Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Justin

    I’m curious: is the perceived lesser recoil odd the SCAR due to it’s operational mechanism or just the muzzle brake or a combination of the two? I ask because I’ve used the PWS brake and absolutely hate the damn thing. Would a SCAR have similar felt recoil if I replaced the PWS with, say, a battlecomp?

    • Igor

      It seems that the Battlecomp is a scam, and Vuurwapen is pretty reliable.

      • Justin

        Leaving aside what I think about Tuohy, it feels like calling it a “scam” is a bit harsh. I refuse to give him traffic, but I saw a mirrored version of that article before and if I remember correctly, it came down to: it pushes the muzzle down instead of keeping it neutral, and the manufacturer exaggerating their claims on it’s performance.

        On the first point: I don’t understand why this is a bad thing. *This is exactly why you would want a brake*. Keeping the muzzle neutral just means that every move of your arm effects the point of impact due to either movement or fatigue.

        And as to the BCE exaggerating what it does, that automatically makes it a bad product? I mean, I’m sure the cars that we all own don’t get their advertised MPG, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad cars. I don’t think it’s remotely OK for a company to say what they say when it’s obviously not close to true, but that doesn’t suddenly eliminate any positives that said product has. Maybe if he whined about the countless other comp/brake manufacturers that claim the same thing then I’d be willing to be less annoyed at the whole article, but he doesn’t.


        • Igor

          Peace, brother. I’m just saying.

          But it’s simply not in a good position, for a piece that retais for $140~210, claims it crushes the competition but in the end performs almost like a $10 A2 (that turned up surprisingly good).

          It looks like it pushes the muzzle down *too much*, in such a way the operator (hahaha) has to force it up.

          I just entered the topic because of Justin’s comment about using it. There is strong evidence suggesting there are better (or much better, for that matter) options at a same (or lower) price.

        • Nicks87

          Andrew Tuohy is like a hipster version of James Yeager. He trys to be scientific in his approach but just comes off as pretentious. I could care less if battlecomp works or not, I dont use them based on price alone. The fact that the market for AR15 accessories is so competative, common sense (and a little research) should tell you that someone is making a better product for a better price elsewhere.

          • Marc

            It’s pretentious to back up his judgement with tangible facts rather than the typical subjective opinion embedded in generic phrases like the typical gun/gear review?

        • n0truscotsman

          Exaggerating is saying it rather nicely in my opinion.

          If you want to spend money on changing your muzzle end, go with the Vortex or the Blackout. Otherwise, leave the birdcage on there and save some money and tears.

    • Nicholas C

      Im not sure. Only way to find out is to buy a Battle Comp and let us know!

      • Justin

        I’d love to try one out on a SCAR 17, unfortunately I have neither the SCAR nor the battlecomp to go with it.

    • n0truscotsman

      Operating mechanism.

      The SCAR is awesome in that regard. A smooth shooting battle rifle. The heavy inertia of its bolt carrier group does much to offset the heavy characteristics of the 7.62 NATO cartridge.

  • EzGoingKev

    “Hickok45 takes a look at two .308 battle rifles” – I’m sorry, who exactly is fielding the SOCOM16 and in what battle?

    • 11b

      “Battle Rifle” is just a term for current or former service weapon using a full size round, like .308. FAL, G3, M14, etc.

      • EzGoingKev

        “Hobby Gun” is a more accurate term for the SOCOM16.

        • FourString

          SOCOM 16 was used by SOCOM for a while, and it’s based off of the M1A & M14 platform, so I dunno what your beef with terminology is, because technically it is THOROUGHLY a battle rifle in every proven sense of the word. -_-

          • seans

            What, when did SOCOM use the SOCOM 16? What SOF unit used it.

          • EzGoingKev

            Exactly. I know the M14’s history but the SOCOM16 is not the EBR in use today.

            Myself and a friend were interested the SOCOM16 a few years ago and I read lots of reviews on the internet and they were not good.

          • Yellow Devil

            Not good? I haven’t seen any reviews saying that. Granted I have the full size M1A, not the SOCOM 16, but I haven’t read any major issues with either one.

          • FourString

            valid point. edited x.x

      • Esh325

        What’s funny is that other countries don’t even use the term “battle rifle” they just call them “assault rifles” even if they are in .308.

        • Anonymoose

          I consider select-fire battle rifles to be a subset of assault rifles.

        • Michael R. Zupcak

          They also call weapons like the MP5 “pistols”. Hence the P in MP5. Other countries have different definitions for certain terminology, but this is an American blog if I’m not mistaken.

        • dp

          That terminology is funny. What should they be called? Combat rifle? Its not potato digging tool, everyone sees that. :-)))

    • HKGuns

      The M14, on which the SOCOM16 is based has been used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      • DaveP.

        And in Vietnam and a bunch of little dustups by American forces and is still in use by the USN; over 20 other nations adopted the M14 at one time or another. If you’re going to call the SOCOM a ‘hobby gun” because it’s been shortened, there’s a lot of “hobby 1911” and “hobby AR15” users out there you’re badmouthing too.
        Me, I’m a FN guy… but fair is fair.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Likewise about the FAL — and I still agree about the fairness. Good call.

    • Bravo

      Seals, Recon, and Infantry units to name a few. The M14 and it’s variants are still in active use in some stage or another.

  • Anonymoose

    I saw this video back when it came out. 😐

  • HerkyBird596

    The SCAR 16S and SCAR 17S both have a unique recoil impulse. Whereas, an AR-15 pushes straight back into my shoulder pocket during recoil, the SCAR does something different and the only word that I can think of to describe it is a “wave.” As the bolt carrier group moves rearward, the SCAR pushes straight back and down into my shoulder pocket (crest of the wave). As the bolt carrier group moves forward, the SCAR pulls up and away from my shoulder pocket (trough of the wave). On high speed video, you can see the muzzle move up at the crest of the wave and move back down at the trough of the wave without input from the operator.

    When I took the PWS muzzle brake off, the SCAR has the same “wave” during recoil. The crest of the wave feels a bit more pronounced likely due to the increased recoil velocity. However, the trough of the wave feels exactly the same despite removing the PWS muzzle brake. I suspect the relationship of the bolt carrier to the bore axis is the explanation for the unique recoil impulse of the SCAR.

    The bolt carrier for the SCAR is large, heavy and situated above the bore axis. This forms a lever with the fulcrum at the pistol grip. As the bolt carrier moves rearward, its mass causes the rifle to pivot down into the shoulder pocket. As the bolt carrier moves forward, its mass cause the rifle to pivot up from the should pocket.

    • dp

      Since the initial impulse of cartridge is the same and locking in concentric with bore it can be only two things. One is amount (pressure and duration) of gas allowed to push piston and dislocation of mass (C of G) in reciprocating parts. Then of course, the butt construction adds to the mix too.

    • dp

      One more item to be mentioned is the fact the more modern rifle of two has pistol grip. According to one study I read long time ago, pistol grip has major influence on perceived recoil. This is notable on such weapon as FG42 and reason for adding it was probably just that (in addition to telescoping stock).

    • n0truscotsman

      The unique recoil impulse is also exacerbated by the polymer lower.

      If the SCAR transitioned to a long stroke piston and alloy receiver, these problems would be addressed.

      • HerkyBird596

        Who said the recoil impulse was a “problem”?

        • n0truscotsman

          I wasn’t thinking when I posted that. A bit off subject since I was talking about the impulses above.

          Recoil wise its great 😀

  • seans

    I have carried both the MK14 and MK17 on deployment, and just don’t trust the MK17. My 14 was heavier, worst ergonomics, and just not as fun to shoot, but I will choose it any day. The SCAR family has a lot of problems that people are just not hearing about. There is a good reason Damneck doesn’t use the things. The SCAR got pushed into service due to one guy in the SEAL Teams who now works for FN. There is a lot of catastrophic failures happening with both the MK17 and MK20. And the MK20 is a absolute failure compared to the MK11 it replaced. People think the gun is awesome to always seeing pics of SOF guys using them, but don’t realize cause there really is nothing else in the inventory for a 7.62 Battle Rifle of than HK, and they just couldn’t meet the demand. 7 of the 11 MK17s we had pre deployment had to be replaced. While on deployment, only 9 guys ran them, and we suffered 3 catastrophic failures while on ops with them.

    • Esh325

      You’re going to have a very difficult time backing any of that up.

    • Chief Homeslice

      This comment would be way more interesting if it wasn’t a comment by a random dude on a gun blog. I’d like to hear more about your experiences, but can you offer any corroborating data from a “trustworthy” source?

      • seans

        Lets see, how about the fact that FN reps have been going to the last couple NSW East sniper courses due to the widespread problems with MK20s. Guns going full auto while in semi. Guns randomly having up to 5 minute shifts in POI, then shifting back. The fact that taking your quick detach suppressor off loses your zero. Either I have a great imagination or this is happening, take your pick.

        • howboutnoucrazydutchbastard

          so what exactly is so hard about a citation? if you actually cited, i’d believe you. for all i know you could be working for another firearms company that builds a competing product.

          • LongRange Bob

            75th Ranger Regiment dumped their Mk16’s (SCAR 16’s) that was enough for me of a validation for me. Those guys are serious shooters.

          • n0truscotsman

            The SCAR L wasn’t measurably “better” than the M4. Any marginal improvements in accuracy were undone by the cost of the platform.

            Its a law of diminishing returns thing. I never liked the “L” because a SOPMOD Block 2 M4 is a very high quality weapon that I would take anywhere with me (and its no coincidence I built my Colt 6920 in a similar manner).

          • seans

            Well unless you got access to a SIPR account and can get on to group two’s homepage I doubt me telling you where you can look it up is not going to do you any good.

          • Rule 308

            I have read some vetted and legit special ops soldiers on m4carbine mention this stuff. Too many complaints about optics breaking and problems for there to not be something to it.

      • n0truscotsman

        File a FOIA request 😉

        (no seriously)

    • 11b

      I’ve heard the same from friends in Batt. Apparently its not to be trusted.

    • ghannn

      Well DELTA and SASR use the HK417 inspite of it’s heavier weight, so seems the choice has been made. And Australia chose the HK417 as it’s DMR rifle.

    • n0truscotsman

      We had a particular problem with the barrel trunnion screws. Those little bastards would strip and eventually wear out and they also dont pass completely through the trunnion block, which is a long term problem. For a 7.62 NATO weapon, they are tiny under built things that have durability issues in the long run.

      Then there is the recoil impulse “problem”, which doesn’t hurt aimpoints and surefires, but does a number on Eotechs and PEQ15s. When you try to use optics and lasers designed for the AR15, you create a lot of unintended consequences.

      The SCAR H and L have a potential to be awesome weapons, but FN refuses to budge. There are undoubtedly improvements down the pipeline for the SCAR H and Mk 20 since those platforms have enormous potential for their ergonomics, modularity, and parts commonality over the Mk 14 and others, although perhaps it is a distant goal that is better satisfied by using improvements of tried and true systems.

      I know for a fact that the SCAR L isn’t measurably better than the M4 (say for accuracy, due to the SCAR’s free float barrel), because it spits out 5.56. The M4 has evolved considerably into a extremely reliable weapon, which is why it is still used extensively by units other than conventional ones.

      In a nutshell, this is what I would do with the SCAR.

      -An alloy lower receiver rather than a polymer one (handl defense is a good option).
      -Heavier barrel trunnion screws that pass all the way through the receiver and trunnion block (like LMTs for example)
      -More rugged stock
      -Change of the gas system to a long stroke piston versus gas tappet/short stroke
      -Have the option of using more easily obtainable SR25 magazines (which handl defense’s lower alloy receiver addresses).
      -A non-reciprocating charging handle
      -Ruggedized gas block system (you wont need the delicate adjustable system with a long stroke piston)

      I believe these improvements would address the current deficiencies the platform faces and they are the same improvements I proposed up my chain of command before FN told us to piss off.

      “but don’t realize cause there really is nothing else in the inventory for a 7.62 Battle Rifle of than HK, and they just couldn’t meet the demand”

      Basically, yes.

      Don’t get me wrong, the FN SCAR H is completely necessary because its contemporaries are aging and are becoming very expensive to maintain. There is a laundry list of problems we had with the Mk14s too and many underplay those to take shots at the scar (not that seans is but Im just making a general point).

      But I would agree with Seans even though we didn’t have as extensive problems with the platform (but still had some serious ones that I mentioned).

      • seans

        The SCAR L is less accurate than my MK18MOD1. MOD1 is free floated, and is way more accurate than the SCAR L even with its 10.3 inch barrel. In no way am I saying the MK14 can compete with any modern battle rifle(except in Arctic environment, still the one place it has no peers). The MK20 is gone, nothing you can do for that gun, to many problems. But the SCAR H is still going to be inferior overall to HK417 (in no way am I a HK fanboy, I much prefer the MK18 to the 416). And FN doesn’t have long to fix their problems. The East Coast NSW Teams are working hard to get it replaced currently. And all your improvements were things that have been brought up before, but nobody wants to listen.

        • n0truscotsman

          “The SCAR L is less accurate than my MK18MOD1”

          I’ve seen some properly built Mk 18s that were extremely accurate. Some ARs with 12 inch barrels also (notably, Noveske).

          The age of free float barrels on ARs has dawned (and will stay for good, expanding into other platforms), as we discovered they are far superior than the traditional outlay of the M4 carbine not only in terms of accuracy, but cleaning and maintenance.

          And its about damn time. I cannot wait until free float tubes start to take a stranglehold, choking out NATO quad rails for good (as they have already done on the commercial sector).

          Personally, I like LMT’s offering in the AR10 realm more than the 417, although it pushes the requirements for a battle rifle and is more akin to a designated marksman rifle. I just hate the weight of the 417 and 416 and short stroke pistons.

          No, FN will never field the improvements I have noted. The rep about soiled his pants when I suggested they replace the short stroke system completely with a long stroke, as it would lend itself better with the attributes of the design.

          • Rule 308

            Interesting comments. Do any other military rifles use the long stroke besides the AK? I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that the short stroke piston was used in just about all of the rifles except AKs.

            That short stroke on the scar is disaster with crushing optics – but why does it seem to not do this with other systems, just the FN? Is it bc of how light the scar is? Or the polymer lower?

          • n0truscotsman

            The SIG 556/SIG550 series, which is essentially a westernized AK. Primary Weapon Systems’ AR15s (which are awesome at their own right, even for a gas piston AR). The Romanian PSL (which is essentially a RPK/AK). Those are the ones I can name off the top of my head.

            No you are correct. short stroke piston is used in pretty much anything else. Why? Im not sure. Frankly I believe it is idiotic because short stroke has no advantages over long stroke except maybe perhaps less materials to manufacture and lighter weight (maybe).

            As far as ruggedness and reliability goes, the long stroke is far superior in many aspects and is essentially self regulating as far as gas pressure goes.

            I wouldn’t call the SCAR a disaster. Its parts commonality, low maintenance, modularity, and accuracy give it enormous potential, although if FN would address the flaws, it would go from mediocre to legendary.

            I can only hypothesize and say that the unique inertia created by its bolt carrier group creates impulses that are far different than the M4. Why is the M4 relevant? because optics are designed around the M4 and 5.56 and attaching them to a 7.62 rifle can have unintended consequences (not always).

            Yes the polymer lower contributes to it because the impulses are changed due to the different characteristics of polymer versus alloy in how the lower and upper receivers relate to each other. That is the best way I can explain my hypothesis and it might be bullshit. 😉 Although…perhaps it is serious enough for companies like Handl to create these

            Like I said before, Surefire and Aimpoints work on the SCAR H with no problem (then again, they’re aimpoints. Ive seem bullets and grenades fail to kill them). My Leupold works fine.

          • Rule 308

            True – I forgot all about the sig 550 series. I would love to own a real Swiss version. It does seem funny that just about everyone else chooses a short stroke though. I know when I have shot an AK that it just seemed slow and took forever to cycle in my mind – maybe that has something to do with it, but I have no idea. That is actually a good question to ask the gun engineers, if they will talk!

          • n0truscotsman

            They DO sell them! but you will probably pay over 3k for one.

            I didn’t have any love with the 556, but the 7.62×39 version is awesome. I liked how they took my AK mags. They are really a good deal for those wanting a AK but not the AKs clanky ergonomics.

            AKs do have a slower cycle rate I suppose, hence the comparatively slower cyclic rate of fire among automatic ones.

            The particular advantage of that platform is the violence of its action. It blows and knocks out any dirt, snow, and ice from the internals which frequently choke ARs and short stroke guns. I cannot find it right now, but there was a test by Alaska highway state patrol that evaluated several rifles and found the Valmet AK the most reliable and suitable.

            That is why of all the guns i’ve talked about today, I love the AK the most and use them more than anything.

        • Rule 308

          For a private citizen wanting a 308 semi auto that is reliable and accurate to be used more as a battle rifle, would you recommend the HK MR 762 (civy version) or the kac sr25 ECC or the APC they replace it with?

          Not many outside of special elite units get to test these things out – unlike 556 AR rifles or the old legacy battle rifles like FALs or G3s that are pretty common. I was originally all set on the SCAR 17 until I started reading about them destroying optics. Now I have it narrowed down to HK MR762 and KAC SR 25. Both will cost a fortune but can do things no 556 rifle can so worth it.

          Thanks for any help!

      • Rule 308

        Thanks for such detailed feedback. What about using the hk 417 as a battle rifle if HK could meet demand? Is it reliable in your experience?

        What about the KAC SR 25 latest versions like the ECC or the upcoming APC replacing it? Have the SR25s really dramatically improved in reliability as many people are claiming?

        Basically, as a private citizen what would be the best bet for someone who wants a battle rifle that is rugged and reliable, yet also fairly accurate? It is expensive either way, but my research is showing either the HK MR 762 or the KAC Sr25 ECC/APC seem to be the best all around bets for a battle rifle that is also fairly precise for long range. What would you go with?

        • n0truscotsman

          I have limited experience with the 417 other than firing a MR762 at a range, so I cannot give you a opinion about its reliability since I fired about 300 rounds. It didn’t hiccup and was reasonably accurate (although heavy as shit and HK seemed to pick the bulkiest rail system for it ((Vltor has a good solution)).

          When it comes to the HK platform itself, I carried a 416 in Afghanistan and can offer a far more detailed consensus on that. Its not fair to judge the 417 based on my 416 experience.

          I know many other countries are picking the 417 as a battle rifle over the SCAR H. The two seem to have the market cornered on new battle rifles when it comes to military contractors.

          When it comes to marksman rifles, there are many others, although I didn’t want to get too far into that subject manner.

          As far as knights armament goes, again, I have no experience with the ECC and am rather curious about the design myself. It seems to me like a battle rifle variant of the SR25.

          “Basically, as a private citizen what would be the best bet for someone who wants a battle rifle that is rugged and reliable, yet also fairly accurate?”

          It depends on how high your standards are for accuracy.

          Personally, I recommend a FAL. It is comparatively less expensive (Imbel are anyways) with plenty of spare parts and battle rifle accuracy of about 2-3 MOA (some claim higher), not to mention it is very easy to maintain.

          Good G3 copies are reasonable as well. Undoubtedly the most reliable battle rifle you can buy due to the simplicity of the operating system. Mags are also plentiful and CHEAP! You might not want a G3 if you are reloading 308 though, and reloading 308 is a very attractive option right now.

          You CAN go the M14/M1A route, but that is like entering the 1911 realm: be prepared for a steep learning curve and investment in the tools to properly maintain it. Skip the Springfields and go Fulton Armory or Armscorp among others. Magazine are expensive and the rifle itself is rather heavy but they are more accurate than the G3 and FAL.

          Or if you want newer, Lewis Machine and Tool’s 308 AR10 copies. Very accurate, very reliable, and well built rifles that fulfill the niche of marksman rifle more than they do battle rifle however. That is the only “downside”. But out of any AR10 or 308 caliber semi-automatic, they are my hands down favorite.

          I know some people that are happy with their SCAR 17s and I personally own one. They are very accurate, lightweight, and have nice recoil but like I said before, I spent my own money to make the rifle better (handl defense lower, Geissele trigger, Vltor buttstock, etc) and it is one of my favorites to shoot. My Leupold hasn’t had any issues either and I’ve had about 3,000 rounds through it.

          Again, I know some people that are also happy with the MR762s. They are heavy and I believe that the short stroke gas piston doesn’t make it any more reliable than the traditional Stoner type pseudo-DI.

          I know some people are probably going to be butt hurt that I’m not mentioning LWRC’s REPR. Whatever 😉 I suppose they’re alright, but for the hype, they never impressed me worth a damn. The same goes for PWS’s long stroke gas piston AR10 copy. Those are very accurate and reliable, although *eh* /shrugs shoulders, i value the simplicity of Stoner’s design.

          If you are looking for a battle rifle that is fairly precise for long range, then LMT is probably your best bet.

          …or wait for reviews and evaluation of the SR25 ECC or APC. Those might very well be superior to LMTs MWS, but I haven’t messed with them.

          Sorry for the long post, but I hope that helps. Its a hard thing making a recommendation, so you can ignore what I say and get a 2nd opinion.

          • FourString

            you should write your own blog post on this, as ur post seems detailed enough to warrant one.

          • Rule 308

            He seems to have a ton of knowledge, too!

            also, i forgot to ask what your views are on the hk 416. Did you like it? It seems as of everyone either loves it or hates it, nothing in between.

          • n0truscotsman

            My relationship with the 416D (6″ barrel) was a good one. It worked, was very accurate, and chewed through any ammunition I fed it.

            Its lower will NOT accept PMAGS. I learned the hard way when i tried to fit one of mine on the zero range. Apparently the 3rd gen PMAGS solved this problem.

            I didn’t love it, however. Frankly, it didn’t do anything the Mk18 couldn’t do. If I had to spend my own money, i wouldn’t even dream of getting one.

            By all means, get a second opinion. there is plenty of information on those systems, although, much of it is hype and using them made me love the M4 platform even more for some reason .

          • Rule 308

            What about the advantages of being able to run without lube? How long could the DI rifles to vs the hk 416? What about how long parts lasted and needed replaced in both systems? Do you see any worth in the HK over a DI for those categories?

          • n0truscotsman

            short stroke guns don’t run very well without lube, just like DI.

            However, the 416 would have a edge simply because its bolt carrier group runs cooler for a certain amount of rounds.

            As far as parts go, the HK is marketed as requiring less maintenance between certain intervals, although, in practical experience, they are about the same.

            Remember, with the 416, you have additional mechanical parts that can break or wear out (operating rod and contributing parts), alongside the bolt spring.

            In a nutshell, not not really. I would rather have a quality DI gun because 1.) it is less expensive 2.) it is mechanically simpler 3.) spare parts are abundant versus the 416, despite its disadvantages.

          • Rule 308

            I see. So basically the only real advantage is it stays cool longer while firing, so it doesn’t have to be lubed as often. And that would really only make a big difference for people using it on auto a lot and/or suppressed like certain very select units.

            Out of curiosity, how long during sustained drills and firing can you go with a DI after lubrication? I have read all sorts or different claims ranging from 1k to 1500k.

            The comparison for me is I could basically get two BCM lightweight uppers with the new keymod rail for the price of one HK MR556 upper with barrel reprofile. It looks as if that is a no brainer from what you have said.

          • n0truscotsman

            For your first paragraph, yes basically. Consider also that to obtain that “advantage”, you add mechanical complexity to the design which can create its own set of issues. Nothing is without tradeoffs, which is why militaries are not flocking to gas piston ARs like many believe they should (but the advantages unique to the platform make it ideal for special operations units, which is why in those types, the weapon is gaining in popularity).

            As far as the reliability of DI goes, yes easily 1,000 rounds and beyond. Read about the BCM carbine “filthy 14” sometime. It will amaze you how reliable the M4 is and, characteristically, the M4 and Mk 18 are the LESS reliable variants of the family. The M16 is far superior in MRBF.

            Yes, or you can get a Colt 6920 at walmart, an aimpoint, seven magazines, ammo, two-point sling, and an attached surefire for less.

            But what the hell. If you want it, you deserve it. Only you get to decide what your “needs” are 😀

          • n0truscotsman

            I would if I had the time.
            I’ve thought about starting my politically left leaning, pro-civil rights, pro scary sport utility rifles blog 😉

          • Rule 308

            I think you might be surprised at how many with left leaning views like firearms and firearm rights. Politicians and media types like to portray gun owners as all being just conservative republicans, but as a hardcore libertarian of the Mises and Rothbard variety who supported Ron Paul (who at times most in the gop and talk radio treated worse than obama) and hates everyone else in DC, I can speak from experience that this is not the case.

            I hold a ton of views that the stereotypical gun owner does not, as is the case for most true libertarians. So I think it is important to have gun owners and gun rights supporters represented across a broad spectrum of thought to make it much harder for idiot politicians to try and infringe on those rights as they have managed to do in a few states, and came close to doing at the federal level with massive support from the left – and there will be huge electoral consequences for doing so. Maybe you can help talk some sense into fellow leftists so they don’t keep shooting themselves in the foot!

          • Rule 3

            Thanks! I am going to read this over and think about it! I read one prob with the lmt is it is heavy like the hk. Do youh think the hk is too heavy as a battle rifle? I owned fal rifles before but they are not even 2 moa usually – more like 3 to 4 most times and not easy to mount optics. I am looking more for a modern one, so I guess lmt and hk and kac are in the running now.

          • n0truscotsman

            For a battle rifle, probably. Like the LMT, the MR762 is a designated marksman/sharpshooter rifle more than a battle rifle. Perhaps you should be looking at something with a chrome lined rather than stainless barrel.

            Ideally, the 12 inch barrel variant of the HK417 would probably be best for you (good luck there).

            For something that you can buy, the SR-25 ECC or LMT 308 (chrome lined 16″) perhaps. Another two that I forgot that Ill recommend is the Larue OBR and the Noveske N6.

          • Rule 308

            Yeah, I think for something that can be run hard and used as a more powerful m4 at times the SR 25 ECC might be the best. The HK appealed to me bc everything they make can be run hard, but apparently it is just too heavy! Would a barrel reprofile to medium size help enough, or still be too heavy?

            And we are on the same wavelength bc for the legacy rifles I owned a couple FALs but ended up selling them. The FAL was a good mixture of everything – and I guess I would like a modern day version. The lmt and hk might get ruled out bc of their weight.

            Thanks for the very detailed info you are providing. Oh – and as far as the larue rifles, I have read all sorts of bad things about them since they started making their barrels in house. Not sure i would trust a new one at this point, and they are so back ordered I couldn’t get one anytime soon anyway. I don’t know anything about the noveske, but will look into it.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Would a barrel reprofile to medium size help enough, or still be too heavy?”

            I know people seem to like reprofiling their 5.56 versions, but Ive never heard of it being done to the 7.62 one. A interesting concept nevertheless. I’m sure it would help with the weight, in addition to adding a aftermarket rail IF one has been released yet for the 762.

            I havent heard anything bad about Larue. Ill do some more research into it and will ask around.

          • Rule 308

            Yeah – I have read people thrilled with reprofiles on 556 HK barrels, so the 762 should in theory be at least as good. I don’t understand how else the civilian version weighs a full pound more than the hk 417 other than the barrel and possibly the rail system being the culprit.

            Did you hear anything about larue that backed up the online chatter I have read?

          • n0truscotsman

            Nah, the LaRue OBR is good to go. What I do know is that certain units on the Special Operations side have used them for a while now and I know they are generally better liked than the M110.
            My 5.56 OBR has treated me well. But yes, finding one right now is a “good luck” gambit.
            I also asked about the ECC. I hear good things. I might buy one myself.

          • Rule 308

            Very cool! Thanks for asking around for me. My only follow up question would be if these are OBR rifles that are new, or ones a couple years old or older bc all of the complaining has been about recent products. Some of the same people who praised the obr have started changing their minds. I recall seeing a class review where John McPhee brought up some major issues on a brand new obr last year.

          • n0truscotsman

            I always buy guns a couple years old before I think about newer ones. That is with any brand (i did that with the gen 4 glock and was very glad i did)

            I’m not sure what is going on, its a new thing i seem to be quite ignorant of.

          • Rule 308

            Oh and one last thing – DI 308 rifles had an awful reputation for reliability up until very recently by legit experts like vickers. He has changed his mind about the newest sr 25 rifles. Do you think the DI 308 rifles are just as reliable as the 556 versions these days? I guess that was another appealing aspect to me bc I have never read complaints about the hk reliability.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Do you think the DI 308 rifles are just as reliable as the 556 versions these days?”

            Talk about a can of worms 😉

            If its a quality built rifle, then it CAN be very reliable, although they wont be cheap and 5.56 carbines are very hard to beat as far as overall reliability goes. To me its not a very fair comparison. Many AR10s on the market are mediocre rifles and finding a “working/reliable” one for under 2 grand is extremely difficult; like finding a snowflake in a hurricane.

          • Rule 308

            Oh yeah – I am well aware of how much more expensive 308 rifles are than 555 versions. I am expecting 3 to 5 grand to get a good one. I suppose what I am meaning is wanting a modern day FAL – fairly accurate of less than 2 moa, lightweight for the caliber (9 lbs or less) and well balanced, and above all else, reliable.

            The 556 DI rifles have clearly had all their issues worked out, and I was wondering if you agreed with the assessment of Vickers that now the 308 rifles are reliable, too – or at least the KAC versions are. Have you been issued one or do you know anyone who has?

            I had been all set on the SCAR bc I figured it would be exactly what I wanted – light weight and reliable and pretty accurate. Then I kept reading more and more posts like yours, while at the same time reading about how well the new KAC ECC rifles were doing – so I am very much undecided now. It is encouraging to see vickers praise them bc just a couple years ago he was trashing them.

          • n0truscotsman

            I would say they are. The Army had trouble with the M110s but have mostly worked the bugs out as soldiers became more familiar with the system. The SCAR H has its own set of problems, but nothing that cannot be fixed, and the LMT 308 is well received by the British military.

            Outside of those that I mentioned, I would stay away from AR10s.

            For a civilian shooter, the SCAR is not a terrible choice. It was reasonably reliable in Afghanistan but has issues that make it less than desirable for military use currently. The aftermarket accessories (Geissele trigger set, Handl lower receiver that takes SR25 mags, improved charging handles) available can improve it substantially into a viable battle rifle for civilians.

            But you should look into the ECC. I know I’m going to now…

          • Rule 308

            Great info. I think for my purposes I have it narrowed down to the KAC and hk mr762 with a barrel reprofile and lighter rail system that should get it down to less than 9 lbs. I just read where apparently hk showed off some keymod rail system at shot, so hopefully that shows up on the rifles and I would have to do is reprofile the barrel.

            I still find all the issues I have read about over the years with kac rifles in 308 pop up in the back of my mind – which prob makes the hk more attractive to me, ha ha! At least I have plenty of time to keep researching with how expensive these rifles are and it taking a while to save up for them.

            Yeah, I know scar isn’t horrible but if I am dropping 3k or more on something, I want it to be the best product. The scar just isn’t inspiring confidence in me when I keep reading horror stories or hearing about it trashing optics! And this is coming from someone who was a huge scar proponent as late as last year bc of how great it looked on paper.

          • Rule 308

            And one more thing – would you mine giving your thoughts on the hk 416? I have thought of picking up the hk mr 556 upper just bc I have wanted a 416 for years after reading some of the amazing stories about it by people like vickers.

          • n0truscotsman

            What do you want to know? 😛

            The 416 is exquisitely built. Its cold hammer forged barrel makes it very accurate and it its lower and upper receivers are very well fit. The main thing that I regard very highly with the 416 is the CHF barrel. (according to HK pro ((I think G3kurz, who knows his shit)) HK allegedly uses naval gun barrels to make their rifle barrels. Im not sure if there is any truth to this, but if it is, that really wouldn’t surprise me).

            Don’t take my word for it about its praises either (its a bit over the top and “TACTICAL!” although Vickers DID have a role in its creation)

            Now for the disadvantages: It is heavier than a M4, at a little over 7 lbs. That is not terrible to be honest with you and the weight can be lowered if they binned that damn quad rail that has hardly any aluminum cut out of it. Vltor and others I cant think of right now have alternative handguards for the 416 (Geissele’s modular rails are awesome, enough said; buy one for your AR if you haven’t already).
            Another reason I hate the rail HK uses is because it heats up very easily, due to the lack of ventilation around the gas block. Not a big deal with the DI M4, but a big deal with a gas piston since that is where the heat goes.

            Ironically, i view its gas system as a disadvantage because, basically, the 416 is nothing more than a well-built AR15 gas piston conversion using a set up conveniently similar to the G36. While good for over the sea operations and suppressors, the system doesn’t make it any more mechanically reliable than the M4/Mk 18 counterparts.
            10th Special Forces group compared the 416 with the Mk 18 at Fort Carson and drew to similar conclusions
            Anytime, in my opinion, if you add a gas piston to a AR, you increase the mechanical complexity and have more smaller moving parts. More parts doesn’t necessarily mean less reliability, although its another thing to foul, break, or lose in the field.

            Then there is the unintended consequences of the carrier tilt, which is caused by the changing of the energies dispensed on the bolt carrier. Instead of “straight back” with the conventional Stoner system (it IS internal piston afterall and was designed specifically this way), the operating rod violent strikes the top portion of the bolt carrier. In defense of the 416, I’ve seen guns with thousands of rounds through them, serviced, without clear evidence of carrier tilt; I’m not saying it doesn’t happen because I’ve seen a LWRC with carrier tilt.
            Basically, the 416 is a awesome weapon for raids, direct action, cordon and search, especially when running a suppressor or in naval over the beach conditions.
            For the infantryman in afghanistan and even most special forces (outside uber Tier land), it is really unnecessary and doesn’t perform better than a well maintained M4.
            On the subject of the MR556, that is a bit of a different rifle than the 416. More like a target/marksman rifle than a combat carbine (it was specifically made that way due to german export laws about “weapons of war” nonsense)
            Its most glaring difference is its barrel, which is cold hammer forged too, but is not chrome lined (many in the tacticool scene soiled their pants over this because any tacticool guy that knows his craft (*heh) knows that chrome lining is gods gift to the blessed). This is not a big deal because HK uses a nitriding process that gives the barrel just as long of life as a chrome lined one, but with more consistent channels that alleviate imperfections inherent to chrome lining. Realistically, chrome lining is cheap and very 20th century, in a anachronistic age of WW2 burnt out machine gun barrels and corrosive ammunition.
            Besides the barrel, the upper cannot be attached to a AR15.
            Those are all of my observations. I might have missed something.
            I know they are astonishingly accurate and are expensive. For the price of one, I can buy a Daniel Defense, BCM, or Colt, some mags, a sling, and optic. If you buy one, you will have a mercedes bens of rifles.

          • Rule 308

            Great info! From what I read though, I was under the impression that the hk mr 556 uppers can be attached to a regular DI lower. I am seeing the uppers for sale now – is that not the case?

            I was initially disappointed with the lack of chrome lining until I came across the same person on hk pro explaining the quality of the hk steel makes chrome lining not necessary. I am one of those people who buys quality and then keeps it forever with cars, tvs, phones, etc – so I am seriously thinking of buying an HK upper.

            Do you think having the barrel reprofiled would make it feel better balanced and lighter? I also want to look into the possibility of switching out the rail system for the new bcm keymod – I realize this seems as if it is a lot of trouble, and that it will offer nothing a lubed DI doesn’t, but it would seem to be a very fun rifle that could last a very long time.

            What were your experiences on the life of the parts on the hk compared to a DI rifle? What about accuracy? How long could you go between having to lube the hk vs the DI? Thanks – this stuff may be boring to you, but fascinating to many of us who don’t get access to real HK 416s!

          • n0truscotsman

            Actually, that they can fit on a AR lower. I was mistaken and swore they couldn’t.

            As far as reprofiling goes, I have seen threads of people doing it and they seem to like it rather well. that is something I dont have experience with

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Hickok45’s firearms evaluations are always interesting —- he doesn’t get too deeply into the analyses, nor does he speculate on the whys and wherefores. Instead, he simply reports empirically what he finds from his testing, and leaves the more extensive evaluations and follow-up assessments to others. In this way, he provides a very good, neutral starting point for further discussion on the subject.

  • gipbmac

    I’d take the socom 16 any day of the week over the scar…well – maybe not, I’d take the scar then sell it and get maybe a Colt 901 or Robinson XCR-M or a Springer Socom 16. I just dont like how the scar feels or shoots in either caliber – WAY over priced too…


      I too would take the Socom over the FN everyday of the week. The platform is proven, reliable, easily maintained, can take rugged abuse, and is fairly accurate.

  • Lance

    Not fair comparison The Mk-14 is not a SOCOM 16. I think both have ups and down Personally Id take a SOCOM 16 any day over FN plastic junk.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    People love to talk about H&K, but I think FNH is at the forefront of small arms development. I’m not so much talking about the SCAR series (although the H seems pretty well-received). The P90 is 20 years old already and its 90-degree feeding mechanism is still one of the most radical designs we’ve seen in a long time.

    • anon

      90 degree feed? Yeah, nobody had ever done that… since the 46 year old Heckler & Koch G11

      • ArcRoyale

        I think he refers to the manner that the cartridges are stored in the magazine 90 degrees horizontal rotation from the long axis of the weapon. And while it does not detract from the revolutionary design of the G11, the G11 did not achieve commercial success, while the P90 and its derivatives have done.

  • dp

    If anything should be said about M14, it has long pedigree (PIPed from M1) which many readers know. As far as I am concerned, it was ‘gun of the guys on other side’ and I have great respect for it. So much so it proved itself in many theatres and in Vietnam is was used in great effect even with incoming ‘Matel gun’.
    As far as SCAR, there is not much innovation in it (follows on much what was done on G36 but in metal housing), although it embodies all the previous state of the art. The reciprocating charging handle is cited in many reviews as major hurdle. Also, it does not count as truly “modular” in pure sense of the word (such as late Colt’s product does) – if somebody cares for that.

  • LongRange Bob

    for the money: a brand new SCAR 17 is about $3000, SOCOM 16 can be found for $1600-1800. For my money I will take SOCOM16 w/$1500 of .308 ammo and come out for the about the same as a box stock SCAR 17 with no ammo and no optics.

    • FourString

      Holy inflation batman! They’re (SCAR 17S) supposed to be closer to the $2000 mark right??! x.x

      • HKGuns

        Nope, a lot closer to $3,000 than $2,000.

        • FourString


  • Jay

    Socom16. A shorter version of an upgraded Garand. As modern as a $160 SKS.

  • 19 Delta Cavalry Scout

    How many of you own or have even handled the SCAR 16 or 17? Do you know from personal experience or are you just talking off of others’ reviews? Talking about something based on feelings is total bullshit and makes you look like a chump. I own both weapons used in this video. I personally like the SCAR better because as a “Battle” rifle it should be light and maneuverable, something that when you add the rest of your kit, ammo, water and other essentials, the weight of your rifle is paramount. The SOCOM 16 is a solid rifle that I love to shoot. Personally the SCAR series (both 16 &17) reciprocating charging handles are great. It’s not hard don’t get your finger in the way. Also I can do more for stoppages wth a reciprocating charging handle than I could ever with a forard assist. This could go on for a lot longer but I’ll stop here. I love H&K, I love FNH, S&W, PWS, Wilson Combat,and Colt to name a few of my weapon platforms that I run.

    • 19 Delta Cavalry Scout

      Posted this from my phone, please excuse the few grammatical issues.

    • juandos

      So since you own a SCAR does your opinion of its recoil match up with what Hickok45 was saying?

      I would imagine in a heated situation that recoil might not be a minor detail…

      • 19 Delta Cavalry Scout

        I agree with Hickok45, he did a beautiful review on two IMHO great rifles. The felt recoil of the SCAR 17 is slightly and by slightly I’d even say depending on the day and my shirt just a tad more felt recoil than that of a 5.56 AR-15 variant. I will compare the recoil of my SCAR 17 to my S&W M&P 15. FNH built a piston weapon system for the 7.62×51 round. The outcome is the SCAR 17. Seriously try and find one to shoot for yourself it really is an enjoyable platform to work off of.

        • juandos

          tad more felt recoil than that of a 5.56 AR-15 variant“…

          Hmmm, that is interesting and thanks for the reply…

          I think I do need to take a hands on look so to speak…

          Appreciate the info…

    • n0truscotsman

      Despite my criticisms of the SCAR, they’re actually not terrible rifles. I think with the improvements that myself and other users of the platform suggested, they could have been outstanding.

      Many do not like the reciprocating charging handle, although many do not realize that feature was requested by those who were actually going to use the thing in combat. I didn’t like its placement when using optics, although I do value simplicity and found it welcoming since ive been a long time AK guy.

      I like your Tavors btw. Very nice. I purchased one too and am enjoying it immensely. If I’m ever tapped to fulfill a “extra” role in a military science fiction movie, I know what i’m bringing as a “prop” 😉 I plan on taking an advanced carbine course with it to really push it and see how I really like it.

  • Hank Seiter

    Okay, I own both an M1A and a SCAR 17. It’s SCAR 17 hands down plus my example happens to shoot MOA which is why I mounted a pretty righteous Millett mil-dot side focus scope on it. Originally I wanted the SCAR 17 as a light-weight battle rifle (not to be confused with smaller caliber “assault rifles” ne: semi-automatic AR-15, SCAR 16, AK, etc.) but after seeing the accuracy it was producing down-range using 175 gr Nosler bullets over the appropriate dose of WC846 military pulldown powder in Lake City match cases, I simply had to turn it into a match-quality long-range shooter.

    I also have the SCAR 16 and the recoil with that platform is unbelievably low. I see why female three-gun competitors often use the SCAR 16 given the almost complete lack of muzzle rise and recoil. In looks and function SCARs our simply awesome. But this still hasn’t prevented me from having a stable of AR platforms (the Rock River LAR8 is unbelievable accurate with its cryogenic Wilson barrel as well as several piston-operated AR-15 rifles), Sig 556, AK bullpup, and the IWI Tavor – the latter is really pretty neat and the trigger isn’t as bad as people say once you cycle the first 500 rounds through it.

    • 19 Delta Cavalry Scout

      Hank I agree completely with your review. I just picked up a IWI Tavor this weekend actually 🙂 as did the roommate here they are!!!

  • Hank Seiter

    BTW, dollar for dollar I’ve always been partial to FALs. Back in the day when FAL parts kits were coming into the country (including the Israeli heavy barrel kits), once mounted on Embel receivers and properly headspace, I found the metric FALs to be accurate, reliable and soft recoiling … all for under $600 at the time! No kidding! Then DS Arms came on the scene with $1000 FALs built mostly from their own milled parts. I heard some of their earlier rifles were built using surplus kit parts including the barrel but I believe the DS FALs are nearly 100% American made. Though a bit pricey in the $1500 to $1800 range, a nice 16 or 18 inch barreleled FAL would make an excellent battle rifle, better than the venerable M1A/M14 platform.

    My first FAL was an inch pattern A1 built on a Century Arms receiver. And as unbelievable as it may seem with that British pencil barrel, that FAL was one of the more accurate iron sighted rifle in .308 that I’ve ever shot. My Mark One eyeballs aren’t what they used to be, but with good Lake City 7.62 I make consistent hits on 300 meter square and round plates! I’d say that’s plenty of battle accuracy and the British FAL A1 bolt carrier also had sand cuts, thus making it even more reliable in shedding dirt and debris.

    Look, let’s be realistic, I LOVE the Garand (I own and shoot two Springfield Armory garands) and I love the M1A/M14 rifle, but the dern bolt is way too exposed to dirt and other field crap that can get into the bolt-way and action. Whatever torture test one wants to fiendishly devise for the AR or SCAR platforms, if you apply those same tests to the M1A it will fail most of the time. It is true a good rinsing or rinsing and spray down with some light oil will get the M1A running in relatively short order, but the same can be said of other more modern and often more maligned platforms. But given enough dirt with safety lever up or down, even an AK will fail function tests but when it comes to sheer reliability the AK is pretty much king. And personally I wouldn’t have any angst if I was forced to carry one around because nothing else was available. Little doubt that 7.2x39mm peckerwood of a round is pretty darn potent … it’s almost ballistically identical to the venerable .30-30 round out of a short barrel 18 inch Winchester 94 lever action.