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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/9/2004 6:02:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 6:09:02 PM EST by slash-5]
Problems with the Scout Rifle:

First, let me say this: until recently, I was one of Jeff Cooper’s greatest fans. I have attended Gunsite, read all of his books, and kept up with Cooper’s commentary. I have, until now, believed that he has made more contributions to the American shooting industry than any other single person. As a matter of fact, I ran out and bought a Styer Scout as soon as they were commercially available. I paid upwards of $2500.

That being said, I have found many flaws with his Scout Rifle (as it currently exists) and wonder why it is still being touted as the “greatest advancement in firearm development in recent history.” Let’s take a look, shall we?

Mr. Cooper defines a Scout rifle as having these qualities: (from http://www.steyrscout.org/project.htm)


Weight-sighted and slung: 3 kilograms (6.6 lb). This has been set as the ideal weight but the maximum has been stated as being 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds ).
Length: 1 meter (39 inches)
Nominal barrel length: .48 meter (19 inches)
Sighting system: Forward and low mounted (ahead of the action opening) long eye relief telescope of between 2x and 3x. Reserve iron sights desirable but not necessary. Iron sights of the ghost ring type, without a scope, also qualify.
Action: Magazine fed bolt action. Detachable box magazine and/or stripper clip charging is desirable but not necessary.
Sling: Fast loop-up type, i.e. Ching or CW style.
Caliber: Nominally .308 Winchester (7.62 x 51 mm). Calibers such as 7 mm - 08 Remington (7 x 51 mm) or .243 Winchester (6 x 51 mm) being considered for frail individuals or where "military" calibers are proscribed.
Built-in bipod: Desirable but not mandatory.
Accuracy: Should be capable of shooting into 2 minutes of angle or less (4") at 200 yards/meters (3 shot groups).


His Styer Scout looks like this:


All of this is well and good, but I found a couple of glitches with the rifle…

1) The scope: The scope comes with a HEAVY duplex reticle. Jeff says that this is to facilitate snap shots and/or to “find” the reticle on dangerous game. In reality, because the cross hairs are so heavy, it turns the rifle into a 100-yard gun. While many can make perfectly satisfactory shots past that distance, it is more difficult to do than it should be. At this distance, one could just as easily use iron sights. This would lower the weight of the rifle in question and ultimately make it more robust. I am not advocating using only iron sights here, but I am wondering why one would voluntarily choose to add a device to a firearm that does not extend it’s effective range, but does add both weight and fragility. The “gunner’s Guru” himself often preaches that the scope is the most fragile part of the weapon…
2) The scope mounts: My example came with scope rings that one had to posses a spanner wrench to remove. Who, out in the wilderness is going to have a spanner wrench? If one must use the back-up sights, how is one supposed to get the scope off? Beat it off with a rock? Why not use quick detach rings?
3) Sights: The sights on my example were flimsy, plastic affairs that were too low to use with the height of the stock. I may have fatter cheeks than most, but I found it nearly impossible to get an accurate sight picture with the sighting apparatus as supplied. Speaking of which, the rear sight bent over the first day I owned it when I tried to raise it. Why couldn’t this cheap piece of plastic be made out of Aluminum or Titanium? The good Lord knows I paid enough for the rifle, they could throw the dog a bone here.
4) The bipod: On my example, it was a seriously flimsy affair as well, and since it was a “fixed” height, seemed to always be wrong for what I was trying to do at the time. Why couldn’t this contraption be made to swivel FORWARD with a push of a button installed at the pivot point? Also, since this poorly made item is prone to breakage, why couldn’t it be reinforced at the pivot point with stronger materials?
5) The sling: Soo…Since I am a Cooperphile, I carry my rifle in African style (muzzle down). But…the little connector strap from the Galco Ching Sling gets right in the way, causing a less-than-sure-grip. I wonder if anyone tested this out? Cooper says this is a compromise between a “hasty sling” (which doesn’t work) and a full military sling, which takes too much time to cinch down. I found that the Ching Sling takes almost as much time to position properly as the Military model, because to use it one must first slide the small strap up to the stop, then force his/her arm through. What are we gaining exactly, here? Nothing that I can see. I found that one could vastly improve this item’s performance by reverting back to the old CW sling and moving it from the rear position to the middle if a need was anticipated. This keeps the short piece from being in the way of proper African carry, and is faster (by far) than looping up a military sling. It is certainly faster than arranging a Ching sling (provided one is outfitted with flush mount sling swivels.)
6) The Bolt: The throw on the bolt is so stiff, the entire rifle wanders on the shooter’s shoulder when it is activated. My Remington is far superior.
7) The bolt knob: Butter knife style. I think it is called such because it slips out of your hand just like butter (especially with the overly heavy bolt throw).
8) The firing mechanism: My rifle would not fire military ball because the firing pin strike was too light. Wasn’t the whole point of having a rifle in .308 to enable the shooter to glean ammo in any part of the world? So much for that idea. I adjusted the spring tension, to the point where it would fire most ammo most of the time, but the bolt throw became even more cumbersome. What a chore!
9) The butt stock spacers: Rattled around like a cheap Yugo. So much for quality, here.
10) The magazines: Cost over $100 each when you could find them. I had my Scout for two years, and I was never able to locate additional mags. Styer just stopped making them. Since they have plastic feed lips, surely they will need to be replaced at some point.

I have tried so very hard to like this rifle…but I ended up being thoroughly disgusted with myself for falling for the marketing hype. I sold it.

I recently built a rifle on a Remington action for about half what a SS costs. It does everything a Scout is supposed to do (except have a mag cut-off), and does it better.


BTW, Jeff opines much about the ability of the Scout to perform snap shots. I have no idea why this is so important, as he himself has admitted that he has never heard of any one ever needing to do such a thing in real life. It really seems like the good ol’ boy has provided US with an answer in search of a question.

Can anyone give me one good reason to own this rifle?
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:04:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:13:13 PM EST
I like the concept, slightly less the Steyr application of the concept...and totally don't like the price.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:44:48 PM EST
Troy's right. Cooper set the specs. Steyr designed the rifle. I recall reading somewhere that cooper wasn't 100% happy with their rendition. He wasn't impressed by the .223 Rem and .376 Steyr models either. In an interview on American Shooter, he demonstrated his personal Scout rifle and it certainly wasn't a Steyr (IIRC it was a modified Sako with an external bibod).

I got my Tactical Scout used for $1,200 without a scope. Installed a Kahles 3-9X42 and Talley rings. Accurate with my reloads, but recoil is pretty hard after firing an AR.

It didn't take me long to get used to using the Ching sling.

My main complaint is that the 10 rd mags are outrageously priced ($165?). I picked up a 10 rd. adapter for $29 on E-Bay. CDNN bought the remaining inventory of GSI imported rifles, accessories and mags when Steyr switched to Dynamit Nobel as their US distributor. IIRC Cooper packages were going for around $1700 when they had them. They sold all the mags for under $50. I missed out.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:56:37 PM EST
Your first clue should have been that it was a bolt-action.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 10:02:56 PM EST
Doesn't do anything a modified Remmington or Savage can't...

Link Posted: 9/9/2004 10:06:10 PM EST

I agree with your dislike of the Steyr and your acquisition of better suited custom Scout rifles. I also think you are being too hard on Cooper. He was the advisor, but I think he was largely ignored by Steyr. Still, I don't know why he likes it so much. He loved the SSG too, even though he had a hammer to get the bolt open. I kid you not. The magazines kept cracking on the catch too.

When he later wrote that Steyr was going to make a Scout I thought, "Whaaaat? Please not them. Anybody but them." Then when I first saw it, I knew it was not a true Scout to me. I always thought of a Scout rifle as primarily a "Combat Scout" first and a lightweight hunting rifle second. Anyway, I abandoned any thought of getting one when I saw that damn bolt knob. I knew Cooper never agreed to that POS. He put up with it though. Until your post tonight I never knew they later changed it.

Remington's are notoriously bad as "Combat Scout" rifles. I have seen a few fail and have had problems with my own. They are just not meant for thousands of rounds to go down range in a week. Plus the factory bolt is all wrong. Custom built is the only way to go for a Scout rifle.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 10:16:33 PM EST

Ohh yaah, "snap shots."

In 1982 I attended the Rifle course with my Remington Scout clone. We did alot of shooting on the pistol range. In fact we did most of it on the pistol range. Man, what I would have given for a smooth round bolt knob! Ya wanna double tap with a bolt action rifle?

Anyway, if you want to know where modern Practical Rifle was born, it was on the pistol ranges of Gunsite. Thank god the AR15 replaced the Scout rifles combat role.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:26:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By Robert2011:
Anyway, if you want to know where modern Practical Rifle was born, it was on the pistol ranges of Gunsite. Thank god the AR15 replaced the Scout rifles combat role.



Seriously.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:42:18 AM EST
I think it's over priced. I just built one from an old sporterized Enfield to see what the fuss was.
It's a little over Coopers weight, but it's a good shooter and fun to take to the range.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:49:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Doesn't do anything a modified Remmington or Savage can't...




No, no, no, then it wouldn't be a *real* Scout rifle (meaning one that Cooper gets a kickback from).

But then, "he's got his"!

The whole Scout rifle rant made me realize that Cooper has either lost it mentally or has whored himself out to fund his retirement. Pity.

And Steyr screwed the pooch on building the thing. Too much plastic and shitty castings. Look at the bolt and bolt face. Yikes. I'll pass.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:54:56 AM EST
I was just looking through some of my old gun rags and critiquing the ol' steyr, and tring to figure out where theyv went wrong.

Steyrs biggest mistake was making a $2500 general purpose rifle. The radically designed reciever adds a significant amount of machining, as does the fluted barrel. The bipod is anoother level of complexity we couldve done without. This is probably the biggest chunk of money right here.

The main thing that makes the scout concept work is the LER scope. They did okay here... although i think they shouldve let the user pick the scope. The rings shouldve been quick release rings, as mentioned above, because when your scope craps out, you may n0ot have time to dig into your toolkit for that special spanner wrench.

the buttplate spacers always seemed pretty flimsy to me too.

The ability to accept 10 rnd magazines, and carry a spare in the buttstock was a stroke of genius. unfortunately the flimsy mags and thier scarcity was unpardonable for a general purpose weapon

back up iron sight are a must on any rifle, but to make your iron sights out of plastic seems to be missing the point. also, by not mounting the front sight at the tip of the barrel, you lose a lot of sight radius, and accuracy suffers. of course the weapon has a cool, spacey look, which is the important thing, here, isn't it?

The butterknife handle, was also a horrible idea.

If i were building my own scout, i'd use a savarge action. The savage scout is very good, but it should accept larger capacity magazines, of an easily available type (FAL would be sweet!) and as long as we're hypothetical, it would carry a spare in the buttstock. The bipod i could do without, although a FAL type bipod could probably be made inexpenssively. heack, a minor stock redesign and the savage would be perfect for well under $1000 dollars.

no wonder the steyr was a flop.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:56:11 AM EST
I can use my Ar as scout (gets .5 groups with good ammo)
And If I want an accurate rifle, $1500 will get you a 700 pss and some nice shit to go with it.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:58:37 AM EST
The Scout is a concept rifle that doesn't do anything well.

Been there, done that.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:05:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 5:07:11 AM EST by Yojimbo]
I think an 6.8 SPR with 16" or 18" barrel would make an excellent platform for a "Scout Rifle".

Regarding Cooper's Styer Scout Rifle, I'll take one of these over it any day...
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:09:47 AM EST
I have an old Rem 788 in .308 with a Leupold fixed 2.5. It shoots 1/4" five shot groups at 100 yds with Federal Match ammo (with a target scope).

I paid 175 new and less than 200 for the scope. I'll stick with it. Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:25:56 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:49:19 AM EST
I picked up a used Steyr Scout a few years back for $1200. They were the shit then and I really wanted it. After having it about 2 years, I sold it. I was using it as a deer rifle.
The Ching sling sucks. It is not adjustable in the field so if you have it adjusted as a shooting aid, it is probably too tight to sling over your back with a heavy jacket on. That's not good.
If you want a Scout rig the way to go is a lever scout consisting of a Marlin lever gun, XO mount, and scout scope. This works out really well and is way cheaper than the Steyr.
I'm glad I got the Steyr scout out of my system, but they are overpriced if you are buying new for sure. The lever scout is a wet dream of a hunting rifle though.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:33:36 AM EST
I sold mine and broke even, didn't pay anywhere near $2500... It was a good idea that way poorly implemented on Steyr's part. I thought the leather sling was really cheap.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:37:38 AM EST
If I had to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere, not evening knowing what country I was in, much less what I would encounter, and had to use a rifle to survive, I'd want a scout.

It was NOT designed as a combat weapon. It's a tool that can do most jobs, prety well, most of the time. Engaging in firefights and sniping are not its forte.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 7:16:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
If I had to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere, not evening knowing what country I was in, much less what I would encounter, and had to use a rifle to survive, I'd want a scout.

It was NOT designed as a combat weapon. It's a tool that can do most jobs, prety well, most of the time. Engaging in firefights and sniping are not its forte.




The Steyr version was not, but properly designed Scouts are combat rifles and battle rifles of the highest order. They are also good for hunting game
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 7:33:13 PM EST
You would have to be smoking crack to pay $2500 for that POS. Remington 700, end of story with enough money left over to buy an AR.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 7:48:37 PM EST
Bolt actions make good sniper rifles.

Semi-autos make good combat rifles.

Scout rifles make no sense at all.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 7:49:29 PM EST
M24, M40A3, SR25 all around the same cost as the SS, but all of them are far better rifles.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 7:52:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
If I had to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere, not evening knowing what country I was in, much less what I would encounter, and had to use a rifle to survive, I'd want a scout.

It was NOT designed as a combat weapon. It's a tool that can do most jobs, prety well, most of the time. Engaging in firefights and sniping are not its forte.



So you would rather have that mongoloid than, say an ACOG equipped DSA SA58 lightweight carbine or a Springfield SOCOM 16?
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 8:39:16 PM EST

Some of you are forgetting the Scout rifle is a lightweight meant to be carried, mile, after mile, after mile, hill after hill, after hill. Saying a different rifle is better at the range does not make it better in the field.

I think the AR15 replaced it's combat role when the A2 came out. For the hunt and as a survival rifle it is still a winner. The man behind the rifle will determine who survives. Heavy rifles make for a tired man who will cover less ground and be less effective when it's time to finally shoot.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 8:48:00 PM EST
I had one for three months, bought it from a guy in a divorce for $900, took it out 4-5 times and the damned bipod/forearm fell off after shooting about 30 rds.? Ended up selling it for ~$1050.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:00:53 PM EST
I created my own "anti-scout". Took a snap shot with it at 50 yards this weekend, it did OK.

Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:06:30 PM EST
uh, its a BOLT ACTION .223!!!!!!!!!!

bolt actions shluld only be bought in a higher caliber thatn .22
unless they are for competition shooting

.223 belongss in semi, and a bolt action one is NEVER worth >$500
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:13:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:
Lever or slide(pump) action. These do not require that you relocate your hand to cycle the action.
That's just the most obvious to me. That's Cooper's specs that gave us the bolt action.



Lever and pump actions are NOT a good idea as general purpose. While you can learn to shoot them from prone, it never becomes easy or as fast as a bolt action, let alone a semi.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:14:28 PM EST
Cooper's concept would have been great. If it had been magazine fed. Wait a minute!

There have been 16" ARs around long befre there ever was a "scout" rifle and hunters in Africa have been using the same thing that Cooper described for years. As soon as Cooper started yapping about it, it suddenly became "tactical", if not "practical".

"Scout" rifle...great for creeping around the African bush. No so great for creeping around the urban landscape, when there are so many other platforms out there.

I've had the chance to lay my hands on the Styer Scout. All I can say is....$2500 bucks for that?
Rip-Off.

Further, Cooper is a crotchy, opinionated old windbag. Anyone that knows him will tell you so. If you don't do it HIS way, it's wrong. Yes, I am slightly biased against Cooper. That doesn't however, mean that I don't respect his contributions or respect him as a man. The old SOB is tough as nails
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:14:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
uh, its a BOLT ACTION .223!!!!!!!!!!

bolt actions shluld only be bought in a higher caliber thatn .22
unless they are for competition shooting

.223 belongss in semi, and a bolt action one is NEVER worth >$500



Uh, try not so show your ass. It's a bolt action .308 (or 7.62).
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:17:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
uh, its a BOLT ACTION .223!!!!!!!!!!

bolt actions shluld only be bought in a higher caliber thatn .22
unless they are for competition shooting

.223 belongss in semi, and a bolt action one is NEVER worth >$500



Uh, .308. NOT .223.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:25:17 PM EST
Cool pic and a good hunt!

Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:29:11 PM EST
I got a M44, sixty bucks. Thats what I call an entertainment value!

I heard a story about Cooper having a ND with a Scout at a gunshow....
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:35:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By Troy:

I would replace the rings, and deal with the fact that the backup irons are worthless.

-Troy



Maybe on a $60 Marlin .22, but not a $2500 rifle designed to use these plastic shitbombs as actual BACK UP SIGHTS. I checked one out at a gun store, and thought it was definitely an overpriced POS. $650 tops, maybe, with the scope. Decent concept, but poor execution.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:36:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By drew5337:
I got a M44, sixty bucks. Thats what I call an entertainment value!

I heard a story about Cooper having a ND with a Scout at a gunshow....



They had him on one of the "outdoors" channels the other day. It was stock footage of him showing off the new Steyr Scout...Anyway, they had a pepper popper set up about 25 yards away (obviously so they could get it in the shot) and he went on and on about how great the Scout was for personal defense and snap shots. Then he threw it to his shoulder and....missed the pepper popper altogether!!!
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 7:41:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2004 7:44:28 PM EST by Garand_Shooter]
I built a $135 scout rifle that meets all those specs except it may be a little heavy (I haven't weighed it).

Mosin nagant $75.
Gun show scratched up pistol scope w/rings $25.
Gun show cheap bipod $15.
Sling $15.
Gun show junk box scope mount that I modified to go in place of the rear sight $5


Edit.. forgot to add the rifle had a synthetic stock when I got it.
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