FN responds to the cancellation SOCOM’s SCAR order

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USSOCOM’s decision to cancel the transition from the M4 to the FN SCAR Mk. 16 must have been the worst PR disaster to hit FN for quite some time. The FN SCAR was being proclaimed as the preferred rifle of the elite warriors of a superpower. It is now the rifle which was dropped by the elite.

FNH USA found themselves in the unfortunate position where they could not afford to not release a statement but also could not afford to annoy their biggest customer, so they did what any other firm would do in their position: say a lot without saying anything at all …

(McLean, Va.) July 1, 2010. FNH USA is cautious in releasing any information due to the nature of the pledge to our customers.

We can, however, reiterate that the MK 16 (5.56mm variant), MK 17 (7.62mm variant) and the MK 13 Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (40mm), which make up the SCAR family of weapons, have each met, and in our opinion exceeded, all of the USSOCOM program requirements. It is also a matter of record that the SCAR has been proven to be superior to existing legacy assault rifles after numerous Department of Defense tests in both lab and field environments.

FNH USA believes the fact that the SCAR program recently passed Milestone C and was determined to be operationally effective / operationally suitable (OE/OS) for fielding, highlights the tremendous capability the weapons system offers deployed special operators.

FNH USA believes the issue is not whether the SCAR, and specifically the MK 16 variant, is the superior weapon system available today …it has already been proven to be just that. The issue is whether or not the requirement for a 5.56mm replacement outweighs the numerous other requirements competing for the customers’ limited budget. That is a question that will only be determined by the customer.

While we know that the MK 17, to include the “common receiver” and corresponding 5.56mm conversion kit is an option, other Services and SOF components will have the ability to procure the MK 16 stand-alone rifle under the contract if it better meets their mission requirements.

In conclusion, the management and employees of FN are proud to provide this generation of special operators their first, entirely new assault rifle that meets and, in our opinion, exceeds the demands of today’s battlefield.

USSOCOM will still be buying the 7.62mm SCAR Mk.17 but as a designated marksmen rifle it will be purchased in much lower numbers that the 5.56mm Mk. 16.

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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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  • Vak

    I think actually managing to reintroduce assault rifles in 7.62×51 to special forces is actually a great accomplishment. Maybe even greater than making another 5.56 carabine that would have seen minor deployment.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/lordstickmax LordStickMax

    honestly i think they are a victim of their own success with the scar-h. if you have almost the same controlabiliity as the light with the power of the 7.62. im going 7.62. also i’ve been waiting on the civilian 17s before i got one as well.

  • SpudGun

    If I were FN USA, I would have added -

    ‘Like, jeez, we made the rifle the way they wanted it and then they go and change their minds like some gaggle of fashion concious teenage girls. I mean, come on, we’re not mind readers over here, give us a frikkin’ clue every now and again. We never had this trouble designing belt fed machine guns for Paris Hilton, and she’s a really fussy customer, I can tell you. SOCOM? More like So Can’t Com-mit. etc.’

  • Sian

    This matches with how I read the SOCOM cancellation article as well. Though the Mk16 is in many ways an improvement, budget requirements and the small margin of said improvement show that the money is better used elsewhere, like in acquiring more Mk17s to replace aging and obsolete Mk14 EBRs and get them to more operators in Afghanistan.

  • scurvy

    They could just drop the price in half and eat into their huge profit margins on the thing. The SCAR’s selling price in no way bears any semblance to its manufacturing cost. As my friend Jim the Realtor often says, “There’s nothing price won’t fix.” Wake up FNH.

  • j

    Does someone have access to realistic price comparison between rifles competing to take the place of the M4? Not civilian costs – costs to governmental purchasers.

    I ask only because weapons like the SCAR and the HK416 are, IMHO take it with a grain of salt, overpriced to civilian purchasers and I would be curious whether the price difference is proportionally similar to the military. Like, say whether the SCAR was 2x as expensive as the M4 or whether it’s closer to 3x.

  • jdun1911

    Rifle that are chamber in 7.62 are called battle rifles.

  • http://gunscoffee.blogspot.com/ Fred

    Did they outsource to H&K for this statement? “You can have the best rifle in the world, IF you can afford it!”

  • Lance

    Whine Whine FN seems to cry like a baby.

    They shouldnt, because they make M-16s for the Marines and Navy and make 7.62mm SCARs in small number to supplament M-14s in spec ops. They still have a monopoly in Mechine guns (M-249 and M-240B).

    The SCAR wasnt what they claim to be in this message it was another pea shooter and a M-4 or H&K 416 could do the excat same thing. If they work on a improved M-4 like H&K done then they may win the M-4 update compation and have something to celibrate.

    Other than that I tell FN to gfet over it and stop crying like a 3 year old.

  • Dave

    The long ranges in Afghanistan have the military reconsidering their choice of cartridges. When something needs shot there is a big difference between the effectiveness of a .223 or a .308.

  • Rijoenpial

    Well,

    FN is right and they sticking by their product shows their full trust in it… And SOCOM should know better: they had the budget estimates, they knew how much they cost, etc… They should fire their accountants!

    This is potentially hurtful to FN and they are not even to blame! When a customer backs out on a contract, they make the company look bad, like it’s their fault! In this case, far from it…

    The SCAR is the sole weapon with input from the operators, as far as I can recall… There were various project management reviews and all that time, SOCOM said ‘Jump’ and FNH replied ‘How high, sir?’…

    So, I understand FNH releasing a statement saying that it was not the weapons’ fault, but rather some obscure motivations, including now the price (shouldn’t they have asked from the get-go how much each weapon would cost?)… They even were planning to have a better 5.56 round for the SBR version…

    Now, they somehow discover ‘wait a minute, it still fires a 5.56 round and we can’t use them to great effect in Afghanistan!’… I mean, come on!

    This sounds very, very fishy…

    Running out of money or just using it as a excuse for a project that was sabotaged from the inception, with SOCOM devising a weapon while at the same time, sabotaging it, spending 6 years (!) to field it and only 2 months after greenlighting it for mass production and even less following the news of a new 5.56 round being developed on purpose for te SCAR SBR, they suddenly pull the plug…

    This SCAR program has been a complete mess fro start to finish, and SOCOM is IMHO the only one to blame here… FNH has been professional throughout the whole process, delivering what they wanted, making the changes they required, keeping deadlines…

    So, FNH should demand USSOCOM a public apology and compensations for tarnishing their reputation like this!

    So, it is with no surprise that I fully disagree with you… FNH has the right to defend their reputation… Backstabbing like this only hurts the credibility of USSOCOM for people who have kept track of the project’s evolution and ultimate demise…

    Fortunately, the Mk17 seems to be well accepted by the SOF operators stationed in Afghanistan, so the damage has only been partially felt… If I were FNH, I would focus on the SCAR 16S and mass producing it to the US civilian market and let the US public be the judge of the weapon with no politics involved…

    Cheers!

  • jpcmt13

    I think this might be a sign that the US is considering the 6.5 grendel. It’s a perfect intermediate round that is lightweight, small, has terminal qualities the 308 doesn’t have, range, accuracy, power, etc. Going to one caliber like the 6.5G would be awesome.

  • Frank

    You know I don’t even see the point of the DMR. When the Army is buying a variant of the SR-25. Does this offer some kind of a weight or price improvement on that? I can’t see it being more accurate.

  • Rijoenpial

    Jpcmt13,

    the costs of ditching the 5.56 for this or the 6.8 SPC are too great to make this believable, at least for the foreseable future…

    As we have all seen, money talks and it seems that USSOCOM and the USArmy have too limited funds to allow that change…They can do it in phases but there has been some resistance to them by most branches of the US military… There have been sketchy reports of production problems, ammo problems, etc…

    And, of course, the biggest obstacle: NATO! Unless NATO gives the green light, it will be next to impossible to introduce these two calibers into the theatre of operations…

  • Lance

    @ Rijoenpal

    I know your a BIG FN lover BUT SOCOM made its mind up and owes noone a apology or money. Even if you love a gun it mioght not make the cute for any reason money or otherwise. FN has enought contracts as is so it wont be too hurt.

    The M-240 alone make the company rich.

  • William C.

    Hopefully SOCOM will get their M4A1s improved in the near future at least.

  • snmp

    The SCAR Mk17 have better contrablilty in auto than many batle rifle (include FAL, G3 & M14) & Light weigh (Near an M16 with Rail or FAMAS …)

    Why take an 5,56 Rifle, when you could have for same weigh & contrablilty in .308

    BTW : SCAR is base on FNC (With many AK System homage)

  • Aurelien

    “They still have a monopoly in Mechine guns (M-249 and M-240B).”

    COLT got the last M240B contract. Yes, you read right, Colt Defense building M240s.

    As the SCAR goes, originally the guys at DoD told FN that if all went well with the SOCOM Mk16, they will purchase a whole bunch of them for line and mechanized infantry. Then, when the Mk16 started to be field-tested, DoD said ‘well we wont be buying for the regular guys, only SOCOM’. So for FN the SCAR is the gift that keeps on blowing in their face.
    And that is why the SCAR program is no longer US-only. You paid for the developpment, but FN is pissed so they started to sell the SCAR rifle to whoever wants it.

    That being said, if the cash goes to them for the .30 version anyway, i dont see what they are bitching about.

  • subase

    Rijo your completely overreacting. First, FN was well compensated for their development efforts and more importantly they have had millions in free publicity for their small arms. Previously the only thing they were known for by the layman was the FN FAL, lol.

    FN sits along Heckler and Koch, it’s reputation can’t be tarnished not even by SOCOM.

    Truth is this is all politics and noone really thought SOCOM would trade their M4/M16′s for Scars. Why? Some lubricant coatings, better maintenance and maybe a piston system addon would have amounted to the same thing but way way cheaper in money and time.

  • John C

    The guns not the problem, the caliber is. Why don’t they hurry up with the 6.5 Grendel and/or 6.8 SPC barrels for the Mk. 16? Isn’t one of the main features that it has an easy swap barrel?

  • Lance

    The M-240 Colt production is small compaired to what FN makes.

    The truth is if the military really wanted to get a new gun logic would suggest a new caliber to be adopted first. Only 3006 was a caliber which gun changed (M-1903 to M1 Grand) which was only due to new technology from bolt action to smei auto. in the era of Assult rilfes there no reason to goto a new 5.56x45mm NATO gun.

    I doubt it will ahppen this decade but if NATO adopted 6.5mm ammo then a new gun like the ACR would be in a postion for a new military rifle.

    BUT thats just not going to happen soon.

  • subase

    The 5.56 is a good round with enough barrel, it’s velocity gives it it’s stopping power due to large temporary cavity formation, but it’s small size reduces the mortality rates, thus increasing soldier medical costs for the opposing army.

    Bullpups are the future, no way will they change the caliber. Even caseless designs will probably keep a similar bullet to 5.56. The key is that it needs a 18 inch barrel minimum, bullpup designs deliver that. People keep on forgetting this is the army, for every kill they shoot something like 120 000 rounds. Cheap and light, that’s the army mantra.

  • jdun1911

    Rijoenpial,

    FN did not pay a single cent for the development of the FN SCAR. The US taxpayers pay it all and then some. Not only that the contract stated that even if the FN SCAR was a failure SOCOM had purchase XXX numbers of SCAR.

    What the US military wanted was a completely new design that can be produce cheaply. What the got was a recycled bad version of the AR18 and that in my opinion was a waste of taxpayers money.

  • Rijoenpial

    Lance,

    I agree with you on a new caliber needing to be adopted before the gun… The 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 SPC are the best challengers so far, but I think that the 5.56 will stay for quite a while still mainly due to logistics versus cost: the 6.5 and 6.8 are still having teething problems and they need to be generalised to manufacturers and not just one company or two making them…

    Baby steps will need to happen before the change happens…I fully agree…

    Going back to the subject at hand, my problem with this SCAR debacle was the way it was handled from the get-go by USSOCOM, not because I like FN… I like their weapons, sure, but I only like Goliaths that earn their titles, namely, creating great weapon designs, great weapons and being professionally responsible towards their military clients… As I usually say, companies that don’t rest on their rep and continue to surprise us with their weapons… Reliable weapons and cool-looking ones as well…

    I think FN was wise delaying the opening of the factory in the US because they probably felt this was not a shoe in… We have a saying here, roughly translated: ‘For a good understander, half a word is enough’…

    Still, it doesn’t add up the cancellation just a couple of months after the authorization for FN to mass produce them…

    The cost of the weapons, I repeat, was already known, and the teething problems, if there were any, would be dealt with…After all, the SCAR is by definition, a evolutionary weapon, meaning, a modular weapon aims for that… to adapt, to evolve, to be prepared for different calibers, fir different missions…

    I don’t dislike the M4, I just think weapons are supposed to evolve, not just be remedied… a coating, a conversion kit, etc… How do we know the weapon call allow them without sacrificing something else? It still has the charging handle in an awkward position, the stock does not fold because of the spring, among other limitations… The DI is an obsolete design and has been since 1947 (AK)…

    The ACR is proof that even within US manufacturers, the PD (piston-driven) is becoming well-accepted and the way of the future…

    That and the bullpup design… I think from now on, reliability in a more compact package is the way of the future…

    So, Lance, before I am a FN lover, I care about the soldiers having the best, most reliable weapon in their hands… That is actually why I think the SCAR, once the pseudo-teething problems are resolved, would be a great substitute for the M4… I agree though that the price is still too big in a post-recession setting, and for the limited budgets of the SOCOM…

    I think more than designs and what not, the key issue here is cost versus need… And in that regard, I concede my ground… Despite the great design of the SCAR, the problem is the caliber nd not the weapon system itself… hence why the Mk17 survived…

    Cheers!

  • Lance

    I agree with Jdun1911 that the SCAR was a AR-18 with plastic furnature and a quick change barrel. As per the M-4 its will be upgraded with a piston and improved barrel will supply US troops with a exillant weapon for years to come. And I fell in 5.56 caliber the M-4 is just as good as other 5.56mm weapons. When they goto somthing new in caliber then lets talk about a new rifle. The point is the Army also came out with M-855A1 ball which works better with short barrel carbines.

    I dont find bullpups the way of the future since so many counties have issues with them like China, and England. I do think they help in some inviroments but hamper with others.

  • 6677

    @lance
    UK fixed problems with bullpups with the A2 versions of the Sa80 weapons. HK fixed them up pretty good. No reported problems apart from the complete lack of ambidextrous use unlike the AUG where the ejector port can be moved and bolt modified for lefty shooters. The L85 and 86 will both eject straight into your face. Same for the 22 but they dont seem to get used so much.

  • snmp

    * SCAR is not an AR18 system, the SCAR is base on FNC (a mixe of AK system & FAL system).

    * HK G36, HK – Royal Ordonance SA80, Howa Type 89, HK416/HK417 & ACR are AR18 system.

    * FN herstal group that’s incude Browning & Winchester

    * Colt produce SAW M-249
    * FNH produce M16 (military contract)

  • Rijoenpial

    6677,

    that is why there’s the F2000 for the 5.56…! There is also now the RFB from Kel-Tec for the 7.62 but it kicks like a mule! So, so work to be done there still…

    However, most of the countries manufacturing guns are going for the bullpup design (Israel with the Tavor, China, France, Great Britain, with the best Special Forces using a bullpup for decades now, and with an improved model now…) It makes sense though: the recoil is focused on the shoulder and not on the arm and hand…

    The F2000 and the RFB are the only ones that could compete given being the only bullpups with front ejectors for the casings meaning that both righties and lefties can operate them…

    The more compact nature of a bullpup is also an advantage…!

    The F2000 is right now IMHO the best bullpup for the 5.56 and I think given their characteristics, FN should do a 7.62 version…

    If the accuracy can be improved as well as the ergonomics, the bullpup is the only way to go… the AR design is obsolete, only still breathing with patches (HK 416) that are not yet reliable…

    So, my vote is for a F2000 in a 7.62 version next … The 5.56 is a great design and is reliable…maybe making it a less bulky… The FN design was supposed to be the first modular weapon, enabling several configurations to be added to the original chassis… Maybe the time has come for the F2000 to step forward…

    This is the best bullpup right now… With forgiveness of the SAS’ Enfield…

    Cheers!

  • jdun1911
  • Lance

    @ Rijoenpial

    The M-16 is not obselete. It has exilent accracy better than the FNC or AUG and yes the L-85. The SAS dropped the L-85 and bought C-7 and C-8s. Denmark holland Norway Turkey and Iraq and Pillipines and Canada still use the M-16 not just the US. Iraqi solgers tringing with the M-16s they bought from FN liked it better then the AK-47s they had since the 1960s.

    Strange only 2 countires have invested in new guns South Korea and Italy. And both are planning to keep there origenal assult rifles in service and only certian indiviuals and units will use the new guns. Germany Belgum UK Austria and Spain are and will use the same rilfe they had since the 1970s.

    The whole notion that were on a the plain of new weapons is hogwash!

  • Aurelien

    The main reason SAS and French SF use AR-15s in lieu of the standard bullpup systems is a modularity issue.

    Spain does not use 1970s rifles. They use H&K G36s they bought in the early 2000s. Same goes for the Germans who bought G36s in the late 90s.

    And no, the RFB and F2000 are not the only bullpups that can be used by lefties. The FA-MAS and AUG can be switched from lefty to righty quite easily.

  • subase

    Accuracy of the weapon is less relevant than people like to think in the army. Engagements don’t rely on accuracy of the shooter but more so on the amount of bullets they fire. Don’t you think due to the army firing 120 000 rounds for every kill they get, is a sign that accuracy in a military firearm is overrated? Special ops is a different ballgame, they of course would benefit greatly from a superior round to the 5.56 at the expense of size and weight. Their greater skill and stronger bullets would counterbalance their loss of total rounds as would their specific mission objectives.

    Forward ejecting bullpups are untested it’s too soon to reject them since there are only two models available. The bulbous, heavy FN FS2000 and kel tecs RFB. Kel tec already has solved the bullpup trigger issue by having an excellent almost match trigger.

    The M16 is not obsolete it’s just lacking, mainly in stopping power. But CQB is more of a concern and so the M4 was created and is further exacerbated by special ops having 10 inch barrels and less with suppressors on them. Urban warfare is the future, only the u.s get’s involved in wars like Afghanistan. The new ammunition created by the army is superior to what is available but it’s still a stop gap solution to the weakness of the 5.56 calibre and M16 platform. Changing to a heavier and bigger round is not going to happen, polymer and caseless technology will make the 5.56 round even lighter, no way will the army adopt a heavier and bigger round, when a good forward ejecting bullpup rifle comparable to the M16 is just around the corner.

  • Rijoenpial

    jdun1911,

    you’re wrong on both counts: one, that I am a kid ( does being 33 get me off the hook? LOL) and second, the bullpup system has very good weapons…If you dislike it, that’s an entirely different matter…

    To Lance:

    The F2000 was recently bought by the Slovenian Army… And they aren’t rich like the US, so the money is moot… The reliability, the accuracy and the low-cost maintenance should be the basic requirements for an army weapon…

    Oh, by the way, most armies don’t use the M4, M16 as their standard army issue… many SOF in those countries use them, but the SOF also use several other models from various other companies… The Armies of Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Czech Republic, etc, don’t use them.. Norway uses HK’s clone +, Sweden an FNC clone, Russia’s is a bit obvious LOL … Iraq uses it and I dare you to explain why, being it so obvious! LOL

    Check out the countries that have bought the M4 and tell me what is wrong with them:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_carbine

    Yeah, you guessed it: most are very small countries including, of course, Iraq and Afghanistan, and out of them, most are used by SOF, not by the regular armies…

    The fact is that outside special forces, most armies use other brands, cheaper, piston-driven weapons with far greater stopping power… The FAL, the G3, the AK and multiple variants and clones… The only Army I know uses M4s extensively is the US; I wonder why!…and Israel used to use them, having switched to the Israeli-made TAVOR… that’s right, a bullpup…

    And I don’t know why you mentioned the FNC in there, since it is not a bullpup…

    The F2000 is accurate, probably more so than the M4 but since there was never a test comparing the two, to my knwoledge at least, we’ll never know…

    The M4 is just still there because of familiarity issues, not because there aren’t better weapons out there…There sure are and the US Army and SOCOM understood that finally in the deserts of Afghanistan… The 5.56 is only accurate for short distances… But even within the 5.56 family, there are better options than the DI-AR design… The hybrid SCAR, for instance, the FNC after the earlier teething problems, became a good, cheap weapon (check out most countries that are using it), reliable and still is the standard rifle of the Swedish Forces as the variant Ak5…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_FNC

    The bullpup qualities of the F2000 are well known (more compact, less recoil, fully ambidextrous in nature, not requiring further retooling as the FAMAS and Steyr AUG)… The bullpup, before F2000, had stopped evolving and that is why the bullpup system has the rep it has… IF it had had the spotlight the AR had, it would have surpassed it by now…

    The bullpup system is still around because it works and is improvable… And is a great alternative… Piston-driven, cleaner, low maintenance (at least for the F2000, the one I know more)… I mean, you don’t need a folding stock with a bullpup… the charging handle is G3-like, but it is all about routines, training… I mean, the same SOF that were used to use the MP5 (like, ALL of them) can easily use an F2000 in that regard…

    Going back to subject though, I think that I hope FN got an explanation from SOCOM (which I am sure they did, since FN is the major arms manufacturer to the USArmy, so there is common interest in maintaining good relationships with eachother) and I don’t care much that FN can take this bump, it is still a bump… For a company that cares about its rep, it sure matters…

    Some companies like Robinson or Bushmaster don’t care much for it, at least from what I can gather from people that purchased their weapons…

    And I personally am against breaking contracts like these… It shows clumsiness, lack of professionalism and irresponsability… And not from FN…

    And FN surely will be the the one that is gonna be targeted by misguided PR opportunists, namely their competitors…

    Et voilá! Cheers!

  • snmp

    @jdun1911

    SCAR (is base on FNC ) : you could see the piston attache to bolt carrier Like an AK or FN mimi. That’s less parts than an AR18

  • Lance

    Sorry subbase but the LWT caseless rifles are NOT Bullpums and I dont see every one going to a bullpup.

  • jdun1911

    Subase,

    “Accuracy of the weapon is less relevant than people like to think in the army. ”

    You tell that to the drill instructor at boot camp. You tell that to range master that will decide if you have what it takes to use your rifle.

  • jdun1911

    Aurelien,

    “The main reason SAS and French SF use AR-15s in lieu of the standard bullpup systems is a modularity issue.”

    So you’re saying that SA80 won’t allow you to put accessories like light, lasers, and optics? The SA80 is capable for doing all those things.

    The reason why special operators and private contractors do not use bullpup is you know it suck.

  • jdun1911

    Lance,

    You got a lot of people that have no actual knowledge of firearms, posted things like the AR is obsolete and every crap in between. They don’t realize that every new rifle platform is chasing the AR. What does the SCAR do that the AR15 can’t do better?

    By the time a new recycled platform comes into market the AR15 has already move on to more advance concept. Millions of dollars spent in the private sectors on R&D for the AR15 each year. The only other rifle/carbine system that even come close to it is the Ruger 10/22. When you have that much money and that much knowledge working on one platform you understand why the US military is reluctance to give it up.

  • Aurelien

    “So you’re saying that SA80 won’t allow you to put accessories like light, lasers, and optics? The SA80 is capable for doing all those things.”

    The FAMAS is capable of that now. But you’re looking at the problem the wrong way. They started using AR-15s in the 90s, and at that time the only really modular rifle was the M16/M4 system. L85 and FAMAS would not accept flashlights, underbarrel grenade launchers, etc.

  • Lance

    The M-4 is used by more Armies then you realize Rijoenpial. There not just SOF but regular infantry use them too. trust me Ive seen videos of them. The FAMAS also needs to be updated and the french have not done so except for the French Navy. The Piston has a cleaner action but porrer accuracy. Every Sniper knows that a M-110 is far better than a SVD. I think theres alot of people who are just mad because there hope of a all FN product army isnt happening the M-4 is here to stay for now and some just get mad at the facts.

  • Rijoenpial

    jdun1911,

    that is exactly how a fanboy would act…The AR is not original nor is it the best system around… It is only a glorified weapon by the most biased people…

    So, stop offending people and start looking at the mirror… The AR is full of shortcomings, hence why SOCOM was searching for a new weapon (SCAR)…

    And make no mistake, gentlemen, Lance, Jdun, the SCAR was dropped for political reasons, for resistance within SOCOM…The M4 is being maintained with conversion kits and what not because it is cheap to buy and no matter what problems it has, will be forced-fed to the soldiers until Doomsday…

    The AR is obsolete in every way, the DI was obsolete ever since the AK showed up which means it was obsolete even before it showed up!

    So, you can glorify all you want that US design, it won’t mater much… We all know what it’s worth… That ridiculous charging handle, that stupid forward assist, the lack of folding ability, the lack of ambidextrous controls, the overheating, the high maintenance… Accuracy is only good if your foes allow it… On most occasions, stopping power is what makes the difference… The 5.56 is kept even though even for urban combat, it shows lack of penetration…

    So, glorifying, whitewashing the AR flaws doesn’t change reality…

    Again, SOCOM knows the limitations of the 5.56 and since the AR is 5.56, just do the math…

    So, again, stop being a child, jdun1911, and realise that your love for the AR doesn’t make you right, just biased…!

    Sorry about this, Steve…But this provokation couldn’t have gone unanswered…!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Rijoenpial, you need to calm down. The AR-15 is not perfect but no gun is. In the past year years it has been adopted by four or five nations as their primary service weapon. Millions are sold each year to civilians (more than any other rifle in the US).

  • subase

    As I heard someone else mention, as long as we continue to use gun powder based projectiles, the length of barrel matters. Won’t matter if we switch to polymer casings and then caseless, the same problems will still remain. The more barrel the more velocity, less flash and recoil. (due to unburnt powder)

    Also considering caseless guns don’t need to eject casings why NOT make them bullpups? (cause reloads are a fraction slower?) That already solves the major problem of complete ambidextrous usage of early bullpups, a problem which forward ejecting bullpups like the FN FS2000 and RFB only recently have now solved.

  • Rijoenpial

    Steve,

    I apologise for my outburst…

    About those new nations you spoke about, are there any new nations besides the ones listed in the M4 Wikipedia entry I posted above?

    Cheers!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Rijoenpial, forgiven ;) It has been adopted recently by Norway (HK416), Turkey (HK416), Georgia (M4), Iraq (M16), Afghanistan (M16/C7). There was a lot of talk about Malaysia adopting the M4, they even licensed production from Colt, but I think the Armed Forces ran out of money.

      http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2007/09/21/who-uses-the-m16-m4-ar-15-c7-c8/

  • jdun1911

    snmp,

    Like I said the SCAR is a modified Stoner Piston. However it still doesn’t come close to the AK. I posted my resources but if you want here is another example.

    SCAR and Stoner Piston bolt face is almost identical.

    SCAR
    http://www.rpginn.com/xgalleryx/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=39717&g2_serialNumber=1&g2_GALLERYSID=3a37379bb12f65bf97e914dd4eb0ca57

    Stoner Piston
    http://www.rpginn.com/xgalleryx/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=39753&g2_serialNumber=1&g2_GALLERYSID=3a37379bb12f65bf97e914dd4eb0ca57

    FAL bolt face:
    http://50ae.net/collection/stg58/stg58-19-c.jpg

    I’m not at home so I can’t take a picture of my AK bolt face. However it look similar to this.

    http://www.dragunov.net/ndm86/ndmbolthd.gif

    This is a sig 556 and like all sig 5xx series is base on Kalashnikov action. Notice that the piston isn’t attached to the BCG (bolt carry group). It still a Kalashnikov granted modified.

  • jdun1911

    Aurelien,

    But if those bullpup is now capable of using AR accessories why not go back to their standard bullpup rifle use in their military?

  • jdun1911

    Lets face brutal facts. The AR series is at the center of small arms developments and not the other way around. The vast majority of small arms technology is base around the AR. From optics to stocks to personally gears to the very little things was and is developed for the AR. Sure those accessories could be use on other platform but it was first made for the AR.

    For example:
    1913 rails. Who had it first? AR.
    Quad Free floating rails. AR
    Aimpoint optics? Design for AR.
    Eotech optics? Design for AR.
    Improvement in Stock technology like Sopmod, CTR, Emod, etc. Design for AR.
    Improvements in magazine reliability. Design for AR.
    Tactical gears. Design for AR users.
    The list goes on.

    The SCAR and most military long weapons benefited from what the AR R&D community bought to the table.

    You got thousands of new products come out each year just to meet the growing public demand for AR users. Millions of dollars and countless men hours spent each year cranking up new products for the AR. How manly military weapons has such level of private support? None.

    Any new weapon that will replace the AR must be beyond good enough to justified the set back of small arms technology for at least 25 years. That is the time it needed for the private sector to start to provide support for the new weapon system. This is because to patents and lawsuits. There is no profit to be made for a platform that is not open and limited sales to the general public (due to the fact that the company have to satisfied the military contracts first. That means not much will go into public hands).

    Look on the bright side of things SCAR fanboys. You are now able to buy spare parts and the SCAR will probably come down to $1,500 level. I’ll buy one if it is sub 1k.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    FWIW: The SCAR’s gas system is essentially a throwback to the M1 Carbine. It uses a short-stroke tappet that remains captive in the gas cylinder. When gas flows into the gas cylinder, the tappet strikes the long forward extension of the bolt carrier, propelling it to the rear. The bolt is clearly a Johnson/Stoner pattern, unlike the Kalashnikov and FNC.

    Some have suggested that the SCAR program was initiated in part due to SOCOM’s desire to have sole control over their own rifle and any future product improvement. Any product improvements for the M4 carbine require collaboration with the carbine’s other users, particularly the US Army who handles the procurement of the M4 for all of the service branches. You’ll note that the SOPMOD program has been limited to add-ons, not permanent modifications. In addition, SOCOM reportedly didn’t want to get saddled with PEO-Soldier’s pet project, the XM8, which was being pushed hard at the time.

  • subase

    I agree that there is no significant advance over the AR to warrant a new weapon. The FN FS2000 just isn’t convincing enough. The RFB is better but isn’t in 5.56 just yet.

    Maybe Socom finally got a clue and realized the AR is like the 1911 design now. Awash with aftermarket parts and improvements. Their new M4/m16 improvement program might indicate this realization.

    A $299 opsrey gas piston which is coated with Fail zero probably $200 dollars (fail zero coated M4/M16 bolt and carrier costs $250). There you go, desert reliability problems solved. For less than $450 dollars, considering its a military contract probably $300 all up.

    The new ammunition the army has introduced is more effective out of shorter barrels so it will rectify to a large extent the poor stopping power of the 5.56 round.

    It will be a while before a bullpup design can trump this new and improved AR.

  • Aurelien

    “Aurelien,

    But if those bullpup is now capable of using AR accessories why not go back to their standard bullpup rifle use in their military?”

    Force of the habit ? They used the AR platform for quite a while, going back to a bullpup design may not have been that easy to push on the soldiers

    Ergonomics ? The French SF used a number of other rifles, mainly in classic rifle configuration (Galil, AR, Sig55X…). The L85 system is right-handed only.

    Ammo issues ? The FAMAS F1 (army variant) doesnt use NATO ammo.

    Coolness factor ? Using AR-style rifles has the US SOF image, and a huge cool factor.

    Pick one.

  • Clairon

    New declaration from FN refuting that the contract for the Mk16 has be cancelled by USSOCOM :

    “July 7, 2010

    Belgium-based firearms manufacturer FN Herstal hereby refutes the allegations recently found on the web that USSOCOM abandoned the 5.56 version of the SCAR® rifle and reconfirms USSOCOM’s decision to acquire the full FN SCAR® family of weapons, including the 5.56mm rifle.

    The FN SCAR® family of weapons consists of the 5.56mm SCAR® rifle, 7.62mm SCAR® rifle and 40mm LV Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (respectively designated as MK 16, MK 17 and MK 13 by USSOCOM). These three components were developed by FN Herstal in close cooperation with USSOCOM and have each met all the operational and fielding tests required by the program. This resulted in the notification by USSOCOM last May that the full SCAR® system entered into Milestone C phase, allowing production and deployment of the full range of SCAR® weapons. The 5.56 version will be part of USSOCOM’s inventory.

    The choice between the 5.56 and the 7.62 caliber will be left to the discretion of each constitutive component of USSOCOM’s Joint Command (e.g. Seals, Rangers, Army Special Forces, USMC, AFSOC) depending on their specific missions on today’s battlefield.”

    From the official FN site :

    http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=640

    Rgds
    Clairon

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Clairon, thanks!

  • Lance

    Steve what dose that mean???

    Its offical that the Mk-16 wont be produced for SOCOM any mmore dose this mean that the 5.56mm version will still be used?

  • Lance

    Ohh I read this SOCOM will buy no more Mk-16s but will still use the Mk-16s they already bought.

  • Lance

    I really doubt the military time article was false on this I think they mean that the Mk-16s in service will stay in service for now.

  • Lance

    An my final comment is that they are admitting that SOCOM hasn’t canceled the Mk-16 but isn’t buying them they are buying Mk-17s.

  • subase

    Yeah but it doesn’t change the fact that it won’t be replacing the M4/M16 and custom shortened versions as the standard rifle for Socom. It’s just going to be part of their inventory ie collecting dust in their cupboards. FN contract probably stipulated a minimum buying of a number of Scar if they held their end of the bargain.

    If the mission is very extended in time duration and in some really dusty conditions then socom troops may get the scar instead of the M4. Since they are adopting the Scar heavy (replacement for heavy ass M14s?) troops will be fairly familiar with it anyway.

  • kcoz

    They could just be putting the MK16 on the back burner for now. I would think Mk17s would be more in demand right now, condsidering the conditions in Afghanistan. Later when the time is right and the money is there, they will go ahead and switch over from the M-4 to the SCAR. Just a thought.

  • W

    No reason in the world to procure another 5.56mm rifle, given that the limitations (especially in afghanistan) are in the round, not the rifle.

    The Mk 17 looks promising though. perhaps FN will design a version in 6.8 or something like that.

  • imijx

    Just another round in the decades long debate over the effectiveness of the 5.56 round. Some day, perhaps when the present generation or two or three of generals retires and younger officers take over, maybe we can get on with selecting a more effective caliber/rifle/LMG combination. Not enough money??? Oh, that’s right, we have to build this V-22′s, EFV’s, F-22′s and all those other wonderful trillion dollar toys. And don’t forget, we have to re-invent the new camo fashions for all the different services. Meanwhile, the frontline trigger-pullers will have to make do with what they have. Disgraceful.

  • Adrian

    The F2000 is gay! Colt is clearly greasing somebodies palms. At the end of the day it all comes down to politics…somebody knows somebody. Or its a civilian who does the purchasing, clueless bastard!

  • Adrian

    Didn’t somebody, cant remember who maybe FN or HK developed a new round for their compact firearms that would penetrate body armour at a hundred yards?

  • Jeremy

    an FN in 5.56 isn’t any better than an M-4 in 5.56. In fact due to it being big and bulky it’s worse. But in 7.62 the bulkiness is warranted. Wouldn’t mind seeing that puppy in .300 and .338 , I like the ergonomics better than the masada.

  • Mike

    The scar, in my opinion is a “wanna be” ACR. Anyway, US forces should use US firearms made in the US.

    • jason Keefer

      The FNH factory is in Columbia, South Carolina. I’m not sure how much more US you can get.

  • Steve

    fnh still has a very major role in the Us and world wide,The scar is an excellent weapon in both calibers.I see the scar heavy being used for quit some time.The scar light has been purchased and is in use,although not in the numbers it planned.The military got exactly what they wanted in both scar platforms.Even though FNH gave them exactly what they wanted,maybe if the were numerous companies trying for the contract things would have come out different or maybe not.Look at the past history of replacing the m9s,every company and their brother produced weapon for testing,then after testing order a gazillion more Berettas,when other handguns were far better in testing,same for the scar,it’s all politics plain and simple,now all the ar companies can still get their chunk of the military cheese

  • Nick

    Thing is I heard somewhere that the Mk. 16 may still be sticking around in NAVSOC (Navy SEALs). I hope it’s true because the SCAR is just simply a better weapon than the M4.

  • Jim Starek

    I worked as the new equipment tng NCO for my SF unit and conducted the evaluations on the scar. The 17 was preferred over the 17 for It’s lethality firing 7.62. The majority of the operators did not deem the 16 as being superior to the M4 and would rather keep the M4 then switch to the scar 16. I am retired now, hope I didn’t break any code of silence on this. My comments are true and to the fact. de oppresso liber