Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Memorable Classes

There are some training classes that are life-changing events, and seeing Steyr’s announcement on the release of a limited run of the Jeff Cooper Scout rifle reminded me of one of my most memorable classes ever.

While attending a pistol course in Raton, NM, with Cooper in ’98 I test fired the “new” Steyr Scout, and promptly placed an order for one. I began making plans to head west again to attend General Purpose Rifle in ’99 with Cooper to learn how to work the Scout from the man behind its concept and production.

I had read Cooper’s writings on the theory of the “general purpose” rifle, but didn’t fully grasp its concept and value until attending the week-long class. The Scout, according to Cooper, is “a general-purpose rifle,” that’s “capable of striking a single decisive blow, on a live target, 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.” Cooper also stated that “ruggedness, versatility and speed of operation” are desirable characteristics. The General Purpose Rifle class would teach us to make first round hits, at unknown distances and in a short amount of time. “You must learn to shoot the rifle to its full capability,” Cooper stated with a smile, “with a balance between speed and accuracy.”

The Scout is truly a general purpose rifle. It’s short, 39.4 inches, lightweight, 6.6 pounds, quick and easy to handle. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for self defense. During the class we shot clay pigeons flying through the air; a rifle I can hit airborne targets with is quick enough for fighting. It will hunt, and I can hit anything I can see with my eyes. And while it doesn’t have surgical type precision – mine shoots one to two minute groups – it will do this with about any ammo I feed it, which I consider a valuable feature. The Scout is beyond a doubt the most versatile rifle I’ve ever owned.

This class also launched my writing career, resulting in my very first article about this experience that was published in the April 2000 issue of Tactical Shooter. As I write this I still remember my excitement reading the letter from Dave Brennan accepting my article. (I kept that letter, and have it with the magazine containing my story.) At the class I made friends with people I still keep in touch with. And, under the instruction of Col. Cooper, Tom Russell, Mike Waidelich, and Rich Wyatt, I learned how to use the Scout, won the class shoot-off, and earned an Expert rating from Col Cooper.

The purpose of this story? If you own a weapon get training on how to use it properly. Along this journey you get to shoot, see new parts of the country, meet great people, and your life becomes richer. And you thought you were just going to learn how to shoot.

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September 19, 2010 - Posted by | General Training

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