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Old April 3, 2013, 07:17 AM   #1
Join Date: December 10, 2009
Posts: 33
First Impressions: Scout Rifle

A fellow poster here and good friend of mine recently purchased a NIB Ruger Scout Rifle. Yesterday we had the opportunity to burn a little powder through it, so I thought I'd post a little informal range report. We didn't have any chrony, spring scale, or other equipment so all impressions are subjective. Also, I haven't scanned any targets so I won't give specific info on performance, because if there are no pics, it didn't happen.

Out of the box:
I'm short, the purchaser is tall, we both felt the rifle balanced well, shouldered well, and had a very appropriate heft for a carbine sized rifle.

We shot 40 rounds, the proud new owner did all the loading, so these are merely observations. Typical loading, predictable mag release, very Ruger. The owner observed the last round was hard to load.

The bolt:
The bolt itself was pretty smooth and solid considering it's bone stock NIB, no work done. Of course, knowing the owner, to say it was likely cleaned before shooting is analogous to saying the Biltmore Estate is a nice house. We noticed a tendency for the rifle to not load the first round on a magazine here and there, but didn't notice the trend in time to see if it was related to having a half mag versus having a nearly full mag. Once the first round was chambered there was no malfunction in the feed operation. We are hoping ammo availability improves so we can do further testing. (Insert mischievous smiley emoticon here.)

The trigger:
Recently the only new rifles I have fired have been from big green, which have all come equipped with the twelve pound lawyer sitting on the trigger. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the trigger on the Scout rifle. With no springs to verify an accurate measurement, all I can say is creep and travel were superior to NIB big green rifles and the breaking weight is so superior that the first round came as a slight surprise. Fortunately I was on target before placing my finger on the trigger. The travel is a non-issue for this style rifle, bench shooters and long range shooters wouldn't use this style anyway. For its' intended purposes, I think subjectively this trigger is just fine as is right out of the box.

The sights:
Open ghost ring sights only, no scope.
The ghost ring works as designed: quick sight acquisition with adequate, say, minute-of-deer accuracy, which we verified to a free standing, walked off 100 yards on a gallon jug. (Side note: our observations are that the .308 is adequate for neutralizing the threat of a gallon jug.) Both of us being over forty was evidently no problem with sight picture clarity and alignment, however I do not know how these sights would work with bi or trifocals.

Subjective Accuracy Assessment:
Purely subjectively: two shots, two hits on gallon jugs at 100 yards with a ghost ring was enough evidence for me that this rifle is a shooter. We shot several jugs at varying distance with a very high hit rate. The only misses I recall were mine. On paper, my subjective observations seemed to hold up: for short range work the supplied sights were completely adequate. I'm not going to try to persuade the owner into buying glass for this rifle, but I would be VERY interested to see what he or I could do with this rifle with sandbags and a good scope. I would suspect all we would do is confirm what other people have written about this rifle.

After the shot:
It's a .308. It's not going to be a shoulder buster. However, both of us remarked that for a rifle this small it had very pleasant recoil, easily manageable by a youth shooter. The report was concussive, to put it mildly, but that was to be expected from this barrel configuration. Hearing protection is a must, double hearing protection is recommended.

Overall assessment:
Great value for its' intended purpose, good for easy carry and quick shots. Very very good overall feel and performance, observed ease of follow up shots without leaving the shoulder. With the limited players in this market, it's hard to make direct comparisons, but this one is a FUN gun.

Hopefully next time we can have a chrony and such available and I can give you some actual performance measures instead of all subjective, but I can make this recommendation: shoot a couple of boxes through your friend's Scout rifle BEFORE you try and talk yourself out of one. I like to think of it as the bolt equivalent of a Marlin 336.
dopar66 is offline  
Old April 3, 2013, 10:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 8,610
I think the Ruger scout rifles have potential. I probably won't buy one, I can accomplish the things I want from a 308 carbine with other guns. Nothing at all wrong with the Ruger, it just has features that I won't use and don't want to pay for.

I like iron sights, but despise forward mounted scopes. It is quite a bit overweight according to Cooper's specs. and for what I want. That is why recoil is so mild.

Your comparison with a levergun in 30-30 is a fair observation.

Overall it is probably the best of the scout concept rifles. I like the fact that the rear peep can easily be removed and replaced and a scope can still be mounted conventionally, which is what I'd do if I bought one. The peep could be pre-zeroed and put back on quick enough. Ruger rings are semi quick detachable with only a screwdriver which is part of a muli-tool that would be nearby for me all the time. They can be replaced and still mantain zero.

If they ever offer it with a synthetic stock and find a way to take 1-1.5 lbs off the weight I'd probably buy one. I like the 18" barreled version better too.
jmr40 is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 10:53 AM   #3
Join Date: September 20, 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 56
Don't like the RSR, look at the Ruger Compact.

Mine set up with Leupold 3X heavy plex scope together with sling, comes in at 7 lbs 8 oz.

If you can get closer, get closer; if you can get steadier, get steadier.-Jeff Cooper
scoutman is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 10:13 PM   #4
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Location: Western PA.
Posts: 1,630
I think the Cooper Scout rifle concept for most folks is a Romanticized image, and not a practical tool for the flatland, city folks, which will most likely end up being a dust collector or a gun safe mummy. Now out west it may do well as a saddle rig or rancher’s work truck buddy where the need is a real working tool for folks who don’t have the time for fantasy guns.

If you just want another toy I have your back for that reasoning!!! I would want one to play with, or for trips going back home to Colorado as a backup hunting rifle, and/or four-wheeler gun, or carry rifle for bow hunting bears or mtn. lions, etc. If they made it in 450 Marlin they would sell a boat load in Alaska for a fishin’ rifle!

"If Ands and Buts were Candy and Nuts, everyday would be like Christmas"
WildBill45 is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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I like iron sights, but despise forward mounted scopes.
Same here. True, you can perhaps get a sight acquisition to target faster and easier with a "Scout" rifle but the two that I've handled seemed ungainly and mis-balanced. It might take me a second or so longer to get the sights on target with a more conventional set-up but I'll gladly trade that supposed disadvantage for a rifle that points and handles the way I'm accustomed to.
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dgludwig is offline  
Old April 7, 2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 6,028

An IER scope is certainly different, especially when compared to the television like views of modern rifle scopes. A NightForce they are not.

What might be very interesting on a Scout, is a small compact dot sight, like a Leupold Delta, or a Burris Fastfire. Certainly nothing any larger than an Aimpoint Micro.

Seems like I read that Cooper did not want electrics on his firearms. But the types have come a long way since he rendered that opinion. And seems like the Z-point (Zeiss) and others are compact and do not use batteries. All that would take weight from up front and make the Scouts more compact as well.

The Ruger has stuff on it I really don't want or need either, so I'm with JMR40 on that bit.. The 10 rd box holds no appeal, nor the flash hider. And I'd be content with a fixed, factory standard length of pull deal for the stock.

Even from short tubes, I'd think the .308 would run circles around any 30-30 round. But a lever carbine can't be beat for portability. Scoping one cancels that out however.

The best buy in the scout department was the Savage before the added the accu-trigger and stock and the current price madness struck. The scope mount was odd and not well thought out, I like the Ruger rail better. I also like the old Savage big bolt knob. The Savage sights are not as rugged as I'd like, but $100 bucks could fix that.

I will not sell my Savage for a Ruger, but I am glad Ruger's making the rifle and keeping the concept afloat.
bamaranger is offline  

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