View Full Version : Styer Scout, is it worth the $$$?

January 7, 1999, 12:01 AM
Hello all,

I must admit to being infatuated with the Styer Scout. So, I would like to hear some real world pros and cons about it.
I like it because of some things I have heard: It is accurate right out of the box. It is light (I hate lugging around a heavy gun). It is a complete package. In theory, it is all you really need.

Now, what do you think? Is it even remotely worth it? Let's pretend that I don't mind that it is a few hundred over priced. We are all willing to pay a few hundred more than we should for something that we are infatuated with. But, I am not above hearing examples of rifles that are just as good for less money.
What are the pros and cons of this rifle? What is it lacking? In which areas does it excel? What was it really made for, and who is the person that would really benefit from one?

My last and most important question is: Will it hang with the big boys? I know it has weak glass for really long shots, but that can be fixed. Will it shoot side by side with a customized rifle like a McMillan Rem700 or something? If not, where does it fall short, and is the fact that it is light and short worth the lack of accuracy over a heavier and longer custom Rem 700?

Thanks much, I am not made of money, but if this is the be-all-end-all rifle like some say it is, then I am willing to attain one somehow.

You input is much appreciated, I have been looking for a really accurate long range rifle...one that can keep up with my ability, and the fact that this one is supposedly ready to go out of the box and also light has my attention.

If you think there is better out there, please tell me exactly what it is, I am new to the "sniper" rifle scene. (is there a better word than "sniper"? That ain't too PC these days)

I have also eyeballed the Rem700 PSS DM which is only about $800, but I am not sure if it is ready to go out of the box.

thanks much,

Rob Pincus
January 7, 1999, 12:22 AM
Allow me to jump in with a completely unqualified opinion.....

I don't own a Steyr Scout, but I too admire the concept. I think you should decide exactly what you want before you spend any bucks, though. The scout rifle concept is very different from the "sniper" rifle concept. Owner a scout would compliment a Remington PSS (or similar), not duplicate it.

There are undoubtedly better authorities around here on what a scout rifle is for vs. a sniper rifle....

all that said, I have a scout rifle. It is based on a Remington 700 action with a 20" lightwieght barrel. It has a quick release Burris 1.5x MER scope, a Ghost ring rear and a tritium front dot. The stock is a standard black synthetic job.
It came with a nice Galco 3 point leather sling and one of those cool looking leather sleeves on the butt which holds 5 rounds of ammo (Looks absolutely Bad-*ss with Nickle/black/Gray Ballistic Silvertips ;)).

The trigger and action were "worked on" by a good and experienced gunsmith to be smooth, light and fast.

Quick off-hand 3 shot 3" groups at 100 yards are no problem. I'm sure that the rifle is capable of better, but as I understand the use of the scout rifle and as I would/have employ(ed) this rifle I don't need anything better. I have used it for hunting and practice with it more than any other bolt in my collection.

I am very happy with this rifle and I could own three of them, completely outfitted, for the price of 1 Steyr Scout. The S.S. gets 575 points out of 10 for style and sexiness, but it is a lot of dough for one niche. I've spent that much on one weapon before, but only when there has been no way to equal it for significantly less money. you could have a good "scout" style rifle, a good shotgun and a good handgun with a decent amount of emergency ammo for all three, for the cost of one Steyr Scout.


Rich Lucibella
January 7, 1999, 01:15 AM
Glad you made it over. I think you'll get some good info here. You already have my input via email.

Rich Lucibella
January 7, 1999, 04:45 PM
In response to your original email on the subject, I posted your query to the API list.
The following responses were recieved.

Rich Lucibella
January 7, 1999, 04:46 PM
The Following submitted from a poster on the API list:

Well, I am not one for marketing hype, but the SS really is the only general
purpose rifle you need. I attended the Scout Conference at Whittington last
year and at first glance didn't like it. After handling it in the bldg, I
thought, "ok, this might work". After shooting it, I was sold. I have nbr
170. I sold all my other .30 something rifles. Don't need them. The rifle
is incredibly accurate with anything I put thru it, mine particularly likes
165 gr bullets and will put any brand into the same 2 inch circle rapid fire
at 100 yds. Slow fire bench groups are always under 1 moa. But the real test
of course is the consistency in field positions. That 2 moa circle never
changes unless I mess up the shot. BTW, I initially assumed the thin bbl
would wonder when it heated up. Not so, I have had the bbl so hot you
couldn't touch it and no change at all in point of impact. Amazing.

Cons: Rifle - bolt lift is still a bit stiff, but better than the prototypes.
Mine is one of the ones that won't work well with hard primers, like WGerman
surplus ammo. I am a little miffed at Steyr/GSI for charging $130 for the
fix. I just will not shoot the German ammo. I prefer a conventional bolt
knob, but have no problems working the butterknife after about the first 100
rds rapid fire. The case is silly. But it does it's job well, I have used it
to fly btw my home in MT and TN. No damage, no change in zero. That's about
it. It really is a work of art. Now if we could only get a scope with no
internal adjustments...maybe in the next century.


ps - see Fr. Frog's website for good info and links to other scout resources.
Also Ashley outdoors. URLs below. Good luck.


Rich Lucibella
January 7, 1999, 04:47 PM
The following posted for Phil Ryan from the API list:

Dates: July 8-11, 1998
Weather: Mostly Sunny, some afternoon thunderstorms, temperatures
from the 70's in the morning to the low 100's in the afternoons.

This course provided an opportunity to evaluate several early
production Steyr Scouts in an intensive field environment. The
class consisted of six shooters with the Scouts and one shooter
with a Model 70. All rifles were chambered in .308 Winchester.

General Impressions:

The Steyr Scout is definitely a field rifle. Prior to this
course I had fired about 300 rounds through the Scout for load
development and zeroing. While the rifle shot well at the range,
you don't realize how well it handles until you get into the field.
There were a couple of areas that concerned me during my range work
that turned out not to be issues. I had the heavy duplex reticle
replaced with the standard duplex prior to the course, while the
other rifles retained the original reticle. We shot ranges from 25
out to 400 yards (measured) in various lighting as well as shooting
in fairly heavy brush. Either scope worked fine.
The iron sights also worked quite well in the field. Because of
the design of the stock I had to creep the stock to get a good weld,
but with one of the spacers removed this was not uncomfortable. The
front sight is large enough for a variety of lighting conditions,
and both sights have a large range of adjustment. I found the
repeatability of the scope mounts good. I've removed and
reinstalled the scope several times with the zero never being off by
more than about a minute and a half.
Accuracy was very good. Several people have demonstrated MOA
from the bench, but more importantly the rifle is accurate in the
field. There did not appear to be any significant difference between
the first (cold clean) round fired and subsequent rounds. The
trigger is good and the rifle meets the "handiness" requirement
of a scout.
The stock is comfortable and barrel extension housing and forend
make an effective heat shield. Having burned myself on hot barrels
more often that I care to admit I like that feature.
The bipod works well, although it's a bit noisy to deploy and stow.
There was split opinion on the sling, some shooters prefering the Galco
Ching sling, while others liked the thicker Turner Saddlery slings
provided by Steyr. The rear sling mount location did cause some problems
when shouldering the rifle on occasion.

Problem Areas:

Over the course of the class we fired 400 to 500 rounds each.
Most of us were shooting either Winchester "White Box" 7.62mm or
Portugese 7.62mm NATO ammunition. Black Hills Moly coated, Federal
168 gr. Match and 150gr Sierra Matchking handloads were also used.

Bolt Assembly:
All shooters had at least one failure to fire due to a light
primer strike. My experience with the "White Box" ammo was about 1
in 200 would fail to fire when the striker was set in the factory
position. Even in the heaviest strike position there were failures
due to light primer strikes with some ammo. Setting the striker at
the heavy setting also adversely affected the bolt lift. There was
one case where there were successive failures to fire. We suspect
some grit worked its way onto the bolt face.
We all noticed that the bolt tends to bind when cycled vigorously.
We also had three bolt related failures that were field repairable
but unrecoverable without disassembly of the bolt.

Failure #1: The Ejector Pin (Item #42, page 37 of the Owner's Manual)
walked out of the left side of the bolt on one rifle. This
made it impossible to close the bolt since the pin interferred with
the locking lugs on the barrel extension. While the manual shows a
single pin, the rifle in question appeared to have a solid pin wedged
by a roll pin. When this was reinstalled with the assistance of a
drift the problem did not reappear. I was unable to figure out why
this pin came loose.

Failure #2: (Occurred twice on the same rifle). Bolt Cap came off
while cycling bolt. This shooter was using an overhand technique to
operate the bolt. We speculate that his thumb was able to depress
the ratchet lever and apply enough pressure to cause the bolt cap
to rotate clockwise, stripping the bolt. No damage was caused to
the bolt assembly but the bolt had to be removed and reassembled
to put the rifle back in action. A stiffer ratchet lever spring
would help prevent this. (The shooter was using this technique
to overcome the excessive bolt lift his rifle exhibited with the
striker in the heavy position, so correcting the bolt lift issue
may also prevent this.)

One magazine was found to cause the bullet to be pushed into the
case mouth on occasion. This magazine was taken out of service.
There was one instance of a round popping out of the spare magazine
while stowed in the buttstock.
There were three instances of the reserve magazine falling free
under recoil. I have had this happen before primarily with heavier
(180 gr.) loads. It appears that when the rifle is held firmly
that enough flex occurs in the stock to free the reserve magazine.

Sling swivel positions.
I think I'm going to put a swivel in the conventional spot on the buttstock
of the Scout. That side attachment looks good on paper, but I found that it
caused the sling to get in the way when doing snaps or getting into positions.
It looks to me like it won't cause any trouble with the spare magazine, but
we'll see what happens. I do like the side mounted swivels for the middle
of the stock.

(Late update) GSI has stiffer magazine catch springs that solve the spare
magazine dropping problem. As far as the bolt lift, it's not as much of an
issue as it sounds. It's stiffer than a custom built Model 70, but most
people that have tried my rifle didn't notice it.

Rich Lucibella
January 7, 1999, 04:48 PM
The following Posted for Jim Dodd of the API List:


I didn't want to bother with the registration to post one reply, so I am
sending this along via you.

I built a pseudo scout before the Steyr Scout and used it for the API 570
Course (Advanced Rifle) in 1993. Based on the results there, I knew how great
the concept is. The Steyr Scout is one implementation of the concept.

When it was announced, I thought they might bring it in for not much more than
$1,000 as the Steyr SBS can be had for that sum (and it is the parent action).
When the actual price was announced, I bit the bullet and borrowed the $ to
buy the rifle.

I have had it now since May, 1998. I took it hunting in Canada this fall.
Didn't see a big enough deer but that it not the rifle's doing.

It has a great trigger, is handy as scouts are, and costs less than the early
hand made scout rifles. I call it a wide bandwidth rifle, as it will do
*anything* you can do with a rifle. It might not be ideal for a particular
application, but it will do it all. It truely is a general purpose rifle, and
the Steyr Scout has all the features of the concept. I use the 5 round mag
configuration, and see no need for the 10 round mag config (for me). I have
shot the scout configuration to 650 yards (on targets), so it certainly can
reach out there.

I have begun selling my more traditional rifles.

I think if you look at what is costs to buy this rifle over its expected life,
you have a better analysis of its cost.

jim dodd

Dakota Law Dog
January 8, 1999, 04:27 AM
If you don't have the $, try Rem. model 7 in .308. Am waiting to see Savage's Scout rifle.

January 8, 1999, 11:21 PM
Worth the money? Yes. If they had a left hand model, I would own one. In November, I visited with Jeff Cooper at the Sconce and dry fired his scout.
After returning to Indiana, I borrowed a friends, put about 40 rounds thru it. From the bench using the bipod, with several different ammos at 100yds a 2 inch composite group. No match ammo, but even with different brands and weights the 20 rounds went into 2 inchs.
Off hand, the gun is a joy to shoot. If they bring out a left hand version, My old .308BAR will become history. GLV

Rob Pincus
January 8, 1999, 11:55 PM
So, GLV why not entertain the Guru's advice and try out the Blaser in left hand flavor set up with a Scout Scope?

January 11, 1999, 09:18 PM
Rob, the Blazer is not the Scout. If I am going to spend 2K, it will be on the gun I want. Perhaps after Styer completes the .376 project, perhaps a left hand Scout? GLV

Rob Pincus
January 11, 1999, 09:20 PM
Okay, can we all agree on two things... it is S-T-E-Y-R and B-L-A-S-E-R.