The Ubiquitous Scout Rifle

This is a discussion on The Ubiquitous Scout Rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Euclidean To me, I always thought the point was that if you can really work a bolt gun competently, your "rate of ...

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Thread: The Ubiquitous Scout Rifle

  1. #31
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    To me, I always thought the point was that if you can really work a bolt gun competently, your "rate of fire" is the exact same with the bolt action or the self loading action.
    In all honesty, spend some quality time shooting a lot of good semiautos. Aimed rate of fire (versus the spray and pray, which even some of the bolt action guys can do) with quick sight pictures will net you 40-60 rounds per minute with a semi. You're going to be half that or less with a bolt gun just due to the gymnastics.

    There's a reason the bolt guys don't score as high in most cases against the semis in the rapid fire section of the high power matches.

    Cooper misses the mark - firepower, even in a time of scarcity, is a concept that has merit. It's not all one shot one kill aimed happiness in the field - and wasn't even in the day of the bolt gun and I'd wager not in the days of the single shot either.

    Under fire, we're not all going to be Master Sniper Steve. We're probably going to revert to average REMF - even with weekend training and extensive preparations. Some will rise to the occasion, others will not.

    I like semiautomatic rifles just fine, but I think a general purpose do it all rifle like this should have a manual action. The thing is, the Scout concept is supposed to be the rifle that never fails you.
    Cooper misses the mark - there is no mechanical device that won't fail you at a certain point. The scout rifle can be crippled by a freak ammo accident, or a broken firing pin, or whatever else when you need it most. So can a semi.

    As I've read Cooper, he seems to have a severe antipathy towards semis and that colors much of his writing. His biases are wider than most barns in many respects, and he's not always honest about them in regards to his decision-making process.

    The sight system is redundant.
    So are most military rifles with well-thought out optics.

    The loading capability is redundant in the sense you shouldn't need a magazine to be able to use the rifle.
    You don't in most weapons when things go horribly wrong. That said, additional magazines are part of any weapons system that takes them - just like the ammo for the scout.

    The sling and bipod give you maximum stability.
    So does a gas-operated system to reduce recoil versus a bolt gun.

    The size and light weight let you get closer.
    In the weight department, I personally would rather have a couple more pounds in the weapon for stability and recoil and robustness.

    Size depends on how it's slung, carried, and what it's needed for.

    What is more reliable than a bolt action rifle? What is simpler than a bolt action rifle? Not much.
    Most modern bolt guns aren't going to be shot with any regularity - it's why you see such good condition new ones. Nobody (including the manufacturers, I'd wager, in some cases) really knows what the mean time between failures is going to be in field conditions on a standard civilian gun, and I note that Cooper does not specify what is acceptable in that realm. As a former military man during his time of service, I'm amazed that it's not a listed requirement.

    Honestly if the balloon goes up and I had to choose, I'd take a rifle with a simple, rugged manual action over a semiautomatic if I had to make the choice. See my semiautomatic rifles are 100% reliable but that's my rifle, not someone else's.
    If it goes up and I have to choose, I want a weapon I can operate one handed. I've taken a knife before in the hand. I want something that can be fired around a corner to provide cover if it comes to that, or suppressive fire in a manner that a single or small group of dudes with bolt guns could only dream of.

    Not to mention, say you are using a traditional scope. Too bad you didn't see that guy with a sock full of quarters sneak up on you.
    If you're alone in the field, you're already going to be vulnerable. Target fixation occurs regardless of scope type. With the bipod down and in the proper Cooper position, your field of view is already extremely limited even with no scope. This is why if at all possible you train with a friend or friends who you can trust implicitly and agree to back each other up if possible.

    Not to mention if the SHTF, spraying ammunition all over this place will be ill advised. Conservation of resources is paramount.
    You can spray ammo with the bolt gun as well. Every shot under fire is not an aimed shot. There are times when you can choose to conserve ammo and not gain a strategic advantage or escape, leaving your corpse well-equipped for the next guy, or use the weapon strategically.

    Cooper ignores fire and manuever. Conservation of resources is paramount whenever you're not right next to your ammo stockpile and threats are in range, and even then. You choose when to lope along at 5 mph and when to floor the gas based on the situation.

    See I'd even settle for some sort of pseudo scout design with a traditional optic with some kind of backup sights that met all the other criteria, hell it could even be semiautomatic too, but I don't see anything like that on the market either, at least not in the middle market. I can think of some high end rifles that would meet this description.
    Put a Ultimak mount on a Saiga with a scout scope or a rail extension on the traditional wraparound. You're there in the mid-range if the scout scope is that important to you.
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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    An excellent and fair rebuttal, but I have one question for you.

    You keep talking about things like laying down suppressive fire, cover fire, and shooting to escape.

    I agree in the hypothetical SHTF situations we talk about (that aren't so hypothetical in most of the world), such things are a neccessary part of the discussion.

    However there comes a point where I have to realize that paranoid as I am of the government and as convinced as I am that there are untold masses of people who wish to destroy me just because I'm an American, I'm still a little insect in a much bigger hive.

    I don't live under the delusion I have some magical field of protection around me. I don't think any person with a lick of sense does.

    However I realize that open fighting is not the greatest possible threat to my personal safety. I don't want the LEO types here to take this the wrong way, but the greatest threat to my own personal safety is my own government and the society I live in.

    See I don't have a badge or a uniform and I don't deserve one. However, the very idea of using military techniques like cover fire in my own defense is simply going to get me in trouble. For one thing I'm going to get sued and I have no legal protection from it. For another I'm probably going to get charged with something. For a third, I personally would rather die like a filthy dog than do something that would hurt an innocent bystander.

    Now I understand that in a lot of bad situations, there's a chance you may hurt someone that doesn't deserve it and if you don't do anything at all it's just going to be worse.

    But unless I ever catch myself in a war (which realistically is not going to happen anytime remotely soon), I'm just being negligent by ascribing to the military model of "Let's shoot the crap out of it." A concept like "lanes of fire" is not something I relish trying in a crowded suburb full of innocent people no matter how much danger I'm in.

    If I can't get it done without hurting anyone else, well I'm just SOL because I'm too much of a wuss to risk an innocent person if I don't have to. Thus I subscribe to the Cooper model. I'm far more likely to be one man alone under severe legal and self imposed ethical restrictions on tactics than anything else. The precision methodology is better than having no methodology at all under such restrictions.

    Cooper himself even says in the Art of the Rifle that riflecraft as he defines it has no place in a standing military or in a war. He never says that his techniques are universal anywhere I can see.

    Thus unless the situation truly does descend into complete chaos, like in say a war, the Cooper methodology is more sound and responsible.

    Now if it was a complete disintegration, your thinking is indeed better.

    I find it interesting you believe that firing unaimed shots in the interest of trying to escape is a viable tactic. If I can escape, why fire the shots at all? I'll take my rifle and go home. Or am I not understanding correctly?

    And I'm depressed there's no more Saigas. Saigas are cool.

  4. #33
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    An excellent and fair rebuttal, but I have one question for you.

    You keep talking about things like laying down suppressive fire, cover fire, and shooting to escape.

    I agree in the hypothetical SHTF situations we talk about (that aren't so hypothetical in most of the world), such things are a neccessary part of the discussion.
    A rifle for survival purposes, where things like detachable magazines and the like come into play, is already a SHTF situation in all honesty. The scout rifle may be usable for property-type defense but is going to be pretty useless at short ranges against competent or even incompetent aggressors with superior firepower. We (or at least me) don't walk around with rifles all day or have them available at all times in all places. Long-range shots (or even ones beyond simple point-shooting range) aren't particularly common. Thus, the scout and its ilk fill a particular "bad day" niche at best.

    However I realize that open fighting is not the greatest possible threat to my personal safety. I don't want the LEO types here to take this the wrong way, but the greatest threat to my own personal safety is my own government and the society I live in.
    In terms of magnitude of problem, I agree with you - but in terms of probability, I generally don't. The folks who live around you are the big threat - society doesn't care generally as a whole one way or another about any one of us. Neither does law enforcement.

    See I don't have a badge or a uniform and I don't deserve one. However, the very idea of using military techniques like cover fire in my own defense is simply going to get me in trouble.
    What you're assuming is that these things *must* be used. Again, it's like a car that does 120 mph - you may not need to do 120 today, or ever - but it's in your bag of tricks if you have to.

    At a recent event testing equipment for some upcoming shoots, I was clocked at 3.14 seconds shooting 14 rounds of .357 Sig in a B27 at about 7m including picking it up from the table. I don't *need* to shoot that fast. There are many occasions where I don't want to...but I can do it.

    I can do a snap shot and blow away a can at 15m before the pistol is raised all the way more often than not, too. I hope to whatever is holy that I can use my sights and direct the bullet, but imminent threats don't grant me such luxuries. In my most recent gun-related entertainment, I got to point the weapon a dozen times at ranges that were well within the Tueller distances. Sight picture wasn't possible - nor something I was even worried about. I train to point shoot, I practice with sights too.

    Again, it's about options. A bolt gun leaves me fewer options than the alternative.

    For one thing I'm going to get sued and I have no legal protection from it.
    I don't worry much about getting sued - I've had nothing before and built up from far less than the minimum bankrupcty-allowable reserve.

    For another I'm probably going to get charged with something.
    If you carry a gun, and have to use it, you're probably going to get charged with something. I've been there more than once and I haven't enjoyed it any more with each passing iteration - but it's better than the alternative.

    For a third, I personally would rather die like a filthy dog than do something that would hurt an innocent bystander.
    I won't do something I know will harm an innocent bystander unless they're already going to die by my inaction or have reasonable probability of the same.

    Now I understand that in a lot of bad situations, there's a chance you may hurt someone that doesn't deserve it and if you don't do anything at all it's just going to be worse.
    Yep.

    But unless I ever catch myself in a war (which realistically is not going to happen anytime remotely soon), I'm just being negligent by ascribing to the military model of "Let's shoot the crap out of it."
    FBI now says to shoot until the threat stops. If that means one round, I'll use one. If it means everything I have, I'll use everything I have. Again, the car model.

    A concept like "lanes of fire" is not something I relish trying in a crowded suburb full of innocent people no matter how much danger I'm in.

    If I can't get it done without hurting anyone else, well I'm just SOL because I'm too much of a wuss to risk an innocent person if I don't have to.
    The truth is that any firearm has the risk of penetration, deflection, freak accident, etc. when fired in defense.

    Thus I subscribe to the Cooper model. I'm far more likely to be one man alone under severe legal and self imposed ethical restrictions on tactics than anything else. The precision methodology is better than having no methodology at all under such restrictions.
    I follow the survival methodology. I don't assume one shot or even five will necessarily stop the target. It hasn't in my experiences and freak events happen - so I'd rather be prepared for an additional freak on a day that things are already freaky.

    Cooper himself even says in the Art of the Rifle that riflecraft as he defines it has no place in a standing military or in a war. He never says that his techniques are universal anywhere I can see.
    Read his letters and G&A columns - it's full of various dogma about you don't need a second shot, etc. The truth is that you *may* not, but you *may* too.

    Cooper's world is idealistic and romantic in a lot of ways - you may need that weapon for self-defense, every shot is an aimed shot, etc., but it'll somehow be on your terms. I know if I'm faced with shooting three targets quickly, I don't want to work that bolt, baby.

    Thus unless the situation truly does descend into complete chaos, like in say a war, the Cooper methodology is more sound and responsible.
    There's really no place for a medium-range precision rifle in 'normal' defensive scenarios, especially if you're worried about overpenetration and neighbors. .308, even out of a bolt gun, goes through a lot of suburbia.

    Now if it was a complete disintegration, your thinking is indeed better.
    If I'm forced to shoot, it's a complete disintegration. A war is merely a series of battles, and once I'm in a battle, I fight accordingly.

    I find it interesting you believe that firing unaimed shots in the interest of trying to escape is a viable tactic. If I can escape, why fire the shots at all? I'll take my rifle and go home. Or am I not understanding correctly?
    Escape isn't always possible without providing some level of cover - if I can keep the heads down of attackers with superior numbers or position and use that to cross the alley to a car or a better position or to duck around the corner and that's the only way to keep them from continuing to shoot at my position, better believe I'll do it.

    And I'm depressed there's no more Saigas. Saigas are cool.
    They're around in reasonable quantity if you know where to look. The shop here still has a 308 with wood furniture NIB.
    Last edited by rfurtkamp; September 11th, 2005 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Clarity
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  5. #34
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I disagree with the assertion that self defense is a "battle". Even if it's awful, an individual defending themselves is not an act of war just as a criminal attacking you is not an act of war. Even in the New Orleans scenario where you might very well have to start shooting fairly indiscriminately at a group of people, that is not a "battle" as such.

    I feel I should also clarify: I don't think the scout is the answer to all problems. I see having one "decent" rifle in the scout configuration as a part of a diverse arsenal. I don't think having masses of milsurps home butchered into scout configurations is ideal. It's cool but it's not ideal I don't think. I realize there's no such thing as the do it all rifle but the scout ideology comes close as anything.

    And of course the problem is that when you put a specific application like laying down suppressive fire in the middle of a war forth, the all purpose rifle looks bad. It's like comparing my Leatherman to my ratcher set when a bolt needs to be tightened. Of course the Leatherman looks bad by comparison but let's see that ratchet set strip wire.

    I agree with what you said about the people around you being the bigger threat. However if that's the case, I have to admit that the scout rifle is too much gun for dealing with that lot. It's simple human nature to take the path of least resistance. If I greet the trouble at my door with any gun, the trouble will go bother someone else. In a SHTF scenario I see as likely, I don't think my opponents will be particularly determined. I think most of the people who are that determined to survive will be people like me (and you) and I won't have to worry about them.

    I just think it's a good idea for a rifle. It makes sense to me on paper at least. I'm wired that way I guess. I also think the FAL is a good idea for a rifle on paper at least. And I also think the lever action carbine is a good idea for a rifle on paper, and it turns out it is in reality. And I think the SKS is a good idea for a rifle, as is the AK47, and it turns out they are in the real world too. Heck I'm wondering if the AR15 in .308 is a good idea for a rifle. I'm not 100% sure about that one yet.

    I think it's funny we debate these fine points at such length sometimes when the real issue is what do we do with morons who try to attack 6'8" tall men who can bench press a small Volkswagen sitting armed in a car that was made when I was 7, or idiots who wander the interstate at rush hour trying to get into people's cars to do God knows what to them.

  6. #35
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Now this i will argue with .. A Attack on Me is a Act of War to me no differnt than a country Attacking this one.

    As said above i will fight according and also another way to see it as war is the first battel is the actuall shooting then the court battel for possible criminal and civil stuff so its excatly like a way.. A fight would end right away but a shooting wont for a long time ..

    Again were getting to hung up on what cooper says hes like ever other gun rag writer contradicts himself A lot i know a lot of people think he is the king. I like his stuff dont dont hold a lot of it very high he has to sell the article or else he wouldnt write i take everthing with a grain of salt.

    Most of what you read now is so full of his ego to be almost unbearable.. Course as said there all like that Chuck Taylor is another prime example no more than a paid glock spokesman.. and Ayoob has went down hill to ..

    Only one i sort of belive is Clint Smith dont like a lot of what he has to say but most of his stuff is good and makes ya think more than the rest...

    Rant off

  7. #36
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Having skipped some of the "in-between" stuff, here's my take:

    Euc, I like bolts. "Scout" or not, though, to me a bolt means optics, and precise, relatively slow, well-placed shots. For $599, CDNN has the Steyr Pro Hunter, in .243, .25-06, and maybe a few 7mm's left. I bought a Tactical, a few years ago, with the 20" barrel. I cut 1.75" off, and put a Burris 1.5-6x26, with the Burris PosiLign mount system. I traded off my Rem 700 PSS to do that, and it was well worth it. (Accuracy is actually better with my Steyr, but obviously YMMV)

    In S/A, I've played with Mini-14's and M1's. I settled on a -91 because of the roller-lock blowback vs gas system. Just my pick; my friends with FALs are as happy as I am.

    Bottom line, ideally, you have someone with an S/A backing up someone with a bolt. If I were on my own, I'd probably carry the 91, for ease of repair, and on-demand volume of fire. Modern S/A's surrender little in practical accuracy to the bolts, and with a basic parts kit, are much easier to fix in the grit and grime. I carry spares for my Steyr, but pulling the action means a torque wrench. Pulling the scope means a bore-sight (unless you are somewhere a couple of sighting shots won't be noticed). The 91 is plug-n-play, and can be done with a couple of punches and a Leatherman tool.

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    You know Rob that's actually not a bad ideal, putting the two different approaches to work at the same time. A bit farfetched but hey you just never know. Neat gun story too.

  9. #38
    Member Array paknheat's Avatar
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    Enjoyed the read on the scout rifle''concept.''We as firearm enthusiasts sometimes forget that just because so and so says something, does'nt make it gospel. It seems to me that a scout rifle is a niche rifle, It can work in battle if need be, but not as a primary battle rifle. It just works in a pinch. It is'nt a sniper rifle, but can work as one in a pinch if need be . The nice thing about a scout rifle is they are fun to shoot. I built a scout type rifle out of a WWII Mauser . It does'nt fit Col.Cooper's criteria exactly, but it works well for me.I really like having a rifle that I find myself aiming like a shotgun, instead of a presision rifle. But it works that way also. Last year I filled my family's freezer with my"Kraut Skout."One deer I took at 35Yds, One at 260Yds.I f I can ever figure out how to post pics on this site I would post one . It aint pretty, just pretty effective. All I can say to Euc. is get one.Try it and you 'll like it

  10. #39
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    .If I can ever figure out how to post pics on this site I would post one
    Pakn - it ain't that hard! Go to somewhere like Photobucket or ImageShack - do a search for the URL's - and place your own pics on there by uploading.

    Once hosted you can display your pics by embedding the pic specific URL's within ''img'' tags.

    You could also upload to CC gallery and link from there too.

    Try and size pics to about 640x480 or so and compress to maybe 50-100k so not too huge for dial-up folks. If you want more info on image stuff in general, go read a bit on my mini site -

    Image Matters - it may help you a bit too, tho some aspects are re THR forum. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
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  11. #40
    Member Array paknheat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip there 95< will give it a try. I mayhave to wait until Rita gets out of my neighborhood. My power keeps browning out , playing havoc with internet connection.

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