FN SCAR Modern Assault Rifle

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FN scar
The SOF Combat Assault Rifle or SCAR, is a modular rifle made by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FNH) for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to satisfy the requirements of the SCAR competition. This family of rifles consist of two main types. The SCAR-L, for light, is chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H, for heavy, fires 7.62x51mm NATO. Both are available in Long Barrel and Close Quarters Combat variants. The FN SCAR system completed low rate initial production testing in June 2007. After some delays, the first rifles began being issued to operational units in April 2009, and a battalion of the US 75th Rangers will be the first large unit deployed into combat with 600 of the rifles in 2009.

The FN SCAR is manufactured in two main versions; Light (SCAR-L, Mk 16 Mod 0) and Heavy (SCAR-H, Mk 17 Mod 0). The L version fires 5.56x45mm NATO using improved STANAG (M16) magazines. The H fires the more powerful 7.62x51mm NATO from a newly designed 20-round magazine. Different length barrels will be available for close quarters battle and for longer-range engagements. The initial solicitation indicated that the SCAR-H would also be chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 Kalashnikov cartridge and 6.8x43mm Remington SPC cartridge. However, FN is not currently offering other calibers.

FN SCAR assault riflesThe FN SCAR features an integral, uninterrupted Picatinny rail on the top of the aluminum receiver, two removable side rails and a bottom one that can mount any MIL-STD-1913 compliant accessories. It has a polymer lower receiver with an M16 compatible pistol grip, flared magazine well, and raised area around magazine and bolt release buttons. The front sight flips down for unobstructed use of optics and accessories. The rifle uses a 'tappet' type of closed gas system much like the M1 Carbine while the bolt carrier otherwise resembles the Stoner 63 or Heckler & Koch G36.

The FN SCAR is built at the FN Manufacturing LLC, plant in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. Fabrique Nationale introduced a semi-automatic version of the SCAR modular rifle system, the 16S (Light) and 17S (Heavy), at the end of 2008. This version of the SCAR is designed for the law enforcement and commercial markets, and is manufactured in Herstal, Belgium and imported by FNH USA, Fredricksburg, Virginia, United States. FNH USA slightly modifies the rifle (supplying a U.S. made magazine and machining a pin in the magazine well) to be in compliance with U.S. Code before selling them.


FN SCAR (Mk 16/17 Mod 0)
The standard length 3rd Generation FN SCAR-L (top) and FN SCAR-H (bottom)
Type Assault rifle (SCAR-L)
Battle rifle (SCAR-H)
Place of origin Belgium
United States
Service history
Used by United States
Production history
Designer FN Herstal
Manufacturer FNH USA
Variants SCAR-L (Mk 16 Mod 0)

SCAR-H (Mk 17 Mod 0)

Specifications
Weight (6.7 lbs) (SCAR-L Short)

3.29 kg (7.25 lbs) (SCAR-L Standard)

(7.7 lbs) (Scar-L Long)

(7.9 lbs) (SCAR-H Short)

3.58 kg (7.9 lbs) (SCAR-H Standard)

(8.2 lbs) (Scar-H Long)

Barrel length 253 mm (10.0 in) (SCAR-L Short)

351 mm (13.8 in) (SCAR-L Standard)

457 mm (18.0 in) (SCAR-L Long)

330 mm (13.0 in) (SCAR-H Short)

400 mm (15.7 in) (SCAR-H Standard)

500 mm (19.7 in) (SCAR-H Long)


Cartridge 5.56x45mm NATO (SCAR-L)
7.62x51mm NATO (SCAR-H)
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 625 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity SCAR-L: 2870 FPS with M855, 2630 FPS (875 m/s) with Mk 262
SCAR-H: 2342 FPS (802 m/s) with M80
Feed system SCAR-L: 30 round box magazine
SCAR-H 20 round box magazine



The SCAR is available in two calibers, and in versions for short and long range combat. It emerged as the winner of a US SOCOM competition to find a new rifle for special forces begun in 2003.

FN SCAR is manufactured in two main versions; Light (SCAR-L, Mk 16 Mod 0) and Heavy (SCAR-H, Mk 17 Mod 0). The L version fires 5.56x45mm NATO using improved M16 rifle magazines. The H fires the more powerful 7.62x51mm NATO from a newly designed 20-round magazine (this full-sized cartridge makes the SCAR-H a battle rifle). Different length barrels will be available for close quarters battle and for longer-range engagements. The initial solicitation indicated that the SCAR-H would also be chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge. However, FN is not currently offering other calibers.

The Mk 16 Mod 0 will be replacing the M4A1, the Mk 18 CQBR and the Mk 12 SPR currently in SOCOM service. The Mk 17 Mod 0 will replace the M14 and Mk 11 sniper rifles.

The FN SCAR features an integral, uninterrupted Picatinny rail on the top of the aluminum receiver, two removable side rails and a bottom one that can mount any MIL-STD-1913 compliant accessories. It has a polymer lower receiver with an M16 compatible pistol grip, flared magazine well, and raised area around magazine and bolt release buttons. The front sight flips down for unobstructed use of optics and accessories. The rifle uses a 'tappet' type of closed gas system much like the M1 Carbine while the bolt carrier otherwise resembles the Stoner 63 or Heckler & Koch G36.

The FN SCAR is built at the FN Manufacturing LLC, plant in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. Fabrique Nationale introduced a semi-automatic version of the SCAR modular rifle system, the 16S (Light) and 17S (Heavy), at the end of 2008. This version of the SCAR is designed for the law enforcement and commercial markets, and is manufactured in Fredricksburg, Virginia, United States.

In July 2007, the US Army announced a limited competition between the M4 Carbine, FN SCAR, HK416, and the previously-shelved HK XM8. Ten examples of each of the four competitors were involved. During the testing, 6,000 rounds apiece were fired from each of the 40 carbines in an "extreme dust environment." The purpose of the shootoff was for assessing future needs, not to select a replacement for the M4.

During the test, the FN SCAR suffered 226 stoppages ranking second to the XM8 with 127 stoppages, but less compared to the M4 with 882 stoppages and the HK 416 with 233. This test was based on two previous systems assessments that were conducted using the M4 Carbine and M16 rifle at Aberdeen in 2006 and the summer of 2007 before the third limited competition in the fall of 2007. The 2006 test focused only on the M4 and M16. The Summer 2007 test had only the M4, but increased lubrication. Results from the second test resulted in a total of 307 stoppages for the M4 after lubrication was increased, but did not explain why the M4 suffered 882 stoppages with that same level of lubrication in the third test.

The FN SCAR was one of the weapons displayed to U.S. Army officials during an invitation-only Industry Day on November 13, 2008. The goal of the Industry Day was to review current carbine technology for any situation prior to writing formal requirements for a future replacement for the M4 Carbine.

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