This guest post is courtesy of Richard Mann, author of Empty Cases.
I’ve been playing with the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle for several months now. Long enough to develop an informed opinion and long enough to try various sight arrangements. One of the great things about this rifle is the versatility it offers which is indeed the hallmark of the Scout Rifle concept.
Out of the box the rifle is fitted with a forward rail that will accept Weaver or Picatinny rings. The action of the rifle is set up to accept Ruger scope rings and comes with a rear aperture sight. This is a versatile but slightly cumbersome arrangement because you’ll need a hex wrench to remove the rear sight if you want to mount a scope in the conventional manner. And, your conventional scope and scout scope will require different rings.
Even before the Ruger Scout Rifle was launched, XS Sights began development of an aftermarket rail for the rifle. I got to try out this rail and made some suggestions that XS has incorporated into their final production version. First, I suggested that the bottom of the rail section above the action be slightly relieved and beveled to make access to the open action easier. I also suggested that the back of the rail be dehorned or beveled to protect against sharp edges snagging your flesh during hurried operation. This is indeed a practical accessory for the Ruger Scout Rifle. The XS rail for the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is not on their web site as of yet. You’ll need to call to order: (888) 744-4880.
There are several reasons I prefer the XS rail as opposed to the factory approach. First, the XS rail has an integral aperture sight giving you the option of mounting a conventional scope, albeit a bit high, without removing the aperture. Better yet, you can mount an extended eye relief scope (not a scout scope) just forward of the aperture sight. Second, the rail allows you to mount all scopes with the same type quick detach rings.
I’ve found three optical sighted configurations I really like for this rifle. The first utilizes Weaver’s new K-Series 4X Scout Scope mounted well forward on the rail. The second uses a now discontinued compact Weaver 6X conventional scope, with extended eye relief, mounted just forward of the XS aperture sight. This give you three, pre-zeroed, sight options; scout scope, conventional style scope and aperture sight.
I think my favorite configuration utilizes a Bushnell Elite 6500 extended eye-relief 1.5-8X scope mounted just forward of the rear aperture sight in quick release Leupold QRW rings. Though a tad heavy, this might be the ultimate in versatility because you can use this scope as a scout scope on low power or as a conventional scope on any power. Also, this riflescope has target turrets in case you want or need to try shooting at extreme ranges. And then of course, in seconds you can remove this scope and utilize the excellent XS aperture sight.
In all, I really like the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, mostly because of its versatility and the dependability of the Ruger 77 action. The factory trigger was not too bad either but if yours is, Timney Triggers offers an excellent and affordable, drop-in replacement. Another accessory you might consider is the Galco Safari Ching Sling. When this rifle is matched with the right sighting options its ready for just about any chore a rifleman can throw at it.