Although some outdoor enthusiasts enjoy exploring the diverse makes, models and calibers the shooting market has to offer, others are looking for a just-one-gun shooting solution. A single gun to fill most of their rifle related needs. In the early 1980s, Col. Jeff Cooper outlined his personal ideal for a do-all long gun he called the Scout Rifle. He described a short, lightweight bolt-action rifle with a forward mounted long eye relief optic and back-up iron sights. Although Cooper shared his design more than three decades ago, it's a good idea that still has an influence in the market today. Several gun manufacturers, including Steyr and Ruger, have offered Scout-type rifles over the years.
This year, Savage Arms has a new rifle to add to the list. The new Model ll Scout .308 successfully blends the Cooper concept with the features, reliability and fair price customers have come to expect. At the heart of the platform is the Savage Model 11 short action configured for the .308 Win. cartridge.
As one of the LE models, the Scout has a slightly different bolt configuration than that found on the 10/110 and 11/111 hunting models. Instead of a cocking indicator lever on the right side of the receiver, the cocking indicator is found on the rear of the bolt assembly. A round silver post protrudes slightly from a port in the bolt when it's cocked and drops into the bolt when the firing pin is in the forward position.
Just behind the cocking indicator is a tang mounted three-position safety. Pressing the safety slider all the way forward (toward the muzzle), exposing a red dot, renders the rifle ready to fire. Moving the safety to the middle position blocks the trigger but allows the bolt to open so the rifle can be unloaded. Pressing the safety all the way back into the third position blocks the trigger and prevents the bolt from cycling.
The Model 11 Scout's matte black action is fitted with an 18” button-rifled carbon steel barrel featuring a threaded muzzle fitted with a 4-port muzzle brake. The gun arrives with two sighting options already installed. A 6.625" Picatinny scope rail is attached to the barrel in front of the action. This allows for the use of non-magnified or long eye relief optics for quick sight acquisition while shooting with both eyes open. The factory iron sights consist of a fully adjustable Williams peep sight in the rear with a fixed blade sight in the front.
This rifle employs the company's smooth, adjustable AccuTrigger. The trigger pull is user adjustable between 2½ to 6 lbs. depending on the owner's preference. This rifle arrived from the factory with the trigger set at 2 lbs. 14 ozs. A safety lever located in the trigger must be fully depressed in order for the gun to fire. This prevents the rifle from firing if it is jarred or dropped, even with the trigger at its lightest setting. A trigger adjustment tool is provided.
The rounded metallic trigger guard is an extension of the magazine well. The well supports a new removable 10-round magazine that also fits other Savage models and can be purchased as a separate accessory. The upper portion of the magazine is constructed of blued steel while the lower portion is molded from black polymer. The magazines rocks firmly into place from back to front. The magazine release is located at the front of the magazine well and is easily depressed to release the magazine. When installed, the magazine only protrudes about 1.75" below the stock. This makes it a good size for use when shooting prone or using a bi-pod.
The Scout's natural tan polymer AccuStock is loaded with features. The interior of the stock contains a permanently affixed rigid aluminum rail 3-D bedding systemthat provides added support for the action and along the forearm of the stock. Molded in diamond pattern checkering along the sides ofthe forend and grip improve purchase for cold or wet conditions. Three removable butt stock spacers allow the length of pull to be adjusted from 13" to 14". A simple, rugged, cheek piece can be raised and lowered as needed in relation to scope height. Three sling swivels provide two forward positions for attaching a two-point shoulder sling, like the wide Double Cobra weave paracord model from Sandstorm Custom Rifle Slings, or a bi-pod. Unloaded, the rifle tips thescale at 7.8 lbs.
At the shooting range, the Model 11 Scout proved to be handy and comfortable to shoot both on and off of the bench. The 18"barrel and light weight stock made for an easy swing. The muzzle brake and thick, soft rubber recoil pad kept the recoil to a perfectly manageable level. The AccuTrigger is one of my favorite to work with due to the light pull and crisp break. The bolt cycled smoothly right out of the box and the magazine locked firmly in place while being easy to remove for reloading.
The rifle functioned flawlessly with all of the test ammunition loaded. There were no failures or malfunctions of any kind. For accuracy testing, the Scout was settled into a bench rest to fire 5-shot groups into targets set at 100-yards using a Weaver Classic K Series 4x28 fixed power scope mounted with Weaver rings. The best single group of the test was 1.36" using Blackhills Ammunition Gold topped with 155-gr. Hornady A-Max bullets. This round also produced the best five group average of 1.48". HPR HyperClean Match 168-gr. boat tail hollow points yielded a best group of 1.42" with an average of 1.63", followed by the Winchester USA 147-gr. full-metal jacket load with a best group of 1.54" and an average of 1.66".
Is it possible to find just one rifle to do it all? Col. Cooper thought so and rifle makers like Savage Arms are still working hard to keep his dream of a do-it-all rifle alive and well. The new Model 11 Scout bolt action is loaded with features that would cost more from another company, including the muzzle brake and adjustable trigger, stock length, and cheek piece. And yet the rifle remains light weight, rugged, and easy to use. It's a solid bolt action that will come in handy for all kinds of shooters in a variety of applications.
Specifications Manufacturer:Savage Arms Model: 11 Scout (22443) Action: Bolt-Action Rifle Caliber: .308 Win. Finish: Matte Black Carbon Steel Barrel: Threaded Muzzle with Muzzle Brake Stock: Natural Tan Savage AccuStock, Polymer with Aluminum Bedding Trigger: Adjustable AccuTrigger Bolt: Right Handed Rear Sight: Williams Adjustable Peep Sight Front Sight: Fixed Optic: 6.625" Picatinny Rail Barrel Length: 18.00" Overall Length: 40.50" Length Of Pull (LOP): 13-14.00" Weight: 7.8 lbs. Capacity: 10 Round Removable Box Magazine Twist: 1:12” RH Rifle Grooves: Six Accessories: 1 Magazine, 3 Stock Spacers, AccuTrigger & Cheek Piece Adjustment Tools, Owner’s Manual, Lock MSRP: $794