Gun Review: SCAR 17S (Semi-Auto Civilian SCAR-H)

The United States hasn’t fielded a true .30 caliber battle rifle since Vietnam when the M-14 was replaced. And for good reason. A “full size” rifle cartridge like the 7.62 NATO has a lot of muzzle energy and consequently a ton of recoil compared to the gentle 5.56 NATO round and creating a gun that can operate well with those kinds of forces acting on it is a challenge. Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal (FNH) thinks they’ve got a winning design in their SCAR-H, which the military is in the process of adopting. Not to leave us civilians out (and our pocketbooks) FNH USA introduced the SCAR 17S, a semiautomatic version imported from Belgium that one of our readers let me play with this past weekend…

SCAR stands for “Special operations forces Combat Assault Rifle,” a name indicating who the intended client of the version with a giggle switch was. The rifle is designed around a short stroke recoil system much like the M1 carbine or even the Saiga shotgun, where the expanding gases are mostly contained within a telescoping piston which briefly acts on the bolt carrier. The short stroke recoil system allows for cleaner operation than direct gas impingement, with FNH claiming a 90% reduction in carbon in the action compared to an AR-15. That, in theory, should reduce the maintenance required to keep the firearm operating.

Short stroke recoil has another benefit, especially with larger calibers. The power behind short stroke recoil comes from a rather heavy bolt carrier assembly — the piston is only in contact with the bolt carrier for a short period of time. The bolt carrier needs enough momentum from that contact to successfully cycle the action, momentum provided by a beefy carrier. Having all that mass sliding around means that the force of the recoil is spread over a longer period of time, making it feel remarkably lighter and allowing for more accurate follow up shots. But we’ll get into that later.

With the SCAR, the controls are mostly ambidextrous. The safety and magazine release can be operated from either side of the firearm but the bolt catch is only on the left. So left handed shooters would either need to figure out how to manipulate the bolt catch despite their sinister characteristics or use the charging handle, which can be swapped from one side of the bolt carrier to the other depending on user preference.

And that’s where we run headlong into the first complaint I have about this weapon.

The charging handle on the SCAR is directly attached to the bolt carrier. While it’s fantastic that the charging handle is forward of the chamber (as this allows for better manipulation), the fact that it’s directly attached means that it reciprocates. Every time the gun fires, the thing moves back and forth, exactly like the charging handle on an AK. This sucks for a number of reasons.

First, a reciprocating charging handle sucks because it has the potential to injure the operator. The DP-28 machine gun had a similar reciprocating charging handle mounted on the bottom of the gun. I had welts for weeks after firing one that reminded me to never try and fire it offhand ever again. If you get your meat in the way of that metal, it might hurt you and being hurt in a gunfight is an extreme disadvantage. Plus, pain sucks in general, even if you’re not being shot at.

The second reason a reciprocating charging handle sucks is that it has the potential to get caught on something and fail to cycle. From my own 3-gun experience I can think of a couple of scenarios where I had to fire through a tight space. There were plenty of opportunities to catch a charging handle on a strategically placed curtain or a particularly tight corner. In addition, the age-old trick of bracing the gun against the side of the obstacle might in fact cause the failure to cycle if you brace it in the wrong place. It adds one more thing that could go wrong.

Third, it throws off the balance of the firearm as it cycles. On a firearm like the AR-15 or the SCAR, almost everything about the action is symmetrical so that the recoil from the round going off and the action cycling goes straight back into the shooter’s shoulder and moves the barrel as little left or right as possible. Adding a big chunk of metal to the side of the gun that moves back and forth seems to be a good way to make the gun “walk” to one side or the other when firing. It’s unbalanced, and that annoys me.

There is one nice thing about a forward charging handle, though — press checks are amazingly quick and simple. Your thumb is already right there, you just need to reach up and slide it back. I thought that was nifty, but it probably could have been done without making me worry about smacking my thumb. I’ve already been to the emergency room once for a firearm related thumb injury and I’d rather not do it again.

Moving on…

Unlike the AR-15 which uses a buffer assembly in the stock to accept the moving bolt carrier and return it to battery, the SCAR uses a spring which fits entirely in the upper receiver. A number of companies have started fitting various AR-15 models with this feature, but it’s probably best implemented in this design. The internal spring means the receiver itself needs to be a tad longer but the buttstock can be folded to the side to allow for a smaller package for transport. It’s a nifty feature. Not necessarily one I require, but nifty nonetheless.

Speaking of the stock, one of the reasons that the M-14 was replaced with the M-16 was the stock. The M-14 used a traditional stock that placed the shooter’s eye level with the barrel and that recoil from full-auto fire was being directed over the shooter’s shoulder instead of directly into it. This led to uncontrollable muzzle climb, an issue fixed with the AR-15′s in-line recoil system. And while it may appear at first glance that the SCAR has the same issues as the M-14, in reality the barrel and bolt carrier are still directly in line with the shooter’s shoulder just like in the M-16. The swell in the stock you’re seeing is from the rail being placed above the gas piston system, which adds about an inch of height over the bore compared to the AR-15 and allows for optics to be placed on the rail without risers. Well, mostly.

Last but not least, I want to talk about the muzzle brake. While you might be able to get away without a muzzle brake on a 5.56 NATO rifle it’s practically required equipment on a “tactical” 7.62 NATO firearm. In order to make faster follow-up shots you need to be able to control the firearm and minimize any movement resulting from firing the gun, something which a muzzle brake was specifically designed to do. And despite the strange shape, this one does its job extremely well. Even from a standing position, I was able to keep the gun under control and recoil was close to nonexistent. It’s a nice touch that adds a ton of controlability to the firearm.

Oh, and the gun has side and bottom rails as well as a full length top rail and can be disassembled and reassembled easily. FYI.

A quick note about import restrictions before we move on to the end of our journey.

The “real” FN SCAR-H is manufactured at a plant in South Carolina, but the civilian version comes from a plant in Belgium. Yes, the country in Europe – a place where the market is significantly smaller for the civilian variant of a military firearm. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me for FNH to be importing these guns, especially considering that once you import the firearm into the country it comes under the control of that pesky 922(R) law that makes it a felony to slap a high capacity magazine in a freshly imported firearm.

FNH USA changes out a couple of minor parts to become 922(R) compliant and modifies the lower receivers to take the high capacity magazines once they enter the country (the remnants of the crippling process is the rib on the back of the magazine and the corresponding slot in the receiver) but it still doesn’t make sense to me that they would set up a shop overseas to make the SCAR 17S for the US market when they already have a plant tooled up right here in the States. I’m sure it adds some dollars to the final price of the gun, which is not an inconsiderable amount.

A side effect of the crippling and de-crippling process for the magazines is that only FNH’s proprietary magazines will fit in the gun. Not even the much loved AR-10 PMAGs will fit — only FNH’s 20-round aluminum monstrosities. Which will make getting additional magazines not only difficult, but expensive.

The real question is how well it shoots. And while the FNH 3-gun team seems to be in love with it I’m not so enamored.

There’s nothing technically wrong with the rifle. It’s accurate, it functions and recoil is negligible. It’s just a question of how the thing feels and to me, it’s too bulky.

There’s a lot of mass in that rifle, and moving it from one target to another (let alone manhandling it around a course) takes some effort. It feels like I have a German shepherd in my hands instead of a nice svelte rifle.

If I’m flying full tilt down a course of fire in competition shooting, I want something that I can maneuver quickly, not this oversized fish-like firearm. Unless I’m shooting heavy metal division, in which case this firearm would actually be a perfect replacement for the M1A and AR-10 currently being used.

If I’m out hunting, I want something that I can keep a low profile with and carry for miles without getting tired, not this eight pound monstrosity. Unless I’m hog hunting and using a vehicle, in which case the bulk would be much more manageable.

If I’m on the range I want an inexpensive caliber that I can fire without my wallet trying to strangle me. Unless I don’t particularly care about accuracy and am using cheap milsurp ammo.

If I’m getting a home defense rifle I want something with enough power to put down a bad guy without blowing out my eardrums and a round that stops or significantly loses velocity after hitting flesh instead of continuing through the next few walls. Unless I live on a ranch and expect my attackers to be at a distance.

The place where this kind of firearm works best is the military where you need to project firepower over great distances. I can definitely see improvements over the M-14 and AR-10 for that application, but not much else. There are some rather specific niches into which the SCAR can fit in civilian shooting, but the question is whether the benefits of the platform in those very specific situations warrant the hefty price tag.

In short, the FNH SCAR 17S is a perfectly viable solution to an existing problem for the military, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into a good firearm for civilians. It’s a cool firearm that’s fun to shoot, but save for a handful of very specific scenarios I just don’t see much of an application for it beyond that. I could see spending $500 or $1,000 on a gun just for the cool factor, but $3,000 is too much in my opinion especially when you take into account my problems with a reciprocating charging handle.

FNH SCAR 17S

Specifications
Caliber: 7.62 NATO
Barrel: 16.25″
Overall: 38.5″ (28.5″ folded)
Weight: 8.0 lbs Empty
Capacity: 10 or 20 rounds
MSRP: $2,900

Ratings (Out of Five Stars)
All ratings are relative to other similar guns, and the final score IS NOT calculated from the constituent scores.

Accuracy: * * * * *
We were singing steel at 250 yards with this rifle. Accuracy is not an issue if in the right hands.

Ergonomics: * * *
This gun is chubby. Yep, chubby. That’s a good word to describe it. I can’t even get my big hands around the gun for my typical aggressive ”thumb forward” grip.

Ergonomics Firing: * * *
That’s (-3) stars for making me worry about the safety of my thumb but (+1) stars for the fantastic job they did mitigating recoil. There’s also a bit of creep in the trigger which I find slightly maddening.

Reliability: * * * *
I’m dropping a star off for the external reciprocating charging handle. Other than that it works like a Swiss clock.

Customization: * * * *
There’s tons of stuff you can do to this rifle. In theory, at least. Changing out barrels and swapping accessories is easy as pie, but I haven’t seen that many aftermarket parts for these guns yet. Tango Down has some good stuff, but not many other places have parts.

Overall Rating: * * *
For three grand I was expecting… more. I was disappointed. It’s a fun range toy and probably great for hog hunting but I don’t see much of a use beyond that. There’s nothing this rifle does any better that an M1A or an AR-10 or even an FAL can’t do equally well for half the price besides looking cool and having slightly better ergonomics.

And let the FNH fanboy flood commence…

avatar

About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

130 Responses to Gun Review: SCAR 17S (Semi-Auto Civilian SCAR-H)

  1. avatarMr. Lion says:

    The United States hasn’t fielded a true .30 caliber battle rifle since Vietnam when the M-14 was replaced, and for good reason.

    The “and for good reason” part is highly debatable. Every single guy I’ve ever talked to on the pointy end of the spear would crawl over broken glass and Rosie O’donnel for a .30 battle rifle. There’s a reason all the .300 Black, .458 Socom and other weird AR conversions came about.

    That said, can’t say I’d dump 3k on a pseudo-SCAR.

    • avatarSstrikr says:

      Nick “Double Chin” Leghorn sez: “First, a reciprocating charging handle sucks because it has the potential to injure the operator.”

      Spoken like a true overweight video game warrior. EVEN WORSE FLAME DELETED Next brilliant observation: “Second, when a pull on the trigger a high speed projectile comes out the front of the device which may harm the operator or those nearby.”

    • avatarsapper740 says:

      I too am a huge fan of >5.56 caliber weapons. Although my military experience was solely with the M16A2, I presently own or have owned in the past a good variety of semi-auto military weapons: SVT 40, Lunjgman 42B, M-14, FN FAL, Garand and a good variety of bolt-action rifles: several Lee-Enfields, Mausers, Moisin-Nagants, Boys ATR etc. I never had a wall hanger and used virtually everyone of the afore-mentioned weapons in the field either for hunting (with appropriate soft nosed ammo) or in 3 Gun Matches. I once kicked a bunch of AR asses with a N0.5 Jungle Carbine! In my opinion familiarity with a well kept weapon…any weapon trumps all the “pickin’ fly-shit-out-of-pepper” arguments over which technological advancement allows one rifle to be the “be all, end all” of the rifle world. If I had my choice which weapon to carry into battle, it’d be either an M-14 or a Stoner 62…and anyone complaing about recoil from the 7.62 NATO round is a pussy.

  2. avatarGA Koenig says:

    As someone who owns a couple of 7.62 battle rifles, I completely disagree with this review.

    1- The SCAR H was built because .mil folks wanted a Do Everything system that could clear a room one minute, bust out of the door and put some accurate rounds on that bad guy playing overwatch 500 meters away. The SCAR H does that job well enough that FN is having trouble keeping up with demand and most end users who can discuss their experience with the SCAR H are very very happy with the system.

    2- Such versatility has a very clear advantage for civilians. This is the one rifle to own if you can only own one rifle. I would rather protect my home with an SBR AR and I would rather go hunting with a well built bolt gun for the same reasons I would love to have both a Lotus Exige and a Ford F350. Let’s ignore all the brand baggage that comes with this comparison, but the SCAR is the Porsche Cayenne S of the gun world; it is amazing because it’s the 90% solution in 100% of any scenario you would ever throw at a rifle.

    3- The only people I’ve seen complain about the reciprocating charging handle are people who either don’t own a SCAR or have only put a limited amount of time behind one. Everyone who contemplates the platform (including myself) is initially turned off by the charging handle. That issue solves itself as you get more and more time with the system and you come to the realization that it is only a theoretical “Problem.” Furthermore, Nick never mentions the reasons why FN was asked to use the reciprocating handle – reliability (lower parts count), weight, simplicity and system durability. It isn’t like FN has never seen a charging handle that doesn’t reciprocate and were too stupid not to fit one.

    In the end, if you need to launch .308 bullets at things in a multitude of environments in the real world, you simply can’t name a better weapon. The SCAR dominates the ergonomics, weight and reliability of every other semi-auto .308 out there. It has the softest recoil impulse available in this caliber. It holds it’s own when it comes to accuracy (though a well built AR will edge it out).

    Frankly, if you don’t like or simply can’t see the utility in 308 battle rifles, don’t review the best in the class and bring that bias to the table. Anyone spending this kind of money is perfectly capable of assessing their needs.

    And as a SCAR 17S owner, the only thing I need are more flipping magazines!

    • avatarcwp says:

      I don’t doubt that the SCAR is an excellent and versatile weapon, chambered, as it is, in an excellent and versatile caliber. Still, the question foremost in my mind is not, “Is it good?” but rather “Is it $1,000 better than a 16-inch FAL with a muzzle brake and a plastic stock?”

    • avatarDex says:

      considering you get a quad rail system, free float barrel, superior gas system, and quick change barrel, which are extraordinarily expensive features to add to a M1A, G3, or FAL, then yes…the SCAR 17 is worth it. Of course, the SCAR will work in conditions that would kill a M1A, though this is not a concern for the average civilian.

  3. avatarTony Hill says:

    You give very brief mention to the AR-10 in your article and you’ll have to excuse my confusion, but can you tell me how an AR-10 doesn’t clobber this rifle in terms of pre-existing platform systems training already implemented from the M4/M16/AR-15? Same maintenance regimen, some parts compatibility, etc, etc… When our troops participating on a 2-way range (so us keyboard troops dont have to) cried out for more firepower why we didn’t equip them with AR-10 platforms in 7.62 NATO is beyond me. Is it cost? Because they can be had for about a grand (2k less than the scar)? If its due to weight and recoil shyness then its just sad that some think so little of today’s modern soilder.

    • avatarGA Koenig says:

      When our troops participating on a 2-way range (so us keyboard troops dont have to) cried out for more firepower why we didn’t equip them with AR-10 platforms in 7.62 NATO is beyond me.

      SOF forces were already running a few AR10 variants. They were very much hit-n-miss when it comes to reliability because the AR10 has nowhere near as much refinement put behind it as modern 5.56mm AR platforms.

      In fact, the whole thinking behind the SCAR program was one of consolidation. Various SOF units were running all sorts of bastardized AR platforms in 5.56 and 7.62. Given that SOCOM forces need not take part in Big Army rifle procurement, they decided to design a new platform, one that could fit everything from a 10″ barrel CQB weapon in 5.56 to a 20″ barrel 7.62 semi-auto sniper system using common parts, training, maintenance.

      The other reason behind the SCAR is the simple fact that we’ve been hanging crap off of the AR platform and modifying it to suit our needs for decades now. The way the system is deployed and how it is equipped is lightyears away from the original design. While it has served very VERY well, we are quickly approaching the time when it begins to make a lot more sense to integrate the features and functionality we’ve been bolting onto a 50 year old design into a clean sheet.

      If its due to weight and recoil shyness then its just sad that some think so little of today’s modern solider.

      SOF guys are professionals and operational athletes. When it comes to athletics, we are happy to see interesting technologies come out that enhance human performance and allow those athletes as many advantages as possible. Give an SF soldier a rifle that weighs 3 pounds less, and that lets him move faster or carry more gear that gives him capabilities he otherwise would have left at the FOB. Give him a rifle with a softer recoil impulse, and he is going to have faster follow-up shots.

      But I guess in your book, the whole industry of people pushing military equipment should just give up and we’ll let the guys running the factories just keep making copies of all the gear we already have? I mean hell, it’s all “good enough” right?

      Yea, let’s do that. Let’s send all the brilliant people at FN, Colt, Crane, Arc’Teryx, Magpul, Trijicon, S&B, Leupold, Benchmade… let’s just send them all home. The stuff we make now, it’s good enough!

      • avatarCarlosT says:

        Three pounds less of rifle is three pounds more of ammo, right? Or of food, water, or whatever. Sounds like a good trade to me, especially if the rifle does the same or better job.

        • avatarMr. Lion says:

          The weight argument is a weird one. Yes, having less rifle weight means more space for other stuff at the same endurance. Likewise, less ammo weight means more ammo at the same endurance.

          However, all of that becomes pretty insignificant when you can’t effectively deal with a bad guy at range or in a situation where he can deal with you.

          I’d rather have a few mags less ammo and be a bit more thirsty and/or tired than dead.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          From what I understood of GA Koenig comments is that the SCAR is both lighter and does the job better than the AR-10. I guess I was unclear, but I was agreeing with him that it was a good upgrade in that case.

      • avatarTony Hill says:

        I understand the appeal for SF guys to have high end gear such as this rifle, and I’m in no way implying that R&D should cease to exist, and quite the contrary. My point is that there are options out there to equip the “masses” of troops that carry the M4/M16/AR-15 platform day in and day out that are equally cost and reliability efficient, that could provide them with significantly more capability for both CQB and at distance. What little reliability issues the AR-10 platform had in years past is nearly non-existent today. My biggest point is that at $3,000 dollars this isn’t in the realm of mass troop roll-out while a very similar platform capability wise while retaining the same manual of arms our troops already know for 1k each makes sense. I hear the argument for more rounds, food, and water but I don’t know many troops that wouldn’t be willing to lug a few more lbs to have 7.62 NATO capability.

        • avatarGA Koenig says:

          The SCAR Mk17 is not intended for mass issue to regular Army forces. Hence “Special (operation forces) Combat Assault Rifle.” The only guys getting these are Rangers, SF, SEALs and other pointy tip units.

          Having said that- the civilian retail price has NOTHING to do with the military price. The SCAR is built around modern manufacturing techniques and materials (extruded aluminum upper, bolt carrier and extensive use of injection moldings). Building a SCAR in military volume would cost far less than any older platform (AR or FAL).

        • avatarJoe Grine says:

          the civilian retail price has NOTHING to do with the military price.

          +1.

        • avatarJES, Stafford, VA says:

          You obviously haven’t trucked a BAR or a “light” .30 M1919A4 around a combat field.

  4. avatarCarlosT says:

    Sorry to be the nitpicky spelling nerd Nick, but it’s “reciprocating”.

    As for the gun itself, I’m torn. It’s really, really pricey to be sure. But I love the concept, even if I can’t imagine myself realistically in a scenario where I’d need one. But then again, sometimes in life there are things you get because you need and sometimes there are things you get because you want. So maybe some day when there’s money for things wanted, a SCAR might come my way.

  5. avatarScuba Steve says:

    Well, a FAL costs $2K for their base paratrooper model and is easier to handle than this SCAR. You could take the extra $1K to get some high quality optics on it.

    You could buy two AR15(s) for the price of one of these.

    I agree with the reviewer, and he is basically saying – Meh – so what.

  6. avatarChris Dumm says:

    Nick:

    I wrote up our review of the civilian SCAR-L last year (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/01/chris-dumm/gun-review-fn-scar/) and after reading your impressions I’d do almost anything legal to review the two of them together.

    The ‘baby’ SCAR is well-balanced and delightfully quick, but I wrote back then (in a separate accuracy report) that “It may look like a large and unwieldy rifle at first glance, but it handles with a speed and precision that another half-pound of barrel steel could easily ruin.”

    The 7.62mm SCAR is exactly three-quarters of a pound heavier than the 5.56 version, and your experience with that extra weight seems to validate my prediction. I consider it fairly impressive that FN could up-size the SCAR from 5.56 to 7.62 for a weight penalty of only 12 ounces, because a 16″ AR-10 weighs a full two pounds more than a 16″ M4 clone.

    This class of gun just isn’t the right tool for the job for most civilian uses, and you outline the reasons: all 7.62×51 battle rifles are expensive to buy, (the SCAR even more so) expensive to shoot, and cumbersome compared to 5.56mm-class and intermediate-caliber tactical carbines. When kinetic energy on distant targets is not a necessity, the 7.62×51 can be a lot more cartridge than you need. Not many shooters run Tokarev SVT-40s, Dragunovs or PSLs in 3-gun competitions, for just this reason. (And the absurd length of the rifles themselves…)

    The SCAR 17S cleverly avoids the crushing weight and battering recoil that plague just about every other battle rifle design, but it will always be heavier and slower than the same design scaled down to 5.56mm. If you need the extra hitting power and range, the big SCAR is a great choice, but few of us Shooting Rangers ever will.

    (With apologies to all non-Shooting Ranger readers…)

  7. avatarTim McNabb says:

    A local gun dealer has this in stock. I checked it out. It seems to be much more like a SAW or other larger weapon than an infantryman’s best friend. “Chubby” is a good term for it.

  8. avatarJosh says:

    I had a chance to shoot one of these a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it. Incredibly soft shooting,consistently 1moa,easy to change barrel (note,I don’t want or need a “quick change” barrel,but an easily swapped one is a plus) it’s lightweight,and it’s design even if it hasn’t been proven with massive round counts is inherently tough. IMHO it IS better than any other .308 platform out there. M14,FAL,SAIGA,etc. It has them beat in every category except price,and that makes it a great rifle IMHO.

  9. avatarJoe Grine says:

    The SCAR 17 may feel a bit chunkier than an AR-15, etc. But compare it to an FN-FAL or a M14/M1A and its compact, light and nimble. Its even lighter than the HK-91. What’s not to love? Well, yeah, the price. And the price of .308 ammo.

  10. avatarPhilthegardener says:

    Re: the issue of reciprocating handles – Don’t the majority of automatic rifles made in the 20th century have them? The average grunt learned to live with it then, I don’t see it being a deal breaker now.But that’s my two cents…

  11. avatarEnabler8438 says:

    You ask why didnt we issue out ar-10′s to normal troops or use them in lough of the SCAR. One issue is reliablity, we all know that piston is better than gas, enough said on that. the other is field maintenance. the barrel life of a ar-10 is about 5000 rds, SCAR is about 10000 rds, its alot easier to change out a barrel on a SCAR (6 screws) than that on a AR-10. Also an Operator can go from a CQC SCAR to a 20″ SCAR that will hit steel at 1000m in a 2 min barrel swap, Another issue is that out of all the AR-10 manufactures no one makes the same exact gun to the same tolerances, so parts interchanging in the field would lead to malfunctions and stoppages. As of now the only one suppling 7.62 AR’s is KA and we all know how proud they ar of there stuff, and when it comes down to it a KA runs about the same as a SCAR with the SCAR having more options that can be added or taken away. I can tell you first hand that OP’s are throwing there AR’s at me to get SCAR’s than i have on hand. Yes you can change the upper on a AR-10 to get diffrent barrel lengths but a SCAR barrel is more compact than that of a AR upper. When you look at upkeep for 7.62 AR’s in the field there cost is way more than that of the SCAR.

    • avatarJFKent says:

      Amen. for the .308 requirements, spending more upfront is better than doubling that price down the line with a “cheaper” platform’s maintenance requirements.

  12. I can happily handle the ” chubby” SCAR any day, as my usual implements are the FAL Para & L1A1, both of which weigh a couple of pounds more than the SCAR-H.
    The SCAR beats the Para for accuracy but only comes up even with the L1A1 in my not so accomplished hands.

  13. avatarChris says:

    I can’t wait to compare this with the HK MR762.

  14. avatar101abn says:

    Bunch of wussies can not take the recoil of a 7.62?? BS. Has our military personel gotten so weak they can not handle a battle rifle?? Damn 5.56 should have been nothing but a back up rifle for support and rear echelon troops. Recoil is not a good reason, it is a cop out.

    • avatarJR says:

      What do you mean NASCAR drivers can’t handle those steel cars? A bunch of wusses driving those aluminum and carbon fibre frames around. So what’d they are faster, mor reliable, and easier to maintain during a race. After all, it’s toughness that matters, right? Now let’s talk about those sissy football players next… Get the message?

      • avatarSMan says:

        Nascar is stuck in the past and refuses to update to modern technology. I would compare football players to rugby players to really gauge toughness. Today’s 5.56 round is adapted from the .222 swift varmint hunting round. When it’s used to shoot anything bigger than a coyote you may notice poor bullet performance.

  15. avatarracer88 says:

    Chubby?? I’ve got a chubby for my SCAR-16S. ;)I’d like a SCAR-17S to complement it. And, then one of the new SSRs, too.Yes… I’m an FNH fanboi.

    Oh…. Since my SCAR-16S was my first rifle, I didn’t “know any better” about reciprocating charging handles. Oddly enough… it’s never been an issue for me.

  16. avatarWhistling Jack says:

    Paid a lot more for my personal SCAR than I normally would on something that is not blonde…with poor taste in men…but that’s another matter. (At least the SCAR will stick around)

    I love hearing people piss and moan about the reciprocating charging handle. Number-1 the SCAR is hardly the first weapon to have one, and as with those before it, if it gives you issues, you are not properly handling your weapon. That’s why we practice. Second the value of a RCH when it comes to serving as a Forward Assist, (sure you don’t often need one, but its nice to have when you do) ,easing the clearing of jams, and performing certain drills. To me its benefits far outweight any theoretical disadvantage from insufficient proficiency with the weapon’s handling characteristics. Keeping obstructions away from your weapon’s action is already a good idea, and someone who has properly trained with their weapon should be able to handle it without screwing up its operation via the environment.
    An SF Operator will spend more than the amount of time required to properly handle this rifle. Any civilian who drops this kind of money to own it, I hope intends to do a lot of shooting with it, enough to develop the required proficiency for themselves. (If you need an object which sits around and does nothing while costing thousands of dollars, I’ll be glad to introduce you to my ex)
    No gun is perfect, may we’ll each find such a gun one day, at that great range in the sky. I am a firm believer in the principle that when you carry a gun with the intent to kill something, be it man, or animal, you should use as powerful a round as you are capable of controlling. In the end, all considerations beyond “Will I kill it, before it can hurt or kill me” are secondary, tertiary, and so on. The SCAR does a better job than anything else I have laid my hands on at bringing the 7.62/.308 into that category.

  17. avatarcombatengineer says:

    The SCAR 17s is light years against all other battle rifles. Mine weighs 10 lbs loaded with a 2-7x optic and it shoots 1 MOA or less with German Dag. I like the charging handle because it is like an AK which is very robust. I doubt the charging handle it is heavy enough to really make the gun walk – please show evidence of this because I simply do not see it on mine. The stock and lower are my only complaints being made of plastic, but what do you expect to lower the weight – the trigger is meh too. All other battle rifles are heavier, have inferior barrels -(SCAR has a CHF rated to 30,000 rounds), are harder to maintain/clean -except maybe a saiga .308, and the SCAR has all rails an ergonomics of an AR. I look at the AR10, G3, HK417, FAls, M14 and ask myself if I had carry a rifle again in the Middle East – which would I want? The answer is the SCAR. Mine cost $2700 and I still only have 2 mags – which I am a little pissed at, but more will come in the future.

  18. avatarScoutDog says:

    Really!!
    What a bad review and some elementry bad arguments against the Scar 17. Cost – If you can’t afford it don’t buy it! If you can’t handle it don’t shoot it! Chubby – Thats a Real Gun Man’s description – Really! Bad Handle — Move your hand out of the way -simple enough — Kind of like don’t stick your hand in front of the barrel when you shoot! Wow – I can tell some Deep Thoughts were displayed here! who cares how much it cost – it cost what it cost and will always be expensive and…. – buy it and quit bitchin and comparing — Glad you guys didn’t test this weapon. It’s one of the best out there — Tested by the very best shooters and real soldiers who know what is needed out there — Tested over a very long period of time and I bet the guys didn’t complain about all the above crap — Cost? Chubby? Loud? Handle? Weight? Plastic–here to stay in everything (a good thing)- get over it and understand the benefits? Modify?– Own one and learn how to shoot a 7.62/.308 round and if you have shot any other weapon in this caliber you will immediately know the difference – about a lot of things — all good. We as Civilians — like chris says — won’t be killing our neighbors at 500 yds or more anytime soon but can have a great time at the range trying to be better shooters — but if you can afford one by all means buy one you will be proud and very happy — oh yea it is expensive — know that before you think about it — if not buy several cheap AR10′s and go away to another cheap blog and brag about………
    Yes I own a Scar 17s and a Scar 16s Both very nice weapons and a lot of fun — Expensive yes…But What the Hell…….My comparision Weapon is a M1a “Loaded” I own — expensive also but I love it!!
    Thank You…Scar 17s — Rock On with your Bad Ass Self!!!
    The Truth

    • avatarDex says:

      chubby!? LOL yeah lets see who can lug what rifle further…a M1A or SCAR 17…

      It really gets tiresome hearing the broke people whining about cost. If money is a issue when you are shooting, then pick a different hobby…

    • avatarNemesis says:

      I retired from SOF just before this weapon got fielded…. My Son, however, is a SEAL, and he freaking LOVES THIS WEAPON!! Short version: Solid as crap, extremely accurate even with iron sights (Plinking man-sized steel targets at 350yds), and much cleaner and more reliable action due to the piston system (doesn’t Sh*t where it eats like the M4)…

      • avatarJFKent says:

        thank you, sir, for my freedom. please send thanks to your son and know that the Rights (those God-given, not welfare-given) and Happiness he and you both defend are treasured here.

  19. avatarScoutDog says:

    One More Thing Nick,
    After Re-Reading your Review (Just to give you a fair shot)
    Lugging around a oversized fish-like 8 pound monstrosity at YOUR full tilt (I bet thats something to see) — You want a Low profile rifle to carry for miles (.22 is about your speed and ammo’s cheap too) — Wow Man!! Who do you think your addressing — a bunch of Girl Scouts selling cookies you can handle.
    I would give up Reviewing any kind of Man Weapons (Way Biased and way off-base). — Having to Man Handle the weapon — well OK you got that part right — it takes a man to handle this weapon — Charging handle throws off the balance of the weapon when you fire it — Huh!
    Please stop using your 3-Gun experience reference in your blog (not helping — it’s kind of insulting — FNH Team eats you up for lunch and dinner — I’am sure…I’d get there autograph and observe what they do a little more – ask the ladies on the team how to “Manhandle” this 8 pound fish-like weapon at full tilt — they also know how to “giggle” at the “chubby” fellow.
    You know everyone is entitled to there opinions (including you) but using giggle switch, Chubby….OK I’ll stop…..Please…Never Mind I figured you out … My Bad for taking so long and using so many words — Nice pictures.
    I know Harsh…Somebody had to say it……….
    The Truth about Nicks Gun Review

  20. avatarPedro says:

    I have a 17s and I love it compared to all the other 7.62 rifles out there. Its a blast to shoot, more accurate than I, no recoil, and simple/reliable design.

  21. avatarDex says:

    “but the reciprocating charging handle!!!” (whiny crying). Well here’s a idea: hold the f–ker right and the charging handle will leave you alone. Enough said.

  22. avatarKiller cams says:

    This is one of the first horrible reviews I have seen with this firearm! Amazing! The recip charge and the trigger are usually common gripes but weight and “chubby” ?????? Really ??? I don’t think so! It’s one of the lightest 308′s on the market and it’s thinner than a standard ar-15 in most cases! Not to mention its new so manufacturers are still pending development for after market parts! An after market trigger has been developed already and the charging handle? Well please see comment above! ;-) lmfao! Horrible review! Sorry man!!!

  23. avatarARGuy says:

    I totally agree. Chubby, with no excuse for the reciprocating handle. In this day and age it’s a sign of “forgetful” engineering, and disappointing from such a fine firearms manufacturer. Much like the SIG 556′s poor gas venting, right onto the forward sling swivel.

    • avatarHal says:

      Actually it was a design requirement from SOCOM to eliminate the need for a forward assist. Might want to look into these things prior to slandering FN.

  24. avatarHal says:

    “It’s a fun range toy and probably great for hog hunting but I don’t see much of a use beyond that. There’s nothing this rifle does any better that an M1A or an AR-10 or even an FAL can’t do equally well for half the price besides looking cool and having slightly better ergonomics.”

    I’m no fanboy for FN, but I love my SCAR 17. The rifle doesn’t have “slightly better ergonomics” than an M1A or FAL. It has vastly superior ergonomics and a manual of arms that relegates M1As to the dust bin. And how can one level criticism for the SCAR being too heavy and simultaneously pump up 10-11 lb M1As? I mean I know the SCAR 17 is expensive but the FAL and M1A are in no way the rifle’s equal.

  25. avatarSgt b says:

    Ive been a SOF soldier for over 10 years. I have never fielded a better carbine. A simple soulution to the reciprocating handle is the magpul xtm hand stop. This is truly the best all around 7.62×51 on the market bar non.

  26. avatarJS says:

    i followed a link here to read some about the short stroke bolt of the SCAR, since i wanted to see if there was anything new to learn about the mechanics of the weapon, but i get down to the whiney comment about the charging handle, and i had to stop reading…its a combat carbine, so all the ideas hat its gonna somehow be a clean weapon, so some people don’t get dirty fingernails, or that the charging handle should be eliminated cause its 2012 are insane…its designed to be a hard hitting, durable weapon, not a massage chair…i wish for once one of these internet gun reviewers would have to stomp through the mud and grit the average soldier has had to before they gripe about a weapon, most have quirks to them that the operator has to learn to be proficient…

  27. avatarH2O MAN says:

    I fired the 17S a few years ago and as nice as it was, it in no way made me consider ever replacing my MK14 EBR with a SCAR H.

  28. avatarNSW RC says:

    Hey guys. There are many opinions on both sides of this gun. I have used it several times in the military, on deployment and in training and I will say the common complaints from myself and other SOF operators is the reciprocating charging handle. It does catch on objects, walls, doors, car window frames, plants, rocks, exc. Now it doesn’t always effect the action of the rifle but it is something extra you have to watch out for. It also is a little bulky and heavy, Not as heavy as an EBR, and not as light as an AK47. It’s is hard hitting and durable and I have stomped through the mud and grit With this rifle. It’s not my favorite but it a good rifle. Those “small issues” are still issues that other equal rifles don’t have.

  29. avatarNewguy says:

    Being new to firearms and having just recently bought the SCAR 17H, I have a few things to add (civilian paper/steel shooter/clay pigeons point of view only):
    I did buy the angled charging handle (I would like to see a folding one next or maybe one you can pull out and put back in if that is even possible)
    I constantly stress out about which side to put it on (on the left for now, right handed shooter)
    Did have to practice to make sure I dodged the handle and keep it away from my sling
    In my limited experience, all firearms have quirks. I am warming up to it and it does keep you focused. Still, the charging handle on my AR is pretty handy except my new scope gets in the way somewhat. I enjoy practicing with them outside the range to better manage their quirks. Part of the fun I think.
    Bought the extended rails, and then noticed before it was too late that I will have to remove them to clean the gas system, doh!
    I enjoyed shooting it quite a bit, the bigger round (than my .223, really makes the steel targets lean back). The recoil was quite manageable.
    Would like to see more magazines for it (I consider myself lucky to have 3) and would love a 24″ barrel for it. And maybe a non plastic stock. For civilian use, being heavier isn’t a consideration.
    I enjoy how it looks (there, I said it). I like the looks of the FAL but could not find any local dealers that had any new FALs from DSA. The ones I saw were all pretty beat up. I am sure they are fine but I wanted a new rifle. For a new civilian shooter, what you can find locally and hold in your hand matters. I did see a Rock River 308, may get that yet if I don’t see a brand new FAL first.
    Since all of my long guns have pistol grips, I did not consider any that did not have one.
    I like how easy it is to field strip it , but see above about the gas system.

    oops, maybe more than just a few things to add..

  30. avatarBill says:

    I was interested in the review until i read about the heavy chunk of metal (charging handle ) throwing the balance of the rifle off to one side, really ? Boy how did the AK47 , M1 garand ,M14 ,SKS etc… survive so long, they must suck too.

  31. avatarLipo Davis says:

    I paid $2700 plus tax for mine. I love it. I don’t mind the reciprocating charging handle. Several well known and loved rifles have the same thing: AK-47, M1A, SIG 556 (all of which I happen to own). The most important attributes of the SCAR 17S are its light weight and light recoil. I give it five stars.

  32. avatarwill says:

    was reading the article until he said this “eight pound monstrosity” was too heavy to carry while hunting, then i learned the kind of man that this guy must be

  33. avatarchad haire says:

    Once again another test that totally overlooked major flaws: The slider buttstock and cheek-piece are FAR TOO LOOSE. This results in lots of wobble, and thus lots of rattles! On a quiet night, you can hear this clacking noise about 100 yards away, just what we don’t want in combat. A deathtrap in my eyes. Also, the bolt assembly has no NP-3 type Robar coating that has worked so well on the POF and LWRC rifles, so now you either need to put lube that attracts dirt, or shoot dry causing jams. I taaalked to FN about this latter issue, and they said to coat the Bolt/carrier cost too much — on a $2500 rifle already?? Get real. All of these complaints have been voiced by military users (Navy SEALS for one) but who is listening? A totally inferior rifle when compared to the LWRC I think. You can have it

  34. avatarchad haire says:

    I am NOT mistaken. The slider portion that adjusts for length IS LOOSE. I have handled about 3 dozen, and THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. I showed this to the FN reps at the SHOT show and they admitted the problem, but said they could not change the stock as it has already been submitted for military tests. Changing the stock would mean they would have to start all over. Further, since the Army has decided not to adapt the SCAR, so FN cannot justify the expense of milding new parts for a gun that is not getting a Govt contract. So if FN says there is a problem
    (I have their emails too) ME THINKS there is a problem!

    • avatarCaleb says:

      The rifle used by most front-line troops is the M4 Carbine, and that weapon’s issued stock is unambiguously looser than anything I’ve seen on a SCAR to-date. The rattle of a loose stock being heard 100yards away, seriously? Exactly who is the ‘we’ you’re referring to, because you’re way into armchair general territory here. A 249′s belt will rattle more than any collapsing stock I’ve seen. How about the thousands of rocks that cover the ground in the Afghan high desert? Think that might make some noise? Think you’re gonna tiptoe around while wearing full kit and NODS without depth perception? How about the Afghans and their 30-50 year old AK’s that you had to bring along? Yeah dude, I’m totally worried about how much my collapsing stock rattles……

    • avatarHal says:

      Far be it for me to accuse you of trolling, but I have my SCAR 17s on the couch next to me while I write this.  I have to violently shake it to produce any noise at all.  As for walking around? It’s silent… far more silent than a colt M4 mind you.  My GEAR russels and creaks and makes more noise than this rifle does when I move.  I HAVE carried a rifle into harms way and I can’t help but get the impression that you have an agenda.  

      I have done many a nighttime movement and I COMPLETELY agree that noise is a huge concern.  Noises DO carry at night and great care must be taken to silence gear and equipment.  I won’t even get into what it takes to move silently as a team.  However this rifle is noiseless, even when I jog with it, so on a patrol it would be the least of my worries in terms on noise.

      This rifle has flaws and while I love mine it isn’t for everybody.  But to focus so unreasonably on a non-issue and to (frankly) inflate your claims to this degree is worthy of admonishment.  I’m not sure if you’re a particular breed of fanboy and you just crap on other weapons but I think the success of this weapon speaks for itself.  Contrary to your earlier claim the SCAR H WAS procured by SOCOM, with a caliber conversion kit in the works to allow it to swap between 7.62×51 and other calibers.  Having owned M1As, an LMT MWS and a FAL I contest that this is a finer battle rifle than any I have used.  I do have things I would change: add fixed iron rights, more durable stock, bore to sight ratio, more spare parts availability.  However this rifle will either change the game or set the standard by which the next game changer is judged.

      Furthermore, you’ll find many readers here are veterans and some also have combat experience like yourself.  You will see examples of us discussing our experiences in the context of the subject matter.  What you won’t see is a lot of “I’ve been to combat so your experiences and comments are wrong and I’m right” talk.  Comments like that are ridiculous and a lot of the time when I hear that particular line it’s either coming from a Private or a POG.  Furthermore I’ve known a lot of dumb@sses who were shot at.  With few exceptions they didn’t exactly transform into Paul Howe from the experience; lessons learned from combat experience are valuable but if they aren’t preceded by a lot of tough, realistic and relevant training then all you get is a combat experienced fighter that is still in need of more training.  Combat experience alone isn’t everything.

      Please muster the courtesy and professionalism that was engrained in you during your service.  We’re all part of the same community, the same family.  We’re all people of the gun.

    • avatarStraightFlush says:

      The “Army” never was going to purchase these in the first place. The SCAR projet was done completely by SOCOM. The SCAR is and never was intended for front line issue to infantrymen. The SCAR was designed for SF OPERATORs. Also, the Gov did issue FN a contract, for SCAR-H (7.62) models and left the procurement of -L (5.56) up to individual company commanders to obtain on a small order basis.

      What the ARMY should learn from this is what not only the operators are saying, but what the troops are saying as well, the 5.56 N is insufficient for killing bad guys and there have been numerous reports of Hajiis taking 5+ rounds to the chest and still remaining a “threat” (in this case, despite laying on the ground, he still attempted to fire his weapon and was attempting to activate a grenade). Get the troops 7.62, or look at 6mm calibers if they still insist a “light” caliber is necessary.

  35. avatarChad Haire says:

    The loose triangle handguard found on older M16A1 rifles rattled and I can assure you it could be heard over 100 yards away on a quiet night giving your position away, which is why masking tape was self-issued; so the handguards could be secured down. The SCAR buttstock rattles louder, especially with a sling attached. If you have ever carried a rifle combat–I have–you OBVIOUSLY have not–you would see the problem. Which explains why you can’t …. . NUFF SAID

    • avatarStraightFlush says:

      Well Chad, it appears your handguard didn’t rattle loud enough to rid us of your pedantic comments. Seriously, that’s your dealbreaker? Seeing as how you consider infantrymen too dull to remedy this (the issued tape maybe?) Take solace in the fact that they are slated for SF guys, who I’m told are at least a little but smarter and have *SOME* knowledge of how to stay alive. Seeing as how it doesn’t affect the operation of the weapon, I’m sure they have solved this life or DEATH!!!!! issue already with this innovative and unique solution of yours with their issued masking tape. I’ll make sure to direct the thankyou letters of the operator’s whose lives you saved directly to your email, you seem like you need the external validation.

  36. avatarMister Crash says:

    Loose buttocks giving away your pos and getting you killed? Dude. Seriously?

    • avatarChad Haire says:

      yes seriously Mr Crash . Guess you have never carried in the military either.

      • avatarDevildog nco says:

        Carrying in the military is one thing, carrying it into battle is a whole different beast altogether.
        I guess if you were just dropped off in a hot zone first and then issued a noisy rifle, that could be a problem.

        We were issued new rifles before going back the second time and had plenty of time to BZO and fimilerize our selfs with the weapon. Any and all problems would be addressed then.
        This my opinion and shouldn’t be taken as fact.
        :0)

  37. avatarDevildog nco says:

    I HAVE carried in the military and in my experience, combat it kind of loud. Just saying. I’m also a marine, that said, your probably something else. And there’s nothing wrong with that. While in country my LAST concern would be a but stock that rattled. Maybe roadside bombs, snipers, As a Marine, we often adapt and over come even when it comes to our weapons.
    Honestly I’m positive that I’d find a way to stop the rattle before we ever stepped in the country.
    IMHO it would be a problem if by chance if some crazy bastard on bath salts ate my face off and then flew me to the middle east and left me there with a butt stock that rattled.
    ;oP

  38. avatarDevildog nco says:

    ***Sorry for the double post, I wasn’t done editing. ***

    I HAVE carried in the military and in my experience, combat is 1loud, Just saying. I’m also a marine, that said, as a Marine, we often adapt and over come even when it comes to our weapons. While in country my LAST concern would be a but stock that rattled. Maybe roadside bombs, snipers, insurgents trying to kill us, running out of food, bullets or manpower would be much more concerning to me than that.
    Honestly I’m positive that I’d find a way to stop the rattle before we ever stepped in the country.
    IMHO it would be a problem if by chance some crazy bastard on bath salts ate my face off and then flew me to the middle east and left me there with a butt stock that rattled.
    ;oP

  39. avatarEmergency Doc says:

    First of all let me say I actually like negative reviews. In most articles, they only give all positive reviews which teaches you nothing about the weapon. I do however disagree with the assessment. I own all the comparison weapons (except an FAL), including the HK MR762. The SCAR 17 is the best hands down. Light and with lowered recoil. So far no malfunctions. Shoots as well as the HK and weighs 3 less pounds les and was 1k cheaper. As far as bulky, all the battle rifles are. My SOCOM II is much bulkier. As far as the charging handle, do the nay sayers not own any firearms????? Because guess what, most rifles and shotguns in the world are set up the same way. I can’t say it has ever been a problem in the many thousand rounds I have went through in my life. As for military needs, the M-16 (M4) is becoming dated. And a modular rifle that can be used in multiple applications makes the most sence.

  40. avatarchad haire says:

    you own all the comparison rifles?? Didnt mention the LWRC or LMT. Think you might find them better than the overpriced HK or flawed rattletrap SCAR.

    • avatarEmergency Doc says:

      I’ve have shot the LMT. I liked it but not as much as the SCAR. As far as overpriced, it’s really a matter of perspective. For me, and likely anyone who are willing to pay for that fine weapon, it was not considered over-priced. As far as being a rattle box, I haven’t really noticed a whole lot of difference between it and the ACR or some of my AR 15′s. If it appears I am going to be randomly dropped off in a combat zone with it where everyone else is as well equipped as I am I will worry about it then. Seems unlikely. Till then I will enjoy my range time.

    • avatarMichelle Carson says:

      Haters, like Chad, gotta hate. Chad, don’t be embarrassed, if you can’t afford a decent gun we can take up a collection for you. No need to bad mouth superior equipment.

  41. avatarSgt Gomez says:

    The gun is not what was chubby in this story, it looks like that doughy author might want to hit the gym. Or stick to reviewing lady derringers.

  42. avatarEric says:

    Sorry Nick but your review sounds too much like you either can’t afford the SCAR 17S or else your being paid by another company to down the rifle. What don’t you get “The SCAR 17S is the rifle the U.S Special Operations picked for there weapon of choice”. I guess in all the tests that they just put together some P.O.S right. I served in the Special Forces and wished I had this rifle then. I have put over a 1000 rounds through my SCAR 17S and have never had a failure of any kind. I can hit targets 600 meters away the size of a milk carton flawlessly. This is the best rifle I have ever owned. Sorry Nick, your review sounded like it was from a guy who doesn’t know what you need when you got 100 Taliban shooting at you and you need to stay alive. Give me the SCAR 17S and a lot of ammo and I’m good.

  43. avatarchad haire says:

    Hey Michelle, ALL my equipment is superior, including below the waist. The FN is a Goober gun, like their Goofy bullpup rifles and PS90-carbines shooting that usless 5.7×28 cal round, all overpriced too boot. These FN people are really out of touch with reality, and I think so are you.

    • avatarHal says:

      “ALL my equipment is superior, including below the waist”

      More Private talk from this guy. Not a euphamism, referring to rank. I swear everything you say reminds me of conversations I’ve ever had (or overheard) with know-it-all privates or POGs.

  44. avatarDevildog NCO says:

    There’s an option if you dont mind spending some more money.
    I know you shouldn’t have to replace a part on a new weapon but here’s a few companies out there with some cool upgrades, buttstocks being one of them.

  45. avatarDevildog Nco says:

    There’s an option if you don’t mind spending some more money.
    I know you shouldn’t have to replace a part on a new weapon but here’s a few companies out there with some cool upgrades, butt stocks being one of them.

  46. avatarScoutDog says:

    Chad is the same guy from another post about the scar …except in that post he takes his family to the desert by the mexican border camping (wife and kids — what the hell is that) and likes to sneak up on illegals…..but because the scar makes to much noise they hear him coming…same dead horse post hear .. chad I hear you rattling…shoot… we all hear you rattling…. how about some good ole american duct tape to fix that rattle …sound familiar!

    • avatarchad haire says:

      Hey Scoutdog—if you have to use tape to fix a $2500 rifle, it confirms my observation that it’s a turd. But like I said on other posts, the last posted SCAR Govt price was $1123, just a bit more than the Colt M4, so you FN buyers that forked up $2500 got a bit screwed I think.

  47. avatarBob says:

    I have a SCAR 17 and an LMT. They are set up for two different missions. The LMT is long, heavy, and a tack driver. It is my longer range piece with a 6X48 Trijicon and bipod. It is a pleasure to shoot and a favorite but I would not want to lug it around. With only 6X and my skill level, I am effective only out to 150-200 yards.

    The SCAR is set up as a close quarter piece with a Trijicon SR01 reflex scope. Later a Surefire M900 vertical grip/light and a separate laser or an Surefire X400 will be added. I have to have a vertical grip due to a hand injury that left me without a thumb and index finger so I am considering one of these options.

    Yes, there is an opportunity to slim things a bit. If it is a big problem for you you could invest a quarter million in injection molds, make some, and let us critique them.

    I am not worried about the handle. I could machine it down and make it smaller if it becomes a problem but as of now I do not anticipate one.

    Bob

  48. avatarEric says:

    Hey Bob, sorry about your thumb and index finger missing but I’m not sure why you think it takes a quarter of million to make an injection mold. They can make you a custom piece for about 200 dollars that is to be fitted and if you want to mass produce with a plastic mold injection that will cost you about 10,000. After you have the inection mold it costs about 2 cents a piece to manufacture all the grips you want. My brother in-laws do this for a living, quarter of a million would make you a mold the size of a baseball field.

  49. avatarSean Conover says:

    While most probably have an issue with the price more than anything else, I would have to say the SCAR 17 isn’t as bad as the article makes it out to be. Agreed, not for your amateur “Range-Busters”, 8 lbs is not much when wielding a system capable of delivering .308 or better. Try humping an M-60 then moving up to the 240 series… you’ll come back and be thankful. Nonetheless, I’m still partial to my SOCOM, just as many options. As for the reciprocating charging handle… remember, keep your arms and hands inside the vehicle at all times.

  50. avatarNick says:

    There have been a lot of great rifles with reciprocating handles – M1, M 14 / M1A, M1 Carbine – the list goes on, so that doesn’t disqualify the SCAR. All guns are compromises. The SCAR must be pretty good at what it does and it seems to have a pretty good reputation among those who are actually using it in the field. Let’s face it, none of us civilians will ever use a SCAR as it was designed.

    I bought the SCAR while I could; Lord knows how long we’ll be able to purchase interesting guns with the people we have ruling over us. I won’t pretend to claim that I’ll ever use it to it’s potential. But that’s just me. It’s just another gun in the safe. I’ll break it out when I feel like it. Sort of like taking the Porsche on a nice weekend drive.

    • avatarNick says:

      Oh, I forgot to add…I shoot right handed and I simply moved the reciprocating handle from the left to the right side just like my M1 and other guns. I don’t have to worry about my thumb getting in the way nor do I have to worry about barricade shooting. Reaching over the upper receiver isn’t a big problem if I’m chambering a round from a closed bolt. To chamber a round from an open bolt all one has to do is to use the bolt release.

      Try it. It’s pretty simple and it solves one of the big objections some have to the SCAR.

  51. avatarScoutDog says:

    Chad,
    You still missed the point…The tape wasn’t for the “overpriced -noisy” Scar…It was for your….RATTLE!
    Scar 17 …still one of the best new guns on the market at any price… If you can’t afford it…really shutup and buy something else….and if it rattles….see above..
    Scar 16 just as good …..smaller caliber….
    Nicks review …still way off….

    Bob….I agree with the 150 to 200 yd range max…your right — that is the normal range of most civilians…most “BSers”claim out to 500-1000 yd. I generally stand and shoot out to 75 to 100yds and see pretty good (eotech sight) and can be fairly accurate with the scar. anybody can set up a scar on a table and line it up and be accurate…out to whatever distance there optics (power scopes) can reach! Stand up and shoot — that takes some practice and skill. I am not a marksman nor would i claim to be a expert shot but past 100yds it gets very hard….300yds and further if you can see that far….good luck.

    I can set up the scar on a table and after it is sighted in …anybody…I mean anybody can hit center all day long……now standing up or kneeling…thats were the skill comes in……
    just an observation…..

    • avatarJR says:

      Off hand is brutal. Kneeling is just a tease that makes you think you are stable but is a liar. Try it sitting, left over right, and stop trying to see center. You know what you are trying to hit. Center up on it and trust it. I will say yardage is less important than the size of the target or the position. 500 on a silhouette in prone is much easier than 300 on an alpha. 1-2 hundred off hand is entertaining and a real test of your patience and breathing. Personally I can’t stay on center to save my life but have friends that just make me sick. Funny watching some of these experts on here go down range from 100 and not even get on target while talking trash to their buddies.

      Can’t help joining the band wagon. Noisy butt? Do you need to carry a princess? Buy some f-ing tape if you have a problem. It’s a combat rifle for Shiites sake. Do take all your gear “as issued”?

  52. SCAR 17 is a weapon that i have been looing for all my life,The scar16 I was diapointed in with CAN shift og 8″, The SCARH had no CAN shift,I bought a 2nd one and it twins the 1st one.. SUB MOA on BALL AMMO, NO ZERO shift with a 7.62SD,recoil is ,MILD,weight is OMG awsome, I put the carge handle on the AK side and I am right handed, Works for me, The weight of the charging handle is nothing where you came up with what you said i have no idea. ACCURACY is oustanding, This a True END GAME weapon..

  53. avatarDustin says:

    I find it ironic that the military has been on the hunt for a better battle cartridge than that of the 5.56. A lot of SF guys switched back to 7.62 and a bunch were even playing around with a lot of different wild cat type rounds like 6.8 and the such…all in the name of finding a round with more stopping power. Seems to me that there wasn’t a problem with the old NATO 55 grain 5.56 ammo. It worked fine. It did what it was supposed to do and that was tumble when it entered a soft target, thus causing a significant wound cavity. Then they decided to change the 5.56 round to the new SS109: a 62 grain steel cored bullet. This new round now no longer tumbled upon impact with a soft target and instead just kept on trucking leaving only a .222 sized hole which is very very small. This problem didn’t really rear it’s ugly head until the Somalia incident, where it was taking 5 to 7 shots to stop 1 stoned Somali. Then it reared it’s ugly head again in Iraq and in Afghanistan. But instead of going back to the old bullet which worked just fine, now they’re on the hunt for another caliber all together. Me personally I say scrap both 5.56 and 7.62 and just use .243…. now were talkin!

  54. avatarEric says:

    Anybody out there that is bitchin about price on the SCAR 17S or saying they are having trouble shooting past 200-300 meters with the weapon PLEASE DONT BUY IT. If you can’t hit a target 600 meters away with the SCAR 17S the size of a human silhouette, standing; kneeling or hanging from a tree upside down, you should not buy a SCAR. Buy a Savage .308 cal and spend the rest of your money on learning breathing and trigger pull technics from a pro. I’m sorry ScoutDog but everyone I know can shoot 600 meters accurate to a target 12 by 12 in any position. Mabee you have the beginning symptoms of some nerve disease and should see a doctor right away. People who spend 3000 on a rifle should be a really good shot and deserve the best or an idiot who just spent 3000 on a giant paperweight because you cant use it for what it was intended, good to great marksmen.

  55. avatarJR says:

    Wow. Everyone you know can hit 12×12 from 600 from off hand? Forgive a dummy like me but is that inches or feet?

    • avatarEric says:

      Thats inches if wind is not bad. If wind is bad it could turn into feet real quick. I get frustrated in people saying they can only hit a target 150 to 200 yards with the SCAR 17S and they have optics on it. I go to a range that has some really good marksman. Most can put 3 rounds in a 12 by 12 inches at 600 meters, not yards. Some can do it in a 6 by 6. Most of the 1000 meter F Class shooters would be embarrassed at a 6 by 6 at 600 meters. A lot of them are doing that at 1000 meters and out of my catagory for sure.

      • avatarScoutDog says:

        Special Forces Eric….600 yds is a very long way with no optics and hanging upside down… face it your amazing. And everyone at your range can do this…equally amazing…. It must be the Special breathing technique(BT)…hold your breathe until your full of it…then pull the trigger….I hope to get to your level of BT/BS someday…but not today! Try some tape I bet you can hang with the 1,000 yarders! (Note: eotech red dot- 1X non-powered optic). You were doing so well until….crediability man…crediability!

  56. avatarWolfwolveswolf says:

    The .308 round, nice. The FN SCAR, nice. The only problem I have with the FN SCAR, is that I want one- and myself not having the money at this present time is the problem. Dam!

  57. avatarEric says:

    Scout Dog, 600 meters is with optics. I didn’t say without optics. Read where I said No optics. I said everyone I know can shoot 600 meters 12 by 12 with no or little wind. Thats actually not very impressive with the SCAR 17S. Calm down Scout Dog and have another….Hicuuup

    • avatarscoutdog says:

      Eric read up further…any one can setup with the right optics and shoot out to 600yds.The conversation was with no power optics standing up…still very hard after about 100yds…not that it can’t be done…just harder. I live near ft Sill OK — I have seen some good soldiers (not seals/special forces)..just good instructors and servicemen who love to shoot …with m4 hit out to 300 yds after shooting several rounds…they were very good..but they even claim how hard it was (iron sights) to hit (see) bullseye. Then they put on there powered optics 10x and standing up were nailing everything…while shooting multiple rounds in quick succesion…me I missed quite a few but I got a few… approx 12 x 12…powered optics 10X. On a bench sighted in powered 10x…they set it up and everyone hit everything! With the Scar 17…they loved the weapon…first with the eotech no problem out to about 200+ yds avg for them…with my powered optics (leop m4 x14) they were hitting out to 500yds pretty easy standing up.Yes that is very impressive no matter who you are!!!…Me I missed a few and hit a few..standing up not bullseye everytime just clanging the target…happy just to hit the damn thing!!…benched…we all nailed everything. The soldiers loved the Scar 17 and its power and range….I also Had my M1A on hand and they loved the M1A (they were all familiar with this animal)and were very accurate also…but seemed to always come back to the Scar….I do to.Very realistic real world individuals having varied real world results over a long period of time (months) using a very good weapon the Scar 1H. Nothing to do with nerve damage! I can afford it and I think it is worth every penny!! (some of the soldiers balked at the price..mainly because they couldn”t afford it on their wages not because they didn’t think it was worth it — understandable priorities).

  58. avatarEric says:

    That was my point scoutdog and I like your comments. The Scar 17 I believe is the last weapon you will ever have to buy. I dont believe in buying 20-30 rifles like some people I know even though it’s a great hobby. The Scar 17 is the AK killer, The AR15/M16 killer, M1 and HK91 Killer. This weapon will change history and go down as probably the best rifle ever. There is some .300 Win Mag assault rifles like the Barrett and new Omen that could be interesting.

  59. avatarJakedasnke says:

    I want one! But I live in California and its a real PITA to find a company willing to make it legal for a Cali resident… I’m jealouse of all you bastards, even if the charging handle sucks! Lol

  60. avatarShane Howard says:

    Hold on a minute fellas. As an 11b who has served in Iraq (3/187th Inf, 101st ABN) we definitely had a need for a 7.62mm rifle for many reasons. Targets at range that needed to be engaged accurately (DMR). Having LMG’s setup were fine at most traffic control points however the SAW with it’s 5.56 definitely had problems stopping vehicles. The M14 that were brought back into service were fantastic.. we could issue them out at one per squad which gave us the capability to punch through barricades, vehicles and bad guys at range.. the SCAR NEEDS to be issued to combat ground troops at this role simply because of the modularity, light weight and the extra punch it provides over the 5.56. As a civillian I own a SCAR 17s for the same reason the military uses it.. it can fit many roles.. specifically for me 3 gun matches, as well as hunting.. and why not? The SCAR is just another fantastic rifle.

  61. avatarKAP says:

    Yes…the FNH SCAR 17S is the best 7.62mm NATO in my collection, howeveer, you can’t buy any additional magazines for it…anywhere, on the net, or in gun-stores. The only people producing them are FNH and they say sometime in June or July 2013, maybe!

  62. avatarWill says:

    I am looking for some technical information on the SCAR 17S. Can anyone tell me what is the diameter of the gas port in the barrel?

    Thanks.

  63. avatarJohn says:

    Ridiculous review. I have several battle rifles and the scar is lighter, more accurate, more reliable and a better more modular design than any of them.

  64. avatarT. Hannibal says:

    The whole purpose of the chubbiness of this gun is that straight line to the shoulder recoil. Since it goes straight back, you can fire it on auto without killing all the ducks and sparrows in the neighborhood. This was the major problem with the M14 on full auto. First round was right on target and subsequent rounds went into a right hand arc to the sky.

    Another comment is the thing weighs 8 lbs. My M1A weighs over 9 lbs wet. Battle rifles are heavy. Be thankful you don’t have lug around a BAR that weighs around 23 lbs loaded. Americans have become spoiled by the mouse rifle for its diminutive size and weight.

    This rifle fixes all the problems with the M16/M4. It doesn’t easily jam, it has much greater stopping power, and its available in a number of iterations of barrel sizes, grades, and all kinds of rails. This last bunch is available from FN now, not aftermarket companies decades into the future.

    You can get this rifle for around $2600. I agree with the author that is over priced for America. Bring that price down to $1800 that is $300 to $500 higher than the M1A depending on the furniture and they won’t be able to make enough to meet the demand. I hope FN sees some sense and figures out that if you sell three or four more units at a lower price than one at a higher price, pretty soon you have a lot more money in sales. Europeans are as smart as Americans, just usually not as business savvy. Hopefully they will get the price right. This is a cool rifle and if the ship hits the fan, this rifle will be main battle rifle for most. Check it out for yourself.

  65. avatarscoutdog says:

    Hear Hear Hannibal!!!
    Agree With Everything. Well Articulated! Especially the Fixing all the problems paragraph. — Straight To The Point & The Truth!
    Exciting World Class Weapon to Own!!

  66. avatarKevin says:

    I have this rifle and have no complaints it does everthing I want it to do. I can hit it from 200-300 yards no problem or blow it up at 25 yards. He was right about the hogs it will bring them down in a heart beat! If given the choice between my AR or SCAR the SCAR is my choice. I love my Colt M4 but this has more ass and is as easy to handle.

  67. avatarAl says:

    You can tell how the country has changed in a few months. Scar 17S are going for 4 grand now. Mags unavailable, & scalping for a $100 each. He wishes he had a 24″ barrel, which is unavailable, but worth just under $1300 bucks. Why not add a military thermal scope for another $12 grand. Its a great rifle, and anybody who finds fault with it either can’t afford it, or is too cheap to pull money out of his mattress to buy one. If you had to bug out with just one weapon, the Scar 17S would be the one you would grab in a room full of all civilian rifles available.

  68. avatarDMR says:

    I am a SCAR 17S owner. I have enjoyed owning this rifle. I will have to comment on what I think of the rifle. This rifle is not my favorite by a long-shot. It hasn’t captivated me like my M1A. The biggest thing I dislike about the rifle is the bolt release. I wish it had an ambidextrous release like my Robinson Arms XCR. I love being able to operate the bolt release with my trigger finger. A new rifle should improve not stagnate. The AR-15 “paddle” was a miracle in it’s day, but is not the only way to release a bolt. The charging handle was a big deal to the author of this article. I tend to agree with him. I like a non-reciprocating charging handle, but if I can’t have it, I am satisfied with putting the handle on the right. I can handle charging the rifle as I charge my M1A…..from the right side. I can see where one could catch a thumb on the handle if it were on the left. As for accuracy. My M1A shoots 1-inch groups off the bench. The SCAR shoots them a little tighter by virtue of the scope I have on it. I have not messed with the attached iron sights. It is interesting how my National Match sights on my non-NM M1A makes the accuracy of these two rifles similar very similar–one scoped, one not scoped. Let’s talk trigger, too. The trigger on the SCAR is attrocious!!! I am faced with spending a good chunk of change to get a better trigger after I have dropped 3-large on this rifle. I am very disappointed in FN as far as the trigger is concerned. Overall, I liked the weight of the “naked” rifle when I handled it in the store–the reason I bought it. It is a light rifle compared to my M1A. The recoil is absolutely manageable, and I like how light this rifle “kicks”. Overall this rifle is a 7.5 or 8 out of ten. I like the rifle and would rate it higher if the charging handle was non-reciprocating, the bolt release was ambidextrous, and if the trigger was better. For $3000 I definitely expected more, but am not unhappy. The feature I really love is the caliber. I am a .308 fan, and love that I have another semi-auto .308 I can use on hogs, deer, and javelinas this fall during hunting season. I can’t wait to use it afield on an animal, and my wife even says she wouldn’t mind using it because of the light recoil. A good rifle, but I’m not sure if it is worth the price-tag. Purchase one because you want to add to a collection and enjoy it, but don’t expect it to be the end-all, be-all. Thanks, and remember, “opinions are like ***holes, everybody has one.

    • avatarDMR says:

      Just some more “opinion” on my SCAR 17S. I have spent some more time with it at the range. I am quickly warming up to this gun. I like that this gun hardly kicks compared to my other .308′s. I know a previous reviewer called all of us (paraphrasing here) pussies for liking a .308 that doesn’t kick. I look at my shoulder in the mirror at home, and there is some “red” from the wide butt-plate, but not the deep red lines I normally get after 100+ rounds of thirty caliber ammo. Charging handle–I don’t like it, on the right or the left. I put it on the left, and every now and then feel it grazing my left thumb–no good. I put it on the right, and that’s where it will stay. I wish they had designed a non-reciprocating charging handle, and I am well aware that the configuration won’t change because of my review. The biggest “con” in my book with this charging handle is the amount of clearance I get when charging the rifle with my Eotech sight on the rifle. If I’m not paying attention, the short handle isn’t long enough to keep me from bleeding every time I charge the weapon. There isn’t enough clearance between the edge of the sight and my hand on the handle. When seconds count, one looses fine motor skills, and grapping and ripping that charging handle back rips me! I will have to get a riser for the Eotech to keep my skin in tact, or just use the tips of my fingers to charge it. Bolt Release–I mentioned this before, and I will mention it again. I think the old “M-16″ paddle is outdated. I understand it is the military standard because of the M-16′s prevalence. I find myself wondering why I can do everything on this rifle with either hand, but not release the bolt. There should be an ambidextrous release like Robinson Arms (XCR) or Bushmaster (ACR) uses on their rifles. Last but not least is Trigger–atrocious! I am going to buy the $300+ upgrade by geiselle. A good trigger is worth its weight in gold! Now, lets talk about shooting this thing! Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. With the scope removed and Eotech topping it with a magnifier. I am shooting under an inch at 100. I sighted in the iron sights, and am around an inch or a little more. Slow fire and a lot of sight picture, and all the other good stuff that goes into shooting, and my groups are awesome! With some shots and quick follow up, everything is in the black and grouping well. I think I am liking this gun more and more because it shoots so well, and it is LIGHT! The low recoil gets me back on target quickly, and I am not as fatigued from getting my shoulder pounded. Overall, the SCAR is a badass rifle. I like it. My M1A is going to have to compete with it for range time, and I realllly love my M1A. I will figure out the clearance issue between the sight and charging handle. I will get used to the non-reciprocating handle, and enjoy the rifle. Biggest cons: charging handle and bolt release. Biggest Pros: Low recoil and low weight. Have fun with your SCAR. The price tag is very high, and I still think FN should put a better trigger in this thing. Still pissed about the trigger, but I guess I should shut up. It’s about right for a standard military rifle. That’s my opinion!!

  69. avatarRon Magnum says:

    If you can afford it get one. just because you can. since in many far off craphole’s. they would clamor for one. I have owned all the other stuff already… and now it is time for something different. And this is it. heck guys are still complaining about Garand Thumb ha ha…and Colt Thompson actuator’s breaking..

  70. avatarJohn says:

    This is, without a doubt, one of the dumbest gun reviews I have ever read.

  71. avatarAries144 says:

    Really? It doesn’t do anything better than a FAL or M14? How about typical 1 MOA accuracy with match ammo right out of the box? How about being a pound or more lighter than any other 7.62 rifle with that accuracy potential (beside MAYBE a gunsmithed $4000+ M1a with carbon fiber stock)? An out-of-the-box M1A does not shoot that well, it takes an additional $1000+ in gunsmithing and parts to make that happen, it’s balls for mounting optics on, and unless you’ve found a treasure trove of dwindling GI parts, the commercial parts it comes with are infamous for breakages and their poor quality. I’ve never heard of a FAL shooting that well, ever, with any amount of parts or work. Both the M14/M1a and FAL, stock, are 2.5 to 3 MOA with match ammunition, if you get lucky.

    Next time when you review a firearm, how about you actually shoot fucking paper off a fucking vice rest at a known distance to describe accuracy- don’t just plink some steel and then write “Yerp! Dis thangs more acureight than Yah am!

    You have a firearm all fucking day, don’t even document accuracy, and all you come away with for the reader is 30+ paragraphs of worthless anecdotes, personal opinions, trivia, and rambling including some nonsensical tripe about a .5 oz charging handle throwing off the balance of the firearm?!

    There is not one line in this entire stumbling ego self-fellatio that is worth a second of anyone’s time to read!

    You should be fired for spreading this shit paste onto the firearms community.

  72. avatarEddie says:

    You must be one of those wimpy guys that has no business shooting a work of art like the SCAR17S so you had better stick with the AR-15!! The SCAR 17S is a man’s rifle!!

  73. avatarpetrusova says:

    I would suggest you actually go out and test an M1a. Even stock guns will shoot 1 inch groups and national match guns will shoot 1/2 inch 3 shot groups with ease at 100 yards

    I have read where the .223 version of the Scar gets only 3 inch groups at 100 yards so the heavier recoiling .308 will probably shoot no better.

  74. avatarpetrusova says:

    Due to the fact that this gun like most modern trash has a junk plasticky receiver and a junk aluminum upper how in the world to they get off charging so much money for it. What a joke, what a rip off. I will stick to the M1A with a forged steel receiver, at least it is quality not modern made junk.

  75. avatartguth says:

    I had a M1A loaded with a 5×20 scope bipod and a fulton army scope mount. As long as the scope mount didnt get bumped I could shoot a gallon paint can all day long at a 1000 yards. I think I may have gotten lucky on my rifle because I do hear of complains on out of the box accuarcy. I have yet to shoot a scar 17. I did handle one at the local gun store and I did like the feel of it over the M1A and FAL that I had. I read reviews on the scar 17. I like it, like to own one but the price is a killer. Maybe if I sell my boat Ill get one. My opinion is people will love 1 type or brand of gun and hate on all the others. 1911 vs glock vs xd. Ford vs chevy vs dodge. John Deere vs CaseIh vs New Holland vs Massey. Haters are gonna hate. Just find what you like and works for you and be happy, and if someone else finds something they are happy with let them be. After multiple deployments to Iraq is do wish the military would go to a different round. 6.8spc or 7.62×51. The new ball ammo issued for the m16/m4s isnt working. The older ammo would tumbe when it hit, but because of the adaptation of my m249 saw they had to hand the grain of bullet of twist rate in the rifles to be able to fire a common round of 5.56.

  76. avatarMike says:

    I am a former Marine, current SWAT operator, and current SWAT sniper. I deploy both 556 and 308 platforms. I don’t like bad mouthing weapons systems, when you haven’t tested or deployed them. I deploy a scar heavy and it is what it is. Its a heavy, but extremely reliable rifle. If you lock it in a vice, its a sub minute gun. I have mine set up with a muzzle brake, match grade trigger, and 18 power day optic. The best I can get out of it is about 1 moa. If that works for you, its a great rifle. If it doesn’t, its not for you.

  77. avatarCleanDean says:

    Leghorn did not average his ratings correctly… figure it out and average …….it comes out ****
    4 stars. Now try to get used to a side charging handle; becasuse you are an AR guy…. Your biased.
    People that are used to ravioli, and spaghettio’s in a can , may have a hard time chosing a better tasting homade ( red sauce) entree.
    A better rating was for the 16 , shooting that poodle popper cartridge ( 5.56 was such a lackluster compromise )… It took a group of Military lunatics to chose it, and brainwash people ,about it for so long.

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