The FN SCAR 16s: Is It Worth The Money?

The FN SCAR 16s is the civilian semi-automatic version of the select-fire SCAR 16 rifle. Chambered in 5.56x45mm, it has to compete with AR15 rifles that do the same thing for 1/3rd the cost. While the SCAR certainly has a few unique features and handles well, is that enough to justify the high MSRP?


Please subscribe!!! Click here.

Please subscribe!!! Click here.


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • You could buy a couple of nice pre-ban piston driven folding Daewoo K2 for that kind of money.

    • But then you don’t earn any Ninjabux™ you fool.

      • Anonymoose

        Ninjabux? You only earn those when you buy Howas.

      • I’ve never earned a single Ninjabux™, what am I missing out on?

        • Your M1A with EoTech featured in your avatar image says otherwise.

          • Yeah, a big ass scope is what I needed for a 25 yard shot… no thanks.

          • Stan

            Dude that gun is an M14 derivative. It’s not unreasonable to call it an M1A

          • Yeah, and it’s also not unreasonable to clarify what’s what because getting it wrong earns a guy something like 100 Ninjabux™

          • Ninjabux™ is now a thing.

          • John

            I’m sorry but I believe Ninjabux sounds like a club for male teenage deer acting out by buying Airsoft guns and shooting their friends in the face after losing to them at Dungeons and Dragons….am I wrong?

          • Anonymoose

            We have to make a list for Ninjabux™ values now, including SCAR-Ls, M1As (Fulton SOCOM-16s in EBR stocks being the highest grade of Ninja M1A), actual HK HK91s, Noveske SBRs, Tavors, and ACRs. Eotechs, despite being a mediocre and overpriced reflex sight compared to Aimpoints and Israeli red dots, are to be deemed the official Ninja optic of choice.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Daniel Defense rifles should be at the top of that list.

          • Anonymoose

            Nah, DD and BCM are, imo, the best big brands to aspire to. You get Samuraibux for those.

          • Sermon 7.62

            That’s nothing but grotesque kind of M4 to me.

          • DW

            How much does a KSG or RMR30 rank on Ninjabux™?

          • Id say a c-note each.

          • DW

            I expect cringemeter go over 9000 though.

      • Richard


    • Harry’s Holsters

      Now that’s a good idea!

  • Tritro29

    Is a Ferrari worth the money? Is an MV Agusta worth the money? Is your wedding worth the money?

    Horses for courses. For all military contracts, this rifle has been sold between 2800euro (Belgian Police) to 4200euro (albeit in the 17 variant and extremely low volume -45) to the SEK.

    • Mike N.

      Wow. Apparently Uncle Sam pays Colt around $700 for an M4.

      • From FN they pay $642 per unit (based on a 2013 contract).

      • Tritro29

        Uncle SAM has had upward 10 million M4/M16 built by the FN. Completely different perspective. Also in 1988 the Cost was 420/430 USD per unit.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Really puts the sub $600 consumer ARs into perspective. If you can get “an AR15” for under $600 without buying more than one at a time, really shows the market volumes being leveraged.

          • Tritro29

            Yes, because the US civilian market, unlike the military market, doesn’t stop at notions like budget, deficit or suitability or sanity…hell Joe Blow will buy that 69 USD selector lever, just because he can…he will buy that 40 USD forward assist (that cuts thin enough to make a nice potato peeler) because he wants aggressive to feel aggressive.

            Did that 700 USD rifle just shifted a hundred bucks up in a second? Yeah but hey, looking the part is important…Also did Joe blow put a 1.2 thousand USD optic on a 700 USD rifle? That’s because he can…

            Compared to the civilian market, the US military procurement when it comes to individual firearms is amateur hour. In Russia it’s the other way around.

            So yeah, it puts that 700 in a different perspective. And then you have China that still chugs out Type 56-2’s for under 100 USD and CQC 5.56 for under 250 USD. Yeah just like that.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Sourses, please.

          • Tritro29

            What is nonsense? Sudanese shipping flyer mentions Type 56-2 sold @ 105 USD. And pricing for export CQC 5.56 is roughly at 300 (with shipping), just not for the US civilian, but good for US sponsored warlords.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      To my understanding non of the contracts have been very large. Based off the design and my very limited understanding of the manufacturing cost in mass production this gun should be priced similarly to the AR15.

      • Tritro29

        Hum…not “exactly”. Because this gun has “R&D” to “justify”. Also the current production Number for the military variant is around 200 000. For the 17 military variant about 50 000. You can understand the price point.

        BTW would you consider normal the price for the 416? It’s also around the same waters…2500/4000 euro and unlike this rifle, it’s a piston AR-15/M16.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          I had know idea there were that many in the wild. I was under the impression most of the sale were in the thousands not tens of thousands.

          • Tritro29

            The US is the biggest customer with over 100K ordered…

    • John

      My wedding is not worth the money, no. Her wedding ring and our honeymoon, on the other hand…

  • Harry’s Holsters

    They are cool guns and the only one I’ve ever fired was suppressed. I really didn’t care for the characteristics of the recoil impulse. If I was going to war I don’t know what this would offer me over an AR15 with a good rail, but I’ll eventually add one to the safe because I want it.

  • Anonymoose

    No. Next question.

    • TheMaskedMan

      Back when I worked at a gun store, we had a 16s that sat on the rack for months. However, we couldn’t stock the 17s fast enough. People seem to be willing to stomach larger price tags for larger calibers.

      • Sasquatch

        Scar 17 was a beast gun on Call Of Duty and believe it or not I believe that will drive up demand. For example dessert eagle, Kriss Vector 45 acp, Barret 50 bmg, Bushmaster ACR, must I go on……

        • Sledgecrowbar
        • Molon Labe!

          If that’s true it shows what idiots some are… It’s …a….. video….game… It has nothing to do with the real world or reality.

          • Sasquatch

            Nope. Though fun to play it is not reality.

        • Anon. E Maus

          The Deagle and the Barrett line were popular long before Call Of Duty existed.

          • Sasquatch

            Yea but not as much.

      • Anon. E Maus

        Battle rifles are already an expensive venture typically (the PTR91 being a very economical choice for those who want one these days), so I think people feel the cost of the SCAR is more justifiable in 7.62mm

  • Steve

    17 – yes, 16 – no.

    • cwp

      Even when it comes to the 17, I’m skeptical, and I own one. I’m not sorry I bought it, but I’m not sure I could honestly say it’s worth the money over the alternatives.

    • Sasquatch

      I would get a DPMS GII recon. A third of the price minus a reciprocating charging handle.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Maybe if the barrel was six inches shorter.

  • thedonn007

    And it can’t even use stock PMAGs. Your assesment is spot on, I would not pay $2,000 for one either. Then again, I would not pay $2,000 for a MP5

    • Anonymoose

      Gen2 Pmags don’t fit. Emags and Gen3 Pmags fit just fine.

    • Anon. E Maus

      I think if they dropped the price down to around $1000, it would be much more competitive, a lot of people are willing to pay that kind of money for a higher end AR-15

      • The Brigadier

        I understand the price of the SCARs are due to the high cost of of the manufacturing tax in Europe. I have written before that FN needs to build a SCAR plant in the U.S. They will pay much lower taxes and they can bring the price of the 17S down to around $1800. That price is in line with Fulton Armory’s price of their NATO .308 rifle. Its better than the Springfield M1A that cost’s about $1350 for a M1A with a synthetic stock. The SCAR 17s needs a 19″ heavier barrel instead of the stock 16″ barrel. That will increase the speed of the bullet and lower the recoil. The SCAR has the same straight line level of everything just like the AR except it has a piston instead of the direct impingement system. Superior accuracy like the AR coupled with more kinetic power and lower recoil For &1800 I will order one with a 19″ barrel immediately with no reservations.

  • hikerguy

    It is a nice rifle, and well thought out and designed except for the placement of the charging handle. It could be remedied with the end of it angled down or perhaps the whole charger moved further down the barrel as was done with the Remington ACR. I agree with Alex’s opinion as it being way more cost for what you actually get. A fair assessment and review.

  • Uniform223

    Of course its worth the money! I saw it on Call of Duty!

    • Anonymoose

      The SCAR-L was one of my most hated guns in MW3. It had M4 damage and lower ammo reserves and everything else was just crap. I really preferred the M16A4 in that game.

      • DW

        M16A4 in that game used to get sh*t on by Type 95… then it was overbuffed to MW1(COD4) level of glory. One burst kill is classy AF

        • Sasquatch

          Ak nuff said.

      • Sasquatch

        But did you use it in MW2. Beast I tell you beast. So much it was nerfed in MW3

        • DW

          MW2 has no scarL, it has scarH, and did same damage as Tar21, while firing slower, having crappier ironsight and 10 round less in magazine. Tar21+n00btube was my go-to and yes that was cancer AF. I have learned the error of my ways and no longer play CoD.

          • Sasquatch

            For some reason I saw scar H I don’t know what I was thinking. And you are right about the scar L it sucked apart from the low recoil. I no longer play CoD as well. Check I don’t even play video games or at least like I use to. Now the Xbox is use as a DVD player…..

          • DW

            I was on PC and lemme tell you CoD MP has always been all about DPS or abusing broken mechanics. Less 12yr olds though, we were all 21 year old virgins XD

  • Anon

    How much do these actually cost to manufacture?

    • gordon

      Don’t go labor theory of value on us. Americans use market pricing;-)

    • John

      I don’t know, how much does it cost to make a $300 sneaker from Malaysia?

      • Anon

        What reasonable person buys $300 sneakers?

        • iksnilol


          Because I wait for them to go on half off of half sales (AKA pay 25% of the original price).

          • Anon

            Eh, fair enough.

          • iksnilol

            I grew up the child of refugees in an expensive country. I’ve never paid full price for clothes in my life (except once on vacation in my homeland).


            I am economical.

  • Sermon 7.62

    For $3000, I have seen the original pre-ban and untouched M70 on Gunbroker.

  • The_manBEar

    Ugg boot – sah no

  • gordon

    The SCARs may have greater mean time between stoppages, but I wonder what the difference in the chance that the first two or three magazines will have a stoppage is. I sure would be surprised if I had and lived through a multi-magazine gun fight.

  • Dave Y

    I’m going to agree, for the price it’s not worth it for the casual shooter, or anything short of someone who wants something along the lines of an accurate AK type gun with good ergonomics. I don’t see procuring one of these, but I do lust after the SCAR 17.

    Is it worth it is a question that can only accurately be answered by the buyer. I would like to offer this – if it behaves anything like the FNC, I can see a value in having a rifle that will literally shoot all day at a machine gun shoot, as fast as you can stuff magazines into the gun until you can no longer hold the gun even with gloves, then put it on a sand bag and shoot some more, and continue into the night shoot. All without cleaning, oiling or fiddling with the gun.

    I’ve had some great results from ARs, particularly suppressed. my results were about 350 rounds unsuppressed and another 1100 suppressed before malfunctions set in. I don’t know exactly what to expect without the suppressor but 1100 suppressed rounds without cleaning is pretty doggone good. That said, I’ve never been to a rifle class, informal shoot or machine gun shoot that didn’t have an AR breakdown of some sort.
    Malfunction clearing gets fatiguing after a while. For the AK guys – malfunctions are when your gun doesn’t work 🙂

    I wonder how the SCAR stacks up to other efforts out there – the Sig 55x rifles come to mind, the ACR, what else?

    • Bob

      AKs? Malfunctions? Does that have anything to do with setting the hand guards on fire? I had some trouble before with badly dented surplus mags that hung up and stopped feeding rounds… Maybe you mean when I tried to feed a glove into the action when I cocked mine once. It didn’t like that…

  • JoshCalle

    Alex you gotta get a scarging handle from kinetic development group. You know, the ones Jon Patton never stops talking about.

  • Jeff S

    I enjoyed the 10″ CQB that I put 8 mags through the other week… The full-auto cyclic rate was definitely interesting. Glad it was Uncle Sugar’s – I sure couldn’t justify $2300 for one.

  • Chris laliberte

    $3000 to rip your thumb off on your optic mount when you charge the dang thing. . . no thanks. Oh, you can fold the stock? Heck, I’ll take two.

  • Kyle

    No. As usual when the headline is a question the answer is “No” about 99.9999% of the time.

  • Yellow_Fever

    Who pays $3000 for a SCAR? I mean really? I purchased a NIB 17S and 16S for $1800 respectively a few years ago. I routinely see either model running around $2000 – $2300 locally at the reasonably priced shops or from private sellers. I guess it depends on if we’re talking panic-prices though… if that’s the case, all bets are off no matter what the gun is.

    I would disagree with the SCAR being hard on red dots, though. My 16S has over 9,500+ rounds logged with an Aimpoint T1 in a Scalar Works mount. Still runs like a champ.

    BTW, you should flip your ACOG mount around so the throw levers are on the right side away from your charging handle. It’ll mount up to the optic either direction and take care of the issue you’re having with your fingers. Or consider an aftermarket charging handle.

    • Yellow_Fever

      Edit: $1800 for each rifle, just so there’s no confusion 😉

    • n0truscotsman

      The “SCAR being hard on optics” thing has some truth behind it. But this applied to Eotechs, which were later revealed to have a myriad of their own problems, not aimpoints, which have proven themselves to be boringly predictable and reliable. Im not sure about the others, but I have my doubts.

      IIRC, I bought my 16S for 1800 a couple years ago, and my 17 a little north of 2500. Both were worth it, IMO, if you are looking for something different than ARs. They’re a smooth shooting rifle and pretty damned accurate.

  • Don Ward

    I like how there’s the dildo fore-grip but Alex is too much of a man to use it!

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Pains me to say it, but he is using it, and using it correctly. It’s only a “grip” when you’re switching hands or in an uncommon shooting position. Otherwise it’s a handstop.

      • You should mellow out and stop taking stuff like that so seriously dude.

  • Southpaw89

    So 3-6 times the price of an AR, heavier, and with more recoil, even someone as AR fatigued as I am cant see an advantage here.

    • James Young

      It’s a piston gun, so it’s obviously more expensive, heavier, and less accurate than the Colt DGI gun he mentioned. He should have compared it to AR piston driven guns…

      • buzzman1

        James, I can’t comment on the SCAR16s but I do have a SCAR17s and I can say it is very much worth the money. Its not as bulky as it looks, its reliable, shoots sub MOA with common off the shelf ammo, and has very little recoil. Its a joy to shoot.
        Down sides are it bolt sounds like a MG bolt when its released and doesn’t seem to like it when I try to keep the bolt from slamming home, the reciprocating charging handle (got mine several years ago) can really whack your thumb, mags are expensive and the safety isn’t ergonomically correct if you have a normal sized thumb.
        It is a joy to shoot and I would trust my life with it. But remember that just my opinion which might not be shared by others.

  • John

    With sub MOA accuracy and malfunctions being absolutely non-existent and the ability to roll over it with a tank they are absolutely worth it…


    …can it do all those things?…

    ..if not..

    ..then no…

  • bucherm

    Why do people put forward pistol grips on rifles and then not use them? Or only use them as a handstop?

  • IndyToddrick

    I’ve got the itch for a modern military style rifle, which to me means a M4 “upgrade” that folds. I’ll wait for the CZ 806 Bren though, partly because it is a lot cheaper but also because it is lighter and doesn’t have that ridiculous reciprocating handle.

    • ostiariusalpha

      And you can make waffles with it.

      • iksnilol

        Czech WunderWaffle is superior Waffle.

  • andrey kireev

    I’ve got one, and love it, Never regretted it since I got mine. The only gripe – charging handle was remedied by getting an aftermarket one… I’ve ran it like an AK before that, because optic mount of Aimpoint pro interference.

  • Actionable Mango

    Alex, I don’t know what the heck you’re doing with your trigger finger between 1:50 and 2:05. Especially right around 1:55 it looks like you are repeatedly pulling the trigger too lightly to actually fire it.

    I’m gonna have to fine you 10 Ninjabux™.

  • Eric

    I spent less money than that purchasing an AR-15 AND a Sig MCX.

  • Treyh007

    Id say the 17 is worth It, but not the 16, at least in my opinion, but all this goes back to the “is it worth it TO YOU question?” For example I really want a new Galil Ace Rifle but I’m not willing to cough up $1800 for basically an upgraded AKM. Another example I always wanted a Sig 716, I bought that rifle even though a lot of y’all probably wouldn’t throw down $1800 for that particular rifle, Best 308 I’ve ever owned by the way! ?

  • A Fascist Corgi

    I agree that they’re overpriced. But according to Battlefield Vegas, it’s the most durable assault rifle in the world. Their SCARs have shot over 100,000 rounds without a single major part breakage. In comparison, most AR-15s can’t even reach 20,000 rounds before their bolts start to break. Now, this doesn’t really matter to your average gun owner since they’ll never shoot that many rounds, but for the people that want the absolute best military-style rifle that money can buy, the SCAR is #1.

    • Sermon 7.62

      SCAR is just another attempt to create an AK kind of rifle for the NATO block.

      • Is anything with a piston a wannabe AK now?

        • Sermon 7.62

          No, but the SCAR is for sure. It imitates AK’s ergonomics.

          • Like the left side charging handle, right side folding stock, thumb actuated selector, peep sights, non rock-in mags, and so on?

          • Sermon 7.62

            Like minimalistic design.

            And how can people not understand, that the “left side charging handle” is a feature for the left-handed shooters? It’s amazing! Even after getting hurt, people still don’t understand that.

          • Minimalistic?

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Minimalistic” refers to a form of art that is using simple elements. But I meant something else here. This:


          • I know what it means, I just dont agree.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Some people claim that AK was “inspired” by Stg-44. The SCAR, from the same point of view, was inspired by AK. Though it borrowed something from M4, too.

          • DW

            The only thing scar has in common with the AK is that they both have huge ass bolt carriers. The end.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Not true.

            Bolt carriers, right. Then, reciprocating charging handle, side-folding stock, the absence of small parts, ease of maintenance, field strip. In fact, the SCAR adopted features from 3 other carbines. The fire selector comes from AR. Mag and bolt release too, retractable buttstock. Some features come from AK. And some come from VSS. Look at this:

  • BrandonAKsALot

    The price is way too high, but at the same time, I do not regret buying mine in the slightest. It hurt to give $2300 to someone for it, but I’ve never wished it didn’t It’s just so enjoyable to shoot. The trigger is garbage though for such an expensive gun. Cheapo Anderson AR triggers feel like match triggers compared to it.

  • JW

    I have both the SCAR 17s and 16s. I love both. My go to rifle is the 17s mainly because it is an 8lb battle rifle in 7.62NATO. However, I still donot regret buying the 17s’s little cousin as it has the same reliability and small form factor of its more authoritative cousin.

  • Mike11C

    I’m going with “no”. It’s not worth it. I also would not spend the money on any of the over priced piston operated AR copies. All of the operating components are proprietary. If something breaks, or gets lost during maintenance, you have to get it from the factory and, I don’t trust that they wouldn’t insist you send them the gun so THEY can “fix” it. No thank you.

  • BigFED

    I wanted one until I found out that I had to enlist in “Starship Troopers”!!! This quest for the “magic” platform is getting silly! The quest started out looking for a small. light weight, projectile launcher that delivered a nuclear impact and no recoil! Folks go out and buy a something that is what they want and then “accessorize” the crap out of it until it becomes necessary to treat it like a towed unit!!!

  • l2a3

    Use your little finger (palm up) to pull the charging handle back to save your knuckles.

  • Johnny

    People are going to buy it more for the Tacti-Cool factor than tactical improvements. Like someone already said, it does what others do just more expensively.

  • whamprod

    I own a 17S, but I’m not sure that I’d pop for the price of a SCAR 16. I already have a mid-length piston system AR carbine which is a soft shooter and I have no issues with it at all. I appreciate how well the 17S tames .308 recoil in what is a relatively light rifle (compared to a M1A or FAL), but frankly, anyone who struggles with 5.56 recoil in an AR15 is in the wrong business, so that is not a reason to get a 16. I will say that my 17S has been dead nuts reliable, and it has been very accurate for a battle rifle (easily shoots sub-MOA with Freedom Arms remanufactured 168 grain BTHP), but I can get that from a well-built AR15, so I don’t know that those are reasons to buy a SCAR 16 either.

    So in the end, I’m really just left with “because I’d like to have one some day”, and no other justification than that.

  • Eric B.

    “It’s everything I want in a military semiautomatic rifle.”
    Do you mean you actually like that g@&#$ reciprocating bolt???
    For a rifle like that I’d take a Remington Defense ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) “version” of this style rifle.

    But I have a 25 year-old semi-auto AUG that I’ll stay with until some design actually surpasses it.

    In the meantime I’m socking firearms money into bolt guns for long range competition. Love my 6.5 CM Ruger Precision Rifle and my HS Precision .300 Win mag is just as accurate. Both have very similar trajectories. One is much cheaper to shoot. ;o)

  • dltaylor51

    Buy once and cry once,just buy an AR 15 by Colt and never look back,being stylish and cute doesn’t do you any good when your guns down and none of your buds have any parts for that yuppie POS of yours.

  • RickOAA .

    The 16 seems pointless. The 17 has some merits. It’s light for caliber and known for good accuracy. At one point I was tempted to sell a couple guns to get one.

  • John

    I’ve owned the 17 for a few years. I paid $2200 used for it with the geissele trigger, 6 magazines and Bobro optics mount. I’ve put around 1200 rounds through it with a Vortex 2.5-10×32 with no optic failures. At times I debate selling it, but then I go shoot it and remember why I still have it. It is a lot of money in one rifle but I get 1 moa using PPU bulk ammo, its lighter with optics than some other 308’s with irons, and the recoil is less as well. I saw this video before I went for a 16s. I paid $2403, which to me is still in AR territory (LWRC,POF,HK MR566,Noveski). Yes it may weight 3/4’s of a lb more than my DDM4A1 or my Sig MCX, but I don’t tack on a bunch of useless junk to it. On carbines I mostly stick with a red dot and weapon light, and avoid the bipods/lasers/can opener. I do enjoy the platform and it was worth it to me thanks to amazing support from Parker Mountain Machine and KDG that offer anything I could possibly want to change on it. I easily have more than $2400 into some of my AR’s, but if you think you are better served with a Ruger AR556 or even a colt 6920 then rock on, I’m happy to have more gun owners in America and wont snub my nose at your budget or how you choose to spend your money. However, the Scar platform is amazing and I’d rather have it than 2 Colt’s or 4 Ruger’s.