Top Scout Rifles – Still Relevant in 2023!

| Sports Shooting

The scout rifle is a concept originally developed by Colonel Jeff Cooper, a renowned firearms expert. It was intended to be a versatile, lightweight, and compact rifle that could excel in a wide range of scenarios, suitable for an individual rifleman rather than for a team of shooters.

Let’s see more about the concept of classical scout rifles and what they have to offer.


The scout rifle concept emphasizes a balance between precision, portability, and versatility. It is designed to be a general-purpose rifle that can handle various tasks, including hunting, self-defense, and wilderness or scout-type activities.


The primary purpose of a scout rifle is to provide a lightweight and maneuverable firearm suitable for engaging targets at moderate distances. It should be capable of taking down the game, offering self-defense capabilities, and providing a tool for wilderness exploration.

A Scout Bolt Rifle


Scout rifles are often used in situations where mobility and quick target acquisition are important. They are favored by individuals who value versatility and prefer a single rifle that can handle multiple tasks. The intended usage ranges from hunting and target shooting to survival and wilderness applications.


1. Portability: Scout rifles are typically lightweight and compact, making them easier to carry and maneuver in various environments.

2. Versatility: They are designed to accept optical sights for precision shooting and usually have detachable box magazines for quick reloads. This makes them adaptable to different shooting scenarios.

3. Quick target acquisition: The scout rifle concept promotes the use of forward-mounted long eye relief scopes or low-magnification optics, allowing for faster target acquisition and enhanced situational awareness.

4. Handiness: The design often incorporates features like a shorter barrel length and a shorter overall length, making the rifle handier and easier to navigate in tight spaces.


1. Reduced long-range accuracy: Compared to dedicated long-range rifles, scout rifles may not offer the same level of precision at extended distances due to their shorter barrels and lighter profiles.

2. Limited caliber options: Scout rifles are typically chambered in mid-range calibers such as .308 Winchester or 6.5mm Creedmoor, which may not be as suitable for long-range shooting or specialized hunting scenarios.

3. Trade-offs in features: The emphasis on compactness and versatility means scout rifles may not have all the features of specialized rifles, such as heavy-barrel precision rifles or dedicated hunting rifles.

Now, let’s check out some of the best scout rifles available in 2023.

Top Scout Rifles in 2023

Springfield M1A Scout Squad

The Springfield M1A Scout Squad rifle is a semi-automatic, civilian version of the classic M14 battle rifle. Developed by Springfield Armory, the M1A Scout Squad retains many of the features that made the M14 renowned for its reliability and accuracy. It is chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO, making it a potent and versatile firearm.

The M1A Scout Squad features an 18-inch barrel, which strikes a balance between maneuverability and effective range. It has a muzzle brake to reduce recoil and improve follow-up shot accuracy. The rifle utilizes a gas-operated system, with a rotating bolt for reliable cycling.

Springfield M1A Scout Squad Rifle

This rifle boasts a sturdy composite stock that is designed for durability and comfort. It includes a forward-mounted Picatinny rail, allowing for the attachment of accessories such as optics, lights, or lasers. The adjustable rear sight and front sight post offer precise aiming, and the rifle also has a scout-style forward-mounted scope mount for those who prefer optics.

With a 10-round detachable box magazine, the M1A Scout Squad offers a decent ammunition capacity. It is a versatile firearm for various applications, including hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. The rifle’s legendary reliability, robust construction, and powerful cartridge make it popular among firearms enthusiasts and collectors.


  • Exceptional accuracy and long-range capabilities
  • Solid build quality and reliability
  • Wide range of aftermarket accessories available


  • Heavier and bulkier compared to some other scout rifles
  • Limited magazine capacity
  • Higher price point compared to similar rifles

Steyr Arms Scout

The Steyr Arms Scout rifle is a bolt-action rifle designed by the renowned Austrian firearm manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher. Introduced by legendary firearms expert Jeff Cooper, the Scout rifle concept emphasizes versatility, compactness, and accuracy. The Steyr Arms Scout embodies these principles, making it an excellent option for those seeking a multi-purpose rifle.

Chambered in various calibers, such as .308 Winchester and 6.5mm Creedmoor, the Steyr Scout offers a potent combination of power and manageable recoil. It features a 19-inch barrel with a muzzle brake, providing enhanced control and follow-up shot accuracy.

The rifle incorporates Steyr’s Safe Bolt System (SBS), a unique three-position safety mechanism that allows for loading and unloading with the safety engaged, providing an added layer of convenience and safety.

Steyr Arms Scout Rifle

One of the distinguishing features of the Steyr Arms Scout is its integrated bipod, which folds into the rifle’s forend when not in use. This feature, combined with the adjustable rear stock, allows for stable shooting from various positions.

The Steyr Arms Scout also incorporates a proprietary sight system. It includes a forward-mounted low-power scope, typically in the 2-7x range, along with backup iron sights. This setup enables quick target acquisition and engagement at close to medium ranges.

The Steyr Arms Scout features a lightweight and compact design, which makes is highly maneuverable and great for hunting, tactical applications, and general-purpose shooting. It offers exceptional accuracy, reliable performance, and a host of thoughtful features that cater to the needs of the modern scout-style rifle enthusiast.


  • Lightweight and compact design, ideal for maneuverability
  • Excellent balance and ergonomics
  • Versatile mounting options for accessories


  • Relatively higher price compared to other scout rifles
  • Limited aftermarket support compared to more popular models
  • Smaller magazine capacity compared to some competitors

Mossberg MVP Scout

The Mossberg MVP Scout rifle is a bolt-action rifle designed for versatility and adaptability. It is part of Mossberg’s MVP (Mossberg Varmint Predator) series, known for its accuracy and performance. The MVP Scout combines the characteristics of a scout-style rifle with the functionality of a bolt-action platform.

The series is chambered for various calibers, including .308 Winchester and 5.56 NATO. It makes the MVP Scout flexible in ammunition selection. It features a 16.25 to 18.5-inch barrel (depending on the model) that is threaded for suppressors or muzzle devices, enhancing the rifle’s adaptability.

Mossberg MVP Scout Rifle

One of the standout features of the MVP Scout is its patented bolt design. The rifle incorporates Mossberg’s MVP drop-push bolt, allowing it to accept both AR-15 style magazines and standard M1A/M14 magazines. This unique feature enables the shooter to use a wide range of magazines depending on their preference or availability.

The rifle’s stock is made of synthetic material, providing durability and weather resistance. It includes a top Picatinny rail for optics mounting and has adjustable sights for quick target acquisition. The MVP Scout also has a forward-mounted rail section for accessories like bipods or lasers.

Thanks to its compact size, versatile caliber options, and magazine compatibility, the Mossberg MVP Scout rifle is ideal for hunting, target shooting, and tactical applications. It offers a reliable bolt-action system, impressive accuracy, and the ability to customize the rifle according to individual preferences.


  • Affordable, great value for the money
  • Interchangeable magazines for versatility
  • Accurate and reliable performance


  • Limited aftermarket support and accessories
  • Slightly heavier compared to some other scout rifles
  • Stock quality may not be as high as some competitors

Savage Arms Model 110 Scout

The Savage Model 110 Scout rifle merges the versatility of a scout-style design with the renowned accuracy and reliability of the Savage Model 110 series. It is purpose-built for ruggedness and adaptability across diverse shooting scenarios.

Available in popular calibers like .308 Winchester and 6.5mm Creedmoor, the Model 110 Scout strikes a harmonious balance between power and recoil management. Its 16.5 to 18-inch barrel (depending on the model) comes with a threaded muzzle, allowing for suppressors or other muzzle devices use.

Incorporating Savage’s AccuTrigger system, the rifle ensures a crisp and adjustable trigger pull, elevating its overall accuracy. The AccuFit system further enhances the shooter’s experience, enabling customization of the length of pull and comb height for optimal comfort and ergonomics.

Savage Arms 110 Scout Rifle

The gun is made from durable synthetic materials. The Model 110 Scout’s stock delivers exceptional weather resistance and longevity. It boasts an adjustable cheekpiece and a length-of-pull spacer system, ensuring a tailored fit for various shooters and facilitating swift and comfortable sight alignment.

The Savage 110 Scout is equipped with a detachable box magazine of generous capacity so the rifle can provide ample ammunition for diverse shooting scenarios. Additionally, it features iron sights for close-range engagements and a Picatinny rail, allowing for easy mounting of optics.

The rifle has a dependable bolt-action mechanism, customizable stock, and solid scout-style attributes. All this makes the Savage Model 110 Scout rifle a great choice for hunting, target shooting, and tactical applications. The rifle consistently delivers remarkable accuracy, exceptional versatility, and adaptability, earning its reputation as a reliable companion in the field and on the range.


  • Accurate and consistent performance
  • Adjustable stock for a personalized fit
  • Affordable price compared to some other scout rifles


  • Limited aftermarket support and accessories
  • Slightly heavier compared to some competitors
  • Relatively lower magazine capacity

Ruger Gunsite Scout

The Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle is a bolt-action rifle developed in collaboration with the renowned Gunsite Academy, a premier firearms training facility. Designed to meet the requirements of a versatile and practical scout rifle, the Ruger Gunsite Scout combines ruggedness, accuracy, and adaptability.

Chambered in popular calibers such as .308 Winchester and 5.56 NATO, the Gunsite Scout offers a balance between power and recoil control. It features a 16.1 to 18.7-inch barrel (depending on the model) with a threaded muzzle for the attachment of muzzle devices or suppressors, enhancing its versatility.

The rifle incorporates Ruger’s adjustable Marksman trigger, which provides a crisp and consistent trigger pull, aiding in accuracy. The Gunsite Scout also features a detachable 10-round box magazine, allowing for quick and easy reloading.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle

The Gunsite Scout rifle’s stock is made of rugged synthetic material, offering durability and resistance to the elements. It includes a soft rubber recoil pad to mitigate felt recoil. The rifle features a forward-mounted Picatinny rail for the attachment of optics and accessories, and it also includes adjustable iron sights for close-range engagements.

The Gunsite Scout’s design includes a versatile length-of-pull spacer system, allowing shooters to customize the rifle’s length for optimal comfort and ergonomics. It also has a handy integrated bipod that can be folded when not in use. This great scout rifle from Ruger features a reliable bolt-action system, detachable box magazine, and scout-style features, and excels in various shooting applications, from hunting to tactical use. It delivers accuracy, durability, and adaptability, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile and reliable scout rifle.


  • High-quality craftsmanship and durability
  • Versatile and customizable with many accessories available
  • Smooth and reliable action


  • Heavier compared to some other scout rifles
  • Higher price point compared to some competitors
  • Limited magazine capacity

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