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Old February 8, 2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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Savage .308 Scout 10FCM Questions

Greetings all!

I've lurked for years and read silently, and finally joined the FL Forum as I'm ready to ask a few thought-out questions.

I own one the first Accutrigger 10FCMs when they resumed scout rifle production (2006?) in .308 (only caliber offered at first).

I bought a Leupold 2.5x28 Long Eye Relief scope and HD Warne mounts for it and hunted in the swamps of South Carolina using it as a close-up (< 125yds) hog gun and have loved its small size and accuracy. One shot kills on up to 230lb boar -the biggest I've shot with it. Most shots are from 45-75 yards as I like to get close and pick the right one.

I took it to Fort Jackson last month to an outdoor 200m military range to do some target work and saw the limitations of this L.E.R. scope. I know there are several other scout scopes both fixed and variable with more power, but even at 100yds it just wasn't a targetable gun with that scope. I took the scope off and put the Williams OEM peep sight back on it to have any luck/fun that day. I always carry my spares/take-offs & needed tools in bags in the rifle case since you never know what's going to happen.

I went home and took off the B-Square OEM mount off the front and the Williams sight off the rear of the reciever, bought a set of Weaver bases and put my Nikon 3x9-40 BuckMaster on it- Wow! Night and day! No problem with eye relief or target aquisition. I went out to the range last week and was shooting great! It was a windy winter day so no bragging but I was grouping inside 10" black circle target @ 200m, pretty good with my 46yr-old wind-tearing eyes.

So here are the questions-
1) Why Jeff Coopers obsession with forward eye relief? My guess it was due to lever-action guns cartridge ejection path rather than target-aquisition so perhaps the L.E.R. scopes aren't needed for bolt scout rifles? Obviously he was on the right path as ACOG/Holo/Reflex are the choice for LE/Military/civilians.

2) What would you think about a thumbhole-stock for a deer/elk gun? I have connections in CO, NM and UT and would like to count on this gun for longer shots. Would it give more control when shooting in all conditions? How about the Choate-style "target" or "tactical" stocks for field use?

3) Why does the factory bottom-release-button drop magazine keep dropping out? I have examined it and bent the metal retaining tab in the front out some more to get the best engagement I can, but even fully seated it is wobbly when you put your palm under the magazine's plastic bottom. It's embarrasing at the range to have your mag drop out, especially when I am trying to represent this gun. Savage sent me another metal casing, but seriously the metal/forming/stamping reminds me of a wind-up toy from the 1960s. Is there a fix? What other magazines work? I don't need high-capacity, just retention!

4) I am thinking of a Harris 25C-S bipod so I can use it to hunt out west for good shot placement/steadiness. A friend let me use one last week temporarily (the shorter 6"-9") and was astounded- finally the gun quits moving so much! I own some BogPod bipod shooting sticks, but you have to both carry and manipulate them when the time comes. I am curious if anyone thinks that 25C-S model would be too tall or weighty. It runs from 13.5"-27".

5) Are there any other L.E.R. scopes that anyone would recommend? Leupold is considered a benchmark to some and I am not knocking it, it just seems like I am looking through a toilet-paper tube with such low magnification. Anyone tried a Leatherwood 2-7x32 Long Eye Relief scout scope?

Thanks for your replies and considerations, I look forward to hearing from all of you!

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Last edited by Brittus; February 8, 2010 at 03:32 PM.
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Old February 8, 2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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I'm not sure why Cooper was so enthralled with the IER scopes. Maybe it had something to do with using stripper clips to load or quicker close range target acquisition. I've never had a problem with my magazine dropping out but I agree that a traditional scope mount is better for me.
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Old February 8, 2010, 04:35 PM   #3
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When all this scout stuff came out, I put a 10x I.E.R. Burris on a mauser I had. First trip to the range and it came off. Range faces north and with the sun behind me the scope was usless.

I never understood why Cooper ever thought that was a good Idea. I think the idea was DOA.
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Old February 8, 2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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1) Why Jeff Coopers obsession with forward eye relief? My guess it was due to lever-action guns cartridge ejection path rather than target-aquisition so perhaps the L.E.R. scopes aren't needed for bolt scout rifles? Obviously he was on the right path as ACOG/Holo/Reflex are the choice for LE/Military/civilians.
One word: versatility. A proper scout scope setup is faster than irons at close range. Probably as fast as a red dot. At longer range, it is much more precise than a red dot or irons. But NOT as precise as a higher power, traditional scope. You found that out at the range.
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Old February 8, 2010, 04:47 PM   #5
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I put a 10x I.E.R.
I think the idea was around a 1.5 to 2.5x scope. The 10x defeats the whole ‘quick on target’ purpose.
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Old February 8, 2010, 05:33 PM   #6
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Well Cooper was all about .308 or thereabouts- so stripper clips seem silly in the scout platform. This should be the ultimate ranch/truck/survival gun, not a lead thrower like an less-accurate SKS that might need all those rounds to hit something. I was thinking by adding a bipod I might make it the long-shot gun too.

2damnold4this - Cooper seems like an iconoclast that made his rifle system more complex as it evolved in his mind-. If the bull is charging you I think good iron sights you're used to should be able to shoulder an animal, right? Even the darn adjusting knobs get in the way on my scope!

Dave R, you're right- I never noticed this problem in a swamp where things are so tight the trees will eventually "fencepost" your vision to the point you can't see 100yds with trees blocking your shooting lane.

I don't quite get red dots- I can't find an eye relief/parallax that doesn't have the dot moving all over the (in this case) squirrel on my 177 Gamo Hunter shooting Predator Pellet red polymer tip hollow points. So off it came. They seem to be OK on a shotgun, though.

I'm going to be interested in this thread of it already has spurred some new opinions.

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Old February 8, 2010, 07:48 PM   #7
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From the horse's mouth, more or less...

No one has to like the concept, no one's forcing anyone else to use it if they don't want to. I tried it with a milsurp pseudoscout and like it (built on a Steyr 98, interestingly enough). Others might not care for it. So what? Use what you want.

I don't care for for forward mounted scopes on Marlin lever guns that are so popular in some quarters- go figure.



The Forward Telescope

For those who have not tried it, an explanation of the advantages of the forward telescope is in order. First, and most important, the forward glass does not obscure the landscape. With both eyes open the shooter sees the entire countryside as well as the crosswire printed on his target. For this reason it is important that the magnification of the telescope be no greater than 3X (some hold that 2X is maximum) in order to avoid excessive disparity between the vision of the two eyes. This forward mount, properly used and understood, is the fastest sighting arrangement available to the rifleman...There are those who think that a glass of low power is necessarily less precise for long-range precision work, but we have not found this to be the case in any sort of realistic test.

There are many additional advantages to the forward telescope mount. It is out of the way when the rifle is carried at the balance. It may be mounted as low over the bore as the diameter of the bell permits. It avoids pinching between thumb and bolt handle when the bolt is operated. It permits stripper loading if desired. It greatly facilitates single-loading with eyes on target. It completely eliminates "telescope eye." Without exception, those who have tried the forward mounted glass in a full course of rifle training are unanimous in their conviction of its superiority...

snip /////
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Old February 8, 2010, 09:10 PM   #8
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so stripper clips seem silly in the scout platform.
Thats the one thing I think the Savage is lacking, a stripper guide. I'd much prefer it to a removable mag. Strippers are cheaper than extra mags, and are quicker to get the gun reloaded with.

I've had an Aimpoint on my scout, as well as both the Burris and Leupold scout scopes.

Realistically, the Aimpoint gives you an any light sight and isnt bothered by the low (bright) light from behind, or just low (lack of) light in general. Its faster than the scopes to snap shoot with, and where the dot is in the tube means nothing, the bullet goes where the dot is.

As far as scopes go, I prefer the Leupold over the Burris. The Burris is heavier in the power department by 1/4x, and to me its annoying for some reason. While the Burris isnt really a bad scope, the Leupold is just a nicer scope.

Either way, you really dont shoot the scout scopes like you do a traditional scope. Its actually more like shooting a red dot. You look at what you want to shoot as the rifle comes up, and the cross hair appears where your looking, just like the dot. Generally, you dont even see the scope (again, like the red dot, you do, but you dont, as your not really focused on it) and its not in the way of your field of view.

My mags have never dropped out without me taking them out, and the spare I bought when I got it, has worked fine as it came out of the package, without fitting. As I said earlier though, I'd still prefer to have the stripper guide over the mag.

The thing I dislike about the Savage, is that silly sticky recoil pad they put on it. They dont make a butt plate for it, so your pretty much on your own. I ended up just taking a razor knife to mine, and it actually worked out really good. What I ended up with, was the plastic spacer with some left over "rough" rubber from the pad on it, and it works like a nice checkered steel butt plate. It also has a nicer LOP now too.
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Old February 10, 2010, 03:05 AM   #9
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I missed this post earlier......

and I try to get in on all the "scout" posts.

I think Cooper did consider stripper clips on scouts an option, his Steyer inspired product didn't have it, neither did the Rem 600 variant, but it seems like the "lion scout" an '06 on a Springfield action I believe, did. I recall reading that one of the virtues of the forward mount was that it allowed stripper loading, though a custom rifle is the only manifestation of the principal.

As far as interest and fascination goes, I think it was all about use and practicality. Cooper stressed speed AND accuracy in his writings. The IER scope acts much like a peep or aperture. Mount the rifle, cover the target, focus and press. The reticule appears on the target like a magnified front post, in crosshair form. Faster than an aperture or a higher magnification scope. I see it as the predecessor to the red dots and chevron scopes so popular today. In that regard, I think Cooper was AHEAD of his time, as red dots were not as advanced, common or reliable as now. Does it not seem to anybody else that a dot scope, , with minimal magnification, shot both eyes open, is nothing but a modern, techno scoutscope?

Bipods? Well the Steyer has one integral. There was the Clifton stock, but they are gone. I bolt on Harris or similar defeats the purpose of the rifle for me, adding to much weight.

As far as the OP concerning 100 and 200 meter shooting, the posters results have not been my own experience. My early Savage scout, with std trigger and a Leu IER, first w/ a duplex, would shoot 1 MOA off the bench with my best ammo at 100 yds. A 4" clay pigeon was a good 100 yd practice target. Now, w/ a ger #1 reticule , it will do about 1.5 MOA, as it seems the reticule is not as precise on paper. But the #1 seems must faster in the field. At 200 yds, I can consistently ring a 9" gong at my buddy's pasture range, from field positions, and a smaller 6" is in danger at 225+ if I do my part. I say this not to brag as a marksman, but to show the capabilities of the rifle. My friend, who is a much better shot than I, can do the same and better. His range goes to a measured 600, but I have not tried the Scout any further.

I have not experienced the low sun from the rear problem others have discussed, but I have heard it enough to believe it is sometimes an issue. I did have trouble seeing the reticule against the ground and game in low light, but believe I have solved that problem w/ the thick #1 . It was way cheaper than a quality red dot too. The #1 does not allow for holdover, the post blocks the target. With a zero of 2" high at 100 yds, I figure I can hold on to 200 yds. My use of a Scout has been in wooded conditions, and 200 yds in the sticks is a long way. I could stretch the range to by holding just under the hairline, but do not see the circumstances presenting themselves.

The low magnification is a disadvantage on small targets, but I do not use the Scout as a varminter or plinker. I cannot count points on deer w/ 2.5x, but have a set of binos for general spotting.

The Choate sniper and varmint stocks are monsters, the stock alone weighs 6-1/2 lbs. Not a hunting stock.

I have not had the mag fall out of my early savage scout. I did goober up the reassembly of some parts when the action was out of the stock, and had to pry a mag from the stock, ruining the mag, but that was my fault. The early accutrigger Savages have terrible butt pads, most I have examined at shows and shops are loose or damaged. My early generation rifle was not so vexed, but still I had local trap/skeet outfit put a thin Kick-Eeze pad on mine, beveled and tapered as in a sporting clays shotgun, and I really like it.

My early rifle has an awful, boxy, flimsy factory stock and I am searching for a stiffer replacement. Because it has a std. trigger and the round/flat action, non of the factory second generation, or accu-stocks are an option.

My use actually seems very similar to the OP's use on hogs and deer in the swamps, with which I am very satisfied.

BTW, loose that goofy factory nylon "shooting sling". Consider a genuine ching sling from Langoluis, or a '03 military sling, both of which you can "loop up" in. I have modified a traditional two point carry sling to serve as a shooting sling, when released from the rear swivel, w/o the excess straps and buckles of the Savage snake. If I ever find a stiffer'll prove useful.
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Old February 10, 2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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Cooper was very experienced and a very engaging writer, though not always open to having his views challenged. But I think there is a place for the Scout rifle. I built my own Scout about 10 years ago on a surplus 7.62mm Israeli Mauser 98 action and barrel. The best group I have had out of it was 5 rounds of French Gevelot into 1 and ½ inches. That was with a Burris 2.75 LER scope. I used a leather Ching sling which works very well, though is obviously less comfortable than a bipod.
I have never handled a Savage and have only handled, not fired a Steyr Scout. I have some experience of the Steyr SSG, which is a superb rifle, let down by appalling magazines, (In my experience). I chose the Mauser action because I like it and it had features I liked. I find the flag safety easy to use and check by touch in the dark. The open action makes a rare stoppage clearance easy and top up reloads are a cinch. Likewise the stripper clips are very easy and smooth to use, especially when compared to those for the Enfield and the Mosin Nagant. The fixed magazine is less convenient and reloads are slower than a detachable and it only holds five rounds. But it can’t be lost and it is hard to damage. I haven’t had any of the light and vision problems with the LER scope so far
I have been very pleased with mine. It’s a general purpose piece of kit that is very handy to carry and it hits hard, and accurately, enough.
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Old February 11, 2010, 08:32 AM   #11
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I think Cooper thought of the scout rifle as a military weapon in addition to it being a hunting rifle. That may be why he emphasized quick handling. Of course, ease of carry is nice in a military arm as well as a rifle that is used for the type of hunting Cooper seemed to favor.
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Old February 11, 2010, 01:43 PM   #12
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I have a Savage 110 youth model in 308, I've been thinking on trying a scout mount. Is there a certain company that sells a low lying mount that is made for 110's. I also have a 94 Mauser that I'd love to mount a LER on, it's rear sight was taken off when it was sporterized and replaces with a williams peep. Is there any set up that will work for a small ring Mauser?
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Old February 11, 2010, 02:24 PM   #13
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Ching Sling & Scout Scope Mount

If I wanted to add a Ching Sling where would I add the 3rd swivel? I bought a Uncle Mike's 1001-2 QD Super Swivel that comes with a self-tapping thread or a machine thread screw & nut/washer to locate it through a fully-drilled hole. Is there a measurment/angle involved? I'll be "ruining" my OEM stock so I want to put it in the right place! And yeah, I have that silly nylon sling...

Fast-Eddie, the Savage 10FCM came with a B-Square custom forward-of-reciever mount. There is an extra hole drilled & tapped in the barrel for the forward mounting screw; otherwise the rear two mounting screw locations are spaced & tapped for standard Savage round rifle bases- Savage customer service sent me to a pair of Weaver #43's, $3.99 at the local gun store to go there and where the factory Williams peep sight sits. I must say the B-Square mount is beautiful, appears strong and was suprisingly light. I'm keeping it in the box with the LER scope in case I go back or I'd sell the whole setup to you.

So that's the retrofit- to go the other way I am sure you could buy the B-Square mount through Savage; I heard B-Square has a proprietory agreement and won't sell/distribute them otherwise. Mine came with T-15 Torx screws from the factory which I used in the Weaver bases. The forward mount hole you'd have to thread into the barrel is in the taper and the B-Square mounts machining fit is BETTER than a glove- unless its a surgeons glove. A smith could do your hole/thread tapping and lap the mount in if you wanted to go the extra yards.

I'll say I love this gun and think .308 in modern powder & bullet selection makes this a great all-arounder. Even being as light as it is I almost look forward to its bite in my shoulder when she fires, smooth and predictable.

Speaking of after lots of expirementation I have the AccuTrigger turned up to its taughtest setting- like my dad used to joke about equalizers in a stereo system- people tend to set them one way and leave them alone. Comments on that adjustable trigger system?


Last edited by Brittus; February 11, 2010 at 06:34 PM. Reason: typos
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Old February 11, 2010, 02:58 PM   #14
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I added the third swivel on mine. Why they dont supply it, or at least give you the stud is beyond me.

There is a spot on the stock just forward of the front stock screw, in front of the mag well that has enough meat for the threaded stud. Or, at least there is on the early guns. I'd just pull the stock and see where it is on yours before you start drilling. If they have changed it and there isnt enough meat, I dont see why you couldnt use one of the threaded posts with a nut and washer in its place.

I have one of Galcos Ching Slings, they are very nice, but pricey. I used it as a template and made a couple more for some of my other rifles. You can make your own very easily for less than $20.

There is also the original around as well, and one made here....

The B Square mount on my rifle uses the existing holes on the front of the receiver for a standard scope mount (the rear iron sight uses the rear holes), as well as the existing dovetail on the barrel. If B Square wont sell them, I'm sure you could probably order one from Savage.
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Old October 11, 2012, 05:45 PM   #15
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I think i have the same model rifle as yours. Is yours the pre accu stock model?
I am having trouble finding a replacement stock. Have you changed yours?
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10fcm , bipod , scout , stock , thumbhole

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