Ruger 450 Bushmaster Scout | Outdoor Channel
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Ruger 450 Bushmaster Scout

Learn about how the scout rifle has evolved and the newest of its kind from Ruger

The Ruger 450 Bushmaster Scout Rifle (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV) The Ruger 450 Bushmaster Scout Rifle (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV)

By: Ed Head

Let’s talk a little about Scout rifles and then get into the details of this new version from Ruger. Jeff Cooper began experimenting with what he called a Scout rifle more than 40 years ago. He imagined such a rifle would be, above all, a general-purpose rifle, useful for hunting or fighting and an ideal rifle for a single person, a scout, operating alone. He wanted the rifle to be short, lightweight, chambered for capable and readily available ammunition, to be magazine or stripper clip fed and to have multiple sighting options, to include a means of attaching a long eye relief telescope. As time passed and Cooper refined his concept he added other features like his ideas about slings and carrying spare ammunition to the list of potential features. Bear in mind, when Cooper began this journey many of the elements of the Scout hadn’t been invented or hadn’t been imagined and some of the features we see on scout rifles these days simply weren’t available “back in the dark ages”, as Cooper would have said. Eventually Steyr produced the first production Scout rifle and it was followed by examples from Savage, Ruger and Mossberg. all with elements of Cooper’s idealized Scout. Cooper also imagined a small, powerful infantry weapon he referred to as Thumper chambered in the .44 Automag round. Something like a sub-machinegun, the Thumper concept never took off. While it has nothing to do with the Thumper idea other than a big bore connection to Cooper, some folks have taken to calling this newest Scout rifle Thumper because it packs a wallop. So, with all due respect to my mentor, I think Thumper is an appropriate name for this rifle.

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