Replacing the M-16: the FN SCAR makes it’s debut

One of the most popular posts here is my take on the M-16 debate. The FN SCAR (SOF Combat Assault Rifle) has been issued to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. On http://www.ar15.com’s forms, here is what a real world operator thinks about the rile (H/T: the Firearm Blog):

FN SCAR, from Wikipedia

FN SCAR, from Wikipedia

I am being issued a S.C.A.R. …..Review posted PG 1
– Accuracy
We only used military issued, 62 grn for the MK16 and 147 grn for the MK17.
25 meters (prone, supported).
MK16, iron sights or eotech, groups were no larger than 1/4″.
MK17, iron sights: 1/4″, Elcan 4X: 1/8″ (the rounds were usually through the same hole)
The scope of this initial test did not include shooting for groups on paper past 25M.
We did however engage pop-up targets out to 900M.

The accuracy of the rifle was very acceptable.

Some shooters routinely made hits @ 900M w/ the MK17 w/ 4X optic. I got lucky occasionally.


– Gas system

The gas system has two positions: suppressed and normal.
The selector knob is sturdy and easy to manipulate.
It must be removed to access the piston. It is not difficult to remove the knob.

Overall:
I liked it more than I thought I would. I am confident that the weapon functions reliably.
It is comfortable to handle and shoot.

hit the link for more.

In a recent dust test the following happened (Armytimes.com):

  1. XM8: 127 stoppages.
  2. MK16 SCAR Light: 226 stoppages.
  3. 416: 233 stoppages.
  4. M4: 882 stoppages.

Another take on the rifle comes from Defensereview.com: “Are the FN SCAR Weapons (MK16 and MK17) Necessary? And do we really need to replace the Colt M4/M4A1 Carbine?

So, does SOCOM really need the FN SCAR MK16 and MK17 weapons? Probably not. The fact is, while the SCAR family might potentially provide modularity and production cost advantages over the long term if SCAR is eventually adopted and it replaced all the weapons listed above that it’s intended to replace, it doesn’t offer any lethality advantages whatsoever over any of the already-fielded, combat tested and proven weapons it was designed and developed to replace. The SCAR weapons simply aren’t revolutionary in any way with regard to combat capability and effectiveness. If anything, they’re more of an interim-level/bridging-the-gap solution until somone develops a truly revolutionary replacement for our currently-fielded weapons.

Who is right? Even the positive review from the “special forces” operator had some misgivings. Time will tell. Much ink was spilled back int he 1960’s to tar the M-16. Today many accuse the M-4 of pretty much the same thing. A new rifle is needed, but what kind? More information will pour in as these rifles are used on the battlefield.

Rangers from 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, honored for their service during the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR

Rangers from 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, honored for their service during the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR

BTW it comes in a civilian version too, some even in gold!

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