Review of SCAR 16s

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Jeff and Boge Quinn of GunBlast have reviewed the SCAR 16s and liked what they saw

With the MK 16, FN Herstal has set out to build the world’s best 5.56mm fighting rifle, and the SCAR 16s is as close to that rifle as most of us can get, legally. It is a well-built rifle, very reliable, easy to shoot, and match-accurate. The price tag to own such a piece is not cheap. As of this writing, the MSRP is bumping right up against the three thousand dollar mark. However, that is not too far out of line with some of the AR-based piston rifles available, and the SCAR system must be pretty good, as it beat out other designs for the USSOCom contract. FN manufacturers the great majority of our small arms now in use with U.S. troops, and the SCAR seems to be well-accepted by those who handled, fired, and fielded the new rifle. The SCAR 16s comes with one magazine and an owner’s manual, and is available either in black or the Flat Dark Earth finish shown here. You never regret buying the best.

Thanks to Jason for the photo.

Hat Tip: Michael Bane and SaysUncle

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • SpudGun

    And let the games begin! Just when the AR vs. AK arguments were getting a little stale, FN comes along and divides opinion again.

    I do drop by GunBlast.com regularly and I do like Jeff’s reviews on firearms (even if some of them are a bit too positive for my liking). His style is very down to earth and natural and you don’t feel like you’re being shilled a load of crap.

    Anyways, before this explodes into the usual fanboy debate, I’ll chuck in my two cents worth – the best piston driven AR is the LWRCi M6A3.

    Have fun! :)

  • Carl

    There seems to be quite a few screws on this rifle. I’m not too fond fond of that, on a firearm. First, it looks like it was hastily thrown together rather than carefully and efficiently designed. And second, they might come undone during shooting.

  • Eroc

    Meh, I’m holding out for the Massada/ACR.

  • Lance

    He dint say that the rails on the forarm are connected to the barrel and you got a red hot forearm in combat. The Butstock is cheap plastic and breaks too easily. And the fire control group has plastic parts which break too easily.

    Its a $3000 dollar pice of junk some admaral liked.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Lance, not an issue with a semi-automatic that won’t see combat. That is like saying the M4 is junk because it cannot be used as a light machine gun without overheating.

      I will judge it based on combat reports from the Rangers when the SCAR equipped troops see combat.

  • Lance

    Thats a [oint Steve. I know a man in my rilfe matches who uses a SCAR, it very accurate and thats a thing i admit to you. But A guy with a AR always beats him as well. LOL

  • Jim

    Someone mentioned recently that the Gunblast reviews tend to be kind to the guns they look at. Very kind. Too kind. It’s true.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      I sympathize with gun blast and other publications who review arms. They are handed a gun in perfect working order, with ammunition known to work, and they shoot a limited quantity of ammunition. It would be unreasonable and uneconomic to do a 5000 round torture test of every gun reviewed. The chance of them experiencing a problem is very low.

      If I started reviewing arms on the blog ( so far I have declined all offers to get review guns ) I doubt my reviews would be much different.

      What I do expect is that all malfunctions are reported in a review – be it the guns fault or operator error.

      Out of interest, how many rounds do you think a reviewer should fire on a semi-auto rifle or shotgun before writing a review?

  • jdun1911

    People were complaining about this on AR15.

    The rail getting hot is still an issue in semi-automatic mode. It will get very hot very fast if the operator remotely use it anywhere near it normal fire rate. You need a glove to protect your hand if you’re going to heavily use the rifle.

    Aluminum are great at absorbing heat. It also great at getting rid of the heat it absorbed but it take time not much tho. It heat up fast it cool down fast.

  • SpudGun

    It’s a tough one when it comes to reviewing guns, especially when advertising revenues are involved. Don’t want to have one of the big players cancel their ads because you said one of their guns wasn’t very good.

    Additionally, give a certain manufacturer too many bad reviews and the loaner guns dry up real quick.

    The guns that are lent out for review, have probably had a team of engineers working on them for two weeks previous to make sure they function flawlessly and that every single part is polished, oiled, greased and filed to perfection.

    Though I enjoy reading gun reviews, I always take them with a massive pinch of salt and rely instead on various Internet forums to try and get an honest appraisal of a firearm.

    What we need is a Top Gear style show that looks at firearms independently and free of collusion.

  • Lance

    It sucks even with gloves nice tac gloves can get burned or melt too. And there not cheap.

  • Mac C

    Good friend is deployed overseas right now – can’t say where exactly – BUT they have run into guys sporting these there. The guys he talked to said there “were some issues”. No further info on it until said person returns (OpSec) but it sure wasn’t a glowing tidbit.

  • Burner

    I talked to a SpecOps guy about this recently. He mentioned that they kept on pushing the SCAR on his platoon but none of them wanted the FN rifle for multiple reasons. He mentioned that they all already upgraded their M4s to piston themselves and didn’t need this loud and clunky pet project of some general. His words, not mine.

  • subby

    I for one am glad socom got their rifle. The m4/m16 wasn’t up to the task in afghanistan. But I hope they don’t incorporate it into the army at large, it is too expensive and not much of a advance over the Ar. And on some points like durability for example it may even be deficient.

  • Lance

    Stubby, the Army wont go to the SCAR they aready made requirements for a piston M-4. The Marines are commited to the M-16A4 for the next 10 years as well.

  • destroyer

    M4/M16 beats the SCAR? wishful thinking to say the least…

  • Lance

    Sorry destoryer

    But there some serious problums with the SCAE and its not the super gun some think it is.

    The regular military is not going to go with it.

  • Blade269

    The SCAR does what it was designed to do, and is a fine weapon. The M4 has done it’s job but certainly has a lot of drawbacks, all of which the SCAR was designed to address. Funny how time changes – if there had been BLOGs during the Vietnam war just imagine the things that would have been said about the 5.56mm round, or the Mattel plastic rifle? And yet here we are, 40 years later, fighting two wars with the descendants of those first M-16s, and swearing they’re the best. We use the M-16 because they are cheap and fairly reliable. There have been better weapons developed and tested since the 1970′s, but none have been able to overcome the DoD acquisitions juggernaut. It’s taken the war on terror to break that mentality and open the DoD floodgate to new (and old) weapons ideas. We’re seeing M-14s back in the fight, all kinds of M-16 variants and modifications, AR-10s, now the SCAR, etc. It’s healthy and gratifying. The SCAR family will undoubtedly go through some growing pains, but I can almost guarantee it will not struggle like the M-16A1. USSOCOM tested the SCAR very thoroughly (all four components of SOCCOM) and it kicked ass. For those that have used it, it’s reliable, flexible, cooler, and cleaner than the M-4. It’s better balanced and it’s CG keeps the weapon on target comfortably. It is made of composites (not plastic) that are durable and well engineered. Will there be mods? Yes, surely. The charging handle will probably be canted, the folding stock latch will probably need to be reengineered, but these are small fries. No, I don’t work for FN, but I know my firearms. I’ve shot them all from FALs to Steyrs, ARs to 416s, Galils and FS2000s, the XCR, and the SCAR. The SCAR stacks up and will undoubtedly prove itself in combat. How is it that everyone knows “this SpecOps guy?”

  • Destroyer

    i agree blade, every weapon has growing pains and FN will undoubtedly resolve them. Since I own a SCAR 16S and have tested it significantly, i have experienced no “major” problems with it. Until SOCOM actually publishes the supposed complaints and major problems of the SCAR (like army soldiers have with the M4), I will not take any rumors about it seriously.

  • Scoutdawg

    I will start out with WOW again!

    All The bad comments are ……(use your own words)

    The SCAR is a fine weapon — I Own it — I Love it…Knew it was expensive before I bought it…No brainer…Knew it had a molded composite stock…pretty cool actually…Knew about the reciprocating handle…don’t put your hand in the way (smarter than the gun)….Oh The barrel gets hot….Yessss it does… LOUD…Like any AR is Not Loud…REALLY – petty. It does everything any AR does and does it very well… It is very accurate .. as accurate as the shooter….bench rest shooting…who cares .. once its set up on a bench rest…any one can pull the trigger and hit the paper… Hit my targets out to 200 yds standing up regularly ..I smile every time the target goes ding!!!. MOA… who cares… I can hit the target and the target isn’t shooting back….Real World civilian…All the comments about one gun being better than the other…A 5.56 bullet will either kill you or hurt you..doesn’t matter what gun it comes from….REAllY. Everybody knows someone in the military….who cares…The military is going to do what the military will do (Gun/weapon Wise they have access to the very best weapons on a large scale — NOBODY Else in the world does it better – BAR None)…If you can’t afford the gun don’t buy it..Plenty of less expensive (notice I didn’t say cheap) Ar’s out there..5.56 bullets don’t care what gun it’s coming out of .. it will still KILL or hurt…All you civilians out there wanting to shoot your Bad neighbor at 300 yds …fantasy man…really.. I hope your not teaching/telling anyone to shoot thy neighbor…(Weapons are serious business)..Your Zombies/or what ever movie your watching are not here yet….America still has LAWS (Glad I can Buy a SCAR)….The M16/M4 platforms are Great platforms and most SCAR owners own some version of it…..If you don’t Like a great weapon move on….NO problem…Buy the all metal 12 lb beast and shoot your bad neighbor at 800 yds with a 1/2″ MOA. A True man of character….Most Military guys are not shooting the BAD guys at 800 yds with a SCAR –The sp-op guys (Much smarter and actually trained — more so than than the blogging movie watching civilians)…use their other weapon platforms… close in The M4/M16, Scar, AK-47 they all can do some damage……
    Like the guy said previously…Its a highly tested weapon (I’am glad someone tested it) and in the future it can only get better…who cares how expensive it is..If you can’t afford it…You can’t afford it…
    Reviewers try to tell it like it is… and the educated people will take all the good and bad and make a decision based on what works for them… The SCAR works fantastic for me No complaints…..A GREAT new Weapon Platform for the civilians..I always smile when I’am on the range and smile some more when it comes time to clean it at home… then it’s locked in my closet (not loaded next to me in my bed waiting for my bad neighbor/zombies). One word of educated advise.. Don’t shoot it in your home, don’t take it camping with your family, and Please don’t shoot your neighbor at 800 yds…….I’ll end it with WOW!
    Good review and Thanks FN — I Like the Scar 16s so much — I bought the SCAR 17s… Yes its expensive, loud, Hot, has composite material, reciprocating handle, trigger — just pull it—–What a Great Weapon!!! Did I miss anything?

    • will B

      I keep My guns loaded at home because i live in reality. I have been the intended victim of crimes more than once. Not everyone lives in the burbs and talks about what they can afford

  • charliebravo

    i am torn on the scar. owned the 16s at one point and sold it to go back to an AR. i was sad yet happy at the same time. here’s why… i bought the gun back when they were very hard to get. got lucky with a dealer and snatched it up quick! couldnt believe i finally had one! it was an amazing looking weapon deff. got a lot of attention at the range with it. the break down was amazing. quick and convenient! and it shot really good. i wasnt worried about how loud it was, seemed ok in that area. and i left the range the first day completely happy with gsr all over my hands and 300 rounds less in my ammo closet. that was on a cold december day. i plinked with it time from time up until that spring we had a nice 60-70 degree week and me and delta buddy up from n carolina went out and gave it hell. he was shooting a 416 platform and was very interested in seeing the scar run. 1000 rounds got spent that day and hears what we found. HOTT!! between the exchanging fire drills and the speed drills we had to let that sucker cool a lot. shame on me for forgetting my gloves lol still an aspect i could deal with. guns get hot thats what they do and im not in a fire fight every other day so i shrugged that off. but then as the day progressed i started to notice a stick in the reset of the trigger. and that was getting on my nerves. when i wanna rapid fire i dont want hic-ups. so i was a little peeved and then we started doing some exiting vehicle senarios with stock folded and firing from the stock folded position. nothing wrong with the weapon during this until we got done and i saw 2 screws on the ground that i knew were not there previously. come to find they had raddled lose out of the butt stock retaining plate. i was like WTF! and so was my buddy. so i sent it back to the factory and said they fixed trigger and the loose screws.. the loose screws was the only thing i could tell had been fixed. trigger still sticky. it was hard to even get a nice 3 round burst off which i can do on my ars no prob. soo thats why im torn. i love the easy cleaning, good looks, feel and accuracy and functionality of the weapon but those were 3 issues that pushed me to reconsider. now a dealer i recently talked to that goes to shows quite often told me they expanded the gas ports slightly to help them not heat up as quick. not sure if this is true or if hes feeding me a line of BS. because i called fn and they said no upgrades or changes have been made to the rifle but the guy i talked to says when you call fn customer support the people you talk to on the phone are not very knowledgeable about those kinds of changes so IDK! maybe sum1 on here would? if they at least made the heating up issue better i would throw some locktite on the threads and suck it up about the trigger. i hear its just a little sticky naturally anyway.. so any questions comments concerns complaints let me know. thanks