Sorry...spent all day working in the gunroom, getting the lights hooked up and hung and getting started on reorganizing. It got to a point where I could barely stand it...I bet you all know how tha song goes.
Lot of buzz on the Scout Rifle. Be sure to check ou Brother Jeff Quinn's review at GunBlast.
The laminated wood stock was a 2-fold decision...Ruger does those stocks in house, so the cost is significantly lower than purchasing a synthetic...remember, we put a $1000 absolute max on the price. That price is consistent with current bolt gun prices...I just did a check on Ruger, Remington, Winchester, Kimber and Savage. Yes, there are the cheap-ass versions for big box stores...perfect if you like birch and 5 MOA! Realistically, a grand MSRP is baseline. Secondly, none of us liked the Steyr stock and the amazing falling magazine.
I bemoan the absence of the 3rd sling swivel for one of Andy's Ching slings, but that is easily fixable. The decision was because the placement of the 3rd swivel drew complaints from a lot of Ruger's testers who didn't want to use the Ching. In wringing out the rifles, we used Galco Safari Slings. I intend to change out the swivels for the (more expensive) flush mounts, add the 3rd swivel and use one of Andy's slings.
No provision for stripper clips, although we looked at a couple of options.Again, expense considerations. The main reason for the Scout forward mount was to allow the shooter to use both eyes in sighting...takes some getting used to, but is fast fast fast.
Re: M1A clips, a few years back Robbie Barkkmann at RoBar, one of the finest gunsmiths in the worked, fitted M1A mags to .308 bolt guns...he stopped because of magazine variation issues ("A big pain in the butt," I think was how he worded it). I'd really wanted the M1A mags, but the AI at least are to a standard, not a pure proprietary mag (I flayed FNH over the proprietary mags for the FNAR, an otherwise superb rifle).
I didn't have a chance to chrono...the preliminary work at Ruger and Gunsite put the velocities of most match and hunting loads above the magic 2500 gps number, but I'll run my own when I get the chance.