Although I own various rifles, I like the concept of a rifle that can be used for everything from hunting to preparedness (i. e. the Steyr Scout). I also value the fact that the Steyr Scout allows me to be minimalistic in accouterments for the rifle. I prefer the 10-round magazine option, which means that with the Steyr Scout Rifle, I have a total of 20-rounds in the two magazines with the spare stowed in the stock. There is no need to have a mag pouch or to stick extra mags in a coat pocket. I prefer the Scout rifle in .308 caliber; it's a versatile caliber and an easy one for which to stockpile ammo as I have battle rifles in the same caliber. Speaking of "battle rifles," the bolt action Scout rifle can serve for self-defense purposes without being an evil "assault weapon." One well-placed shot from an accurate, scoped, bolt-action rifle can accomplish the same result as many shots from a self-loading rifle with iron sights.
As part of staying minimalistic with my Scout rifles I only add two accessories: a Scout scope and a sling. Those are what I want to discuss in this column.
I've reviewed Scout scopes before and still use those I've reviewed. But, let me digress for a minute. I've learned to appreciate the forward mounted Scout scope now that I've been using it on Scout rifles for some years. It offers the ability to scan well and stay aware of my surroundings. As long as you shoot with both eyes open it offers fast acquisition as well.
For my new Steyr Scout, though, I found another scope that fulfills my needs quite well: the Vortex Optics CROSSFIRE II. The CROSSFIRE II's 9.75" eye relief is optimum for forward mounting, while its 2-7X zoom range allows for use from 25 yards to 300 yards or more. For me simpler is better with reticles and the CROSSFIRE II has a simple, easily acquired reticle. Lightness and handiness is imperative with the Scout Rifle so I appreciate that the CROSSFIRE II is only 10.5 inches overall and weighs just 12 ounces. Adjustments are in ¼ MOA increments and based on zeroing my CROSSFIRE II, adjustments are precise. The turrets are also easily reset after zeroing the scope. As the reticle is of Second Focal Plane type, the scale of the reticle remains consistent whichever magnification is used. I found the fast focus eyepiece a very useful feature.
Durability features of the CROSSFIRE II are also appreicated as a Scout scope should have the ability to function under adverse conditions. Hence, the CROSSFIRE II is waterproof, fog-proof, and shock proof. As with all scopes, those "-proofs" are relative, as the scope should not be abused.
Firing off of the integral bipod, I zeroed the CROSSFIRE II at 100 yards using Black Hills 168-grain Match and found the melding of that load, the Steyr Scout, and the CROSSFIRE II was excellent. My 5-shot groups were in the 1.5-inch range consistently. It took four groups for me to get the scope zeroed exactly where I wanted it. Those who write about two-shot zeroing are smarter than me!
I'm quite happy with the CROSSFIRE II for my latest Steyr Scout Rifle. Not only has it proven accurate and handy but MSRP is only $199.00.
Next, I had to find a sling for my Scout Rifle. When the Steyr Scout was first introduced I bought one that came with the Ching Sling. I have to admit that I am sometimes tactical-sling-challenged and have trouble figuring them out. Once I learned to use the Ching Sling, though, I appreciated that it was useful if locking the support arm into the sling for stability when shooting. I also learned to use the Ching Sling for carrying the rifle either muzzle up or muzzle down. Partially because I know how to use the Ching Sling and partially because in my mind a Steyr Scout should have a Ching Sling, I decided to install one.
That made my sling decision easy because Andy's Leather offers fine leather Ching Slings. For those not familiar with the Ching Sling, note that it requires three swivel mounting points. The Steyr Scout incorporates the proper mounting points and comes with three QD sling swivels. Once my Andy's Leather Ching Sling arrived, I progressed to mounting it.
Andy's Leather includes a well-illustrated guide to installing and using the sling and there are also YouTube videos on the subject. It is important while installing the sling to make sure that the loop through which the support arm is thrust is properly adjusted for comfort when locking into the sling. It took me about ten minutes of adjusting then trying the position until I got it where I wanted it.
On my next trip to the range, I tried shooting the Scout Rifle with the Ching Sling as well as for carrying and determined that I had it adjusted for both purposes.
I would suggest watching the video at the link below for proper use of the Ching Sling:
I now have a second Scout Rifle, this one in green, with the CROSSFIRE II Scout Scope and the Andy's Leather Ching Sling mounted. Both magazines are loaded with 10-rounds of Black Hills 168-grain Match ammo. It's in a slim rifle case by the door of my office so I can grab it to throw in my truck if I so choose. Sometimes I take an AR15 and sometimes I take the Scout. When I do take the Scout it's good to go.
More information about products discussed in this column go to:
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