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Scout Rifle Showdown: Steyr vs. Ruger

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July 15, 2011
Scout Rifle Showdown: Steyr vs. Ruger - 13

Ruger’s new Gunsite Scout rifle has had rifle geeks of all stripes in a twitter since it was introduced earlier this year and for good reason: It is a well-built, accurate and affordable take on the scout rifle concept as originally pioneered by Col. Jeff Cooper, the founder of Gunsite Academy. Plus, it was built in conjunction with Gunsite instructors—the keepers of Col. Cooper’s flame.

It’s such a nice rifle, in fact, that we gave it our prestigious “Great Buy” award during Outdoor Life’s annual gun test this year. I considered that rifle such a good value that I bought it for my personal collection.

All this adoration heaped on Ruger’s newest hasn’t gone unnoticed by Steyr, the makers of the original scout rifle, and now the company has decided to fire back, claiming primogenitor and talking smack about both the Ruger rifle and ARs in general. This is from a press release put out a couple days ago:

“With the rage over modern sporting rifles—or “mouse-guns” in Col. Cooper vernacular—and their increasingly burdensome array of accessories waning, common sense has seemingly returned to the American rifleman, as the Colonel’s lightweight, .308-caliber bolt-action, rabbits-to-elk, bug-out Steyr Scout rifle has eclipsed its initial sales figures. It’s become so popular within the last 13 months that yet another company has made an attempt to emulate Col. Cooper’s intent.”

Zing! The biggest problem with the Steyr was its price. It is loaded with cool features, like and integral bipod and a butt stock that accepts an extra 10-round magazine. When you add stuff like that to a gun, the price heads north. And when that gun is made by Austrians, the price leaves orbit.

Right now Steyr is offering the Cooper Scout with an MSRP of $2,099. The Ruger is going for $995. Is the Steyr twice the rifle that the Ruger is? I’m not sure, but I aim to find out and do a side-by-side shootout as soon as possible.

This is Steyr’s parting shot: “So go ahead, and accept a substitute. Colonel Cooper didn’t.”

Comments (13)

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from ThomD wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

One guy posts 900 characters, I am limited to 200, and this seems to be an old thread yet I just saw this review in the current issue, the rifle wasn't out 30 weeks ago was it?

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from ThomD wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Lame review. The GS is not a Scout it is a GS, it pretty much misses all the well thought out points of the Scout. Cool isn't the same as good tool. The Steyr isn't to my taste, but it is a Scout.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony C. wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

I've got the Ruger Frontier rifle in 7mm-08 and I love it. Bought it as a youth gun for the kids. But I'm the one who grabs it whenever I head out (the kids go maybe twice a year and the season is 76 days here in 'Bama).

I'd like to see Ruger create one of these Gunsite Scouts in a semi-auto version, similar to their Ranch rifle, but in short-action hunting calibers -- 7mm-08, .308, .243.

Keep it short, light and everything it is now, just add the semi-auto action. I think that puppy would sell.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JB wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I like Rugers rifle. I think it will be a good seller. I like the idea so much that I will be building a high end version off a Savage action. 16 inch Schnider barrel, MPI carbonfiber/kevlar stock, Holand recoil lug and muzzle brake, piller and glass beding, Vortex RazorHD 1x4 and Aimpoint for optics. I will be keeping the Accutrigger for now and see how it works. I will ream the chamber to Sami spec for the 308 but I will also do some custom loads and see how she runs. I think this could be an exceptional rifle that will fill many needs and be somthing that can be passed down. All my rifles are broken in by me because I know it will be done right. I have ordered all the parts and should have it up and runing in three to four weeks. I'll let you know how she works out

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 25-06 guy wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I agree with charlie elk the frontier rifle from ruger is an awesome rifle.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from featherfisher wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

In the paraphrasing words of the great Bard" Me thinks they doth protest too much"- a sure sign of acceptance of the Ruger as a good buy and value- Remember with the economy as it is buying American means someone somewhere in the US still has a job to produce that item. Enuf said

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from LGIW wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The Austrians are lefties anyway.

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from John B. Snow wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Ruger has recently announced a left-handed version of the Gunsite Scout. Steyr isn't making one for lefties that I'm aware of.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charliedakota wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

But does either one make it in a left-handed model?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I would take the Ruger. I already have one and it is hard to beat. I would agree with the comment that a synthetic stock would be a plus.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

My 308 Ruger Frontier is my favorite rifle. Rarely do I sit in a deer stand while gun hunting. Any seeking style of deer hunting requires a fast on target, nimble rifle which this is. Apparently I am one of few who like the Frontier even though they have been discontinued you can still find dealers with new ones in the box for $550 - $600.
Other than the detachable magazine which I would have preferred; there is no good reason for me to upgrade to the new one. For those who don't have a scout rifle this new Ruger would be just the ticket.
later,
charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 25-06 guy wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The Steyr looks like and I'm sure is a great rifle, but for twice the price of a ruger? But who is going to drop that much for a scout rifle, I think alot of rifle makers are leaving the blue collar people out to dry with the price of firearms.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johnnie wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Sounds like Steyr has their panties in a bunch. When people don't have nothing good to say about something or someone they make fun of it, because they have no other way of attacking a good thing - like Steyr is doing.
If, Ruger would put a synthetic stock on their Scout rifle it would weigh less than the Steyr. Personally I don't care for the Steyr. I'm not interested in their folding down bi-pod. And lets say the Steyr is lacking in the 'good looks' department.
Steyr's comment: "another company has made an attempt to emulate Col. Cooper’s intent.” Steyr is referring to Ruger's interpretation of a Scout rifle. The thing is Ruger and Gunsite Academy teamed up to produce a Scout rifle, so I don't see where Ruger is emulating or imitating what a Scout rifle should be. Steyr sounds like they are jealous of what Ruger has accomplished. And what impact AR's have on gun sales.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from 25-06 guy wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The Steyr looks like and I'm sure is a great rifle, but for twice the price of a ruger? But who is going to drop that much for a scout rifle, I think alot of rifle makers are leaving the blue collar people out to dry with the price of firearms.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

My 308 Ruger Frontier is my favorite rifle. Rarely do I sit in a deer stand while gun hunting. Any seeking style of deer hunting requires a fast on target, nimble rifle which this is. Apparently I am one of few who like the Frontier even though they have been discontinued you can still find dealers with new ones in the box for $550 - $600.
Other than the detachable magazine which I would have preferred; there is no good reason for me to upgrade to the new one. For those who don't have a scout rifle this new Ruger would be just the ticket.
later,
charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johnnie wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Sounds like Steyr has their panties in a bunch. When people don't have nothing good to say about something or someone they make fun of it, because they have no other way of attacking a good thing - like Steyr is doing.
If, Ruger would put a synthetic stock on their Scout rifle it would weigh less than the Steyr. Personally I don't care for the Steyr. I'm not interested in their folding down bi-pod. And lets say the Steyr is lacking in the 'good looks' department.
Steyr's comment: "another company has made an attempt to emulate Col. Cooper’s intent.” Steyr is referring to Ruger's interpretation of a Scout rifle. The thing is Ruger and Gunsite Academy teamed up to produce a Scout rifle, so I don't see where Ruger is emulating or imitating what a Scout rifle should be. Steyr sounds like they are jealous of what Ruger has accomplished. And what impact AR's have on gun sales.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from featherfisher wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

In the paraphrasing words of the great Bard" Me thinks they doth protest too much"- a sure sign of acceptance of the Ruger as a good buy and value- Remember with the economy as it is buying American means someone somewhere in the US still has a job to produce that item. Enuf said

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I would take the Ruger. I already have one and it is hard to beat. I would agree with the comment that a synthetic stock would be a plus.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charliedakota wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

But does either one make it in a left-handed model?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Ruger has recently announced a left-handed version of the Gunsite Scout. Steyr isn't making one for lefties that I'm aware of.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LGIW wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The Austrians are lefties anyway.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 25-06 guy wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I agree with charlie elk the frontier rifle from ruger is an awesome rifle.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JB wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I like Rugers rifle. I think it will be a good seller. I like the idea so much that I will be building a high end version off a Savage action. 16 inch Schnider barrel, MPI carbonfiber/kevlar stock, Holand recoil lug and muzzle brake, piller and glass beding, Vortex RazorHD 1x4 and Aimpoint for optics. I will be keeping the Accutrigger for now and see how it works. I will ream the chamber to Sami spec for the 308 but I will also do some custom loads and see how she runs. I think this could be an exceptional rifle that will fill many needs and be somthing that can be passed down. All my rifles are broken in by me because I know it will be done right. I have ordered all the parts and should have it up and runing in three to four weeks. I'll let you know how she works out

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony C. wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

I've got the Ruger Frontier rifle in 7mm-08 and I love it. Bought it as a youth gun for the kids. But I'm the one who grabs it whenever I head out (the kids go maybe twice a year and the season is 76 days here in 'Bama).

I'd like to see Ruger create one of these Gunsite Scouts in a semi-auto version, similar to their Ranch rifle, but in short-action hunting calibers -- 7mm-08, .308, .243.

Keep it short, light and everything it is now, just add the semi-auto action. I think that puppy would sell.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ThomD wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Lame review. The GS is not a Scout it is a GS, it pretty much misses all the well thought out points of the Scout. Cool isn't the same as good tool. The Steyr isn't to my taste, but it is a Scout.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ThomD wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

One guy posts 900 characters, I am limited to 200, and this seems to be an old thread yet I just saw this review in the current issue, the rifle wasn't out 30 weeks ago was it?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)