Book Preview: The Scout Rifle Study—The History of the Scout Rifle and Its Place In the 21st Century

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posted on September 6, 2018
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Enigmatic to most, and downright irresistible to a dedicated band of enthusiasts, the “scout” rifle continues to make inroads among the shooting populace as more models emerge from major firearm manufacturers. At the same time, technical qualifications of its definition remain as amorphous as they were when set forth by its primary proponent, the late Col. Jeff Cooper of Gunsite fame, who suggested various design parameters throughout the decades during which he promoted the “general purpose” rifle concept.

Author Richard Mann, a gunwriter and scout rifle aficionado, has done his best to research Cooper’s writings in order to divine the gun guru’s thinking on the subject. Along the way, Mann’s 224-pp. book examines and compares the specifications of both prototypical scout rifles along with the commercial iterations available on today’s market. The former were semi-customs based on existing platforms from the likes of Remington and Sako, and the latter include: the Steyr Scout, a result of Cooper’s personal collaborative efforts; the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, arguably the most broadly influential example to date; the Savage, now in its third iteration; and the Mossberg, which cleverly manages to feed from either of two different magazine platforms.

The author also examines such unlikely candidates as a rare New Ultra Light Arms experiment, and an AR-platform candidate in the form of DPMS’s cartridge-scaled GII. Suggested practical shooting drills, tabulated results from the modern factory scouts and notes from the most recent Gunsite scout rifle conference round out what is easily the most definitive work to date on the ever-evolving scout rifle concept, making it an idea whose history, if not its place in it, is now more clear than ever. The 8½"x11" paperback can be found at amazon.com with free shipping. Price: $45. Contact: Ramworks Inc.; empty-cases.com.

Additional Reading:
Throwback Thursday: Jeff Cooper  
Throwback Thursday: The Scout Rifle
The State of the Scout Rifle

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