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There are three gun “types” marketed to us which appear similar: guide, mountain, and scout rifles. All three “types” seem to have common traits: reduced weight for carrying comfort in rough terrain, shorter overall length to get through heavy brush (18-20 inch barrels), impervious to harsh weather, bolt action, dependability, and accuracy with retained firepower.

One difference might be that the guide and scout guns typically include iron sights, whereas mountain guns are designed more for scopes only. Another difference might be that scout guns are identified with 308 Win (though not exclusively), whereas the other two are offered in a wide variety of cartridges. My impression is that mountain rifles emphasize reduced weight a bit more than the other two (maybe), and perhaps need more accuracy beyond 200 yards. Otherwise traits like muzzle brakes, triggers, scope mounting, type of stock, etc. seem to be a mixed bag.

The above are just my impressions since I’ve never read anything that specifically differentiates a guide gun from a scout gun from a mountain gun. Because I hunt in the tangled mountainous rain forest they call Oregon I’m keen on these types of rifles. Maybe those are just marketing names and not real differences? In other words, not genuine classifications.

So what’s the deal? I admit to being a bit perplexed about whether there are genuine distinctions that we can use to differentiate between a guide, mountain, and scout rifle. If I walk up to one I couldn't just say, "Yep, that's a mountain rifle" or "Yep, that's a scout rifle" beyond just the brand name given by a manufacturer. If any of you can provide more definitive differences between them please share. Thanks!
 

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Don't "Scout Rifles" always have long eye relief scopes mounted further forward?
 

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I would say the following in my personal assumptions:

Mountain: Usually lightweight, bolt action rifle designed for ease of carry, but still able to make 500+ yard shots (Kimber Mountain Ascent, 4 pounds - 3 ounces)



Guide: Generally an open site rifle for use in protecting the party from an attack from a wounded animal. Usually in large, magnum calibers (Ruger Guide Gun, M77, 375H&H Magnum)



Scout: (my fave) Rifle designed to achieve rapid acquisition of target, and quick repeatable shots even thought you tend to find them in bolt actions. Ability to mount scope both in standard manner and 'out front' which tends to aid in the quick acquisition as it does make it somewhat easier to keep both eyes open as you acquire the target. Most I've seen are in smaller calibers (.308 and less) but could be used in Guide Gun situations very effectively
(Ruger Frontier, .308, my Baby)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would say the following in my personal assumptions:

Mountain: Usually lightweight, bolt action rifle designed for ease of carry, but still able to make 500+ yard shots (Kimber Mountain Ascent, 4 pounds - 3 ounces)



Guide: Generally an open site rifle for use in protecting the party from an attack from a wounded animal. Usually in large, magnum calibers (Ruger Guide Gun, M77, 375H&H Magnum)



Scout: (my fave) Rifle designed to achieve rapid acquisition of target, and quick repeatable shots even thought you tend to find them in bolt actions. Ability to mount scope both in standard manner and 'out front' which tends to aid in the quick acquisition as it does make it somewhat easier to keep both eyes open as you acquire the target. Most I've seen are in smaller calibers (.308 and less) but could be used in Guide Gun situations very effectively
(Ruger Frontier, .308, my Baby)
Great job showing key differences! That still leaves a lot of bleed-over between them. Maybe these names just indicate general leanings between one type and the other, but not necessarily distinct categories?
 

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I think the guide or scout rifles have different meaning depending on locations.
The guide in the mountains would have a much different rifle than the guide on a African safari. The mountain guide would have an accurate long range scoped rifle in something like .308 & the safari guide would have a large caliber bolt gun with iron sights for short range knock down, when the great white hunter makes a bad shot. These used to be black powder but these days are called dangerous game guns like the .577 T-rex.
 

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I would say the following in my personal assumptions:

Mountain: Usually lightweight, bolt action rifle designed for ease of carry, but still able to make 500+ yard shots (Kimber Mountain Ascent, 4 pounds - 3 ounces)



Guide: Generally an open site rifle for use in protecting the party from an attack from a wounded animal. Usually in large, magnum calibers (Ruger Guide Gun, M77, 375H&H Magnum)



Scout: (my fave) Rifle designed to achieve rapid acquisition of target, and quick repeatable shots even thought you tend to find them in bolt actions. Ability to mount scope both in standard manner and 'out front' which tends to aid in the quick acquisition as it does make it somewhat easier to keep both eyes open as you acquire the target. Most I've seen are in smaller calibers (.308 and less) but could be used in Guide Gun situations very effectively
(Ruger Frontier, .308, my Baby)

Good stuff, Spooker. Thank you.
 

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I know I've posted this pic before. It's my M91/59 with a 2.5x LER scope mounted so I can replace the original sight. It's the closest thing I have to a scout rifle. It will shoot MOA with it's pet load. The recoil pad is because I have long arms.
M91-59 Scout Mount.jpg
 

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yeah for me, mountain is more of a long range hunting rifle, but designed to be lighter and more durable for climbing/ hiking.

Guide, like animalspooker stated, if more for defensive use or hunting shorter ranges. presumably carried by a hunting guide, where the hunters would be carrying the actual hunting rifles. the guide was armed more for protection, think bear or wild boar.

and the scout rifle seems to be more of a do it all jack of all trades type of deal. can make longer shots, but also better suited for close in. usually a forward mounted scope and irons.

I really like the ruger gunsite scout rifles. though one of the things i really like about them is the ability to mount a scope either the traditional or forward scout style. i prefer the traditional scope over action mounting, and with some of today's optics you can get very good and quick target acquisition and long range form something like a 1-8 or 2-10. personally i feel like the old long eye relief forward mounted scope idea has kind of lost its sheen over time. perhaps back when it was pioneered scope tech was such that for the rapid target acquisition the long eye relief scope was the best option.
 
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