.....................Glad you asked!!!!.......
..............Are you contemplating on getting one; a scout rifle?
Mounted on the barrel in the scout position on my 300 WSM Ruger Frontier w/16.5" barrel, sits the 2.5-8x28 Nikon Monarch EER UCC! (had a conventionally mounted 4200). The Nikon does the job very well and can also double as a revolver scope! Regardless of the shorter barrel, I chose this Monarch scout because my 300 is not exactly what you would call a shorter to medium range cartridge by any means! It is an outstanding long range big game shooter too! On other scout rifles with lesser powered calibers and range, the two other lower powered fixed scout scopes from Burris and Leupold IMO, would be ideal, even for shots out to 300-350 yards.
Compared to a heavier rifle with a conventionally mounted scope?? Well! Let`s just say that after you hunt with a scout rifle using a scout scope, one can easily become VERY spoiled and hard pressed to want to go back to a conventional rig!
Here are the advantages with a scout rifle and scout scope set up!
1) Rifles are shorter in OAL and lighter for quicker and better handling with better manuverability. Easier to carry, pack in any terrain (especially in thicker brush) and will store easily behind any truck seat.
2) With the exception of longer range varmit hunting, the scouts are extremely adaptable to all styles of hunting in any terrain; from stands, stalking etc. (In my case, for varmits, I`d simply change to a higher powered conventional scope. I can mount both ways on my Frontier; conventional and scout style, but as of now, available to do so with the Ruger Frontiers only!
3) In my Ruger`s case, the shorter LOP at 12.5" makes for faster shouldering when needed when your game surprises you and speed is absolutely critical.
4) Compared to conventional scopes, scout scopes are much faster in acquiring the targets, stationary or moving because you have the capability to keep both eyes open for acquiring and aiming. The brain receives a quicker signal. The FOV`s are better too because both eyes remain open.
5) In the scout position, one can never get scope whacked due to recoil!!
6) No scope over the receiver!! Makes for easier and faster access for reloading and better access for cleaning. Nothing there for any extracted casings to hit either. You can also carry the rifle by the receiver with the palm of the hand, which is a much easier carrying alternative and balances better.
7) Depending on the scout scope bases, you can also adapt to even faster red dot sights. My Frontier allows for that as well (mounting rail from Ruger), which offers even more outstanding hunting versatility!
8) Percentage wise, there is very little loss in velocity or ballistic performance using shorter barrels on scout rifles! With todays modern powders and depending on the reload, the difference in overall velocity between my 16.5" 300 WSM vs a 24" 300 WSM that I`ve chrono`d tested, is only 3.6% to 4.5%; or only a 15 to 30 fps. loss, per inch, of shorter barrel length. Scout rifles with 20" tubes will have even less a percentage of velocity loss! NO animal will ever know the difference!!!
9) Yep! Shorter barrels are inherently more accurate than longer tubes!!
......That`s right! See article @ shootingtimes.com,,,"long guns" "Short Answer about Scout Styled Rifles"......Simply put! Any barrel that is shorter will have less harmonic resonance because there is less barrel length to resonate or vibrate (a law of physics as it relates to ballistics). The heavier, thicker bull type barrels are designed to cut down on this harmonic resonance or vibrations, NOT ON BARREL HEAT, as so many are inclined to believe.........However! As with any barrel; whether shorter, longer, thinner or otherwise, more of a rapid fire is not a good idea as accuracy and perhaps some barrel life will suffer! I have lost nothing in the accuracy dept. vs the longer tube and in some cases, my groups are