M6 Scout Survival Rifle Review for 2020

One of the purpose built survival weapons that I always found interesting was the M6 Scout made by Springfield Armory.  Based on the design for the pilots of the USAF, the Springfield Armory M6 Scout has only a few changes from the original M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon.

The commercially available model of the M6 is almost identical to the USAF version.  The biggest difference is that the Springfield Armory version has a barrel length of 18.25 inches and the Air Force version has a barrel length of 14 inches.  The only other major difference is that the Springfield Armory version has a removable trigger guard, where the USAF version has no trigger guard at all.

When you hold this weapon and put it up to your shoulder, you definitely know that this is a spartan survival weapon made with no M6 Survival Riflecreature comforts.  The cold steel of the stock and its hard edges were very unfriendly to the face, the sites were crude at best.  Maybe I should not even refer to this as a survival weapon but more of a survival tool,, because that is exactly what it is.


I found the M6 Scout to be a worthy survival weapon with some cool features.  My favorite feature is the over/under barrel combo of the .22 LR and the .410 Shotgun.  Having the rifle or shotgun capability in a survival situation is never a bad thing.  The other nice feature is the ammo storage compartment in the butt stock of the gun.  You always know where your ammo is located and there is no chance of misplacing your ammo unless you lose the whole gun.

The M6 Scout is a very simple design with very few moving parts.  There is almost nothing that can go wrong with this gun once it isSpringfield Armory M6 Scout Survival Rifle assembled.  That is the good news, the bad news is that something could go wrong before you assemble the weapon.  The Achilles’ heel of this design is that there is a small pin that is required to assemble the barrel to the stock.  The guy who loaned me this weapon for the review specifically said to me “Whatever you do, don’t lose that little pin.  I think it might be hard to replace.”  I could see this being a problem if you were in bad weather or somewhere at night.  This pin is small and if it is lost, you will be stuck trying to jerry rig the weapon which would not be fun if you are in a survival situation.  Is this a show stopper?  No, but it is something to be aware of if you are looking to buy this weapon.

The weapon did come with a small canvas carrying case with a shoulder strap made by Springfield Armory.  I am not sure if that was bought separately or came with the gun but it fit the M6 Scout nicely.


I would put this weapon in the “Buy It… If It Fits Your Requirements” category.  Disassembled, it would fit nicely in the back of a truck or in the trunk of your car (check local laws and restrictions).  It could also fit into a Bug Out Bag or get strapped to the outside of your bag.

Video Review by the SurvivalCache Team

Buying the Springfield Armory M6 Scout

This gun is no longer commercially made but you will see the M6 Scout at gun shows or on the internet via online gun dealers.  We have received a lot of emails about this gun and we were curious about it as well.  I have seen them for sale anywhere from $400 to $900 depending on condition.

For mod ideas to the M6 Scout, see V Shrake’s post.

Photos by: Dammitboy1959, V Shrake

Video by: The SurvivalCache Team



Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of SurvivalCache.com. After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.

69 thoughts on “M6 Scout Survival Rifle Review for 2020”

  1. Nice review. The 22lr and 410 are probably 2 of the best "all around, put food on the table rounds" available. Rossi was making a combo weapon, altho you did have to change barrels (410 and 22lr included in package) for around $150 new. This may be a production model still available and still light enough and compact enough (broken down) to fit in a BOB.

    • _Hey all! Nice to meet you!_I'm Bob Form Carson City Nevada_I bought the M-6 Scout jeez 15 years ago from Coast to Coast Hardware here in Carson City. _Funny, I did lose the pin. Its just a piece of round stock .250 diam. I had an extra clip that locks my bimmi top on my boat. It had the ball bearing pressure lock but it also has a ring on the other end you could secure a tether on it and the other end to the rifle so it won't be lost._My M-6 came with the .22 Hornet and .410. I really like the Hornet. It gets there in a hurry somewhere around 3000 FPS if I remember correctly. One of the barrels I had for a Thomson Center Contender was the hornet._I was looking in the gun digest earlier today so I looked at what the scout was worth. I flipped! _Originally I paid $525.00 seems high but I believe that's what it cost. The reason I bought it, not that it struck me as a great little rifle, but I used to ride a CZ dirt bike for years my Springfield was made in Chech Republic.

    • I owned a Springfield armory M6 scout Hunted with it and packed it and excellent backwoods gun. But Reliability is and issue after prolonged use. I had a problem with ignition and firing pin. the hammer when pulled back would not make the firing pin function. I tried cleaning out around the firing pin it improved but 2 out of 10 tries the pin would not function. I decided to sell it and sold it for$ 680.00 with the float able carry case and instruction manual. I needed a good backwoods 410 so I purchased a H& R Survivor 410/45 colt . This is a Super reliable , rugged designed gun with a polymer composite stock the rear stock has a lockable hollow camber in the butt to allow for extra shells and gear plus the tool kit to install or remove the threaded breach for firing the colt 45 bullets. The H &R Survivor can be broken down to pack – in and reassembled with a simple tool kit in the woods a common tipped flat head screw driver. The M6 Springfield did not have extra storage for gear only for the ammo. The M6 was great looking second to none , had 22/410 for small game and 410 slugs for larger game, easy to break down and PAC, but reliability was a concern keep it clean and oiled and it is a fine survival weapon. But I think the H&R Is a better gun for long term use and reliability easy er to find parts for too.
      And I must add the the M6 is way overrated at this time because of the Bug-Out People . I see they wrap there guns with para cord I tried this. One thing overlooked it when it gets wet it wicks moister and will start rusting your barrel!! Just pack some cord in your stock pack or your back- pack man. Or carry a survival bracelet.
      And remember to BUG -IN and Not to BUG – OUT MAN. jf.

  2. If I were just hunting small game it probably wouldn't be that bad. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase " One shot, one kill". Squirrel sometimes don't cooperate with that theory and if you don't get a clean shot, they have a bad habbit of holeing up or laying on a limb and dying. Rabbits are a little cooperative if they are sitting still. If they are running, that presents more of a challenge. And I don't know about other states but we usually don't hunt rabbits until after a few frosts. So the glove issue would come into play. From the video it looked uncomfortable to shoot. I think I'd like to see the sites and know what type of groups it holds with the .22. There was a company in the past that made a over/under with a .22 mag on top. I get the point that this is a "survival gun" and it has a role if you're stuck foraging for food till pararescue comes and gets you. A little pricey also and the budget doesn't allow it at this time.

    • It's uncomfortable to shoot. The stock is VERY short, which makes it fine for kids and petite adults, but quite uncomfortable for a taller guy like myself.

      The trigger guard also makes shooting much more difficult. The gun was originally designed without a trigger guard so that you could shoot it while wearing mittens. The trigger guard was added to protect the company from lawsuits, but it makes shooting with mittens nearly impossible and shooting with gloves very difficult. Even worse, the gun was designed with a long heavy trigger as a safety feature. So you want to get two fingers on it to mitigate the heaviness. But the guard makes that very uncomfortable to do.

      The sights are also crappy. Normally this wouldn't be so bad, but with the terrible ergonomics, the sights feel MUCH worse than they would on a better gun.

      The gun is also VERY slow and awkward to reload which means that your training with this weapon will proceed at a glacial pace. And you can forget about a fast follow-up shot. You need to hit what you're shooting at with the first shot.

      And last but not least, the front sling swivel is all the way at the tip of the weapon, which makes it sit awkwardly when you carry it slung.

  3. Very good review, like the videos, they bring alot to the table being able to see you guys interact with the product on hand, kee em coming! Had always been curious about this rifle even though I have never seen on in person. Its looks a lot more compact and comfortable than the Henry Survival Rifle which I have handled. The henry butt stock is just too bulky for me. Its a shame Springfield no longer makes these because they make a damn good product. They only downfall I could see of this rifle would be that pin…I would probably always leave it in and just fold it in half like in the video….loosing that would be a big game changer.

  4. Good review! I have always thought that the combination gun to be an ideal "foraging" weapon. I personally have always wanted the Savage Mod 24 O/U it could be had in a variety of calibers and guages but I always thought that the .22 mag over .410 or possibly 20 ga would be close to ideal. I once saw an M-6 that was made by CZ. BTW as I recall the military version was actually .22 Hornet over .410. IMHO the .22 LR version would be better due to availability and cost of ammo. .22 Hornet is hard to find and super expensive unless you reload.

  5. Good review Joel. Although I like the idea of the over under you review shows the practicality of the M6. Because they put so much emphasis on compact size and weight the weapon is hard to reload, cumbersome to transition for the second shot, and has no safety. It doesn’t even have a simple extractor system. Although weapons handling is always more difficult with cold weather gloves on pulling the .22 brass was a pain at best.

    For the price one could buy an AR-7 (8 rounds semi auto) and a pump shot gun like the Savage 350 (6 rounds pump action). Both will give you multiple shots at the most critical point of a hunt… After the first round has been fired.

    • Rescue7,
      I like the over/under rifle/shotgun combination in theory and recognize their value in a survival battery/situation I confess I lean more toward the AR-7 platform. Actually in the best of both worlds the AR-7 would be like the old LeMat revolver (9X.40 and 1X16GA). In my 'Improved' AR-7 there would be a .410 or 20 gauge single shot under the 8 round semi-auto 22. Assuming it could be made to be a reliable shooter, THAT would be a survival arm I would buy!

      • And… The AR-7 is a .22 nothing more. The M6 offering .410 is a huge advantage. Buckshot or slugs CAN take deer. #4, #5, #6 shot are far superior to .22 for small game, especially in brush. And birds… Try shooting small birds with a .22 But with #71/2 shot they go in the pot.

    • I own an M6 in .22LR stainless. Reloading isn't difficult. It does have a spring loaded extractor. Removing the brass is difficult while wearing gloves, but that's true of any weapon. Rifle or shotgun. The AR-7 is absolute garbage. Anyone who choses a plastic gun for survival is a fool. And if .22lr isn't available, the Scout can also shoot .22 long, short, or CB. (and cb's are very quite. That's a good thing if you don't want to draw attention to yourself). Being a single shot It also functions perfectly with cheap low power ammo or super colibri primer only ammo. Where the AR-7 fails to cycle with anything weaker than standard velocity. All stainless steel v.s plastic. That's a no brainer.

  6. I liked the review.

    There's been a few .22/410's on the market over the years. I think USSG still makes one.

    There seems to be quite a bit of interest in small, packable, rifles.

  7. This has been around for along time but as stated unfortunately no longer in production, I have one and I keep it in my truck as a back up JIC. If you want an M6 check out gunshows in your area but I would'nt pay more then 300 bucks for it even in NIB condition.

    • AR-7 goes for 67 dollars. Bout the same as I paid for it 25 years ago. there is a reason for that!
      The M-6 is stainless steel very solid. Its not complex at all in fact its so simple its redundant. Another nice feature is that you can shoot it with mittens on. Mittens are much warmer than gloves so if your prone to frostbite it will make a difference. Give me 5 rounds either shotgun or Hornet I'll bring home at least 5 kills. You don't need a semiauto for supper! Besides one shot is only heard, a second shot tells direction.

    • The .410 is useless, huh? My gunsmith who fought in Korea and is an expert deer hunter hunts with nothing else. If you have the right combo of gun and ammo it can be a very effective caliber. Such generalizations as," The .22 is useless for defense…" are often heard as well. I remember and still hear,"…the 9mm is too weak for American troops.." and on and on.

      With the right load, a short .410 is great for self defense. USUALLY you will be dealing with targets within 25 yards…heck, 25 feet, even. Without my glasses, in the middle of the night, a .410 will take care of problems without blowing a hole through the wall and into the family next door.

      Would you be willing to stand 10 times "a few feet" and have someone point and shoot a .410 at you from ..say 300 feet? That's 300-times the "few feet" beyond which it is useless…right?

      I didn't think so.

      • Lmao… some people just dont know any better. I found one of these m6’s literally completely covered in rust at my grandfathers farm. I so wish I had taken a picture. I almost threw It away. Instead I took it home and cleaned it up with awire wheel on a bench grinder as I had nothing to loose and did a faux camo paint job on it. It is absoulutely the shit!!! “Ready” clearly hasnt used 410 buckshot or a rifled slug on an old car. Drills right on through and the shells weigh next to nothing. It is by far one gun ill never give up. If ya cant kill with one shot on a .22 then you should probably go back to the range and practice a little more. In a wrol situation, this weapon would be cherry to have. As you can and I have found a handfull of . 410 and 22 shells in just about any old barn or abandoned car. an I have personally shot softball size patterens at 150yds with the .22. Just ate a squirrel the other night which I took with the .22. Great weapon!!!! If only someone would bring it back and lower the price to about 400 $ or less, id take five. I could go on and on about how well thought out the m6 is but if you keep reading, I think everyone here has chipped in all you need to know. Also note: only a moron could loose the hinge pin on this weapon. Once you break it down you simply put the freaking pin back into the reciever and it will handilly snap into place. Pick one up and take time to get to know one another. You can thank me later. Also, ive “lightly” wrapped the barrel with two sections of para cord to not only insullate the barrel, but to aid me in a shit outta luck situation. Note if you dont paint your barrel first it will rust. Ps. If you dont like yours that much. Contact me and ill take it off your hands anytime. [email protected]. wish I could upload a pic of mine. It matches my ar15 bug out rifle.

    • You must be a liberal! are a idiot! well both! The 410 is the most powerful gun close up!You must just started using guns? Dont ever say that at a gun show! iam 57 years old and my first gun was a H&R single shot 410 shot gun for awhile there it was the bloodiest gun I owned! Killed everything from a field mouse to a 11 point buck and everything from a rice fed split belly robin to a woodduck! with my 410 when I was a kid I own a lot of guns but that one has the very best memories!!!

  8. As an owner of this gun I would like to clear a few things up.
    1. this gun DOES have a safety. The safety is very simple, yet everyone who has tried to fire my gun has yet to figure it out on their own. The selector pin has 3 clicks. Up is 22lr, down is 410 and middle the pin will turn and be locked in between and neither will fire.
    2. This gun DOES have an extractor. It lifts the shells about half an inch. The 22 shell will fall out on its own UNLESS it has been dry fired. If you dry fire it there will be a dent where the pin hit which will hold the 22 shell in the barrel. This can be fixed easily with a needle file.
    3.The sights for the 22 are peephole and very accurate. The sights flip forward 90 degree to a V sight for the 410.
    4. This gun was intended for pilots about to jump out of their planes. The 22 was intended for them to get food and the 410 was meant for flares.

    I have both the ar-7 and m6 and I much prefer the m6, especially as a survival weapon. Single shot makes ammo conservation much easier, The m6 is also more accurate. And the best thing about the m6 is the simplicity. There is nothing complicated about the firing mechanism at all.

    • Thank-you, someone else obviously owns this gun as do I.
      The review is good, but the misinformation as corrected above could change someone mind about getting a very great rifle, which I actually use as a main small game rifle/shotgun and have fired hundreds of rounds through with no issues. I also grooved the pin so a lock pin could be placed on it so it can not slide out.

    • Military M6's were in .22 Hornet and cylinder bore 3" .410. The military issued a peculiar variety of ammo for the .22 Hornet, and typically chilled shot 3" #6 or #7 1/2 for the shotgun barrel. Personally, I have never even seen pictures of the semi-mythical .410 flares. The manufacturer's literature mentions these flares… I never located ANY.

  9. Better off with a Mini-14 with a folding stock . Light enough for survival and better for defense . If Ruger would put out a birding 410 based on the mini 14 design , they would really have something . I really like the idea of rifle/ shotgun combos , we need to see more in higher cals .

  10. The look of that thing makes me think of the pre loaded , sheet metal stamp and folded pistols we used to drop the Partizan and resistance groups in WW2 , Its only use was to kill a German at point blank range so the Partizan could acquire a real weapon off the dead enemy .

    • Your a moron and have clearly never had the priviledge of weilding an m6. But thats cool. It’ll be that much easier for me to locate another one For my son…. Lol…

  11. I picked up an M6 a few years ago for about $275 and loved it for a last ditch wilderness gun. I think it went with me into the mountains more times then I can count.

    I finally swapped it out for the Henry AR-7 about a year ago. . . Great pack gun, but I really missed the shotgun option, so a couple months ago I went with Rossi's "Matched Pair" (went with the .22lr/20 gauge rather than .22lr/.410 this time).

    Overall I'm much happier with the Rossi product – better sights, easier assembly (the screw on this is way easier to keep track of than that little pin on the M6), greater comfort and accuracy, etc. At $150 (on sale) I figured I couldn't go wrong. The only drawbacks I've found are that it is single shot (when I compare it to my AR-7) and that I have to choose which barrel to put on when I assemble it (when I compare it to my old M6).

    • The M-6 sells for 1300.00 dollars today. I just looked it up today. It blew me away when I saw the price and that's not the NIB price. NIB price was 1600!
      Cross my heart! 🙂

  12. My dad – retired AF TSgt Loadmaster – picked up a Charter Arms AR-7 back in the Seventies. My brother and I shot more than a few rounds through that weapon as teens. The combo itself 22Lr/410, takes some getting used to, the single shot concept takes some getting used to. It's not a sniper weapon, the sights are always off when you unpack it…but the weapon is lightweight, and rides in the 4×4 on a lot of camping trips and cross-countries, and hell, months and months when we forgot it was behind the spare tire or under the seat. "In an Emergency – the gun that's back home in the gun cabinet is worthless"

  13. The M6 scout is a last ditch survival rifle, period. The issue of lossing the take down pin, two things. Don't take it out or buy a second pin as a back up from Springfield Armory. I keep a steel bolt with two washers and wing nut in the carry bag as a back up. The 22 Hornet is a full metal jacket bullet to cover Hague and Geneva convention issues for the military. The Springfield model was chambered in .22LR.

  14. I have a M6 Stainless,22 Hornet/410 like new that I will sell for any reasonable offer.The firearm has been fired very few times.I must sell due to illness,I am in Northern Lower Mi.I can send photo's to anyone who is seriously intrested.

  15. I have a m6 lr in black by cz. I would like to trade for an ar-15 or other high capacity rifle. Loc. central Florida

  16. Concerning the pin: Go to an industrial hardware store and pick up a pin with a split ring attached. I took the rifle to make sure I got the right one. They have the correct length and diameter so there is no extra play. Attach it to the rifle with some paracord and you are good to go. We all have paracord, right? Now you will never lose the pin unless you lose the rifle! The split ring also helps to separate the rifle quickly. The pin loss is a non issue……

  17. Good Review. As a side note. There is a safety. The safety is located on the hammer. If you align the selector knob between the rifle and shotgun position and twist counterclockwise the selector knob you will rotate and a small pin will slide into a safety notch on the hammer.

  18. I drilled out one of the onboard 22 storage holes to fit an extra pin. But I have never lost the original.
    This is a great gun and with the 410 ammo and 22 ammo available now it works great

  19. recently bought an m6,been knocking off rabbits in front of the beagle,4-10 choke must be imp cyclinder, only good for 30 yds or so with #5 shot, 22 fired with the peep site is deadly,just becoming proficient with the squeeze lever trigger system.O wind chills today and had no prob using the firearm with gloves on.Replaced the take down pin with a hex head bolt and wing nut+plastic washers,sweet.Stored the pin in the stock in a spent 410 hull and wedged in 3 short 22"s to keep it from ratteling ,seems ok so far.Easy to carry in thickets and tight brush.Already had two fried rabbit dinners thanks to my m-6.

  20. Would love to try one of these little guns. I have tried the .22/20g Rossi combo a friend bought for his boy. Those fiber optic .22 sights make it easy for a little one learning to shoot, but unless the kid is built solid, the light weight makes even target load 20g rounds deliver a kick. Reccomnent custom loading a low kick round (hand load incrementally lower powder loads and fire one at a time with your shot load till you stick a wad, then go back up to the previous powder load )

    • If ya ever do get the chance, I know you'll love this little gun. When I first saw one I fell in love with right off the bat. I hope ya get ta hold and shoot one, you'll love it!!

  21. I have an M6 and I've added a Red/Green Dot sight as well as a 9 round shell holder mounted to the stock. I enjoy my M6 and it's given me many pleasurable hours on the range. I get a lot of comments from other shooters and I have to agree about the pin being lost. I've seen a photograph of another M6 owner and how he solved this problem. It was so simple it's amazing that SA didn't see it.
    I used a 1/4-20 bolt, two flat washers, and a 1/4-20 wing-nut. My cousin was even amazed at the fix and how effective it really is. Simple ideas are easy to understand but to the educated folk it's complicated for them to understand.

  22. I'm gonna say it again, cause here's another appropriate place to do so; if it's a cheap .22 pack gun you're after then consider Henry's Mares Leg. HOLD ON – before you skip over this, let me sell you on the utility of this thing:

    * Henry Reliability
    * Accurate, Compact, Sturdy
    * Concealable (with some effort)
    * Feeds .22 Short, .22 Long, .22 Long Rifle
    * Very, very nice lever action, right out of the box

    Many are turned away by the lack of a full stock thinking that it will be impossible to attain a sight picture, but it simply requires an alternate method of aiming where-in you allow the SBR to tip forwards and catch the end of the grip with your cheek just where would rest it otherwise. It takes about 5 shots to master this technique and then you'll be all like, "…oh, alrighty then" though I wouldn't recommend that approach with any of the higher calibers :-/

  23. Chiappa Firearms just introduced these two options for your consideration, as well. Sorry, no MSRP but I'd stay optimistic, probably.

    The Little Badger (or "Clotheshanger" as some have termed it) is, literally, a bare bones, single shot, break barrel .22, folding stock carbine * phew! http://www.chiappafirearms.com/product/2599 with a couple of picatinny rails throw-on for those who have always wanted a piece that's more attachments than firearm, I guess. Supposedly a great little shooter and the perfect niche for someone who realizes the need but wants to spend as little effort on their Bug-Out Gun as possible, presumably…

    Then, for those like me who require something a little sturdier or simply prefer the classic look, they also released the Double Badger. http://www.chiappafirearms.com/product/2626 this one is another break barrel .22, but with a wooden frame, improved sights and, more importantly, a secondary .410 barrel in the O/U pattern. you could definitely do worse…

  24. With so many AR and 1911 variants, I'm amazed not one company sees that there's actually a market for this rifle. I don't want the Chiappa rifles, or Rossi's extra barrel – I really would like to see this gun back in production to get a new one. Oh well, it's their loss, their bottom line.

  25. Agreed. That was a classic design. The best I could find was a .410 pardner single shot with a .22 gauge converter. Too bad the M6 is out of production; it's such a badass design for it's simplicity and utility.

  26. While acquired as a collector item, I've found this rifle accurate and extremely reliable. In an effort to resolve the connecting pin issue, one could use a .22 long rifle cartridge as a/the pin for an emergency in the event of the loss of the mechanical connecting pin, as it fits well enough to fire. If one is truly concerned about the loss of the pin, a spare could easily be placed in the stock storage compartment.

  27. As far as an inexpensive , survival type weapon i still like the rossi trifecta , break open single shot and mine is in 22lr / .243 win / and 20ga. A pretty good combo and it all stores in a heavy duty nylon storage bag that easily fits in my BOB

  28. Can anyone tell me where I can purchase parts for m6 scout. 22/410. I'm looking for the selector. Will try Springfield armoury but I'm in Australia so it's difficult

  29. I've owned the M6 Scout since they were first offered, and must say that it travels in my vehicle all the time… With the iron sights or scope mounted, it's a nice shooter, and with paracord wrapped around the barrel to act as a stock fore end, and survival application, it's really worth owning.
    I have several types of .410 rounds, including; bird shot, flares, slugs, flechettes, and dragon's breath, rounds… very versatile… with ammo storage in the stock… great idea…
    I have the Springfield camo soft field case, and the Springfield hard blue floatation case… excellent options depending on the circumstances…
    About losing the connecting pin… if you disassemble it, just re-insert the pin back into the receiver portion… never gets lost that way…
    Original purchase price, about $250.00, now going for many times that… it's no wonder… I'll take the M6 over anything mentioned in this thread…


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