Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Range Review: Ruger Gunsite Scout, Making me look good

I'd been looking at getting a larger rifle for hunting.  The biggest rifle I owned was a Rossi R92 lever action in .357, but I was thinking I might want something a little bit bigger if I was going to take it hunting mid size game.  That's when I stumbled on a good deal for a Ruger Gunsite Scout.

I had the er, pleasure, of shooting my Ruger Gunsite Scout for the first time at the range today.

First thoughts?  .308 kicks like a freakin' mule.  Of course, you have to take that with a grain of salt because I haven't shot anything much larger than a .22lr or .38sp in years.  So, going from .38sp to .308 was like going from a friendly pat to a boxer's punch to the shoulder every time the trigger was pulled.  I ran about 80 rounds through it, interspersed with some lever action .357 fun.  Yeah, I'm feeling it now, a big ol' red mark, and I have a feeling it'll be worse tomorrow. (Edit: yup, I have a nice sized bruise two days later)

I did about forty rounds at 50 yards and was pleasantly surprised with the accuracy.  Considering how unfamiliar I was with the rifle, I was happy to be hitting the target regularly.  I didn't adjust the sites because I figured that the bad shots were probably my fault and the majority were pretty well grouped.  Mostly I was just trying to get familiar with the rifle, how it handled, and how it cycled.  Familiarity is more important than accuracy the first time at the range.

I was also sighting in my Rossi R92.  Both were doing exceptionally well at 50yrds so I decided to get a little froggy and move the target out to 100yrds, still only using the iron sites on both rifles.

The Rossi didn't do the transition very well, the weaker round (I was shooting .38sp) meant I had to adjust the sites to even get close.  Also, the bead on the front site was so big it basically obscured the target at that distance.  It was fun to shoot but it wasn't going to win any accuracy awards.

Then I ran another forty rounds through the Ruger GSS.  Periodically I would use my binoculars to try and see where I was hitting.  Unfortunately, the only "hits" I could see were those on the white paper outside the black rings.  I struggled a little bit trying to figure out what the best site picture should be but since I couldn't tell where I was hitting I wasn't sure how to adjust it.  Honestly, I wasn't even sure if I was hitting the target with most of my shots.

So, imagine my surprise when I walked up and saw this:

Yeah, you rifle nerds can laugh all you want, but I was extremely pleased.  It's not going to win any tournaments or get hung up on the wall, but definitely not bad.  I'm a decent shot overall, I've done a lot of shooting, on and off over the years, with a variety of guns, but this was a totally new experience for me.  Basically, this was my first time shooting an unfamiliar rifle, an unfamiliar caliber, with iron sites, at an unfamiliar distance, and I couldn't even see where I was hitting to adjust for better accuracy.  Half a dozen in the black would have made my day.  So, Hell yeah I was happy with the results!  

I practically strutted back to the bench, target in hand.  Ruger GSS, making me look better than I am.  A little bit of practice and a healed shoulder, who knows how good the results will be?  I'm looking forward to finding out.

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