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Scout Rifles can become obsessive, especially if you worship at the altar of lightweight. Prior to the 2016 Scout Rifle Conference at Gunsite Academy I asked my local master gunsmith Jerry Dove of Dove Custom Guns if he would like to work with me on a Scout Rifle project. He agreed and as mentioned in this journal earlier, the Patriot Scout Rifle is the result.
I chose this platform due to the reliability I’ve experienced with it in Africa but also because of its lightweight. However, one aspect of the Patriot, which is superior to any of the current commercial Scout Rifles, is its excellent five-round detachable magazine. This magazine will allow you to drop a single cartridge in on top of an empty magazine and close the bolt. It will also permit easy – full capacity – loading through the ejection port. This is something that you cannot do with the Ruger, Mossberg MVP, Savage or Steyr.
Yes, the rifle as shown is relatively expensive but the real news is that for only about $ 350.00 Dove can create similar version out of your current or newly purchased Mossberg Patriot. (Sights, sling, rings, and scope are extra.) Weight worshipers take note: through some masterful machining, Dove was able to shed about six ounces from this rifle. This would increase the price substantially.
However, as far as I’m concerned the real uniqueness of the build is the creative way the forward scope mount was attached. By machining short flats on the barrel Dove was able to press fit rings and then machine the Talley bases on top of them. This creates a rock solid fit that is far superior to any rail system for strength and long-term rigidity. It also allowed him to perfectly align the mounting system with the bore.
Will it shoot? Oh yeah!
I did not get a chance to shoot the rifle at the Scout Rifle Conference but since I have returned I’ve put it through its paces. With the excellent and soft shooting Hornady Lite 308 Winchester load this is a sub-MOA rifle. It’s also a joy to handle and finds your shoulder as effortlessly as a wine-o can find a railroad track in total darkness, while carrying a bottle of Thunderbird in one hand and a pack of Swisher Sweets in the other.
However, there is also something else worth noting. Even tough Linda Powell at Mossberg has laid claim to this rifle, I showed it to my wife who is left eye dominant. (She shoots right-handed.) “Wow! This feels good.” was her first comment. Then she said, “ I can keep both eyes open!”
And there you have one of the advantages of the Scout Rifle platform. It allows for both eyes open shooting for anyone, regardless of which eye they do their looking with most often.
Length: 34 5/8 inches
Weight: 6 pounds, 7 ounces (without sling)
Andy’s trimmed Biothane Rhodesian Sling adds 6 ounces.
Capacity: 5 + 1
Sights: XS modified rear and white-stripped post front
Scope: Leupold Scout