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What is the most accurate Scout Rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by arthury, Jan 26, 2017.

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  1. arthury

    arthury Member

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    The Jeff Cooper's specs for the Scout Rifle has now developed into a segment of its own in the rifle industry. So far, I am not convinced of the current implementations. I checked out Ruger and Savage and was not impressed with their accuracy at 100 yards. Both were above 1 MOA.

    Which, in your educated opinion, is the most accurate Scout Rifle in the industry?

    Thanks!
     
  2. primalmu

    primalmu Member

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    I have to wonder how much a low power, long eye relief scope affects accuracy. Most of these scopes seem to be intended for handguns (though there might be some scout rifle specific scopes out there now). I'd be interested in seeing some accuracy tests performed with standard eye relief rifle scopes to compare against these scout rifle scopes. I would be willing to be that accuracy would be significantly improved.

    That being said, I don't think scout rifles were really intended to be extremely accurate. After all, accuracy tends to decrease with lighter barrels, plus the aforementioned issue with the long eye relief scopes. Besides, apparently Cooper only stipulated a 2 MOA accuracy requirement, so the Ruger and Savage rifles already qualify -- and I bet you could get better accuracy with a proper rifle scope.
     
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  3. arthury

    arthury Member

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    Good point about the unusual scopes.
    2 MOA? That sounds like the original specs is for the Scout Rifle to engage targets somewhere at 50 yards or less. Is that a rancher thing?
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Yea, they aren't intended to be highly accurate and the forward mounted scopes hurt. I've seen some guys mount scopes conventionally on the Ruger and get some very good accuracy. I honestly believe that if Cooper were alive today he'd modify his requirement for the forward mounted scope and move it to the conventional position. The primary reason he mounting it forward was to load military Mauser rifles with speed strips. Now that most of the modern scout rifles use detachable magazines there is no real need for the scope to be out on the barrel. A low powered 1-4X scope mounted conventionally does everything better anyway.
     
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  5. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    I mounted a conventional 4.5-14 Burris on a Savage Scout in 308 Win. and was able to get under MOA w/125 gr. NBT's. I suspect that heavier bullets would be better suited to the 1:10 twist barrel but wanted the lighter bullets for a short barreled predator rifle.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  6. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    I have a Ruger GSR. I put an XS Rail along the top and a conventional 3x9. I tried the scout scope thing, but it doesn't work for me. Others I know love it. Back to the accuracy thing. I sighted in the scope and really have tried shooting for groups. I did as much as was needed to sight in the scope. I would say less than two inches at 100 yards. I am able to hit a six inch round steel plate at 100 yards and the move it out to 200 yards and with no issues. It is light with the synthetic stock and has quite the muzzle blast.

    There are a lot of choices in the market place for this type of rifle. I bought it to hunt with and its lightness is its best feature.
     
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  7. OtG

    OtG Member

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    From what I recall of what Cooper wrote about the Scout rifle, it was intended to be lightweight, quick to get into action, and have hunting/combat accuracy (2 MOA or better).
    If you're trying to hit a deer-sized target at under 300 yards, the rifle doesn't need to be shooting 1/2 MOA, and most people can't shoot that well anyway especially from field positions.
    Since the vast majority of hunting/combat encounters are at shorter ranges, insisting on a super accurate rifle takes focus away from attributes that are more useful in more situations (light weight, easy to aim quickly, reliable).

    It's supposed to be a GOOD rifle in almost any situation, not the perfect choice in any one scenario.
     
  8. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    " It is light with the synthetic stock and has quite the muzzle blast. " :rofl:

    Say what!? Can't hear ya, dh.;)

    That's the only drawback; I wear ear plugs and muffs on the range. This is the only rifle I have fired that has a noticeable muzzle flash on a bright day. A faster powder might help the flash, but doubt it would reduce the blast. Thinking I might remove the muzzle brake to save what hearing I have left after 65 years of shooting everything from .22 RF to 81mm mortars.

    So far have not fired it in the field but no way will I touch one off w/o muffs at least.

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  9. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    People need to remember that the Scout rifle is a rifle intended for use in the field. It is not a benchrest rifle. In imperfect field conditions, a shooter is generally doing well if they can hold 4MOA from slung prone. Without a sling or in less stable positions or in rapid fire, that just gets worse. It gets somewhat better with a ruck or bipod, but in practice you may not have time to deploy either.

    As long as the rifle is accurate enough not to impede that 4MOA standard, it's accurate enough. All of the currently offered scouts meet that requirement. They'd be deadly on human targets at 400y from slung prone or barricade positions. From a ruck you could shoot game out to 3-400y. That's what it's meant to do.

    If what you really care about is benchrest and you really want to do it with a scout rifle (why?!?) they're typically mechanically OK. For example the Ruger there's nothing wrong with the M77 action from an accuracy perspective, and short barrels are more accurate than long ones. The current ruger barrels are acceptable if not great. You should be able to get sub-MOA with match ammo if your technique is up to snuff.
     
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  10. clone

    clone Member

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    My Savage FCM 7.62x39 shoots well below MOA. I think the limiting factor is the shooter.
     
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  11. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    I extensively fired a Steyr scout ( 308) one afternoon. Some shots were with premium hunting ammo. With the scout scope I was obtaining groups of 3/4 to 1.0 inch from LOTS of sand bags with certain brands of ammo. Most ammo was in the 1.5 inch range. I tried the fold out bipod legs and was not doing so swell with them. To me the Steyr seemed a wee bit butt heavy in balance, I could not hold it very steady from a slung standing position.
     
  12. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    As a rifleman, I suck, proof provided.

    [​IMG]

    However, using this rifle, with handloads and iron sights, I think I can meet the 4 MOA lowest standard mentioned above. :D Maybe. I haven't ever had a rifle that really meets the Colonel's Scout concept, so the CZ 527M/CSR is as close as I've gotten yet.

    [​IMG]

    I can't complain. It's my personal version of a "scout" rifle, without the scope. I can ring steel at 200 yards from the standing position all day, (3/4 IDPA, nothing to really brag about), but probably wouldn't try a standing shot on a deer farther than 100 yards, just because I'm not that good.

    It tightens up a wee bit when I take a more stable platform.

    [​IMG]


    Perhaps someday I can find a real "scout" to play with. :)
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    No, not 50 yards. More like 300 or so, maybe a bit more. These days the makers, marketers, and buying public are hugely invested in the idea of suburb accuracy, such as a 1-m.o.a. guarantee, with factory ammo, for inexpensive off the shelf rifles. But it isn't necessary to have that capacity in order to hit a man or a deer or other average sized target well enough out to the sorts of distances most hunters, scouts, soldiers, etc. work with in the field.

    Consider that the US military's acceptance standard for the M16 is something like 5 m.o.a. And we all know that it's very rare that any AR-15 type rifle is anything like that bad. But they understand 5 m.o.a. to be good enough to do the job. A well trained soldier will still have all his shots on a stationary man-sized target at 300 yds.

    A scout rifle -- whatever we have all inflated it to be since its invocation -- wasn't ever supposed to be a varmint rifle or benchrest target gun.
     
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  14. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    If I can hit a six inch plate at 100 yards or even 200, then its as accurate as I need for the intended purpose. I read that some consider the bolt loose on the Ruger, I never though so. I own two Savages and the Ruger seems to cycle a little better. I would like to lighten the trigger just a bit on the Ruger. Hps1 you did some fine shooting with your Savage. I shoot only 150 grainers in mine. What is your overall opinion of the Savage? It looks like its a good shooter.
     
  15. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    While I was never impressed with the forward mounted scope because I can get on target very fast with a scope mounted over the receiver but I understabd the reason for the front mounted scope on a stripper fed rifle. And I seem to remember reading Cooper stating that the Winchester model 94 30-30 would make a passable scout rifle because of its light weight and short overall length. Put a ghost ring peep and bead front and you should be able to snap shoot a man sized target at 100 yards with just a little practice. And a quick 200 yard shot shouldn't be that much harder.

    http://www.hensleygibbs.com/edharris/articles/3030assaultrifle.htm
     
  16. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Feel sure I could work up a better shooting load w/150-168 gr. bullets in the 1:10 twist, but the lighter bullets fit my particular use for this rifle.

    Have owned them in 222, 223, 308, 338 WM (my go to big game rifle) and a 375 h&h. They all shot under MOA except the 375 which would hold a hair over moa (1 1/8 to 1 1/4 @ 100). The 338 & 375 were pre-accutrigger but both have been worked over to very crisp 3.5#. The scout is supposed to adjust to 2.5# but can't get below 4#. I think I could do a bit better w/better trigger. Plan to call Savage and see if I can purchase the target spring which is supposed to go down to several ounces. All I want is around 3.5# as it is a hunting rifle.

    Every Savage I have shot shoots well. Their tend to accumulate a bit of copper but hey, when they shoot like that, I can put up w/a little copper.

    The Scout action is still a bit stiff, but hasn't had that many rounds through it and I'm spoiled w/an old pre-64 Win. Mod 70 Target that I have fired over 22,000 rounds through plus at least twice that many "rounds" dry firing. That action is slick and the only parts not original is the barrel (#4).

    Guess you could say I'm a big Savage fan.:)

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  17. kwg020

    kwg020 Member

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    Wasn't the original Scout rifle a cut down Mauser with a long eye relief scope? Mausers are good rifles and are reasonably accurate but to expect them to be sub MOA is asking more than the original design called for. Short, handy and accurate. 2 out of 3 isn't bad.
     
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    And useful for a purpose.

    The funny thing about accuracy, regardless or Col. Whelen's famous quip, is that beyond a certain point it isn't actually useful. It's such an easy thing for folks to latch onto as an ideal that we lose much of our view of what we can do with the rifle and focus on what the rifle is theoretically capable of.

    Very much like the horsepower race where factory street cars are hitting over 700 horsepower even though there's some rough practical limit of how much power a normal cruising automobile can use to motivate itself, and that's something closer to 500 hp. But if you can show 700 hp in your ads, everyone needs that car.

    Owen got this right a few posts back. None of the things a scout rifle was supposed to do involved a need for 1/2 or 1 MOA accuracy. The only time a shooter would be able to capitalize on that would be bench-rested accuracy testing, and that's not what the rifle was for.
     
  19. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Not sure which Savage you looked at, but my older Savage model 10 scount (in 7.62x39) gave me sub-MOA groups all day long once I got it broken in. Took about 250 shots though. Sub-MOA with Winchester factory ammo, my handloads, and MOA with steel case Hornady SST's. Even the $5/box steel case hollow points are under 1.5 MOA. It's the most accurate rifle I own and under no circumstances would I sell it.
     
  20. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    As to the forward mounted scope of the scout rifle. For me it has never been a good idea. If you need speed, simplicity, and two or three MOA is good enough then irons are the way to go. If your vision is not 100% you need the clarity of a conventional scope set up anyway.
     
  21. natman

    natman Member

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    Both Leupold and Burris have offered true scout scopes for many years, more than ten, possibly twenty.

    Anybody who seriously complains about a Scout rifle's accuracy off the bench doesn't understand the purpose of the rifle. Sure it would be more accurate from the bench with a higher powered scope. And a bull barrel and a benchrest stock and some more weight, but then it would no longer be light, short, fast and handy, which is the purpose of a Scout.

    To address the OP's question of the most accurate factory Scout, my vote would go to Steyr.
     
  22. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    I own two Steyr Scouts. One an early original Cooper package. The other a new 22" version. Both shoot well under MOA. That group is 5 rounds at 200 yards shooting 165 gr Nosler BTs.

    I've played with several other Steyr Scouts and they have all been impressively accurate. There is a learning curve to shooting tight groups with a scout set up.
     
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  23. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Accuracy expectations vary considerably from one shooter to the next. When I first started shooting 65 years ago, the true moa factory center fire rifle was as rare as a snowball at the equator and very few could even be tuned to achieve that standard.

    Over the years, improvement in technology in not only rifles, but optics and ammunition & components have also improved drastically so that we have come to expect all rifles to achieve the moa goal.

    In fact, equipment & ammunition quality improved to the point that the 200 yard targets used in the '60s for NRA Highpower rifle competition had a "bullseye" that measured 12" (5 ring) and the V ring measured 6" NRA was forced to change the 200 yd. target to a 7" bull (10 ring) and a 3" X ring by the early '80s because so many competitors were "cleaning" the targets that it was creating a problem in tie breaking.

    While moa accuracy is not needed in a hunting rifle, I personally expect a rifle, even a scout, to shoot moa to earn it's keep. Most do today, some require more TLC than others.

    Regards,
    hps
     
  24. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    It is true that a SUB-MOA rifle is not needed for most hunting. However, I do like to reduce the chances of a wounding shot versus a killing or disabling shot.
    If I have a rifle that only shoots 2.0 MOA AND I am shaking another 2.0 MOA after climbing up a steep shale covered slope, my accuracy has now gone to the potential crappy-shot factor of 4.0 MOA.

    The hunting rifles I keep will all shoot about 0.50 moa with good handloads. Thus my Potential Crappy-Shot Factor is reduced to 2.5 moa during my post-climb heart attack.
     
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  25. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    That's some hard holding, H&H! :thumbup:

    I've never shot a scout setup and it would seem that it would be something you would have to get used to. What is advantage of front mounted scope over a lower power scope mounted conventionally other than clearance for top loading?
    I would think it would be easier to detect parallax error on a conventional than a scout (forward mount) ??

    Regards,
    hps
     
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