The new Savage Arms Model 11 Scout Rifle, $794 MSRP, is patterned after Col. Jeff Cooper’s ideal of what a compact, bolt-action rifle should be—chambered for .308 Winchester, having a short barrel and handy overall length, and accepting a forward-mounted scope.
In a nod to scout-rifle tradition, the rifle’s one-piece cantilevered 17-slot Picatinny rail accepts a variety of forward-mounted, long eye-relief scopes, as well as standard scope-mount locations. But like any good scout rifle, it comes with iron sights, in this case an adjustable Williams receiver sight that doubles as .09-inch peep and .20-inch ghost ring, plus a .37-inch front post flanked by protective steel wings.
The rail sits atop an 18-inch carbon-steel barrel that’s threaded and capped with a proprietary muzzle brake for reduced recoil. The brake can be removed with a Crescent wrench.
The 11 Scout Rifle is built on the company’s Model 11 frame. The integral AccuStock rail system cradles the action three-dimensionally along its length, while an aluminum spine molded into the polymer stock adds rigidity.
An adjustable spacer system in the butt lets the shooter tweak length of pull, and an adjustable comb makes it easy to tailor cheek height to the shooter’s stature and various sighting options. Also, the front and back of the cheekpiece can move independently of one another, allowing the user to change the angle as well.
Other improvements include a hand-straightened, button-rifled barrel. Zero-tolerance headspace, achieved by carefully matching barrel, action and bolt, also boosts accuracy, as does a floating bolt head that self-adjusts for a fit typically reserved for hand-lapped, locking lugs.
The 11 Scout Rifle also offers the user-adjustable AccuTrigger system, a trio of swivel studs that accept a variety of sling options, a synthetic stock, a detachable 10-round magazine, a tang-mounted safety, and an oversize bolt knob. Unloaded weight: 7.8 pounds.