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Walks amongst dogs
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So - I've tried the Search, and didn't get a hit that produced quite the info I'm looking for...

I've got a bit of bonus money burning a hole in my pocket (and no, I don't want to hear from any dispossessed Nigerian Princes!), and I'm looking for a general-purpose 'fun gun' that can also serve a serious role. I've got all the semi-auto rifles I care to own, and all the rimfires I care to own, and frankly am missing the presence of a full-power bolt-gun in my library.

Don't really want a .223 - That's a nice round and all, but I want more power than that. I've looked at a 700, and they're very nice, but a bit too... Purposed, if you get my drift. A carbine seems right... With some punch.

Right now, I'm kinda trying to make up my mind between Mossberg's MVP Patrol in .308, and Ruger's Gunsite Scout.

Anyone have the low-down on the pros-and-cons between these two carbines? Something that can get me off of this can't-make-up-my-mind situation?
 

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Well... I was going to get a Ruger a couple years back. I shoot long guns left-handed, and wanted it in stainless...couldn't find one, tried to contact Ruger and NEVER got a response, after multiple attempts. My last words to them were that I was not going to buy their products if they couldn't even respond to a request for information on availability. I thought of that today when I put a half-price Red Label 20ga back on the rack in a shop today.


So I may pick up that Mossberg. On the plus side, it will take a PMAG, unlike the Ruger, which only uses proprietary mags. It is also a couple hundred dollars cheaper, in the 5 range rather than the low 7s (to around 9, depending on the store). On the down side, it does not (yet, it will undoubtedly be offered the day after I break down and buy one) in either stainless or lefty. But I want to look at one in person first. The stock looks a little iffy on the website, and I don't know about fit and finish on their rifles (I do own two of their pump shotguns).


Keep in mind that, barring use of ammo designed for those short barrels, your muzzle velocity is going to be a little south of the factory claims for a .308, which will reduce its effective range a bit. I hear there are some rounds being sold (Lapua) designed for carbine length .308 rifles now. I would prefer to have a chance to shoot one through a chrono before I commit. Probably not going to happen, tho.
 

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Walks amongst dogs
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Discussion Starter #3
I've actually handled both rifles, though I haven't had a chance to fire either. I got my hands on a Mossberg MVP in .223 just last night, and it was *solid.* The hold was ideal. My only real concern is that the sight bridges the action, limiting access. The Ruger rifle (which I handled much further back, so don't have as vivid a memory) has the sights well forward, clearing the action completely.

I've *heard* of loose-fitting bolts in the Ruger rifle, but I don't know anyone personally that can attest to that.
 

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Walks amongst dogs
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Discussion Starter #4
Keep in mind that, barring use of ammo designed for those short barrels, your muzzle velocity is going to be a little south of the factory claims for a .308, which will reduce its effective range a bit. I hear there are some rounds being sold (Lapua) designed for carbine length .308 rifles now. I would prefer to have a chance to shoot one through a chrono before I commit. Probably not going to happen, tho.
I might lose 100, 150 fps... Not that big a concern, really. If I *must* reach out there... Well, I've got an M1A for that. ;) OTOH, Muzzle flash might be a bit more... Noticeable.
 

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The Ruger Scout has a forward mounted picatinny rail, for a forward mounted scope or optic. That's to keep the action clear for easy access to the magazine. The Mossberg MVP's rail is a traditional rear mount, for rear mounted scope or optic. Advantages to both, problems with both.


The Ruger is idiotically overpriced for what you get - MSRP is over a thousand bucks with a trailer-park class laminated stock. Durable and useful, however it's dirt cheap to make compared to finely figured and hand checkered walnut, and the Ruger Scout is actually worth maybe 40% less than it's MSRP. The Mossberg MSRP is ~$758 for a laminated stock model, and for that loot Mossberg includes a factory mounted scope. For a plastic stock in black or brown, add a C note. Whoopee.


Both rifles have excellent pedigrees - the Ruger is designed with input from Gunsite, the Mossberg with assistance from Thunder Ranch. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Personally, I prefer a receiver mounted scope - there are a bazillion scopes to choose from in every price range. The selection of scout scopes (long eye relief) is very limited, and good ones are all rather expensive. Both rifles have a verrrry cool flash hider. Both will be accurate and reliable. The Ruger is perhaps a bit better looking (to me) but even that's in the eye of the beholder. Street price - the Mossberg will generally take a bigger hit off MSRP than the Ruger, so the price difference will be even more pronounced in the real world.


So, which one would I buy? Neither. I already own a Spanish FR8 Mauser - the original handy-dandy .308 bolt gun. If I need to scope it, I'll have the receiver ring drilled and install a one-piece cantilever mount. Perfect, and all for a middling fraction of the price of the other two. And, the piece de resistance, the FR8 Mauser takes a bayonet. End of story for me. Enjoy.
 

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Walks amongst dogs
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Discussion Starter #6
Ah, now that's interesting news, indeed. I didn't know of the Thunder Ranch connection, but agreed, six of one, half-dozen of the other. Fair point on the optics, and on what you get for the price.

I managed to find a shop tonight that had a Scout in-stock, and check the hold. It was better than I remember - and more costly. And no optics. Bolt wasn't particularly smooth, but that's no surprise in a fresh unused rifle. OTOH, it's wan't notably bad, either. *shrug*

Now, a friend has tossed another log on the fire... Savage Arms Model 10 Precision Carbine. Very similar in all respects to the Gunsite or the M'berg, and with Savages AccuTrigger. A bit spendy, but not out of line with, say, a 700.

Then there's this other rifle you mention... The FR7/8 Mauser. A rifle I'd never heard of... But investigating, it appears that the good Col. Cooper has cribbed from the Spanish - Who made his scout rifle decades before Cooper ever first mentioned the concept. Interesting rifle... Other than the box magazine, it's almost precisely what Cooper wanted. It looks like an '03 Springfield and an M-14 had a ******* love-child. And the prices on the used market are quite reasonable.
Hmmmm...
 

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Walks amongst dogs
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Discussion Starter #8
Well, after some research, I'm bidding on an FR8. If I fail that, I'll probably go with the Mossberg - Less expensive, more access to optics, and it comes with basic optics mounted. Basically, the decision is made on mostly peripheral details - the core rifles are essentially interchangeable, from all that I can determine.

Thanks for your input. :)
 

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Another very cool rifle to consider, more along the lines of the Mossberg, is the Enfield No.5Mk.1 Jungle carbine. the caliber is .303 british - adequate for any North American game, and you can get a scope mount for it that requires no gunsmithing.
 

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Walks amongst dogs
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Discussion Starter #10
Well, after tossing it about a bit, and looking around... Spanish Mauser FR-8. :)
Lovely, lovely... Military issue wood stocks, in a nice matte finish with essentially no dings. Indeed, I wonder if it was ever issued at all...

Time to lay in some ammo. :)
 

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Walks amongst dogs
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Discussion Starter #11
FR-8 Range report: Happy. :)

Brass, steel, cheap, 'spensive, it ate it all. Accuracy isn't what I'd want for driving tacks, but I suspect that's a combination of the rough-n-ready sights, new-to-me rifle, and my aging eyes. That said, first time outing with a new (to me) rifle, 3 MOA at 100 yards over iron sights - that'll do. :D I'll probably get it drilled and tapped for a 'scope anyway.

Recoil is robust, but well within reason - In line with the M1A, My sixteen year old daughter gave it a try, and even with her being a south-paw, managed it nicely enough. A bit too much rifle for her tastes, but tolerable. Ejection is clean, and not too vigorous. Brass comes away in prime reloadable condition - No dings or kinks. Firing pin strike is solid and centered, neither too deep nor too shallow. I'll need to work the bolt in a bit - It's not as smooth as I'd like.

Over all, just what I was looking for - A full-power, handy, general-purpose rifle. Thanks y'all for your time and input!
 
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