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Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



College Slice

Today's selection of AR-15 pattern rifles is very diverse and in a perfect world the answer to the thread title would just be to get one of those that meets your criteria and call it a day. However, due to a variety of circumstances this isn't an option for everyone. For some background, up here in Canada an order-in-council has recently been passed that effectively banned the AR-15 (which was already restricted to approved range use only), along with other common rifles that fill in the same niche such as the AR-10, M1A, and Mini-14. With all of my centerfire rifles getting banned overnight I went ahead and spite-purchased a new rifle the very next day. It was a very unexpected expense so it would have to be my last gun purchase for a potentially long time, and I wanted it to be something that will be much more difficult to legislate away.



I ended up going with a Savage 110 Scout, since I wanted something I would be happy with if it ends up being the last rifle I ever get. The scout rifle concept is the brainchild of Jeff Cooper, which is a set of criteria he laid out for a practical firearm that's handy in a wide variety of uses, with an emphasis on easy handling in the field and first-shot marksmanship. When doing my research, the scout concept seems to be very polarizing, with detractors stating it's a relic of the past, and those promoting it sometimes coming off as evangelists with a cult-like adherence to the exact specifications Cooper laid out, the main ones being:
  1. Caliber of .308 Winchester, or 7mm-08 where military cartridges are prohibited for civilian use.
  2. Unloaded weight with all accessories should be 3.0 - 3.5 kg (6.6 - 7.7 lbs)
  3. Total length of no more than 1 meter (40 inches)
  4. A forward mounted, intermediate eye relief, low-magnification optic.
  5. Backup iron sights
  6. A sling that can be used as a shooting aid, such as a Ching, CW, or Rhodesian style.

The funny thing is a lot of "scout rifles" on the market rarely meet all the criteria, and it's usually because of weight (mine comes it at 4.20 kg, for example). They also tend to cost more than their non-scout counterparts, and things like the forward-mounted optic can severely limit your choices for accessories. I read about a better idea for this type of concept in Lucky Gunner's "Rethinking the Scout Rifle... Again" article, where he talks about practical rifles that follow a much looser set of guidelines:
  1. Light, shorter and balanced for easy handling
  2. Good to shoot out to around 400 meters
  3. A low power variable optic mounted in a traditional manner
  4. If you need a backup for if your scope breaks, carry a red-dot with you or something
  5. Bolt or lever action to allow their use and ownership under a wider range of firearms regulation
Basically, a handy old hunting rifle.


This covers a much wider range of readily available rifles at more reasonable price points. That last point, in concert with the recent legislation in Canada, seems to have driven a lot more interest in these types of rifles. I'm glad I got mine the day after the ban, since similar rifles like the Ruger American Ranch have appear to be sold out across the country. My friends also got in on the action early on and we've been enjoying working on improving practical marksmanship skills such as shooting from different positions in the field.



There's a couple of drills outlined in Cooper's book The Art of the Rifle for working on skills with these types of rifles. I've only been able to practice the close-range snapshot with the crappy ammo I'm using right now, where you shoot a 4" target 25m away (or 10" at 50m away), positioned in standard ready with the rifle on safe. You do this ten times, and have 1.5 seconds to do each shot.

The Rifle Ten drill seems to be the most interesting, where you shoot at a target twice from 300, 275, 250, 225, and 200 yards away, not being able to use prone from 225yds and 200yds must be standing. The scoring uses a discontinued IPSC Option target, but I found the plans to make my own and I have a bunch ready for when I have a good load made up for my rifle. An ideal score would be 40 points in 120 seconds or less.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwW0rQc_3N0

The last drill is basically trap shooting with a rifle. Obviously you need to be way out in the middle of nowhere to do this; the book recommends the bottom of a canyon, the middle of a desert or the high arctic. One out of ten is enough to be pleased with yourself honestly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPhQbIxrh9E
(I know the guy's wearing a douchey hat, but it's the only vid I could find of it)

Basically this thread is for people in more restrictive areas to post their rifles that are available, plentiful and are useful in a wider variety of locales. Practice drills and courses of fire are also welcome, because most stuff out there is geared towards an audience that has easier and cheaper access to semi-automatic firearms.

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Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



College Slice

Also feel free to use this thread to make fun of Jeff Cooper.

Jeff Cooper posted:

If the shooter does not cherish his weapon and feel sensual pleasure in handling it, it is unlikely that he will ever make it perform as efficiently as it can. This is one reason why armed organizations almost never shoot really well: The public servant has not the opportunity to fall in love with his piece if he must simply pluck it out from a number of similar items in a rack.

Jeff Cooper posted:

There is an enchantment cast upon any woman when she holds a baby, whether or not it is her own. Similarly, there is an enchantment cast upon almost any man when he holds a rifle in his hands. This magical spell is both intellectual and emotional. Intellectually and emotionally, a rifle is a fascinating artifact, and its concept, design, and fabrication may be approached scientifically.

Miso Beno
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

Although I really hate long eye relief scopes due to their limited power, my AK with a pistol scope on the gas tube is quite handy for snapshots. Thanks for putting this together. I might have to put something along these lines on my list of things to do.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



College Slice

I went with the Savage because it can take regular 110 bases if I ended up not liking the forward mounted optic, but after using it for a while I've come to really prefer it for quick shots and relaxed, both-eyes-open shooting. I originally had a red dot on it but that limited me to 200m max, and the only two scout optics worth looking at seem to be the Burris 2-7x and the Leupold 1.5-4x. I went with the Burris for the higher magnification and have been very satisfied, since I don't think I'm going to be pushing past 500m any time soon, and definitely not on any type of game animal. One of my friends has a 6-24x50 optic on his rifle that still weighs ~6lbs, so light weight doesn't have to rule out higher magnification these days.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully be able to settle on a specific load so I can start practicing shooting from a bunch of different offhand and field positions, as well as really testing out the ersatz Ching sling I cobbled together.

Chillyrabbit
Oct 24, 2012

The only sword wielding rabbit on the internet



Ultra Carp

Nice gun! and thanks for the lucky gunner link. I might actually get a .223 bolt gun after I finish my precision rimfire Norinco JW25a build involving a lot of sow ears to make it a silk purse.

What bolt guns takes AR-15 magazines in Canada?

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



I've always loved the scout rifle concept but not the insane Jeff Cooper cult built up around it.

At the end of the day they're just what the OP says: incredibly versatile general purpose guns

EvilJoven
Mar 18, 2005



Fun Shoe

Depending on how my 308 shoots getting a smith to cut my barrel down and thread it so I can put a break on it might be a thing I do. For irons Id look at a full weaver rail across the top, high rings, and irons under the optic.

Or just buy that CZ everyone said I should get next time one comes up on the EE.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



I'm just gonna put out there that this is basically a scout rifle:



Fight me jeff cooper

Dick Burglar
Mar 6, 2006
Check out my hot takes because I'm a straight white male

No back-up irons, dead in the streets savannah

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


The Ruger Gunsite Scout is a great option in these guns, though I'm personally kind of over the LER optic / iron backup combo so I put mine in a more typical config with a Viper PST Gen 2 on it. Will have to take a photo later of it with the recently acquired can on.

Thermos
Mar 29, 2019



I always thought the Spanish FR-8 was a cool little rifle that sort of filled that role. Although there's really no way to mount an optic without going full bubba.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Galaxy brain: Beeb's tacticool lever gun is a scout rifle.

infrared35
Jan 12, 2005

border patrol qt


Plaster Town Cop

I think of an A2 AR with an Aimpoint on a gooseneck as a scout rifle.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



infrared35 posted:

I think of an A2 AR with an Aimpoint on a gooseneck as a scout rifle.

Eh, I think a scout rifle by definition kind of needs to be manually operated. In Cooper's day the argument was that semi-autos aren't reliable.

Today they are and for the things that he actually describes a scout rifle doing I agree that it's pretty much just an M4-gery with optics and a BUIS. Well, he had a hard on for it being a full sized rifle round too, so maybe some kind of crazy AR10 carbine I dunno.*

But today half of the appeal of it is also making the most all-around useful and effective rifle possible that fits into the most restrictive gun laws you're likely to find in places that still allow civilian ownership of firearms.


*typing that out I just realized that my SL7 is pretty much the ideal Cooper scout rifle, minus being an autoloader. In .308, has detachable optics, it's a short, handy length, has a detachable box mag, and has integral iron sights in case the optic shits the bed.



Hilariously enough that would also make the G/K43 pictured with it here a scout rifle if I had the optics for it. Which brings us back around to why Cooper wanted bolt actions because lol I would not consider the G/K43 a reliable enough gun to be an all around do-everything survival gat.

Mortabis
Jul 8, 2010


In a full size cartridge there's a reasonable argument for manual operation, namely weight.

The argument for full size I guess would be for hunting, but come on, you can kill a deer with a .223 it just isn't nice.

Mortabis fucked around with this message at 17:06 on Aug 17, 2020

L0cke17
Nov 29, 2013



I'm strongly considering one of POF's lightweight 6.5 creedmoor rifles with a 16.5" barrel. ~8lbs before optic, so a little on the heavy side but for ~9.5lbs you could have a reliable semiauto good out to 1k yards easily. That would be close enough for me probably to the definition of scout rifle.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Mortabis posted:

In a full size cartridge there's a reasonable argument for manual operation, namely weight.

The argument for full size I guess would be for hunting, but come on, you can kill a deer with a .223 it just isn't nice.

Scout rifles were never about just hunting, at least as articulated by copper. There was always at least the option of it being a fighting rifle able to hit man sized targets out to at least 450 yards with the irons.

Here’s the quote from him on it:

quote:


"The general-purpose rifle will do equally well for all but specialized hunting, as well as for fighting; thus it must be powerful enough to kill any living target of reasonable size. If you insist upon a definition of 'reasonable size', let us introduce an arbitrary mass figure of about 1,000 lb (454 kg)."

So engaging large animals (including men) at 450 yards is going to argue against an intermediate cartridge, at least in cooper’s book.

Dick Burglar
Mar 6, 2006
Check out my hot takes because I'm a straight white male

Auto-loaders of Cooper's day were both 1) not reliable enough and 2) not built to handle the kinds of cartridges that Cooper idealized--.308 was not his ideal "scout" round, it was something closer to .376 Steyr, which itself is a dead-end cartridge that strongly resembles .375 Ruger. You won't find many semi-autos in that sort of cartridge, even today.

Plus, semi-autos probably were not as legal to transport/bring internationally, and since he did most of his hunting outside of the CONUS...

Dick Burglar fucked around with this message at 19:11 on Aug 17, 2020

californiasushi
Jun 6, 2004


we have a 16" larue predatar, which is larue's lightweight 308 ar10. i wanted to make it a modern battle rifle/general purpose rifle but it's more suited to being a dmr imo because it's really accurate and still quite a large/heavy rifle. i haven't built it yet but my favorite idea for this concept rifle is a 16" 6.5 grendel with a 1-10x vortex scope, especially since wolf 6.5 grendel does pretty decently in ballistics gel and was pretty affordable. i want to do a lilja stainless barrel, medium profile, to get the most accuracy possible with match ammo to stretch the distance. should be decent to get hits on dude-sized targets to 1000 yards with the cartridge/scope and under the icao standard condition, gets to 370 yards with 123 hornady eld-m's with 900 ftlbs of energy which is what i understand the threshold for taking a deer

californiasushi fucked around with this message at 00:34 on Aug 18, 2020

DapperDraculaDeer
Aug 4, 2007

Shut up, Nick! You're not Twilight.

Oh neat, this is a thread idea that I really like. I read about Cooper's scout rifle concept a few years back and really liked the concept. I spent a fair bit of time hunting in the brush so a compact, light rifle is something that I could really use. Being chambered in a full size cartridge and having the capability to reach out 400 odd yards for the occasional long shot is also a really useful capability. I was originally looking at Ruger Gunsight Scouts, but after a lot of waffling about I found a Remington 700 SPS Tactical with a 16.5" threaded barrel on sale at a price I liked. This rifle was heavier than the GSR, lacked iron sights and was made by Remington, so it had a lot of disadvantages. But, it left me a lot more budget to play around with and customize so in the end it worked out well. Also, I got lucky and ended up with a rifle that has served me well and shoots sub MOA groups with cheap steel case Wolf ammo. Ive read a lot of stories from R700 owners who had very different, less pleasant experiences.

I wish I had taken some more pictures of it right out of the box. It came with a Hogue stock which I really liked. I found the rubbery feel of the overmold stock really grippy and nice. I stuck a rail on it and a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot on it and hit the woods.




It didnt take long for the rifle to start taking home the bacon either.



Despite being heavier than what Cooper called for Ive been pretty impressed with how the rifle carries in the brush. The shorter OAL definitely makes it a ton easier to manuver, and while the weight was definitely something I could feel after a long day it was also useful for getting on target faster for quick shots.

Of course since its an R700 I couldnt leave it stock for long. I found a KKC stock for sale at a price I liked and picked it up. Id actually wanted one of these for my 10/22 for a long while but because life is strange I found one for my R700 first. Since the stock blind magazine was absurdly unreliable I also picked up a new piece of bottom metal(or more like plastic) from Magpul. After sanding out the barrel channel to fit the heavier profile barrel and some dremel work around the action screws the new stock was ready.



With the addition of a 2.5-10x50 scope from Trijicon the rifle was definitely much heavier than what Cooper envisioned, but it also has worked very well for me as a more general purpose rifle.



Ive taken it back into some absolute poo poo hole swamps in search of game and its carried well. Its also been on more western like hunts where its taken game out to 250~ yards with no problem. Its a fine range toy as well. If I was going to have only one rifle from my safe for the rest of my life itd probably be this one. It definitely has become my general purpose rifle.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



College Slice

For those using .308 Winchester, what kind of ammo are you using, and/or what kind of performance are you aiming for? I've made up a decently consistent load that averages 2630fps with a 150gr projectile, but I'm trying to come up with my own load that can reliably hit 2700fps with my 16.5" barrel. It definitely seems possible, since Richard Mann gets some Buffalo Bore ammo to shoot 2700-2800fps with a 16.25" Mossberg MVP Scout.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI_gn19T3Go

Thermos
Mar 29, 2019





I've been back and forth on a CZ 557 Ranger for a while. It's a much more sanely priced alternative to the T3X Arctic that actually won the Canadian Ranger trials.

Imps
Feb 16, 2011



Wish they sold those in the US, I would already own one.

DapperDraculaDeer
Aug 4, 2007

Shut up, Nick! You're not Twilight.

Thermos posted:



I've been back and forth on a CZ 557 Ranger for a while. It's a much more sanely priced alternative to the T3X Arctic that actually won the Canadian Ranger trials.

I think Im in love. I guess a 557 carbine is the closest well ever see to one of these here in the US. Does anyone have any hands on experience with one? I dont think Ive ever handled a rifle with a blind magazine that I actually liked, but then again I have zero experience with CZ's stuff.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



College Slice

Thermos posted:



I've been back and forth on a CZ 557 Ranger for a while. It's a much more sanely priced alternative to the T3X Arctic that actually won the Canadian Ranger trials.

I checked it out along with the T3X Arctic when I was doing research before the ban went through, and it definitely seemed like a better buy compared to the Tikka. I mainly went with the Savage because of the Accufit stock, the easy-to-obtain 10 round AICS magazines, and the lower cost. I didn't want to have to mess with aftermarket risers and spacers, which I would have needed with the CZ. Another thing is that both the CZ and Tikka were noticeably heavier than the Savage, which makes sense with the longer barrels and wood stocks.

The one I checked out at Cabela's disappeared the next day when I went with my friends to shop for their new general-purpose rifles two days after the ban, which didn't surprise me. Wolverine Supplies also sold out of their stock soon after.

Dead Reckoning
Sep 13, 2011


Parts Kit posted:

The Ruger Gunsite Scout is a great option in these guns, though I'm personally kind of over the LER optic / iron backup combo so I put mine in a more typical config with a Viper PST Gen 2 on it. Will have to take a photo later of it with the recently acquired can on.
I think Ruger is kind of cannibalizing their own scout sales with the American Predator. Unless (mediocre) iron sights and Controlled Feed Mauser Action are $400 worth of important to you and you don't mind a pound of extra weight, I don't really see what the AICS-mag Predators give up to the Gunsite Scout.

L0cke17 posted:

I'm strongly considering one of POF's lightweight 6.5 creedmoor rifles with a 16.5" barrel. ~8lbs before optic, so a little on the heavy side but for ~9.5lbs you could have a reliable semiauto good out to 1k yards easily. That would be close enough for me probably to the definition of scout rifle.
It's my pipe dream that one day there will be reliable, accurate short frame AR-10s based on a standard platform for less than $2k.

californiasushi posted:

we have a 16" larue predatar
What's your take on LaRue's handguard mounting solution?

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Atticus_1354
Dec 9, 2006

Don't you go near that dog, you understand? Don't go near him, he's just as dangerous dead as alive.


Coxswain Balls posted:

I checked it out along with the T3X Arctic

This is my dream rifle. I would pay way to much money if I ever saw one for sale.

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