Steyr scout rifle 6.5 creedmoor
courtesy mfr
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A number of gun makers have signed onto Jeff Cooper’s scout rifle concept…a lightweight bolt action carbine chambered in a caliber (usually .308) that could take down anything in North America, and is useable with either iron sights or a forward-mounted optic. It could be the one rifle you own…if you’re only going to own one rifle.

As for popular models, Ruger, Savage and Mossberg come immediately to mind.

But one of the best (and maybe the least considered) scout rifles out there is Steyr’s version. The Steyr Scout is different in that it has an integrated bipod, pop-up iron sights, a threaded barrel, extra magazine storage in the stock and it allows you to mount a short eye relief optic in the usual position or a traditional long eye relief forward-mounted scout scope if you prefer.

Now, Steyr’s expanding their scout line, adding a model chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Here’s their press release:

BESSEMER, Ala. (Dec. 21, 2018) — Steyr and Col. Jeff Cooper introduced the first production Scout Rifle to the world at the 1998 SHOT Show, and for more than a decade, Steyr hasn’t introduced a new chambering in the Scout Rifle platform. That is until now. It’s official; the Steyr Scout is now available in the wildly popular performer 6.5 Creedmoor.

Throughout his decades of development of the scout-rifle concept, including the nearly decade-long collaborative design process to create the Steyr Scout, Cooper was very specific in his chambering choices for his ultimate production scout rifle. In addition to his long list of qualifications that only the Steyr Scout accomplished, he wanted the rifle to be able to knock down any North American game, and he wanted the ammunition to be readily available. While the 6.5 Creedmoor wasn’t available in his lifetime, it has become one of the top cartridge choices in the U.S., and it’s become quite plentiful.

“It can’t be said that Col. Cooper wasn’t a fan of the 6.5 mm, as he wrote about the 6.5 Mannlicher Schoenauer rather longingly,” said Scott O’Brien, Steyr Arms, USA, CEO. “But Col. Cooper never could have expected the amazing performance of the 6.5 Creedmoor, nor could he expect the widespread availability of such a round.”

Steyr and Cooper began collaborating on a production Scout Rifle around 1990, and the Steyr engineers worked within his limitations to produce a rifle that was less than a meter in length, less than about 7 pounds, and it had to be able to take anything in North America from hare to bear. Steyr engineers provided his desired backup “ghost-ring” iron sights that rest snugly within the Steyr Scout’s profile and can be deployed within seconds should the optics fail. They also provided two-stage magazines that could accomplish the same function as the 1903 Springfield’s magazine cutoff but in a much faster manner than the original.

steyr scout rifle 6.5 creedmoor
courtesy mfr

Just like the original Steyr Scout, the 6.5 CM version incorporates a spare magazine in the stock with the ability to accept a pair of optional 10-round magazines. The stock also incorporates an integrated bipod, as well as a set of five whale-tail sling-swivel attachments to accommodate a three-point Ching Sling on either side of the stock.

“We can never know how the Colonel would have felt about chambering his rifle in the 6.5 Creedmoor, but considering its performance and after extensive testing, we think he’d wholeheartedly approve,” O’Brien said.

The Steyr Arms Scout 6.5 Creedmoor has a 19-inch cold hammer forged barrel that is fluted and threaded to accept 1/2-20 RH muzzle devices. It is now available in Black, MUD and OD Green stocks with an MSRP of $1,735.00.

Established in 1864, Steyr Arms, GmbH, is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious firearms manufacturers. Steyr’s comprehensive lines of premium hunting rifles and precision sporting and tactical firearms are technically mature, and their subtle elegance also communicates the harmony between appearance and substance. Steyr’s legendary SBS actions and cold-hammer-forged barrels are distinctive and unparalleled. Steyr Arms USA is the subsidiary headquarters of Steyr Arms, GmbH, in the U.S. For more information, contact Steyr Arms at 2530 Morgan Rd., Bessemer, AL 35022; call (205) 417-8644; or visit


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    • I’ll admit I used to be on board then I wised up. I’ll take an AR every time nowadays. Just rig with your favorite caliber!

      • Yeah I agree AR all the way. Why would you want to anything else? The funniest part of the article was when it said. ” If you only wanted one rifle, the Steyr could be it.” Or something like like. We’ll I’m pretty sure if it comes down to one rifle. For me it’s an Ar15 no question!!

  1. Two things that make this a non option for me, first the less than optimal barrel length for the chambering. Second is the wildly non standard barrel thread both 1/2″ instead of 5/8″ and 20 tpi instead of 28 or 24 tpi. These things make it seem like an after thought lets do our own thing outside of industry standards. I understand it’s suppose to be a compact quick handling rifle but that shouldn’t be done at the expense of performance.

  2. I do like the reduced bolt lift on the Steyr, but that’s about it. The bipod is integrated and streamlined, but it is non-adjustable and has always seemed prone to damage if actually used in the field. A buddy of mine has an original Steyr Scout, and I never thought that the gun justified the price. I have a Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308, and it’s a much better value, in my opinion. I’ve hunted pigs with it, and thought it was great in that role.

      • Almost forgot, the Creedmoor hospital was commissioned by the ‘Lunacy Commission of New York State’.

      • Gov, what do you prefer about the 308 (assuming you’re partial to it)? Is it the heavier recoil, increased difficulty of spotting shots, more wind drift, more drop, heavier weight, less energy after a few hundred yards? Just curious.

        • Didn’t say I preferred the .308. I do have one, but it’s currently for sale. But since you asked, it takes the Creedmoor 600 yards to catch up in energy to the .308. At any reasonable hunting range the .308 is superior. If the recoil is too much get a .260 or 6.5×55. At least you won’t look like you’re gullible at the range.

  3. I could see bringing back the round for a vintage Creedmore target gun but what’s the point for a little short (inaccurate) rifle that can only be described as a defense weapon for bears, mountain lions and bigfoot?

  4. Guys I don’t own own a Steyr Scout Rifle. Mine is what Col. Cooper called a “pseudo scout” built by J. Brockman a couple of years before Steyr introduced a factory version. You have to shoot a rifle of this genre to appreciate it. It was meant to be a general purpose rifle. Easy to carry, short and fast handling, capable of handling medium to large game anywhere on our planet. Dangerous game excepted. Though Bell took an ass load of elephants with a 7X57 Mauser. Anyway, Cooper often said we don’t need new calibers. What we need is a better delivery system. I understand and respect all you 6.5 fans out there, but really; Does it kill anything more dead than anything else?

    • Not really! You wear a Scope like a Good Suit, and everyone have their own tastes as to what works for them. I have Myoptic Vision and use a German made Ajack 4×81 Sniper Scope. But I’ve heard that the Vortex EBR-2C is pretty good and that Kahles SKMR is also pretty good…

    • I think the original was the Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5×28. If I recall correctly, the eye relief if around 9″. By comparison, a typical rifle scope will have a relief of 2-4″, and a handgun scope 18-24″. The intent is shooting with both eyes open. Since then, Burris, Vortex, and Leupold have come out with variable scout scopes, but the eye relief is a couple 2-4″ shorter and heavier. A reflex/holosight with a magnifier would be a more modern alternative.

    • The Leopold fixed 2.5 power Scout Scope is the standard is the one by which all others are judged. If you’re smart choose the heavy recticle. I wish it had been an option when I bought mine. Commented on that when I met Col. Cooper. Standard reticle no real hinderance, but heavy is easier to pick up on moving game. Burris also made/makes a very good scout scope. Never understood a variable extended eye relief scope. The lower the magnification the better. Battery powered optics on my last go to general purpose rifle? No, thank you very much.

    • I put a Burris 2X7 Scout scope on mine, it’s usually in the 2X configuration. Scout rifles were never meant to be long range sniper or precision rifles, Cooper wanted something that was an easy grab and go/carry all day and could be brought to bear in a manner similar to a shotgun, hence the forward mounted scope concept. I think it was Cheif AJ who has been using this system on 10 22s for decades as well, shooting airborne targets.

      I know a lot of people would rather use an AR platform than the bolt gun but if you’ve spent some time with the Steyr (at least in .308), you’ll soon appreciate what it is capable of doing. Cooper would’ve likely scorned me for the variable scope but for my eyes the ability to go past 2X on stationary targets helps me connect better. I won’t be rebarrelling mine to 6.5 but the gun is nearly always in my trunk.

      BTW- when I first got the rifle I couldn’t find a scope so a pal who sells shall we say, imported optics cheap gave me an AIM 2x& EER scope for $60. I had that thing on the rifle for over a year and in 300+ rounds it never moved.

    • Not a top tier optic, but I like the Hi Lux scout I mounted on my Ruger Gunsite Scout. Most of the scopes marketed as Scout scopes have insufficient eye relief for forward mounting, some are just repackaged pistol scopes.

  5. I’d slap a 1-8×34 on it, maybe a bipod. Maybe get the barrel threaded.
    Seems like a fun rifle, always kinda wanted one. Definitely not in Queermoor though.

    • Unless they have changed the design the Scout has a built in bipod where the side panels of the fore end fold down. I’ve always liked the concept but would rather have a traditional rifle scope in a quick detach mount just because there’s more and better options available. For the shorter barrel I think the 338 Federal would have been a better chambering. The 6.5 Creedmoor was designed for a 24″ barrel or longer with a 1-8 twist for optimal performance. By put the 6.5 Creedmoor in a 19″ barrel the have in essence put a 300 lb man on a thorough bred race horse and expect it to win. It just doesn’t work in my opinion.

      • Hate to defend the Creedmoor on much of anything, but I’ve got one of these – – and while the Creedmoor is slightly inferior to the .260 it does make some sense in a compact rifle. What it isn’t is a 1000 yard target rifle. However, I put an MRAD scope on it and 6 mils (one full spin of the dial) gets you out to 800 yards, even with the 150-200fps you’re losing with the (in my case) 18.5″ barrel. Basically it’s in between a .308 and .243, which kind of makes sense. But would make more sense in .260 than Creedmoor.

      • From what I can tell (source below) there isn’t much of a difference between 19 inch and 24 inch barrels in 6.5 Creedmoor. ~90 fps difference and a minimal change in drift and path at 1000 yards.
        If there’s something I’m not understanding then please fill me in.


        I like the concept of the scout, but I feel the design is a bit dated. For one they still dont have iron sights (something Jeff Cooper was pretty adamant about, offset sights would be pretty cool) and the bipod design is meh. Also no lefty option kills it for me.

        An AR-based scout would be cool, but from what I’ve seen AR-10s are like ~11 lbs unloaded and without sights/accessories (compared to the scout’s 6.6lbs). Does anyone know of a lightweight semi-auto 6.5 CM that’s reliable and preferably ambidextrous?

        • If you read Colonel Cooper’s work you’ll see one of the criteria for the scout rifle is back up open sights. The Styer’s are very crude, plastic and not easily adjusted. Also, hard to acquire. I had to scrunch down on the stock too hard to use them. He did have a couple of good ideas though. Detachable magazine within the stock., and. Detachable facto magazine cutoff. (See 1903, 1903A3.) Be sure to acquire Leopold “throw lever” bases and rings. Throw the levers, tip off the scope and you’re back in the fight.

        • If you read Colonel Cooper’s work you’ll see one of the criteria for the scout rifle is back up open sights. The Styer’s are very crude, plastic and not easily adjusted. Also, hard to acquire. I had to scrunch down on the stock too hard to use them. He did have a couple of good ideas though. Detachable magazine within the strock, and. a defacto magazine cutoff. (See 1903, 1903A3.)Be sure to acquire Leopold “throw lever” bases and rings. Throw the levers, tip off the scope and you’re back in the fight.

        • @ Paul:

          Ah ok, so they do have sights… pfft but just barely. Is this really what Jeff Cooper had in mind or did Steyr utilize their artistic license to come up with those dinky little things?

          TTAG Admins: Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes the “Reply” button appears below comments and sometimes it’s absent. Not sure if this is a known issue, but I figured I’d throw it out there.

        • “Ah ok, so they do have sights… pfft but just barely. Is this really what Jeff Cooper had in mind or did Steyr utilize their artistic license to come up with those dinky little things?” Cooper wrote extensively and long (normal for him, BTW) about his Scout Rifle concept and had various rifles made up for him to use over a few years to solidify his final rifle. He was always very thorough in any of his study projects.

          I think the first attempt at the Scout began with the .350 Rem Mag “fireplug” in a little Rem 600 rifle and the project morphed through quite a few different phases before he settled on his criteria. He was looking for something that anyone could carry for long periods of time that would cover basic usage principles and have backups for problems in the field, hence items such as readily available standard ammo and the backup open sights if you somehow damaged the scope in the field. I don’t think he envisioned them to work out to the 300 meter standard he set but with the backups there is still a decent chance of either downing one’s game or defending one’s self. Today, Cooper might even desire some sort of multi-tool in the butt, however I’m sure he always had something on him to use as a screw or nut driver in the bush. As for price, Cooper also wasn’t one to drive around in a Dodge or Chevy, he like Mercedes, so that might also have some bearing on his thinking as well.

  6. But one of the best (and maybe the least considered) scout rifles…

    Because it is the most expensive! For what a Steyr Scout costs I could buy one each of the competitors with optics. I had a Scout built on a Yugo M48 Mauser. It might have been on the long side and heavy compared to Cooper’s specs, but I can’t deny the utility combined with the knockdown power of 8x57mm.

    I think the Ruger Scout is the working man’s version of the Scout Rifle concept. Affordable but surprisingly accurate, well balanced, and with a good trigger.

    • How is the Ruger weight and handling wise? I know they were offered in laminate stocks. That would seem heavy. I haven’t handled one. Don’t haunt gun shops like I used to. Most of my transactions today are (gasp) private.

      • In .308 with a 16.1″ barrel and synthetic stock, Ruger lists them at 6.2 lb.
        A laminate stock brings them up to 7.1 lb.
        Halfway between, there’s one that clocks in at 6.7 lb with a classic-look checkered walnut stock.

        • Thanks. Synthetic for me. Weight considations aside, I live in in a high humidity, highly variable temperature environment. Looking for something to give my son on his next birthday. I own a few custom built rifles, but can’t afford to give him anymore of those. Retired now. LOL Despite my admiration for Col. Cooper never really warmed up to the Steyr.

      • For me the weight is not a problem as I have heavier rifles. Even my 10 year old son doesn’t mind the weight as it is well balanced. I have a .22 No8 Lee-Enfield trainer that is longer and heavier. Recoil of the 5.56 version is non-existent.

      • Who cares how they look? Look back at the early Weatherby’s. Pretty at first sight, but she is not coming home to meet my mom.

        • Hehe nice. And yea it doesn’t stop me from wanting one, still trying to decide between the left-handed ruger scout and the BLR 81 takedown (leaning towards the takedown though).

  7. Why do they always manufacture these types of rifles with no sights? Makes me not even consider it. I’ll stick with my mini-14.

  8. Thanks and Merry Christmas to Scott and his superior crew in Bessemer/Trussville (I can’t keep track) AL. My SBS has a Z3, 3X10X42 intermediate eye relief scope with a 4A reticle, I know there are some that are more tactical, but it’s what I grew up shooting and it aquires fast. It mounts far enough forward to be used with both eyes open at the low setting and at 10X I can see and hit a gallon milk jug out at 500 (laser rangefinder confirmed) meters. The trigger is factory set, locked, and better than the trigger on my first one and I thought that one was great. I haven’t added any accessories… because it doesn’t need any. The 6.5C is probably better than the second coming of Townsend Whalen and Jack O’Connor combined, but, (1) whatever gets hit by either bullet will never know the difference and stay equally well shot and (2) it will never be as easy to get as .308 Win./7.62X51MM if, unlikely as it may be, I find myself stuck out somewhere east of, “what do you mean?…it isn’t shown on any of our maps…Over.” -30-

  9. I’ve always liked the idea of that rifle, but I hate skinny barrels and it needs iron sights that aren’t just “oh crap my scope fell off now what”.

    Frankly I’d rather tote a Marlin than a bolt gun. And I defer cartridges that shine with cast bullets, not metal patch.

  10. Guys what Jeff Cooper wanted was to put forth not the idea of a specialized rifle, but a general purpose rifle. A rifle you could carry all day. Quick into action. Loop up the sling and use an improvised shooting position. Then exert your power upon that upon which you need to control. Try a scout rifle, I mean any scout rifle that meets Cooper’s weight requirements. Take it to the field. Thomas Jefferson once said that a walk in the woods with a rifle is the finest form of exercise. (Paraphrasing) Try someone’s scout before your pass judgement. I mean in the field.


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