September 01, 2015
In this segment of Guns & Ammo TV airing on the Sportsman Channel, we take a look at Ruger's attempt to build a scout rifle that meets all of Col. Jeff Cooper's requirements for such a gun: The Ruger Gunsite Scout.
In the early 1980s, Col. Cooper, founder of the Gunsite Academy in Arizona, laid out a list of requirements for a perfect scout rifle. First, it had to be light. Cooper recommended an unloaded weight of 6.6 pounds, but could be stretched to 7.7 pounds, if necessary.
The whole of the rifle had to be less than 39 inches long with a forward-mounted telescopic scope with low-power magnification. The rifle also had to have back-up ghost-ring iron sights to use in case the scope was damaged.
Finally, the rifle had to be chambered in a popular caliber that could take down game of "any reasonable size." Cooper recommended a chambering of .308 Winchester, but rifles have also been chambered in 7mm-08 Remington or .243 Winchester for reduced recoil. Whatever the caliber, the rifle had to be accurate to within 2 MOA at 200 yards.
Multiple attempts have been made at producing a rifle that meets all of these requirements. Cooper himself worked with Steyr-Mannlicher to produce the Steyr Scout, which has long been considered the benchmark for such a rifle. Savage Arms produced a variant in the Model 11 Scout, which is very close to meeting all of Cooper's requirements, except for the fact that it weighs 7.8 pounds unloaded, exceeding the maximum weight limit for a scout rifle.
Ruger introduced the Gunsite Scout in 2011 after working with instructors at the Gunsite Academy to create a rifle that met Cooper's specifications.
The Ruger Gunsite Scout weighs in at just over 7 pounds, but can weigh as little as 6.25 pounds with a composite stock instead of a laminate. The rifle comes with a detachable box magazine which can be found in 3, 5 or 10 round configurations. It is also equipped with a forward-mounted rail and iron sights, as well as a flash hider.
Chambered in either .308 Winchester or 5.56 NATO, the Ruger Gunsite Scout is sold at a suggested price of around $1,100.