Scout Rifle Weights & Measures
Scout Rifle Weights & Measures

Scout Rifle Weights & Measures

I often get questions about the weight of the Scout Rifle as defined by Jeff Cooper. This varied from 3.0 to 3.5 kilos, depending on the written reference. Originally Cooper specified a weight of 3.0 kilos (6.61 pounds) that included the sling and the scope. Later he also specified 3.5 kilos (7.71 pounds). A mention of 7 pounds (3.17 kilos) was also offered. As far as length, Cooper was consistent. He wanted the barrel to measure 19 inches and the overall length of the rifle to be less than a meter or 39.37 inches.

I also get asked about the weights and measures of my scout or scout-like rifles. I currently own three. The first is a 2015 Steyr Scout. The second is a New Ultra Light Arms/Forbes Rifle that was customized by Jim Brockman. And the third is a rifle built to my specifications by the Remington Custom Shop on a Remington Model Seven action. All these rifles are outfitted with some version of a sling I designed for Galco and the Burris 2-7X32mm Scout Scope. Cooper stipulated a low magnification fixed-power scope, but for big game hunting I’ve found they simply do not provide the resolution I need to make ethical shots out to around 350 or 400 yards, especially in mixed cover. I, like Cooper, like the idea of carrying extra ammo on the rifle, so with the exception of my Steyr Scout, my other rifles wear a Versacarry AmmoCaddy. And finally, I’ve found a bipod and even a tripod useful when hunting on occasion. Enough so that I outfitted the two custom rifles with an adapter that will work with a Spartan bipod or tripod. The Steyr has a limited application bipod that is integral.

The chart above lists the base weights of these rifles and their weight with a sling and scope as Cooper suggested. There are also entries for additional configurations such as five rounds of ammo, the Versacarry AmmoCaddy, and the Spartan Bipod. The weights for these individual accessories are listed too, and at the bottom you will see Cooper’s referenced weights along with dates those weights appeared in print. The color coding lets you match the rifle/configuration to Cooper’s weight limits. Finally, for the absolute purists who wonder what these rifles would weigh with a fixed-power scout scope as opposed to the variable powered Burris, simply subtract 0.5 pounds or 0.226 kilos from the other weights that are listed with a scope attached to the rifle.

Though heavier than Cooper’s upper limit, if the Steyr is outfitted with the fixed power Burris Scout Scope it will come in at 3.434 kilos, just below Cooper’s maximum. This has proved to be a very good shooting rifle that has averaged less than 2 MOA for every load I’ve tested in it. For some loads it will print 3-shot groups at less than the 1 MOA mark. I do not hunt with this rifle much, though I did take it into the Frank Church Wilderness on a horseback bear hunt. And while I did not intend to shoot at such a great distance on that hunt, I ended up taking a bear at just over 400 yards. For that shot, the Ballistic Plex reticle in the 2-7X Burris was appreciated.

Steyr Scout Rifle

This rifle customized by Jim Brockman somewhat occurred by accident. I sort of stumbled onto the NULA/Forbes rifle and thought it would make an ideal Scout Rifle. Brockman added the scope mounts and back-up sights and I added the Spartan bipod/tripod adapter. This rifle shoots with incredible precision – more than I’m capable of. Sub MOA groups are not unusual and even though the barrel is a bit less than 19 inches, most 150 grain loads will register more than 2700 fps. I used this rifle and the Hornady Precision Hunter 178-grain ELD load to take a New Mexico bull elk at about 320 yards. Again, the Ballistic Plex reticle proved helpful.

Jim Brockman Customized NULA/Forbes Rifle

Customized to meet my specifications by the Remington Custom Shop, the Model Seven rifle is one of my favorites. I’ve used it to make more big game animals than any other rifle I own. Several others have borrowed it to do the same. It shoots wonderfully well and though it doesn’t appear so, the muzzle is threaded. There are modifications to this rifle that are not apparent. It has an M16 style extractor, dual ejectors, a Douglas Barrel, McMillian stock, and a Timney trigger. It is also very well balanced. Since receiving it, I sent it back to Remington to have an inch removed from the butt stock and had them install an internal adapter for the Spartan bipod and tripod. The Ballistic Plex reticle helped me take a springbok at 412 yards, but most of the game taken with this rifle was between 25 and 200 yards.

Remington Custom Shop Model Seven