Colonel Jeff Cooper wanted a general-purpose rifle that could be used for hunting and self-defense. In essence, this was a short, fast-handling rifle chambered in something powerful enough to kill a living target up to 1,000 pounds.

Several rifle makers have introduced scout rifle variants—some closely following Cooper’s vision, others only touching on the characteristics. Here are a few of the best.

Marlin Model 1895SBL

This lever-action rifle is not a traditional scout rifle per se, but it’s built to chamber the big-bore .45-70 Government cartridge in a short and compact rifle with a scope mounted far forward. The large-loop lever means you can easily operate the action even while wearing gloves. The rifle sports a 6+1 capacity, an 18.5-inch barrel, XS ghost ring sights and a scout scope mount. (; 800-544-8892)

  • CALIBER: .45-70 Government
  • BARREL: 18.5 inches
  • OA LENGTH: 37 inches
  • WEIGHT: 8 pounds (empty)
  • STOCK: Laminated hardwood
  • SIGHTS: Front post, XS ghost ring rear
  • ACTION: Lever
  • FINISH: Matte stainless
  • CAPACITY: 6+1
  • MSRP: $1,013

Mossberg MVP Scout

The 7.62mm MVP Scout features a unique drop-push bolt design that is compatible with both M1A- and AR-10-style magazines. Mossberg also offers this rifle as part of a combo package (shown) that includes a Vortex 2-7x32mm scope with extended eye relief. Features include a fiber-optic front sight, a ghost-ring rear sight and a long Picatinny rail that allows numerous scope-mounting options. The 16.25-inch barrel has a 1-in-10-inch twist rate. (; 203-230-5300)

  • CALIBER: 7.62mm NATO
  • BARREL: 16.25 inches
  • OA LENGTH: 37.5 inches
  • WEIGHT: 8.25 pounds (empty)
  • STOCK: Synthetic
  • SIGHTS: Fiber-optic front, ghost ring rear
  • ACTION: Bolt
  • FINISH: Matte blue
  • CAPACITY: 10+1
  • MSRP: $962

Ruger Gunsite Scout

Ruger’s Gunsite Scout rifles use a Mauser-type action mated to a cold-hammer-forged barrel that is free-floated for enhanced accuracy. It feeds from a 10-round detachable box magazine made from steel. Several models are available with various stocks and accessories. Model #6830 (shown) comes with a 16.1-inch barrel, a black synthetic stock and a unique muzzle brake. The length of pull can easily be adjusted with spacers. (

  • CALIBER: 7.62mm NATO
  • BARREL: 16.1 inches
  • OA LENGTH: 37-38.5 inches
  • WEIGHT: 6.5 pounds (empty)
  • STOCK: Synthetic
  • SIGHTS: Front blade, adjustable rear
  • ACTION: Bolt
  • FINISH: Matte black
  • CAPACITY: 10+1
  • MSRP: $1,140

Savage Model 11 Scout

Savage Arms took its short-action Model 11 and created a scout rifle with a detachable box magazine, a stock adjustable for length of pull and cheekweld, iron sights, a forward-mounted optics rail and a flash suppressor. The Model 11 Scout also includes Savage’s renowned Accu-Trigger and Accu-Stock system for consistent accuracy. (; 800-370-0708)

  • CALIBER: 7.62mm NATO
  • BARREL: 18 inches
  • OA LENGTH: 40.5 inches
  • WEIGHT: 7.8 pounds (empty)
  • STOCK: Synthetic
  • SIGHTS: Adjustable
  • ACTION: Bolt
  • FINISH: Matte black, FDE
  • CAPACITY: 10+1MSRP: $794

Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad

While it doesn’t fit Jeff Cooper’s definition of a scout rifle to a T, the semi-automatic M1A Scout Squad definitely takes some cues from the traditional scout rifle with its short 18-inch barrel and forward-mounted scope rail. Think of it as a combat rifle redesigned for fast handling in confined environments. It comes with all of the classic M1A features, including a Garand-style action, a detachable mag, a front blade sight and an aperture rear sight. (; 800-680-6866)

  • CALIBER: 7.62mm NATO
  • BARREL: 18 inches
  • OA LENGTH: 40.33 inches
  • WEIGHT: 8.8 pounds (empty)
  • STOCK: Synthetic or walnut
  • SIGHTS: Front post, aperture rear
  • ACTION: Semi-auto
  • FINISH: Matte black, FDE, Mossy Oak
  • CAPACITY: 10+1
  • MSRP: $1,761

Steyr Scout

The Steyr Scout is Cooper’s idea of what a scout rifle should be: compact, lightweight and able to reach out to targets with a heavy projectile. At only 6.6 pounds, it is very lightweight. Features include a built-in bipod, an adjustable length of pull, spare magazine storage in the stock and flip-up backup sights. Several variants are avaliable, and the newest version has a camo finish. (; 205-417-8644)

  • CALIBER: 7.62mm NATO
  • BARREL: 18.8 inches
  • OA LENGTH: 38.6 inches
  • WEIGHT: 6.6 pounds (empty)
  • STOCK: Synthetic
  • SIGHTS: Flip-up front and rear
  • ACTION: Bolt
  • FINISH: Black, grey, green, MUD, camo
  • CAPACITY: 5+1
  • MSRP: $1,699

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