The Scout Rifle

scout rifle

The idea of a general purpose rifle for hunting and home defense is good one.

The scout rifle concept was developed by Jeff Cooper in the early 1980s. Cooper's idea was to make “a handy, light instrument that will do a great many things equally well..”

Here are the characteristics that Cooper said should be in a scout rifle:

  • An unloaded weight, with accessories, of 3 kg (6.6 lb); with 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds) the maximum acceptable.
  • An overall length of 1 meter (39 inches) or less. These two characteristics place scout rifles into the general class of carbines.
  • A forward-mounted telescopic sight of low magnification, typically 2 to 3 power. This preserves the shooter's peripheral vision, keeps the ejection port open to allow the use of stripper clips to reload the rifle, and eliminates any chance of the scope striking one's brow during recoil. Cooper has stated that a telescopic sight is not mandatory.
  • Ghost ring auxiliary iron sights: a rear sight consisting of a receiver-mounted large-aperture thin ring, and typically a square post front sight. This allows the rifle to be accurately aimed at short to medium ranges even if the scope becomes damaged.
  • A “Ching” or “CW” sling. Against common practice, Cooper advocated the use of a sling as a shooting aid. The Ching sling offers the convenience of a carrying strap and the steadiness of a target shooter's sling with the speed of a biathlete's sling. (The CW sling is a simpler version of a Ching sling, consisting of a single strap.)
  • A standard chambering of .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO or 7mm-08 Remington for locales that forbid civilian ownership of cartridges in chamberings adopted by military forces or for its “slightly better ballistics.” As Cooper wrote, “A true Scout comes in .308 or 7mm-08.” The .243 Winchester is an alternative for young, small-framed, or recoil-shy people, but needs a 22″ barrel. Cooper also commissioned “Lion Scout,” chambered for the .350 Remington Magnum cartridge.
  • Accuracy: Should be capable of shooting into 2 minutes of angle or less (4″) at 200 meters/yards (3 shot groups).

These features dictated short, thin barrels, synthetic stocks, and bolt actions. Other optional features included a retractable bipod, detachable magazines, a butt magazine, and an accessory rail for lights and other attachments. The addition of some of these features often render the rifle technically not a scout as originally defined, but this has come to be accepted by many as still conforming to the spirit if not the letter of the concept.

Source: Wikopedia

We found a great video that demonstrates a scout rifle. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments.

Photo credit – Dave56678


  1. Pierre Ferron. says:

    Had a Lee-Enfield Jungle Carbine in .303 caliber. It was short and sweet and I liked it very much till the day I decided to fire it. I hardly believed the recoil. Maybe in a tamer versión it could be better and more pleasant to shoot.

  2. I have a Rem 600 in 308 that I have used as a hunting rifle for many years. It has a very good Leupold 2×7 variable scope with a short vented rib barrel. Never thought of it as something as a scout rifle, since it is bolt action with no external mag. I would need to get a scope as described to change it up. The only other down side for me, is the kick the 308 gives. I’ve thought about a muzzle brake since firing multiple rounds is felt on the range, but not a concern when I have hunted with it. Good information.

  3. The only scout rifle I have is in .375 H & H. I would not recommend it for anybody unless you are fighting large, large game.
    The other rifle that might be considered is a M44 Mosin.

  4. I have the Ruger Gunsite Scout, with forward-mounted Leatherwood 2-7x scout scope or red dot sight, a sling, and (sometimes) Caldwell bipod. Shot an apple from 200 yds last week (sandbag rest). Fun rifle. More economical to shoot than a 308AR and more reliable, too. Great shtf, if you’ve only got one gun, gun. AWB compliant, too.

  5. Harlin Cheatwood says:

    Why did you print the photo on wrong side, or ir this rifle available in left handed ?

Leave a Reply