A test and review of the SCAR-L by us has been long in coming. Over the past few days, we did finally got a chance to test and evaluate a SCAR. I shot it in some drills and did accuracy testing of it in my normal manner or off of a bench using sand bags.
The SCAR probably needs not introduction at this point in time. It was developed by FN to be what they hoped would be the replacement for the M4 carbine. Well. That did not happen, turns out it was not all that much better as claimed and the 5.56 guns issued out to certain elite units, were turned back in for M4s. That does not mean it is a bad gun or unreliable, just that it was not considered to really be much of an improvement over the excellent M4 family of weapons. Thought the 7.62 model has had more success.
So, to see for ourselves and those who may be thinking about getting one, lets take a look at it.
One of the bigger hyped things about the SCAR is the folding stock and the reciprocating charging handle. The gun came to me with the charging handle on the right side. I found this intolerable. If you are a lefty it would not be bad at all. But most of us are not. The charging handle was swapped to the left side where it was much better for handling. Then I found out that it was in the perfect place for me to tear the skin off my knuckles when charging the weapon if it had any optic mount on it. I had to be careful about this after a couple of times learning the slow way.
The Stock folding to the side does make it very compact, and unlike the AK type. it is also adjustable for length. I found it not to be bad at all. But not really all that great either. In the past there has been people reporting the stock to have some durability issues, but I had since heard that was over come on newer models. The stock also had a adjustable cheek rest I found marginally useful while I had it. Though I am sure it would be of benefit with some optics.
One thing to remember if you buy one, is that it will not take a military standard spec AR15 grip. So if you want to use something else you have to do some fitting with the grip or gun….
The optic that came with the gun is a Elcan Specter. I am not going to review it,since this is mainly about the gun. but it had a a max power of 4x and could switch to 1x and a red dot along with a few other gem jams. It was mounted with the ARMS throw levers that excelled at skinning my knuckles when using the charging handle on the left side.
I shot the SCAR at 100 yards using my usual method. First used 77 grain match ammo. You can see the results above. I have no explanation for the left side flyer. The gun’s barrel has a 1/7 inch twist. so it can stabilize the heavy rounds.
The above target it labeled both dots as 55gr Tactical Urban Rifle ammo, but that was a mistake on my part. I was talking to a friend while doing it and made a mistake. right side is 55gr. and the left is M855.
In rapid fire drills, I was surprised by it. The guns muzzle break is very effective. It is very flat and mild in recoil. Though it has plenty of unpleasant blast like any brake. After the first magazine I remarked it felt almost like a 22LR. The gun with that brake was calmer and flatter in recoil than any surefire brake I have used on a weapon of like size and barrel length and contour. Speaking of the barrel contour, it is thin. Thinner than I would ever want. Especially on a gun meant for heavy use. It got hot very fast and stayed hot. In addition to the pleasant recoil mitigating brake, this gun has a really good trigger. I have forgotten the make of the trigger but will get the info and update this with it as soon as I can. But the smooth match trigger and the muzzle device made the gun something easy to shoot. I can see why some use it in 3 gun type events. With the grip provided on the gun though. it was impossible for me to work the safety without changing my grip with the firing hand,
A few other points and opinions that may be unique to me. The rail section of the gun as is, is not enough. If you need more than a weapon light on the the stock gun, you are going to need a VFG. It is no wonder that companies came out with rail extenders for the weapon so fast. Another thing is, I was not a fan of the way it field strips as compared to the AR15. Also the front sight was not as intuitive as I would have preferred. Of course all this is probably due to me having much more time with AR15s and the hear set up for them. A warning to the “fit and finish ” and ” I want my guns to look good!” crowd. The color of the finish does not match. You will have about 3 different shades of FDE. so if you cry yourself to sleep at night because you have brass marks on your case deflectors, then you better not buy this one.
I enjoyed shooting the SCAR-L. But in my opinion, it is certainly not better than or more easy to use over an M4. I do not feel it to be more accurate than a good Ar15 either ( at least this model). I thought the stock left a lot to be desired. Reloading it was not much different than on a M4 thought the safety has a shorter arc to travel from safe to fire. Sad to say the grip used on the gun did not allow me to see for myself if it was really an advantage, I am doubtful it really is a huge advantage even if it seems like it would be. If you want to be different or want one for whatever reason and have the money and think you will love it. then you are probably right. but it is not for me.
If I had to make a recommendation on the SCAR weapons, I would suggest following the Army Rangers example and get the SCAR-H in 7.62 instead
One last detail. I used an ATLAS bipod on the gun over the 3 days time with the gun. I thought it had some nice features, and was certainly well made, but I do not consider it as handy as a decent Harris Bipod. I would not buy one with my own money. And if given one, I would not use it for anything that needed to be able to deploy it fast.