Friday, May 20, 2016

My Life as a Shooter: Scout Rifle Projects

When most gun owners talk about projects, they mean firearms that require some degree of customization to achieve the desired result. Some are ground-up builds from parts (very common with the AR-15 platform), and some are modified from a base model. For a Scout Rifle, we're talking the latter. I have two in mind, and neither exactly conform to Col. Cooper's specifications.

Marlin 336One of these uses this Chuck Hawks article as its guide, with the one change being that I'll use a Marlin 336 as the base model as that rifle is far more common where I live. All of the points made in the linked Hawks article apply here: "non-military" appearance, easy ammo availability, light and handy handling, proven effectiveness within its range, and easily repaired or replaced due to ubiquitous presence. Aside from the forward-mounted scope, nothing would put this rifle apart from hundreds of others just like it.

CZ 527 Carbine One of them uses a CZ 527 Carbine as the base model, meant to see how well the 7.62x39mm cartridge (which is on par with the .30-30 Winchester that the Hawks article bases its argument for a Scout Rifle around) in this role. The Cooper spec demands .308 Winchester, but the AK rifle family is far more ubiquitous and therefore so is its cartridge. As light and handy as the lever-action competition, in an equivalent chambering, but at the cost of a higher price.

I want to build and try these rifles to see how they do first-hand. No, I don't have the means to go all-in now, but I don't have to. Part of doing a build project is the freedom to source your parts before you buy them, and acquire them as you go. For me, the worst expense will be the rifles themselves, followed by the scopes. After that, it's chump-change by comparison. Besides, I want something besides writing and gaming to do with my time- something using my hands for more than pressing buttons on a keyboard.

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