I grabbed the XS Sight Systems rail
for our GSR right after it was released. Although the peep is not quite as adjustable as the factory unit, or protected as well, it adds even more utility to a gun already packed full of it. The XS rail replaces the factory picatinny, and extends its length back over the receiver to the rear sight location, while still retaining a rear iron. Although it closes off access to the action somewhat, I greatly prefer it over losing the rear iron when wanting to mount glass back on the standard receiver location. It mounts in the factory picatinny holes on the barrel, and utilizes the Ruger proprietary dovetail mount on the back of the receiver, a very strong mounting solution.
I got a set of Leupold QRW rings
, and a Weaver Tactical 3-15x50
scope with the EMDR (enhanced mil dot rangefinding) illuminated reticle. I grabbed a sunshade for the Weaver as well.
This went onto the XS rail while I went on the search for a EER scope to mount up on the picatinny.
So next I went on the hunt for a good LER scout scope. This is where things got tricky. I really wanted to have a bit of variable power on the scout scope, but I had concerns about parallax issues. I am typically a Leupold/Burris/Weaver scope buyer, but at that time none of them were making a variable power LER scope, and their objective lenses were fairly small as well. Another problem I found with the scout scopes I found was that they all had fairly thick to very thick reticles, which I detest. I have always been a fan of either fine mil-dot, or German post reticles, and none of the scopes on the market had them.
My other choice, was to go with an EoTech type sight, but in the end chose to go glass, because I really wanted some magnification. EoTech's are really just an advanced set of irons to me, and the irons that came on the rifle are perfect for my intended build.
So with some diligent searching, I found that Leatherwood
makes a EER scout scope, with 2-7x magnification, with a 32mm objective. Better yet, it was available with two reticle types, one of which was the German post, which I find superior for quick acquisition at intermediate ranges, without covering up your target at longer distances.
Perfect! Now I wanted to get a good quick release mount for the scout scope. In this case, I wanted something that would be very quick to take off, but still offer the chance to return to zero when remounted. So yet another search began, and I ended up going over to GG&G
, and settled on their excellent AC-30 Accucam mount
. I went with this mount even though it was for 30mm tubes, because they also sell an adapter for 1" tubes, giving me the flexibility to change scopes later if I chose to do so. Their accucam mount is very strong yet lightweight, and has very good repeatable back to zero tolerances.
So far, the Leatherwood scope has done very well, just a tiny bit picky with eye relief, and is what I leave the rifle wearing most of the time, on the standard Ruger picatinny rail. I love scout scope configurations, once you get used to being able to keep both eyes open you really never want to go back.
The Weaver is excellent, the illuminated reticle bright and crisp, and the EMDR reticle lets me shoot back and forth from 100 to 400+ yards quickly and with no need to touch the turrets.
In the end, the GSR set up this way gives me a truly all in one package, being able to go from irons for close up work in tight conditions, to a fast intermediate solution that fits nearly any situation, and the full-size glass option lets me really reach out there and take advantage of the range of the .308, while still being quick to use.
My GSR may be an exception, but I have been getting superb groups out of it with quality ammo, averaging 1/2" groups at 100yds with glass when using Federal Match ammo. I have yet to be able to tailor a round for the rifle, but I would expect even better groups out of a custom load. I really like short-fat barrels, they are becoming very popular with long distance and precision shooters now because they are the best way to eliminate barrel whip, what I consider to be the #1 cause of poor accuracy in all rifles. I have to admit that I would prefer the barrel be 18", just for the small gain in velocity, but the reduced weight and quick handling of a 16" barrel really makes up for the minimal loss of power.
I really wish that Ruger would have offered the GSR in stainless to the U.S. market, and would not be surprised if they do so in the near future.
Right now my plans for the rifle are to finish it off with a new flash suppressor and muzzle break combo. I like flash suppressors, but the Ruger "standard birdcage" just does not cut it for me. I prefer a suppressor with a closed top to keep flash out of my sight when using glass under dark conditions, and a closed bottom is an absolute MUST for me. There is little that is worse than puffing dust and leaves up all around you when shooting prone. The problem here is that there are very few suppressor/brake combo's on the market, and they are very expensive. The other problem is that like any brake/compensator, they really increase the noise to the shooter, and the GSR with its short barrel is already loud. I recently ordered a PWS
(Primary Weapon Systems) compensator/suppressor combo, the FSC30 model. It has both a closed top and bottom, and my research has shown that it does a good job of both flash suppression and recoil compensation. I can hardly wait to test it out when it gets here, and will report my findings back when I do.
Now I am considering sending out the GSR to be coated, and I am leaning towards a teflon finish from one of the major shops. Still haven't decided on which one yet, but I definitely want to get it done. This rifle is built for hard use, and I want a finish to match.
I am also waiting for Hogue or somebody else to give me a synthetic option for the stock. I am a retired master carpenter by trade, and know all about the advantages of laminates over solid woods, but still prefer a synthetic for its added durability and lighter weight. I have even considered skeletonizing the stock of the GSR, quite a bit of weight can be shaved off just in the butt of the stock alone. If I end up going this route, I will be sure to video the entire process as I am sure people will want to see how it can be done and the results.
All in all, the GSR set up this way is truly a weapon for any circumstance, and is easily the weapon I would choose if I could have only one.