In 2010 Ruger introduced a rifle that they call “the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle.” This is an interesting little .308 caliber carbine that has a lot of appeal. I am not going to discuss it too much here. There has been a lot written about it on various websites. This gun has a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $995. The street price will probably be around $750 to $850. This price does NOT include a scope.
The purpose of this post is to offer an alternative to the Ruger Scout rifle.
The Japanese firm of Howa makes fine rifles. Not only have these guns been sold under Howa’s own name, but also Weatherby Vanguards are also Howas. In the past S&W and Mossberg (M-1500) have been made by Howa. So, there are probably plenty of these rifles around.
In the September 19, 2012 issue of Shotgun News, on page 19 under the title of “New Products” is a blurb about a new product for Howa rifles. This product is a conversion kit that fits the above listed rifles. It allows you to use detachable 5 and 10 round magazines in these rifles. It is manufactured by ATI gunstocks.com. There are videos on youtube showing how to do this conversion.
Where I do most of my shopping, the Weatherby Vanguard sells for around $400. A good scope (Leupold or Nikon-no cheapies, please) and mounts would cost $200 to $300 and up. This would mean that you could get a home made “Scout Gun” for $600 to $700 (or more if you want to pay for a really good scope-some of them cost more than $1,000!) You would have a rifle with a longer barrel (The Scout has 16 inches-too short in my opinion) and detachable 5 and 10 round magazines (just like the Scout). Howas do not come with iron sights, but I believe that a gunsmith could install them fairly easily (if you want them-I do!) and you would still be way under the cost of the Ruger.
Another plus is that EVERY Weatherby Rifle is guaranteed to shoot 3 shot groups into 1.5 inches at 100 yards (using good quality ammo).
So, you would end up with your own Scout rifle (in your choice of caliber) including a scope for less than the Ruger product. You might want to check it out.