Despite the cancellation of the SCAR 5.56 Mk16 program, the SCAR in its 7.62×51 configuration continues to gain popularity. SCAR is an acronym for “Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle,” and rightfully so.
The carbine has been fielded by SOF operators for some years in various countries and seen great success. The platform is well balanced and includes a number of advantages over many traditional .30 caliber carbines on the market today. Shooting Illustrated’s interview with Mark Cherpes, Executive Vice President of Military Sales at FNH USA addressed some of these concerns, Cherpes explains…
FN had proposed and offered a single-platform system to USSOCOM that would adapt via conversion kit to SOF current and future ammunition. During the requirements finalization phase, the SOF operators took the decision that the weapon should be split in two platforms, one gun for 5.56 and a second gun for 7.62. The reason this decision was made at the time is that the SOF operators did not like the fact that the 5.56 base platform would have an increase in weight over the M4. The weight difference between the MK 16 Standard and the SCAR H Standard is about ha lf a pound.
The weight difference between the MK 16 Standard and the SCAR H Standard is about half a pound.
The US has not fielded a true .30 caliber battle rifle since the Vietnam era when the beloved M-14 was replaced. Current battlefield conditions in ongoing conflicts, however, demand a higher power, longer range carbine that is capable of penetrating light cover. The 5.56, although a very effective cartridge, is not always the best suited for such application. It seems that the large bolt that the SCAR systems possess help regulate the recoil and spread the felt force over a larger area, which is felt as a more fluid rearward motion than most similar .30 caliber carbines.
The abundance of metal components that provide these innerworkings, however, conduct a large amount of heat. This author highly recommends the use of a quality pair of gloves if you’ll be planning to operate the system for any duration. We outfitted ours with the Elcan SpecterDR 1-4x optic in Flat Dark Earth finish – although the commercially available units are not identical to the SU-230/PVS-C system, they feature the same rigid construction and the CX5396 Reticle. Overall the SCAR provides excellent accuracy and is quite controllable for fairly rapid fire use. The SCAR Heavy is a very unique carbine and I enjoy the ergonomics of the system. It offers the shooter an accurate and highly modular platform, with manageable recoil recoil. The SCAR 17S (Heavy) really is a gamechanger.
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