Dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists who firmly believe that single-shot rifles should be made of no other materials than blued steel and figured walnut are not going to be one little bit impressed by the appearance of Bergara’s stainless-steel rendition of the genre. On the other hand, the practical-minded hunter who considers his rifle to be a tool rather than something to hang on the wall and admire is likely to think it’s the ant’s pants. The Bergara Scout is a businesslike little musket with a stainless-steel barreled action that is highly resistant to rusting and an ambidextrous black synthetic stock which will be unaffected by extremes of weather and dramatic changes in climatic conditions.
Other practical features include short overall length and a slim, flat-sided receiver that makes the musket easy to carry in one hand. Last year I reviewed a Bergara Scout Compact Carbine in .243 Winchester and its accuracy surprised me. Those who missed that detailed report can look it up in the August 2011 issue. Recently, I was looking for a rifle with a very short receiver to test a short-coupled Arctic Fox 3-9×40 scope, I chose an identical Bergara Scout but this time in .270 Winchester. I was curious to see how the little carbine would handle a big-game cartridge
The Bergara action has a simple break-open breech with a sturdy frame to which is hinged a partially fluted, medium-weight barrel. My test gun was made of AISI 1416 stainless and has a slim, trim black synthetic stock with molded-in panels of checkering. The diamonds are sharp enough to afford a secure grip to wet or bloodied hands.
Outstanding features of the Bergara include: barrels that can be quickly interchanged since they simply attach to the frame with the same hinge pin and use an integral locking lug mechanism; a rebounding hammer allows the gun to be recocked without having to break open the action; the trigger is adjustable for a weight of pull between 1.5 and 2kgs; and a steel catch in the front of the trigger guard is pulled back to open the gun.
Some of the best hunting guns are often the simplest ones, and there are few things more uncomplicated than a break-open single-shot rifle with quickly interchangeable barrels and modern safety features. The Bergara Scout is exactly that – a lightweight, very accurate, innovative and deceptively simple firearm.