Ambivalent Skeptic

September 25, 2011

Jeff Cooper: Five Years Later

Filed under: Jeff Cooper — Clint1911 @ 3:15 pm

There are two men who influenced my life more than any other – my late father and Jeff Cooper.
Louis Awerbuck
Foreword of Principles of Personal Defense

August 2, 2011

Jeff Cooper on guns and mindset, June 1997

Filed under: Jeff Cooper,Uncategorized — Clint1911 @ 10:51 pm

January 3, 2011

The internet is abuzz with Jeff Cooper’s scout rifle idea.

Filed under: Jeff Cooper,Scout Rifle,Weapons — Clint1911 @ 10:53 am

Seems a good time to point out some of the guru’s criteria for a Scout rifle and also to point out some things. First, the Scout rifle, as an idea, evolved over time. The inspiration was Remington’s 600 carbines in 350 Rem Mag. Cooper took it from there. Unfortunately, the closer a factory produced Scout came to reality, the more the ol’ Colonel become dogmatic in his approach. This is partly justified as many were taking his ideas and rather than building a proper “system” they only included the “cool” parts.

Have you ever had a good idea that was tainted after some idiot screwed it up due to that idiot’s poor planning or follow though? Too many failed and phony Scouts left some asking “Why bother?” Until they handled a Real Scout and experienced how ALL the key features, working synergistic, made the Scout rifle the good idea it is.

Here are some of Cooper’s writings about the Scout Rifle. They illustrate a “mission statement” for the Scout and explain many key elements. Unfortunately they also show that as refinement took place, Cooper began to fixate on particulars.

QFT (emphasis added)

Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries
Vol. 3, No. 2
31 January 1995

On the matter of Scouts, we are mildly annoyed to discover that the term has been picked up and run off with by all sorts of people who have never seen a true Scout and do not know what it is. Most of these people do not realize that a Scout must make weight, and it must use a general−purpose cartridge readily available worldwide and suitable for any target up to buffalo. This points towards 308, but options include 30−06, 303 British, and the 7−08 for jurisdictions where 30 calibers are prohibited. It does not include the 223.

Anybody is at liberty to call anything whatever he wants, but the Scout attributes were fully discussed at the Scout conference held nearly ten years ago at Gunsite, and customized versions have distinguished themselves all over the world. I have tried to write the matter up on several occasions, but I am amazed at the number of people who adopt a term without reading into it.


Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries
Vol. 3, No. 6
25 April 1995

The Scout project has “charged off madly in all directions.” I guess I should not be surprised. Nobody owns the word “Scout,” and anyone is free to call anything whatever he wants except on American university campuses, of course. Nonetheless, I should point out a couple of rather important criteria:

1. The Scout really should make weight, and weight is 3kg (6.7lbs) including sights.

2. The Scout caliber is 308. This is because the 308 ammunition is universally available worldwide (so is 223, but let us not go into that.) One cannot make a classic Scout out of a 30−06, simply because the cartridge, and thus the action, is too long.

3. A classic Scout must be short. Start with one meter (39 inches) and work down from that.

There are other considerations, but the foregoing are vital. The basic problem is that one must actually shoot a Scout rifle over a period and under field conditions to understand it. There just are not enough Scouts around for a large number of people to appreciate them.

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