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What’s a Scout Rifle and Do I Need One?

Learn what makes a scout rifle, when would you ever really need one, and recommended models that live up to the stringent specs.

In the 1970s, Col. Jeff Cooper, a rifleman’s rifleman if there ever was one (and firearm safety rules guy), pioneered the idea of a general purpose rifle that would work in a variety of roles from hunting to defense.

The concept was dubbed “the scout rifle,” and Cooper refined it over the years until his death in 2006.  Cooper believed in the “scout,” a man who “acted alone, not as a member of a team.”

By choice he did not fight, but he had to be an expert at the hit-and-run art of single combat.  By choice he did not shoot, but if forced to shoot, he shot quickly, carefully, and as little a possible.

“One round, one hit and then vanish!” – that was his motto.

He did not need an assault rifle.  He needed a scout rifle.”

Colonel Jeff Cooper
Colonel Jeff Cooper

So Cooper set out to create the perfect rifle for this man.

Now, this isn’t ‘Nam, this is scout rifles… there are rules, rules so stringent that not even Ruger’s Gunsite Scout, designed with help from people at Gunsite who knew and worked with Jeff Cooper, lives up to Cooper’s vision.  I’m not talking about the political “if it has a magazine, it’s an assault rifle,” kind of rule, either, where they’re deliberately vague. Cooper’s vision was specific for very specific reasons:

Steyr Scout
Steyr Scout
  • It’s a bolt-action rifle.
  • It’s ideal weight is 6.6 pounds, but can be as heavy as 7.7 pounds, and that’s with the scope and sling.
  • It’s a meter long or less.
  • It’s barrel should be about 19 inches.
  • It should have a low-powered, low-mounted, long eye relief scope placed forward of the action.
  • Ghost ring iron sights are not required, but are preferred.
  • It should have a fast loop up sling.
  • The preferred caliber is .308 Winchester, though other calibers can be used if more power is required.  A .243 can be used if the shooter is frail, but .308 is considered the minimum for power.
  • It has to shoot a four-inch group at 200 meters.

Not so easy to find now, is it?

Cooper’s requirements come for good reasons.  A bolt-action rifle is typically lighter than a semi-auto and less prone to failures.  It has to be light-weight because whoever’s using it is running through the wilderness with it for long periods of time.

It needs to be short enough to not snag on brush as you’re walking, but the barrel has to be long enough to retain range and power.  It should have iron sights as well as a scope because scopes break.  It needs enough power to take out an unarmored target, human or animal, weighing in at 500 pounds.

The sling should be able to support your arm during a shot, not just be a way to haul the weapon around.

Bipods are okay, but Cooper felt they were almost useless in rough terrain and could become a dangerous crutch for a shooter to get addicted to.

A long-eye relief scope allows a shooter to hit a target at range while retaining their peripheral vision.  (Okay, I know this is kind of a faux pas, but it’s the best way I can come up with to describe it. You know how when you’re playing Call of Duty, and you’re using a sniper rifle, and while you’re looking through the scope, some random asshole named HelloKitty@$$Face comes around the corner and tags you in the side of the head from like eight feet away because you couldn’t see him come up on you? That’s the reasoning behind the long eye relief scope.  You can see the world around you and maintain situational awareness.)


Cooper was big on shooting with both eyes open, and with a low power scope mounted forward of the receiver, you can do that pretty well.

It also makes it easier to load the weapon with a stripper clip, and you can hold the weapon around the receiver, the rifle’s center of gravity, when you’re hauling ass away from a bear big enough to laugh at .308.  The downside is that it doesn’t do well in low-light conditions, and during sunrise and sunset you can get a glare off the glass that makes the scope useless.

So this is hardly just a rifle with a weird-looking scope.

Cooper didn’t give a dump about making the rifle look nice.  Function came before form, and yet the end results are pretty nice looking rifles.  The Mannlicher (or Steyr) Scout, a rifle Cooper approved of, has sleek lines and looks almost futuristic for a bolt-action rifle.

But should you get one of these general, all-purpose, do-anything, ass-kicking rifles designed by one of the most brilliant men in the firearms field since John Moses Browning descended from Heaven to present man with the 1911?

In a word, no.

In several words, allow me to explain.  I’ve heard the scout rifle described as “a solution looking for a problem,” and unfortunately, in the modern world, that’s true.

This is a frontiersman’s rifle.

It’s a rifle you use when you don’t know what you’re going to shoot tomorrow, but it’s a pretty good bet you’re shooting something.  On paper, that sounds great, but in the modern world, how many people live that life?  What it excels at is doing everything “okay.”  You can use it for hunting, but it’s not going to be as good as a regular hunting rifle.

You can use it for defense, but it’s not going to be as good as an AR-15 (Ultimate Guide to the AR-15).

Daniel Defense AR-15 Flattop, DDM4 V11
Daniel Defense AR-15 Flattop, DDM4 V11

Look, in the modern world, guns are like women’s shoes.

There’s a right kind for every occasion, and even if a person doesn’t know what kind of gun they want, they have a good idea in the back of their mind why they want a gun just like a woman may not know specifically what brand of shoes she needs, she knows she wants shoes for dancing at a wedding.

So when a person says, “I want a gun,” they may not know what kind of gun they want, but they know they want a gun for a primary reason.  If I live in a bad neighborhood, I want a gun for self defense.  Do I get a scout rifle?  If I want a gun to go hunting elk, do I want a scout rifle?

A scout rifle could do those things, but not as well as a gun that’s designed to do those things, and in this day and age, 99 percent of shooters don’t need a gun that does everything.

“But what’s the harm in getting a scout rifle if that’s what I want?” you ask.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle
Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle

Hey, I’m all for getting what you want.  And you’re right, the above reason, in itself, is not enough to determine that a scout rifle is the wrong way to go.  However, there’s another factor that, when combined with the above, makes me say no to a scout rifle.

The price.

Mannlicher Scout
Mannlicher Scout

The MSRP for a Ruger Gunsite Scout is about $1,000.  A Steyr Scout, the over-the-counter rifle that comes closest to Cooper’s vision is $2,000.

Custom-made scout rifles that accurately reflect Cooper’s concept can run past $4,000.  For the price of a Scout, I could buy my AR15 ($1,000), my Ruger American ($380) and my FNP-9 ($500).  That’s an awful lot of money for a bolt-action rifle that doesn’t hunt well during the morning hours when the deer are actually out and about.

I’m not trashing Cooper’s vision.

I just think it came too late.

The guys who explored the heart of Africa in the turn of the century probably would have been jazzed to have scout rifles with them.  It’s the kind of rifle Teddy Roosevelt would have wanted to carry while wandering around the American west.  But those frontiers aren’t frontiers anymore, and the scout rifle is a rifle that excels in a frontier.


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33 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Barry Hunter

    I think every writer who is negative about the Scout rifle is not understanding the concept. As a military veteran - one who often went on patrol (as a "scout" to gather intelligence) - you quickly learn - lightweight, and portability is king. You DO NOT want to engage or become involved in a firefight because it means trouble and possible death. Your mission is to be invisible, get in and out without incident. However, if you do need to protect yourself, you need a rifle with a cartridge that is a stopper. The .223/5.56 is NOT a reliable stopper.

    Most of the reviews I read are written by gun writers who take a rifle to the range. Of course, they get there by a car/truck, walk 100 yards or less to the bench and shoot from a static position. Try carrying a 10-pound rifle, extra ammunition, patrol kit, and water ALL DAY, then walk miles over uneven terrain and the advantages of a light rifle are obvious. I laugh when a gun reviewer opines about a rifle and who has NEVER humped all day then gives an opinion about a firearm. And the same thing does for hunting. A long heavy rifle is a burden that gets snagged when walking through a heavy forest. Cooper knew you would not be engaging a platoon of heavily armed combatants with a bolt action rifle unless pressed to do so. The goal of a "scout" is NOT to be detected. However, if you are, precision fire is required, not emptying a 30 round magazine. Being a "gunshop commando" does not equip one to circulate views that are not based on military experience. I carry a lightweight, short rifle when I hunt and appreciate the convenience, portability, and usefulness every time I am in the field. By the way, I live in a log cabin in the woods - and don't work from an air-conditioned office in a big city. I live the wilderness experience every day. And, I feel well equipped if I run into a belligerent bear or charging moose. I would NOT feel that way if I carried an AR15.

    July 17, 2021 10:40 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rob 55

    Yeah but what does a Remington 7 with a vortex scout scope cost? Way less than a grand. I don’t have or need one but I bet it would be a sweet rifle.

    May 23, 2021 4:43 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Been using a customized Model 7 stainless synthetic in .308 for over 25 years as my only hunting rifle. It's perfect. I've met it's equal but not it's better.

      September 17, 2022 5:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    When it comes to the scout rifle concept, most people just don't get it. Those with limited field experience, whether it be from a hunting or tactical perspective, always seem to find a situation where a more specialized rifle has an advantage. They fail to see the benefit of a truly versatile rifle. The scout rifle is a handy, portable rifle that thrives in ever changing scenarios.

    At one meter or 39 inches in length, the scout rifle is extremely handy. It lends itself very well to negotiating thick brush and tight spaces. Whether you're in the tag alder of Alaska, the rain forest of the Pacific Northwest, the cottonwood river bottoms of the Midwest, the swamps of the Southeast or the Northeastern deer woods, the short, carbine length barrel and low mounted, compact scope make this one of the easiest rifles to carry. These same attributes allow it to be quickly put into action when hunting from a canoe, pickup, ATV or horseback. The short length also lends itself very well to African carry (slung upside down on the off-side shoulder), which is not only a comfortable alternative but very quick into action as well. Due to the light weight, forward mounted scope and excellent balance, the scout rifle can be easily carried, grasped solidly around the action (at its center of gravity.) The flush mount sling attachments allow for quick removal of the sling for an unimpeded carry. The excellent design of the scout, makes for one of the handiest rifles to ever be carried in the field.

    Versatility of the scout comes from a carefully laid out set of criteria. The forward mounted, low power scope enables the shooter to keep both eyes open from the moment game is spotted right through the shouldering of the rifle, the trigger squeeze and the follow through, all the while keeping the target and surrounding area in their vision. Coupled with a stock that has a comb designed specifically for the low mounted scope and you have a rifle that shoulders and points like a nice shotgun. Taking snap shots at still or running game just seems natural with this setup. For longer shots, where more accuracy is needed, the 3-point Ching sling allows the shooter to quickly loop and drop to a sitting or prone position. When time allows for a more deliberate shot, the handy swivel base bipod can be deployed, affording the shooter a means for precision shot placement.

    I've spent many years hunting with a scout rifle in a diversity of scenarios. From caribou on the arctic tundra, to elk in the dark timber, mule deer on a distant hillside or whitetails exploding from under foot the scout is a flexible platform that allows any openminded, skilled rifleman to make good hits!

    February 2, 2019 3:15 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      edward stark

      totally agree the author seems to not have had extensive experience in scout-style situations

      July 3, 2020 4:25 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I really regret selling my Steyr Scout now :(

      October 16, 2020 11:31 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Dakota Hoffmann

        I wouldn't. The steyr scout are very handy rifles. The light weight makes for a dream on long hikes. I ended up picking up a savage 110 scout and I love the light weight quick to action characteristics of a scout rifle. Throw a Burris 2-7 scout on that steyr and I believe you will be very pleased. I can comfortably and ethically tag whitetail at 400 yards with the Burris on my Savage 110 scout chambered in .308. The savage has a thicker and shorter barrel compared to the steyr which both barrels have their pros and cons but I imagine you would have a bit more range with your longer barrel. Just give more time before shots to maintain accuracy with the much thinner barrel. And yours weighs less I believe.

        April 5, 2021 1:10 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    The guy writing this article just flat misses the point. A scout rifle is a do everything rifle and it pretty much will (assuming its a 308 or similar chambering). You could hunt with it, fight with it, target shoot with it, etc. It is basically a handy carbine (short rifle) chambered in a moderate cartridge. While a carbine in any chambering isn't the end all be all of hunting rifles, they are handy, easy to carry and in most instances will get the hunting task done.

    His comment on pricing is way off. A Ruger Gunsite Scout costs about the same as my Ruger M77 deer rifle. You don't buy one at MSRP. It isn't an expensive rifle for a wood stocked rifle... Compare it apples to apples. What does a comparable Remington M7 carbine cost? What does a Savage M10 carbine cost? It's about double what a produced in New Haven Winchester M70 costs. Keep in mind you also have to add a detachable box magazine conversion and if not so equipped from the factory, a set of good iron sights. The fact that you can buy an AR today for less than what you pay for any of those rifles is a factor of the oversupplied AR market. For instance, before Obama was elected, I went to Cabelas and used my Cabela's points and got what amounted to a free AR (free to me but about $700 if you didn't have Cabela's points to use). After Obama got elected, I sold that rifle, in used condition for $1,800. Six months later, when things calmed down, I went back to Cabelas and got another free to me AR using my points but now the street tariff was about $750. Going into Obama's 2nd election when people got crazy again, you got it. Sold that rifle, again now used for $1,850. after the election, I replaced it using my Cabela's points for a 3rd free AR. Fast forward to Hilary v Trump. I almost went out and bought $5K worth of ARs on speculation. At that time I had three, one I had bought and actually had to pay for, a used my points one from Cabelas and one that I got from a client as part of a fee. . At that point, base model ARs were selling for about $700 with the prices creeping up in case Clinton won and tried to ban ARs. Fortunately I didn't do it. Every gun maker who makes AR15s including some who came to the game late were running factories at full blast. When Trump won, gun sales actually plummeted for about 6 months. Prices for a base model AR are now about $400 but that is because of oversupply.

    You could also compare a Ruger Gunsite Scout to every manufacturer's bargain rifle including Ruger's own Ruger American. The bargain rifles have pretty flimsy plastic stocks. They work but not necessarily well. They are all also push feed models. Not necessarily bad but not my preference when I can have a controlled round feed ala Ruger 77 or Winchester M70. (I pick those two because as a lefty, those are the only two left hand bolt controlled round feed rifles.) Also, the jury is out on how well those bargain rifles will hold up. For the average guy who hunts but only shoots a box of cartridges a year, they might last years. For someone who shoots a lot, I can't say that those bargain rifles are going to go the distance. Personally I like to shoot every weekend time permitting and it isn't unusual for me to shoot 50 to 100 rounds of centerfire rifle ammo each trip.

    An AR15 isn't a hunting rifle when chambered in 223 / 5.56. While I could kill a deer or feral hog with it under better than reasonable circumstances, I wouldn't think of going hunting either hogs or deer with any .223 / 5.56 rifle or carbine unless that was all I had and I was hungry.. I want a rifle that will do the job under any circumstances where I would try to harvest an animal, not one that will do it sometimes if I get lucky. For those who swear that a 223 is enough for deer and hogs, I have shot several hogs with a .223 and not been pleased with the results. Ear shots put the hog down but body shots didn't. Body shots, assuming a hit in the vitals have always resulted in a dead recovered game animal when I have shot them with a 308 (or 30-06 or a 270 or a 7MM Mag for that matter). While I am pretty sure that all the hogs that I shot with a .223 did die, several of them were not recovered. When I shoot an animal like a hog or deer, the goal for me is kill, recover, process and eat it.

    Function - a good bolt gun will be running long after an AR gives up the ghost. That is whether they are taken care of or not. While ARs are good rifles, there are simply more parts to wear, break or cause problems. There is very little to go wrong with a Ruger 77 or Winchester M70 made before the FN takeover. (There is a new trigger on the FN Wni M70 that isn't as simple as on prior models.)

    While I do like my ARs (both AR15s and an AR10), any of my 30 caliber bolt guns would be my preference if I could only have one rifle. Of my 30 caliber bolt guns, I might take my Ruger 77 but I'd probably take my Ruger Scout Rifle (based upon a Ruger M77 action) just because it is handier. Either would beat out my Win M70s because the Rugers are lighter and handier.

    August 12, 2018 12:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Scout rifles sound like great guns for Hog hunting in the Georgia/Florida swamps.

    December 17, 2017 9:58 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Any good quality 308 carbine makes a good hog rifle assuming good condition, acceptable accuracy and proper functioning. There is a drawback to forward mounted scopes for hog hunting however. Hogs move in bad light. Forward mounted scopes run out of light a few minutes earlier than traditional scopes. If I was going to build a dedicated hog gun, I would use a Ruger Scout but mount a traditional low power variable scope. Any low powered fixed scope would do as would low powered variables with top ends under 10X. Gives you a few minutes more shooting light.

      August 12, 2018 12:15 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Nothing against Jeff Cooper, per se, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to call him a "rifleman's rifleman". Jeff Cooper, as near as I can tell, was a history teacher with an interest in firearms, and no actual combat experience.

    November 20, 2017 2:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Cooper was a Major in WW2 and a Lt Col in Korea and THEN in the 60's he was a history teacher.

      February 13, 2018 7:08 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Boom! Roasted!

        November 14, 2018 12:47 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Mark Wynn

          Informed. Corrected.. (It's not a contest.)

          November 7, 2019 6:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ricardo J Estrada

    I agree with the price point 100%.

    I just finished building an AR, around 1k. And I have a Ruger American .308. I opt for a revolver because I spend more time in the wilderness than the city, but same idea.

    Good article

    May 19, 2017 12:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Just thought I'd throw another cheaper option, I had a Lee Enfield Mk5 'Jungle Carbine', which was a neat, short high powered rifle, with aperture sights and a 10 round mag. It's not .308 but .303 more than does the job. It's a little on the heavier side to be a true scout (about 7lbs unloaded) but it's in the ball park and you'll find one for a lot less $ than a gun site or Steyr.

    April 16, 2017 2:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ben Bruinius

    As always I enjoyed the article, I was just surprised the M1A scout or socom was'nt mentioned

    March 8, 2017 11:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Rural J

      Scout rifles are bolt guns so every trigger pull sends a deadly bullet. M1a is just the first version of a semi auto armlite rifle, it was developed after www2 to have a magazine fed version of the m1 Garand, notice the m1 vs m1a. When you have a line of troops with many rifles, not as big deal if your semi auto jams but by yourself a jam is equivalent to holding up a bat to someone, would you give someone 3-5 secs to clear their jam? Like I tell my daughter, there's no pause in real life!

      November 2, 2020 6:18 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Ed likes Guns

        Yes, bolt guns and revolvers never jam. Just like Politicians never lie, cats never purr, and my poop never stinks. I've seen and had bolt actions jam up in many different WTF ways that takes 3 or 4 people about 10-15 minutes to figure out how to clear. If 3-5 seconds to clear a semi auto gets you killed on the streets, then what happens in the 10 minutes it takes to clear a weird bolt gun jam??

        July 14, 2021 11:42 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        If you are counting on the M1A to jam, you're going to have to wait awhile. The semi-auto action is pretty robust, rugged, and likes to run dirty. It also easy to maintain.

        August 3, 2021 2:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Terry Hull

    I think what we're talking about here in seeking out the modern day equivalent "scout" rifle, can easily be found in one of today's 308 Bullpup tactical. rifles. Yes, you read right, the often much maligned forward-triggered, short, red headed stepchild version of our modern day sporters/tacticals slash semi-auto hunter and whatever else you may desire. Thing is, its probably the most capable, when fueled by an AR type platform, its easily the most snag-proof. Wielding it around a tight 3 gun course or clearing house will always attest to its compactness, agility and relatively lighter weight. But what of all the myriad of compaints one hears about them? I'd bet most if not all the haters of the bullpup forever authoritatively complaining away have probably never actually even "used" one. Thats right - "used one" to their advantage in some form of shooting event where its superior ergonomics could be utilized, analyzed, appreciated and judged without bias. I know one thing about the bullpup config that hardly ever gets mentioned. And that learned while in a relatively "organized" shooting event with being timed, hidden threat exposure, best use of cover and concealment brought out the true bullpup facts of life. Specifically. the bullpup config allows for one ALWAYS having the muzzle pointed out in front of you, protecting you from any would be frontal or left to right threats. Because as your eyes scan the terrain ahead of you - you're deliberately, but automaticly moving that muzzle, just a short distance in front of your eyes, every direction your eyes take your head. And that includes from under the lower base areas or around the bottoms of bushes - with your knees in motion on the ground, hunched over, leaning forward with your "free" off hand supporting your strained viewing of what lies forward and to the not so immediate sides of your position. All the while with the muzzle, of that nasty little oddball of a rifle, moving, scanning the large swath of real estate that you find your eyes examining before you advance anywhere. Yes, and when you decide to advance and rise up, with help from that free off hand and arm, you'notice the the muzzle, of that short rifle still level and pointing forward in front of you, protecting you with your right hand still gripping that pistolgrip and index finger poised at the ready - ON the trigger. You've already determined your next move to adequate cover or concealment up ahead as you spring up almost completely erect by thrusting up off the ground aided by your FREE off hand and leave the safety of that bush. All the while, every second of the way - you guessed it - pointing that muzzle out in front of you, scanning with it side to side, with your finger on the switch, ready to pull it the instant your eyes make contact with that always anticipated threat. You head out in a slow trot for that pile of rocks ahead and left, muzzle pointing to your front then edging back slightly to intimidate that small grassy slot as you clear that potential firelane you've alreadyseen and figured would open up. If you did receive any notice or fire from that alley- like strip of low brush,, it would be all about from the hip, one armed as this thing's well balanced and light enough to just let it swing back a little and put a couple 'o doubles down that stretch and either draw blood or at least put 2 on paper. For you see, even years ago with that cobby ancester of todays modern bullpups, the Bushmaster m-17, it was possible to experience in full the efficiency and life-saving qualities of keeping that muzzle out in ftont of you scanning with a justified finger touching the trigger- AT ALL TIMES!! And to be able to have and actually be able to use that free, off hand and arm for getting low fast and then go slinking around a bit then suddenly spring to upright and move out again, yes of course, with that muzzle pointing out in front of you keeping you covered!! Back then, I probably wasn't as particular and refined as I am today, granted, but I honestly didn't notice the m-17's trigger to have a problem one.. I was probably too busy runn'in, crawl'in and pump'in lead into all the hidden silhouette targets.. And you know, even if it was an urban- type clearing house (to house), you'd still have found me with that blessed muzzle pointed right out in front of me, sniffing for activity. Aahh, now that's effortless efficiency!!

    February 24, 2017 6:48 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    James Kelloway

    If you get a copy of "A Rifleman Went to War" by H. W. McBride (a book often cited by Cooper) (Amazon Kindle edition costs 99 cents), at page 335-336 McBride describes a rifle he captured in WWI as follows:

    “The neatest and handiest military rifle I have ever seen was one I took from one of these German Jaegers, and when I held it up beside my Ross for comparison, the cocky little rascal actually laughed in my face, and he had a bullet through his arm at that. It did look ridiculous, I admit that is, the Ross did; a great big, long, heavy club, beside the trim little ‘sporter’ which he had been using. His rifle had been made for something other than a handle for a bayonet. I wanted to keep that beauty, but lost it, as we nearly always lost our trophies-because we could not carry them around with us and had to entrust them to some noncombatant back at the base. They probably got back to Canada all right, but the fellow who did the actual taking seldom had the pleasure of ever seeing them again.

    “For effective use as a rifle in battle, the arm must be just as compact and ‘handy’ as it is possible to make it and still retain accuracy and the punch. It is probably not possible to build a high power, bolt-action rifle that would be as handy as the little .30/30 carbine or ‘saddle gun,’ but that is my idea of what a handy rifle should be. No, with the bolt action and box magazine, it would be impossible to get the ‘balance’ just the same and that has a lot to do with the ‘handiness’ of any rifle. Perhaps the Springfield Sporter could be worked down somewhat. It is not bad, just as it is, yet even it would have appeared ‘clumsy’ beside that little Mauser I took that day.”

    I cannot prove that Cooper received his inspiration for the Scout Rifle from McBride's book, but the intellectual underpinnings are there. Same goes for the "Modern Technique," described in detail by McBride in Chapter 10, "The Pistol in War."

    January 30, 2017 8:15 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Wow thanks for that James!

      February 7, 2017 7:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    T. Janes

    Like Jamie Rullestad said the scouts make a great ranch gun. I have a lot of rifles, many of which are quite specialized but the Ruger GSR is the one I grab 99% of the time. It's short, handy and fires a powerful round. My first GSR (that was stollen) with it's favorite handload would easily shoot sub MOA. My replacement GSR doesnt have a scope yet but I'll be curious to see how it compares to my first in the accuracy department.

    I dont see any way that a hunting rifle would be any better for hunting big game. Out to 400 yards it wouldn't make a difference. A .308 does great out of shorter barrels.

    I also have never understood the low light argument against the scout scopes. Obviously a larger objective lens on a scope will gather more light but the scout scopes I've tried have gathered enough light to shoot past legal big game hunting hours here. If you need to shoot in the dark get a light just like you would on an AR. They also argue that the sun can get behind you and cause glare on your eyepiece but living out here in the desert I've never experienced it. Not once and the tallest thing we have growing out here is sage brush.

    On the other hand, the other side of the scout scope argument is that you can shoot with both eyes open. Never understood that one either. I've been doing that with every scope I've ever owned for close to 20 years 3-9's mostly but I do have one 4-12 and it works with all of them. I was rather surprised when I was first issued an ACOG in the Marines and read about the BAC.

    It wouldnt be my first pick if I knew a gunfight was coming but I wouldnt throw my hands up and surrender if it's all I had when the time came either. Nearly two pounds lighter and close to 4 inches shorter than my LRB M14 Tanker, much easier to put a scope on and vastly superior accuracy... The M14 stays in the safe while the GSR is out working, either in the truck or on the four wheeler or begin carried.

    November 25, 2016 9:15 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Thanks for your super comprehensive comment!

      November 26, 2016 10:04 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    If the concept of a scout is to deliver on range, mobility and power more efficiently than your typical rifle, the rifles mentioned above are simply mediocre choices and represent limited/dated examples of quality scut rifles...whether you are looking to spend less than 1k or more than 2k, you can do bether even in stringent states like ca. I own and appreciate both a steyr elite and the ruger scout referenced above, and do not believe they are what Col.Cooper would drop his money on in today's local gunshop.

    M1a scout squad or socom...dominates in this discussion, if you arent sure why, you don't know the first thing about the springfield m1a...google it and get an education!
    Sig Sauer 716...just like the scout squad above, .308, detachable mag, goes distance, forward mount pictanny...but better in that it has more ergonomic pistol grip
    Remington sps 700 16.5 inch barrell...out the box more of a snubnosed .308, but with some economical upgrades can be converted into a detachable mag turns this otherwise stubby looking rifle into a tactical beast-despite it being a bolt action
    SAIGA .308 short barrel...an AK style rifle in .308 with detachable magazines and an incredible balance...not in the same league as the previous 3 or those from the original article, but honestly for a rugged field rifle that satisfies the aims of a scout, and the best choice on a budget if you are planning to be looking down iron sights

    November 5, 2016 10:38 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Wow, thanks so much for the in-depth analysis, Bob!

      November 7, 2016 9:49 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      James Kirk

      You sound like you are 12 years old.

      April 11, 2019 12:52 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jamie Rullestad

    I have to say that I disagree with the article as well.

    I, too, have rifles in the safe that can do specific tasks very well. But I'm also very rural. There have been days when having a handy rifle that can address many tasks is a blessing. I have coyotes in the back 120. I also live on a fast blacktop back road that's only 20 minutes from major metro areas. I also jump from the Jeep to an ATV to a tractor. I have a 7# Ruger GSR that's been up to the task quite well.

    I have a bull barreled AR with a 4-14x scope for predators. But it weighs 12 pounds. I have a short barreled shotgun for defense, but range is limited. I have a pencil thin bolt action .270. But it's too pretty for rough work.

    Those of us in the midwest and the west that are rural dwellers aren't as rare as many assume. A rifle like this fills the niche.

    October 22, 2016 9:02 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Hi Jamie, thanks for your insight as well!

      October 23, 2016 6:19 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Winton

    I read the above, and I have to sigh a little bit. All of the author's comments about Scout Rifles are sort of accurate, but not really.

    Full disclosure: I LOVE the Scout rifle idea. I have had two built for myself that are closer to what Col. Cooper would call "pseudo-scouts", and I at one time had one of the Steyr Scout rifles. That rifle was sold only because I found myself in a financial crisis and selling it saved the day. These days, Steyr offers the Scout for a much reduced price (about $1500 now); expensive, sure, but not unreasonable for what it offers, and as soon as I can raise the funds I intend to buy another one.

    Sure, these days most people can have specialized rifles for specialized purposes. I even have such rifles in my safe. However, the ability to have one rifle that can do just about anything adequately, and some things better than most, is compelling to someone like me. I love the quick handling nature of the Scout, the speed with which you can hit at functional distances, and the light and lively way it carries. My Steyr was sub-MOA capable, and both of my pseudo-scouts are MOA capable. There really isn't anything I can think of that the Scout couldn't acquit itself adequately at the very least.

    Fortunately, we don't live in a world where we can only one one rifle. If we did, I can guarantee you that my choice would be a Scout.

    October 12, 2016 11:34 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Hey John, thanks for your input! I appreciate readers like you that can add to what we've published.

      October 15, 2016 8:23 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        John Joe

        ehung thank you for this website , i am an aspiring weapons technology enthusiasts and this website helps me a lot .
        Do you have any job for someone like me to improve my skills?

        April 20, 2017 10:30 am
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