PDA

View Full Version : Scout Concept and Jeff Cooper


scout308
February 17, 2014, 12:51 PM
Wonder what he would think about the EOTech and a flip over magnifier for a Scout Rifle.........is a great little setup but I almost feel ashamed when I reread the old Gossip newsletters..........

Wyosmith
February 17, 2014, 12:58 PM
I think it would work well enough, but no better than the original scout scope, and it will cost a LOT more.

Sharkbite
February 17, 2014, 01:07 PM
Im pretty sure the "old man" would scoff at the idea. He didnt take well to the "new fangled electronic crap".

I think that as red dots have progressed and improved over the years we are at a point where they are at least as reliable as a magnified scope. Prob more so

Our years fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places using these scopes has proved they are worthy of being called robust.

Im not a fan of the magnifer behind one though...added weight for a pretty small benefit.

Im of a mind that its a compromise you dont need to make. If you want some magnification for range but like the red dot concept, look at the vortex 1-4 PST or something like that

Aikibiker
February 17, 2014, 01:14 PM
A major part of the scout concept was for the rifle to be as light as possible. That being the case something like a micro aimpoint or Trijicon RMR would be better then the EOTech. An RMR with the tritium/fiberoptic combo and a smaller dot in 2-4MOA range with a magnifier in one of the various removable mounts would probably meet with his approval. It would add less weight then the forward mounted scope, not need batteries, and be much faster into action.

Art Eatman
February 17, 2014, 08:46 PM
Other than maybe the issue of battery life, Cooper likely would accept the modern versions of these sights, given their now-proven reliability.

For him, "new" tended to mean "unproven".

bamaranger
February 18, 2014, 05:50 AM
Cooper was leery of battery powered sights, and said so in print in one of his columns. But as noted, such devices have come a long way.

Coopers idea on the scout scope, the long eye relief, (well intermediate) low magnification scope which help to place a rifle in the "Scout " category, actually function much like a dot. The recticle appears foreward using both eyes, in the field of view and is pasted on the target, much the same way the modern dot works. You don't get "in" the scope. The difference of course was there were not really any good dots when Cooper was developing his parameters for the Scout. And I have to wonder how much he might have actually shot one in his later years as dots began to be refined.

Cooper wrote that he scoffed at bipods until he witnessed a good shot made from a "dismount" and reconsidered the issue. I betting that some time and exposure to good dots (compact mind you) would sway him on the dot sight as well. But they would have to be reliable too.

I note that on a lot of rifles being used in Euro driven boar hunts, that dots are pretty common. Hard to argue against results.

KRJ
February 22, 2014, 03:46 AM
"I used to assume that most practical rifle shooting was done from the sitting position, properly looped up. I am not sure of that now." - Jeff Cooper

Once in a while I stumble across something in his commentaries that suggests the Colonel was not as much of an unrepentant curmudgeon as he was often considered to be. He wrote several things that speak of being open to new ideas about a few things. This one is funny:


"We have been advised to make a point of what follows, so we dutifully comply:

At the Quantico commissioning ceremonies I was astonished to note that the "drum major," or whoever it is who struts out in front of a military band controlling both its movements and its music, was, in this instance, a female. I was profoundly shocked. In my cultural development the man out there in front of the band was by tradition the mightiest warrior in the clan, who by choice stood six feet five, measured about four feet across the shoulders, and had more combat ribbons than anybody in the regiment. So, here we had a girl doing his job! Well, she was quite splendid. I have observed and participated in a good deal of military ceremonial worldwide and I have never seen that duty performed better, if as well. The more I saw her do her stuff, the more I swallowed my preconceptions. ("And they were very great.") So much for the gender gap! I do hope that girl never gets killed in action, but if she does, she will have contributed more with her grande baton than she ever could have with her puny little M16.

I see that I am not as hard-nosed and moss-backed as I had been told." - Jeff Cooper

SR420
February 22, 2014, 09:29 AM
Jeff Cooper's Scout concept is just an abstract or generic idea...
you really can't get it wrong if you stick with the basic concept.
Try the EOTech and a flip over magnifier, and prove your concept.

mete
February 22, 2014, 09:42 AM
I wonder how Col Cooper would think of this sight

"Microsight Tech for Iron Sights" in Accurateshooter.com

44 AMP
February 22, 2014, 12:13 PM
While I cannot point to chapter and verse, Cooper himself was not as big a proponent of the Scout scope concept as we have made him out to be.

He preferred the iron sights (ghost ring), and essentially felt that if you were going to put a scope on it, then the scout scope (type and location) is what it should be.

Just about the whole world fastened on the Scout scope as what "made" the scout rifle, because the scout scope's location is the ONE thing that visually makes the scout rifle different from all the rest.

he did talk about the advantages of a "scout" scope, its location, magnification, etc., but that was to show his reasoning. Having a scope on a scout rifle was never part of his original concept. He was also enough of a realist to know that a people were going to put scopes on them.

So he came up with what he felt was the best way to mount the scope (and the kind of scope to mount there) and still stay as close as possible to his original concepts for the Scout Rifle. He also put some on his rifles, to prove they would work the way he said they would. And guess what? They did.

Anyone remember WHY he wanted the scope mounted so far forward?
It was so his scout rifle could use stripper clips. The fact that the forward mounted scope had other advantages was simply gravy.

Cooper was not quite the fossilized reactionary that others, and even he himself, made him out to be. Really no worse than many of the other gun writers of his era in his holding forth his opinions in a resolute manner.

He actually was fairly open to new ideas (particularly when they were his ideas), but if your idea met his minimum standards for reliability and usefulness, he was open to taking a look at it. That didn't mean he would approve of it, but he would consider it.

One of the ways he got such a reputation for being a curmudgeon (among other things;)) was because, if your idea didn't at least measure up to his minimum standards at a glance, he wouldn't waste his time on it. And he would say so in print. I always liked what he wrote, and was entertained by the way he wrote it. Read a lot of his stuff over the years, and while not everything was "right", very little of his ideas have I found to be seriously "wrong".

While many won't publically admit to it, I think there are quite a few of us who he touched, deep inside, and who do remember that we cried, the day his music died...

I think if he were with us still, he would, grudgingly perhaps, approve of your dot/electronic sights, now that they have a proven track record.

Art Eatman
February 22, 2014, 08:09 PM
http://www.dvc.org.uk/jeff/

Smarts sorta ran in the family.

http://dvc.org.uk/jeff/jeff4_13.html

Scroll down to daughter Lindy's poem.

Bullet Bill
February 22, 2014, 08:29 PM
Personally I think an EOTech or other AR15 based sights sit far to high on a scout mount with a traditional stock. Also I don't believe a red dot sight offers near enough advantage over a ghost ring sight to consider running. A scout scope on the other hand gives you a benefit with better target identification.

kawasakifreak77
February 23, 2014, 09:37 AM
Personally a short .30 caliber bolt action of some sorts is probably my favorite firearm made. I don't subscribe exactly to the scout rifle concept but I think several of the characteristics Cooper laid out make perfect sense for a 'do all rifle'

Having said that, before my local smith could put irons on my micro 7 I was using a 2x truglo red dot on my rifle. I had never had any sort of battery powered optic before & was quite skeptical but I ended up loving the stinkin' thing! The wee bit of zoom combined with a nice little dot made shooting so quick & instinctive yet precise enough to easily hold sub 2 moa groups!

A low magnification, dot type sight on a scout type rifle I think would be terrific! As long as it was tough & even better did not rely on batteries & of course had good backup irons in case of total failure.

Most would scoff at a $60 turkey gun optic on their rifle I'd imagine but I can say it's tougher than it looks. I was loading me up some subs one day with my rifle leaned against the wall behind me. I got up & knocked my rifle over on a concrete floor & she landed with quite a smack! :(

Upon further inspection, a smack hard enough it bent the edge of the battery chamber's cap so good I had to get a little screwdriver in there to pry it up so it would be able to unscrew... I went to the range fully expecting it to be thrown out of whack. I shot five shots right through the middle of the bullseye at 100 meters!

Since I've got my iron sights now I've not been able to bring myself to putting it back on even as much as I like it mainly because how trim the rifle is without an optic hanging off it. My roomie just bought an AR & needing something to slap on to shoot the thing I gave him the truglo. We got it sighted in & even in a howling Kansas crosswind were able to print multiple sub 2 moa groups with bargain brand ammo. Then having a bunch of leftover cruddy beers people had left here, we placed them all over the range out to a bit past 100 meters. We'd crack a round offhand & hand the AR over to the other person for their turn. Most all the cans blew up in a miniature geyser on the first attempt. Not only was it a blast but it convinced him also that for shorter range work it's a great combination of speed / accuracy.

I know that's quite long winded but think that yes, the concept has merit & might not be the perfect answer, but at least deserves a hard look into the possibilities. Only I would want it directly over the action, traditionally mounted but that's only personal preferhence.

natman
February 23, 2014, 11:57 AM
While I cannot point to chapter and verse, Cooper himself was not as big a proponent of the Scout scope concept as we have made him out to be.

He preferred the iron sights (ghost ring), and essentially felt that if you were going to put a scope on it, then the scout scope (type and location) is what it should be.

Just about the whole world fastened on the Scout scope as what "made" the scout rifle, because the scout scope's location is the ONE thing that visually makes the scout rifle different from all the rest.

he did talk about the advantages of a "scout" scope, its location, magnification, etc., but that was to show his reasoning. Having a scope on a scout rifle was never part of his original concept. He was also enough of a realist to know that a people were going to put scopes on them.

So he came up with what he felt was the best way to mount the scope (and the kind of scope to mount there) and still stay as close as possible to his original concepts for the Scout Rifle. He also put some on his rifles, to prove they would work the way he said they would. And guess what? They did.

Anyone remember WHY he wanted the scope mounted so far forward?
It was so his scout rifle could use stripper clips. The fact that the forward mounted scope had other advantages was simply gravy.


Well, I can quote him chapter and verse:

The virtues of this sight system [the scout scope] are three:

First, it obscures very little of the shooter's vision as the piece is cheeked. This enables him to keep both eyes open while mounting the rifle, with a full view of his entire target area, and to place the cross wires instantly with his shooting eye while keeping track of the target with his non-shooting eye. The closer the glass is to the eye, the more of the shooter’s field of view is obscured.

Second, the forward-mounted scope allows instantaneous eyes-off loading from the top, without obstruction by the scope tube.

Third, the forward-mounted glass allows the rifle to be grasped at the balance during running, jumping and violent exercise much more conveniently than any weapon with the glass mounted rearward.

The Scout Rifle Idea by Jeff Cooper, 1984 Gun Digest, page 40.
http://www.scoutrifle.org/index.php?topic=1298.0


The primary reason for the scout scope was fast target acquisition. Ease of reloading was second (note there is no mention of stripper clips) and handiness was third.

I agree that Cooper would have found a scopeless scout perfectly acceptable, but the scout scope was hardly the grudging afterthought you've made it out to be.

Other than maybe the issue of battery life, Cooper likely would accept the modern versions of these sights, given their now-proven reliability.

As far as electronic sights go, I can say quite confidently that he was very leery of any gun accessory that required batteries.

I miss him too.

44 AMP
February 23, 2014, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the clarification Natman.

The increasingly foggy filter of my memory was probably blending things he talked about during his concept stage and what he finally settled on.

4thPoint
February 23, 2014, 02:16 PM
Courtesy of ScoutRifle.Org (http://www.scoutrifle.org/index.php?topic=1298.0) and intended for non-commercial use only. An article from Gun Digest, 38th Edition (1984), penned by Jeff Cooper himself on the scout rifle concept and giving his reasons for it's design features.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5Y_kQZN7iTM/TnZVQJs7AeI/AAAAAAAABAk/LppQsNlzrI4/s1600/scan0020.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fkjt7DTkFpI/TnZVia9r18I/AAAAAAAABAo/NLkdpw57K_Y/s1600/scan0021.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--gMxnnwOhx4/TnZZEUpGR1I/AAAAAAAABA0/-qsbSEJP9B0/s1600/scan0027.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iFmXlMP276A/TnZZWLClsQI/AAAAAAAABA4/GcYC6PDHPlo/s1600/scan0025.jpg

I'm not sayin' some people are wrong about why certain features are the way they are, but those features aren't there for the reasons some people think they are.

KRJ
February 23, 2014, 02:29 PM
Cooper was very leery of any gun accessory that requires batteries? Probably so. I never met him but his writings do give me the opinion that he viewed things with a critical eye. But his writings also give me the opinion that he was not as closed minded as he is sometimes said to have been.

"The coaxial illuminator is, of course, a feature of the Steyr Scout, which I have called the "leopard light," since leopards are normally taken at night on a bait, but this feature improves the utility of the Scout in certain forms of law enforcement activity."- Jeff Cooper

SR420
February 23, 2014, 05:32 PM
As far as electronic sights go, I can say quite confidently that he was very leery of any gun accessory that required batteries.
How much hands on experience did Cooper have with modern Aimpoint RDS? I'm thinking not much, if any.
The battery life on some of their models is now measured in years.

Art Eatman
February 23, 2014, 08:27 PM
If you've not read "Brown On Resolution", I recommend it very highly.

4thPoint, thanks for that article.

natman
February 23, 2014, 10:53 PM
How much hands on experience did Cooper have with modern Aimpoint RDS? I'm thinking not much, if any.
The battery life on some of their models is now measured in years.

I'd be inclined to agree that he probably didn't have much experience with modern red dot sights, and would readily agree that battery life technology has improved greatly, especially in the last few years. (Cooper passed away in 2006).

I'll also observe that no matter how good battery life gets, it always fails when you need it most. :rolleyes:

Bear in mind that the question was what Cooper thought at the time, not whether his opinions, which may have been well founded at the time, are still as valid today. Tempus fugit.

4thPoint
February 23, 2014, 11:40 PM
If one looks at the article from Col. Cooper one will note that it was written in 1984.
Electronic sights were in their early infancy at the time, not in any comparable to the robustness, and longevity. It wasn't until the year 2000 that the first major use of red dots was made, the Army's M68 CCO (Aimpoint Comp M2). It had roughly a 1-year battery life of 10,000 hours (given 8760hrs/year) and was often changed semi-annually to be sure it would work when needed. Today's RDS batteries can be changed in between deployments or enlistments.

The rate at which things advance can be staggering. Has anyone that has a laser designator looked at what the earliest commercial models looked like?
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee179/arfcom556/W020090225385070444434.jpg
And what the equivalent is today...
http://www.sightmarkonline.com/files/3222285/uploaded/SM13037_Triple_Duty_CRL_laser_sight_with_laser_WEB.jpg

44 AMP
February 24, 2014, 02:07 PM
Today's RDS batteries can be changed in between deployments or enlistments.


Sure, the can be, but friends who have spent time in the "sandbox" tell me that batteries are often changed before each mission. I have heard that the "hadjis" could tell when our guys were gearing up for patrol from the discarded batteries.

While battery life has increased dramatically, battery use in combat has increased with little relationship to their actual life. Quite different things between the soldier and civilian usage.

Things have come a long way. The ".45 longslide with laser sight" in the Terminator (1984) was a fantasy. Today there are lasers that will fit inside the gun!

Unlicensed Dremel
February 25, 2014, 12:54 AM
Frankly, I think he'd think it was (a) too heavy, and (b) violates the KISS principle in at least two important ways - battery reliance & basic complexity. But nothing wrong with it, if it works for you.

I'm more interested than ever in the Scout concept, and have created (on paper only so far), a pseudo-scout that is basically the same thing with small minor tweaks of improvement (CF-wrapped bbl, combination "single point" AND ching sling, .260 chambering, otherwise basically the same).

KRJ
February 25, 2014, 11:19 AM
4thPoint,

Thank you for that article. I love to read Cooper and I had not seen that particular article before so it was a treat. I don't always toe the Colonel's doctrinal line - I've been known to carry a Glock 9mm and square up in a modern isosceles stance (gasp!) - but no gun writer makes for better reading than Cooper.

bamaranger
March 5, 2014, 02:51 AM
I'd recall bits of that article, but not the photos. Perhaps he published it elsewhere in another rag. I'll check my archives.

KRJ, if you've not read Coopers other writing, his various books, such as "Fireworks....Another Country (?)....and To Ride, shoot straight and tell the truth....and the Art of the Rifle... you need to track them down and treat yourself. Cooper was especially well written I agree.

Unlicensed Dremel
March 5, 2014, 09:54 AM
Other than maybe the issue of battery life, Cooper likely would accept the modern versions of these sights, given their now-proven reliability.

As for a small, light, high-quality ESD (electronic sighting device, if you will, or "red dot sight" in colloquial terms), look up the Trijicon RMR-DI (not the regular RMR). And the 12 MOA triangle gives you a precise aiming point at the top point. (although there's the wash-out criticism of this sight when YOU are in low light and your TARGET is in bright light - I think this criticism is overblown and perhaps a non-issue in the real world, but you have to decide for yourself)

No battery reliance for this sight - so perhaps Cooper would have liked this one. Of course there are others sans battery reliance, too, but they are larger - Trijicon reflex sight, Meprolight, Leupold prismatic, couple others. Perhaps he would have been accepting of these.

HOWEVER, I still don't think he would have endorsed a 1X ESD for his Scout, simply because SOME magnification is helpful - very helpful in fact - for longer shots. There IS a happy medium for getting some magnification yet being able to still "see" simultaneously the target in the scope and the target in its environment outside the scope with the "other eye" - that happy medium is in the 1.25x to 2.75x range. I would argue that it's in the 1.25x up to 2.0x or maybe 2.25 power range. I only say up to 2.75 because the Leupold scout is 2.5x and the Burris scout is 2.75. While these are *OK* for kinda seeing the target with the "other eye", they're a little bit too much. The IDEAL is right about 1.5x or 1.75x or maaaaybe 2.0, right in there. A variable that goes DOWN to 1.25 or 1.5 and up to whatever (4 or 5) would be and is very nice, BUT then this violates the KISS principle of the scout rifle (arguably). So the best overall tradeoff to be true to the KISS scout principle is a fixed power of 1.5x (or if it exists, 1.75x). Second choice would be a fixed 2.0x.

Now that's if you MUST stick with the fixed due to KISS principle. If you go variable (going into pseudo-scout territory, leaving scout territory), as I personally would, I'd go with the Nikon Omega/Slugmaster/ Turkey-Pro in 1.65-5x36. There are several reasons why this is the PERFECT pseudo-scout (forward-mounted) scope. First, you can just leave it forever and always on 1.65 power and it's your ideal fixed power KISS scope (so I guess if you don't touch the dial, it's an actual scout). Heck, superglue the dial if you want. :) . But if you just happen to take that 150 or 200 yard shot, dial 'er up to about 3 or 4 (you can't really dial to 5, because the eye relief goes down to just 5.5" at 5x, and you need at least 7 or 8" for forward placement - but it's still got 7 or 8" ER *easily* on 3 power, which is essentially twice as much as the low end 1.65). Other reason of course is the ER itself - It's got *up to* 13.5" on 1.65x and as mentioned, at least 7 or 8 left at 3 power. I think it still has 7 or 8" left at 3.5x, even. Now, you need to get the Nikoplex reticle. If you end up with one of the worthless BDC reticles, get rid of that junk - send it to Nikon to get a Nikoplex or anything but the BDC with the little non-precise circles.**

IMO, YMMV, and all that.

**Oh, incidentally, these scopes - the most versatile scopes ever made in the history of earth, have been discontinued apparently - mind-boggling - so order yours NOW from Natchez or elsewhere, folks! You will thank me later. They have enough eye relief to use them as a pistol scope, but really shine in the "scout" type placement. Yeah, yeah, the parallax-free setting is short (I think 75), but for their uses this is OK. It *should* be a little higher on a scout rifle (100 or 150 ideally), but for the purpose of a scout rifle, having a 75 parallax-free setting comes just within the acceptable range in my book.

Art Eatman
March 5, 2014, 10:27 AM
Dremel, I follow your reasoning but I offer a point to ponder.

There is a reason for the KISS principle: Reliability. By and large, simple = reliable. Ergo, the KIRS principle.

So, for an opinion, given the proven reliability of so many variable-power scopes, I see no violation of the KISS/KIRS principle in using a 1-5 scope on a Scout rifle.

As an old hot-rodder and car racer, I operate on the basis of, "If it works, it's good. If it don't, it ain't." So, natcherly, I gotta mess with stuff so it works to suit me. :)

Art Eatman
March 5, 2014, 08:30 PM
Again: dojer, a scout's engagement in a fire fight is mission failure. Shoot, if need be, and scoot. A scout's deal is to avoid combat: Remain unseen, find out, and report back.

Short range? 300 yards is a piece of cake for even a rather-short barrelled .308. Hunting shots beyond 200 yards are far less common than those within 200 yards. But I know from experience that with a field-expedient rest, 3X is adequate for a hit within one inch of my intended point of impact, at 350 yards.