Scouts (updated)

I’ve spoken before about Scout Rifles in general and some specifically.  The biggest thing going right now is the Ruger Gunsite Scout.  Now, just because something is big now, doesn’t mean it’s all that great, just inexplicably popular.  Remember, last year a Snookie was pretty big… I don’t know what that is, but evidently it washed up on the shore in Jersey.  It should probably be thrown back in… But I digress.

The Ruger Scout has three things I don’t like about it.  I don’t like the stock, the flash hider, and the 20 round mag.   A synthetic stock could be cheaper and certainly lighter.  The flash hider is some generic next to useless contraption that Ruger even puts on their “Tactical” 10/22 rifle. And that 20 round mag just sticks out way too far.  This makes the rifle clumsy and awkward in my opinion… and I think it kind of looks goofy.  I like at that thing and think, “why not just get a Springfield M1A Squad Scout?”  You are spending almost up there in dollars… might as well go all the way.

But maybe I am being unfair to the Ruger.  I know several guys that I respect, who have them and they like them.   I have to ask “Why?”  Sell me on the Ruger.   But don’t mention Jeff Cooper or Gunsite while doing it… give me a reason that this Ruger stands on its own.

I’ve got some Scout Rifle suggestions for you instead of this Ruger.   A Marlin 336 or 1895 with a Scout rail on top… in .30-30 or .45-70 makes for some classic old school Scouting.   A Savage 10 Scout will give you a Sub-MOA Scout… because a Scout doesn’t have to shoot 2″ groups.  Mediocre groupings doesn’t a Scout make.  Then there is the Czech Scout… a CZ 527 Carbine in 7.62x39mm… That alone – with nothing else – makes a fine Scout for little money.

9 thoughts on “Scouts (updated)”

  1. A few years back, I was at a range with a .308 Savage 110, getting it nicely dialed in, and a guy pulls up next to me with the uber-expensive first-generation Steyr Scout… And proceeds to shoot a few two inch groups at a hundred yards.

    IMHO, if you want a nice light rifle, go with a 7.62×39 16″ carbine, with a nice fat, but fluted barrel. And if you need more then one round, you may as well have an AR-type rifle…

  2. I’m torn on the scout thing. I’ve tried it twice.

    The first time I used one of those S&K no-gunsmith mounts that replaced the rear sight on my Swiss K-31. I quickly found that the rifle would shoot better than I could see with the 2x pistol scope. Swapped it for a coventional-ish clamp-on mount and a 4-16X Weaver. Much better but it was a $70 lesson.

    Recently, I had a buddy make a similar rear sight mount for my M-95 Steyr. Same 2x scope. Love it. It’s a 6.5-7 lb carbine launching 200 grn 0.329 Hornady’s at around 2200 fps. Very handy. I guess it helps that it’s shooting more like 3″ @ 100 yds.

  3. Actually the Ruger Scout feeds from AICS magazines, so that’s a 10 rounder in the pictures. Not sure if that makes it better or worse in your eyes…
    I don’t really get the point of the scout rifle concept, but this thing is missing the built-in bipod and spare mag holder that Cooper wanted for his Platonic Ideal scout.

  4. Agree completely. I have my fair share of EBRs, including an M1A1 but I also have a safe full of carbine length levers including both Winchester and Marlin in 30-30. 45-70 and 45 Colt. I have a few Rugers and like them but I cannot justify this thousand dollar rifle. It will do exactly nothing any of my levers won’t for a third of the money.

  5. I LOVE my Lever Scout… My constant companion while home.
    I really like a few parts of the scout concept.
    Makes a great all around rifle.


  6. A proper scout rifle takes a full power round, like .308. Col. Cooper scoffed at .223 mini-scouts and the like.

    The only two factory scout rifles available right now are the Ruger and the Savage. The Savage will likely be more accurate. I don’t know about the price. The Ruger is a bit shorter and handier, but some people are really bothered by a 16″ barrel on a .308. (My Broadsword seems to work just fine thus.)

    The Savage’s box magazine holds 4 rounds, nearly defeating the purpose of detachable box magazines in the first place. The Ruger’s holds ten, and as such it gets my vote. Replacement magazines are available.

    They REALLY ought to have made it take M14 or SR-25 magazines, so you can get 10 or 20 rounds, but that would’ve required more engineering and more R&D cost.

    Neither are available left-handed, so I’m not really interested either way.

  7. The Ruger is available in Left Hand now. The Exec where I work is looking to buy one. They have a couple at Shooter’s Of Jacksonville. They tend toward good prices on Rugers.

    Who would consider one, but he didn’t win the lottery this week…sigh.

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