Gun Digest

New Rifle: Ruger’s New Scout Rifle Looks to be a Thumper

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This year, Ruger has made an interesting leap with its Gunsite Scout Rifle, marrying it to a one-off of another of Cooper’s ideas — the Thumper — by bringing it out in .450 Bushmaster.

Jeff Cooper was a whirlwind of firearms ideas. Some faded away with the years, others are running strong decades after they sprouted from the Colonel’s synapse.

Next to his notions on self-defense, perhaps one of the most enduring of his concepts has been the scout rifle. The aim of the utility firearm was to do a little bit of everything equally well, and since the early 1980s, gun enthusiasts and makers have proved Cooper’s idea sound. With a slew of home-brew iterations and a handful of manufactured models, the scout rifle has staked its place in shooters' hearts and the overall gun marketplace.

Ruger embraced the concept wholeheartedly with the introduction of the Gunsite Scout Rifle series a number of years ago. And since, it has expanded the line of rifles to encompass a wide variety of calibers and options — some coloring outside the lines of Cooper’s original definition of the rifle.

This year, the New Hampshire gunmaker has made an interesting leap with its Scout Rifle, marrying it to a one-off of another of Cooper’s ideas — the Thumper.

The Ruger Scout Rifle is now being offered in the behemoth .450 Bushmaster, a round that throws an ample slug of copper-jacketed lead down range. And while the round wasn’t invented by Cooper himself, its development was most definitely spurred by the Colonel’s Thumper — a large-bore infantry semi-automatic, meant to deliver more punch per trigger squeeze.

This is the second bolt-action rifle the company has released for the round in the last few months. Late in 2016, Ruger added the .450 Bushmaster to its American Rifle line, making it among the first major manufacturers to offer the caliber in a bolt-action platform.

In addition to shooters who have an innate desire to throw 250-grain projectiles downrange or at watermelons, chambering the round for the platform does have a practical side.

The .450 Bushmaster has become a popular hog-hunting round, delivering devastating terminal ballistics to every form of wild or feral porcine. Combined with the maneuverability and quick target acquisition characteristics of the scout rifle, Ruger may have coined a superior hog gun. On top of that, it should fit the bill for Michigan deer hunters and a few other states that have restrictions on the rifles.

The new Gunsite Scout rifle features an American walnut stock with checkered forend and grip. It has a soft rubber recoil pad, incorporating Ruger's spacer system that allows for length-of-pull adjustment.

It has a Picatinny rail mounted on the barrel for the addition of the scout rifle’s traditional long eye relief scope and allowing access to the receiver. It comes outfitted with an adjustable ghost ring rear aperture sight and protected front blade sight. And it boasts Ruger’s Precision Rifle Hybrid Muzzle Brake on its 16.1-inch barrel. Ruger has also kept the rifle at the weight specs Cooper laid out for the scout rifle, tipping the scales at 6.6 pounds.

The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle has a MSRP of $1,199.

.450 Bushmaster Scout Rifle Specs
Stock: American Walnut
Front Sight: Protected Blade
Rear Sight: Adjustable Ghost Ring
Capacity: 4+1 (detachable box magazine)
Barrel Length: 16.1 in.
Overall Length: 37 to 38.5 in.
Finish: Matte Black
Length of Pull: 12.75 to 14.25 in.
Twist Rate: 1:16 in.
Grooves: 6
MSRP: $1,199

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