FN SCAR 16S NRCH non-reciprocating charging handle
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One of the few gripes that some shooters have with FN’s venerable SCAR rifle platform is its reciprocating charging handle. Our own Foghorn, who used to shoot for Team FN, went so far as to design a folding charging handle for the rifle he used in competition. Now, however, FN America has removed that complaint by now offering their SCAR 16S, 17S, and 20S rifles with dual ambidextrous charging handles.

Here’s FN’s press release . . .

FN America, LLC is pleased to announce that the long-awaited non-reciprocating charging handle (NRCH) upgrade is now available in all FN SCAR semi-automatic models. FN’s new NRCH assembly features dual, ambidextrous charging handles that enable users to shoot from any position or use any grip style. The FN SCAR upgrade improves an inherently more accurate and reliable platform that, in its military configuration, has served America’s most elite fighting forces for more than a decade.

“The FN SCAR has proven itself as a leader in its class since its introduction, setting the standard for what gas-driven, semi-auto rifles should be,” said Chris Cole, Vice President, Sales & Marketing of FN America, LLC. “The complete modularity and fast-handling character of our most versatile rifle platform continues to advance. The FN SCAR 17S and 20S were already the softest shooting gas-driven .30-caliber rifles on the market and these upgrades deliver even more functionality to the SCAR platform.”

Dual, Non-Reciprocating Charging Handles

The FN SCAR becomes even more intuitive to the end user with new, non-reciprocating, dual charging handles, enabling any shooting position, grip style or optic choice. Combined with the fully-ambidextrous operating controls and adjustable buttstock, the FN SCAR instantly adapts to any shooter.

FN SCAR 16S NRCH non-reciprocating charging handle

The assembly, consisting of a new charging handle sled and two ambidextrous, reversible charging handles that lock forward on bolt-close and remain static during fire, provide superior forward assist capabilities. The two charging handles, one at a 30-degree cant specifically designed to reduce interference with low-mount optics and one low-profile, are user-swappable in the field. The reduced reciprocating mass of the new bolt carrier produces less felt recoil, making a soft-shooting rifle even easier to manage.

FN SCAR NRCH non-reciprocating charging handle

“With the FN SCAR there’s a reason for every part, all have to work together perfectly to deliver the uncompromising accuracy, reliability and toughness this platform has earned under fire, that’s the difference between an FN SCAR and other carbines, we are held to a higher standard than most, failure is not an option for our Nation’s most elite forces, said Benjamin Voss, Product Manager for FN’s Long Guns. “With the semi-auto FN SCAR 16S, 17S and 20S, we hold the same standards of quality for these commercial variants. Adding the non-reciprocating charging handles allows SCAR to be even more adaptable, enhancing an already accurate and soft-shooting rifle. Shooting positions like urban prone, from a barrier or with a CQC-style grip are made possible and users can now run low-mount optics without interference.”

Every SCAR Tells a Story

The legendary FN SCAR series takes root in its battle-proven lineage, adapted from USSOCOM’s newest battle rifle since the M4 entered service in the 1990’s. The benchmark of reliability and versatility with its three variants, the FN SCAR 16S, SCAR 17S and SCAR 20S are capable of consistent accuracy from their cold hammer-forged and chrome-lined barrels and one-piece forged aluminum receiver, delivering precision fire with aid from its fully adjustable buttstock, low-flash gas regulator and fast-handling characteristics uncommon in similar rifle platforms.

FN SCAR NRCH non-reciprocating charging handle

Experience the FN SCAR’s unmatched history of military excellence and never-ending list of features, including the new, non-reciprocating charging handles online at www.fnamerica.com/scar.


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  1. US operator’s dont care for the scars due to jamming, wanted one for while but did some research. Spoke with owners of 17s and got to operate one, got my answer

  2. Yeah yeah yeah….how much are they going to charge for the upgrade kit for all of us who JUST bought these in the last 12 months….🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️

    • The upgrade kit won’t be a problem… there won’t be one- you’ll have to buy a new SCAR.

  3. Well, that’s a great evolution in the Scar design, too bad it doesn’t address a key design issue that many find the “deal breaker”.

    A standard AR BCG weights around 2/3rds lb, the Scar BCG weights 1 1/3 lbs.
    While the extra 2/3 lb weight of the Scar BCG makes for a softer recoil impulse, it comes with a PRONOUNCED muzzle dip when the BCG returns to battery.
    I had a chance to shoot a POF P308 and Scar 17 back to back a few years ago (both piston guns). Quickly lost all interest in adding a Scar to my collection.

    • You probably missed it in all the mindless blathering about how awesomely awesome the SCAR is in FN’s press release, but buried in all that word salad was something I found interesting. According to FN “The reduced reciprocating mass of the new bolt carrier produces less felt recoil, making a soft-shooting rifle even easier to manage.” So it will be interesting to see just how much weight they removed from the carrier.

      Maybe it will be enough to reduce the SCARs tendency to kill optics.

      • I’ll have to keep an eye out for one of the reduced weight BCG equipped Scars.
        If the “into battery muzzle dip” is resolved, I would consider purchasing one.
        I could probably live with that Ugg boot looking stock. 🤔

  4. Quite a bit of hate in the comments from people that don’t own a SCAR platform. I’ve had a 17S for a few years and love it. Sold off my M14/M1A stuff to buy it and ended up with a rifle that shoots better at nearly half the weight, and seemingly comes home with a cleaner receiver than when I left for the range.

    The charging handle is just a learning thing… like any new platform. If you can’t do that, flip it to the opposite side and charge it like an AK. If people think the charging handle is bad on the SCAR, you should try shooting a Kriss without locking the bolt every round.

    Someone commented above about SCARs jamming… I’ve never, in thousands of rounds, had a jam. FTE from the CH hitting my thumb early on, sure… but as I said above, there are easy ways to fix that, such as practice.

    All that said, even if FNH offers the non-recip. kit separately, I doubt I’ll get it. The price would be crazy, wait times long, and I just don’t see the point. Get an AR-10 if you want an AR-10 – I consider it an equal platform.

    • “at nearly half the weight” Really? According to the FN web site your 17S weighs 8 lbs. The M1A averages out at 9 lbs. Better shooting is way too subjective to even touch.

      • I had an EBR chassis, first in 22″, then later 18″. Getting the M1A accurate adds weight. Then you breathe on it, and you open up the groups from 1 MOA to 8. Out of the box, the SCAR was shooting 1.5 MOA on garbage ammo.

    • They don’t have to buy arms. Biden gave them all the best military weapons Our Tax dollars could pay for. Estimates range from 500 million to 1 billion dollars worth. Plus allowing an unknown number of probable Anti-Infidel terrorist into the country without proper vetting. With Our good graces and a meal ticket. The front just moved from their back yard to Our front yard.

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