I knew before I wrote the list of potential contenders for the next French rifle I would take a lot of flak for it (some of it more than justified), but I do appreciate the comments and discussion. My response to many of your questions is below …
@Tinkerer and others who emailed me, I stated that the action of the FAMAS was blowback. It is a delayed blowback action not a conventional blowback action and you are correct in saying there is a big difference and I should have been explicit. I have updated the post.
@Cesame Rifle grenades can be made to work with any rifle system. The Israelis have a very nifty rocket powered rifle grenade system that they use with M16 rifles.
@Denny there are plenty of national arms industries. Countries with state-owned firearm manufacturers include Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Turkey.
@Pete Yes, I think the French would be looking at manufacturing the rifle inside the country. This is standard operating procedure. @Aurelien pointed out that MAS has manufactured HK G3 rifles and Beretta 92s.
@Other Steve I knew that comment that the SIG 516 is “Not an HK416″ would be controversial 😉
I was partly a joke but also partly truth. SIG 516s retail for almost half the price of the HK416 (H&K MR556). H&K positions their rifle as an ultra-premium match-grade weapon. SIG position their gun as a quality AR-15. SIG is not trying to make a HK416 and H&K is not trying to make a SIG.
I have begged and pleaded with SIG to send me a rifle to review, before it was even announced to the public (I broke the story), but they just tell me that they are to busy to do so. So to answer your question, no, I have not shot a SIG 516.
I am planning on buying SIG 516 Patrol or S&W M&P15 in the near future. I think both great weapon with most of the features I want.
@shooter I considered including the SAR-21 but decided it was such a long shot. Outside of the tiny Singapore city-state, it has only been adopted by the miniscule Singapore Brunei.
To many of you who asked why I did not mention that rifle X had feature Y or was used by Z: My pros and cons list was not mean’t to be a comprehensive.
I also want to mention that a French journalist emailed me to say that the SCAR is also used by the French Special Forces and special Police teams. He also stated he had never heard of French ammunition being imported from China.