FNH USA Shows Off New 7.62×39 Mk. 17 SCAR Prototype

The FN-made 7.62×39 SCAR, long rumored to be a dead project, has resurfaced. FNH USA was showing off a variant of the Mk. 17 SCAR Heavy at the 2015 Association of the United States Army annual meeting this week. The rifle is apparently in the earlier stages of development, as it appears to have a rapid prototyped lower receiver. SoldierSystems.net reports:

Many thought the AK compatibility requirement for the SOF Combat Assault Rifle had fallen off the table. Not true. Rather, USSOCOM initially concentrated in the impending need for 5.56 and 7.62 NATO variants. Now, FN has built a 7.62×39 version of the Combat Assault Rifle to fulfill a requirement. with the CAR contract entering its second five years, you’ll start to see these models hitting the field as a reliable alternative to battlefield pickup AKs.

IMG_7994 IMG_7990 IMG_7991 IMG_7992 IMG_7993

The rifle obviously differs from the standard SCAR 17 in its lower receiver, which has a magwell dimensioned for AK magazines, and a matching lever release, but also a new gas block with no folding front sight, similar to the Mk. 16-derived FNAC carbine.

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 is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • tony

    It would be challenging, given so many AK mag variants out there.
    Remember the failed SR 47?

  • HenryV

    If SCAR 16 is a more expensive AR, then SCAR 7.63×39 is an even more expensive AK.

  • Lance

    If you want a 7.62×39 rifle get a AK ALOT cheaper and more reliable.

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      What do you know about reliability in this vs an AK?

  • John


    I like the idea of this in theory. But among other reasons, it would simply be easier to pick up or bring in a reliable AK-47.

    • M

      A reliable ak is actually very hard to find. Most battlefield pickups are worn down clunkers that are not zeroed and at the end of their service life

      • Raven

        Then just buy some damn AKs, give them to the SOF guys who want the option, and stop with all these dead ends that try to shoehorn AK compatibility into NATO weapons.

        • Frank

          Then they’ll throw another grand into parts and labor having them able to mount the things the SOF operators need. The whole idea of a gun like this is something that can mount anything out of box. Where as if you want a scope on an AK, you need a mount, if you need a light or IR laser mounted you need to change the handguards, etc.

          • BaconLovingInfidel

            A stamped AK with magpul furniture and a TWS top cover or an Ultimak cover that for about a grand total.

  • DetroitMan

    So basically, the upper receiver and the stock are the only major parts in common. I’m assuming the bolt is specific since the 7.62×39’s rim diameter is different from the other cartridges. I can see the military liking this for the commonality of training, but it doesn’t really offer much in the way of cost savings with so much of the gun replaced.

    • Jess-Avery Affentranger

      The bolt could be a universal bolt like Handl is developing for the SCAR. They could use it for all sorts of calibers.

  • Darkpr0

    I love the looks of it, and I hope it makes its way out to consumers, but I have to take a second look at the purpose of use. A reliable alternative to battlefield-pickup AKs? If things have gotten so bad that you need to pick up an AK, I don’t think you’ll be able to just whip out that 7.62×39 SCAR lower, barrel, and bolt assembly you carry around for just such an occasion.

    If we push all that away and instead look at the civilian sector, it’s still got some issues. The SCAR platform is quite expensive (although to rig up another rifle with the same amount of whiz-bang features you might rack up quite a bill anyway) and current adopters would greatly benefit to having cost-effective ways of expanding into other calibres. But this requires a whole new lower (which is not serialized, on a SCAR the upper is “the gun” but still), different mags, and you still need to modify or buy a new upper. That’s not really budget-friendly. It’s cool. I want one. But it’s not going to do anything that an AK or an AR can’t do. I would be spending my money specifically not to have one of those. Or I could buy an XCR. Or an SKS and a lifetime supply of ammo.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Stopped reading at “A reliable alternative to battlefield-pickup AKs?” because I’m honestly not sure if you are talking about the one time that might have actually happened or you’re talking about video games.

      • Darkpr0

        I never let stupid marketing get in the way of a good gun. Or amazing marketing blot out a really crappy gun. Their stated purpose of use is useless to me. It’s still a 7.62x39mm modern gun built with FN quality. It’s a Good Thing(tm).

      • Vitsaus

        You must not have spoken to many Viet Nam veterans if you do not think battle field pick ups happened. Also, there is ample photographic evidence that contractors in the recent mid-east conflicts were using AK variants which may or may not have been acquired “in country.” Certainly within normal US military discipline using non issued equipment is strongly discouraged, but then again there is enough evidence (much of it posted by troops on social media) that the phenomena is not as rare as you portray it to be.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          Many of those contractors were using WASR’s. They brought them from the US and they came back with them. They were for sale at several vendors here not long ago.

        • Joshua

          And there are a ton of Nam Vets who swear up and down and on their mothers graves that the M16 was made by Mattel, doesn’t make it true.

          It also makes sense for contractors to use what their indigenous units will use. Why use a M4A1 when you won’t be able to find any 5.56×45. Things are a little different now as 5.56 is more common and you see a lot more contractors using M4’s now as well, early on though outside of US troops you didn’t see much 5.56.

        • Grindstone50k

          The “battlefield pick-up” is so irrelevant anyway and completely disregards the many, many forces that still use ’47-pattern AKs to this day, including Kurds and the associated militias fighting ISIS today.

      • BrandonAKsALot

        Definitely not that uncommon about 50 years ago and before.

        • CommonSense23

          Really would love for some one to show that it was common 50 years ago. Its one of those things you always here about, but don’t stand up to much scrutiny.

      • nadnerbus

        He was quoting what was said in the article, and then expressing his own skepticism of it. But go ahead and keep feeling superior.

  • El Duderino

    Rad! A $2500 AK-beater!

  • Vitsaus

    The only guy who would want this, cannot afford it.

  • Old Fart

    Handl Defense SCAR47…..

  • Joshua

    The rifle that lost to the CK-901.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Which has a base weight of 10lbs unloaded.

      • iksnilol

        How did they get it so heavy? I mean, a friggin AR-10 weighs less.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I don’t know how to feel here. I’m excited and it’s cool, but the price just sucks. I would love to have it as I have tons of AK mags and I love them and plenty of 7.62×39. The ease of suppression is nice as well as having roomy area to mount an optic. Then again the price sucks and I think conversions are stupid for the most part. I’d rather have a dedicated firearm than have to swap back and forth. Also, it’s expensive and I have a 16s.

  • nadnerbus

    So how many slightly used but serviceable AKs could the US military procure, if there is a need for a 7.62×39 capability, versus the number of conversion kits for a SCAR 17?

    The only time I have heard of US troops using AKs was “Captain America” in the book Generation Kill.

    • James B.

      I’ve read about lots of units overseas, particularly at times when 5.56mm ammo supply was iffy, keep good-quality AKs around. Also, some tank crews weren’t getting issued more than 1 M4 per tank early in Iraq, while AK-47s were just lying around.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I don’t get this.
    So we are buying these to train guys on in case they maybe have to pick up an AK in the field? Or are they actually issuing these? Arent there already fifty brazillian AK’s out there for a quarter of the price?

    • iksnilol

      They want something fancy/non suspicious that can use enemy ammo and mags.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        ISIS is probably happy they can pick up one of these on the battlefield now.
        If it works.

        • iksnilol

          I’ll be honest, I sorta want one. It fits my logistics needs and fills the fancy “hot” gun category so that I can flex with it.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Hey, im not knocking it. I just cant afford it.
            I can maybe get one in five years after a bunch of other new crap comes out.

          • iksnilol

            I can get it when they start randomly falling off trucks… That’s why I have higher hopes for the MSBS.

            I could actually get the MSBS legally for comp shooting. Would have to pay for a review of it though :/

            I mean, we gun guys should be honest. We can do most things with a boring rifle but we do want that fancy rifle to show off with. It’s just I don’t bother getting a HK416 or something due to price and logistics. Like, I don’t want a new set of mags and ammo for my fun/flexing gun.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah, the bullpup looks cool and thats half the battle.
            Everything is just so damn expensive.

          • iksnilol

            And illegal for others.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            That sucks just as bad.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, it just makes it less practical for some of us. I mean, I’m from the Balkans. From the Balkans there is little respect for the gun laws. Only the fudds respect them, they make a classy SKS but they pin it to friggin 3 rounds.

  • iksnilol

    10 inch barrel version and i can do the spec ops thang. Or I can wait for the MSBS and have added bullpup capability. :/

    Eh, Poles are easier to work.

  • avconsumer2

    Awesome. I’ll have mine in black @ 1/4 the price. Thanks!

  • MPWS

    Finally, the way rifle should look like.

  • Grindstone50k

    I have heard from the highest keyboard McMall Ninja that SCARs are worthless because the military didn’t buy them.

  • Esh325

    Why is it based on the 17 and not the 16? When 7.62×39 fits in 5,56×45 sized gun. The Russians claim the AK12 can take standard legacy magazines but has a bolt catch and bho that works with modified modified magazines, I wonder will this rifle do the same ?

    • Anonymoose

      SOCOM is scrapping the Mk16 and converting their Mk17s to 5.56 with barrel+bolt+lower kits when needed, for the most part. Also, Handl Defense has been making 7.62×39 lowers for the SCAR17S/Mk17 for SOCOM for a while now, so I don’t see why FN would try to introduce this, especially when the original SCAR project called for the H version to use AK mags in a normal H lower with an insert.

    • MANG

      The size of the cartridge isn’t the main factor in converting a 5.56 rifle to use AK mags, it’s the mags themselves. Remember how much trouble AR manufacturers had lengthening the receiver & bolt carrier to fit true AK magazines? Nobody was able to do it until the mid-’00s, iirc. Colt’s CK901 is also based on their .308 modular platform.

  • tazman66gt

    so, they use the heavier 17 on a smaller cartridge, makes perfect sense.

    • AK™

      the AK round is still 7.62x39mm…whereas the SCAR-H caliber is 7.62x51mm/.308Win.

      Tell me how scaling up the SCAR-L makes more sense than a new lower for the SCAR-H?

      • tazman66gt

        the SCAR 16 is the 5.56 and the SCAR 17 is the .308 so why in the hell does it make more sense to make the x39 in the larger, heavier rifle

        • Tothe

          Maybe it’s simpler to adapt a platform already designed for a .30-cal cartridge? 7.62×39 is a fatter case than .223.

  • Southpaw89

    Is “rapid prototype” the technical term for 3D printed?

    • Peadair

      Possible 3D mill, like they used to use in American Chopper.

      • Southpaw89

        Ah, now that would make sense.

    • Tothe

      “Rapid prototype” covers several processes including fused deposition (including “3D printing”), stereolithography, some forms of injection molding and vacuum forming, and several other processes.

  • Alex

    This is clearly another product manufactured by a company and then sold in exchange for currency for the purpose of gaining a profit. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if people interested in firearms, and having the financial means to obtain them, would purchase this rifle in order to satisfy their desire to acquire a weapon previously unavailable to them.

  • Chriss Kyle

    Not as reliable as AK, expensive than AK
    Like an AR piston, expensive than AR

  • MikeSmith13807

    I don’t claim to know, but if I had to guess I would say the battlefield pick up thing is more about magazines and ammo than guns. So the idea is that today, if the unit is out and get ambushed or something and runs out of ammo, they can’t pick up ammo off of the bad guys for their weapons and have to take the bad guys weapon instead to have more ammo to continue the fight. In this case if they were already issued and using these guns in the first place, if they run out of ammo they just strip ammo and mags from the dead bad guys and keep using their own weapon instead of having to change to the bad guy’s weapon.

    This is probably not a likely problem with regular units, but a special operations unit far from support could face this problem.

  • Michael B

    If I buy one, do I automatically become a SPECOPS Operator? Does a beard come with it? How about balls and a spine? I picked up what I thought was an AK in a part of the world years ago that turned out to be a VZ 58 (use your GoogleFoo). I’ll never look for another AK again. The VZ 58 is the preferred 7.62×39 weapon of choice by soldiers in the know around the world – build it like that and it’s end of story. YMMV.

  • William Taylor

    Just what the world needs, an AK wanna-be…………. ‘scuse, supposedly improved AK wanna-be, for 10 or more times the price of an AK.
    Now, THERE’s intelligent gov’t. thinking!

  • William Taylor

    Pretty funny, NOT…………. stick your politics where the sun don’t shine.

    • SP mclaughlin

      It’s a catchy joke, stop being an easily offended liberal.

      • William Taylor

        Go rot, sonny. I don’t need a ration of garbage from an annoying snot nose.

        • Tothe

          If you think The Shrub is above mockery, and especially if you think all political problems arise from “the left,” you might be a square. No politician is above mockery.

        • SP mclaughlin

          So is it politics in general or a particular perspective that triggered you?

  • LazyReader

    Whenever I see a SCAR stock…I think of an UGG Boot

  • Doom

    Good lord… Or you could buy brand new full fun AK’s from the huge assortment of AK makers for 1/5th the price of this thing… what a joke. your tax dollars at work…

  • The Brigadier

    Its too bad FN can’t make the SCAR-17s for the same price as a M1A. Its a good design that needs a longer barrel, but its bolt path is straight back just like the ARs and its a much better design for 7.62X51 than the AR10.