Another Scout Rifle idea

So, when I was thinking about rifles, Shooting Buddy asked me about the possibility of doing a scout rifle “on the cheap” so to speak, by converting a mil-surp rifle to a scout configuration.  Aside from the fact that I couldn’t get one in .223, it’s actually not a bad idea.  If I were going to do it, I’d use one of two rifles: either the Schmidt-Rubin K31 or one of the jillion Yugo 24/47 Mausers out there.

The K31 would be my first choice because it’s just soooo sexay – those Swiss could sure build a neat gun, and with Prvi Partisan loading factory new ammo for it, you can actually shoot the darn thing for a reasonable price.  The 7.5mm Swiss round falls in between the .308 NATO and .30’06 in terms of hitting power, making a good round for the “true” Scout concept.

The Mauser isn’t a bad idea either, if for no other reason that you’d be hard pressed to find a more reliable action than the ’98 Mauser.  Like Tam said, an avil may be more reliable, but it depends on the anvil.  The big benefit to the Yugo Mauser is that you can buy 673 of them for a reasonable price and a boatload of surplus 8mm ammo and go whack your shoulder all day long, all day strong.  Plus, the 8mm round the Yugo guns chamber will pretty much kill anything on legs in North America, although I would not be excited about taking after bears in Alaska with them (but then again, I wouldn’t be excited about bears in Alaska with anything shy of a field gun).

The more I think about this though, the Yugo Mauser might be a better idea.  Due to their popularity in the C&R market, there is a decent cottage industry of aftermarket parts available for them, and like I said, you can get a lot of ammo for not a lot of money.


  1. Mosin-Nagant M-44 or M-38 have a lot of potential for this.

    Not as accurate as the two you mentioned, but very durable and, as carbines, they fit the bill for the scout concept better than a battle rifle. The power of the 7.62x54r cartridge is impressive (similar ballistics to the .30-06) and they are dirt cheap. The M38 is more expensive than the M-44 but has the advantage of not having the integral bayonet which would have to be removed from the M-44.

    My particular M-44 shoots like hell unless the bayonet is extended, I have no idea what would happen if the bayonet were completely removed, that might render it useless as far as accuracy goes…but for the price, you can afford to buy two and mess one up just finding out if it would work.

    There are aftermarket stocks and scope mounts available that make turning a Mosin into a scout rifle a very doable proposition.

    Just something else to consider.

  2. Whats wrong with the Remington 7615? Other than the fact it’s a pump. I also have more scout rifle ideas up on the blog.

  3. I have heard reports of reliability issues with the 7615 guns, plus I don’t want to pay 800 bucks for a pump action 223.

  4. The problem with the K-31 is it’s a bulky action with not much in the way of aftermarket support. This means a lot more difficulty with things like triggers and such.

    If you want a keeper, I would recommend skipping the various Enfield and Mosin options and going with the Mauser action.

    Your best bet for the given criteria you used would be to find a small ring Mauser, either Swedish or Latin American, that somebody has already started to bubba-ize, so that you’re not trashing a collector…

    Actually, if you want to talk about this, just email me. I’ve been in on plenty of sporter/scout projects. (While it’s almost the polar opposite of a scout, have I shown you my .300 Whisper Turk?)

  5. I can lend you that book at the next blogmeet thingy.

    I have a Czech Mauser that I pulled out of the safe and will have scoutified over the summer. (Tam saw it and starting weeping softly when I told her what I will have done).

  6. One of Jeff Cooper’s specifications for the Scout was that it use a readily available cartridge, which would tend to rule the K31 out; while 7.5×55 is available, it isn’t out there in the quantities that 8×57 is. Accessory advantage goes to the Mauser, as well.

  7. “One of Jeff Cooper’s specifications for the Scout was that it use a readily available cartridge”

    Robert, I do not recall that requirement. What is the citation for that?

    Considering that Cooper babbled on about Scout Rifles in .350RM, I find the “readily available cartridge” requirement confusing.

    I do remember the power requirement and the requirement for a short action, but do not recall the readily available stuff.

  8. You should avoid the Yugo Mausers for the scout concept, not because of the weapon itself, but because there is a grand total of one synthetic stock available for them. That stock is in turn made by ATI who have never impressed me with there quality. I would go with a Czech or German Mauser, I believe R-Guns (they have an add in Shotgun News) has complete barreled K98k actions for like $150.

  9. Robert, I do not recall that requirement. What is the citation for that?

    Considering that Cooper babbled on about Scout Rifles in .350RM,

    He threw that one out there a couple of times, although I’m entirely too lazy to go thumb for cites right now.

    The “lion scout” or “dragoon” et al. were not true scouts but offshoots of the concept.

  10. One of Jeff Cooper’s specifications for the Scout was that it use a readily available cartridge…

    I remember that pretty clearly from his writings. “”>Vol. 3, No. 6 has this an entry stating 308 is the one true chambering, though the google search I used brings back over 70 other hits for “scout caliber.”

    Angels on the head of a pin an all that though. Custom rifles are just that.

  11. *mumble* *mumble* lack of WordPress preview and comment edit functions *mumble*

  12. For any of you that do that to a K98 Mauser in any condition, I will personally send your information to every WWII re-enactor in the nation.

  13. I had just about convinced myself not to post this but what the heck. This was a Yugo Mauser of the late ’50’s vintage, IIRC. I had the barrel shortened to 20″, put a Butler Creek synthetic stock on it, installed the XS Sights scout mount, and attached Burris’ scout scope to it.

    It’s a blast to shoot. All I really want to do further is to put a replacement sporter trigger pack in it to take care of the less than stellar trigger pull. Other than that, it does pretty much anything I can reasonably expect (especially considering my lack of practice).

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: