Obsession can be defined as an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. For the last four years I’ve been obsessed with the Scout Rifle. There, I admit it and it is said that’s the first step towards recovery. The problem is I did not want to recover; I wanted to solve the problem.
The problem is varied and complicated. Jeff Cooper left us with the Scout Rifle concept in the form of multiple definitions that sometimes held conflicting information. The problem is also that most do not understand the concept; they believe it is founded on nothing more than a rifle with a forward mounted optical sight. But, the problem is also that few understand the motivation behind the concept and where the Scout Rifle belonged before and in the 21st century.
In an effort to grasp what Cooper put forward I’ve handled and shot every Scout Rifle I could find during the last four years. I’ve exposed them to rigid tests and pitted them against other rifles. I’ve hunted with them in North America and in Africa. I’ve read everything I could find that Cooper wrote about them to include his private papers. I’ve also talked with others who seem similarly afflicted. During this time there have been points where I thought my work was done but then I discovered something else that needed investigated.
It now appears my research is finally nearing completion and will culminate with the Scout Rifle Conference at Gunsite Academy in July 2016. At this time I can make a few definitive statements, which will be fully expanded upon in my upcoming book.
- Those who have not spent time working field problems with a real Scout Rifle do not understand it. Ignore their opinions.
- It is as Cooper prophesied, a true general-purpose weapon.
- As Cooper said, a forward mounted scope does not a Scout Rifle make.
- Handiness is its true virtue.
- Weight is a critical aspect of the system and its importance cannot be overstated.
- Just because a rifle is called a “scout” does not make it so.
Obsessions can be unhealthy but they can also lead to understanding. A person could become obsessed with many things and I imagine the Scout Rifle is way down on the list of those that might lead to a problematic existence. One thing I’m sure of, a Scout Rifle obsession is much more rewarding and healthier than an obsession with Glocks, alcohol, or ladies of the night.
At any rate, to celebrate the culmination of my work on the book, The Scout Rifle, I’m planning a Scout Rifle Safari in Africa for June 2017 with Fort Richmond Safaris. At this time only a few slots remain. So, if you’re a Scout Rifle kind of guy and you’re interested in sharing an African experience with like-minded folk, let me know. I can think of no better way to celebrate escaping an obsession that has plagued me for four years and involved the personal expense of more than 5000 rounds of ammunition.