One of the first guns I ever bought for myself was a Springfield Armory M6 scout rifle. Like almost all owners of the M6 scout, I really like the concept, but I find it needs a sling swivel to really fit my needs.
What is the M6 Scout
For the uninitiated, the M6 scout started life as a survival item for Air Force pilots. It is a hinge action over under that breaks into two parts for storage. The air force version is normally a .22 hornet over .410, but mine is a .22 long rifle over .410. The actual military model’s barrel is shorter than the National Firearm Act allows for unregistered firearms, so the civilian barrel is about 4 inches longer. It has two cutouts on the sheet metal stock that are supposed to be improvised wrenches, but I have never attempted to use them. In my opinion, other than the size and weight of the gun, the best feature is that the butt-stock opens to hold 4 .410 shells and 15 .22 (only 9 if it’s a .22 hornet).
While I am an unreconstructed tinkerer that loves messing with things, I am pretty conservative with my firearms, and do not modify them without having a clear and specific goal in mind. I don’t own any “safe queens” or Barbecue guns, all of my firearms are tools, primarily for my family’s or my own self defense. Over the years I have seen too many overly modified guns lose reliability with each “improvement” to the designer’s specifications.
A Few Nice Modifications
However, there were four areas that my scout needed improvement, and none of them modified the actual mechanical function of the firearm in anyway. Since the purpose of this gun is to forage in a E&E (escape and evasion) scenario its intended use makes it perfect for a GHB (Get Home Bag) kept in a car trunk. My first addition addressed this and was the purchase of the optional blue plastic case to hold both the gun, a 100 round box of .22 long CB caps and two .45 caliber bianchi clips that I stretched and forced 12 .410 shells into (an appropriate mix of 6 #6 shot, 4 slug, and 2 00 buck).
Remove the Trigger Guard and Add Para-cord
My next mod was to remove the trigger guard from the “trigger” which is actually a bar that you can squeeze with you entire hand if needed. All I did was pry the stock apart slightly and pull the guard out (its stamped steel).
Next, I wrapped a long length of para-cord along the barrel as the gun does not have any furniture on it. This provides me with a cool place to put my hand if I somehow shoot enough to heat the barrel, and it gives me some cordage for emergency use. According to some, crewmen were taught to do this using paracord from their chutes if they ever bailed out.
Adding a Sling Swivel
My last modification, and the subject of the video below, was the addition of a sling swivel on the butt-stock. For years I have tried to find a factory sling swivel to attach to my scout. The barrel has a hole at the muzzle for attachment, but the butt-stock does not. The only furniture on the gun is a small rubber pad on the butt-stock, but the screw that holds it in is not substantial enough to do its designed job and hold a sling.
While at the reloading store the other day, I saw a sling swivel for an AR-15 hand guard. I knew immediately that it would work. It was a normal QD swivel on a stud, a round spacer/washer, and an aluminum nut with a round base.
Basically, I used a drill press to drill a hole the aluminum nut could fit into, then screwed the swivel stud into it through the washer. Later I may trim it up a little with my Dremel, but for now it works well enough for my purposes.