View Full Version : scout rifle
I've been reading a bunch of pages about Jeff Cooper's "Scout Rifle" concept. There's a Wikipedia page that details his final specification. I also found a site (Jeff Cooper's Commentaries (http://dvc.org.uk/jeff/)) with Cooper's newsletters from the 1990s where the concept was evolving.
Basically, the specs were:
Light weight; between 6.5 and 8.5 pounds empty
Bolt action, though he said he had no objection to an autoloader
Short barrel, 16.5 to 19 inches
Powerful cartridge, .308 class or better
Bisley or Ching shooting sling
Overall length 40" or less
Forward-mounted 2x or 3x optic, or "ghost ring" or peep sights
The idea was basically for a "single rifle" that would be light, handy, and powerful enough for combat or large game. Not necessarily optimal for anything, but good enough to do the job.
The optic part took a while to figure out. Cooper was a fan of snap-shooting or wing-shooting, and his working scenario was that you'd be shooting at 50 to 100 yards max. The forward-mount optic (about where a standard AK rear sight would go) was partly because he felt you should be shooting with both eyes open and looking toward the target, and the long eye relief would make that practical.
Cooper's specifications changed over time. The interesting thing is, an AK-47 and an optic meet most of the specs. So would many leverguns.
The other thing is, a lot of the "truck guns" and "hog guns" I've seen people build meet at least the spirit of Cooper's concept. Short, light, forward sights or optic, healthy cartridge.
I haven't shot a rifle with a long-eye-relief scope yet, so I'm still dubious about the whole "both eyes open" thing. (or maybe I've been shooting "wrong" the whole time...) I thought I saw a 1.5 Burris pistol scope in one of the boxes last time I was cleaning... I might whittle out something to mount it on an AK and see how it works out.
10-01-2011, 03:57 PM
While I've gone to iron sights for hunting (more challenging for me), I do have and have used an LER scope mounted on my Finn M39 rifles. It's much easier to shoot with both eyes open using an LER than a regular scope. You're already focusing the "aiming eye" out to the scope, so it's not difficult to use the other eye to maintain a broad view of the intended target area.
I'm going to have to disagree with your 'specs' for the rifle. Cooper was adamant that the weight be 3kg (6.6 pounds) but would accept 3.5kg (7.7 pounds). This definately leaves the AK out as it is typically heavier and has far less power than the .308 level of performance he establiched. At best an AK would be a pseudo-scout by his definition.
Another reason for the forward mounted scope was to allow loading from stripper clips. Without this it would lose a great deal of utility for fighting. Even the detachable box magazine is less than ideal as it would add weight to the system.
Personally I see it as a great general purpose hunting rifle but not so good for fighting.
This definately leaves the AK out as it is typically heavier and has far less power than the .308 level of performance he establiched.
Valmet, Galil, Molot, and Saiga made AKs in .308. Civilian-market AKs have been made in a lot of calibers. It's a very flexible design.
Weight could be addressed. Cooper didn't insist on strippers; in his Commentaries newsletter he said a detachable box magazine was fine.
I'm still reading the newsletters in order. He might have fossilized a final spec after he made the deal with Steyr. Where I am so far, he was flexible on what would constitute a "scout rifle." In fact, he even made a specific case for building one in 6.5x55 instead of .30 or larger.
There are whole forums out there for debating the "true scout rifle" question. (really. ScoutRifle.org - The Scout Rifle Community - Index (http://www.scoutrifle.org)) I'm mostly interested in Cooper's "rifle you point like a shotgun" concept that underlies the whole "scout" thing. At least, that's what I see as the important part.
And the .308 AKs are heavier than the traditional, already too heavy to meet standard, 7.62x39 AK.
10-02-2011, 04:36 PM
As I recall from conversations with Ted the head smith at Gunsite back then... the scout rifle started with M-98 Mauser actions then went to commercial Mauser actions all equipped with Remington .308 barrels for best accuracy. Later they went with Remington actions w/ Remington .308 barrels.
These carbines all had flash suppressors due to their rather short barrels. The stripper clip thing was only on the military M-98 actions. These all were custom built rifles and real tac drivers.
Much later came the deal with Steyer for the "Scout Rifle". Their version was more expensive. Colonel Cooper grew disenchanted with Steyer toward the end. His passing was a great loss to this country.
VD in AZ
10-02-2011, 08:39 PM
hmm not sure of the weight but just take a m44 mosin an add a optic. Done.
i dont like the balance of of a forwrd scope mount on some rifles but that is only a slight issue and can be balenced out in the stock if needed.
A AK can be built much lighter if some one wants to get serious about it. aluminum and other alloys can help. of the barrel componets need to be made of steel does the barrel need to as heavy. I HAVE ONE IN THE WORKS THAT WILL BE PRETTY LIGHT AND WILL BE IN 243WIN TO BOOT. IT DEFFINATLY WILL BE LIGHTER THAN A STANDARD AKM. a 308 AK dosent need to be heavier than a standard ak. a 3rd lug weighs very little and the mag is not much heavier. in fact the g3 mags im going to convert will be lighter. some were I started a thread on a light weight AK.
im not sure the AK is in the spirit of a scout rifle but it will do it if set up properly.
Get rid of the FSB and RSB to start with; they're not needed with an optic. Use a Saiga-style handguard screwed to the gas block and you don't need all the quick-release bits. You could take a lot of weight out of the stock by boring holes up from the buttplate, or windowing it like a Tabuk.
10-05-2011, 11:08 AM
what about a m14 with a short barrel and optic mounted forward of the receiver? idk about weight but to me it sounds ideal with those specs in mind.
10-05-2011, 11:53 AM
Or a .308 cal Garand Tanker so furnished ????
10-05-2011, 08:43 PM
10-05-2011, 08:44 PM
10-06-2011, 01:03 AM
Very nice carbines !!!! I believe that the FR-8 flash hider is 22mm (7/8 inch) diameter the NATO launcher spigot standard.
10-06-2011, 01:58 AM
im watchin shooting usa right now and their demonstrating scout rifles. now i want one lol
I'm still reading the Cooper stuff. He mentioned the purpose of the forward-mount, low-power optic was you were supposed to shoot a scout rifle like a shotgun. Instead of sighting in with the reticle, you were supposed to swing it up like a shotgun, and when you could see the target through the optic, you fired.
Pretty interesting stuff. He mentioned guys shooting clay pigeons with one of the prototypes. In .308...
10-07-2011, 01:55 AM
I believe that the FR-8 flash hider is 22mm (7/8 inch) diameter the NATO launcher spigot standard. Yes your right
10-07-2011, 02:04 AM
FR8 is standard Nato FS, it sports a cheap red dot scope now, the biggest improvement to the FR8 I made is the decelerator butt pad.. the original steel butt plate hammered the shoulder.. I like that rifle a lot.. I can use the stripper clips and it in a good caliber.. 762 nato.. I had two FR-8's at one time.. I wish I had kept the other one also.. but it was modified..with a different rear sight and front sight was ground down and the trigger was different.. so it was monkey'd with a lot.. Ain't nothing wrong with the tanker Garand either... has some big fire power in a short package.. B2B
10-07-2011, 03:28 PM
I know what you mean about shooting the FR8, a range friend has one and it's only fun to shoot a couple clips through it, other then that it's a great rifle.
OH and watch out for that rear sight while cocking it :D