Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Scout Rifle Thoughts...

First, read Richard Mann's excellent post from his Empty Cases Blog:

In a description of the Scout Rifle titled, The Scout Rifle Concept, Cooper wrote, “The ‘Magnum Scout’ or ‘Super Scout,’ is in 350 RM.” This document was found in Cooper’s personal files. Additionally, in a 1998 article for Guns & Ammo titled, The Scout Rifle: Some Simple Principles, Cooper, speculating on Steyr’s introduction of the .376 Steyr or “Dragoon” as he often called it, wrote, “The ‘Magnum Scout,’ if it appears, will not make weight, of course.” In case some, as they have in the past, suggest this was an editorial change, I was able to uncover the draft for this article in the files Janelle Cooper provided me.
Never say never again…hmmmmm…sounds like suspiciously like the title of a James Bond movie. I'm fascinated by Scout rifles, use them for training, for hunting and as the "house gun", had input into the hugely successful Ruger Gunsite Scout and count Richard Mann as a very good friend. As I have mentioned before, Richard and I will be in Africa next June on the very first "Scout rifle only" plains
game safari. I'll be filming for SHOOTING GALLERY/SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE (SGO).

As you know, I've been working on the gun I plan to hunt with. I started with an ANIB Ruger Frontier bolt action in .338 Federal. The .338 Federal cartridge is enjoying something of a small renaissance these days. It's a necked-up.308, created by Federal and Sako in 2006, and for a while was "this year's blonde." Go back and read some of the adulatory articles on it in 2007/2008. The it cooled off like your grandmother's banana pudding in the dead of winter. The reason it's coming back is that it is an excellent "do everything" cartridge, which seemed to me to make sense in a "do everything" rifle. Bullet weights run 180-210 grains. There is still a very good selection of factory ammo from Federal (you know, Hornady, it wouldn't kill you to do a .338 with a 200-grain GMX, would it?).

The .338 showed up back on my radar while I was in Texas with Bill Wilson, working on his book, GUN GUY. Bill and I were BS'ing over adult beverages — as we have done for 30 some-odd years — and Bill mentioned he was bring out his superb .308 AR-10 platform rifle in .338 Federal. I mentioned that I'd had a similar conversation back when I was in Africa. Short story…the .338 Federal may be the perfect round for any North American game. Not to say there aren't better specific use cartridges, but the .338 will do well from coyotes to elk moose and bear. From a prepper standpoint, it's a necked-up .308, which is one of the most common cartridges on earth. Stock up on bullets, and you're good to go.

I bought one of Bill's .338 AR-10s, and it's a pretty spectacular rifle. I topped it with what I think of as maybe the best "do-anything" scope at a sane price, a Leupold VX-6 2-12 Illuminated. You'll see this gun on SGO as well.

My original plan was to mount one of the new Leupold VX-R 1.5-5 FireDot…I have shot that scope on a couple of rifles and I love it. I bought one, finally found the correct 30mm Ruger rings and mounted it on the Frontier. Uh-oh…I could not get the right eye relief for 5X; secondly, the scope is 12-inches long and blocked a big chunk of the ejection port. I just didn't like it.

So I pulled out my RGS, which is fitted with the Burris 2-7X Scout, a really nice set-up. I swapped the 2 scopes,and viola! Magic! The Leupold is perfect on the RGS; the Burris is perfect on the .338 Frontier. One problem solved.

The little Frontier is going to Bullberry Barrel Works for BUIS, New England Custom Gun's peep rear and banded front. Then it goes to CDi Precision Gunworks for new bottom metal to take AI mags. I'm going to keep the standard Ruger trigger — it is just excellent. And Andy's Rhodesian sling will wrap up the package.

I also plan to bring my Ruger Gunsite Scout…I just bought some of the new Hornady 178-gr ELD-X long-range hunters, and I'll see how they run through the RGS. My plan is to load up some Barnes TTSX 210-gr for Africa in the .338. It's still a 300 yard rifle, I think…maybe 400 if the oon is in the Second House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars. We'll see on the range. Our overall plan is me, Richard Mann and Producer John Carter will take Il Ling New's Africa hunt prep course at GUNSITE in May and make sure the rifles are hammered out.


Paul said...

I'll just take the .358 Winchester. It's a .308 necked up to .357 cal. With Superperformance powder it ought to 'do anything'. And it's been around lots longer than the .338.

Matthew said...

Michael, when you say "North American" does that include in your opinion Alaskan moose and brownies. I've seen it caveated by some writers.

Matthew said...

Michael, when you say "North American" does that include in your opinion Alaskan moose and brownies. I've seen it caveated by some writers.

Anonymous said...

As the proud owner of Steyr Scout rifles in both 308 and 376, I'm proud to say that Colonel Cooper's Dragoon exists, and can be purchased from existing inventory on GunBroker for real money.

My 376 was purchased after returning from Africa, when I realized I did not want to have a 308 as my Plains game rifle. Bailing off the hunting truck with a 308 and realizing neither the tracker nor the assistant PH have brought a rifle at all turned into a very nervous situation 2 hours later as we were still following up a kudu and passing Buffalo and elephant within 200 yards.

Bought the 376 the week I got back. It has handily accounted for a wide variety of North American game. My wife now exclusively uses the 308, and like Colonel Cooper, I find myself using the Dragoon for just about everything.

What a wonderful rifle. 400 yards is probably stretching it, but three hundred yards is very very practical for the factory setup.

Try it. You'll like it.


Anonymous said...

On another front, why would "they" be doing this? :


Life Member

NJ Larry said...

I am sitting here LMAO after reading this story about the Trumpman. I am not going to have any problem at all pulling the lever in 81 days !


clark myers said...

Why change the bottom metal to add expensive detachable magazines to a rifle that works just fine as shipped? Is it a sort of envy for the cartridge traps often found on high end full custom stocks.

I can see the utility of a butt cuff style cartridge holder on a grab and go rifle but I doubt folks are carrying extra magazines in a chest pack for pseudo Scout rifles?

Vince Warde said...

Being a retired preacher, with the attendant finances, I built my own scout from a Yugo Mauser. I recut the original stock lightened it by hollowing out the buttstock, drilling holes in the mag box, and of course, shortening the stock to match the barrel. I also installed a recoil pad. I cut the barrel to 18" and recrowned it. I used a scope mount to replace the rear sight and it has held solid thanks to Loctite. I bedded the action and free floated the barrel. It currently has a 2-7 BSA on it - but I may switch back to a 2x fixed BSA (They have proven to be solid).

So, the only rub (if it is one) is that it's 8x57. My current load is a 185gr Rem. SP at about 2200fps. The relatively low velocity makes it hard to reach out past about 250 yards.

Anonymous said...

Michael: Seeing your blog on the Scout rifle got me back to reading "Cooper Commentaries". In Volume 1 December 1992 there is a statement to the effect that America should arm itself because the Clintons were coming. Like someone once said"Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it." I guess we never do learn do we?

Anonymous said...

Hey, here's a new concept; baseball bats and powered screwdrivers as weapons!

As if everyone here couldn't already tell everyone that outlawing OUR guns will only allow more killing of the "sheeple" by the evil ones.



Life Member

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

Cricket Sounds.............

rastus said...

No kiddin' Anon. Nothing for almost 2 weeks now.

Wallaby Jack said...


Anonymous said...

Could this be the end of our "Secret Hidden Blog-Spot"?

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