As its name implies, Ruger’s bolt-action Gunsite Scout rifle was developed with Gunsite Academy, the training facility started by Colonel Jeff Cooper, and introduced in 2010. The first models featured a rugged laminate stock.
- RELATED STORY: The 6 Best Scout Rifles For Today’s Shooters
Newer variants—models 6829 and 6830—feature lightweight composite stocks with forward aluminum beddings and rear aluminum pillars that lock the receiver into the stock and free-float the barrel. At 6.25 pounds, the 6830 model I had on hand for testing is right in line with Cooper’s thinking. It’s quick to shoulder and offers plenty of power.
Ruger & Accurate-Mag
My test Ruger Gunsite Scout features rugged iron sights that consist of a front post with protective wings and rear ghost-ring aperture. A forward-mounted Picatinny rail allows a user to mount an optic the way Cooper envisioned, ahead of the action. This provides more access to the action and gives the rifle a muzzle-heavy balance. Cooper intended the optic to have a long eye relief so operators could shoot with both eyes open, and the more field of view a shooter has, the better they are able to engage multiple targets.
The 16-inch barrel is cold-hammer forged and has a medium taper. At the muzzle, a radial-port muzzle brake is installed, making the Gunsite Scout compatible with a suppressor.
Users can adjust the synthetic stock’s length of pull via spacers; add or remove any of the three 0.5-inch spacers to lengthen or shorten the stock. A soft rubber recoil pad helps dissipate felt recoil from .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO cartridges. To help reduce weight, the triggerguard and magazine well are also made of polymer.
The Gunsite Scout comes with a steel, detachable Accurate-Mag that holds 10 rounds that feed from the center for smoother operation. Other manufacturers like Colt, Savage and Remington also use Accurate-Mag magazines. These premium magazines are based on current service configurations to meet all mil-spec and NATO STANAG requirements, and are compatible with all M24- and M40-type service rifles as well as MK13 and NATO variants. Accurate-Mag is also the proprietary manufacturer of magazines for the M2010 sniper system.
In addition to magazines, Accurate-Mag produces fine rifle chassis systems and rugged bottom metals for Savage and Remington medium and long actions. Accurate-Mag recently received a sole source award from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a unique rifle chassis for night vision, plus the Army awarded a development contract for Accurate-Mag’s multi-
caliber, bolt-action/semi-automatic chassis. I have had excellent experience with Accurate-Mag’s multi-caliber chassis systems in the past, and when I heard the company was making a chassis for the Ruger Gunsite Scout, I knew I needed to call Vin Battaglia, the vice president of operations at Accurate-Mag.
New Scout Chassis
Accurate-Mag’s chassis systems, including the new model for the Ruger Gunsite Scout, allow a barreled action to be dropped into the chassis at the user level. According to Battaglia, “With the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle, or any scout type, we wanted to create a more robust platform, like our other chassis systems.”
Accurate-Mag succeeded while still maintaining the characteristics of Cooper’s iconic rifle. The Accurate-Mag Scout Rifle Chassis is lightweight and actually makes the Ruger barreled action easier to use. I wouldn’t think twice about taking the Accurate-Mag-chassis-equipped Ruger Gunsite Scout into the backcountry. The Accurate-Mag chassis adds about a pound of weight to the Ruger Gunsite Scout, but even at 7.5 pounds unloaded, the rifle is still lively and very maneuverable for a bolt action.
- RELATED STORY: Gun Review: Ruger’s SR-556 Takedown in 5.56/300 BLK
Accurate-Mag’s Scout chassis system can be configured for any short or long action from Ruger, Remington or Savage. “We’ve made our rifle chassis system modular,” Battaglia explained, “and with our Scout chassis we took our standard short-action chassis and swapped out the forend and stock to be more lightweight and keeping with the scout rifle concept.”
It’s literally a drop-in installation. The chassis is made of forged 7075-T6 aluminum with relief cuts to reduce weight. The forend allows for the attachment of a bipod and has full relief cuts so the barrel free-floats. The chassis is also sculpted around the bolt knob for fast and easy operation. The triggerguard is enlarged for shooters wearing gloves. The Ergo grip pistol grip is excellent, with good texturing and a nice palm swell for both left- and right-handed shooters. The chassis also allows a user to swap out the grip for nearly any AR-15-style pistol grip, and the rear of the chassis is designed to be compatible with any AR-type buttstock. A Mission First Tactical (MFT) Battlelink Utility Stock (BUS) with an adjustable cheekpiece came with the chassis I received, but the chassis can be ordered without a stock so a user can attach their own. The MFT stock is fully adjustable for length of pull and cheek height. The entire kit comes with a 10-round Accurate-Mag magazine and all the necessary mounting hardware. If you can disassemble a rifle, you can easily assemble this kit.
After removing the magazine and bolt, the Ruger barreled action is removed from the factory composite stock via two bolts. One hex bolt is located aft of the triggerguard and the other is forward of the magazine well. Take note that laminate-stocked Ruger Gunsite Scouts have a third screw that also needs to be removed. Unscrew and remove the bolts, then pull the barreled action free from the factory stock. It can’t be simpler. Then place the barreled action into the Accurate-Mag chassis. The fit is perfect and tight. No gaps, no wiggle.
Insert and tighten the rear bolt to 10 inch-pounds, then tighten the forward bolt. The forward bolt pushes against the action. Torque this bolt to 30 inch-pounds, then continue to tighten the rear bolt to 65 inch-pounds. Slide the Accurate-Mag forend over the front section of the chassis. The forend covers the forward hex bolt and free-floats the barrel—you could easily use a heavy- taper barrel in the action if you wanted. The forend is secured to the chassis with two hex bolts. It takes longer to explain the installation than it does to perform it.
The forend is well vented with four large relief cuts on each side. When shooting the rifle from the shoulder, I found that the cutouts offered a good grip with the support hand. The Scout chassis accepts
Accurate-Mag magazines in flush-fit five- and 10-round configurations. A large magazine release paddle is just outside the triggerguard, so dumping an empty magazine is fast and efficient even in the prone position. Shouldering the Accurate-Mag chassis is a lot like shouldering an AR. The stock comb is straight and directly from the rear of the action, hence I used high rings to mount an optic.
Accurate-Mag offers a custom Picatinny rail that allows a user to mount a scope in the normal position over the action without having to remove the Ruger’s rear sight. I like that idea, but I wanted to keep the traditional forward-mounted scout scope concept and used the Ruger mount to install a Hi-Lux LER 2-7x32mm scope. This scope offers 8 to 14 inches of eye relief, making it ideal for a forward mount. This scope was actually designed for the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle, and its BDC reticle is calibrated for .308 Winchester cartridges with either 150- or 168-grain bullets at velocities measured from a Ruger Gunsite Scout barrel. When zeroed at 200 yards, extra aiming points are calibrated for 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards. However, the BDC reticle only works when the magnification is cranked to 7X power. The magnification ring has a protruding knob that makes it easy to adjust the power quickly.
Before going to the range, I worked the bolt over and over on an empty chamber. I wanted to break in the Mauser-style, controlled-round-feed action and its fixed, blade-type ejector. The one-piece bolt is made of stainless steel and features a three-position safety lever. Sure, it’s old school, but it’s still very effective.
In use, the Accurate-Mag chassis made the Ruger Gunsite Scout even better. Sub-MOA accuracy was the norm with three types of ammunition—two target loads and one hunting load. The Black Hills and Hornady groups were so close in size that I had to measure in thousands of an inch to separate the two. And the trigger pull on the Ruger measured just under 5 pounds.
- RELATED STORY: Hawkeye FTW Hunter: Ruger Introduces New Bolt-Action Rifle
I was also quite surprised that even the reduced muzzle velocity of the 16-inch barrel did not have an affect on accuracy, at least out to 100 yards. According to Vin Battaglia, “We have a 17-inch heavy barreled action that we have tested in the Scout chassis that performs out to 800 yards with ease. The real point with the Scout chassis is we’ve micro-sized the rifle without sacrificing long-range accuracy.”
I fired the rifle off of sandbags, prone with a bipod and off-hand, and the versatile Accurate-Mag chassis system certainly elevated the scout rifle concept. This is the new generation of scout rifle, and I think Jeff Cooper would be pleased.
Specifications: Custom Ruger Gunsite Scout
- CALIBER: 7.62mm NATO
- BARREL: 16 inches
- OA LENGTH: 39.5 inches
- WEIGHT: 7.1 pounds (empty)
- STOCK: Accurate-Mag chassis w/MFT BUS
- SIGHTS: None
- ACTION: Bolt
- FINISH: Matte black
- CAPACITY: 10+1
- MSRP: $1,140 (base rifle), $650 (chassis)