but I have not experienced that in my 2.75x Leu scout. I did find the reticle hard to see against dark backgrounds in dim light, but fixed that with a custom reticle from Leupold custom. (German #1) . I could see the deer fine, but not the cross hairs. No longer. I can see the big german post in the dark against the 3D archery target in my yard at 50-60 yds w/ no problem. The scout scope draws a lot of flak, but used reasonably, it works fine for me. I think it is a tad faster on target and allows the break of a shot quicker. For me, I find I do not try to finesse a shot on target/or game. Meaning, I paste the big reticle on the spot and shoot. The lack of "precision" allows faster shots which still collect the deer or land on target. No wasting time with getting the crosshairs on the exact , precise, pinpoint spot. Paste and shoot. Scout scopes ( and scout rifles) are either loved or hated for the most part.

The scout rifles biggest asset is portability and its GP nature. My Savage Scout weighs about what a loaded M94 weighs ( a bit more) but has a bigger ctg and the advantage of the low powered optic. It is about the same length and goes up and down trees in climbing stands, on ATV's and in and out of truck cabs easily.

The big clunky Ruger box does nothing for me and I would want a flush 4-5 rounder for the most part, same for the funky flash suppressor.
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Old July 22, 2011, 05:14 AM   #12
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Just a FYI. The rear peep sight on both the Ruger and Savage scout rifles can easily be removed and a scope can be mounted conventionally. I had a Savage for a while. Like you said, some like the forward mounted scopes. Some don't. I found that with a low 1.5-4X or 2-7X scope mounted conventionally I could do a lot better without giving up any speed. At least with these 2 you have the option to use it either way.

My most recent project is one of these. http://www.weatherby.com/product/rif...nguard/carbine I picked it up used for a song and put a Bansners stock for it along with one of these.http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=4...WEATHERBY_HOWA The rifle shoots great, weighs only 7 lbs 2 oz including scope and mounts, holds 8+1 rounds with a mag that only extends about 1/2" below the gun. This works better for me. It weighs about 1.5 lbs less than the Ruger and about 1 lb less than the Savage. Even with the custom stock I'm into it for about $150 less than a new Ruger. The jury is still out on the mag extender. If it doesn't work out as well as I like I can always go back to the factory floorplate. I'm still at 5+1 mag capacity with it.

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Old July 22, 2011, 08:48 AM   #13
Art Eatman
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Sorta working backwards: I always went sorta conservative when I used my .243 for deer hunting. I figured it was best to limit myself to shots of no more than maybe 200 yards. In bunches of years, I never had a problem, since most of the bucks I've ever shot with anything were inside of 200 yards.

So I figure that there shouldn't be any problem with using a Scout for deer hunting, since the odds are very, very high that Bambi is gonna be inside of 200 yards. In most of the US, and given deer behavior, a deer out beyond 200 yards won't even be seen. Open grasslands and crop-fields are a different deal, but that's not the usual "casual hunt" from a truck, either.

Same sort of thing for coyotes. If I weren't calling them in, I generally saw a coyote somewhere in the vicinity of a hundred yards. Don't have any idea why that was; it just was.

If I were toting a Scout in my truck, I'd just load with whatever 150-grain cartridge gave the best groups and never give further thought to anything but the sight picture...
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Old July 22, 2011, 09:16 PM   #14
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since the odds are very, very high that Bambi is gonna be inside of 200 yards. In most of the US, and given deer behavior, a deer out beyond 200 yards won't even be seen. Open grasslands and crop-fields are a different deal, but that's not the usual "casual hunt" from a truck, either.
Out where I hunt, I am as likely to see deer at 400 yards as I am at 40.

If I had to pass up all shots beyond 200 yards, we'd be mighty hungry at my house, some years.
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Old July 23, 2011, 11:14 AM   #15
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k

hey jimbob

The late Finn Aagard made about similar comments on scout scopes as youi have, advising that his old Weaver k-3 or a low powered variable allowed him to see and define things better than a scout rig he was testing, withoiut giving up any speed. I can't remember what scout scope he was using, but it was long enough ago that it may have been a Burris, which was all there was for awhile.

I think Cooper even stated once in print that a Rem 7 w/ a tidy scope could do much what his early scouts could, but just not as well, or words to that effect.

One thing, with the scope forward, a scout sure carries easily in a one hand trail carry grip at the side while walking.
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