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10/2/2012 11:45 AM
 

I recently went through the thought process of what I need for a go to rifle and ended up getting a RGS. 

I built up the Remington over a period of about 2 years 10 years or so ago. I did it slowly over time as I was fresh out of college, and while money wasn't supper tight, it was tight enough I didn't feel I could afford a Styer Scout or Brockman Practical Rifle, which is really what I lusted after at that point.  The Remington wasn't my action of choice and still isn't, but due to finding the Robar converted one it is what I have gone with.  The basic problem is that I made the wrong decisions 10 years ago, largely because I didn't know any better and didn't have anyone to ask.  Two of those decisions continue to bug me with the rifle to this day. 
 
First is the scope mounting system, at that point scouts were very much a specialty item and with the then state of the internet I found Brockman.  I didn't really know what talley mounts were or where I wanted them mounted on the barrel, but I figured he knew what he was doing.  At this point, I really dislike the fact that my mounts are proprietary, expensive, and limited in what is available.  Heck I can't put a T1 on my rifle if I chose.  I like universal mounts. The second factor is that for whatever reason the mounts ended up way out on the barrel.  This makes eye relief a pain in the butt with variable scopes, and gives the rifle a lopsided look that bugs the crap out of me, and hurts balance.
 
The second issue is that I chose the wrong stock. I basically had two finalists in my selection the McMillan Model 7 and the HTG.  I went with the M7 and ordered what I thought was OD, I figured that the Schnabel was sexy, and light, short and compact was the best way to go.  Turns out olive meant olive not OD.  At that point it was as simple as shipping them my barreled action, bottom metal, and a magazine.  The simply charged me for a custom drop in.  With more experience I realize that I made the wrong choice and should have gone with the HTG. To the point that I tried to order one a couple of weeks ago.  No longer will they do a drop in stock for me. It is now a gunsmith proposition, which greatly increases the cost. 
 
I think I have finally given up on a semi 308 unless something new comes on the market.  There is just nothing out there that has the compactness I am looking for regardless of weight.  Well there might be, the HK SL7, but they are no longer readily available.  With that in mind I am trying to refocus on a 308 bolt gun.  I spent awhile with Evan's and my problem doesn't seem to be with bolt guns, but mine specifically given the issues above.  Heck I would also like the ability to run a can, which I am a fan of, and the Remington contour is to narrow. 
 
So my choices were:  

1.      Get a Gunsite and make a few minor changes (FH, add swivel cups, add a light rail)

2.      Order a HTG and then get a smith to fit it

3.      Go to a different rifle and build it the way I want (i.e. a M70 but that is the most expensive route).

4.      I guess there is a 4, in the Styer Scout, but they are twice the price of the Gunsite and based on my observations in the class and some research don't like getting hot and bothered. 

I was leaning hard towards a RGS due to my experience and the experience of various folks I know with gunsmiths.  It takes quit awhile, is expensive, and if you need to sell the gun it will be at a loss.  Not to mention more and more it seems to be that custom guns aren’t coming from the smith good to go, and in some cases folks aren’t standing behind their work.  That is part of the reason I was leaning towards a RGS.  It was a 90% solution, with a good warranty and factory support.  The price was good for the features, and if I need to sell it I will likely get most if not all of money out of it.  

Another factor leaning me towards the RGS was the difficulty of building up what I would want.  Basically, the RGS is the best starting point and it is almost there.  Finding a stripper clip guide for a something like a M70 is a gunsmith proposition, or go with a Mauser or Enfield, but then you have other issues like sourcing a stock and the state of the barrel.  I am kind of tired of projects.

One thing that gave me pause was the reports of heavy triggers, poor accuracy and gritty actions.  After doing a bit of reading I finally decided that most of those were coming from folks who don’t have a lot of experience with this type of rifle and weren’t running the bolt correctly, were more used to Remington 700s etc. I guess when you have gun makers that have 1 million units on order that it is more likely that sub par examples are going to slip out because of trying to keep up with demand, but again what is the real failure rate?  I figured if I could personally inspect a rifle prior to purchase I likely wouldn’t have most of those issues. 

When I look at the state of the bolt gun today I am amazed. Back in the day the concept of a short barrel bolt gun with high capacity was kind of heresy unless it was a enfield jungle carbine.  While the Styer was available it was rare and expensive.  There just wasn't the type of rifles we are talking about available.  To think I can walk into a gun shop and buy a 95+ plus solution is amazing to me still.  I have to wonder what drove that trend. 

I was able to find a RGS at Sportsmans.  They actually had two, one on the rack and one in back.  At first they said they only had the one on the rack.  I had already checked out that one when I found out about the one in back so I went with the one I had checked out.  The trigger is great, maybe even a bit to light, but time will tell.  The action is good maybe a bit stiff, but not at all gritty.  More on this later.  The metal magazine is too long for the capacity, and I have several poly ones on order.  I followed the information in the manual and used a ¾” open end wrench instead of the torx, which is an either or choice, to remove the flashhider, which at this point will be replaced with a thread protector.  I am glad I had read that it would be very tight.  I mounted up the 1.5-5 Leupold (see the thread on that scope).  I took it on the walk Saturday morning a good portion of which was through heavy brush, and the handling was good.  The rifle is a handsome beast.  When we got back to the truck, Evan and I each ran a magazine through it using irons.  It is setup for a lollypop hold instead of poa/poi, which is my preference.  However, from the factory it is good enough for government work so I just left it alone. 

I took it back out that afternoon and sighted it in.  Due to a rookie mistake I went through about 40 rounds before I got down to business.  I ended up with about 110 rounds total through it.  I was shooting from the prone using a pack in front and a serape in a stuff sack under the butt.  I shot multiple 3-4 shot 2moa groups at 100 with South African Milsurp, which is what I was sighting in with (I am not hunting this fall and plan to do plenty of shooting so I wanted it to be good to go for that).  About 80 rounds into the day I had to really get aggressive with the bolt to get it to unlock on one occasion.  Evan experienced the same thing in the morning after a rapid fire string.  When I got home I spent some time with the bolt.  I think the issue is that the extractor has a bit too much tension and it is dragging a bit.  I lubed it up more and we will see how it works over time.  I am guessing this is something that will wear in, or perhaps need a bit of tweaking later on.  Ejection was so positive that I have brass kisses on the back of the action, which is not something I have seen with a bolt gun before.  I will be fitting a pachmyr decelerator at some point as the stock rubber is a bit grabby and doesn’t work as well for recoil mitigation.  When I ran the bolt from the shoulder like you should do it worked great.  I did find that working it at waist level it was possible to drag just a hair.  I think this due to just a bit of slop in the action design, which will enhance reliability (the slope).  My guess is that it will smooth out over time.  Again I wouldn’t call this gritty or even an issue.  Just being super critical here.  My basic impression is that it is a good solid action that needs a bit of wearing in.  I have no complaints and would not call it gritty, the trigger is great, and accuracy so far is good to great considering what kind of ammunition I was shooting.

Here are some weights of my rifle and Evan's for comparison.  Really a lot closer than I thought:

RGS:
Unloaded no scope: 6.14lbs
Unloaded with scope: 8.1lbs
Loaded with a poly 5rd and Scope: 8.8lbs:6

Evan's Mauser:
Unloaded no scope, but with sling, empty butt cuff, and light: 6.14lbs
Unloaded with scope and other items above: 7.12lb
Loaded with full but cuff for a total of 9 rnds and the above: 8.4lbs

So if my rifle was in a synthetic stock they would weight about the same, and that scope is killing me weight wise.  Is the illumination really worth the extra weight (1/2 lb as per specs on SWFA)?


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/2/2012 2:29 PM
 

It’s good to hear your initial impressions are positive – it’s been on my short list since they introduced it with the LH action. I’m thinking an Aimpoint RDS for the things I’m going to use it for.

As a side note: I had the great fortune to handle (more like fondle) all but one iteration of the good Colonel’s Scout rifles and it was interesting to see how the whole concept developed from one gun to the next. Personally, I think his overall impression of the Ruger would have been generally positive.

I can’t wait to get one to tell you the truth – us poor souls that shoot from the wrong shoulder just don’t have any option but to go the costly custom route.

Is there any way to dispense with that ugly ass flash-hider?

 
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10/2/2012 3:56 PM
 

Evan and I are planning a bit of a shoot off of optics at short range and a T1 will be included. A very interesting choice for this rifle. 

All it takes is a vice the appropriate tool, as per my post I used the 3/4" instead of the torx, and a bit of elbow grease. I have an EGW thread protector on the way.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/2/2012 5:08 PM
 

The reason I got rid of my Ruger compact is because the action was so hard to run. Very stiff and not very smooth to cycle, had to put some muscle into it. The RGS is interesting because it looks cool but I dont see a need for one, not planning on getting a 308 can and do not like scout scopes. I am intersted in a Mossberg MVP though, same concept with only the features I need. Your Remington for sale?

 
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10/2/2012 7:15 PM
 

To be clear, this action is not hard to run, and in fact I consider it pretty smooth. I do expect it to smooth up even more over time as it wears in.  The issue is that every once in awhile there is a bind.  As I said I am pretty sure of the culprit, and at some point I will compare it to Evan's Mauser.

I looked long and hard at the MVP.  A few things held me back, first was caliber.  I can't hunt with it, and I wanted a rifle I could hunt with.  Second the reports I could find were 50/50 good bad.  Finally, the little flipper thingie looks a bit suspect to me.

At this point the Remington is not for sale, and when it does go up for sale there is already a long list. 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/3/2012 11:40 AM
 

Have been toying with the idea of getting an RGS because they are handy and now are available in left hand.  Trouble is that I've gotten into AR's and the 6.8spc.  I've got an old Winchester 100 in 308 which is like an enlarged Ruger 10-22, but the AR in 6.8 is easier to mount optics, has an great trigger, and I can LEGO it to any little desire I want.

 

I'm just wondering what the RGS offers over an M4 in 6.8spc

 
New Post
10/3/2012 1:01 PM
 

 OPC,

I know Scot is going to be able to speak to your question about RGS vs 6.8 as he has owned both.  I wanted to offer my perspective, however, since I am in the process of moving away from 6.8 toward a setup like Scot's.

1) ammunition availability and cost favors .308

2) power favors .308

3) and sometimes, I want to carry something lower profile than an AR.

 
New Post
10/3/2012 2:14 PM
 

I had a set of Warne Low QD rings in the scope ring bag, which is what I used to mount the scope.  My plan is to inlet a rail into the fore end of the rifle like Evan did after I get some more rounds downrange.

This morning I noticed a big difference in the feeding between the metal mag and the poly 5rd.  My rifle doesn’t care for the metal one.  I also was able to compare my extractor tension to Evan’s Mauser.  It was A LOT tighter, and I still think that is the contributor if not the main cause of the occasional sticking, which is more pronounced with the metal mag.  I will give it a bit of time to see if it will wear in.

 Hansford really nailed the biggest differences between the 6.8 and the RGS.  A minor one is that the RGS will give you a slightly smaller overall package.  No so much front to back, but top to bottom as it where.  The higher scope, pistol grip, etc… takes up more room.  I actually, thought briefly about giving a Mini 14 in 6.8 a try, as I remain very interested in the idea of a heavier hitting semi carbine.  However, until I can walk into any gun store or sporting good store with a reasonable expectation of finding ammunition for my firearm then I won’t be going back down that road.  It is a shame it hasn’t caught on more. If it does then I am all over it.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/4/2012 2:43 PM
 
Hey Scot, check out alphaindmfg.com for a good steel mag. The type 2 AICS mag has worked fine and is a lot shorter than the one that came with the gun.
 
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10/4/2012 9:22 PM
 

I will give them a look. I already have some of the polymer 10rd mags and another 5rd on the way so I will see first how those work.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/10/2012 5:03 PM
 
308 strikes again. My dad used the Winchester 100 autoloader in 308 to wack an nice sized bull moose at 420+ yds. One shot to the neck with generic winchester 180grand power point broke the neck and instantly killed the brute. It just flat works.
 
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10/10/2012 5:34 PM
 

Glad to hear your dad got his moose. The neck shot! Classic! There seems to be something about the older generation and neck shots. I learned from that and carry on the tradition. Modern day hunters have it all wrong, old timers know what they are doing. No meat lost, instant kill, congrats again! 

 
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10/10/2012 9:00 PM
 

 I don't want to derail this thread, but I'd like to hear more about the neck shot.  My understanding (purely from reading about it) is that if you hit the spine, great.  If you miss, you might have a long run to catch your dinner.  I have only ever gone for the heart shot, and I have to say, I've never damaged any meat beyond some rib meat.  Am I missing something by not using the neck shot?  Where in the neck do you aim?

 
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10/11/2012 12:05 PM
 

I know that my grandmother used the kneck shot until literally a week or two before she died.  However, she was very very picky with the shots she took. I know when I hunted with her she passed up on a lot of shots until she got the one she wanted.  I used it once, and due to a borrowed rifle my shot was a bit low, and basically ended up blowing out the throat. It was a clean and quick kill, but it kind of bothered me that a bit one way or the other you didn't hit the spine.  I was told that the hold was 1/3 way down in front of the shoulder.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/12/2012 5:43 PM
 
Totally digging my 6.8spc but this thread has me looking at that Ruger GSR really hard. That's bad enough, but now I've found those Fulton Armory Garand and M1A scout setups and its bringing on an bad case of the wants. Im not certain about their weight but they definitely look like some really handy sized rifles. Im just trying to make sense if its worth picking up an 308 at this point. The good thing is that I have my inventory of real users down to an AK, AR in 5.56 and 6.8spc and the 45/70 and 30-30.
 
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10/15/2012 12:16 PM
 

My advise to you might be a bit different than most folks knowing your idea of a "portable grill". ;) I decided against the M1a scout because it just wasn't svelte enough for my taste, and what I was looking for in this case. I also decided against a m1 garand tanker because they have a very poor reputation for reliability.  There seem to be some folks who have cracked the code on them, but you are buying essentially a custom one off.  Overall the garand tanker is going to be a bit lighter, but both are going to end up a heavy rifle for us meer mortals.  For a hard rock miner they might be just right.  On paper I am still a huge proponent of the 6.8 as a concept.  The reality is that the ammuniton support is just not there in my opinion.

At this point I have my using rifles calibers down to 5.56 and 308.  I do have a 45/70, but that is more a niche caliber, the only one I own by choice, and my ammunition requirements are not the same.  I also have a 30 Remington, which the 6.8 was based off of oddly enough, that was my Grandmother's.  That one I have for family reasons, and one day I will probably even shoot it.

If something like the 6.8 becomes mainstream enough, or a 308 that is svelte and light enough comes on the market I will be tempted.  Otherwise I am pretty happy at this point. All that is assuming my needs remain the same.  Actually, Evan and I have been kicking around a rifle with a bit more range (300 Win Mag) given the country we are now living in.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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11/15/2012 9:31 PM
 

Dang, I went and did it.  Picked up and left hand Ruger GSR.  I gave my Winchester 100 308 to my dad and needed to fill the 30 cal void.  So now I have an bolt 308, AR in 6.8 and 5.56, AK 7.62x39, 30-30, and several 45-70's. 

 

I'm suprised that Ruger went and supplied lefties with this platform, but it must be an pretty hot seller or concept for them to do that.  If it weren't they wouldn't think of producing an interesting product for the 11-15% of the population who do things "right", I mean left.

 
New Post
11/17/2012 10:30 AM
 

Word is that Ruger is having trouble keeping up with the demand for these. Originally, it was supposed to be a limited run, but well that is way out the window.  In order to speed up production a bit they have changed the Gunsite logo from a engraving to an etching on the stock.

I am looking forward to your review. I got the stuff in to add swivel cups and the light rail, but I am not sure when I am going to have time to do it.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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11/18/2012 8:05 AM
 

 I picked up one, as well.  Haven't had time to shoot it yet due to other projects, but am excited to.

 
New Post
11/27/2012 4:05 AM
 
No review of the Ruger GSR but I bought mine new in box and I've noticed that the bolt has ghastly deep machining marks on the lugs and it looks like it was produced in an junior high machine shop class. Darn shame. Not only that, I've also got issues with an Rossi 45/70 and older Marlin 45-70GS. The wild success is that my Stag M7 6.8spc and Colt M4 and its 6.8 upper are both outstanding and superb. In fact while some of my leverguns and bolt guns have some suckage bigtime, my AR's and AK-47 are just GTG and do what their susposed to. Guess that battle tested and tried and true design are the way to go. Now im wishing that I would have kept my German Mauser 98 Karbiner. Ill shoot the Ruger and decide if its kept, and I so want it to work. For me Team AR and AK work and are child simple to keep running.
 
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When humans first set foot in a new continent, they came in small groups under their own power, bringing only the gear they needed. Most simply called themselves The People. Over time, those who chose the rougher freer life of the up country came to think of themselves as the Hill People.
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