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Personal Defense Personal Defense TV

Guns of PDTV: Ruger Scout Rifle

by Scott E. Mayer   |  June 20th, 2011 20

A bolt-action such as the Ruger Scout Rifle might not be the first gun you think of when it comes to personal defense. But what if you’re rancher in America’s Southwest just checking fences and run into violent smugglers? What about stumbling across pot patches growing in the woods back East while taking a walk? Those are not times to be armed with only a handgun.

Clearly, personal defense isn’t always a close range problem and Ruger responded to that this year with its Scout rifle.

Clearly, personal defense isn’t always a close range problem and Ruger responded to that this year with its Scout rifle.

The Scout is the brainchild of the late Colonel Jeff Cooper. Cooper specified a general-purpose rifle that is conveniently portable and capable of striking a decisive first blow in the vitals at any distance the operator can shoot on a large, live target.

The Scout is the brainchild of the late Colonel Jeff Cooper. Cooper specified a general-purpose rifle that is conveniently portable and capable of striking a decisive first blow in the vitals at any distance the operator can shoot on a large, live target.

At 38 1/2 inches long and about eight pounds with scope, the Ruger Scout is conveniently portable, and there is no question its .308 chambering can drop even the largest attacker.

At 38 1/2 inches long and about eight pounds with scope, the Ruger Scout is conveniently portable, and there is no question its .308 chambering can drop even the largest attacker.

Another feature Cooper advocated was a forward mounted, low-power scope for shooting with both eyes open so you see the entire countryside. We found that set up fast on close targets and quite accurate out to more than 100 yards. And if the scope is damaged or destroyed, the Scout is supplied with tough back-up iron sights.

Another feature Cooper advocated was a forward mounted, low-power scope for shooting with both eyes open so you see the entire countryside. We found that set up fast on close targets and quite accurate out to more than 100 yards. And if the scope is damaged or destroyed, the Scout is supplied with tough back-up iron sights.

Cooper considered, but opted against a detachable magazine, as his emphasis was on a superior first shot stopper. Even so, Ruger saw fit to equip its Scout with a detachable box magazine. That’s a decision we approve of, as it makes it easier to carry additional ammo at the ready.

Cooper considered, but opted against a detachable magazine, as his emphasis was on a superior first shot stopper. Even so, Ruger saw fit to equip its Scout with a detachable box magazine. That’s a decision we approve of, as it makes it easier to carry additional ammo at the ready.

As a survival tool, Ruger’s Scout rifle seems somewhat specialized, but when you consider its additional usefulness for recreational shooting and hunting, you see it is one of the more versatile tools you can have.

As a survival tool, Ruger’s Scout rifle seems somewhat specialized, but when you consider its additional usefulness for recreational shooting and hunting, you see it is one of the more versatile tools you can have.

Scott E. Mayer
  • Jayhawker

    When this rifle first showed up, it didn’t do much for me…just didn’t care for the look….then I handled one at my LGS, wow! what a handy little rifle….yet another evolution of the “truck gun.” After trying one out at the range, I was even more impressed…though I don”t particularly care for type of flash hider, this one has crept onto my short list of guns destined for my safe…

    • chiro1989

      Jayhawker,what ranges were you shooting at and how was the accuracy?

  • Shawn1172

    I just handled one for the first time at the lgs and was impressed. Like Jayhawker, I really didn't have much interest from seeing it online and in print but handling it is a different story. I still don't really like the look of the stock but it's very light and handy with nice sights and a great action. Wish I could have tried it at the range.

  • Jayhawker

    We were shooting on a 100 yard range at 6" steel plates – not the best target for judging accuracy….on the other hand we knocked down a bunch of steel plates…:) No optics involved, just the irons..

    • CHIRO1989

      Minute of deer, can't be worse with a scope.

  • robert38-55

    Being a Ruger fan that I am, I am going to do a little looking into this little rifle… Does it come in any other caliber than .308?

  • JT

    Why would you buy a bolt action scout rifle just to put a reddot site on it? I thought that the whole point was that you had a low powered scope that you could use to take accurate, aimed shots while keeping an eye on surroundings. a 1X reddot on a semi-auto makes sense because you can take quick followups, but a bolt gun?

    • Scott E. Mayer

      JT, Cooper envisioned the Scout rifle as a general purpose tool that would deliver a decisive blow on a man-sized target at close to moderate ranges. The red dot satisfies that and gives you an advantage at the closer end of the range spectrum. Bolt-action or semi-auto isn't a factor.

  • Antonio

    So what is the advantage of the Scout over an AR-15 in 7.62 or .308?

    • Scott E. Mayer

      In a word–weight. In two words–bulk and weight.

      • BPsniper

        Scott, I'll add reliability and ease of maintenance to those two words.

        • Scott E. Mayer

          +1

          • BPsniper

            While the .223 ARs work darn near perfectly, I've seen too many issues with the 7.62 versions to rely on them at this point in time.

          • Antonio

            Issues with AR-15's in 7.62? I was not aware of this. Can you point me toward some details? Much appreciated.

  • Mack M

    Something I learned is that… looking on the internet at a gun is NOT the same as visiting the gun shop & holding it. The Ruger Gunsite Scout feels great and is simple. I prefer Bolt Action to everything else. It's fun, simple, easy to maintain, accurate, strong, not as picky, looks nice, & feels good. Sure, it's slower than an autoloader. But if I were defending my home I'd rather die with a Bolt Action in my arms than die with an AR. I'd die happy XD

    • Kyle

      One issue with this rifle is the cost of extra magazines, very pricey. Last time I looked 70 dollars, approx, a copy.

  • Brian

    Just got mine with a lefty bolt, the right way. I think people are so caught up with 30 round mags and the AR platform. I don't believe this piece is made to complete with an AR. It's meant to be a jack of all trades, master or none. And that is exactly what it does. Plus it does it with the 308 win. Which is also a jack of all trades cartridge. I forgot which magazine said it best but it was described as, the 30-06 shoots heavier, the 270 flatter and the magnums further. Both gun and cartridge work great together. Thanks to Ruger.

  • Marv

    Does it come in left handed models?

  • Rob Drummond

    The Gunsite Scout rifle reminds me of the Enfield Jungle Carbine w/o optics

    Rob Drummond

    Hillsboro, NH

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