In the 1980s, John Dean "Jeff" Cooper, a former Marine who had achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel and was also a shooting instructor, published his thoughts on the idea of a scout rifle. In the next decade, Steyr Mannlicher, in cooperation with the veteran, designed a weapon based on the outline he proposed. Even though the resulting Steyr Scout turned out to be a successful, innovative design, Jeff Cooper could not necessarily have expected that his ideas would not only remain alive for the next quarter of a century, but would also see it in another incarnation.
This month, Steyr Arms has presented the Steyr Scout II - a refreshed version of the iconic rifle that retains all the features of a scout rifle, while introducing additional improvements.
A bolt-action rifle meeting the scout rifle criteria should, among other things: not exceed a length of 99 cm (taking into account a barrel 48 cm long or a shorter one), weigh between 3.2 and 3.6 kg (unloaded, with accessories mounted), be equipped with iron sights sights and enable the use low powered scopes, also move as far forward as possible on the mounting rail (to improve awareness of the surroundings around a target). A light stock should be integrated with a non-protruding, foldable bipod, and there should be room in the stock for a spare magazine. The basic caliber for a scout rifle is .308 Win or 7mm-08 Rem, but other options are also allowed.
In order to improve the stability of the design and the resulting accuracy, in Steyr Scout II the bedding block along with the receiver were milled from a single block of aluminum. The new version of the rifle is also equipped with a handguard compatible with the M-LOK mounting system, and the upper Weaver rail intended for mounting optics has been replaced by the now standard Picatinny rail. The user has a three-position safety and a two-stage trigger mechanism at their disposal.
After becoming availabe, the Steyr Scout II will be sold in several versions differing in caliber: .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 mm Creedmoor, as well as 7mm-08 Remington and .308 Winchester. At the moment, neither the release date nor the price of the new rifle is known.