Springfield Armory M6 Scout
|Rifle, M6 Scout|
A Springfield Armory M6 Scout with a Compact Disc for scale.
|Type||Over and under survival rifle/shotgun|
|Place of origin||United States of America|
|Used by||U.S. Air Force|
|Variants||M6 Scout, M6 Carbine, M6 Scout Pistol|
|Weight||2.14 kilograms (4.7 lb)|
|Length||813 millimetres (32.0 in) (O/A length), 380 millimetres (15 in) (folded)|
|Caliber||.22 LR or .22 Hornet + .410 bore, 76mm chamber or .45 Long Colt|
|Feed system||1× .22 + 1× .410|
The Springfield Armory M6 Scout is a multipurpose firearm, combining rifle and shotgun. Springfield Armory produced two versions, a standard model with Parkerized finish and another made from rustproof stainless steel.
The M6 design and model number come from the M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon, issued to U.S. Air Force aircrew from the late 1950s until the early 1970s. The commercial model is nearly identical to the USAF version, though there are a couple of minor cosmetic differences such as the addition of a removable trigger guard. The greatest change is that the commercial model has a barrel length of 18.25 inches (46.4 cm) instead of the 14 inches (36 cm) barrel length of the USAF version and a rifle caliber offering in .22 long rifle.
Unlike nearly all other firearms, there is no "furniture" on the M6 Scout like a butt stock or a forearm—the only parts which are not steel are the rubber butt plate and cheek rest. The M6 stock is stamped sheet steel, while the removable barrel assembly is forged steel. The stock holds four .410 shells and 15 .22 LR cartridges in the civilian version. The stock of the commercial version in .22 Hornet stores 12 rifle rounds and 4 shotgun shells. The original military stock held 9 .22 Hornet shells and 4 .410 shells. Aircrew who were issued the M6 were instructed on a way to make a field expedient forestock by wrapping the barrels with a length of shroud line from their parachute.
With a rifle barrel mounted above a .410 shotgun barrel, this is known as a superposed "over-under" design. The barrel assembly is connected to the stock/action group by means of a removable hinge pin. Whether folded or disassembled, the overall length for storage is approximately 18.5 inches.
One other unique feature of the M6 is the "squeeze-bar trigger." Intended for use by aircrew who might be downed in any type of weather and terrain, the trigger, hammer and barrel latch are designed to be easily operated while wearing heavy gloves or mittens. To this end, the USAF M6 was the only firearm issued to American armed forces which had no trigger guard. The amount of pressure needed to release the sear, combined with the practice of keeping the hammer uncocked unless preparing to fire, was considered sufficient to counter any risk of accidental discharge. Springfield Armory's version included a trigger guard.