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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  • Alex-mac

    Yeah the lack of holes in the front guards of these state of art rifles which are also damn heavy remains a mystery.

    Maybe big companies like FN and H&K are charging per hole, CNC machining costs you see…

  • 18D

    I’m not sure what the big deal is about these cuts in the forend? Since when do we know more than the designers? The SSR was lightweight and very mobile. It also shoots extremely well, which is really all that counts with a system like this.

    • Bandito762

      Well, the idea of a DMR is that you could take it on patrol so every little bit of weight that can be reduced counts. I agree the cuts were probably left out because of a strength issue as well as a cost one.

      • 18D

        Once again, this is was not designed to be a DMR!

  • Mole Man

    With the extra material they would have from cutting holes in the rails they would’ve had exactly enough scrap metal to melt to make 1400 more guns. Or an entire BMW 535i.

  • ChielScape

    Aside from the standard stock, what differences are there with the Mk20 SSR? Barrel quality? Tolerances? Fun switch?

    • 18D

      There isn’t really any difference as far as I’ve been told. This is just the commercial version of the MK20.

      • ChielScape

        What if one wanted the Mk20 stock on it, then?

      • 18D

        Now that is a good question. The way I see it, shooters now days are much more educated than they were say, 12 years ago. We don’t want replicas, we want the actual rifle that was designed for SOCOM just a few years ago. That means having the MK20 stock. Although the PR stock has been slightly redesigned, its not the stock that came on the MK20.

        From what I understand, the stock in the picture isn’t set in stone. So there is still a possibility to get the original. However, I wouldn’t count on it. Hopefully something similar or an exact copy will be available from someone. The only other option I see, is getting a direct AR15 stock replacement kit, which is available right now. The cool part about putting an AR stock on the SCAR is that you can choose from hundreds of different options, and you can use a cheek riser since this gun uses a side charging handle.

      • ChielScape

        I’m the kind of guy to whom looks are just as important, so I’ll see and wait.

  • JamesD

    The more of these I see, the more I think the main qualification for the designated marksman role is to be half pack mule.

    • 18D

      The MK20 was never intended to be a designated marksman rifle. It was intended to be a sniper support rifle, which is gun speak for spotter. It was also intended to be a semi-auto sniper solution for those missions requiring rapid Target acquisition at medium ranges.

      The Designated Marksmen is not a new concept, but rather a concept that has been brought back onto the modern battlefield.

      Designated Marksmen is becoming a commonly misused phrase.

      • W

        spot on 18, the Mk 17 was intended as a DMR with its longer barrel configuration. Technically, Soviet snipers were “designated marksmen” with the SVD rifle as in they extended the range of motor-rifle infantry squads and platoons to 6-800 meters. US sniper doctrine was independent two-man units employing precision shots and Soviet sniper doctrine was SVD-equipped designated marksman integrating with infantry squads and platoons.

        “new” concepts, such as automatic riflemen and designated marksmen, which the US is foolishly re-learning in afghanistan/iraq, have existed in Soviet motor-rifle teams for 50 years since the end of WWII. The employment of RPK and SVD weaponry was far ahead of its time and is absolutely baffling that the US never filled in those invaluable niches until now.

  • Paul

    If you all haven’t figured it out yet the cut in the fore end is to provide access to the gas block……… It was pretty obvious, probably not to save weight.

    • 18D

      No one is questioning that cutout. The use of the gas regulator cutout is mentioned in the write up. Everyone is trying to figure out where the cutouts from the earlier prototype went. The link is in the write up as well.

      The cutouts in the prototype were there because the prototype was essentially a SCAR-H with an extended rail. The newest version we see here is actually a MK20 upper, which was specifically designed without the cuts. I’m “guessing” strength was the concern here.

      I say again……Why does anyone care?

      • Paul

        Its all relevant anyway. I didn’t think you all would miss that prototype design. that huge angle cut looked terrible. None of this matters anyway, the gun is going to be expensive and probably hard to come by for a long enough time to allow other options to surface, if you remember the scar….. I’d like to see a new dmr design not a stretched out carbine!

      • 18D

        This is not a DMR. This is a semi-auto precision rifle, and its far from a stretched out carbine!

        I know you have probably come to think a weapon like this is a DMR due to people misusing the word. Iam not sure why people are quick to call a precision sniper rifle a DMR. I sure would like to know what people think a DMR is.?

      • ChielScape

        Probably because SAPRs make great DMRs.

  • Bryan S.

    More slots = more machining = less cost per rifle.

    • Komrad

      I think you mean more slots = more machining = MORE cost per rifle.

  • Lance

    The MK-20 isn’t getting much use anyway the US SOCOM units use M-110 in large scale now days and with M-4s still in popularity in SOCOM I don’t see much use for the MK-20.

    I notice FN is giving up on the US military market and has been seen alot in international and European shows marketing it now.

    18D I know you want to argue pls don’t bother to argue with me again. I know you love the SCAR.

    • Rijoenpial

      Lance,

      I don’t understand why you feel so threatened by the SCAR, since every single time the SCAR comes into the discussion, you repeat the same monochordic rant over and over again…

      Now, to what you said lately:

      FYI, FNH is (almost) ALWAYS present at Milipol and other shows, being one of the most reputed and prestigious arms manufacturer in the world, ranging from everything, from turrets to weapons accessories! If they weren’t there, people would definitely notice!! LOL

      Also, the Mk20 and the SCAR-H were and still are procured by SOCOM, with no news SO FAR regarding them being revoked or cancelled!

      Third, the SCAR worth, being the SCAR-L, SCAR-H, SCAR-H PR or whatever, has been enthusiastically praised by civilian consummers (and test operators, regarding the PR) as being reliable and a good buy…Just check the smile across the face of each and every guy after shooting one on YOUTUBE… despite the high price tag, which we all know is due to the predominance of the military contract over the civilian market! The fact is I would rather spend 3 thousand bucks on a flawlessly reliable, maintenance time-saving weapon than 1000 on a ‘cheap’ DI one!

      Again, one thing is money-saving from SOCOM ( I would rather say the gun was bad instead of saying ‘we are poor and can’t affrord them, but that is just me…LOL) and, another completely different is the inherent quality of the rifle in question… And as a personal opinion, I think seeing how FN has been treated by SOCOM and US military alike, I think they would and will be better off selling their top-notch weapons to countries who honor more their contracts and the tax payers whose money they use… Though now, it is more their ‘sponsors’ money than the tax payers’…LOL

      Cheers!

      • ChielScape

        I’d agree with most of what you said, if it weren’t for the childishly excessive use of the term “LOL”.

      • W

        The interesting thing is that the SCAR 16S can be found for around 2200-2300. That is about the price for a premium AR and a custom with improved reliability add-ons.

      • Flounder

        The SCAR 16 is probably going down in price but your still paying a few hundred more than what it’s really worth. At least IMHO. But it is a new design and all that. FN just can’t mark it up as much since SOCOM dumped it like a cheap hooker. XD

        Anyways. The thing that really bugs me is that it almost no one since stoner has come out with an awesome or revolutionary design. The G11 proved caseless could be done but that was dumped faster than the SCAR. (I know the 17 is still in service and I do like and consider that a valuable rifle, but I like the M14 better, just cause). I mean there are a million other designs out there but no one is even trying new things!!! Everything these days is a gas piston, quad railed, COPY! I want to see something new! or caseless or telescoped actually happen. For civilians too.

      • W

        “The SCAR 16 is probably going down in price but your still paying a few hundred more than what it’s really worth. At least IMHO. But it is a new design and all that. FN just can’t mark it up as much since SOCOM dumped it like a cheap hooker. XD”

        any new rifle design is more expensive when it is first introduced, though military forces haven’t justified spending the costs on new rifles when M4/M16 rifles are being produced in large numbers by the US, making spare parts and the number of rifles highly advantageous in its procurement by world militaries.

        “Anyways. The thing that really bugs me is that it almost no one since stoner has come out with an awesome or revolutionary design.”

        again, like the AK series, so many of mr. stoner’s rifles have been produced, especially after 9/11. The AR18, being vastly superior on a evolutionary scale than the Ar15 design, was never adopted, thus it wasn’t really given a opportunity to enjoy the low cost of its counterparts. The same can be said for the F2000 and SCAR, which are so new that large numbers haven’t been produced. Awesome designs have come into fruition since eugene stoner, though these designs are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, which is better in most aspects when it comes to small arms technology. Revolutionary designs require decades of ironing out issues in contrast to evolution, which perfects and builds upon existing lessons learned. The ACR, SCAR, and G36 are incredible designs at their own right that are vastly superior to the AR15 on a technological level.

        “The G11 proved caseless could be done but that was dumped faster than the SCAR.”

        which was a tragedy. Caseless technology is immensely practical and applicable to a military setting. i foresee caselss technology becoming the future.

        “(I know the 17 is still in service and I do like and consider that a valuable rifle, but I like the M14 better, just cause). I mean there are a million other designs out there but no one is even trying new things!!!”

        On the contrary, yes they are. LSAT and caseless technology are perfect examples of this, though the conservative mindsets of the military industrial complex will see that this technology remains conceptual/prototype rather than fielded.

        “Everything these days is a gas piston, quad railed, COPY! I want to see something new! or caseless or telescoped actually happen. For civilians too.”

        Because gas piston is a tried and true technology, being reliable and mechanically sound, not to mention research and development is shorter because of the vast experiences with gas piston technology. Newer metallurgy, inexpensive precision machining realities, and polymers allow gas pistons to be more controllable, reliable, and cost effective. I believe revolutionary calibers are not being exploited rather than revolutionary operating systems.

    • Lance

      I would counter and say no really uses the SCAR the Mk-20 isnt in much use since most SOCOM users use M-110s for sniping. yes H models are in use but not too many are being used the operative who use other weapons anyway. Fact why there not much usage by US forces is that we have other weapons that can do the exact same thing as these weapons. Fact is that FN has to look to foreign buyer to make money off this weapon.

      • 18D

        I wanted to try and get to the bottom of this before I responded, and I finally got some info.

        As an Army SF Vet I still have some friends in Group and other parts of the community. Good friends overseas assure me that the SCAR is still in pretty heavy use. Some units have been going out on patrols with over half the squad carrying MK17′s. The MK17′s have been primarily seen in the hands of SEALs, Rangers, and AF STS. They said the STS guys are even running MK16′s and MK14 EGLM’s quite a bit. As far as the MK20, the SEALs seem to be the major users of that system, but my mates assure me that its being used by Army SF as well.

        All in all it sounds to me like the SCAR in its various forms are still being used just as much as they were a year ago. Some units are even looking at the possibility of buying the 5.56 MK16′s.

    • Lance

      18D sound like your making that stuff up you keep telling me. I know many SF units who still use M-14 and M-4s still. SEALs where the only real user of the SCAR to use with so im not surprised to to hear of some seal using scars.

      • 18D

        Lance, that’s ridiculous! My reputation speaks for itself. SOCOM units in Afghanistan have been using M4′s and M14′s, but that’s not what we’ve been talking about. I reached out and got some good information on the SCAR so that readers here would know what was going on with that weapon system. I did not obtain the info to refute your comments or claims.

      • Lance

        Well if your right ok I wouldn’t want to jump on you but I also have my sources and this claim you have to have 80 page documentation to put a comment on this page is ridicules. I can say yes SCAR Hs are in limited use in SOCOM we can agree on that. If you want we can drop it now. I also got my sources who talk with BIG WIG Pentagon guys all the time. Lets keep on subject over the Mk-20 not on US military usage not what guns are the best pls stay on topic too.

      • 18D

        WTF are you talking about?

  • Flounder

    If the quadrail is Aluminium then drilling a few holes wouldn’t reduce a lot of weight. Yes it would take a lil bit off but FN obviously decided that it wasn’t worth the extra time and machining it would take to do it.

    Just my thoughts.

  • Bandito762

    i think the big angle cut was removed because it could snag on other gear

  • Avery

    Wait, these cutouts you speak of, do you mean the vent holes used to help cool the rifle? I mean, that what I thought those cuts in the receiver were for, to help cool down the barrel and gas assembly. You use those holes to vent hot air from either the piston or the barrel to cool them down. They’re always located on the top because hot air rises.

    The only reason I could see why they would be removed is probably because the DMR/Mk20 doesn’t require them, since it’s a precision weapon and not an assault rifle (regardless of whether or not this is for commercial or military consumers).

    • Alex-mac

      The foreend is also forged aluminium, like the SCAR upper. So perhaps it is more the right balance of weight and strength, than we realize. Keeping in mind it uses separate top, bottom and side rails.

      • ChielScape

        It’s extruded, to be precise.

  • cal

    completely unrelated: but, what happend to the FNAR match i was excited for that.

  • Ron

    I think that the lack of cutouts on the top of the handguard is a function of the DMR design, in that heat is not allowed to dissipate into the view of the scope and alter the image with a mirage. I believe the Les Baer AR-15 also uses this design for the same reason. It would definitely be a hog to pack around though!

    • Avery

      A point I hadn’t considered but also makes sense. The gas-operated SG550 Sniper, similar in nature to the SCAR, used the same handguards as the normal SG550, but a common accessory was a mirage band to keep the heat distortion out of the line of the scope’s sight. I suppose that the dorsal rail now achieves that same effect and if you’re making a longer receiver anyway, you can just not include the vent cuts to prevent mirages.

  • ChielScape

    Another good reason for the longer rail could be the more forward position of the bipod, which helps stability. (the more rearwards you support the rifle, the more your movements are amplified.)

  • Joseph

    People, don’t forget the growing market for lighter semi-auto long-rage precision firearms as such. . .