SCAR L/H news directly from FN USA


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qdemn7
September 4, 2008, 03:29 PM
I've been wanting to buy a new rifle and I started wondering about the civilian availability of the SCAR-L/H so I called FN this morning (09/04/2008) and asked what was the latest information and here's what I found out from FN Commercial Sales.

SCAR-L (5.56mm NATO) will be available sometime between early October 2008 and January 2009.
First guns will be Dark Earth, no mention of black.
Civilian versions are being made overseas (I assume he meant FN Herstal Belgium) and imported, NOT made in the USA.
Absolutely no MSRP at this time, they don't even have a part number.

SCAR-H (7.62 NATO) will not be available until mid-2009.

Military versions are being made here in the US, the military gets to make the rules, since even though the guns are being made in the FN USA factory, the military actually owns the machinery making the guns. There is a great deal of politics involved (he wouldn't elaborate) and this has contributed to the civilian delay.

Everyone that falls under the SOCOM umbrella will be using SCAR, and possibly even the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. He said that the USMC was interested.

That is all for now.

This last part is entirely my opinion.

The SCAR may well be our next official Service Rifle, if the Army can be prevented from the Not-Invented-Here intransigence it has shown in the past. I would like to see this family of rifles go into service. IMO, the direct impingement system of the AR family is hopelessly outdated, and the US should have had a new rifle a decade ago. I think it's terrible that our service people should have to devote so much of their valuable time to keep continually cleaning such a basic piece of equipment. That's time that could be spent eating, resting or sleeping. I had hoped we would be able to graduate to caseless assault rifle (HK G-11) but that was not to be. Since the Army has taken the HK 416 away from our people it seems like it's either going to be the SCAR or we wait another 10 years for something almost identical to SCAR simply because the Army wants to call all the shots.

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HorseSoldier
September 4, 2008, 03:39 PM
I like the SCAR-L quite a bit (have not handled or fired the -H yet), and I'll probably be early in line for one if they're coming out in the next six months or whatever.

That said, I've never had to spend an inordinate amount of time keeping my issue M16 or M4 running. The only times I've ever wasted excessive time that could have been spent sleeping, eating or whatever were when I was in a school environment and drill sergeants or instructors or whatever had us cleaning weapons until they decided we'd cleaned them long enough. Left to my own devices, I can keep an AR type rifle running indefinitely with very minimal work.

briansmithwins
September 4, 2008, 03:42 PM
IMO, the direct impingement system of the AR family is hopelessly outdated, and the US should have had a new rifle a decade ago.

Compare the DI system of the M16 series to all the trouble the Brits have had with the SA-80 and its gas piston. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SA80#Deployment

Gas pistons are not the end all and be all of rifles. A well designed rifle has the potential to be more reliable than the M16 series, but the proof will be when they are in serial production and tested by the 100s of thousands.

That said, I hope FN kicks ass with the SCAR as I'd love to have one. OTOH, I won't be buying serial 0000000001. BSW

pgeleven
September 4, 2008, 03:45 PM
thanks for the elaborate update. i do not plan to purchase a SCAR, lord knows what the price tag will look like after dealer markup, but id like to shoot one that i can get my rich friends to buy.

hartzpad
September 4, 2008, 03:45 PM
The SA-80's problems were not due to the gas piston. From what I've read, it was due to the rifles being manufactured in 3 different molds or casts and only 1 of the 3 molds would allow for a fully reliable SA-80, no parts interchange between production runs. The other 66% had to be fixed by H & K.

MTMilitiaman
September 4, 2008, 03:53 PM
A well designed rifle has the potential to be more reliable than the M16 series, but the proof will be when they are in serial production and tested by the 100s of thousands.

The Army already tested the SCAR as well as other modern designs alongside the M4 carbine in a series of sand tests. The M4, despite 40 years of evolution, couldn't hang with these modern designs. But it isn't a shoulder mounted photon torpedo launcher, so the Army isn't interested in it as a general issue rifle.

briansmithwins
September 4, 2008, 03:53 PM
The SA-80's problems were not due to the gas piston. From what I've read, it was due to the rifles being manufactured in 3 different molds or casts and only 1 of the 3 molds would allow for a fully reliable SA-80, no parts interchange between production runs. The other 66% had to be fixed by H & K.

That wasn't the point. The point was that inclusion of a gas piston does not make any given design more reliable. The WHOLE weapon has to be designed in such a way to increase reliability. BSW

Z-Michigan
September 4, 2008, 03:55 PM
Very good info - thanks. Sad to hear about civilian SCAR's being made overseas. That presumably means high prices, low availability, and 922(r) issues. Great ball o'joy.

I also tend to agree with your opinions on the desirability of a SCAR to replace the M16/M4. OTOH, my experience with AR designs (including army-owned M16A1's) hasn't been too bad. The M16 gets horribly dirty firing blanks and if you have worn out gas rings. My semiauto AR's don't get very dirty - no blanks, no full auto available, and new gas rings that fit tight. Perhaps there is just more need for replacing parts like the gas rings before they get too worn?

I used to have a friend in the USMC who had had the chance to train with UK troops (not sure if their army or marines) in Scotland. He said their SA80's were terribly unreliable. He never complained much about the M16, either. My 1 cent.

HorseSoldier
September 4, 2008, 04:32 PM
The SA-80's problems were not due to the gas piston. From what I've read, it was due to the rifles being manufactured in 3 different molds or casts and only 1 of the 3 molds would allow for a fully reliable SA-80, no parts interchange between production runs. The other 66% had to be fixed by H & K.

I've also been told by British military types that the SA80/L85's problems included it being made 100% to the specs laid out for it . . . only they were written by some twit(s) who required simply silly and unrealistically low-end performance from a service rifle. A part of the L85A2 program was a major overhaul of those requirements, which the new rifle then had to meet.

Shear_stress
September 4, 2008, 04:45 PM
Sad to hear about civilian SCAR's being made overseas. That presumably means high prices, low availability, and 922(r) issues. Great ball o'joy.

That is a bummer. I guess by "civilian" they mean "law enforcement only".

qdemn7
September 4, 2008, 04:48 PM
That is a bummer. I guess by "civilian" they mean "law enforcement only". No, civilian means just that. I made it quite clear to the salesman that I was not talking LEO sales.

Z-Michigan
September 4, 2008, 05:17 PM
They could make the civvie SCAR's overseas and either:

1) Dumb them down with conventional stocks, plain muzzles, and other features to make them (cough cough hacking coughinig fit) "suitable for sporting purposes"; or

2) They could make them overseas, import the parts, and add enough US-made parts - like fire control group or furniture, like you do on AK's - to make them technically US-made and therefore OK under 922(r).

Option 1 typically produces junk I won't buy, like that ridiculous HK thing with the gray stock that is a neutered G36. Option 2 works but is often more expensive and lower quality. We'll have to wait and see.

everallm
September 4, 2008, 05:26 PM
I used to have a friend in the USMC who had had the chance to train with UK troops (not sure if their army or marines) in Scotland. He said their SA80's were terribly unreliable. He never complained much about the M16, either. My 1 cent

The original SA80/L85A1 was "challenging", since the re-build and overhaul to the L85A2 it has enjoyed extremely good reliability as well as retaining the superior accuracy of the original platform.

It has to be said, for some, the feeling of "reliability" in the original rifle was at least partially due to insufficient time in cross training over from the L1A1, very different manual of arms, stripping and cleaning regime, magazine seating etc. As well as a weapon made to lowest possible bid with too many committees with too many marginally competent fingers in the design and build process......

kcmarine
September 4, 2008, 05:37 PM
Why in the hell would they make that thing overseas?

SoCalShooter
September 4, 2008, 05:55 PM
SWEET!!! I love living in California :)

Z-Michigan
September 4, 2008, 08:05 PM
I was thinking about it, and logically, if they can't build them in the same plant as the military ones, they really should just set up another US production line at one of their other plants. That avoids 922(r) issues unless it's mostly/all from imported parts, reduces shipping, reduces import hassles, etc. etc. Given that FN is selling the FS2000 and PS90, I assume they have no problem selling "tactical" stuff to us lowly civilians.

W.E.G.
September 4, 2008, 10:23 PM
If it wants to run against a rack-grade DPMS with no more tweaks than a mid-grade trigger, a basic Leupold scope, and good ammo, its gotta beat this.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/targets/2008-08-18%20-%20DPMS/M852smaller.jpg

kcmarine
September 4, 2008, 10:39 PM
Not making it here makes ZERO business sense. You sink what has to be at least a few million into developing this rifle, you introduce it during an election season, and during this election season, there is a candidate that would certainly sign an import ban on your firearms. Furthermore, this candidate has a definite chance of winning. That means pretty much all of that work can be wiped away at the stroke of a pen. Furthermore, the rifle will have to pass the "sporting use" test, and you'll probably have to dilute the product a bit to make that happen.

What FN needs to do is get tooling for AR-15s, start selling those to the American consumer (they'll have no trouble, they do provide them to the military), and put up another production line at their US factory to run both the AR-15 production and the SCAR production.

stampsm
September 4, 2008, 10:59 PM
anyone know f the receiver serial is on the upper or lower receiver? what i am mainly wondering about is the possibility to mod it for different calibers with only 1 receiver.

JShirley
September 4, 2008, 11:06 PM
I had hoped we would be able to graduate to caseless assault rifle

That's a really bad idea. The reason caseless ammunition is unsafe and unsuited for the real world is that the propellant is the case. If you can't see the inherent problems with that, I don't have the time to explain them.

John

HorseSoldier
September 4, 2008, 11:55 PM
Caseless creates a lot of problems, but if it works (big 'if') you can also carry double the amount of ammo as your basic load, or the same basic load for half the weight, so you can carry other junk, etc. Not having an ejection phase of the weapon's cycling means fewer places for dirt and other gunk to get in. Etc -- there are benefits.

The catch is, of course, getting it to work. Seems to be a continuing issue, though LSAT is chasing that particular rabbit these days (though the cased telescoping polymer seems like the more promising approach at the moment).

HorseSoldier
September 5, 2008, 12:01 AM
anyone know f the receiver serial is on the upper or lower receiver? what i am mainly wondering about is the possibility to mod it for different calibers with only 1 receiver.

Assuming the civilian version ships with the quick(ish) change barrel set up the real one has, it won't matter -- you'll just need to do a barrel and bolt swap, not a seperate upper.

I can't remember with 100% certainty, but I think the upper receiver is the serial numbered part on the .mil guns.

sarduy
September 5, 2008, 12:28 AM
what about a light-weight forged AK reciever scaled down to a AR lower size, a smaller gas piston with less movement and a recoil system like a AR, removable dust cover just like the AK but with take out pins like an upper with a full rail system A4 style, and use a the strongest polymer you can get for the furniture to reduce the weight?

stampsm
September 5, 2008, 12:29 AM
i just read this SCAR-L and SCAR-H use similar upper receivers that differ only in the size of ejection port. Other different parts include caliber-specific bolt, barrel, and lower receiver with integral magazine housing.
from http://world.guns.ru/assault/as70-e.htm
it looks like both the upper and lower receiver are different. you might be able to get away with using the large caliber and just have an oversized ejector port and use an adapter so the larger magazine housing can use the smaller magazines. that way all you would need to change would be the caliber-specific bolt and barrel.

Z-Michigan
September 5, 2008, 12:52 AM
Sarduy, that sounds wonderful. Make one for a decent price and I'll buy it.

George Hill
September 5, 2008, 02:20 AM
Compare the DI system of the M16 series to all the trouble the Brits have had with the SA-80 and its gas piston. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SA80#Deployment
Oh come on.. that's like saying V-8 enigines suck because of the one they put in the Jeep Wranglers in the 80's. You picked the worst example for a known good and solid system.
You could easily have said "the AK" or "G-36" but that wouldn't have supported your arguement because those guns are known to be quite reliable.
Everyone knows the SA-80 is a huge SNAFU that actually makes the M-16 system look good. And if it can do that, it goes down in history with other such wonderful bits of firearms kit like the Chouchat.

dscottw88
September 5, 2008, 02:48 AM
Iv'e had more jams in my AK, than my AR. That said, As long as you keep the firearm running wet, you wont run into any problems. Of course the most popular rifle out there is going to catch some flack. Pistons are great, but not $1.5K great.

stampsm
September 5, 2008, 02:55 AM
the fine details on how a system is implemented have a much bigger effect that the general design. a square wheel can actually roll better than a round one if you don't have adequate bearings in the round one.

sarduy
September 5, 2008, 03:29 AM
Sarduy, that sounds wonderful. Make one for a decent price and I'll buy it.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=390578

nwilliams
September 5, 2008, 03:57 AM
I was talking with my local gun shop owner a couple weeks ago about the SCAR. He said that his FN rep told him that they would receive their dealer sample sometime around December. The shop owner didn't give me an exact price but said it would be in the neighborhood or $1400-$1600.

He said if I put $200 down he'll put my name on it when it finally does arrive. I told him I would think about it. I'm not sure if I'll have that kind of money to spend for a while but I certainly am tempted by the prospect of owning a SCAR. If I knew for sure what the MSRP was going to be I might be more tempted to lay some money down, I just don't want to get suckered into spending over $2k which it very well could sell for. Judging by the cost of the PS90 and FS2000 my gut feeling is that that in the end its going to cost more than I'm willing to spend.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 5, 2008, 08:24 AM
Hmmm, if SCAR comes in at $1400-1600 and beats the Bushmaster ACR to market by coming out in October 2008, I bet that will put a big dent in Bushmaster sales (assuming enough SCARs make it to market to satisfy demand).

ny32182
September 5, 2008, 08:46 AM
As far as it being out this year, that would be great, but I'll believe it when I see it and not before. Company reps seem to deliver more conflicting stories than a politician.

If they are going to be imported, they might be very different from the military version, and that won't make me happy if its the case.

I'll want a semi-only-but-otherwise-milspec version for a reasonable price (sub 2k?). If they deliver that I will almost certainly buy one. If they don't... well, we'll see what they put out.

Shear_stress
September 5, 2008, 09:57 AM
If they are going to be imported, they might be very different from the military version, and that won't make me happy if its the case.

Exactly, as Z-michigan also pointed out, the SCAR cannot be imported for civilian use with high-capacity magazines and pistol grips unless it is then modified in the U.S. with enough 922(r) compliance parts.

Owen
September 5, 2008, 10:31 AM
Caseless ammo -- talk about crapping on the kitchen table!

Owen
September 5, 2008, 10:32 AM
oh yeah, we're talking about SCAR.

A large number of the parts are already made in the US, and sent to Belgium.

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