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Turn a stock bolt action into a Scout rifle - which rifle do you start with?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by goon, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. goon

    goon Member

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    For the guys who are more educated about bolt action rifles than I am...
    Which bolt action rifle would you use as a base for a scout rifle?
    In my ideal world, the rifle in question would be extremely durable and reasonably accurate to start with. Stock iron sights would be nice but most rifles now either don't have them at all or have such pathetic excuses for sights that I'd just have to toss them anyway.
    I'd also probably skip the detachable magazine in favor of an internal box mag - one less thing to get lost.
    I'd also prefer to avoid the Remington 700. There are horror stories running around about breaking the bolt handles off of them by people who don't really have any reason to lie. Given that if I ever manage to get something built to my liking it will be one of only a few rifles I'll own, I'd just as soon not have to worry about stuff like that going wrong with it.
    Other than that, it would be pretty much up in the air.

    FWIW, I don't have the money for any kind of a project right now but it doesn't hurt to have big dreams. ;)
     
  2. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    I can't imagine a Remington 700 bolt handle being that fragile...

    But I would probably just buy a Mosin Nagant M44. They are reasonably accurate to 100 yards and cost like $100. Some poor soul was forced to use the irons on that, you probably can manage.
     
  3. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    The Ruger frontier rifle would make a good scout conversion. Wait!!! It is already a scout rifle. Wasn't that easy.

    Plus New England Custom Guns makes a reciever sight that attaches to the rear scope mount and a banded front sight that will fit the barrel.

    I think the story of remington bolt handles coming off is because the actions are used for wildcat rounds that get overloaded and lock the bolt up. Then the shooter pounds the bolt open with a mallet or 2x4 and breaks the braze joint loose. In the real world I don't think its a problem you have to worry about.

    The cheapest way to get a scout rifle with good open sights is to use a Marlin lever action and add the XS sights and scout rail. Plus if you don't like it you can undo it in a few minutes time. The Marlin isn't a bolt like you asked for buts its quick and easy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  4. rust collector

    rust collector Member

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    I've always thought that the ideal scout rifle would start out as a sound mauser that bubba had gotten to, so there was no historical value. Rebarrel with a short 308 tube, install ghost ring/peep sights, then a scope mount on the barrel. There are many aftermarket triggers if you wish to upgrade, or a gunsmith can slick up the original.

    This mounting lets you use stripper clips, there is no need to modify bolt handles or safeties, and you have the blind box mag. The unit is sturdy, reliable and time proven. Get a synthetic stock to save weight, or just whittle down the issue stock to a shape that works for you. Lots of options to save or blow money to get what's important to you.
     
  5. NotSoFast

    NotSoFast Member

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    I've decided that the Schmidt Rubin K31 is the perfect bolt action for me. It shoots .308 bullets out of its 7.55x55 cartridge, is reliable, is long range accurate and has proved itself over the years. The scope adapter runs about $65.

    And it's inexpensive to start with too.
     
  6. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    I threw this together...1946 Mosin Nagant M44 minus front site assembly and bayonett. Scout mount and 2-7x32mm Pistol Scope, ATI plastic stock painted Tan & bipod + Homemade Adjustable Trigger.

    The Cons:
    The 16.5" barrel, slow buring powder and muzzle brake are so freaking loud you'd better not shoot without hearing protection!
    During daylite the muzzle flash is obnoxious!
    At night it will look like a howetzer going off!
    People sitting next to you at the range either want to shoot it or they will want you to leave!
    YOU CAN FEEL IT FIRE!!

    The Pros:
    Really can't think of any but it's FUN!

    ScoutPaint005.gif
     
  7. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    I like your attitude! It looks like fun to me too.
     
  8. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    I vote for a Mauser chambered for the common .308. The issue sights on these rifles blow, but finding a good receiver sight is a piece of cake, and installing a good Patridge front sight would be easy too.
    That being said, here's mine, before:

    FR-8.jpg

    and after:

    FR-8-1.jpg

    This little rifle is easily my favorite rifle out of a dozen or som bolt actions I own. I fired it so much that all the Parkerizing is worn off the bolt handle and it shones like chrome!
    Samco Global has these little Mauser 1916's for $130. They'd make a nice little Scout rifle and even come with a handy 21" barrel. 1916 Mauser
    35W
     
  9. Oohrah

    Oohrah Member

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    No pics, but I had a barreled 03A3 action with a total crap barrel wearing
    a scant stock. Screwed on a new barrel shortened to 20" and altered the
    stock to a Mannlicker type, full length glass bedding the stock. Bolt handle
    bent and mounted an old Weaver 4X. Very accurate brush gun that has
    been used more than 30 years in all kinds of terrain to havest a lot of game.
    Very handy 30-06 with the only downside is being flashy in low light situations
    The entire cost was somewhere around $35 with all but the tap and drilling
    being done by myself.
     
  10. Moose458

    Moose458 Member

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    I used a Mauser K98K 8mm added a thumbhole stock from Boyd's, burris scout scope, shortened and recrowned the barrel, jeweled the bolt and reblued all the metal. Turned out a beautiful very accurate rifle. It also became rather expensive. It just depends on what you want to do and how much $$$ you want to spend.
     
  11. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    Are you looking to follow Cooper's guideline or make a rifle with a forward mounted scope? I think when I do mine I'll most likely use a M77 frontier.
     
  12. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Start with the Mauser. Either the M98 or the Swedish version.

    If you like the 308, use it. I liked the 6.5.
     
  13. goon

    goon Member

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    The guidelines that Cooper layed down do make a lot of sense to me but for right now, I'm on the fence about the LER scope. I've used one before and it did work pretty well but I don't know if I'd really call it any better/worse than a regular rifle scope.
    Things I do want -
    - Fairly light weight and a 18" barrel
    - Commonly available and durable rifle to start with. Commercial is OK as long as it's durable.
    - .308/7.62x51mm
    - open sights that are good enough to be primary sights
    - internal magazine. I'd love to be able to use strippers but that's negotiable

    As for the Mosin option, I've owned them and don't really have any love for anything other than the Finn M39, and I'd never butcher one of those up for this. The rest are useable but not what I'm looking for. Other milsurps are probably out too with the exception of a Mauser or Ishapore Enfield - they may be options. In either case, I'd probably try to find one that had already been bubba'ed to start with.
     
  14. AVESguy

    AVESguy Member

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    Savage still makes their Scout rifle too. Put a Leupold 2.5 Scout scope on it and you're done. Only thing is it does have removable magazines.
     
  15. goon

    goon Member

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    Had one of those before and it was a great rifle.
    I've considered one again but I think if I got that route I may look for a used Savage .308 and make it into what I want.
     
  16. AVESguy

    AVESguy Member

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    I think Savage offers a lot of functionality and accuracy for the money (and that nice Accu-trigger) , and you don't have to worry about customizing (Bubba-ing) and losing a lot of collector value, especially if you buy a used one...

    I've run through some intense rifle courses with a couple of Savage Scouts and they both (one borrowed, one mine) ran just fine and shot very well with surplus ammo.
     
  17. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Member

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    I made a scout from an M 48, 8mm mauser. I used a byod's stock a scout scope mmount from Midway or Brownell (I can't rmenber which) and a burris scout scope.

    It turned out great its really nice when the weather is bad and I don't want one of my better rifle in harsh conditions.

    Its also the best way I've found to sporterize a military weapon and return it to its original condition quickly.
     
  18. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I started with a Ruger Frontier in 308. That made the task a lot easier. :)
     
  19. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    A SOCOM or DPMS LR 308 AP4 would be great scout rifles if you ditch the weight requirment. Otherwise the Marlin Guide Guns Lever Actions might also work.
     
  20. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    I think that a 2A or 2A1 with a plastic stock and a barrel mounted rail would probably be ideal.
     
  21. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I build a 2A Scout. Had a local gunsmith do a matte blue refinish on it, and then I dropped it into a sporter stock and mounted a OneHotMount scout mount on it. It was an enormous amount of work, and in the end I had something that cost as much as a Ruger Frontier and was far mo' crude.

    It worked OK, but the Frontier is far more functional. I also have a couple of Marlins set up scout-style, and frankly I really do prefer the boltgun.
     
  22. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    The Ruger Frontiers are nice, but I'd not own a Scout rifle without good back up sights, plus I much, much prefer a controlled feed type action. I have three 2A's and even though they're not controlled feed, I think they'd make an acceptable Scout platform. For those folks who aren't handy, the Savage surely would do the trick.
    Oh, and for all you anal-retentive types who like to use the term "Bubba" when someone makes a more practical rifle out of a 1-of-17 million Mosin or some other common military rifle: I have no interest in trotting off to the local gun shop with credit card in hand when I want a specialized rifle. Rather I take immense pleasure in converting a military rifle into what I need. My latest project was to make a High Power match rifle out of a '55 model Swiss K-31. It was great fun! Bedded it and installed a set of good receiver sights. Talk about a shooter!! All the while I worked on it I smiled at the thought of some purist curled up in the corner in the fetal position, sucking his thumb and crying because I'm destroying a piece of military history!:D
    35W
     
  23. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    The Ruger is CRF. It lacks the iron sights and stripper clip option of the 'scout rifle' definition.

    My point is that it's cheaper to buy a $500 NIB Frontier and have my FLG silver solder a front sight base on and mill a rear sight dovetail than it is to drop $300+ into a 2A (or FR8, if you want CRF) and make the desired changes to that platform. Adding iron sights to the Frontier is a $100-$120 proposition, and you really do wind up with a much better fitted platform than you do when you 'sporterize' a 2A or FR8.

    I have been down that road with my small-ring Mausers and large ring Mausers and Enfields. To do it well is never cheap, and I always wound up being disappointed in some fashion with the results.
     
  24. 4thPointOfContact

    4thPointOfContact Member

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    I did what Elmerfudd and rbernie have suggested.

    In my case it was taking an Ishapore 2A1 that had already been converted by the importer into a "jungle carbine" so there was no real collector's value to it as it was.

    What it became - -
    A detachable magazine fed 12-round (I found a few extra 12-round magazines from E-gunparts) 7.62 Nato carbine.
    It sports a 16.25 barrel with a 3-slot FAL flash hider complete with bayonet mount -since you never know when one of those might come in handy.
    An ATI plastic stock was roughed out and an XSsightsystem's scout scope mount was put in place just ahead of the receiver. The dimensions of the mount and the receiver are identical, it looks like it came from the factory. A few ounces of SteelBed strengthened the forearm to replace any plastic lost when it was relieved for the mount.
    Currently it's wearing an illuminated LER scope that I Think is by Burris, it's a few years old and the caps have both been replaced with plain caps.

    I was a bit hesitant to fire it once it was 90% finished, after all it is a plastic stocked, 16-inch lightweight now. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it kicked less than my semi-auto shotgun. After a few trial runs for sight adjustments, I was able to do a full magazine's worth of 'volley fire' with a silly grin on my face.


    I'm a true believer that the English looked seriously at what was needed to make the best Fighting bolt action and put the results of their research into the SMLE design.
     
  25. ROAshooter

    ROAshooter member

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    Ruger 77RSI.....308...my scout rifle
     
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