A scout rifle is the shooter’s answer to a tactical knife, as in it’s a general purpose rifle. There is no single make or model that is the answer to this, but we feel that a good case can be made for a pump action scout rifle.
Firearm legend and authority, Colonel Jeff Cooper, is the one who first came up with the idea of the scout rifle, and the features are what he felt were needed.
Features of a Scout Rifle
The entire weight, including sling and optics, should not be more than 7 pounds. To help with this, the rifle should be smaller, with a maximum barrel of 19 inches, and with an overall length of 39 inches or less.
The rifle caliber should be able to take anything up to 1000 pounds down with a single shot, and Cooper chose the Winchester.308, though other calibers are acceptable. It should be accurate to within 4 inches at 200 yards and have multiple rounds available.
The last one is a choice from the 1980s, and advances in machining and steels have made it optional. Cooper said the rifle needed to be a bolt action, though the emphasis is on the reliability and accuracy of the weapon.
Why Choose Pump Action Scout Rifles
A scout rifle’s primary objective is to be a lightweight, reliable weapon that is accurate enough to stop a target at long ranges. For that, bolt action is definitely better, but scout rifles are also here to deal with the unexpected.
A pump action can fire more quickly than a bolt, and modern technology has helped them become more accurate at longer distances than they used to be. More reliable and easier to care for than a semi-automatic, the right pump action can work with a variety of loads.
In short, Cooper’s criteria is a great guide, but we feel that if he were here today, he’d have changed a few of his requirements. Instead, we can help you find the right general purpose rifle for you.
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