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Operational evaluation of FN SOF Combat Assault Rifle (FN SCAR).
roaddog727 | today | Me

Posted on 05/21/2008 10:50:16 AM PDT by roaddog727

From time to time I write reports of interesting things I do where I work at SOCOM. One of the neat things I had the opportunity do in January/February of this year was go to Iraq (Baghdad, Falluja, and Balad) and Afghanistan (Baghram) to participate in a Knowledge Management assessment.

But that is not what I want to discuss today. Today I had the opportunity to fire the FN SOF Combat Assault Rifle (FN SCAR) {Low Rate Initial Production}.

See Link:

The models in particular were the SCAR-L (Mk-16, 10 inch, 5.56x45mm, Close Quarters Combat variant) and SCAR-H (MK17, 13 inch, 7.62x51mm, Close Quarters Combat Variant). I was shooting at 25M silhouettes, standing, unsupported.

Course of fire:

20 rounds in the SCAR-L, semi auto – all 20 rounds in the 9 ring or better.

20 rounds in the SCAR-H, semi auto – all 20 rounds in the 9 ring or better.

40 rounds in the SCAR-H, full auto – 35 rounds in the black, 5 still on the target in the white (3 high-center, 1 low left, 1 low right)

20 rounds in the SCAR-L, full auto, silenced – all 20 rounds in the 8 ring or better.

What was most pleasing was the ease of firing and ease of target engagement. Particularly appealing was that when I fired both variants on full auto, instead of the barrel going high and to the right, the rifle pushed straight back. I’ll say that again – instead of going high and right on full auto, it pushed straight back. Savvy shooters will know what that means.

The above results speak for themselves. This is a great weapon and will have great results in combat.


TOPICS: Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: banglist; scar
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To: xsrdx
It would happen overnight if combatant commanders demanded it. In peacetime, you have an argument, but if there was a legitimate, coordinated consensus for a "better" rifle from the field, the Army and Congress would be tripping over each other to get it done.

Bull. The Army has blocked any attempt by the other services to upgrade to a 45 ACP, despite the fact that the 9mm has been proven inadequate. This has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the cartridge, it's strictly a logistics and cost decision.

I'm not sure what the logic was of the Marine's selection of the M16A4, but I'm betting a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was based on the logistics of sharing ammo and parts with what was already in the inventory.

The preference for a larger caliber in the desert is not just my personal preference. It's based on after actions reports from firefights that I participated in that were written by US Army officers. In addition, virtually all the special ops troops I worked with carried something other than the M-4. Also, the Marines and SEALS pulled M-14s out of storage.

An M-4 works great for clearing rooms and fighting from a vehicle, but in an open desert fight at long ranges, it lacks the energy to penetrate light armor, body armor, or sand bags. Not my conclusion - the US Army's.

I don't dispute that most people will find it easier to hit targets using a lighter recoiling round. My problem was that in the specific firefights that I participated in, we scored hits at long range and the enemy was still able to leave under his own power. Whether a larger caliber bullet would have changed this is a matter of speculation. All I can say is that in that particular case, which is representative of a lot of the non-urban combat being done in the desert, the 5.56 didn't get the job done.

51 posted on 05/22/2008 8:06:35 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: mbynack; xsrdx
You two are both right, but please look at it from the DoD budgeting angle. If you get a chance to read “The Black Rifle” about how the M-16 got into service, and if either of you have had the series misfortune to work inside the Washington D.C. “Beltway”, then please look at this caliber issue as one of budgeting combat effectiveness.

The more specialized a fighting unit, the greater the individual's ability to select his personal weapon. But also realize that elite force come with elite budgets. The SEALs had a budget the size of the entire US Marine Corps (in Marcinko’s day). That's why SEALs could pick their own hardware to match their own physical dimensions and shooting comfort. Every Marine Rifleman is forced into the standard issue mold whether their MOS is 03-hump-a-lot, or 01-staff-pog.

Getting a “standard” issue in the military is feat of miraculous proportions. It's bad enough to have Communist-for-civilian oversight committees neutering our nation's fighting force back before the pre-9/11 “didn't inhale” daze (days), but even the DoD has levels of comptrollers with budget scalpel knives and chainsaws looking to slice more than a circumcision when it comes to saving money. Why do they do that? Because that's their job description. Gov’t employees hired by the military make bonuses for the literally millions of dollars they cut from the budget. But to counter that, the military also hires “budget analysts” to protect every dollar requested! And when I mean every dollar...I mean EVERY BEAUTIFUL LINCOLN FACED PENNY!!!!

We can flame on each other about rifle/pistol calibers until we join a Counter-Strike or Battlefield 2 tournament and blow each other away (of course only in a virtual world), the reality is that the budget process for fielding a standard issue is an ugly ugly monster. The 5.56mm is good enough. Elite forces have budgets for a better fit per shooter.

Peace, God Bless, Semper Fi...and keep your powder dry.

52 posted on 05/22/2008 9:44:26 AM PDT by SaltyJoe (Lenin legalized abortion. Afterward, every life was fair game for Death.)
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To: SaltyJoe
I think you nailed it. The 5.56 is a "good rifle". It's not perfect for every situation. I'm currently working as a DoD Contractor doing logistics and T&E, so I know some of the process. When you look at the decision to replace a weapon, the managers are going to ask:

Is the current system performing adaquately?

How much is it going to cost to change systems?

Is there a better way to spend that money?

The truth is that the M-4/M-16 is adequate. I don't think it's the best thing out there, but the cost of replacing it for all branches of the service is huge. This doesn't even consider the fact that we strong-armed NATO into adopting it as the standard NATO caliber.

We're arguing the standard "Big Slow versus Small Fast" argument that has been unsettled for a hundred years.

53 posted on 05/22/2008 10:25:02 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: mbynack
Eventually, we'll have to replace the M-4/M-16. All present research is time and rounds well spent. The more sweat poured out today is less blood spilled tomorrow.
54 posted on 05/22/2008 10:54:54 AM PDT by SaltyJoe (Lenin legalized abortion. Afterward, every life was fair game for Death.)
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To: SaltyJoe; mbynack; Red6

“Eventually, we’ll have to replace the M-4/M-16. All present research is time and rounds well spent. The more sweat poured out today is less blood spilled tomorrow.”


Quite honestely, the advances will more than likely be incremental in the delivery (weapon) but exponentially effective in the delivered (ammo).

As I indicvated before on this thread, we’re working on more than just the means of delivery, but also the LETHALITY of the delivered projos.

55 posted on 05/22/2008 6:43:56 PM PDT by roaddog727 (BS does not get bridges built - the funk you see is the funk you do)
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To: Red6

The .223 and 556x45 (556) are fine flat shooting and affordable rounds for the US Mil and our allies. That is one of the primary reasons the 556 was chosen as the premier ammunition for the M-16A1/A2 Etc. There have been many other calibers tested for this rifle config and the 556 still comes out on top for what it is, what it does and how many rounds you guys can pack in/out. You can put a 556 and a 762 side by side in most any marksman’s hands in the A/R style weapon and he will be just as effective at this weapons capable range.
There is a higher chance of hydrostatic shock on mass targetted recipients with the 762 for sure! As for damage? Of course the 762 makes a bigger mess, but as Red6 pointed out, if your carrying ammo into a fight, do you want a 3Lb 30 rd mag, or a 3 20 rd mag? Look at the weight of your ammo cans in comparisson? The bad guys are more than likely carryin some variation of the 762, many NATO countries shortened the 762 cartridge in an attempt to make the .308 Win a more compact cartridge. Have the succeeded?
On an off subject matter, my mother, yes my mom, has killed more Cal Black Bears with her .243 Win with head shots, that I have ever even seen alive. What’s this got to do with the 556/762 debate? Practice with what you have guys. Practice on accurizing targets, not washing machines, printer/scanners got bad, refridgerators etc. Bring back the “Tack Drivers” that we used to brag about, those of you that are old enough to remember that term.
Lets just pretend we went to the 762 as a primary weapon, everyone in all services would be required to re-qual on this rifle prior to entering the AOR. Not to mention, the cost envolved in building/purchasing all new weapons, and the gun Co’s would NAIL the US Gove on the price, even though she goes with the lowest bidder. You also need to seriously take into account the rasied recoil effect you will have! Remember our opposite sex is out there, somewhere, but they’re out there.
Next, what would our Gov do with all the old M-16’s and 556 ammo that’s been laying in storage since VN? Give or sell it all by the boat load to the next enemy, or the next.
Lets hope they don’t catch on to what we now have, more for less and a but load of it!

56 posted on 12/13/2009 6:39:28 AM PST by 22Man
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To: Lancer_N3502A
Personally, I’d like to see a DOD wide transition to the piston action 6.8 SPC M-4.

AKA the H&K 416?

57 posted on 05/10/2010 11:14:04 AM PDT by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: ExSoldier

Similar, but Barrett’s M468 (REC7).

58 posted on 05/10/2010 10:08:05 PM PDT by Lancer_N3502A
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