Cooper's advice on the Scout Rifle


George Hill
May 28, 2003, 12:10 PM
People complain about the price of both the Scout and the Dragoon, but I see this as simple whining. Anything good costs money, and if the price of the Scout series bothers you, I think you should just stick with that little Springfield sporter and be happy. The elk will not know the difference.

I think this is the best bit of advice Cooper has given on the subject of the Steyr Scout.
But I disagree about the whining. For the price of a Scout, you can get any number of other rifles that are much much better... and in some cases you can buy two.

Of course, I am of the opinion that the Scout is grossely over priced for what it is. I may be wrong.

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Dave R
May 28, 2003, 12:13 PM
Has Cooper ever mentioned the Savage Scout? On paper, it seems like a fine and affordable alternative to me. Have not tried one, but its on my list.

May 28, 2003, 12:16 PM
I'm with ya on this one. Mid bore CZ with those great iron sights is what I'd want. Glass get dirty and busted.

May 28, 2003, 12:25 PM
I've had a chance to handle and shoot the Steyr Scout. I believe it to be a good rifle. However, it's priced as if it was a great rifle.

After assessing the Steyr Scout's workmanship and features, I've concluded Cooper is just plain wrong when he claims the high price is justified.

Andrew Wyatt
May 28, 2003, 12:28 PM
I think the proce is justified. the scout IS a great rifle. if they came in left hand, i'd buy one if i wasn't poor.

I'm building my own enfield scout eventually.

El Tejon
May 28, 2003, 12:31 PM
Steyr Scout is an outstanding weapon even with its small bugs. However, it should be excellent.

Oh, well, got to keep the gunsmiths employed.:D

D.W. Drang
May 28, 2003, 12:36 PM
Has Cooper ever mentioned the Savage Scout? I think he has referred to it. He has often ridiculed the very idea of getting a $cout for le$$. He $eem$ to a$$ume that by $pending le$$ money you are necessarily getting le$$ rifle, and that This Is A Bad Thing.
Myself, I'm not convinced that the Savage Scout is enough less of a rifle for me to worry about it. It doesn't have a built in bipod, or (I think) magazine holder, but other than that (IMHO) all it doesn't have is the Steyr name.
Big deal.

El Tejon
May 28, 2003, 12:54 PM
The Savage Scouts I have seen in action have fallen apart quickly. Could be just be seeing the lemons.

May 28, 2003, 12:56 PM
$cout for Le$$?

I find it a bit odd that people state Cooper scoffs at the po' man's scout. As I remember in his Commentaries, Cooper would continually extol the virtues of a trailer park class Rem 600/660 as God's gift to man. Now does the man at the same time look down his nose at a Savage and be uppity enough to eulogize an upper crust Steyr?

I honestly think that he must be embarrassed by the execution of the S/S for the price but he has backed himself out on a tree limb, now do you expect for him to saw it off, too? Let the guy have his fig leaf! :eek:

Oh well, you know he's also 82 years old. If he is saying inconsistent things, his mind is probably not all there.

May 28, 2003, 12:56 PM
Cooper has made mildly disparaging remarks about the Savage Scout in general but I've never read where he has adressed a specific short coming in particular.

I find much of what Cooper has to say to be useful. However, he is one of the last warrior princes and is able to live in his own little world that is different from the one the rest of us deal with day to day...

Joe Demko
May 28, 2003, 01:06 PM
I own a pair of Remington 600's and most of what Cooper has said about them is true. They're nifty little guns. You could go to a gun show or buy one at an auction, mount long eye-relief scope and still have spent less than on the Steyr Scout. Since, IIRCC, Cooper worked up the scout rifle concept around the 600, you would still end up with a real and for true Scout rifle, albeit an earlier iteration of same.

Andrew Wyatt
May 28, 2003, 02:00 PM
cooper was not impressed with the savage scout's lack of ten round magazines, bolt head problems(who'd have guessed that a 27 piece bolt is not the way to go for durability?), and somewhat inferior grade of scope mount, if i recall correctly.

May 28, 2003, 02:56 PM
Wasn't there a problem with early Steyr Scouts not functioning well with NATO-spec 7.62x51 ammo? And didn't the spare magazines have a tendency to pop out of the stock? And didn't Steyr expect purchasers to pay for upgrades to rectify these problems?

And haven't Steyr's lawyers mandated that their Scouts ship with crappy triggers? So after paying through the no$e you have to either gunsmith it yourself of have it done professionally?

Anyway, people are entitled to their opinions - I mean, if you've got one and love it, good for you. But after evaluating features and decent - but not spectacular - workmanship, I maintain the Scout is a good rifle, not a great rifle.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)

Art Eatman
May 28, 2003, 02:58 PM
George, I might not be correct, but I believe Cooper's comment, "People complain about the price of both the Scout and the Dragoon, but I see this as simple whining." was made before the Savage Scout was put into production. The Steyr was the only Scout being made, at the time of the comment. (IIRC, natch.)

Seems to me that within the overall Scout concept, the Steyr has the advantage as to features which fit that concept. The argument then becomes, "What can you do for how much money?", which is a separate argument.

:), Art

May 28, 2003, 04:02 PM
The Savage Scouts I have seen in action have fallen apart quickly. Could be just be seeing the lemons.

Could you elaborate? I have a Savage that I've put a couple hundred rounds through. Is there anything in particular I need to keep an eye out for?

May 28, 2003, 04:45 PM
I have a Savage Scout. Its a great little rifle. I've got "more than a few" through mine, dont know the exact number, but its close to a thousand, and have never any trouble with it. It came out of the box with a great trigger and will shoot under an inch at 100 yards off a bipod with my reloads. The scope mount is a little cheezy, but it does work. I did have to loctite it when I first got it, but thats all. My only beef with it is, the recoil pad is "sticky" and grabs(I hate recoil pads, rather have a checkered steel butt plate) and they dont provide a third sling point for a Ching sling. Thats not a biggie and easily fixed, but they could at least give you the stud. I dont know why so many people turn up their noses at Savages. I've owned a couple others and they were all accurate, well made and reliable rifles. Maybe they are just jellous? :)

El Tejon
May 28, 2003, 05:49 PM
Razor, bolt problems mainly.

May 28, 2003, 05:51 PM
Razor, bolt problems mainly.
Well, thats pretty vague. :) Any specifics?

Andrew Wyatt
May 28, 2003, 08:43 PM
usually the bolt head comes off.

George Hill
May 28, 2003, 09:11 PM
My Cooper quote was a direct cut and paste from his latest commentary.

If Cooper is to be believed about this SS rifle, then he is also saying the same thing about all Steyr rifles. The SS is, for what it is, more than double it's actual value.

Built in bi pod? You can get that in the new Kel-Tec rifle for crying out loud! They also come standard on many FN FAL rifles. You can get an FAL, with a bi pod... with a case of .308 ammo... and with the scope of your choice with money left over for a couple Glocks... all for the price of one little SS.

Not Worth It.

If you want a FINE rifle, the SAUER 202 rifle is pure sweetness for the same money. And it's a take down.

Other than this issue... I am huge Cooper fan. I just feel this celebrity endorsement of a bad product is abusing Cooper's name and Cooper, the poor guy doesn't even see the forest for the trees.

Still, Cooper remains one of the worlds finest men. They don't make'm like that any more.

May 28, 2003, 09:21 PM
The esteemed Mr Cooper has talked his way into a corner more than once. At one time, the 1911A1 was dangerous for the user because of the dreaded grip safety which could get you killed.

The D&D 10MM was another well known item. The cartridge is a workhorse and will do likely most anything you want it to if you know how to shoot the weapon, but when the Bren Ten died, ole Coop took off for the 1911A1 camp and has been extolling its virtues ever since. The only thing that changed was his mind-not the 1911A1.

This scout rifle issue really has me puzzled-there are any number of short, reliable rifles already being made in several action types and don't require 3 mortgage payments to buy them.

And, having all the above negatives against the man, I like him anyway-for a large part I like his thinking and his humor. All of the above just makes him a human being with some quirks, and we wouldn't be human without them.

Art Eatman
May 28, 2003, 09:42 PM
Hokay. I'd lost my bookmark, and was behind on reading his Commentaries. Regardless, that "whining" comment is a reprise of a previously offered opinion, not long after the first Steyrs were produced. :)

Now, I like the concept of a Scout rifle, although it doesn't fill any niche for me, personally. Maybeso thirty years back, but not now. IMO, the Steyr version is not only over-priced, it's yougly. I could sell some under-used guns and get one, but I ain't gonna.

As I listen to folks, there seem to be two types in discussions of costs (for all sorts of stuff, not just guns): One group gripes because something is too expensive--well, ain't that just too bodiddly bad? The other group regards something as not enough gun for the money, and it's less the affordability than it is wanting a fair deal.

Changing emphasis: Maybe the Dragoon is more useful than the Scout. That is, if you really need to get that first (and accurate) shot off FAST, the target might be coming at you instead of going away from you. Teeth/claws/hooves, a .376 might be more the ticket than a .308...

:D, Art

May 28, 2003, 09:51 PM
IIRC, one can send their Savage back to the factory for a heavy duty bolt conversion. Maybe a 'smith was doing it...I'm not sure.

The SS is a fine rifle there is no doubt about it. "Not worth it"? Then what is the use of having a Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Bentley, Jaguar, etc. when you can just use a Kia hatchback to get to work? You pay to get the intangible value as well as the tangible.

Andrew Wyatt
May 28, 2003, 10:42 PM
Perhaps its because I think of every one of my guns as a weapon, and expect them to have utility as such, but I think the scout concept is a great one, and i think that a man can use his steyr scout rifle as a weapon more effectively than he can a typical remchester boltgun.

Personally, i think a man needs to build his own scout rifle himself, instead of buying one off a rack.

May 28, 2003, 11:30 PM
A run of the mill Remington 700 ADL SY with the 20" bbl is the po mans scout rifle. Short & handy, lightweight, reasonable trigger, and add some good irons and your there, for about <500 bucks only.

George Hill
May 29, 2003, 12:04 AM
Daniel Flory, using the automotive analogy...
I have ZERO problems with nice cars being more expensive than average cars. Until I got married pretty much all of my cars were Audis. Every single one of them, save a GTI I got for sport just before I got married. I love Audis. I love Mercs too. I know the difference between the 190E 2.3 and the 190E 2.6... one is a fun car to drive and the other is a slug. I can appreciate the balance in a BMW 325i... Great cars to race around in.
When I rallied, I raced all Audis... 1st car was the Fox, later I raced a 4000 Quattro... Okay, I've made my point.

What the Scout is, is Ford Taurus with an A8 name plate on it. It might be priced like an A8, and say A8 on it and have a celebrity rave about how great this Steyr A8 is... bit its no A8. Just like you can't pass off a Datsun 210 as a BMW 325i You can't pass of Steyr Scout as a rifle worthy of it's ante. It's incredible that a man that used to race Porsches can't recognize the Volkswagon under the name badge.

Andrew Wyatt
May 29, 2003, 12:25 AM
what's so horribly wrong with the scout?

the lawyer trigger? the hard primers issue? (both of which were mentioned by cooper, who said they needed fixing)

if you chalk up the amount of cash you'd have to pay to have a genuine scout made with all the features of the SS, you'd pay as much or more.

May 29, 2003, 01:46 AM
I built a 'scout rifle' on a 600 remington in 1979, in 1981 I had Chet Brown build me a Kevlar stocked one that weighs less than 5 pounds with a Burris pistol scope. I didn't have good luck in practiical matches with it so I relegated it to deer hunting. What a joy to carry and I took a few deer in mid 80's with it. In 89(I think) I got a mid morning shot at the biggest, pointiest mulely I've ever seen and suddenly I saw the downfall of 'scout rifles': with the sun at your back glare will not let you see thru scope! Your head is not there to block the glare! Also the scout mounted scope does a piss poor job of gathering light at twilight. It is nowhere in the same class as a high quality conventional scope for twilight game(let alone defense) . Just my $.02. BTW I think the price on the dragoon is a good deal , apparently they couldn't give them away!;)

May 29, 2003, 01:52 AM
...the flimsy bipod, the non-replaceable barrel that (if shot out) turns the gun into a four-figure tomato stake...

I was talked out of buying a Scout by a couple of folks I trust during a pleasant smoke break at SHOT. I had been all stoked about getting one, too, but their True Life Horror Stories dissuaded me. :uhoh:

May 29, 2003, 01:57 AM
Here is a link to info on the Savage scout. If you scroll down you'll see info on the bolt head retaining pin problem.

I've found that discussions about the scout rifle concept quickly get mired in dogma. I've played with the concept some and have wound up with a 18" Ruger stainless with a conventionally mounted 1.5 to 6 scope and back up irons. I don't feel the need for a detachable mag or stripper clips. I usually refer to it as a "utility rifle" to avoid offending the scout rifle crowd.

The one accessory I feel I'm lacking that I can't find is a trap door in the butt stock. I think they are great additon to a "scout" or "utility" as one can carry tools to mount/dismount the scope, spare firing pin, simple cleaning kit and etc inside the gun.

Anybody have any ideas on how to add a trap door the buttstock without making it look like "bubba done it" or have a source of supply for somebody making a replacement stock with this feature?


May 29, 2003, 02:01 AM
About 18 mos. ago, there was a used Steyr Scout in the newspaper for $1500. I was ready to buy it, but someone had beaten me to it. I asked the guy why he sold it and he said he didn't really need it. He also said it was a superbly accurate little gun, mentioning something about three shots in a dime-size hole. Maybe that was hyperbole, but why would he exaggerate? At any rate, I never did buy one, and I'm not sure if I ever will.

As far as looks go, I kind of like its off-beat appearance. I can understand how some might find its unconventional style "yougly," but I find it cute in the same way I find an English bull terrier cute. Of course, this is a subjective area, so there really are no right or wrong answers.

BTW, as I remember, Jeff Cooper, a man I greatly respect (respect--not worship), also said (or quoted some close aquaintance) that the Brockman Scout was also awful and it was evidence that other gun makers really didn't understand the scout concept. So far, I haven't heard him mention any production scout-type rifle that he likes except for the SS. I doubt I ever will.

Art Eatman
May 29, 2003, 08:26 AM
Tam, while I believe that it's plumb stoopid to build a rifle with a barrel which cannot be replaced, the intended purpose of a Scout rifle is not thousands of rounds in a relatively short number of years. Seems to me. :)

Separate from all this backing and forthing: Hasn't Cooper made some comments that those with the SS rifles tend to score higher in the rifle classes at Gunsite? If my memory on this is correct, this would support the validity of the concept.


May 29, 2003, 08:58 AM
Tamara and Art,

Do tell, in all my research on the Steyr I had somehow missed the fact that the barrell can't be replaced. Is it pressed into the receiver or something?

For me that puts the gun in a slightly different light. I was tending towards not ever gettting one but that pushes me even farther that way.

Tamara, what other horror stories didja hear?

Arts comment about not wearing out the barrel with a high volume of fire makes sense to me but I still am uneasy about a rifle with a major component that can't be replaced.


Steve Smith
May 29, 2003, 09:47 AM
Art, either that, or he has specifically designed the course to show off the abilities of the SS.

i.e., If you were walking along a Texas arroyo and came across an Afgan APC, wouldn't it be grand to have a rocket launcher on your .30-06?

May 29, 2003, 09:49 AM
George- So you're essentially saying that when you have a nice German ride, you're getting greater performance, greater feel, pride-of-ownership, and other intangibles. Well Cooper admits, and I admit, that the SS doesn't offer greater practical performance than many other rifles. As he says, an old beat up Springfield sporter will kill an elk as stone dead as the SS. But what you do pay for is greater feel, pride-of-ownership, handling, and the other intangibles. All of this is subjective. I know people who hate Audis, I have no idea why... Anyway, the SS fits me like no other rifle I've ever handled, it handles like and points like a dream for me. As far as other intangibles, I am a huge Cooper fan, so owning his signature rifle would be pretty dang cool. Mind you I'm a poor college kid so I don't own an SS yet, but when I graduate, expect a full range report.

May 29, 2003, 09:51 AM
loudernhel, I believe Steyr heats the receivers to make them expand and then presses the barrel and then let the receiver cool to lock the barrel in.

Art Eatman
May 29, 2003, 10:18 AM
Well, the only major advantage I see in any part of the Scout concept is the forward mounting of the scope allows a practiced person to be a bit faster on target acquisition. This could well be an advantage in a Gunsite training course, whatever the course might be. I assume that "going against the clock" is part of the deal, along with the multiple targets.

So far, in my hunting, that's never been a problem. And, if I'm a scout in the military sense, the odds are that I don't want to have to fire any shot and betray my presence--which is why scouts play sneaky-snake. Howsomever, different strokes for different folks.

Now, limited production + high quality = higher price. Always has, always will. Doesn't matter if it's car or gun, computer or refrigerator. I'm just dubious about the price of the SS vs. its quality. Purely opinion, but I'd bet Remchester could produce all the features for a MSRP of around $1,500.

And with a stock which is aesthetically attractive to us Old Farts.

:D, Art

May 29, 2003, 11:02 AM
what is the use of having a Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Bentley, Jaguar, etc Mercedes-Benz: Back in the early '70's, I learned how to drive on a Mercedes - nice car, but high maintenance. Factory batteries lasted 18 mo., mufflers ~ 2 years. Folks replaced with Delco and Midas respectively, much to the dismay of the MB dealer who wanted to keep selling them replacements every now and then. But - the US replacements LASTED and my folks kept the car. Until that fine German coachwork rusted out, the extra-cost Mercedes rustproofing being no match for Midwestern winters. :barf:

BMW used to be known as a poor man's Mercedes - but not any more.

Audi - the larger sedans are nice, the TT is :barf:

Jaguar - the only reason to own one is to help send the mechanic's kid through college. :barf:

Hmmm . . . maybe the automotive analogy to the SS has some validity. ;)

George Hill
May 29, 2003, 11:20 AM
DF, What I am saying is that there is a difference in quality that commands a higher price. The SS doesn't have that.
Simple as that.

May 29, 2003, 11:22 AM
My mother used to say "Be careful of what you wish for, you might get it."

I think that could sum up JC's scout rifle as produced by Steyr. Cooper (and others) did all the brainstorming and development work using Rem 600s and other off the rack rifles and Cooper beat the drum for it, then Steyr built a gun to their liking, incorporating Cooper's ideas. After all the drumbeating in his bully pulpit, Cooper can hardly say he did not get what he wanted or he will 1) lose any credibility he may have, and 2) appear an ingrate.

It is evident that he has attained a godlike status among certain elements but he can handle them better with ridicule than admitting he made a mistake (trusting Steyr) thus showing their idol to have feet of clay.

May 29, 2003, 01:32 PM
I think very highly of the overall *concept* of the scout rifle, but I think the current Steyr version is absurd.

The idea is to make some kind of "universal" rifle, that can do almost anything, anywhere, and be easy to shoot, right? Why on earth would you make a "universal" rifle on a proprietary action, made in small numbers, with parts only available from one source? There's already been one interruption in parts supply due to Steyr's reorganization and the change in US distributors. What happens if Steyr goes under or stops making that action?

It seems blindingly obvious to me that the best possible action for a scout is a Mauser 98. 105 year track record of stellar durability and reliability, parts available virtually anywhere for very little money, and absolutely no dependence on a single, unreliable source of support. Heck, you can get a COMPLETE surplus 98 for spare parts for the cost of a couple spare mags for a Steyr scout. Plus, it's all steel and extremely simple. I don't have a schematic handy, but I'd bet there are more parts in the bolt *alone* of the Steyr than in a complete military Mauser action. The Steyr seems to have an awful lot of aluminum and plastic for a supposed "premium" gun...

So, that's my take on it. Someday I'll probably build myself a Mauser 98 Scout and be happy, even though it won't have some other guy's logo and initals on it :D


May 29, 2003, 01:58 PM
The Scout Rifle concept has a lot of merit but it is not the final word in rifle development. No one rifle can fulfill all of the needs of all shooters. A light, handy rifle is a good thing in general and some situations make it essential. In hunting situations where the hunter travels around in a truck, jeep or ATV, or hunts from a stand or goes on relatively short walks in the woods, the weight of the rifle is much less critical. If the hunter shoots a lot in practice, which is a good thing, an eight to nine pound "conventional" sporter is much more comfortable to shoot than a 6.6 lb Scout. Then there is the issue of the scope. The 2.5X scout scopes are great and superior for snap shooting but there are times, like when counting antlers, when more power is needed and there are times when the light gathering ability of the small objectives on the scout scopes is insufficient. In these cases, a conventional scope would provide more utility. Actually, I like the scout concept but do not agree that it is the only rifle worthy of consideration.

The Steyr Scout is a fine rifle but it is way overpriced. This statement may denote me as a "whiner," but the fact remains that. for the price of a Steyr Scout, one could buy about four Rem Model 7s or two Model 7s from Remmington's Custom Shop. One could also buy about three Steyr Pro Hunters which use the same action as the Scout. If the Steyr Scout appeals to you and it is worth the price to you, buy it and enjoy it. The features, mystique and Col. Cooper's endorsement are not worth to me the 100% markup over what the thing should really sell for.


Art Eatman
May 29, 2003, 02:04 PM
Whoa up, nextjoe! The Scout ain't a "universal", do-everything deal. It's a "general purpose" rifle, which will do most things that are more commonly done.

As a for instance, for me, my Sako carbine .243 will take care of my local-area needs under all probabilities. It's "Scout" enough to suit me. I ain't gonna take it to Africa or Alaska. It's not the critter for benchrest competition or extended prairie dog shooting. It will, however take care of coyotes and feral things and Bambi and I can hit a quarter coin at 100 yards off the benchrest.

There's no doubt whatsoever that the Mauser 98 is a superb base on which to build a rifle. For "Scout" purposes, however, within the 40" length limit, you wind up with a rather shorter barrel than if you start with a short action. And, possibly have a minor difficulty in making the weight limit of seven pounds.

:), Art

May 29, 2003, 02:22 PM

We're using different words to talk about the same thing, but yours is probably a better term :)

By "universal" I meant the same thing as you mean by "general purpose"... A rifle that will cover the broadest possible spectrum of practical uses. Obviously it's not for benchrest competition, and it's not an elephant gun. But it'll do most things well enough.

Yes, the Mauser action probably weighs a bit more than the Steyr action (I don't have exact numbers handy). BUT, if weight is really important, the Mauser can be lightened. You can do G.33/40 type lightening cuts under the woodline, swiss-cheese the magazine box, use an aluminum follower, and maybe aluminum bottom metal. To me, a few extra ounces aren't a big deal, especially when it means you're gaining strength and durability by using steel instead of plastic and aluminum. I don't believe there's any inherent magic in Cooper's 6.6 lb limit. Who can feel the difference between 6.6 and 6.7 lbs, anyways? :D

As for the short versus long action argument, there are short Mauser actions. The Mexicans, Peruvians, Yugos, etc. are all shorter. Anyways, the difference between a short and long action is what, 1/2" or 3/8"? So you *MIGHT* lose 25 fps or so off of the muzzle velocity by shortening the barrel that much. I won't lose any sleep over that. :D


May 29, 2003, 04:06 PM
I seem to remember Cooper disparaging Steyr when they had the cheek to come out with their proprietary 376 cartridge instead of following his lead and chambering it for his recommendation, a cartridge of almost mythic power, what he calls the 360 Short or Fireplug AKA the defunct 350 Rem Mag.

George Hill
May 29, 2003, 05:30 PM
My earlier take on the Scout concept:

The rifle is intended to be YOUR go anywhere and do anything rifle – so you’re the one that has to be able to take it with you all the time. This isn’t about some old codger with great grammar’s ideal of what your rifle should be – it’s about you. You are the Scout, and the rifle is your rifle. Get it? You don’t need to be spending 3 grand to have that comfort. If the Steyr fits you… fine. If not, make one that does. .308 is a fine caliber and generally probably the best choice. But what if you live out where I do? You might want to make your rifle on a flatter shooting .243 platform… or even a good .25-06. If you live in Alaska, and your wanting something capable of Brown Bear, Moose, Elk, Caribou, and the stray Soviet APC… you might opt for .338 Win Mag or a .505 Gibbs. It’s about you and how and where you scout with your Scout.

I might be wrong.

Andrew Wyatt
May 29, 2003, 06:09 PM
the the barrels are replaceable on a SS. they're held in with a nut like an m-16, and the bolt locks into a barrel extention.

I've never seen the bipod break, and even though it seems flimsy, it's there.

Art Eatman
May 29, 2003, 07:11 PM
Nah, George, you ain't wrong. I'm purely guessing, but Cooper was doing the same sort of thinking--only in line with his military background and orientation...

BigG, I've sorta lost track from not paying all that much attention, but isn't the .376 Steyr a new cartridge? Seems to me, then, that common availability of ammo might be a problem for some, or in some areas. The .350 might not be popular, but larger stores would probably have it, and components and loading data are probably available...


May 30, 2003, 12:41 AM
Since I own both a Steyr Scout and a Savage Scout, perhaps I can do a side-by-side comparison. Both shoot well, with the Steyr getting the nod for accuracy, but not by much (1 MOA versus 1.5 MOA - not a major factor for the intended use of the rifles at short to medium ranges). The Steyr is unquestionably more "ergonomic", with the adjustable length of pull, far better trigger (I put a Sharp Shooter trigger into the Savage, which has improved it immensely), bipod, etc.

Is the Steyr worth the money? I don't know, except that I'm happy I bought mine. I did it the "economy" way - bought a black Scout from CDNN on clearance, and added the scope and Ching sling later. I've probably got about $1,700 in mine at my cost prices, compared to the $2,500-odd list price for the full package. I am not sorry I bought it - it has replaced half-a-dozen other rifles that I no longer need, as the Steyr does so many things so well. (The Savage is a cheaper "backup" for the Steyr, and is also used for extensive training, as I don't mind replacing its cheaper barrel if I have to!)

I took the Steyr Scout to Thunder Ranch for their General Purpose Rifle school. It performed excellently - I was one of only two students (out of 24 in the class) to "clear" the Jungle Walk, with first-round hits on all targets, and the Scout made that much easier: one can rapidly acquire targets and swing very easily, much more so than with a conventionally-mounted scope or a less ergonomic rifle. I'm glad I bought it.

May 30, 2003, 08:30 AM
Yes, Art, the 376 Steyr is a new ca-atridge and the new Scout that fires it is called a Dragoon for some reason. A dragoon is an old term for cavalryman. When the Scout rifle was in the talking stage Mr. Cooper peppered his Commentaries with references to "Baby" and "The Lion Scout," and so on. His "Lion Scout" was some kinda 350 Remington Mag with a longer magazine box so the bullets could be seated out. The original Rem 660s in 350/6.5 Rem Mags had the defect of being so short the bullets had to encroach w-a-a-y into the powder space. I think the 350 Rem Mag has about the same oomph as a 35 Whelen, 6.5 sumpin like a 270 Win. Neither the 6.5 or 350 Rem Mag has prospered and may only be a handloading proposition by now. IIRC, Cooper was miffed that Steyr did not take his recommendation to use the 350 RM in their heavy scout rifle.

Rosco Benson
May 30, 2003, 10:34 PM
Delmar wrote;
"The esteemed Mr Cooper has talked his way into a corner more than once. At one time, the 1911A1 was dangerous for the user because of the dreaded grip safety which could get you killed.

The D&D 10MM was another well known item. The cartridge is a workhorse and will do likely most anything you want it to if you know how to shoot the weapon, but when the Bren Ten died, ole Coop took off for the 1911A1 camp and has been extolling its virtues ever since. The only thing that changed was his mind-not the 1911A1."


Jeff Cooper was an advocate of the 1911 pistol, as a personal sidearm, LONG before the Bren 10 was even a blip on the radar. Way back in the 1960's, Cooper was so closely associated with the 1911 that I think he can be given the lion's share of the credit for its popularity today.

In the late 1970's/early 1980's Cooper became impressed with the CZ-75. He wrote glowingly of the pistol, but complained that it was only available in 9mm. Cooper came up with the concept of a slightly scaled up CZ-75 in a 10mm chambering. Dornaus and Dixon attempted to bring such an item to market and failed. There was no "taking off for the 1911A1 camp" by "ole Coop", as it was a camp he had never left. The 1911 was his tool of choice. The Bren 10 was intended to be a forward step from that standard.

As to the 1911's grip safety, Cooper has written several times about how he (and about 25% of his students) have trouble reliably depressing the grip safety when using a proper "high thumb" grip. He has noted that those who experience this difficulty shoudl deactivate their grip safety and that new pistol designs would do well to not include this dubious feature. He certainly has never luridly condemned the grip safety as being "dreaded".

Delmar; it really doesn't appear that you've read Cooper carefully, thoroughly, and over the many years he has been writing. What people THINK they know about Cooper's opinions is often not exactly what he wrote.

As to the Steyr Scout and the scout rifle concept in general; I do not think it is nearly as significant as the advances Cooper made in pistolcraft. Also, the scout is not a range rifle. Its positive attributes of light weight and compactness can best be appreciated when afield, in difficult terrain. They are not as noticeable when carrying the rifle from the range parking lot to the firing line.

The scout scope concept is being "proved" by its close cousin, the forward-mounted, no magnification red-dot sights being used by the US military. Running the "scope" well forward and shooting with both eyes open is working out well with the miltary's Aimpoints and EOTech sights.

Anyway, no one is forced to buy a Scout or to keep it if they try it and find it wanting. Cooper has given shooters another choice in weaponry that might well appeal to them. For that, he is to be congratulated.


May 30, 2003, 11:15 PM
Cooper knows his stuff, and on a lot of subjects other than guns. I go along with him on most of what he says, but we part company on .45's and 'scout rifles'.

He likes the 1911, I like the Sig 220. I carried the 1911 for decades and for a time I believed it was the best of the breed. I had maybe a dozen over 25 years and shot them all extensively. Out of the group, 2 were reliable without a lot of tinkering. I can recall 3 that were really good shooters, 4" or less at 50 yards. The bar-Sto Commander would crowd 2", but wasn't reliable.

Then I discovered the Sig 220- a 28 oz., roughly Commander-size carry gun with a decent 'right now' trigger, no safeties to fumble with, and accuracy under 4" @ 50 with good ammo- right out of the box. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw one jammed; this one never has. I could have bought a couple of these just with what I spent trading for all those 1911's, and getting them to a) work, and b) shoot well. I'm happy, and have no desire to go back to the '11. They are cool old guns, but for my nickel the Sig is a much better gun. Sorry Jeff, but it's time to move on.

Rifles? As long as your eyes will tolerate aperture sights, take any old 'post deer season' trade-in sporter in .270/.308/.30-06, put a decent aperture sight and a fine bead on it, and mount a good sling. Sight it in for about +2.5" @ 100 yards. Depending on the individual rifle, you might want to clean the trigger up a bit. Pick ONE load and shoot the devil out of it at 50-300 yards until you know where it hits. If you are grossly offended by a 22" barrel, bob it off at 19"-20", remount a front sight, & repeat above procedure.

The fact is, there's an old 7400 Remington in the corner that wears a set of Williams guides, and shoots almost as good as any bolt gun I ever owned. It has lived on a steady diet of H4895 reloads for the last 3 years and has never choked.

Either of the above rifles will do anything I'll ever need to do. I couldn't care less if they don't meet some idealized standard of weight or configuration, or cost more than Joe's rifle down the road. All it's gotta do is SHOOT, and if it does that cheaper, it's just icing on the cake. The Savage Scout is about perfect by my standards, but I personally wouldn't give a rat's a$$ for a pistol scope on a rifle. Makes about as much sense as having S&W revolver sights on a 700 Remington to me.

I don't have a thing against gun writers, and they have kept me well-entertained for years. Jeff Copper is an old favorite, and we should treasure him while he's with us. However good he is, I don't need him to do my thinking for me. I made it a point to try to spend as much time shooting/hunting as I have reading about it, and the opinions I have formed are based in experience. What works for Coop don't necessarily work for me.

Writers, by protocol, sell guns. This is a good thing to remember when you're reading the most recent iteration of anybody's work- except mine, of course. I ain't selling anything at this particular moment in time.

Take care-

May 31, 2003, 05:54 AM
Rosco Benson

I've been reading Jeff Cooper since the late 1950's-how far does your library go? I still have some printed articles from the early 60's so don't assume I am leaving things out or am adding things in.

Mike Irwin
May 31, 2003, 11:20 AM
Quite frankly, I find the Scout concept, and its application by Steyr, to be somewhat lacking from a sheer practicality stand point.

I'm not sure why the good Col. has carried this on for the past 20 or so years, but I really think it's just a minor joke on his part.

May 31, 2003, 04:32 PM
I think the basic scout concept has validity, with a few caveats.

I concluded years ago that it was unlikely one could find a rifle that could address multiple close threats with alacrity, while also being able to neutralize very long range or obscured targets well...and still having the capability to drop very large game responsibly. I believe the Scout Rifle is a different name for the "Ranch Rifle" mission: a handy platform to deal with occasional threats or targets of opportunity. It does a great job of a few tasks, and an okay job of many.

I do have a modified 12 GA Mossberg with GR sights, tritium front dot, Teflon finish, light rail, and forward-mounted scope. I also have a 6mm "Cub Scout" built on an 1891 Mauser action...unfortunately, the gunsmith buggered it up. I expect to pay somewhere in the 400-500$ neighborhood to repair the deficiencies.

I shot Glamdring's SS a few years ago. It was obviously an extremely accurate rifle, just way overpriced and ugly as homemade sin.


May 31, 2003, 08:41 PM
Does anyone else fail to see a reason a light, short barreled rifle of moderate accuracy needs to be expensive?

I guess weight issue can always drive costs up, but the Scout isn't that light.

This thing would be no big deal if mass produced, as long as 1.5 MOA is okay. The Steyr is neat, but is really taking a GP/survival rifle too far.

May 31, 2003, 08:57 PM
I really like the scout concept, so I got a pseudo-scout. It's based on a large-ring Mauser, is in .308, has a 19" barrel, a Leupold scout scope, and a Parker-Hale trigger. At the moment it's at the smith's getting a threaded muzzle, stripper clip guide, and conversion to use FAL magazines. I'd put about 50 or 60 rounds through it before the smith got it, and I really like it. It's fast, light, and much more potent than my Daewoo. Shooting 100-yard snapshots at paper plates was no big deal. Better yet, it's got bolt-action reliability, which is a big plus over a semi (try clearing a double-feed in a FAL and a Mauser, and you'll see what I mean:) ). After it's finished (should be soon) I plan to take it through as many classes as I can afford (which isn't many, unfortunately) and get to be really good with it. It should make an excellent take anywhere, do almost anything rifle.

Rosco Benson
May 31, 2003, 09:04 PM
Delmar wrote;
"Rosco Benson
I've been reading Jeff Cooper since the late 1950's-how far does your library go? I still have some printed articles from the early 60's so don't assume I am leaving things out or am adding things in."


I have Cooper articles and books going back to the 1960's. Since you do as well, I must assume that your recollection of what you read is in error or that you are just inaccurately paraphrasing what you did read. Cite for me any instance of Cooper refering to the 1911's grip safety as "dreaded". I also think that any objective reading of his writings will show that he has remained steadfastly in the "1911 camp", though he did consider the Bren 10 a forward step. Cooper considered the CZ-75 and HK's P7 as forward steps by their 9mm chambering. He also favorably commented on a couple gas-operated prototypes from Husqvarna (though these were chambered for 9mm, Cooper saw the potential of the action of these pistols being used to contain the pressures associated with driving a hard, small bullet to rifle-like velocities. In this sense, he anticipated FN's FiveSeven pistol).

Cooper writes clearly, but different readers may interpret a given article differently. Still, I stand by my original comments that Cooper has never abandoned the 1911 for the next big thing and then run back to the 1911 camp, as you contend. Likewise, he has objectively reported on the problems that some users have with the 1911's grip safety and noted how to deal with same...but I have never seen him carry on as if it were a death trap to ensnare the unwary (his scorn of the slide-mounted safety/decocker of various DA/SA pistols...the "dingus"...has been much more emphatic! Don't get caught with your dingus down, being the watch-word).

If we recognize that Cooper was an experimenter and that his grasp of the subject of weaponcraft grew throughout his active career, then I can think of no instances wherein he "talked his way into a corner". By the way, his active career is not over. When I last saw him in February at the SHOT show, he was looking for a publisher for a new manuscript and, although his body is somewhat broken down from 80+ years of living, his mind is still incisive, inquisative, and busy with his life's work.

You are, of course, free to form whatever opinions you wish about Cooper's work. Though I've read most all of his writing, I have yet to encounter the inconsistancies that you seem to contend it is rife with. Perhaps you would care to point them out to me, with actual quotations and citations of where these things were written....or perhaps not.


May 31, 2003, 09:33 PM
I gotta weigh in on Roscoe's side on this one, although I haven't been reading the Colonel's writings as long. Mr. Cooper has always been a 1911 proponent, even saying that all the 10 MM gives you is more power and range.


Art Eatman
May 31, 2003, 11:24 PM
Sarge, I've never messed with any 1911 newer than a Series 70. I've had (ain't sure) maybe a couple of dozen, in my gunshow horse-trading and such, over the last 40 years. I've yet to have a 1911 not work quite adequately for a self-defense type of usage: Relatively short range, to 15 or 20 yards; hit within a 4" or 6" target area.

Reliability has never, ever, been any sort of problem. Not in plinking, not in IPSC back in the early 1980s. Not with box-stock guns, nor with my "tweaked" critters.

I dunno. Some folks maybeso have a little black cloud, or they've made an enemy of Mr. Murphy. :(

But whatever works is good...


June 1, 2003, 12:37 AM
I think the Sig has spoiled me on both the issues of reliability and accuracy. I want the gun to virtually never jam, and shoot 'minute of noggin' to 50 yards- right to the sights. I guess it all comes down to what we each consider 'reliable' or 'accurate' enough.

If you've never had anything newer that a 70 Series that means you missed the '80 Series' which probably contributes greatly to your high opinion of the product. If I had never owned any of those, my opinion of them would probably be a lot higher, too.

In the end, I agree with you entirely. 'Whatever works' truly is good..

Art Eatman
June 1, 2003, 11:34 AM
The "grapevine" word I heard about the Series 80 was that quality control went all to garbage.

Wasn't it the Series 70 that first came out with that weird four-fingered collet bushing? I always made those go to the scrap bin. Otherwise, they always worked okay. My preference is the old stuff, and I'm happy if they're sorta rusty and boogered up. Cheaper to buy, easy to fix up.

I've never minded working over a 1911 to make it "just right" for me. Sorta like tweakin' a small block Chevy: It's just way too easy. :)

Come to think of it, I don't guess I've ever seen a factory anything that didn't look like to me it needed a bit of help. :D


Mike Irwin
June 1, 2003, 02:55 PM
"Wasn't it the Series 70 that first came out with that weird four-fingered collet bushing? I always made those go to the scrap bin."

The collet bushing was known for being prone to failure. Mac Scott, of Scott McDougal, once told me he had a small bin of broken collet bushings. When one of the fingers broke off, as often as not it cause a difficult to clear jam. He always replaced them with a solid bushing.

George Hill
June 1, 2003, 03:59 PM
Am I going to have to move this thread to Handguns? :scrutiny:

June 1, 2003, 04:50 PM
What if I bring a "Scout Striker" into it? Do we have a "hand rifle" section? :)

June 2, 2003, 12:11 AM
To get back to the topic, one of the things that Cooper doesn't like about the Savage Scout is that it doesn't fit the criteria for being called a "Scout" rifle, but Savage still calls it that. A real "Scout" rifle as defined by Cooper is supposed to be 3 Kg or less in weight - complete with scope, sling , magazine and bipod (the bipod is optional); but without ammo. The Savage Scout is 1/2 lb too heavy to fit Coopers criteria, so he doesn't like that Savage even calls it a "Scout" rifle. Most "psuedo-Scouts" are also too heavy, I don't know of any standard rifle actions that allow a true "Scout" rifle to be built other than Remington's titanium bolt action.

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