SCOUT Rifles


I have been enticed a bit by the STEYR Scout and the new Ruger GSR.

What I'm envisioning is a "do it all" rifle - survival, hunting, hiking, ... in a "useable (major) caliber but a short action (to keep the weight down.

Yeah, an AR makes a better fighting platform but this is not THAT kind of rifle or not it's primary or secondary role.


Fit and finish
Longer barrel*

Ruger Pros

Useable Iron Sights
Parts availability
Shorter barrel*

I would be open to others' opinions and/or experiences with either rifle or the concept and practicality of said concept.

Thanks in advance.

"One cannot awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."
I have the Ruger with the Leupold 2.5x fixed Scout scope. It's lightweight, short, magazine fed and even left handed. It's pretty much my all-in-one rifle. I'd like to get a trigger job on it and maybe add a can at some point (threaded barrel is standard) but it's a great gun right out of the box.

Sent from knee deep in camel dung.


Everyone who I know (a few guys) that has a GSR love it. For one guy its his "go to" hunting rig in 308, with a suppressor and a 2.5-10x, he's used it for an entire season with very good results.


I also have the Ruger, and I have really liked it, although I haven't gotten it out as much as I would have liked to. I have been waiting on the funds to get an optic, and it shoudl be here tomorrow! I look forward to really testing the accuracy in the coming months. I have a few pros and cons for the Ruger, and hope to get more detailed as I spend more time using it.

-uses AI mags (a big advantage now it the availability of the Magpul mags. I currently have both AI mags, polymer Ruger mags, as well as one Magpul mag. I think the price of the new Magpul mags is a big plus for the scout rifle-as well as any other bolt gun using the AI pattern.)
-threaded from the factory: a 16" barreled .308 is begging for a can, and that is next on the list for me.

-the barrel is a fairly heady profile. I am not sure if this is for accuracy, but even though it does balance well in the center of the gun, it is a bit heavy.

Overall I recommend the Ruger. I will be loading some ammo for my brother to take it hunting next year, and I plan on learning a bit more about longer range shooting with it as well.


The barrel profile:

That may be why it gets the 16.5" barrel length with the polymer stock.

Good observation.

"One cannot awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."


The Steyr is a nice rifle. It is definitely more refined than the Ruger GSR. I currently own the Steyr and have time on both platforms. Both are good within their niche.

Cooper thought the Steyr was about 80% of way to a true Scout.
It has exceptional trigger feel and the superior ergo's of the stock have to be experienced to be understood.
The Steyr needs a shorter barrel, and true 1913 rail rather than the Weaver scheme it currently uses. It needs some texture on the grip areas of the stock. It also needs its sling QD point to be updated to the Uncle Mikes style. The hammer head system is not fully reliable. The Steyr uses a long action for whatever reason, and just uses shoulders in the magazines to maintain ammo in the correct orientation. The Steyr is probably at its best when equipped with an Aimpoint T1 2 MOA red dot. A threaded barrel would be nice.

I have no idea what Cooper would think of the RGSR. I suspect he would grudgingly approve of it, but offer significant comment on the area where he felt it missed the Scout doctrine. It is probably a 60% solution. But the next closest competitor is a 15% solution.
The RGSR needs a skinnier barrel, and 1913 rail over the receiver instead of the proprietary Ruger dovetail. The RGSR is at it's best in the synthetic stock, which may need some texture added at the gripping points. It wouldn't hurt to have hard points molded into the stock to allow for mounting polymer 1913 sections for adding a white light. Molded in QD sling hard points would also be an improvement.
I have the Steyr and love it. Its as handy to carry as a lever action carbine, but is a lot more versatile. It handles like a nice upland shotgun; a faster handling rifle would be hard to find.

What I think sets the Steyr apart are the details. The rifle is full of subtle little things that make a difference when using it. The back of the trigger guard blends into the stock so you'll never get your middle finger cramped or pinched, let alone whacked under recoil. The safety couldn't be in a better place or slicker to operate. Everywhere you'd carry the rifle fits the hand naturally. Somehow they created a stock that snaps up like an upland gun, sits solid on sand bags, and holds just right in offhand. The bolt handle catches the hand near perfectly a you come off the grip, then the action cycles smoth and fast.
Details. You really have to use it to appreciate them.

I've never thought of it as a long action, but if it is, its the shortest long action I've ever seen. The magazine has shoulders to keep the cartridges from moving too far forward under recoil and battering bullet tips. Details.

The trigger is beautiful.

One thing I always liked about mine is how it sends bullets of various styles and weights to roughly the same poi. I have a 100-yd target somewhere where I fired one shot with each of seven or eight loads ranging from 110 to 180 grains and its under 2". For a General Purpose rifle, I'm thrilled with that. I'd rather it did that than shot one load onlynto 1/4 moa.
I've heard the same from other Steyr owners. I don't know how they do it.

No, its not perfect. I'd like to see flush sling cups all over it instead of the Pachmayer/Millet attachments. Jeff Cooper was always bothered by the lack of a LH model and he was right there. I dont know about a full pic rail, but more scope ring slots over the receiver would be nice.

The bipod isn't the greatest. Its a bit wiggly and is a little taller than what I usually need. On the other hand, it doesn't hurt anything being there and can't add more than a couple of ounces. A real bipod can be installed using the under forend accessory rail.
I have used the built-in bipod as a stand when I've needed a place to out the rifle down. It is really handy there in fact, and keeps me from leaning it against a tree and asking for it to fall, or just laying it in the dirt.

Some complain about the backup sights. I don't have a problem with them aside from needing to cheek hard into the stock to get low enough to use them. I accept that, being backups. A more out-of-the-way or quickly accessed set would be hard to find.

The sights are one area I don't like about the Ruger. With my Steyr, I like bring able to use the Scout scope or a conventional scope over the receiver. I don't think I knew I'd be switching back and forth as much, but I do. The Scout scope is usually on mine, but I will put a Leupold 3.5-10X on for some shooting or simply load testing. I've stuck a Trijicon 1-4X AccuPoint on before also. All are in QD rings, so its nothing to do.
With the Ruger, you have to remove the rear sight to mount a conventional scope. I like the Ruger irons, but losing the ability to swap scopes in seconds would be a big negative for me. Plus then your backup sight is now off the gun.

Just my opinions and findings.


Awesome reply, brother.

"One cannot awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."


Good summary. I have never shot the Styer, but it sounds like a very well thought out rifle. I do think the XS rail for the Ruger is a big improvement, and It allows a good set of back-up sights, as well as a way to attach a scope in the conventional position. I have been saving for some decent glass to put on it, but I did just get a Strikeagle in from Vortex to test, so it may spend some time on the Ruger for now.


I had a STEYR Tactical Scout and only took it out once and LOVED it; though I preferred it shot a little better with FGMM 168gr. (Just over 1" at a 100 m) but in reality it was fine; very refined. Magazine costs were prohibitive because STEYR never seemed to import many, I guess.

I had to sell it as my new job did not pay relocation and I found a previously owned/NIB Ruger for $600. I found the trigger crisp, the rifle a little heavy and the overall refinement much less than the STEYR. So I sold it for a profit and waited.

Fast forward a few weeks ago: STEYR Scouts for $1500 and Ruger Scout with polymer stock for $900 and 6.5lbs.

STEYR mags for $40; Magpul magazines for the Ruger plus AICS magazines and Ruger magazines.

I decided on the Ruger. Haven't shot it yet but it has the same nice trigger and with no spacers it has the short length of pull I like in a "general purpose" rifle.

Did I mention I liked the Ruger sights better than Steyr's? I do.

The Ruger stock is "abysmal" compared to that ergonomic GEM STEYR created. If you've not played with one it's difficult to track what Barry in Indiana and I have to say about it. Yes, it's that good.


The XS rail; what kind of rear sight options would I have with that rail?

"One cannot awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."


The XS rail has an integrated rear sight that works with the Ruger front sight. It is not very easy to adjust, and is more difficult to sight-in initially, but once you get it set, you just leave it alone and it works well for a set of back-up sights.


Barry in IN writes a very good review of the Steyr and knows what he is talking about.

I may have damned the Steyr with faint praise. It is a very sound rifle and as others have said the stock design is quantum leap forward. It continues to amaze me that there has not been a knockoff of the Steyr stock marketed as a replacement for the R700, W70, R77, etc. It is that good. The rear grip is what really stands out to me as the key innovation. It is designed in such away that recoil flows through your hand rather than getting slapped by it.

You can tell a lot about a gun reviewer by how he catalogs the Steyr Scout. The first thing everyone notices about the Steyr is the integral bipod. The second thing is the spare magazine in the butt stock. They might make passing reference the adjustable length of pull, and will probably comment about the quality or perceived durability of the emergency sights. They might make a half hearted stab at trying to explain the scout rifle concept for a paragraph.
If that is all that is noted, that reviewer is not a serious shooter or student of practical riflery. Any further reviews offered by that individual should be taken with a grain of salt.

If they notice the superior rear grip design, comment on the shape of the foreend, notice that the foregrip panels are removable for a better grip shape, observe that the bolt handle can be positioned flush with stock when on full "SAFE", then finish by noting that the full diameter bolt uses 12 and 6 o'clock oriented paired bolt lugs (as opposed to 3&9 o'clock on legacy designs) for more reliable cartridge stripping then that reviewer probably knows more than a thing or two about weapons craft and is a shooter far before they are a gun writer. At the very least, that reviewer is professionally curious.

If they express surprise at how consistently the very lightweight fluted pencil barrel groups over multiple strings and with various bullet weights, then they are certainly paying attention.

The Steyr Scout rifle is truly a once in a century design. And with the current very strong US dollar, it is becoming much more affordable.


Staff member
Myself and a mate have been discussing his first personal rifle purchase.

We both like the like of the Ruger Scout, but think it's a bit much in .308.

Ideally, I'd love a RGS in 6.8mm SPC. For some reason, the intermediate round keeps drawing our attention. There's a lot going for it in that platform.

The only problem is, we'd more than likely have to reload - something neither of us have done before.


Given that the overall package size and weight would not change, there is little to recommend the RGSR in 6.8. However, a CZ 527 carbine in 6.8 would be exciting to me. While reloading is not hard, it is one more layer of equipment to purchase, and one more draw on a finite amount of time.
I have not seen the 6.8 show desirable levels of accuracy. It is possible for the 6.8 to accurate, but the trend has not been particularly impressive.

The .308 is a decent match of size, power, recoil, availability, and reasonable exterior and terminal ballistics.


Regular Member
Never been lucky enough to shoot the Steyr. While not always a disciple of Cooper, the "if you only had 1 rifle" design has some merit, and the Steyr is incredibly "Handy" which he insisted on.

The Ruger, a bit less so, but it's also (at least from appearances) built a bit stouter. The 18", polymer stock has drawn my eye, though I have yet to find one in person (the 16" laminated is common). I could certainly find a use for either in my collection, and I've seriously eyed the Ruger Guide Gun in .30-06 as well.