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Old 08-15-2019, 11:24 AM
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Default Scout rifles - worthwhile?



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I've been reading about Jeff Coopers scout rifle concept for a while, and even went so far as to get myself a Ruger Gunsite Scout several years ago with the plans of turning it in to a scout rifle and that never happened.

Now my views have changed on the concept and I am thinking that a bolt action rifle, while not limited in caliber selection is limited in all of the other criteria Cooper laid out in this modern time period where Semi autos are capable of the same level of accuracy as a good quality bolt action rifle all in a lightweight, compact, easy to shoot package.

I'm not saying bolt action guns don't have their uses, but I'm not seeing anything that a good quality semi automatic rifle in .308 or another cartridge like .270 or .300 Win mag (yes they exist for just a little over $1,000) can do compared to a Scout rifle.

Any argument that a bolt action rifle looks "less scary" than a semi auto is pointless because guns like the Browning BAR (not the machine gun), Remington 740/7400 and FN FNAR, ect. exist.

So those who prefer the Scout rifle concept over a semi auto in the same cartridge, I'm interested in hearing some of the benefits you think they have to offer.

Here's some info on the scout rifle concept if you don't already know what it is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_rifle
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:56 AM
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YES,YES and YES!!!!

One of the favorites I built was a 18"bbl bolt gun in .358Win with an EER scope.
It was a military Mauser action, longer than necessary, but you could still reload with stripper clips.

Once you get used to shooting the EER with both eyes open you will be amazed how fast you can get on target and how much more you can keep in sight as opposed to closing one eye to crawl a regular scope.

For moving target shooting they are AWESOME.
and you can still keep the legs of the round with a little practice.

ANOTHEr thing...

I set up my shorty M1A with a forward mount scope and used to shoot competition with it. So, the concept is not just for bolt gun.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:59 AM
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I very much Like the short, ballanced part of Coopers idea, but I'm less of a fan of the forward mount scope.
I wanted a semi auto in 308 win, so I bought an M1a Scout Squad, and removed the forward mount.

The trade off is weight. My scout squad weighs around 9 lbs w/o scope.
My compact 20" bolt action in 308 weighed 7.5 lbs with a 4x Leupold.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:19 PM
InOmaha InOmaha is offline
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The concept likely came about due to the enormous number of cheap surplus rifles out there from WWI and WWII. Cutting down the barrel on many abused milsurps made them more accurate, as well as, more handy. How many M38s and M44s were made just because the Russians were counterboring a roughed up crown too deep anyway?

Cutting down barrels, front mounted scopes, etc. are all easy conversions for milsurps already made with stripper clip guides and "hard to scope" receivers. You could make your own scout rifle for <$200 and likely have a tin or two of ammo with it. I'll occasionally run across a 20" bolt action milsurp either the Russians did or someone else did for around $200. Fun guns if you're a fan of flash and boom.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:22 PM
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I have a Ruger Gunsite Scout and yes they are a phenomenal rifle. I removed the forward rail and replaced it with a full length rail which came with integral rear peep sight (XS sight systems). I can either forward mount a scope or mount it in the normal position. I do loose one concept of a scout rifle which is having the area above the receiver exposed, it is a small price to pay for a lot of rail.


The steel magazines are (or were) about 50 bucks a pop. The alternative is the polymer magazines at roughly half the price. Assuming you buy a Ruger Scout and want extra magazines for it.


Ruger did their homework and turned out an excellent scout rifle. If you just want a scout rifle there are many makes and models out there enough to fit any budget. I like MY Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle...YMMV
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:22 PM
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While we are on the subject of Col. Cooper's rifle, and Hick DID bring it up, what about the " weight standard" ?

In The Art of The Rifle, Col. Cooper states that you should be able to hold your "piece" in an outstretched arm for sixty seconds with no strain. If you are unable to do that then your weapon is too heavy.

What do you guys think?
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisgruntledPatriot View Post
While we are on the subject of Col. Cooper's rifle, and Hick DID bring it up, what about the " weight standard" ?

In The Art of The Rifle, Col. Cooper states that you should be able to hold your "piece" in an outstretched arm for sixty seconds with no strain. If you are unable to do that then your weapon is too heavy.

What do you guys think?
I think a lot of people these days would have a hard time doing that with a handgun.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:02 PM
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I was thinking about getting myself a Browning BAR Stalker, which weighs under 7lbs unscoped but loaded and fills all the criteria of Coopers concept minus the bolt action platform and stripper clip use to mount a fixed (though not forward mounted) scope on it.

Alternatively, while limiting myself in cartridge capability, I also have a Norinco Hunter in 7.62x39 that I think would fill most of the criteria as well. Advantage is that I already have the Hunter, and just need to get an AK master mount, scope mount, and a scope. It's light and well balanced, and I can use anything from a 75rd drum to the 5rd Chinese and Romanian magazines I got. It's accurate, has a 19" barrel and has been reliable so far. Ammo is cheap and plentiful, plus the .308 bullets I have seem to work well with minimal accuracy/fps loss.

I do really like the fixed power scope concept, but I don't want to stick with a 4x prism scope/ACOG. I would prefer either a 6x or 8x, but not knowing much about scopes, what do you guys recommend in that magnification range?
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:22 PM
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I have a Ruger Frontier (older version of the Gunsite(which I don't care for)). If there is anything on our farm that is in need of quick dispatching, this is the gun I grab. There is no comparison to any of my guns that don't have an EER scope and the Frontier that does. Moving targets are way easier to acquire and reacquire for follow up shots when my 'human error' plays its part, and I miss!

On top of that, with its 16" barrel and light carry weight. It's the gun I will use for hunting as long as I don't have a potential of shooting over 200 yards.

https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.O...=7&o=5&pid=1.7
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:07 PM
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I think that I would rather go with a traditional bolt action rifle with a 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge for my round of choice. The key is the newer round, better performance from the new round, longer range from the new round and better accuracy from the round too. You can do everything that the scout rifle can do with a regular bolt action rifle. When Colonel Cooper thought up his scout rifle concept there was no 6.5 Creedmoor round. The 6.5C round, because of its long range reach, makes the scout rifle idea less desirable than it used to be.

The scout rifle concept does have its uses in hunting wild and fast game, like feral hogs. But for good precision shooting and general hunting, I'd want a regular style scoped, bolt action rifle.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:26 AM
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I always wondered if a lever gun could make a decent scout rifle.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajole View Post
I always wondered if a lever gun could make a decent scout rifle.

There are levergun scout builds.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herd Sniper View Post
I think that I would rather go with a traditional bolt action rifle with a 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge for my round of choice. The key is the newer round, better performance from the new round, longer range from the new round and better accuracy from the round too. You can do everything that the scout rifle can do with a regular bolt action rifle. When Colonel Cooper thought up his scout rifle concept there was no 6.5 Creedmoor round. The 6.5C round, because of its long range reach, makes the scout rifle idea less desirable than it used to be.

The scout rifle concept does have its uses in hunting wild and fast game, like feral hogs. But for good precision shooting and general hunting, I'd want a regular style scoped, bolt action rifle.
I want a scout in 243. Probably a Steyr scour since they are awesome. But the ruger would be a close second
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:12 AM
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He was on the right track but better ways to solve the problem have come alone as you mentioned.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
He was on the right track but better ways to solve the problem have come alone as you mentioned.
I think for a mountain rifle or hunting rifle where stalking is a factor it makes sense.

But if I could have only one rifle it would be an ar15 or ar10 if I lived in bear/elk country.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:05 AM
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The "scout" concept is ok for old military rifles that make it difficult to mount a scope in a normal fashion.

Beyond that I see no real advantages at all.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.5x55 Swiss View Post

So those who prefer the Scout rifle concept over a semi auto in the same cartridge, I'm interested in hearing some of the benefits you think they have to offer.
I simply don't see it as a "fighting rifle", although it could work in a limited capacity. I like them for what they are: a lightweight, reasonably accurate rifle that can accurately range out to 300-400 meters with a powerful enough caliber to take down larger game. It would a fine choice to scout longer distances where the threat was lower, and in a rural environment where ranges aren't 800+meter open areas. It definitely wouldn't be my first choice as a fighting rifle with a much higher threat environment; however, bolt guns have done pretty well in combat in the past if the shooter is capable and employs the appropriate tactics given the scout gun's limitations and capabilities.

While I do like the scout-style scopes for fast acquisition, their purpose (other than forward mounting for bolt action reloading ease), red-dots, and even some of the better low-power fixed optics have proven just as capable and often much lighter and less bulky.

I have a Leupold IER 1.5-4x on my Mossberg MVP and it's almost as fast as a red dot for ranges between 50-300 meters. The challenge is getting down to the 7.7 pounds with optics (especially for a semi-auto):



FAL with LED ACOG TA11: 11lbs 15oz
M1A Bush with Aimpoint COMP: 9lbs 14oz
POF with Leupold 1.25-4x Patrol: 9lbs 8oz
Ishapor Jungle .308 (Mojo Sights): 7lbs 15oz
Mossberg MVP Scout with 1.5-4x IER: 7lbs 14oz
Savage Scout with Burris 2.75x EER: 7lbs 14oz

ROCK6
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:21 AM
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I have a couple Savage 110 Scout rifles in .338 Federal
Uses AICS mags
Adjustable stock
Normally Savage stocks blow, not this one
Like it

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Old 08-16-2019, 10:32 AM
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I like all the features of the Ruger Scout but for one....the magazine.....rather have internal five round....with stripper clips. As did Col Cooper...
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:36 AM
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I was thinking the same thing... eventually, I went back to using a peep sight on my Gunsite Scout.
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