Talking about the best scout rifles, one can only say that life is great. What is a scout rifle? A lightweight, reliable, powerful can do everything that you can easily carry around, shoot your next meal, and save your bacon if it is necessary.

The concept of the Scout Rifle was created by Jeff Cooper in the early 1980s. Himself a former Marine and founder of the Gunsite Academy, he looked back on a lot of experience. Those led him to formulate the requirements that can do everything and easy to carry around rifle has to fulfill. These are:

·        Have a length of less than a meter

·        Have a weight of less than 6.6 pounds including the sling and scope

·        Shoot at least 2 MOA groups

·        Have a barrel length of 19 inches

·        Have a caliber of .308 Winchester

·        Come with ghost ring rear sights and post front sights

·        Have a scope with 10 inches of eye relief

A gun with these parameters would be a general purpose weapon that everyone could carry around without getting tired, could bring to bear quickly, and shoot precisely. It took some time to make this dream reality, but then Steyr introduced the so-called Steyr Scout Rifle with Cooper being one of the designers.

A can do all and easy to carry rifle should have caught on like sliced bread, but even today, almost 40 years after the concept and 24 years after the first Scout Rifle has seen the light of the day, it is still an oddity. However, that does not mean that there are no good options for this great concept of a rifle out there. In fact, there are several.

1. Steyr Scout Rifle

At more than $1600, this rifle is certainly not a budget option, but it comes with all the bells and whistles you might dream of in your scout rifle. Designed with the help of Jeff Cooper, that is as much scout as you can get from any rifle following his concept.

It is a little bit over the weight limit, just a tad more than 6.6 pounds, it does fulfill all the other requirements. This starts with a magazine that has a position to lock in. In the lower one, you can still feed it single round with the rounds of the magazine being too low to be pushed into the chamber. There, it is ready as a backup if you need to get the next round ready fast. For that, just push it up one notch, and your next cycle of the action will feed directly from it. All the while, another magazine sits ready in the stock in case the first magazine is not enough for the job.

The length of pull is adjustable. The back up open sights are nicely tucked away and flip open when needed. An integral bipod allows for more precision at longer ranges. Besides a scout scope, it also can accept traditional scopes. Chambered in .308, you have all the power you need and a round that is easily available.

2. Savage 110 Scout

Going for a little over $800, this rifle is a very good mix of pricing, quality, and scout concept. It is a little bit overweight coming in at 8 pounds, it is not yet so much to make it really hurt. It has an adjustable length of pull and comb height thanks to the Savage AccuFit stock. This makes it easy to transition from using scopes to open sights. It can be had in .308 Winchester, .223 Remington, .338 Federal, and .450 Bushmaster. The threaded muzzle allows for different devices but is mostly used for a large muzzle brake that reduces the felt recoil significantly.

3. Ruger Scout Rifle

The Ruger Scout Rifle was developed with the help of Gunsite Academy. Its original name was Gunsite Scout Rifle. While never meant to really fulfill all and each requirement of Jeff Cooper, it managed to capture the main concept of the scout rifle.

The weight is just 6.3 pounds, so it is very easy to carry it around. It is available in different chamberings, including .308 Winchester, .350 Legend, and .450 Bushmaster. Besides are scope rail, it comes with fixed sights, and it feeds from detachable magazines. The length of pull can be adjusted, and there are several options for the stock, like laminated hardwood, a synthetic stock, or walnut. However, all of this comes at a price which is a little bit north of $1100.

4. Mossberg MVP Scout Rifle

Retailing for a little over $600, Mossberg made an excellent move with its version of the Scout Rifle. As such, it involves detachable magazines, and there are several options for a manufacturer. He might want to go with some proprietary mags or some rather expensive options already on the market. Mossberg, however, refrained from that. Instead, its MVP feeds from AR10 and M1A magazines when it is chambered in .308. Those are commonly available, and do not break your bank.

The total length of this gun is below one meter, but it does weigh in at 7 pounds. That makes it a little bit too heavy, but not by much. As a standard, it comes with aperture rear sights and fiber optic front. Also, it is compatible with traditional scopes as well as scout scopes.

The muzzle is threaded, and you get a picatinny rail on each side of the fore end for necessary accessories. Still meeting the requirement for 2 MOA groups, this rifle is a good option especially when its price comes into play.

A Custom Scout Rifle

If you do not like any of these options here, there is the possibility to go custom. Any gunsmith worth his money can make one ready for you. For that, he can use your old bolt action rifle or build it completely on a new one. The most important factor will be the mount for the scout scope. This might be built directly from scratch. A good starting point might be the Remington Model 7, but the Ruger American and Mossberg Patriot might do the trick as well. In the end, it depends also on how much you can spend, as the modification can cost you from $500 up to several thousands, and you might end up still crossing the weight limit. On the other hand, this allows you to put your own ideas and thoughts into the concept. You would get your completely individual scout rifle.

And there you have it guys. The scout rifle concept gets some traction, and this offers you some chances on the market. Now it is up to you to decide if this concept is for you, and which gun is best to go this way.

Leave a comment