United States Army Special Operations Command to dump FN SCAR Mk16

The United States Army Special Operations Command will start removing the FN SCAR MK16 (5.56mm) form their inventory at the end of this year, according to a document obtained by Military.com. By 2013 they plan to have completely divested themselves of the carbine. The FN SCAR will continue to be used and later this year the Army plans on procuring a 5.56mm conversion kit for the MK17.

[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the link. ]

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.


  • Rijoenpial


    a few months after what was probably a ton of military bureaucracy, they are finally going back to the original SCAR program, which was one single modular platform capable of firing 5.56 and 7.62 NATO cals! And probably 6.8!

    This is just confirmation of the info that we know since April or May of last year!

    I was under the impression that the conversion kits were already in place… I gather that since the Afghan war required the .308 over the .223, they didn’t care much about the conversion kits up until now… Maybe this is a sign that they are going to start pulling out of Afghanistan soon… or not…!

    Colt is probably the big loser in all of this, since they probably figured they could anticipate the FN conversion kits for the SCAR, by rushing the CM901 into the market, probably hoping that they could sell the lowers AND the uppers the Army did NOT have! All they had was M4 .223 uppers! I mean, were they expecting the USSOCOM or the Army to buy both the lowers AND the uppers as well?!

    So, going back to topic, this is confirmation that the SCAR Mk17 is here to stay! The procurement of conversion kits happens now because the war in Afghanistan is near the end, given that the main reason for the US to be there, UBL, has been killed, and so instead of buying redundant SCAR Mk16 uppers and lowers, especially given the HK416 addressed many of the reliability issues of the M4, they decided to go back to the original SCAR design (one upper and one lower for multi caliber modularity)…!

    I am sure the .223 version is not dead yet, with probably many forces around the world going to test it and probably adopt it in the future! That weapon is just too good to be shelved!


  • Tahoe

    “later this year the Army plans on procuring a 5.56mm conversion kit for the MK17”

    Wait, what? First of all, if this was an option why didn’t they go that route, right off the bat? And if the troops don’t like the Mk16, why is the Army getting conversion kits to turn their Mk17s into Mk16s? Did all the Wall Street putzes who wrecked the economy quit and go into the Army Acquisition Corps?

  • Máté

    So they are going to get rid of the 5.56 SCARs and convert the 7.62 SCARs to 5.56? I dont think I understand.

  • DougieR

    I’m a SCAR 16s owner and I love that gun! I’m hoping that USASOC’s decision is based on a desire to have one multi-caliber weapon (instead of two seperate platforms) and is not based on something being “wrong” with the weapon.

    I’m also hoping that this decision will open up MK16 parts (especially barrels) to the civilian market. Us FN owners have had very little support aftermarket. Care to comment FN?

  • Anon

    Why would they take the 7.62 version and convert it to 5.56?

  • The briefing is not from USASOC. Instead, it is from USSOCOM’s PEO-SOF Warrior.


  • Lance

    Most SOCOM units never used Mk-16s to begin with most Delta Force personnel used H&K 416s and or M-4A1s. Fact is the M-4 is going to be around for a long time. the 5.56mm conversions to MK-17s will be used to give DMRs and snipers a chance to change weapons to be used as an assault rifle if there mission changes.

  • root man

    No need for MK16 if you have MK17.
    SCAR haters can view it either way.
    Looks like a win for the MK17… and SOCOM.
    Next they need to add the 6.5….

  • Avery

    Not totally surprising, really.

    I do wonder where this will leave the Mk16 design if USASOC is dropping it? Will it become just a LEO/civilian branded gun from here on? I’m sure that FN is trying to develop the 5.56mm platform for the regular army as part of the IC competition.

    If that falls through, I’m wondering if they’ll try to sell the Mk16 to other NATO countries. I recall that France is contemplating supplementing or ditching the FA-MAS because Le Clarion isn’t too modular and the Felin has hit some snags in its development.

  • Alan

    Using logic typical for the U.S. military, they plan to get rid of all of the 5.56mm FN SCAR rifles and then purchase additional kits…instead of keeping the existing rifles in storage.

  • Brett

    It’s going to take them until 2013 to get rid of something they can’t have more than a couple thousand of? Bureaucracy…

  • Sam

    So is the Army going to continue to purchase the Mk. 17?

    I suppose I see the budgetary advantage of buying the conversion kit for a Mk. 17 instead of springing for the full Mk. 16, but does the goal of replacing the M4 remain? Is the standard-issue 5.56 carbine for SOCOM going to be a converted SCAR-H?

  • root man

    I would guess that socom folks find 5.56 less and less useful. What they really wanted was a 7.62. So now they can add the other cals as needed. mk16 is fine but mk17 is better.

  • Lance

    The SCAR lover think this a new beginning. NOT really the Mk-17 will not replace M-4A1s in SOCOM service and the conversion kits are for Mk-17s in service not to replace all other firearms.

    @Rijoenpal Sorry the Colt CM-901 is meant for the BIG army IC competition NOT SOCOM Colt never sold or attempted to sell 901s to SOCOM.

    The M-4 and the H&K-416 are also and will be in service for along time too.

  • charles222

    The Mk. 16 has been on it’s way out the door for months now. Remember the whole “not being adopted” article from awhile back?

    It’s just not a significant improvement over the M4A1/HK416/whichever AR15-type rifle you happen to like.

    The Mk.17 on the other hand is an impressive as hell weapon; it’s going to be getting even better with the multi-caliber receiver. Definitely an improvement on virtually every 7.62mm battle rifle prior to it.

  • subase

    MK17 in 7.62×39mm that takes AK mags!

  • Thomas

    The FN-16 and 17 were part of the DoD’s foreign procurement program. Though the possibility existed that both weapons would replace existing weapons systems, it was always unlikely. The FN-SCAR system is a good one. But, its only real advantage is its ability to change calibers easily. And, that is only really advantageous for spec ops. The Mk 17 may remain in inventory, then again it may not. A lot more goes into weapons procurement than just the quality of the weapons system.

  • jdun1911

    I doubt the Mk.17 will go anywhere. In a few years it will end up like the Mk.16.

  • Lance

    Im With Jdun1911 on this hype can only go so far and long. And most Spec Ops ive seen in news and in pics still use M-4s and AR-10s.

    The basic weapons will not go away.

  • jdun1911

    There is no real advantage in changing calibers. If there was an advantage than FN would have made Mk.16 able to take .30 caliber.

  • charles222

    Um, yes there is a big advantage to a multi-caliber compatible weapon: Logistics. The whole rationale behind the SCAR was that SF was fielding nothing less than six different rifles in varying guises:

    ‘SR-47′ (only six of these were ever made and I don’t think they were ever fielded)

    That’s five different logistical chains; the 5.56 weapons (M4A1, Mk12, and Mk18) and 7.62mm weapons (Mk11, M110) are in no way compatible and that is a metric asston of spare parts to order, especially when you consider SOF doesn’t follow a set “issue” setup for team member weapons. The Mk 17 and Mk 16 allows for a drawdown to two different weapons that can easily cover down on five weapons’ roles. Now SOF is drawing down to literally one; wouldn’t surprise me if every SOF soldier is issued a Mk. 17 with a set of 5.56mm parts and a set of 7.62mm parts. It also allows for greater flexibility in equipping the team to the fight-everyone can have a short-barreled 5.56mm PDW, a longer-barreled 7.62mm DSM, or anything in between, really.

    But I suppose simplified logistics and greater team flexibility just don’t matter or something. :p

  • Lance

    @ Charles 222

    But the whole SCAR thing is just as inadequacy for on the spot changes since the barrel change moves the point of impact where the bullet goes and can throw optics off too. One of many reasons the SOCOM is dumping the SCAR the Colt CM 901 is much better system that changes complete uppers which all can be sighted in and will change point of impact on a weapon.

  • Colin

    @ Lance,
    I read an article, (maybe) last year, by a SF soldier on this subject. His point of view was if he got caught with the wrong barrel while out in the field, then he’d failed to plan properly for the mission and by default, failed to do his job to the required standards…

  • charles222

    But the whole SCAR thing is just as inadequacy for on the spot changes since the barrel change moves the point of impact where the bullet goes and can throw optics off too. One of many reasons the SOCOM is dumping the SCAR the Colt CM 901 is much better system that changes complete uppers which all can be sighted in and will change point of impact on a weapon.

    Lance, SOF will not be changing barrels mid-fight. These guys don’t do anything with proper mission prep, and if that means a quick trip to the range to rezero they’ll do that. Or, heck, pre-zero your 5.56mm optics(SF prefers ACOGs from what I’ve seen, and 5.56mm ACOGs are in no way compatible with 7.62mm weapons) to the barrel, mark where on the rail they go, and voila, done.

    SOCOM is not “dumping the SCAR” except in your little fantasy world. They ditched the Mk. 16 a year ago because the 17 can cover down on that rifle’s job and it wasn’t showing to be a significant improvement on M4A1 anyway.

    The CM901 is a lovely piece of engineering (or at least appears to be; it’s nothing but a prototype now) but the whole point of the SCAR program to begin with (and continues to be) minimizing logistical complexity and cost. Tell me, what is cheaper, different barrels, or different whole upper receivers?

    Also-swapping barrels within the same caliber does not require re-zeroing for acceptable battlefield accuracy. Trust me, M249 and M240 gunners have been aware of this for quite some time. 😉

  • Lance

    Sorry Charles222

    But it clear the SCAR is being dumped in 5.56mm whole idea was to change barrels in a hurry to costumize weapons for each solder. Thats not possibl;e and the fact is it wil screw up the point of impact when you scnge barrels and wrnech around a wepon to get a new barrel. The urbanomics on them such the USMC said that in the IAR competition and the crappy butstock breaks too easily.

    The reason SOCOM is make a 5,56mm conversion is to give a sharpshooter that has a Mk-20 or 17 a chance to quickly goto a 5.56mm version for CQB and to have the ability to shoot the same ammo as fellow troops armed with M-4s.

  • snmp

    FAMAS is modular but that’s an olds weapon (many have more than 20 years & the factory is close/shut down

    BTW, all french special force have move to the HK416 except Commando marine (Navy commanndo ) who have chose HK G36KV in place of their SIG SG550/SG551