I've been intrigued with the very idea of the Scout Rifle ever since I first heard about it. At first I thought it was a novelty but the more I come to consider it, it just makes a heck of a lot of sense.
The trouble is if you don't have $2500 laying around it's very hard to find a rifle that meets the requirments. It's even harder to find one that can take the forward mounted optic.
On the flip side we have all these home brewed things popping up. I have a well worn copy of The Poor Man's Scout Rifle by Bob Cashner. I really have to give Cashner a lot of credit for his ingenuity but I honestly think the scope of some of his modifications are beyond me. For one thing I don't have the necessary tools to fabricate mounts like he does, not to mention me drilling on a gun is a recipe for disaster!
The book is useful for seeing the possibilities though. I especially found the parts about accessories, slings, ammunition, and optics very informative.
Is there something in between? Why isn't there? I realize that cost was never a part of the Scout formula and that you get what you pay for, but there must be something between a milsurp rifle that's been homebrewed up to snuff and an expensive Steyr. Ruger broke my heart with that rifle of theirs. I thought "Yes! This is the answer! Here is a quality scout rifle that's ready out of the box at a realistic price!" But it has no iron sights... ugh damn you Ruger for not putting a little piece of metal on there.