The 2016 Scout Rifle Conference has ended. Because of the hard work of the elite staff at Gunsite Academy and the professionalism and focus of all those in attendance, it was a success.
It is also important to note that in defiance of a covert effort to sabotage the event by a shadow lurking naysayer, questioning our motives and qualifications, our efforts to perpetuate a better understanding of the history and future of the Scout Rifle were not denied. The message will reach and invite a new generation into the Scout Rifle fold.
Critical to the enigma the Scout Rifle has become is the realization that it is part of the legacy of Jeff Cooper and, to some extent, Gunsite Academy. This makes it imperative for those who discuss, manufacture, or use a Scout Rifle to have an understanding of its roots and place in the world of modern weaponry. Without this, the platform will creep further away from its intended purpose and become even more misunderstood.
Cooper predicted the Scout Rifle would become the personal weapon of the future. Sadly, he did not stay with us long enough to experience the resurgence of interest in his concept rifle. Without question the commercial and even custom Scout Rifle will continue to evolve, as do the needs of shooters as we progress into this brave new world. We have done our best to help direct that evolution by reestablishing the foundation Cooper built.
Those who want the fully understanding of the Scout Rifle need to read Cooper but they also need to read those who Cooper read. It is easier to understand him and his ideal rifle if you have a firm grasp of those who influenced him. You can start with Frederick Russell Burnham, Stewart Edward White, and Herbert W. McBride.
And, as we move forward, let us not get so caught up in the minutia of ounces and inches that we forget what Cooper said:
“The Scout Rifle as we have now developed it, is a distinctly dual-purpose device, equally suitable for individual combat and for the generalized hunting of four footed game.”
“A “Scout,” in the Gunsite mode, is a short, light, handy, versatile, utility rifle. It might properly termed a carbine, if that word had not come to denote reduced power. The Scout is a full-power rifle, intended to do as many jobs as any one weapon can.”
“The most important thing about the Scout is that it is a “general-purpose” rifle…Its most outstanding characteristic is handiness.”
The time of the Scout is here. Let us embrace its utility while not forgetting its heritage, purpose, and the blueprint Cooper provided for its construction.