Today I’d like to talk with you about the Burris Scout Scope I’ve been testing.
Before we get too far into that, we should answer this question: What is a Scout Rifle?
The authority on the subject is widely agreed to be the concept’s modern definer, the late Col. Jeff Cooper. Today, we can look to his writings, speak with his colleagues, and take classes at the school he established, but we can’t ask him directly. Beyond that, we can look to the broader concept as it’s emerged within popular opinion.
Cooper said that the scout rifle should be “a short, light, handy, versatile, utility rifle.”
He further described that the gun should:
- be a bolt-action carbine chambered in .30 caliber
- be less than one meter long
- weigh less than 3 kilograms (6.6 lbs)
- feature iron sights (preferably ghost ring)
- allow for a forward mounted optical sight (that we’re talking about today)
- and should be fitted with a practical sling.
“A general-purpose rifle is a conveniently portable, individually operated firearm, capable of striking a single decisive blow, on a live target of up to 200 kilos in weight, at any distance at which the operator can shoot with the precision necessary to place a shot in a vital area of the target.”
You can see from this description that few rifles fit into this category, and arguably only one or two current models fit exactly. However, the concept seems to have captured the imaginations of many. As a result, there have been numerous interpretations of how a light, handy rifle, with a forward mounted optic might look and function. Though the purist will look to original intent and seek out a bolt gun with very specific characteristics, others will look in their own gun safe and think of what they already have that might be set up in a “scout configuration.” In addition, marketers have rushed to offer all kinds of rifles with the word “scout” attached. So in a very broad sense, many today think of a scout rifle as any relatively short, handy rifle with a forward mounted optic.
One such offering is from Springfield Armory. I’m presently putting a M1A Scout Squad through her paces and quite enjoy the process, I might add. The Scout Squad definitely doesn’t fit the purists’ interpretation, but it gives a nod in the general direction of the concept. With the walnut Scout Squad coming in at 9.3 lbs. (with an empty magazine) it certainly doesn’t fit the weight requirement. Also, as you probably noticed, it isn’t a bolt gun.
Since the gun is called a “scout rifle” by Springfield’s marketing team and comes with a forward mounted rail, I decided to set the gun up in its intended configuration first.
I reached out to Burris and ordered one of their scout scopes. They sent out the 2.75x20mm Scout Riflescope with heavy plex reticle. The scout optic concept is intended to allow the shooter to keep both eyes open and maintain his or her peripheral vision while shooting. It’s intended to provide fast target acquisition in short distances and allow for quicker combat/hunting precision shooting at mid-range distance (roughly 200 meters). I focused on using this rifle and scope combination in that application. Due to the distance available at my home range, most of my shooting was between 0-100 yards. The scope performs admirably. For a few months I took the rifle and scope with me every time I went to the range. I used it early in the morning, at midday, and at dusk frequently. I took the gun and scope on short hikes and used it to shoot in various positions and settings. Since the gun and scope were to be used as a scout rifle combo, I didn’t feel that simply sitting at the bench and firing down range would have been adequate testing.
Burris utilizes a solid one-piece, one inch tube that is built for durability. The optic is nitrogen-filled to prohibit fogging in all weather conditions. The double internal spring-tension system allows the scope to hold zero in adverse settings. The lenses themselves are precision-ground and feature better-than-average light transmission. Burris says that they use precision-gauged and hand-fitted internal assemblies to maintain a consistent point of impact regardless of shock and vibration. This is consistent with my experience.
The heavy plex reticle is simple and allows for quick shooting without effecting precision. The Hi-Lume® multicoating performs well in low light situations and helps with glare. Focus is finger adjustable and secures quite nicely. The Scout Scope’s 7.3 inches of eye relief is more than enough to mount forward of any rifle’s ejection port. The tough little scope weighs in at a mere 7 oz. and takes up 9.2 inches of real estate.
- Objective Lens Diameter, 27 mm
- Clear Objective Lens Diameter, 20 mm
- Ocular Lens Diameter, 35 mm
- Focal Plane, RFP
- Field of View, 15 ft. @ 100 yes
- Eye relief, 7.3 in.
- Exit Pupil, 7.3 mm
- Click Value, 0.5 in. @ 100 yes
- Elevation Adjustment, Total Capability, 140 in. @ 100 yds.
- Windage Adjustment, 140 in. @ 100 yds.
In summary, the Burris Scout Riflescope is a quality constructed product that fills its intended purpose quite nicely. If this is the niche you’re trying to fill, you should give this remarkably light and tough scope your consideration. Who knows, with enough training and experience, maybe you’ll even become proficient as the type of Scout that Col. Cooper envisioned.