Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking into a scout type rifle for basic use shooting with reasonable accuracy with maximum versatility. Read an article about Jeff Cooper's specs on the scout rifle, specifically a minimum weight bolt action with a short but not exactly carbine barrel, a low power (2-3x) scope mounted ahead of the action, backup flip up iron sites, capability of basic decent accuracy, and chambered in a full power short action cartridge, ie 308, 260, 7-08, etc.

Well I'm not exactly a disciple of Jeff Cooper, but he had a few points. My thoughts on the kind of scout rifle I'd want would be:
Something with a standard weight barrel chambered in 308; I'm not a carbine fanatic, heck I like the long guns, so 20-22" on a bolt gun is a happy length for me on a gun intended to be short. 308 is really the obviousl best choice, due to ammo availability and affordability in its many varieties. A box of match 308 costs under half as much as basic hunting ammo for my 300 RUM.
I'd want something more like 4x on the scope, and not putting it far ahead of the action, just with the rear lens clearing the mag well so I can insert rounds freely
For open sites, I'd rather have a site at the rear of the receiver and a standard front site, with a see-thru groove in the scope mount or rings to allow use of the irons.
I'd like a basic, comfortable, and durable synthetic stock. Remington 700 ADL comes to mind
Detachable magazine would be nice, but it really should load from the top too. Of course an M14 mag or other military mag conversion would be SWEET, but not really necessary. An extended fixed mag would be another option. A stripper clip feeding attachment would be nice as well.
Basic round bolt handle - nothing funky or long. I hate putting torque on a bolt just sending it forward.
Smooth feeding - Savage is great and accurate, but just feels a little shaky and rough for a scout rifle. A shame too, because they had a scout rifle version out for a while. I particularly like my 111G in 300 RUM. Remington 700 ADL really feels right for this if I could come up with the right scope mount and receiver site. Rugers and Winchesters feel good too. Might look into Howa/Wby Vanguards too. But I'd really like open sites. Course I'd take the the rear one off anyway, so perhaps it's not such a big deal to come with them to begin with.

So that's what's on my mind for a scout rifle. What do you guys think of this setup and the idea of scout rifles in general? I think it would be great for basic target shooting, western PA hunting, and frankly as much as I love my semi-autos, in an emergency situation it's most likely we'd have to take one or two well aimed shots to protect our homes and families, and this would be reasonably light, reliable, and accurate.

I'm not a fan of the Steyr Scout myself, think it looks terrible, and I really don't like the lightweight barrel. Standard is my cup of tea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Greetings!

I've often thought about the scout rifle concept, and there is a LOT to like about it. I think one of the main features missed in BattleRifleG's previous post (when listing what Cooper specified) is that a scout rifle should have a built-in integrated bipod, designed as part of the forward stock.

If I were to build a rifle like this, I would want to change a few things... to make it fit my own needs a bit better. I would build mine to these specifications:

Caliber: .243 Win., .260 Rem., or .308 Win. For my needs, the .260 Rem. would probably be my first choice.

Action: I've never really cared for the Remington actions, although I've owned a few in my time. I feel that the extractor is the weak link, and the magazine well has never really impressed me as a particularly good design (although I'll admit neither of these features has ever failed on me YET....). Perhaps a modified Remington bolt with a Mauser type extractor? In any case, I would DEFINITELY want a removeable magazine - to quickly change out ammunition types. This seems more useful to me than having a stripper-clip arrangement.

Materials: I would want this rifle to be stainless and synthetic, preferably with the stainless in a "matte" finish instead of the usual shiny finish. I've also considered the possibility of using a carbon-fibre encased barrel to obtain extra rigidity without too much extra weight, but this might be too costly for my own purposes.

Sights: I definitely feel that backup iron sights are a great idea, even better if you can use them WITH the scope still attached. Maybe an over/under see-though ring system to allow the use of either sighting system? For the scope, I would want a fixed 4X or 6X scope of the most rugged and durable design possible... probably either a Leupold or Nikon in matte black. I would not bother mounting the scope in front of the action, I don't really see much need for it for my own purposes.

Bipod: I would do this a bit differently. I would design the forward stock so that a pair of angled holes are drilled into a strengthened stock section, with strong internal magnets glued into the stock. A pair of steel rods (carried separately) could then be quickly placed into the two angled holes to create the bipod, held in place by the strong magnets and removed easily by pulling them back out of the 2 holes. Not quite as versatile as a full-fledged fold-out bipod and not as adjustable as a sectional tube bipod, but quite a bit more compact, lightweight, and rugged than either of those options. Plus, you can leave the metal rods at home if you don't need a bipod and want to travel as light as possible.

Weight: I would want the whole package to weigh in at 7lb or less... preferably as close to 6lb as possible. Probably dreaming here, but a short, lightweight barrel and properly designed synthetic stock will go a long way toward accomplishing this goal.

I recently built a .243 Win. "backwoods" rifle with many of these features, using a Ruger M77 MKII All-Weather for the action. It does not have over/under sights or a bipod, and weighs well over 7 lb., but it does most of what I would want a "scout" rifle to do. Basically, the goal of the scout rifle is rugged versatility combined with light weight... something that most modern rifles haven't quite achieved so far... although many come pretty close.

Best wishes,
Bawko
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
I think Cooper's specs called for a maximum overall length, and he didn't much care how long a barrel you could squeeze in thst length. I've thought about mounting a scope on the front of my Arisaka Carbine, but it works so well with its barrel peep sight, I just can't bring myself to do it. :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
I always thought that a pattern 17 Enfield rebarreled with a 20" 9.3x62 with forward mounted low powered scout scope. It would be a good mix of power weight and handling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
BattleRifleG3

While I like the basic attributes of the scout rifle concept I find I am in disagreement with some of the criteria. I, like you, do not get wrapped around the axle over short barrels, overall length (if kept with reason) or the overall weight (also if kept with in reason). Also, while I see the utility of .308 chambering for military uses I see some reasons for other calibers if one does not depend on a ready supply of factory or surplus cartridges. I have been somewhat dismayed that some things have been added to the criteria for what appear to be commercial reasons; the Ching type sling, the integral bipod and the detachable magazine. I have not found the Ching sling to be any better or quicker than the old British “two point” sling method. The integral bipod on the Steyr Scout is pretty flimsy in my opinion and while I use a lot of bipods I’ve not found them that useful on a scout in real field conditions, the sling yes, the bipod no. I, for the life of me, do not understand how the Col with his military experience with bolt actions would forego stripper clip loading to the use of a detachable magazine with a bolt action. Especially on the Steyr which is very difficult to “top off” without removing the magazine. A detachable magazine makes sense on a semi but the ability to top off is still a must in my estimation. While I find scout rifles very useful indeed let me let me say upfront that I disagree with Cooper that they are “the rifle” and obsolete all other types.

Besides the M94 carbine the first real scout I built was a .308 on a small ring Mexican M98 action. The barrel was shortened to 20” and an M14 flash suppressor was installed. This provides a muzzle brake, flash suppression and one of the most useful front sights to use with the Lyman receiver sight. The bolt had been forged for a scope so bolt manipulation with the rifle mounted was easy. The Mauser safety in the vertical position let you know immediately if it was still on and normal carry allowed it to be snicked off as the rifle was mounted anyway. This scout had a wood sporter stock, made weight because there was no scope but was over length. However, the rifle was a dream to use and was very handy getting in and out of my Jeep. The barrel was shot out in less than two years.

I began developing two other scout rifles during the life of the first. I wanted a bolt action for hunting and a semi for military application. I had picked up another M98 actioned sporter in 30-06. I basically made the same modifications to it as with the mex above. I had an old TC 2.5 handgun scope I made a base for and mounted on that rifle. I quickly learned that to be as quick to pick up as Cooper claimed the objective lens housing must sit back over the front receiver ring and be as close as practical to it (there shouldn’t be more that 1/16th to 3/32ds between the receiver ring and the scope). Once I got that figured out the scout concept with the long eye relief low powered scope really became evident. That rifle served well for the short time I used it as a scout. However it shot so well I ended up putting it into a B&C stock and putting a Redfield Accu-Trac 3x9 scope on it. I have used it for my primary hunting rifle for years. But alas, too much 4350 has gone down the barrel and the throat is very rough. I fear it only has a season or two left in that barrel.
For the military scout I went with an M1A. This was done in the early 80s before SA made them. I shortened the barrel to 18” and remounted the flash suppressor. A GI fiberglass stock was used. The butt plate assembly was removed and a recoil pad installed. this scout with a 10 round magazine made weight (sans scope) but was about 1” to long. That did not bother me in the least. I used it for several years hunting coyotes and shooting IPSC matches. when the throat registered a “9” on a TE gauge I figured it was shot out. However, before that happened SA announced their scout scope base. I quickly got one and put it on the M1A using a Burris 1.5X scout scope in low Weaver rings. Now there was a scout! Other than 1” to long and about 1 ½ lbs to heavy (with loaded 10 round mag) it had every attribute of the perfect scout for military application. I will have it rebuilt when I return home in January.

I also have a M91 Argentine Mauser scout (it was already semi-sporterized when I got it) that has a 3X Burris scope on it. The bolt is forged and the stock was shortened and a recoil pad installed. It is a sweet little rifle.

I made a rebuilt M38 Swede 6.5x55 that had a very poor stock on it into a very fine hunting scout. I left the barrel to length, mounted an M14 front sight (not the suppressor, just the sight), pillar bedded it into a sporter fiberglass stock, installed a Timney trigger, converted it to cock on opening and forged the bolt handle. I had found several of the old Redfield one piece scope bases with the auxiliary flip up aperture sights at a gunshow. I modified the base to fit on the rear sight base. With Low rings the Leupold 2X scout scope’s objective bell fits perfectly over the front receiver ring. If the scope is removed the auxiliary aperture sight flips up and is very useful also. This is a very fine hunting rifle that I am using more and more.

A bolt action that comes close to Coopers scout concept for military application is the little Spanish FR8 in 7.62. I have one that would not zero with the issue sights. I removed the phony gas system, the Cetme front sight and flash hider , forged the bolt, D&T’d it for a Lyman receiver sight, installed an M14 flash suppressor with front sight, turned the barrel down for the SA M1A scout scope base to fit and inletted the hand guard to fit over the scope base. The Burris 1.5X scout scope is mounted in low Weaver rings and is a perfect fit. I also changed the sling mounting to the traditional underneath from the side mounts. With the exception of weight (1 lb to heavy) and no integral bipod it fits the scout criteria to a tee. It is also **** for stout and will stand up to considerable punishment.

I also have a Burris base for the M94 carbine. This replaces the rear sight and mounts a scout scope perfectly. While it is a nice set up it just doesn’t “feel” right to me having a scope on a M94. However as my eyes go south and I have trouble focusing on front sights that close I may change my mind.

One other scout I had until my wife took it away from me is a Spanish Destroyer. I set the barrel back ½ turn so it headspaces on .38 Super brass and D&T’d the barrel for a Weaver TC Contender scope base (a perfect fit). I put a little Taso red dot sight on it. I mostly load cast bullets at 1000 fps and it is a fun little shooter. However It will take loads that push a 90 gr jacketed Hp at 1700 fps, that’s smokin’!!! (Before anyone gets all excited these loads are in fire formed cases that are sized in a 9mm die. That makes the sort of a tapered case. They will not chamber in a .38 super handgun chamber due to the expanded head area)

I guess that brings me to my current “scout” that I carry constantly here in Iraq. You see a lot of M4s and M16s with electronic sights on them here. Most are functional as scouts that way even though they are “poodle shooters” to quote Cooper. Mine is a basic M16A2 with a C.R.T.C. BC-CAM base that puts the EOTech sight in front of the handle. It is lined up so the 1 MOA dot sits right on top of the front sight post with a normal sight picture. I can also look over the top of the rear sight and just put the dot where I want to hit. Very fast, very effective and impressed everyone during QCM training. I was not only shooting first but had the tightest shot group on target. I wasn’t trying for a tight group, just to hit the target quick. It was very easy with the EOTech set up front that way. Qualification both day (300 meters) and night was a cinch. The Base and EOTech are mine so they will go on another scout when I return from Iraq.

That’s about it for my thoughts on scouts. Again; I don’t espouse scout rifles as the end all to rifles. I have numerous other types that perform shooting functions better than scouts. However, within the parameter of the scout rifles intent they are very good at what they do.

Larry Gibson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wonder if any scout type scope mounts have been made that attach to the rear site and front bridge of the receiver?

Contemplating also what gun might be the best choice if I didn't worry about open sites, just stuck with the long eye relief scope. Wondering between Stevens (Savage), Remington, Winchester, Howa, and the identical but accuracy guaranteed Weatherby Vanguard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Now I'm starting to think about already sporterized 1917s that still have the rear site intact. Seem like the perfect arrangement if the30-06 works for the role. Any thoughts on that and on the suitability of a military 1917 for an accurate scout rifle? All it would need is a scout scope mount, which would probably be somewhat custom no matter what rifle is used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
The p17 with its protected rear peep would work very well for a scout conversion. A scout mount would be fairly easy to do as long as the barrel is thick enough in the forward section to drill and tap for a weaver style rail. I think that XS sight systems makes several different scout mounts. I would opt for a heavier round than 06 because of the game in my part of the country. I think a 35 whelen or 9.3x62 would be about right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Scout rifle

I've got an old Remington 660 with a forward mounted scout scope (2.5X) and 3 point sling system in .350 rem mag. It's the handiest, quickest set up you can imagine. (poor man's scout) A 600 or 660 in .308 would also be perfect. The forward mounted scope works great, you don't need more power than 2.5X: if you can see it, you can hit it with this rig. Cooper's first scout rifles were built on the Rem. 600 and 660.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
my two scouts

I have two scout rifles now. The more I use them the more I like the scout setup. My first scout was a Marlin guide gun with wild west guns ghost ring sights and a 2.5x leupold scout scope with heavy post reticle. It was fantastic for close, fast, shots in heavy cover. Its only draw back was that ranges of over 150-200 yards were hard to aim accurately. It is without par as a tracking/backup/camp defence gun. Hot loaded 405gr kodiak bonded bullets at 1950fps are plenty of power for anything in north america.


My second scout setup was a p17 enfield that was rebarreled to 9.3x62. The original rear sight with medium gold bead and leupold 2.5x plex crosshair. THe leupold plex is fine enough for shots out to 300 yards to be reasonable aimed. I just took a moose with this last weekend.


The more I use the scout scope the more I like it. It gets more and more natural every time I use it. It is particularly good for quick moving targets. Its more like pointing than aiming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
scout rifle

you fellows who are interested in a scout rifle, take a close look at the savage 10fm "sierra". 20' barrel,308, 6.25lbs otb. choose your scope and go hunting. i put one of these together and the first time i pulled the trigger on anything besides paper,i took a florida whitetail at just under 100yds. it is the most comfortable walk around/stand rifle that i own.
good luck and good shooting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
About 15 yrs. ago, I picked up a M38 Swedish Mauser in a pawn shop that someone else had already "sporterized". It had an 18" barrel - I think. I took it to a local gunsmith and he drilled and tapped for a Williams receiver sight. Then he removed the miltary rear sight and filed down the ears, drilled and tapped the front receiver ring, turned a Weaver one piece mount around backwards and mounted it using the front receiver ring and the rear sight base. I then mounted a 2.5X Burris Scout scope and it was as pretty as a new penny! (There was a "little" bit more to it than this, but not much.) I gave it to my 13 yr. old son as his first centerfire rifle and he quickly became very good with it, taking his first whitetail buck. However, about 3 yrs. later, it was stolen from my closet (along with several others). Since then, I have continued to look for it every time I go in a local pawn shop, of course with no luck. I guess someone else ended up with it eventually and liked it good enough to keep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Scout Rifles

An interesting topic. Outside of the Steyr Scout, anything else today is a "pseudo" scout. The three most important componets of a scout are: 1)length: 39" weight : 7 lbs. trigger: 3 lbs crisp no creep.

Caliber can be anything but 7-08 or 308 are optimum.
Sights can be scope but "ghost ring will help meet weight.
Wood is nice, but fiberglass will help make weight.
Someone has to come up with an idea on how to attach a bipod. The Ruger all weather looks promising.
Some understanding must be afforded about the "speed" slings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
I've got a clapped out Japanese Arisaka Type 38 rifle with a really good receiver, and a carbine with a good shootin' barrel. I'm thnkin' of combining the good, and rechambering to .260. With two stocks to play with I'm sure I can make a good lookin' one. One thing I've tried and it works, is to bend the bolt handle up, to make it easier to use left handed. My right eye is no good,so a normal bolt bend is out of the question. To clear the bolt handle, I'll need longer than normal eye relief, but can't decide between a scout scope or shotgun scope. :wink: It may end up a pseudo scout, but I can't abide the Steyr stock. :x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
577 Posts
Since you asked for cons as well as pros on the scout rifle, I'll discuss limitations. A scout in big cartridges will loosen your fillings with recoil so it helps to have a high pain threshhold. You are looking at deer cartridges so that's no problem. Scout rifles and long range shooting don't go together all that well since short barrels don't encourage flat trajectories and the light weight doesn't promote the steadiest hold in field positions.

On the plus side, a scout makes a lot of sense in brush where shots are taken at short ranges. A low power scope gives you fast target acquisition but so does a ghost ring peep and it is less likely to hang up on limbs, etc. If I were looking for a rifle with enough pop for elk and bear and would be hunting heavy timber, I'd think seriously about a Marlin Guide Gun with a ghost ring peep. It's a kicker but you can put a sand bag between the butt and your shoulder to sight in. Your not likely to feel the recoil when shooting at game, and you have good followup shot capabilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Since the purpose of the design was self defense for military scouting, not sniping, a short barrel is no handicap, the NATO cartridge was a natural for the designed mission. If the scout has to shoot, he's already compromised his mission.
As a light handy rifle for an old, fat man, with poor eyesight, in heavy timeber, who doesn't like lever actions it is a good compromise. Sorbathane recoil pads smooth out the recoil, the light weigh's not a problem either. The 6.5 140s, 160 7mms and 180 .30s are adequate for meat elk, and lighter bullets for deer. Jeff was an old, fat man who wanted to hunt in Africa, and was a heavy caliber aficianado, the big bores were his idea. :grin:
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top