Finland Adopts SCAR-L For Special Forces

FN_SCAR_rifle

Finland’s special forces have announced the adoption of the SCAR-L, chambered, unusually for Finland, for 5.56x45mm. From Jane’s:

Finland’s special forces have selected the Belgian FN SCAR-L assault rifle as a new standard firearm.

The FN SCAR-L will be the first 5.56×45 mm NATO calibre firearm introduced to the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF). It will supplement the current RK 95 TP assault rifle chambered in the Russian 7.62×39 mm cartridge. Both weapons will be used in parallel by Finnish soldiers.

“We decided that the rifle for the special forces [should be] compatible with other nations for use in crisis management and national defence,” said infantry inspector Colonel Jukka Valkeajärvi.

The weapon was approved after field tests. A contract for FN SCAR-L rifles and FN40GL-L under-barrel grenade launchers is to be signed in March.

The special forces units are also seeking a new light machine gun chambered in 5.56×45 mm. The FN Minimi and the H&K MG4 are being tested at the Finnish Army training centre (Utin Jääkärirykmentti).

Finland launched its ‘reconnaissance weapon system’ for the special forces in March 2014. Under it, the country was looking for 200-300 rifles chambered in 5.56×45 mm and 50-75 grenade launchers chambered in 40×46 mm low velocity ammunition. Rifles are set to be equipped with additional accessories, including the tactical light and laser pointer Insight Model 7500 (AN/PEQ-2A). The contract is estimated to be worth EUR750,000 (USD851,378) with all weapons to be delivered in 2015.

Finland has traditionally used its own manufacture of AK type rifles (from the Rk. 62 on) in the Russian 7.62x39mm caliber. Russia has historically been Finland’s biggest enemy, and so utilizing the same ammunition made a great deal of sense given the nature of wars Finland fought previously with Russia. After the Soviets adopted the 5.45x39mm caliber, Finland did not make the transition, but continued to use and produce 7.62x39mm firearms, that caliber being plentiful.

The latest Rk. 95 TP rifle, introduced in 1995 hence the model number, has been out of production for over a decade. This, and the ubiquity of 5.56mm ammunition among forces allied with Finland, probably drove the move to adopt the SCAR-L.

 

Thanks to Daniel for the tip.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • FourString

    I wonder how well these will hold up in the cold compared to the Rk. 95

  • iksnilol

    Oh come on Finland. Don’t do this guys. I know the SCAR is cool and all but don’t do this… there are like so many better options.

    • Vitsaus

      It is unlikely that Finland would have taken this adoptions lightly. Given their military history they must have found the SCAR to be the correct arm for their needs. They certainly did not choose it for cost savings.

      • Guest

        300-400 SCARs will be bought. NOT 300-400 thousand. Only a small batch for SF.

    • Menger40

      Are there big problems with SCARs? What’s better? I don’t know much about military weapons.

      • iksnilol

        Not really big problems with it. It is expensive and not that much better than the regular old M4.

        Probably somebody who is more up to date than me can come up with more stuff/explain better.

        • Vitor Roma

          Maybe they like to have a folding stock, something the AR family lacks due to a giant buffer no other assault rifle has. Or they felt it performed better in extreme cold, or both, or something else.

          • iksnilol

            Why not just have NATO-compatible AK? Would have been much easier, especially considering that they are trained on it already. No new manual of arms needed.

            I like folding stocks by the way.

          • Zachary marrs

            Collapsing>folding

            Perhaps this was just a cheaper option?

          • Vitor Roma

            The Scar stock does both.

          • Zachary marrs

            I know that, but if i had to choose between either one, id rather have collapsible

          • iksnilol

            You can have a stock that does both.

          • Vitor Roma

            You mean a Galil Ace? They seem to have a good balance between being “modern” and rugged, but Scar has the new fancy toy appeal and that super smooth recoil, although Im aware of the shortcomings.

          • Barry

            Yes, we know you love your Com block weapons, iksnilol. Please tell us more about how everyone should use AK’s and makarov’s or old CZ’s again. Why don’t you try a firearm that’s not outdated ergonomically/technologically and meet us in the 21st century.

          • iksnilol

            It makes sense if that is what they have been using the past 50 years. If they wanted to go “modern”/fancy they could have went with the MSBS Radon (you get the cool bullpup stuff + you can be reverse compatible). What they should be focusing on rather is getting their weapons factories retooled. Their last guns were made in the ’90s or something.

            Also, please try and convince me that a CZ-75 or SP-01 is “ergonomically” outdated. I am in the 21st century, but sometimes the options from the 20th century are better. If the 20th century wasn’t better, then why are US forces still using the “old and outdated” (at least compared to a SCAR or ACR) M4 and M16?

    • Grindstone50k

      I know right, we internet commando mall ninjas know WAY more about weapon selection than Finnish SF!

    • n0truscotsman

      Yeah like the Galil Ace 23. They might as well use something that is related to their own Valmet. Or something (like the 416 or C7/M4) that uses that type of magazine in current use by their neighbors Sweden and Norway.

    • john huscio

      Waiting for someone to say the Finns should adopt the MDR…….

      • iksnilol

        Where is Bjorn the Brave now that you mention him?

  • tony

    In before all the operators comparing it with ARs AKs, etc

    • Kelly Jackson

      JumpIf NotZero is about to come in here and tell us about the time he once saw it in a magazine and knew it wasn’t as good as his AR15.

      • toms

        True

      • Orion Quach

        I see his posts all the damn time on so many articles lol

      • Grindstone50k

        Or how he used one to dynamically flip a mag to incapacitate a target during a super leet room-clearing training course.

    • Zachary marrs

      To be fair, ar’s and ak’s are its competition

      So yeah, it should be compared to them

    • n0truscotsman

      Why the hell wouldn’t anybody compare it to ARs and AKs?

      /facepalm/

      If something is less expensive and does the same thing, then that is the better option for militaries, yes? especially against the more expensive alternative?

      The lack of critical thinking here disturbs me.

  • toms

    For a “piece of crap” rifle as so many intenet commandos claim, it has a hell of a lot adopters for its short history. I think we can finally put that internet legend to bed. I have to believe the Finns and French put it through the ringer before adoption. I’m not a huge fan for the record but it works fine.

    • CommonSense23

      Unfortunately it has a lot of problems that most people don’t here about. There is a reason that the SMUs didn’t adopt the platform. But even when they work they, are simply outperformed by a lot of better rifles.

      • Mario AK

        THIS

      • toms

        Seals still use the mk17 for now, I have know many SMU’s who love it and know many who hate it. I have heard of the problems: triggers on Mk20, optics being beaten (.308), and stock latches breaking occasionally. Also accuracy on the mk20 being marginal. Criticism of the non-recip charging handle. Not sure most of those have anything to do with the 5.56 version. I have also heard tons of crap about the knights products, the Poles for one dog their SR16’s. All I am saying is that armies like Finland, France, Peru, Italy, ect have a history of testing products thoroughly. I doubt they would adopt a gun that is as problematic as some would claim. Proof is in the pudding so they say. Armies like Finland don’t throw money around on wasted concepts and have a pretty harsh vetting process, just look at the tp95 evaluation for example. By the way I am not a fan of the 5.56 version over an AR just stating what is pretty obvious. From my experience its a reliable rifle but im not a fan.

    • Grindstone50k

      Those same commandos probably call a Glock chambered in 9mm a “piece of crap” too.

    • I think the SCAR is mechanically very well-designed. I’ve heard negative reports of it, but nothing well-documented.

    • Joshua

      Depends om what was entered. If you limit it to regions near you things can be slim pickings.

      Case in point the French trials wanting EU guns only.

      • ives

        When the Army concluded the ICC, I thought what a mistake. But it soon became obvious that there’s so many new designs that are worth exploring. Recoil dampening, American bullpup’s, Proof Research barrel’s, even new piston designs, & convertible rifles that can be changed relatively quickly. There’s even an American AK hybrid that was completely redesigned about half the parts yet true to the reputation of an AK (lets hope), & all the modularity of a new modern assault rifle.Even the Russians are designing new & intriguing rifles(AEK-971,972).
        But I think its a mistake to wait for industry to produce the new rifle any given army wants. Rather why not simply contract out from the companies that are innovative what features are desired then tell them to exceed your expectations.

        • Joshua

          Nothing in the ICC was an improvement over an upgraded M4A1. SOCOM has something coming soon, numerous manuf. have been briefed and are working on designs.

          When it comes out the stuff being made will blow away any current 5.56 rifle on the market.

          • jay

            I don’t see the military introducing anything new before LSAT. Definitely they won’t introduce a new brass cased cartridge. The weight reduction with LSAT is too promising to waste money on new brass cased ammo

          • Joshua

            The idea is complicated and not what you’re expecting, but like I ssjd it will all make sense once it comes out.

          • jay

            Now you are making me curious. Any more hints? 🙂

          • jay

            I heard some vague things about missile like bullets that would be fired at slower mv to reduce recoil and muzzle wear and accelerate on flight to dramatically increase performance at range….
            I may be barking to the wrong tree anti rely as well. 🙂

          • jcitizen

            There are two part powders that get high velocity out of short barrels – yet the acceleration is steady, so it doesn’t put wear on the barrel so much. Rock chuck hunters in Colorado have known it for years. I can’t see why it wouldn’t be good for M855A1 bullet/cartridge combo. The pressure isn’t a curve but a flat spot more like a mesa on a graph – that is why the acceleration is so great but steady.

          • Joshua

            We all saw the results of the ICC and how the weapons performed with M855A1, 6,000 rounds MRBEFF was the highest achieved rounds before failure and it came from the M4A1. Now this was with the best guns available today on the market.

            Now imagine 20,000 rounds between failure with M855A1 and 1moa accuracy at 200M, all without having to adopt a completely new weapon.

          • jay

            I don’t get excited about anything shooting 5.56mm ammo anymore.

          • Joshua

            Civilian standpoint I can see. Military wise a gun capable of 20,000 rounds or greater parts life with M855A1 would be a huge upgrade.

            Theres more to it than just that though, but time will reveal all.

            Like I said this is a SOCOM thing, M855A1 is their main driving ammunition. With it we do not need a new intermediate caliber.

            M855A1 won’t be in civilian hands for a long time, if ever.

          • jay

            Btw. The reason m4a1 came first in the ICC “competition” is because the other companies din’t have a chance to really test the rifle with that round, it was only m4a1 that had that privilege. …
            I’d take those “results” with a truck load of salt. Competition designed to fail and managed by someone who’s now a Colt employee.

          • Joshua

            Every company had 10,000 rounds to test and 8 months(or something like that) to modify. The M4A1 has received no changes since the adoption of M855A1.

          • toms

            The barrel and bolt on the HK are stronger than the m4a1, check the specs on their source materials their steel comes from martel and has been decoded by nosey HK lovers. Colt still uses 60’s era alloys. The germans are at heart metallurgists. HK sourced steel is as good as it gets, they pay through the nose for it too. Not sure about stats as it seemed that one other met the threshold too but I may be wrong. They all failed the test IIRC.

          • That would be very interesting.

          • Joshua

            Interestingly one company has already shown off their version, which is a plus as hands on feedback will give it a small headstart on this.Though a few mods will most likely be made if it wins before all is said and done.

      • toms

        Whats coming out soon that’s so special?I don’t think limiting to the EU makes much difference. The EU produces more variety of high quality weapons than anyone else. Most of the biggest arms names fall under that category: HK, FN, Steyr, Thales, CZ, Radom, Beretta, SAKO, Rhienmetal, Bofors ect. Whats left from that? Colt Polytech Rostech and??? If you cant find a good one from the EU your in trouble. Until new cartridges are developed things won’t change much.

        • Joshua

          Can’t say, info will be public soon and I am sure TFB will be covering it.

          I can say it is a very unique idea that has not been tried before and is going to bring out some amazing new designs that are not on the market atm. Designs built around a certain cartridge currently in use to achieve 20,000 rounds bolt and barrel life, or more. That’s as far as I can say.

          It’s going to be interesting honestly. Should sound the horn for a big shift in the industry. Most will not expect it and what the main design and goal behind it is.

          • Fredrik Mundt

            Sweden have suspended its firearms program until 2022 in hope of waiting out new developments in the small arms technology. It only affects the regular forces, the special forces buys what ever they want when ever they want and the regular forces firearms have lifespan of some 15 years more acording some sources.

        • John

          Norinco. A Chinese company making guns in their very own proprietary 6.8 caliber.

          Africa is getting their weapons hand over foot.

      • To be specific, if France had the means and the ability to choose, they will want what they’ve always wanted; a French rifle for French troops.

        Unfortunately the French defense budget is getting cut after cut, and the FAMAS is no longer in production, so whatever replacement that will occur will be both incomplete (very likely they won’t buy enough to replace the full fleet of 300k-something rifles in service because a new service rifle isn’t exactly high priority)… and not French (not a single French firearms manufacturer left capable or wanting to produce rifles).

    • n0truscotsman

      In defense of the critics, many of the adopters purchased them in small numbers and are urban-based elite law enforcement units. There are a number of special operations units though, although, Im curious what their feedback is when compared to other rifles in their inventory.

      Im actually surprised a respectable number of nations adopted the 416 too.

      • toms

        The 416 has seen the widest fielding of any next gen rifle. There are a ton of them in use around the globe. Its’ reliable, accurate, and has very good longevity. I love straight DI AR’s but a lot of the newer guns work just fine and may have some small advantages over the legacy AR in certain enviroments. Anytime someone posts something positive about an alternative design people attack it. I’m sure the Finnish SF are big boy enough to make their own opinions, I for one would have bet money on the galil ace just considering the manual of arms. The AR has a checkered history in arctic use and I imagine that has something to do with the scar selection.

        • Joshua

          What is this checkered history in Arctic conditions? We did a ton of arctic training and mever had issues.

          I do agree though that the HK416 is a really good gun, and if I had to choose between a M4A1 as Colt issues them I would choose the HK416 and could make a real case for it.

          The issue we have in the USA is SOCOMS drive to improve the platform. Thanks to the SOPMOD program which through numerous ECPs, ancillery items, and COTS solutions has been able to improve the M4A1 to a level that is above the basic M4A1.

          This is why when the HK416 has been compared to the M4A1 with all the SOPMOD improvements there have been no improvements to be found aside from the barrel on the HK416, which is honestly better than the M4A1 barrel. But a barrel that lasts longer does not justify the cost to acquire a rifle that performs nearly as well as with what we have.

        • n0truscotsman

          How is the 416 “next gen”?

          It uses technology more or less conceived from Stoner’s time when the M16 was first fielded. Its nothing “next gen”. In fact, it is nothing more than a M4 retrofitted with the G36s short stroke gas piston system and HKs own attributes, such as the barrel.

          Good rifle, but for the price, it does nothing that the M4 or C7 dont already do. Those are also reliable, accurate, and have very good longevity without the higher price. Which is probably why no other rifle besides the AK (and maybe the FAL battle rifle) holds a candle to the number sold worldwide.
          Other countries may have had a better case for adopting them than the US, certainly.

          “may have some small advantages over the legacy AR in certain enviroments.”

          This would have to be anecdotal, as any sort of testing from multiple sources reveal that there is no inherent advantage of gas piston ARs over legacy ones.

          If the AR has a checkered history, then the 416 or SCAR would be no better. What kills guns in arctic conditions, generally, is trigger groups and any small parts. This is where the AK, or, in the case of finland, the RK, shines.

          But I am curious though. Im sure the superior ergonomics and modularity had a huge role in deciding which rifle to go with.

          • toms

            Did not want to sound condescending, my apologies. In actic conditions, and I mean real artic conditions -40-50+, There were many studies of this in the 80’s by several countries,Sweden, police (Alsaka), Mounties, Sled patrols, ect, were the AR would simply seize up as condensation would freeze and bind the action making it impossible to charge, gas tube could also get blocked by ice. Russia has a nice anti AR demo of this as well. The AR generally had some minor problems that are inconsequential unless you fight 60% of the year in sub zero conditions in an igloo, from this you get the leaving a round chambered at all times so you can fire if needed. In fact the the FNC (which shares trigger parts with the scar), Galil, and valmets worked better in these conditions. Also the steel reciprocating charging handle allows the action to be banged open when frozen. I’m guessing the cold weather played a role in this selection. The scar is pretty simple mechanically. The Finnish military may not have done much in the recent past but I can assure you they take their defense seriously with an aggressive Russia on their border. Also water borne ops may be a factor as well. OTB capability is probably necessary as they are a coastal country. There are plenty of HK416 fans and some scar fans too in socom, some 416s apparently in alpha too if rumors are true. The 416 is considered next gen.

          • n0truscotsman

            I didn’t mean to sound angry, so I apologize. I shouldve added a emoticon because I meant that as a jabbing jest. No harm no foul.

            You bring up a good point with those tests. I remember one conducted in Alaska with what was I believe their state police? The only reference I have available is a ARFCOM thread and ill see if i can find more. I originally had the magazine article saved and have since lost it.

            IIRC the valmet AK emerged as the victor. The AR suffered problems with its fire control group.

          • toms

            The alaska state police had a test for sure I believe they published it in the SM review, but there were others for sure. By and large the cold war spawned a lot of small arms test.

  • Must be Euro-socialist-trash for not adopting the the prophet Stoner’s (PBUH) rifle! If it weren’t for murrica they’d be speaking Finnish right now! Our rifle is best rifle (if soaked in lubricant, eagle sweat, and pure Alabama dirt…)!

    • KestrelBike

      LOL eagle sweat

  • Carlos U.

    I don’t get Finland. I admire how they stopped the soviets in 1940. Back then they had ammo compatibility with the Russians with their Mosins in 7.62x54R, and they took advantage of captured Russian stocks. But now, their main rifle ammo is 7.62×39. So in case of war with Russia , their only hostile neighbor, they cannot be resupplied with NATO ammo. Even if Sweden, Denmark and Norway wanted to supply them, they could not, as they all are NATO-compatible (even neutral Sweden) . But the Red Army mainly uses 5.45×39, with 7.62X39 relegated to minor use. So they won’t be able to use Russian Ammo either. I hope this is a first step in changing that. They need to change to 5.56 or to 5.45, before the unthinkable happens, a war starts, and they find themselves in a serious pickle.

    • CommonSense23

      You realize they adopted the SCAR L right. Its 5.56 Nato

      • Only their special forces. So maybe like, 6 dudes in Finland (lol).

        • CommonSense23

          Good point. Still don’t understand how FN sold them on the Light. Considering that they are trying to make the with a caliber conversion kit. Or how they sold them on the SCAR to begin with.

          • James

            Underhanded deals and corruption are certainly possible, but I think it’s a perfectly fine rifle and the Finns made an expensive, but quality choice. I hope it turns out well for them.

          • CommonSense23

            I have had a lot of experience with the SCAR. Was issued 8 MK17/20s when I should have only been issued 3. Know guys who were part of the original evaluation boards, know testers from both the original evaluations, and the MOD 1 tests. And have had interactions with FN reps dealing with the 20s. Its a got a real troubled history. The 17s are reliable these days. But they still have the same problems the 16 had and they are just are overall out performed by the AR design. It’s only real benefit overall is the the folding stock.

          • Mr_Pink

            Dude, no matter where the article is located on the web, if it contains any reference to the SCAR platform you will troll it with this same line over and over and over again. And no matter how many times you’ve been called on it, you fail to provide an ounce of proof backing your claims, besides (now) quite old internet hearsay and the usual ARFCOM mall-ninja rumors.

            “Know guys who were part of the original evaluation boards, know testers from both the original evaluations, and the MOD 1 tests.”

            How many super-secret-squirrel-ninja’s have we seen now on the internet who “know someone” from the original SCAR evaluation trials. Not only that, the original trials don’t really reflect on the rifle as it exists today. The SCAR has undergone many generational changes since those early evaluation trials. To reference them is not unlike using the very tired M16’s sh*tty performance in Vietnam analogies. The M16 of Vietnam is very different from the M16 we have in 2015. And so too is the SCAR from the original evaluation trials different to the SCAR of today.

            I’m starting to think you just have a hard-on for denigrating the SCAR, or maybe FN, even if it has been demonstrated to be a well performing rifle.

          • Scott P

            I thought Lance was the king of SCAR bashing on the net??

          • Uniform223

            I don’t know about any non official or official deficiencies about the SCAR. The one thing I keep hearing and reading about is the stock on it. There are after market parts to improve it but outside of that I have heard and read nothing about it.

          • CommonSense23

            Trying to compare the performance of the SCARs to the early AR-15s isn’t even close. One the AR-15s were considered far superior to there direct competitors. They were recommended again and again during the testing period and from actual combat experience before there adoption. It was only during the implementation period that the large amount of problems arricedr. Which is the exact opposite of the SCAR.

            The reason I am strong against speaking out about it is for the simple reason I have seen so many bad decisions made from bad misinformation. I don’t know how many people I worked with who thought the MK14 program was a good idea. Guys come in with ideas they get from the media, video games, people who have no clue what they are talking about. Good weapons were pulled from the armories due to the adoption of the SCAR program. The fact that both Damneck and CAG, and pretty much every other Western SOF force with extensive combat experience didn’t adopt them should have been a sign that they weren’t what they were made out to be. People would be absolutely surprised how many decisions are made by people in the military who have no clue what they are talking about, or have ulterior motives.

            As for FN, I actually have a large amount of respect for them. One they response to the SCARs problems have been excellent. Any problems, no question asked one for one swap. Second they produced the 240, 46, and 48, and the MK13 grenade launcher. Which all are excellent weapons.

          • Esh325

            hes Full of crap he still can’t provide any solid evidence to back up his claims about the scars problems. Yeah we should just believe a random dude on the internet who claims to be on the scar trial boards. That’s plenty evidence

          • CommonSense, could you elaborate? If need be, feel free to email me.

          • jay

            Cool story bro. What version of Call of duty was that? Did you unlock the Tiger Stripes camo for it?
            You are so awesome…..

          • Barry

            It was Call of Duty Modern Black Ghost. You had to buy the promo pack to unlock the SCAR trials but it does come with a badge proving that you knew a guy who reviewed it. Lol

          • Scorpy

            The RFP was specifically for a 5.56 rifle and a bunch of 40 mm grenade launchers. Not any 7.62 or other caliber atm (although field-testing NATO compatible stuff in general was surely on the list).

            There’s a few pics floating around of HK417 in use, but then again, I’ve seen P90s and M203s (on the already front-heavy Rk95), and we had the bullpup Valmet rifle…

            As for whether it’s a sensible option or not, well, sense isn’t always the deciding factor with FDF procurement, either. And yes, I’ve a set of things on loan from the FDF at this very moment, too.

        • Dukeblue91

          This^
          I’m not sure why everyone here is making a big deal about this and the ammo.
          This is only for SF and not the regular army types.
          What was it 200 -0300 Rifles? no big deal.

  • kev

    Should be noted that Beretta plan to replace their standard service rifle with the ARX 160 in 7.62×39 seeing as Sako is part of Beretta group.

    • dat

      How would an Italian company make that decision for an almost independent country. Seeing how scared and afraid of russian reactions the Finnish politicians seem to be you can hardly call them independent.

    • fanrich

      It’s being lobbied by politicians, yes. But nothing’s been decideds on, nor will it be for the foreseeable future. No moneys for new rifles, except for the Utti Special Jaegers. They get what they want.

  • fanrich

    Hello, a couple of pointers from Finland!

    (There’s a brief summary in the end.)

    -The choise was made by end- user feedback. The Special Jaeger Company (Army SF of Finland) has tested different weapons during recent years, including FN SCAR, HK416 and Beretta ARX. The word on the mill is, that ARX was disliked and SCAR only beat the 416 by an inch. The weapon will be used by the professional SF, not conscripts or other FDF users. No amount of chairborne commando ranting will change the fact, that the SCAR was deemed best in the tests. I would bet that it includes a few dips in the Finnish swamps in the summer and then some in the Lapland winter cold. The guys are used to the AK-tier reliability of the RK95, I can’t see they would be content with much less.

    -The number of weapons is so few, that from an logistical viewpoint it doesn’t matter if they were .300 BLK. End- users wanted 5.56, they got 5.56. Simple as that.

    -The 50’s infantry weapons trials deemed 7,62×39 best for Finnish use, 7.62 Nato rifles were deemed too heavy and early .223 AR:s too feeble. From that research, the RK62 was born by reincarnating the AK action to autistic quality and accuracy standards. The RK’s were expensive as f*ck.

    -The “use captured rooskie ammo!”- point is moot. During the winter- and continuation wars, the FDF never suffered from a catastrophic shortage on rifle cartridges. It was the heavier ordnance that were in short supply. It was only a big plus, that tons of enemy ammo and weapons were captured. Production and reserve stocks of rifle ammo were plenty. That has been so up to this day. The war- time Mosins (M28, M28-30s) couldn’t even use captured ammo effectively because of rebarreling! That was fixed with the newer M39 infantry rifle, but even that wasn’t meant to be run with enemy ammo. Finnish mosins COULD shoot russian 54R, but that was done only if domestic ammo ran out! Both guns hail their top- tier accuracy largely by their domestic D166- bulleted 53R caliber, opposed to 54R Russian. The same with RK62 and RK95, both CAN shoot captured ammo, but it is allowed only during emergency. RK barrels aren’t crome lined for durability because of FDF’s high accuracy standards. FDF has tons of steel jacketed soviet ammo bought from NVA stocks, but it’s use is banned because testing showed excessive barrel wear in conscript training. Finnish wartime planning has NEVER relied on using or capturing enemy ammo.

    -The FDF has declared that it needs a new general issue assault rifle by the 2030’s. The modernizarion of RK62’s is tested and planned, but at the moment lacks funds. The modernization includes a complete overhaul, collapsible stock and rail systems for optics. I guess that time frame is calculated by dividing the current state of RK stocks by training wear caused by some 20 000 conscripts trained annually. I’m a bit sceptical how the time frame fits to the budget planning. The Air Force needs new fighter planes to replace the Hornets by 2030. The Navy needs new ships even sooner. I guess the average reservist can suck it up, and expect to see the very familiar RK in case of a conflict far in to the future.

    tl;dr SCAR was best, Finnish guns don’t run on rooskie ammo, the Finnish grunts can expect refurbished RK:s in the near years or not, new rifles for the big army arent’t to be seen in the near future because the govt has has spent our monies on welfare and Greece and the AF and Navy need new toys more.

    • Pete Sheppard

      Thank you for this information! When I read the article, I wondered if Suomi considered the 7.62 cartridge more effective for arctic combat (Better penetration of heavy clothing, etc). On-the-scene comments are always appreciated!

    • Esh325

      thanks for the info. I imagine the reason the scar beat the 416 maybe was because of the folding stock and charging handle location?

      • fanrich

        Rumour says monolithic upper rail was preferred, also ambidextrous controls.

  • Lance

    Overall its crap compared to the M-4A! SOPMOD. but its fine for a nation who is just going to 5.56mm to use. Most people who don’t like it say its not the action itself but more the fact the M-4A1 can do the job just as good if not better.

    • Have you used both platforms long enough to be able to tell us that as an informed opinion, or is it your “village idiot” un-informed opinion?

      • Christopher

        Lance has no military experience. He’s just a Mall Ninja pretending to be a soldier and bashes everything that isn’t an AR-15 and used to hate on AKs until he started stealing talking points from people smarter then him.

  • Uzim16

    Is G36 in Finland’s military too?

    • fanrich

      Ministry of Interior’s Border Guard has them for their spec ops. FDF doesn’t.

      • Scorpy

        G36C was also selected as the police patrol rifle in 2009. Originally 20 were bought, to be distributed to selected stations around the country and to be used by the VATI (VAativa TIlanne = Demanding situation) teams, comparable to “regular” SWAT. No idea if more were bought.

        For more demanding operations, we have the nationwide Karhu, who utilize SIG552s and H&K UMPs. Not entirely sure on the politics regarding the use of the Border Guard Ready Teams mentioned above.

  • forrest1985

    As a big fan of the RK series, could they not re-chamber them to 5.56? Would it not have made sense to consider the galil ace in both 7.62×39 and 5.56? Surely would give the SF a choice of calibers based on availability

    • fanrich

      RK doesnt have a monolithic rail, nor is it very light or adjustable. The only thing the RK has on SCAR: it can function after being used as a pile driver or a crowbar.

      I’d love to see the Galil ACE as the next service wide issued rifle. Preferably, with a freefloat tube handguard.

  • n0truscotsman

    Why does discussion put your balls in a twist? Theres two sides to every story.

    So what if the AR or AK have been around longer? That is their advantage and why they will remain king for sometime until a evolutionary technology takes their place.

    When it comes to spending money, the less expensive option that performs similarly to the more expensive option is the best military carbine. End of story. Unless you want to spend a extra 1-2000 dollars per unit for an additional 5-10 percent in performance. The US might be able to do this (it hasn’t, but assuming for a minute we do), but others certainly cannot.

    Conversely, its interesting watching people recite marketing speak and theoreticals when praising the SCAR, while looking at any excuse to “do something different” than the AR or AK. In the discussion of military acquisitions, and civilian purchases, this makes little sense.

    If there is any ego stroking, it is by the guy that spends 2,000 plus grand on his SCAR that performs the same as his neighbor’s 950 dollar colt or his cousins 650 dollar PSA. You dont kid me.

  • fanrich

    We’d much rather have NATO- caliber ammo delivered regularly from the west, relying a war economy on battlefield pickups is kind of risky.

  • Yallan

    The greater modularity was the winner I think. Folding stock, adjustable cheekrest and quick replaceable barrels. The HK416 doesn’t have those features and it does seem the teething problems of the SCAR have been rectified now, such as the plastic stoch catch and the forearm heating up.