The concept of a scout rifle wasn’t developed until the 1980s but has since become a popular one, with many manufacturers coming out different versions. A scout rifle was intended to be an all-purpose rifle suitable for a person scouting the land to be able to easily and comfortably carry. A pump action scout rifle was developed to meet this criterion.
Colonel Jeff Cooper, although he did not invent the scout rifle, was the first to promote the specifics that a good scout rifle should have back in the 1980s.
Features of a Scout Rifle
According to Colonel Cooper, the scout rifle should come easy to hand, be lightweight, and have a larger caliber for additional stopping power. The barrel should be between 18 and 20 inches and have forward mounting sights for greater eye relief with iron sights for backup. A retractable bipod was a preference, not a requirement, though on board ammunition storage is preferred.
While Cooper originally stated the scout rifle should be a bolt action, there is debate as to whether that is really necessary. After all, the concept is about an easy-to-use rifle that is maneuverable and able to take down game or can be used for self-defense.
The weight is far more important than the specific action of the rifle, and speed and reliability are paramount. Modern pump action rifles are more than equal to the task set before them.
Why Choose a Pump Action Rifle
A pump action rifle makes use of the natural movements and recoil of a rifle to cock it quickly and smoothly. With a bit of practice, a pump action can be as quick as an autoloader, which can be a huge advantage in a scouting situation.
These guns are easy to maneuver and have excellent handling abilities. Quicker to reload than a bolt action, they are as accurate in the hands of an experienced shooter. The pump action falls perfectly within the size criteria, making it easy to maneuver through brush, and fires rapidly enough for a self-defense situation.