New FN SCAR-P: A Sleek PDW Variant

At the Milipol expo in Paris FN Herstal unveiled a new prototype PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) variant of the FN SCAR. The FN SCAR-P features a sleek upper receiver that lacks a full length top rail and heat vents (for a gun designed to be carried at the ready in tight spaces, less is more). The SCAR-P has a new collapsable wire stock with a very thick recoil pad. In order to accommodate the stock they  removed the “bumper” barrel screw retainers that are normally on each side of the receiver just forward of the eject port, which makes the gun look a lot better in my opinion (at the possible expense of making maintenance harder).

fn scar-p 2


One thing I like about FN is that they are not afraid to show you a work in progress. This is actually the third FN SCAR PDW we have seen in as many years.


The original FN SCAR PDW (2011)


The current FNH-USA SCAR PDW production model.

The SCAR-P look like a amalgamation of the original FN SCAR PDW prototype and the FNH-USA SCAR PDW. Is the FN SCAP-P the company’s final attempt at a PDW? Probably not.


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.


  • Hrachya H.

    Imagine it in .300 AAC BLK !

    • Christopher

      You’d sooner see this in 5.7×28 (ala the AR-57) then Freedom Group’s new fad round.

      • Avery

        No fooling, I would love to see a SCAR-57.

    • Jon

      You should look to SR3M.

      I don’t understand why people is so focused reinventing the wheel. 9×39 weapon family exists, it’s functional and battle proven.

      • bbmg

        I made this comment before, The Russians developed the “уменьшенной скоростью” subsonic round
        variation of the AK round as far back as the 1960s, which fired a 7.62mm
        193 grain bullet at 950 fps and would be broadly similar to the 300
        Blackout in terms of performance, given the latter’s subsonic load fires
        a bullet just 27 grains heavier and 60 fps faster.

        The Soviets went on to adopt the necked out 9mm variation of the
        cartridge which in its “ball” SP-6 load fires a 260 grain bullet at 920
        fps, due to the performance of the 7.62mm being “inadequate”. Given its
        good relations with Russia, presumably Armenian industry would have
        access to this caliber. Is it simply courting Western markets, or does
        the Blackout perform better?

        Certainly with a sectional density 18% greater and muzzle velocity 90
        fps higher the Blackout should have a flatter trajectory and have
        better long range accuracy, though presumably in terms of damage to
        animate targets the 9 x 39mm has the edge due to its larger bullet.

    • David

      Yeah. That was my first thought. The effectiveness of 5.56 out of anything less than 12.5″ of barrel is laughable. 2600-2700fps is the cutoff point for reliable lethality. .300 blackout whisper whatever would be ideal in this setup. 5.7 would be good, too, but would require different magazines I expect.

      • Max

        There isn’t really a cutoff in the real world, just personal preference. Countless groups in the US military make good use of 10.3/10.4″ Mk18/Mk16/416 rifles. Are they laughable? 5.56NATO drops below 2600fps easily after a few hundred meters out of a 14.5″ anyway. It does fine for a lot of folks.

        10″ guns shooting 5.7 still isn’t even in the same ballpark for energy as 7.5″ guns shooting 5.56.

  • Matt Davis

    Why don’t they seem able to produce any of their guns in any great number? Many of them have been unavailable for over 2 years.

  • bbmg

    One wonders why FN, the company that came up with such a radical design as the P90, is now marketing the same cut down assault rifle configuration that most other manufacturers are.

    The P90 is a compact bullpup with a sleek 50 round magazine, the only advantages I can see with the subject of this article is commonality of magazines and ammunition and a more powerful round.

    • BoHeck

      “the only advantages I can see with the subject of this article is commonality of magazines and ammunition and a more powerful round.”

      So…pretty much everything that matters in a combat rifle?

      This is not a rifle designed to replace the role of a P90.

      • bbmg

        It is described as a PDW and therefore falls into the same category. It is not a combat rifle.

        The direction which arguably the two most commercially successful PDWs have taken – namely the FN P90 and HK MP& – have both opted for lower recoil cartridges that make them easier to shoot and able to carry more ammunition for a given weight. The loss of power and use of non-standard ammunition was not a factor.

        Interestingly, these weapons have not really been adopted in their intended role, more likely to be seen in the hands of Special Forces during offensive operations as opposed to being used defensively by the truck drivers and cooks they were designed for.

        • BoHeck

          Firstly, FN’s display clearly labels this a “Carbine” and the people calling it a PDW are the ones who didn’t make the gun.

          Secondly, please make the distinction between combat rifle and battle rifle. I said combat rifle for a reason, it is meant to be used in combat. PDWs are meant for defense, hence the acronym. This weapon is clearly meant to fill the role of the modern combat situation which is normally building to building urban fighting with a lot of CQB. You still need the punch of a larger caliber but not necessarily the range of a longer rifle.

          Lastly, what’s wrong with a 5.56mm PDW if that’s what everyone wants to call this? And it really seems that Special Forces and CQB is what this is designed for and somehow that seems to offend you? I’m not really sure why though. It’s different than a P90, and different than a full size SCAR. It’s a new gun to keep with a new trend of carbines. I’m not a SCAR fan boy but I am a firearms enthusiast, so the more the merrier. Choices are good.

          • bbmg

            From the horse’s mouth:

            “The FN SCAR® PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) is a tailored design to meet the needs of aircraft, watercraft, vehicle operators and personal security details who have confined operational spaces or who have a desire to conceal their weapon.”

            I will grant you that the rifle featured in this article is not meant as a PDW, I would surmise that the “P” actually stands for “Police” considering that second point on the spec sheet translates as “Adapted for the specific needs of Law Enforcement”.

            Steve needs to improve his French 😉

          • BoHeck

            I was wondering where the PDW label came from, good find. I don’t think the 5.7 cartridge caught on like they had hoped. They will probably get more sales out of this type of weapon.

          • Adam Gordon

            Technically a “battle rifle” is chambered in a full power rifle round such as 7.62×51. That distinction seems to be getting lost nowadays though.

          • BoHeck

            No one called it a battle rifle…?

        • Andrey Martim

          That SCAR-P isn’t battling the P90… I didn’t see advantages over the PDW, okay, there is the ammo and the magazines, but the P90 seens superior as a PDW. Compact, high-cap magazine, great penetration, can combo with a Five-seveN pistol…

          • Maximino

            You can shoot the non-bullpup farther with more power and a good trigger with traditional controls.

            FN is just trying to cover all the bases with offering products that can do the same thing in different ways.

            When was the last time you saw Americans being happy to use a bullpup over a carbine? FN probably doesn’t see it that often either(e.g. the popularity of the SCAR16S vs the FS2000.)

          • Andrey Martim

            The P90 and the SCAR-P Aren’t of the same class, the P90 would be in disadvantage (If it have any) against the MP7A1 due to the Bullpup layout, even if the ammo, magazine capacity and compact size didn’t make the MP7A1 obsolete at adoption. The SCAR-P is battling the HK416 PDW, the M4A1 CQC… The Bullpup design aren’t flawless, but is great when used correctly, the AUG is a great assault rifle and is smaller than a M4A1 with a larger barrel, there are situations and situations… Compare the SCAR-P and the P90 is like comparing the M4A1 against the MP5, nonsense.

    • pewpew

      As much as the P90 had the cool factor (and since I owned one too), those magazines don’t fit into anything that’s not a backpack or a suitcase. Not to mention the pain of loading up a mag.

  • Blake

    Notice how all the weapons in the glossy are suppressed.

    Standard 5.56×45 rounds in a bbl that short are going to be LOUD! Not to mention the muzzle flash…

    • Gab

      If I’m reading this right, according to the french text, the suppressor is permanent

  • Assbetsos

    When operating at ranges typical of a PDW encounter, wouldn’t you prefer it chambered in something with a larger diameter, and heavier?

    • sianmink

      Honey badger please

    • bbmg

      Not really, because you can carry less of a heavier round, and you’re also going to be less accurate.

      To put some numbers on it, you can carry approximately twice as many 5.7mm P90 rounds for the same weight as you can 5.56mm rounds. I would rather have a light fast round in an automatic weapon with a large magazine, greatly increasing the chances of a hit to the target’s central nervous system.

      Hit probability is *the* most important factor here, a single 22LR bullet to someone’s head is going to be much more lethal than 30 misses with a 308.

    • Blake

      yeah: 12 gauge


      • Robert

        I’d definitely be more alarmed by the pop pop pop pop pop, because it’d mean that that guy has more ammo, is using a lighter weight gun, and has a better hit probability.

  • Mr.Calamari

    Such innovation.
    .223/10 would pay $3000 for one of these

  • vitor roma

    This begs for the .300BLK, a round that performs much better than the 5.56 in short barrels and has an outstanding subsonic round.

    • vitor roma

      I would love to understand the downvote. I mean, I said the .300BLK is better when it comes to short barrels. 16″ and longer I truly believe that a 5.56mm is superior due to flatter trajectory, specially a 70-77 grains round..

      • Christopher

        300blk is just another tacticool fad. Even the Honey Badger’s creator admitted that Sig MCX pretty much killed weapon and caliber when it came out.(even if the source is Mr complain about 50 cal rifles because their not like an AR-15 Leghorn)

        • TCBA_Joe

          It has been said that the MCX will be chambered in 300BLK. It was the gun, not the cartridge that “killed” the honeybadger.

          300 was developed in response for a military inquiry and is doing quite well industry wide. It’s being produced in quantity industry wide and right now is positioned to replace a lot of the diversity of sub 5.56 calibers for small barreled rifles in the 6-8″ barrel flavor. Something like the SCAR PDW or KAC PDW would benefit greatly from something that has useable ballistics in a barrel as short as 6″.

        • bbmg

          From the article:

          “Sig finally unveiled the design for their MCX this year, and even I have
          to admit that it’s a much better product. The gun is being offered in
          the standard 5.56 NATO flavor as well as 7.62×39 (for former Soviet
          countries with a touch of surplus ammo available in that size) and
          Kevin’s favorite .300 AAC Blackout. So while the actual Honey Badger may
          be about to be kicked to the curb, the spirit of the firearm and the
          design concepts (as well as the ammunition that was specifically
          designed for it) live on.”

  • Joshua

    Ahhhh the good SCAR…The rifle that just will not die and has more small parts than my Chevy.

  • ak1134

    I wish i can figure out a way to remove my pin block in my CA SCAR 16 butt stock that prevents it from folding

    • nadnerbus

      Considering that is probably a crime in California, you should probably not advertise that on the internet. Just my opinion. The law is retarded, of course, but why give Cal DOJ evidence against you?

      • LCON

        I am surprised the Peoples Republic of California lets him on the site.

  • Garrett

    I wonder if that stock would be able to mount onto a standard SCAR-L or -H. It might be nice to have a couple of different stock options. Considering there is a precision adjustable stock for the SCAR-L SSR, then this rifle is slowly turning into FN’s equivalent of the ACR.

    Now if they could have only figured out the convertible magwell, then it would have an edge against the ACR since it could use longer cartridges rather than being restricted by the 5.56mm spec’d magwell.

  • Avery

    A bit surprised at the omission of the extruded cuts. IIRC, they’re not really so much as heat vents as cuts to lighten the rifle. The FN Advanced Carbine and the FN HAMR lack these cuts, and the HAMR, since its a squad auto rifle, would really need them if they were heat vents.

    I’m guessing that cutting the top rail in half would lighten the weight just as much or more.

  • Jay

    I like FN. Such a dynamic and innovative company. Just look at the huge list of firearms versions and cool stuff they developed in the last 100 years. Nobody comes close to then when it comes to innovation.
    Hats off to a company that is not afraid to design and try new things. Too many companies this days just sit on their assets and milk some 50 years old designs.
    I wish them all the best.

    • Christopher

      At least their not like HK who makes would be designs(G11, HK CAWS) then scraps their development when they don’t have the money.

  • SPS

    Nice, love the stock, it doesn’t look like a moon boot from the ’80s.

  • Philip

    A couple of points to consider:

    I do not know the muzzle velocity of the FN SCAR-P, but a 7″ barrel in 5.56mm can generate about 2300-2400 fps firing the M193 round. The 5.7mm round out of the P90 is roughly the same velocity. The M193 round is 55 grain while the 5.7mm round is 23 grain. So, the 5.56mm out of even a 7″ barrel has twice the energy of a 5.7mm round.

    Another consideration is ergonomics. I have handled a P90 before. The top mounted magazine is quite long, and, compared to an AR, cumbersome to remove and replace. The finger dial selector below the trigger is fiddly. The thumb selector and AR-type magazine catch on the FN SCAR-P are both probably easier to use.

    The price to pay for twice the energy and better ergonomics is increased muzzle blast, as some has pointed out.

    And, a 5.56mm PDW does not share ammo with the excellent FN Five-Seven pistol.

  • Nat

    Now that’s a souped up fancy M1 Carbine!