Thin-barreled scout or thick heavy barrel model?


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peacebutready
July 31, 2012, 10:17 PM
I've never owned a center-bore rifle and am leaning towards a Savage Scout in .308 caliber. Something I've been reading though is that the thin barrels like on the Savage Scout will heat up quicker if not much quicker than a thick barrel. That will cause the zero to wander and groups to widen.

I'm trying to get an idea about how much so for a Scout (20" barrel) compared to say a 20" thick tactical barreled rifle.

They make 9 round mags for the Savage Scout. If a person shot say 12 rounds with about 20 seconds between rounds, or maybe less time between rounds, how much will the zero move and how much will the groups widen on a subsequent shot?

On the plus side for the Scout, I read the thin barrels cool down faster. It is also lighter than the tactical bolt-actions, and thus easier to lug around.

The rifle will probably only see plinking and maybe some low-level 600 yard or so target competition.

In an unlikely country-wide doomsday event, I figure the Scout would be good for hunting and tactical. I already have a shotgun and pistol.

Happy Shooting!

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Maverick223
July 31, 2012, 10:57 PM
600yd. target use, with little little to no hunting use, I'd opt for the heavy bbl. It will heat slower, and therefore maintain better consistency. That said, a moderate weight (medium sporter, et al) made by a reputable manufacturer (Krieger, Bartlein, et cetera) will do just as well as long as you're not shooting very long strings in quick succession.

:)

TonyAngel
July 31, 2012, 11:43 PM
The 600 yard matches we shoot (F-TR) require us to shoot 60 rounds (20 round strings), plus 6 sighters, if needed; so it's something to consider. I shoot a pretty heavy rifle with a 26" Krieger heavy varmint barrel. After a string, my barrel is pretty darned hot and after shooting 66 rounds of .308, I feel like I just got through shooting 66 rounds of .308.

To me, the difference between a heavy barrel and a light barrel isn't a matter of which is going to get hot more quickly or cool down more quickly. It's more a matter of how my shoulder is going to feel after shooting a 20 round string from a light rifle.

As far as how accuracy is affected once a barrel gets hot, that's more a matter of the quality of the barrel. I've seen stock rifles with thinner barrels get hot and start shifting their point of impact and begin shooting shotgun patterns. I've also seen stock rifles with heavy barrels do the same thing.

I've never had a point of impact nor accuracy problem with any quality barrel. My personal preference in barrels leans toward Kriegers, but there are also Bartlein, Rock and others.

So...I think that the question should really boil down to what your most frequent anticipated use for the rifle will be. If it's target shooting, get a heavy barrel. At least with a stock barrel, you'll have more time to shoot before things start to go awry. If you get a good barrel, a heavy barrel will also make your shooting experience more pleasurable.

rbernie
July 31, 2012, 11:49 PM
Offhand or unsupported shooting with a bull barrel is not generally fun or productive.

rcmodel
July 31, 2012, 11:59 PM
IMO: A heavy-barrel Scout rifle would be a sacrilege to the original concept put forth by Jeff Cooper.

The idea was for a light portable rifle, weighing no more then 6.6 lbs with sights & sling.
And capable of killing anything on two or four legs, up to 1,000 pounds, out to 450 meters, without a scope.

Extended gun fights & hot barrel extended gun fights against military troops using automatic weapons?
Or more then one shot or two to kill a big game animal?

That would be a major Cluster Faux Pas by a single scout or hunter, on foot, armed with a bolt-action rifle.

The one-shot, one kill concept when using a Scout rifle for hunting, or social disagreement, would be the norm it was intended for.

As such, a heavy-barrel Scout rifle is not, and cannot be a Scout Rifle.

rc

TonyAngel
August 1, 2012, 12:05 AM
Oh man, you can tell what a guy is into by his answer to a question. Sorry. rbernie is right. What I said above sort of zeroed in on your interest in shooting competitively at 600 and reflexes took over. When someone says 600 and .308 in the same sentence, I immediately start thinking prone off of a bipod.

If you are expecting to be holding this rifle up with nothing but the muscles in your body, that is certainly something to consider. My rifle weighs 17lbs. My wife once offered to carry my rifle and ammo to the firing line for me, while I got everything else. Boy, that didn't last long.

Another thing to remember is that everything weighs something. My scope setup added 3lbs. to my 14lb rifle.

Art Eatman
August 1, 2012, 12:07 AM
600-yard shooting isn't what a scout-type arrangement is set up for. It's basically a short and handy hunting rifle which is readily used in a short-term defense situation--as opposed to a fire fight or other such foolishness. Sure, it's possible to reach on out, but basically it's a 300-yard critter.

Maverick223
August 1, 2012, 12:11 AM
My understanding was either a scout or a heavy bbl with standard optics configuration. The idea of attaching a scout scope to an already forward heavy rifle is not a good strategy IMO. In fact a scout configuration, on any platform intended for 600yd. target work (particularly for competition) is not a winning combination and affords absolutely no practical advantage.

:)

rcmodel
August 1, 2012, 12:26 AM
O.K.

Upon further reading of the OP, and further reflection on his needs.
He said:
I've never owned a center-bore rifleThat statement right there pretty much rules out Scout rifles and 600 yard rifles in my mind.

One will kick your fillings out.
The other is too heavy to carry from the truck to the shooting bench!

Anyway, a first time rifle owner doesn't know how far away a 600 yard target is going to reallly be!
Let alone hit one!

Buy a .223 you can afford to shoot and practice with.

When the 300 & 400 yard targets get too easy?
Buy a .308 and start over at 500 & 600.

rc

Fremmer
August 1, 2012, 01:18 AM
Or buy a target style rifle that'll take a good scope.

Tedzilla
August 1, 2012, 02:04 AM
A Scout is not the tool for the job the OP has described.
I have a scout rifle built to Col. Cooper's specs by Steyr. I would not willingly shoot 3 strings of 20 with it unless I was trying to stop something that would hurt me much more than the 6.6 lb bolt action .308. As for 600 yards, I wouldn't waste the ammo.
The 600 yard target rifle that you can comfortably run 3 boxes of ammo through isn't something you'll want to carry through rough country all day.

henschman
August 1, 2012, 03:07 PM
How about this: just get a basic no-frills hunting-type bolt action on one of the common platforms like Remington 700 or Savage 110/Stevens 200, put a not-too-expensive scope on it, and start taking it to the range to see what center fire rifle shooting is all about. As you get more into rifle shooting and figure out what specific type of use you want to put it to, you can modify it to your heart's content by making it into a 600 yard competition gun, or a scout rifle, or a sniper rifle, or whatever you want. And any of those will be a perfectly fine hunting rifle as it comes, if you want to put it to a very fun and productive use in the meantime. I would look for a .308, for common ammo and a common case head type that will let you convert it to pretty much anything you want for different uses if you decide to rebarrel. A used one would be just fine.

peacebutready
August 2, 2012, 01:41 AM
Fellas,

Thanks so much for all your input!

peacebutready

peacebutready
August 2, 2012, 02:00 AM
600-yard shooting isn't what a scout-type arrangement is set up for. It's basically a short and handy hunting rifle which is readily used in a short-term defense situation--as opposed to a fire fight or other such foolishness. Sure, it's possible to reach on out, but basically it's a 300-yard critter.


Part of the reason I was thinking scout is the opportunity to try both forward mounted scout scopes and scopes in the traditional position.

A traditional scope on the Savage Scout seems like it would be accurate beyond 300 yards. Although the zero and groups would change faster than a more appropriate rifle/setup.

I guess what I'm interested in is a bit unrealistic.

Henschman's advice looks good.

CountGlockulla
August 2, 2012, 08:30 AM
My 20" Remington AAC Tactical in a B&C m40 stock without any optics still weighs about 1.5 lbs more than my Ruger Gunsite Scout with optics.

peacebutready
August 21, 2012, 01:30 PM
A Scout is not the tool for the job the OP has described.
I have a scout rifle built to Col. Cooper's specs by Steyr. I would not willingly shoot 3 strings of 20 with it unless I was trying to stop something that would hurt me much more than the 6.6 lb bolt action .308. As for 600 yards, I wouldn't waste the ammo.
The 600 yard target rifle that you can comfortably run 3 boxes of ammo through isn't something you'll want to carry through rough country all day.


How about a Scout (Steyr, Savage, or maybe Ruger) with a scope in the traditional non-scout position firing 3 or 4 shots to 600 yards?

FWIW, I like the weight and length of the scout, along with iron sights if the scope goes kaputz.

henschman's advice seems excellent, though.

FMF Doc
August 21, 2012, 03:21 PM
I always liked an 18" heavy barrel. .308 is less sebsitive to barrel length and 18 is pleanty enough to get the job done. Many sniper rifles, including my old Mk12mod1 had an 18" barrel. The heavy barrel is more ridged and has better harmonics and thus, better accuracy. YMMV

CMC
August 21, 2012, 03:26 PM
I have the Savage Scout and I use it for hunting.
It is easy to carry and it shoots very good.
Right now I have a Leupold 4x32 fixed power on it.
, dont want a heavy scope on it as it will defeat its purpose
I had a Scout scope on but it was hard for me to see at dusk.
I like to use it on ground blinds or ladder stands, it is easy to carry.
Would I use it for 600 yard shoting in competition ?, no I have other rifles that are better suited for that.
If you plan to have it as your only rifle it is a great choice.

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