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.
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.
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.
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.