Story and Photos by Leroy Thompson
A few years ago, when the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) was undergoing military trails, I had the opportunity to shoot the versions that were under military consideration. These included three versions of the 5.56x45mm SCAR-L (MK16 Mod 0; “L” meaning “light”) along with three versions of the 7.62x51mm NATO SCAR-H (MK 17 Mod 0; the “H” for “heavy”).
The SCAR-L featured a short version with a 10-inch barrel, a standard version with a 14.5-inch barrel and a long version with an 18-inch barrel. The SCAR-H was available in a short version with a 13-inch barrel, a standard version with a 16-inch barrel and a long version with a 20-inch barrel.
McLean, Virginia-based FNH USA had an array of other rifles along with pistols available for us to shoot, but I spent most of my time with the SCARs. And, although I liked them all, I especially liked the SCAR-H standard version. That’s why I anxiously anticipated the release of the civilian version of the SCAR-H: the semi-auto SCAR-17S. You guessed it: the “S” stands for semi-automatic.
‘Civilianizing” a Great Combat Rifle
Members of the U.S. Special Ops community seemed to like the SCAR-H the best, too. Although the Rangers and some other units field tested the SCAR-L, it didn’t replace the M4 Carbine. The SCAR-H, on the other hand, has achieved substantial popularity among special operators. In fact, the MK20 sniper/designated marksman version of the SCAR-H is also being purchased by SOCOM.
To read this article in its entirety, pick up the December issue of Gun World magazine, available on newsstands now.