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Any Negatives About the SCAR?

13719 Views 52 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  tombirdman
Other than the $$$$ :eek: price, are there any negatives about the SCAR out there? It's been out for about what 8 months or so? Any issues or problems of reliability or accuracy?
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"Unconfirmed" reports of them breaking in the field.

From what I can gather, critical internal parts are made of plastic and prone to failure. The stock is the same. Another complaint is that the rails on the fore-end are connected to the barrel and overheat with moderate use.

I had a chance to hold one and look it over, and couldn't justify $2400 for it. I'd rather have a SIG 556 Classic, or else a high end Direct Impingement AR. ... 1-carbine/
I think it is a POS.

I was given one on loan, so I could disassemble and reverse engineer the fire control system, to see if we wanted to develop a match grade trigger for it.

What a POS! Give it 3 generations before it has the bugs worked out, and even them, beware.

Disassembling the lower takes 20 minutes, and requires jewler's screwdrivers, pin punches, and needle nose pliers, and involves several small C-Clips that need to be teased into the right position so you can get a blade under them. Reassembly is the reverse of the above, but add 20min on your hands and knees, pulling furniture away from the walls, looking for that little clip.

Nor was I impresed by the stack up tolerances in the plastic lower which required them to insert a metal pin in the mag well, and do a post molding machining operation to get the mag fit right.

Did I mention you need to dis-assemble the bolt catch mechanism to get the trigger apart, in case you pop a primer in there?

They tried to lightweight the lower by making it an injection molded part, but the lack of strength of plastic load bearing surfaces required them to add in all sorts of inserts, which all need extra complexity and pins to secure in place.

I hear it performed well in fire testing, I just hope an armorer gets to input on maintenance before they make a decision. No way in hell can the lower be field stripped for repair. If you get a trigger malfunction, you'd better be looking for a new weapon.

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Consider the source....

I own two of the civilian SCAR 16Ss, and price is the biggest drawback. However, when you look at what you're getting for your money, it is well within the realm of what any top-quality AR will cost, and compared to, say, the SIG 556 DMR, is fairly comparable in pricing. I own three SIG 556s, so I do not say this off the cuff - the quality of these two weapons is very close. I would consider the source when receiving an opinion about these weapons - someone who picked one up in a gun shop and got sticker shock, or was loaned one for whatever reason, may not have the requisite trigger time to be able to actually evaluate the weapon....

The development and testing protocol of the SCAR, established by the military, required that modularity be built into the unit, so that Special Operations Forces that were carrying the units could rapidly switch parts in the field. The trigger housing unit is designed to be swapped out by using two pins to pull it, and then is designed to simply be replaced, not repaired. Replacement is always faster than repair, especially when you need the gun to run and don't have time to ship back on the next helicopter to the armorer to be repaired - just toss the old one out [actually, they're supposed to burn them], put the new one in place, push in two pins, and get back in the fight. It has a service grade trigger (probably why companies are looking for match grade trigger upgrades) but it was designed to be (and now is likely to be - why else would there be "transition training" underway?) a replacement for the M16/M4. This is the way of the free world in the future - for example, in most instances, we don't sit down & rebuild carbs on modern cars anymore, we replace fuel injectors and put them back out on the road. No Spec Ops warrior is supposed to be chasing springs and clips on a mountainside in the middle of nowhere - drop them a resupply crate with a new trigger housing and go "get some." Same thing with new barrels, uppers, etc. The great benefit of modularity is replacement without an armorer in squad.

The lower rail does get hot (it is connected to the barrel) but that is easily remedied with a vertical grip (I put one on each of mine before I ever shot them, because I prefer them). I also wear gloves when I shoot, since heat is always present around barrels and gas blocks (not to mention sharp edges, hot brass, etc.) -- no big deal if you ask me; use good gear...and use the best gear anytime you can get it! Bellyaching about a hot rail on an assault rifle sounds like a bunch of wussie whiners to me. :roll: Man up, or put the gun back down.

Some people don't like the plastic stock, but most complaints I hear are from "old school" shooters who are used to wooden stocks and using an empty gun as a club in the last ditch effort to fend off an attacker. I have not had any issues with the plastic/polymer - it seems very strong and resilient, and if I had to bash someone with it, I would just adjust it to the shortest position and have at it. I'm a big guy - I know it would do damage. Tests have shown the polymer is actually preferable to metal under impact - especially in the trigger guard area, for instance.... I can show you numerous pictures of broken wooden stocks...I have yet to see one of a broken SCAR stock. There are reports of the stock release button breaking during shipment, but I have never seen that either.

Spare parts are not available yet, which is a drawback if you need them. But FN guarantees the gun for life, so you could ship it back if you needed to, or buy two just in case. :wink: You know the old Army adage, one is none, two is one.... I have not had a need for spare parts yet anyway.

The BUIS supplied with the gun are very nice, and the gun itself is just absolute top quality - pick up a SCAR or a SIG 556, and then grab an AK variant - it is like handling surgical instruments versus farm implements.

Overall, I love the SCARs and the SIG 556s equally - they represent the best of the breed in civilian gas piston 5.56 NATO guns, in my view.... And I say that because I own them, shoot them, and maintain them, and I'm not just talking through my hat like some wannabe or neverhas...always consider the source.
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An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin, literally "argument to the man"), is 1) a logical fallacy that involves replying to an argument or assertion by addressing the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself.

I understand the need to defend your purchase. It's your money and I hope you're happy with your rifles. Given the relatively new introduction to the market and current gun climate, I believe them to be overpriced. Given the plastic nature of critical internal components, I'd rather wait until both the prices drop and people can put some serious round totals through their rifles so I know them to be reliable before I drop five grand.

Try as I might, the US military still will NOT do a helo drop at my local range if a part on my rifle fails. I pay my taxes, what's their problem?

I hope you're happy with yours sir. Unfortunately, I cannot justify buying one just yet. And since the original poster asked for negatives, I simply replied with what I know.

Happily Wanting to Be.
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An ad hominem argument requires a dispute over the advertised price of a harmonica by a musical shop, if I remember my Latin correctly.

I, unlike you, do not require helo drops for spare parts. I require infiltration of the pit service by people with a little .223 size hole punch to add holes int he center of my target. Alas, like you, I have found governmental support under the Obama administration lacking.

rob_92183 said:
"Unconfirmed" reports of them breaking in the field.

From what I can gather, critical internal parts are made of plastic and prone to failure. The stock is the same. Another complaint is that the rails on the fore-end are connected to the barrel and overheat with moderate use.
...anecdotal statements within this context are absolutely meaningless when lacking any properly collected verifiable statistical evidence that the incidence of failures exceed any given parameters to an acceptable statistical signifience when compared to other weapons "of the same class" and under the same conditions...

...we should not "subjectively validate" heresay...
7art said:
I think it is a POS.

What a POS! Give it 3 generations before it has the bugs worked out, and even them, beware.
......some pretty strong words there Art...was this really called for ?...and you base this on what ?...i would expect better form you...really !
...back on topic

No Bananas said:
Other than the $$$$ :eek: price, are there any negatives about the SCAR out there? It's been out for about what 8 months or so? Any issues or problems of reliability or accuracy?
...IMO the FN SCAR is the "best" of the new breed of piston driven assualt rifles...and would be my number one choice for my next purchase...i have handled...examined...and fired one...and was very impressed...considering what you are actually getting as a package...the price isn't really out of line...

...there are relatively few weapons that i would recomend...and although i am admittedly not as intimately familiar with the SCAR as i would like to be...i would recomend one...i intend to purchase one myself...and i don't buy junk !
I don't want to put words in peoples mouths but I think in the case of the SCAR the high price without any reputation to back it up leaves people to be a little critical and resentfull of the gun. Since it is relatively new and twice to three times the price of an AR or 556 type rifle I think most people scoff at it. Like anything else, if you have money to burn, by all means get one or more, but for me personally I would need to spend a lot of time with the rifle and see some long, strenuous tests before I would sonsider paying $2500+ to shoot 5.56mm. :|
Zeus said:
I don't want to put words in peoples mouths but I think in the case of the SCAR the high price without any reputation to back it up leaves people to be a little critical and resentfull of the gun. Since it is relatively new and twice to three times the price of an AR or 556 type rifle I think most people scoff at it. Like anything else, if you have money to burn, by all means get one or more, but for me personally I would need to spend a lot of time with the rifle and see some long, strenuous tests before I would sonsider paying $2500+ to shoot 5.56mm. :|
...ya know Zeus...'re right...the price is high...but when looking at the entire package...including the sights...the price isn't really that much higher than some comparable rifles out there...and i suspect the street price will drop as it becomes more available...

...ya know...sometimes just looking at a weapon's design...handling it and firing it gives you a pretty good indication of it's gut feeling is that this one is a real winner...i know that's just my subjective opinion...but it's all i have to offer...
scar rifle

I just picked one up today and haven't fired it yet, but the basic disassembly is faster than any othe rifle i own. You can remove trigger module in seconds with one captive pin then the buttstock module slides off instantly. After disassembly i can understand what CLYDE was refering to in his post about replacing the complete modules instead of field repair. With my limited knowlege on firearms the scar system appears built for just that type of repair. Hopefully parts from FN will be available in future.
In all honesty, the OP's question is a pretty hard one - the SCAR doesn't really have too many negatives. And if I came off as hardnosed, it really was driven by the comment that the gun is a POS (stated twice, BTW) just because it is difficult to take apart the trigger module. Respectfully, that has very little to do with how well the gun functions and shoots....

Consider these positive [hey, I'm an optimist, what can I say?] aspects:

[1] Cold hammer forged barrel, hard chromed, life expectancy 30,000 rounds 8) - compare to barrels that last 6,000 to 8,000 elsewhere; with a 1:7" twist (see SIG 556) to stabilize the heavier bullets that help to add punch to 5.56 rounds;

[2] A two-position adjustable gas port (unsuppressed or suppressed, or clean or fouled) - [again, see SIG 556];

[3] A 20 ounce bolt carrier (versus 11 ounces in an AR-15, and 12 ounces in the M-16) so that the added mass, combined with the accuracy-enhancing multi-lug rotating bolt, ensures the bolt returns into battery, and gets rid of the M16/AR15 forward assist plunger [although if you really miss that "feature" :roll: - you can always push on the charging handle];

[4] A dual-position adjustable comb is standard for the use of tall mounts and rings, and also standard is the six-position collapsible stock (length of pull can be adjusted for each user/heavy gear/layered clothing, for those of us who rock & roll up in the mountains on occasions) & yes, AR fans, it has a folding stock;

[5] Five (count 'em) super-solid sling mounts on the gun, three on one side, two on the other;

[6] Full length built in top rail is standard (see SIG SWAT) - no need to align rails with upper receivers, pull hand guards, unless you would rather wrench on them than go out & shoot them;

[7] FN proprietary rear BUIS is detachable, adjusts for windage with dual vertical drums on the sides, and features a horizontal wheel at the foot of the rear apeture indexed to adjust for range, from 200 up to 600 meters;

[8] Front sight is hooded, cam locks into position or stowed, and comes zeroed from the factory (<-- read that again, target fiends), is detent adjustable for elevation, and the rear sight aperture is designed to overlap the front sight circular hood that aids in rapid sight alignment with irons;

[9] A charging handle that reciprocates with the bolt (very SIG 556 like) but can be switched to either the right or the left side (thus operated with strong hand or weak hand) - I really like this, not only because it is ambidextrous, but because you can keep your cheek on the stock, hand on the grip, eyes on the target, and can drop/add a mag & rack the bolt with your left hand (yep, I'm a righty) to get the gun back in action faster;

[10] Four-prong Primary Weapons Systems (PWS) double baffled muzzle brake [look no further for aftermarket improvements here];

[11] Single stage trigger - no creep, no stacking, no slack (very subjective, but to shoot one is to know...);

[12] Unmistakable in profile (the range rats will swarm you - be warned), and I like the flat dark earth color - it is "period correct" for our desert wars period of history, for the collectors in the house;

[13] It breaks down without any tools (assuming no barrel swap) - if you want to see how easy it is, log onto FN's website, click on the Military/LE link, and look at the video of the soldier field stripping one on the hood of a HUMVEE; and

[14] You could own what very well may become the weapon of the future for our military (remember, Special Operations Forces elites come from all four branches) today, before our own soldiers get theirs (although they will get that full auto switch out of the box) if we don't run out of taxpayer money before we Americans come back to our senses in future elections!

Is this a great country or what! And no, I don't work for FN - I am just an ordinary red-blooded wild-eyed Southern boy who likes a quality gun, or car, or motorcycle, or boat, and saves his pennies so he can buy quality. You know what they say - if it's worth owning, it's worth saving up for....

Ullie, you wise "old wolf" - I have to say I've learned a lot from you reading this board (you, sir, are a force) and I am stoked you, too, want a SCAR. You hold one, you scrutinize it, you freakin' of the line quality is unmistakable. You know the FNC, as well, I see - in my book, that tells me all I need to know.... 8) Rock on, "old wolf" - rock on!
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First off, I stick by my opinion that this thing is a POS. Pull the trigger out of the thing, and then explain to me how well designed it is. Remember, a rifle has to act as a platform, which means all of its systems need to work, not just most of them.

I base this on the fact that I have stripped down hundreds of different guns, to the bare bones, not just a field strip. I have designed triggers and sight systems for guns, and run a small business manufacturing them and sellig them, I have made my own guns from scratch. I therefore do have some experience seeing good design from bad design. I also worked as a machine designer (part of the time at SIG Pack Systems), and studied the principles of good design, so my experience is professional as well as personal.

Seriously, pull the trigger out of a scar, then re-assemble it. It appears a designer at FN was having a bad LSD day. And all this complexity was so they could use a plastic lower to save money. Mind you, molded in metal bushings do exist, so they could have avoided this, and maybe they will in the future. I know I have been on more than one project where the project manager pushed a crap design to market because hitting schedule was more important than getting to 100% of your design goal. Settling for 80% is a good business practice to get something into the market.

Here's hoping they modify the design in Gen 2.

It might well fire nicely, and have lots of great features, but if a popped primer, or dirt getting into your trigger and puts the rifle out of service, it's a disaster. I love Ferraris, but would never rely on one as my everyday driver. They break too easily, and are difficult to repair.

[11] Single stage trigger - no creep, ..... (very subjective, but to shoot one is to know...);
Sure there is creep - all single stage triggers have creep. Creep is the travel between full sear engagement and hammer release. If you didn't have creep in a single stage trigger, you would have a trigger that goes off at the slightest jolt. Agree there is no slack, because the trigger sear is machined onto the trigger.

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I wanted to get away from the single stage trigger feel. That's why I chose the SIG556 over the LWRC. I went with more weight and what I think is a much better feeling trigger, over less weight and a single stage trigger. But, as it was mentioned, that's just personal preference.

My guess is that if the SCAR is adopted by the military and the cost drops, we'll see a lot more citizens buyin' them. Some will buy it simply because it's what the military uses. And others will buy it because it will have been battle proven in the field. Hopefully it doesn't wind up bein' a mistake for our military to purchase, due to it bein' junk. I also hope to see it adopted if the rifle really is that good. If it's not worthy of the job, I'd rather see our military wait for somethin' that's up to the task.
Here is how I define trigger creep - it is taken from a well respected source in the world of firearms - the Gun Tek section of Midway USA (I don't know of too many people in America who know more about guns and gunsmithing than Larry Potterfield of Midway USA, who contributes most of the technical contect of Gun Tek):


Definition for "trigger creep" : The perceptible movement of the trigger prior to the release of the firing pin or striker. Creep is a negative influence on accuracy as this movement of the trigger can also cause movement of the firearm. Also known as "military creep" due to its prevalance among non-sniper military firearms. Also called trigger slack." [I corrected the spelling in the quote - he must be an engineer...!]

Here is how I determine whether trigger creep exists - I mount a laser sight on the front rail (a Streamlight TLR-2, to be precise). I set up a target at 50 yards and rest the gun on a Caldwell Shooting Supplies "The Rock Jr." front rest and a Caldwell rear bag rest. I take a nickel and I draw a circle around the nickel with a thick black magic marker. I then have a spotter use a spotting scope (Leupold, if it matters - does to me...) while I fire a round through the gun to see if the laser indicator moves when I am breaking the shot (great for seeing if you're milking the shot, moving the gun, etc. - but this necessarily presumes you are actually shooting the gun you claim to be evaluating) -- if the laser does not move before you squeeze the shot off, you are not experiencing trigger creep (because the rifle did not move). That is the basis for my statement.

FACTS - The SCAR 16S is a civilian equivalent of a general purpose carbine developed and designed to be a Special Operations Forces [SOF] Combat Assault Rifle (hence, the name SCAR). The trigger was designed to be used in that specific role - not to be a match grade trigger - it is a "non-sniper military weapon" from inception. If I want a match grade trigger in the civilian equivalent of a sniper military weapon, I use my Remington 700P TWS with its X-Mark Pro trigger (see M24 and M40 for reference). The fact is that the SCAR has a service grade trigger (by design) that cannot be easily disassembled (again, by design - it is a module under the modular criteria) - if that makes it a POS in one person's opinion, go ahead on.

Me, I'll take my two SCARs any day of the week, because they are absolutely suitable for their intended purpose - they are reliable, durable, accurate, and yes, modular by design. As to the trigger malfunctioning because it got dirt in it, or a piece of a primer stuck in it, well, by the time you have finished reading this paragraph, I will have pulled the module on the gun that is down, pulled the module off the 2nd SCAR and had it back on the second rifle, up and running bullets down range or where they need to go - if the need ever arises.... I don't intend to tear it down, and I submit that neither do our warfighters - they hopefully have a spare trigger module in their pack, along with a spare barrel. That is why modularity matters, and why this requirement was specified in the SOCOM JORD.

You want to check out a match grade trigger - get one of the (military only so far) Designated Marksman Rifle versions...reportedly sub-MOA at 500 yards...just like the SCAR 16S, yeah that's right - sub-moa at 500 yards, in published media reports, service grade trigger notwithstanding. I tell you what - I will take a gun that is capable of hitting a 5 inch circle at 500 yards any time I can get my hands on one, which is why I own two of these. And why every warfighting soldier we have who can get their hands on one does, too - I know - I ask them...but then, their "business" is: they kill people for a living, so they don't get killed first - again, always consider the source....
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My point is only that any single stage trigger has movement, or creep, between the time your finger touches it and the hammer releases. So claiming it has no creep is inaccurate.

Two stage triggers have creep, but by properly adjusting it, the vast majority of the creep is in the first stage,and the creep in the second stage is a few thou of travel, which is not discernible.

My POS comment is based on the ability to disassemble for maintenance. For a competition gun, difficult disassembly is a pain. For a combat weapon, difficult disassembly can be lethal.

If someone has decided that swapping modules is an acceptable way to do maintenance, this might be a good cost based option. But when I'm in a firefight, and don't have a spare module handy, waiting for a buddy to die so I can get his module seems like a bad solution. Reminds me of the movie 'Enemy at the gate' where every second guy gets a rifle, and the other guy is told to follow till the guy in front of him is killed, then pick up his rifle.
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The pictures I have seen of the Battle of Stalingrad (there are some great Russian websites if you really want to see history from their side of the camera lens) - there were plenty of extra guns to be found lying around, usually right next to each one of a group of dead soldiers face down in the snow....
SCAR Trigger

I own a SCAR, SR 556, SIG 556, Colt 6600 and a Colt 6920 among others. The Scar is the most accurate out of the box of all of them. The only negitive I can offer about the SCAR it has a VERY gritty 1st stage trigger pull. It's smoothing out somewhat as I shoot it but much more gritty than any of the others. The final let off is just fine. About the same as all the others. I have a EoTech 552 mounted on it and despite not having any magnification it shoots around 1 moa with my handloads.
I have no dog in this fight but in my opinion it's a fine weapon and well worth the price considering what you get. :lol:

Reading this string has been enlightening. I am a fan, not a participant in this battle. I would like to weigh my 2 cents... I am a novice compared to most here. I became a rifle enthusiast only a few years ago and after all my research (I am anal) I wound up with a SIG 556. I have since bought 3 total(ER, SWAT, P556). I added sights, stock, grip, and etc to the ER and am very happy with it. The SWAT and P556 are still NIB. I own an AR, AK and M1 too. Early on, the 556 was the holy grail, then SIG started heavy manufacturing and many got into the hands of gun owners, there were many areas noted by the experts for improvement. The price also has come down from over retail to several hundred below. In fact, most on Gunbroker are not selling at all and dealers aren't interested in trade ins. Its due to saturation, NOT quality.

As for the SCAR, its a nice weapon and I am convinced by the posters here (and Ullie) that it is a nice gun to have in your collection. I think I may represent most people though... I am not planning on using my rifle in war, shooting 10,000 rounds (since I own several other rifles), nor will I be taking apart the trigger group. So some of the pros and cons really don't impact me... What is important is the reliability, accuracy, ability to get replacement parts and market value (this is important because it reflects the overall quality and uniqueness of the qun, which is why many of us buy in the first place, not necessarily to resell it, but to use and admire it... make sense?).

As soon as FN steps up manufacturing in a big way and everyone who wants one buys one (like the SIG), the price will drop and we will start reading about all the failures and issues (more guns in use, higher probability for us to read about an issue) related to manufacturing.

I hope I make sense here because I am not in the same league as some of you.

I will buy a SCAR eventually, as I will buy a SAKO TRG42 for my sniper rifle... and after reading this string, it will probably be sooner rather than later. I have been procrastinating on buying the TRG for a few months, so now the SCAR gets added to the list... along with NightForce scope...

If I dont stop reading this forum, I am going to go broke...:)
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