Thanks to a member of FNForum.net (and a member of both FNForum.net and M4Carbine.net who did some legwork), I’ve been loaned an FNH-USA SCAR-16S. I’ll be doing high speed video later today, with a review to follow.
Filed under Firearms
Eagerly awaiting your eval..
I’m too broke to buy one right now; but when I handled one at the store, it felt subtly ‘best’ out of all the ‘modern’ rifle designs. I like some features on other rifles better (charging handle on the ACR, bolt catch on ACR & XCR, magazine on G36 or SIG550); but the SCAR does have a lot of great features and it’s apparent that some real thought & extensive development went into the design.
The things I’m curious about are:
How quickly can you clear a double-feed jam?
How easy is it to set up for left-handed use?
How easy is it to clear a double-feed jam with the gun in a left-handed setup?
How easy is the rifle operated one-handed in an emergency?
How easy is it to hit things with the stock closed, and how easily is the stock deployed from closed?
(Not a big concern I know; but we’ve all watched movies where the hero shoots folding-stock guns with the stock closed).
How easy is takedown for cleaning?
How well does it stay clean?
Are there any bits that might get lost easily?
Lots of requests from someone who’s full of many words and little action, I know; but I’d happily send a few bucks your way to support you in these tests (and because I really respect your blog).
Lots of good questions, Redchrome. I have addressed some of them in the video I’m working on right now. I will address the rest in a separate video that covers how the weapon shoots. If I combine the two, half the audience will fall asleep, it’s that long.
Two short videos are better than one long video in some ways (better for those of us who multitask).
That said, people falling asleep happens when the information density is low (or at least the information density they can understand). Not everyone can immediately grasp the subtleties of gas piston and bolt carrier design unfortunately; but for those of us who have more than a passing interest in those things, they’re very important. 🙂
So you’re probably right to make two videos. One with all the bangs; one with all the fiddly geeky engineering bits. 🙂
1, I remember reading a handful of complaints about the hinge for the stock.
Also, how does that charging handle work when there’s an optic mounted above it? Any busted knuckles while racking the handle?
I have heard from a few real world users that a busted knuckle is inevitable at some point when mounting optics above the charging handle.
There is a reason SOCOM dropped the 16. Not that it didn’t perform well, but that the performance increase wasn’t significant enough to justify the price increase.
However, the 17 is still be ordered and used. I still think the ACR, if done correctly by Remington, will be a better rifle as far as ergos and ease of operation. That said, I would NOT refuse a 16 if one landed in my hands.
Isn’t a reciprocating charging handle a bit old school for a space age gun?
I cannot help but wonder if the handle is reciprocating after years (decades) of listening to people complain about the charging handle on the FAL. I can see the CEO of FNH saying to his designers, “We’re never going to do that again!”
The screeching about the forward assist on the M16 would really just reinforce that decision.
I’d like to see how that stock holds up to a little mortaring.
There’s been two press releases this month about the SCAR program going to full production. The 16 is back in.
It’s hard to know for sure after the articles in June, but it does look good for FN.
It is hard to know what the truth is. There have been several admissions that it has been canceled and then several statements that it is going strong.
The Firearm Blog had this post on Aug 20:
Then this was posted on Aug 23:
I guess we don’t really know what is going on since FNH-USA is saying one thing and FN Herstal is saying another. I guess we will see what we will see.
the advantage of a reciprocating charging handle is that it doesn’t require any additional parts for a forward assist.
Note that the AR15 has two controls (charging handle and forward assist) where the M14 or AK47 have one. Simpler to get into one habit (“just grab the charging handle”) rather than think about which bit you need to push or pull.
At least, that’s one theory. It’s a training issue and I can’t claim enough training and real-world experience as a high-speed operator to make an experienced argument for or against a reciprocating charging handle.
They could have figured it out, its already over priced, overly heavy and covered with little fiddly things that shouldn’t be there.
Magpul did it… just say’in
In reality the SCAR 16 is pretty useless to socom. Why ask thee? Because the SCAR H upper reciever not only is compatable with the 5.56. It is THE common reciever. Meaning its the common reciever for all different calibers and variants that socom might want to use. So why have them both if one will do a whole hell of alot more then the other.
what are the complaints about the FAL’s charging handle? the few times I’ve shot one I’ve found it to be among the best designs out there. Some time googling the matter turns up a lot of people who like it.
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