Ruger Gunsite Scout headspace issues

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Pauerpilot

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
85
Location
Mesa, Arizona
Greetings to all Veterans out there. I appreciate your service and sacrifice of you and your families.

So.... I have a very dialed in Gunsite Scout rifle in 308. I have taken many animals with it. All the way out to 459 yards. This rifle has been my go to rifle to hunt suppressed. Over the past few outings, I have noticed a degradation in accuracy. Loads that have consistently performed to MOA or less are now 3-4 MOA. I have tried several other loads and factory ammo to note the performance. Accuracy was in the dumps. On a whim, I busted out my headspace gauges. Predictably, the bolt closes on the GO gauge. Surprisingly, the bolt closed on the NO/GO gauge. On the FIELD gauge, the bolt almost closed. WTF!!!! I have shot the rifle. I have not abused the rifle. It is cared for and cleaned after every outing. The round count is north of 1300 rounds. I use this rifle. I shoot it a lot. I am very good with it. I have not heard of a rifle losing headspace after this relatively low round count. I called Ruger and they want the rifle back pronto! Has anyone have any experience with this type issue on the Ruger Gunsite Scout in 308? As usual, any information and comments are welcome.
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instructor

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
88
Location
Charleston, WV
I routinely shoot with a good friend of mine who has the same rifle as you and we are only experiencing very good accuracy from it over the past couple years. Would venture that he has less than half of the rounds down range as what you report and would highly suggest you return the rifle to Ruger for their examination and whatever repairs might be needed. As for what is causing the change in headspace the first thought that comes to my mind is bolt lugs are compressing, but I have never heard of that issue with a Ruger bolt rifle. Again, Ruger is the only answer.
 

Enigma

Hunter
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2,188
Location
Houston metro area, TX
I am surprised that a modern, high-quality bolt gun has increased headspace far enough in that limited amount of shooting to swallow a No-Go gauge. I am assuming that you are familiar with the correct method of checking headspace, and are not slamming the bolt closed on the gauge. I only say that because many (most?) people are not familiar with proper use of the gauge. Definitely return it to Ruger and let them check it out. It's normal for the headspace in a rifle to grow very slightly over extended use - say, .001" or so, but only after extended firing.
 

Pauerpilot

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
85
Location
Mesa, Arizona
I appreciate the feedback. Yes I am very familiar with how to use the gauges. It is very surprising how easy the bolt closes on the NO/GO gauge. I sent the rifle back to Ruger. I had to return the rifle to factory condition. I had to take off the TBAC muzzle break, scope, mount, Timney trigger, etc. What a melancholy feeling deconstructing a beloved thunder stick! I hope they figure it out.
 

Pauerpilot

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
85
Location
Mesa, Arizona
I go the rifle back from Ruger yesterday. I have not shot it. Put the NO/GO gauge in and it does not close. So far so good. The paperwork shows that Ruger changed the bolt, firing pin spring, and firing pin. Ruger also polished the chamber and sent a paper with the test shots recorded on it. Two groups. First group was three rounds at 50 yards. All rounds were stacked. The next group was five rounds at 50 yards. All five rounds were stacked. Ruger used Black Hill factory new 168gr HP BT Match. I will get to the range in the next few days and see if the old girl is back!
 

kmoore

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
1,337
Location
Idaho
Sounds like you now know what caused the problem. Hopefully this bolt will last as long as you need it to.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,818
Location
missouri
I'll offer a different perspective: Unless you had checked the rifle's headspace previously, suddenly discovering 'excessive headspace' can't place blame conclusively. I used a rifle with excessive headspace successfully for years in the varmint hunting field by simply adjusting my reloading dies(specifically a 220 Swift).
I don't have a better answer and am pleased that Ruger performed the services required to put the rifle back into specs.
 
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