Why is a SCAR so expensive?


January 9, 2011, 10:19 PM
I'm getting the urge for another AR style .308 rifle. Stopped in the local gun shop the other day, and the first thing Matt showed me was the SCAR. He said "I know you like the .308 platform and this is great!"

I admit it is a nice looking rifle. Feels good and I could definitely enjoy it. I asked what else he had, and he pulled down a Bushmaster AR .308 for less than half the price of the SCAR. I asked what made the SCAR worth twice the price, and all he could say was "Because it is new, and very cool!"

For the price of the SCAR, I could really doctor up the Bushmaster with a bunch of bells and whistles, and still have a rifle that I could field strip with out needing an allen wrench like you do with the SCAR. According to him, the SCAR does not come apart for even cleaning without the wrench.

So what am I missing about the SCAR?

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W L Johnson
January 9, 2011, 11:18 PM
I would be willing to bet the fact that one company and only one company makes it is a major factor. How many companies make ARs? Competition drives the price down, plus the fact that alot of ARs share the same source for parts.

January 9, 2011, 11:22 PM
So what am I missing about the SCAR?

IMO... nothing.

January 9, 2011, 11:52 PM
Get an LMT if you want high quality, but you could get a DPMS .308 for wayy cheaper, and then put a fairly decent scope on it.

January 10, 2011, 12:29 AM
Since when does the SCAR need an allen wrench for a field strip? Mine comes apart without tools for a basic breakdown. The allen wrench is for removing the barrel, which isnt really needed for an average cleaning.

(And a big plus one for the LMT... those things make me drool)

January 10, 2011, 04:45 AM
The FN SCAR does not require an Allen wrench to tear down. And it's so expensive because there is a lot of money that went into R&D for the rifle and FN is simply trying to recover the development costs at a price point that is fair to the both the buyer and FN. Unfortunately that price point is very high but that's the cost of admission to own the latest and greatest.

January 10, 2011, 08:51 AM
NONE of the AR 10/15 accessories fit the SCAR, unless it clamps to the rail. It's as flexibile in kitting out as the HK/G3, FN is about your only source.

No idea if the extractor spring needs replacement at 5k round, but with the AR, you click a box, insert CC number, and the brown truck or USPS delivers, next day if necessary. The FN service center has to be reached by land line, as described in the FAQ on their web page.

You can buy parts in advance, of course, I doubt the cost of a replacement bolt is even close. It comes down to most introductory firearms being cool factor , price and logistics support, not so much. No doubt SOCOM armorers have a direct line, I would expect Joe Shooter in BFE to be handled the same as any other civilian owner - it's a recreational firearm, not life and death.

The reason SOCOM is still buying the SCAR - H is that there are so few other choices in a new .308 battle rifle. Rather than go thru the bid process again, it's just easier to keep using. That doesn't mean they will be in five years. SOCOM dropped the purchase of the 5.56 because there was no outstanding reason to keep spending their budget money on them, they get M4's for free, and there was no effective difference as a bullet launcher. Big picture, if Army issues a .308 version of the Improved Carbine, SOCOM will either get that - for free - or keep using the H, but they are waiting to see what's up.

Until FN is making 5,000 a month on contract, prices will not go down, and don't look for much in the way of accessories for 5 to 10 years. Not like the AR. Decide on that basis, and you will be satisfied living with it. HK owners were in the same boat back in the '70's/'80s, zip accessories and market support, that hasn't changed even tho it was an issue weapon to dozens of countries. I paid $180 for a HK91, $225 for the claw mount, and was lucky to get a combat sling and Euro handguard.

At least FN doesn't hate you. :evil:

January 10, 2011, 11:23 AM
Yes FN does hate me. They come out with rifles like the FNAR that I want but cannot afford. :(

January 10, 2011, 11:33 AM
Thanks everyone. I asked him to show me how to field strip it and he said he did not want to dig out the wrenches. I am familiar with the AR and some of the accessories, so I think I will start looking at the ARs instead of the SCAR.

January 10, 2011, 12:00 PM
All of FN's stuff is pricey, good rifles though.

For SCAR priceing I'd be looking at the LMT or Larue .308s.

January 10, 2011, 01:47 PM
The heavy was just released. The supply didn't even caught up with the initial orders. How do you expect it to be cheap right now. I've seen people that got them for $2400 and that's not bad for what it is.
You are comparing the price and accessories of a brand new system, with a half century old rifle, that had the patent expire many many years ago.
The SCAR was sold to civilians the year it was cleared for military production. How long after the XM16 got in action were you able to buy an AR15? How long after that were you able to get accessories and parts?
There are parts available for it and accessories also start to come out. There are three types of rail extensions already out, there are mags, triggers are coming too, and so are some barrels. I think this is decent effort when you think the platform is brand new.
The extractor on SCAR won't die after 5000rds. In the test Pat Rogers did, the first part failed after over 15000 rounds. The rifle is built different, with easy of extraction in mind. The extractor is a lot more solid, and runs at much lower temperatures in the SCAR.
Compared to the AR15 it also allows a lot more time for the pressure to drop, before it tries to extract the case. It doesn't try to extract the still expanded case.

Here's Colt 6933. From ignition, through ejection, until new round is picked up, everything is done within .020 seconds.


Here's the SCAR:
The same cycle is done in .042 seconds.


I wouldn't expect the extractor to fail within 5000 rounds. The SCAR has the rate of fire very carefully controlled. Many AR15s run way over the rated rate of fire and when you put a suppressor on them many go over 1000 rounds per minute, because there's no effective way to control the rate of fire. That's a good way to beat the rifle to death.

While the light scar is just another 5.56mm carbine, in a saturated market, the Heavy is probably the best .308 package out there. Light, accurate, controllable, ambidextrous, reliable, with the handling of a light carbine. There's nothing out there in the same class.

January 10, 2011, 03:08 PM
You can buy a brand new SCAR 16s for around $2,300 now.

That's expensive but not overpriced IMO considering what it is. People spend $2,000 or more on certain AR platform rifles when one could argue that a perfectly decent AR could be purchased for under $1,500 and still others would argue that you can get a perfectly decent AR for under $1,000.

IMO the SCAR offers a lot of features that you can't find in your standard AR platform rifle. FN makes top quality guns and is willing to produce civilian versions of their military guns in the US. Sig gave us the 556 which is almost an insult considering they could easily have produced civilian a civilian version of the 550/551 but decided not to and the quality of the Sig 556 is often hotly debated. HK gave us the USC and SL-8 but because HK has to import their guns they had to be severely neutered and they are just as pricey when you can find them.

FN gave us a civilian version of the P90 (PS90), F2000 (FS200), FN SCAR 16s and 17s. What makes it even better is that these civilian versions are nearly identical copies of their military counterparts just without the ability to fire full auto. So complain all you want about the prices of these guns, I say we are lucky to even be able to own them at all if we want.

January 10, 2011, 06:14 PM
I have to agree with nwilliams that when it comes to foreign made military weapons, FN has the others beat. And I believe the issue with the SIG 550/551/552 was that SIG didn't own the design, the Swiss government did, therefore they were not allowed to make a copy for civilian sale, or something like that. Don't quote me on that but I would like to know the real reason as well as a SIG 552 has been on my "gotta have" list for a long time.

Anyways, I believe the SCAR-16 doesn't offer anything at any price point that isn't already offered by LMT or Robinson Arms in a 5.56mm platform, and the market is saturated with options for anyone looking for a 5.56mm rifle. You can get an Kalashnikov in 5.56mm if you want. The real winner IMO is the SCAR-H/17S. There are only a handful of options for a modern 7.62mm platform, and as far as a combat rifle the SCAR-H is IMO the best, almost the ultimate evolution of the 7.62mm rifle after the FAL, but that's just how I feel about it. When the day comes for me to buy a 7.62x51mm rifle (because I foolishly sold my British L1A1 on Imbel receiver), it's gonna be real hard to decide between a DSA FAL carbine or a SCAR-17S. I'd get both but the cost of ammo is already going to kill me.

January 10, 2011, 07:37 PM
SCAR H17 vs LaRue OBR?

January 10, 2011, 10:45 PM
SCAR-H offers quick change barrels and a folding stock. The OBR is also heavier. On the other hand, SR-25-pattern magazines are easier to come by for the LaRue.

January 10, 2011, 10:57 PM
Cause its a Scar from FN, and its currently the last word in 7.62x51 military rifles. It comes from a long line of fantastic post war battle rifles starting with the FN49, than the FN Fal which was one of the more important firearms of the 20th century.

Bushmaster didn't win the military trails, and hasn't really contributed to military firearms history. They just make middle of the road AR's, yawn.

January 11, 2011, 10:48 AM
Of course it takes time to get the market geared up for accessories, now vs. about 1975 is a huge difference in AR stuff. Point made, it's going to be 2025 before we see dozens of alternate stocks, bolts, sights, lowers, rails, ad infinitum. If you buy the SCAR now, you DON'T get that yet. It's up to the OP to say he want's to wait another 20 years, or play with AR's right now.

Comparing extraction times SCAR vs. M4, sure. What's the lag time if it's midlength or intermediate? Longer. Carbine gas is notorious for too short a time to unlock and extract, FN's not a bunch of dummies, they fixed it. Sounds like the did the extractor, too, fine. But getting one is still a single source contract, not open competition. You are at their mercy, just like the HK owners of yesteryear.

For all practical purposes, the SCAR is a collector toy and needs to be approached that way. Factory support is critical in the logistics side of owning one and shouldn't be ignored.

W L Johnson
January 11, 2011, 01:25 PM
Speaking of SCAR's, this just popped up

Bartholomew Roberts
January 11, 2011, 02:03 PM
Not so interested in the SCAR 16; but the SCAR 17 and a 5.56 conversion kit that lets me use AR mags would definitely get my attention.

January 11, 2011, 03:08 PM
it's going to be 2025 before we see dozens of alternate stocks, bolts, sights, lowers, rails, ad infinitum.

Vltor is bringing a stock adapter for SCAR, that will take any AR type stock:


This will most likely be out in 2011.
Bolts. There's no need for alternate bolts for the scar. At least not now. The bolt is known weak link in the AR15. The SCAR bolt is a lot more solid and the extractor is huge. Not really need for that.
Sights. You can use different sights on the top rail. That's not a problem.
Lowers. True. It may take a while to get those. Or at least get them done right. High Desert Dog is working on 9mm, .22LR and 7.62x39 conversion kits. Is going to take a while. For the .22LR kit they have a part number and a price already on their site.
Rails. there are quite a few options already. Branham Tactical, PWS and FN have rail extensions already on the market. There are also aluminum rails as replacement for the original 9 and 3 o'clock rails.
It won't take 20 years to have the needed toys for the SCAR. A lot of the accessories and mods for AR15 are already standard on scar anyway.

For all practical purposes, the SCAR is a collector toy and needs to be approached that way

I wouldn't consider it just a novelty toy. It passed any test SOCOM had to throw at it. It was accepted as a viable military weapon for US Special Forces. It saw action in war. Socom said they won't be buying Mk16, but the rifle is still something that can be just ordered and issued immediately if someone needs or wants it. It is already a trusted tool. A novelty weapon will have to go trough a lot of testing to get to that point.
The heavy is a weapon used and bought by US forces right now, unlike those HK rifles imported for civilian use back in the nineties. US military was never involved with those rifles. Those were novelty imports.

....God do I sound like a scar fanboy.:D

January 11, 2011, 03:23 PM
For all practical purposes, the SCAR is a collector toy and needs to be approached that way.

I'd have to agree. There will never be SCAR parts kits, entire forums devoted to SCAR rifles, nor will it ever serve as a service rifle for 90 countries.

I fail to see the big advantages this rifle offers me over a $1200-1500 FAL because there aren't really any for the CIVILIAN user.

January 13, 2011, 11:25 PM
Wow...Didn't mean to open such a can of worms :(. But, y'all convinced me that it may be worth the price, considering all the new technology.

I am one of those old goats that are reluctant to embrace the new technology. Heck, my truck is 8 years old because I don't trust the new fangled engines yet. My concealed carry pistol was designed 100 years ago!

Anyway, thanks for trying to drag me into the new millennium. Unfortunately, just because it is worth it, that doesn't mean I can afford it :mad:

Thanks a bunch for helping.

January 14, 2011, 01:46 AM
.22 conversion kit. I like the sound of that!

As for the SCAR's inability to use AR parts that really doesn't bother me in the least. The only compatibility factor I'm concerned about with the SCAR is that it uses the same magazine as an AR, aside from that I'm happy with the SCAR the way it is and have no desire to swap out any of it's parts with AR parts.

I fail to see the big advantages this rifle offers me over a $1200-1500 FAL because there aren't really any for the CIVILIAN user.
SCAR has better ergonomics at least in my opinion and is significantly lighter. While this might not make much difference to someone who is primarily a bench rest shooter like myself to the soldier in the field it's a big plus.

January 14, 2011, 02:14 AM
Looks like there's new stuf for SCAR coming from Tango Down as well:


front rail extension, extended side and bottom replacement rails, AR-style front sight, replacement charging handle, and metal replacement stock latch.

January 14, 2011, 02:36 AM
I have a scar, and it really upsets me when someone bad mouths one, and they do not own one or even have owned one. Shooting one, and looking at one at a gun shop is not evaluating the gun. :fire:

Someone said buy an LMT, well guess what, I sold my LMT to buy my scar. The LMT is a fantastic rifle, put together well, exceptional customer service, etc. Problem is, it is still and M16/AR15 rifle. It has been around for 50 years! New technology is out there, and the scar has it.

People bash the paper thin barrel, really? do you plan on going to Afghanistan and shooting 40000 rounds in the next 2 years? That barrel will last you your life.

Also, the smoothness of the piston is far superior over the LMT, the main reason I got it is because I have had several shoulder surgerys, and a rifle slamming into my shoulder hurts, it really hurts, and the recoil on the scar is far less than that of any AR.

This is my opinion, and I am sticking to it. But seriously, don't listen to anyone that does not have, or has actually owned a scar.

If you like it, buy it, if it feels good in your hand, go with it. Don't listen to guys on a website on how to spend your money. Look at all the .308's, I wanted a scar 17s, but I ended up getting a NM springfield M1, and it is fantastic, it fits me, my budget, and I can hit my target at 600 yards using a cheap vortex viper scope! (I still want a 17s though):D

January 14, 2011, 02:40 AM

January 15, 2011, 05:44 PM
They locked in the Government, EU, and Nato contracts.

Tax payers cover the cost and no one cares.

Too me it looks like a SIG 5.56

January 15, 2011, 10:11 PM
I'd have to agree. There will never be SCAR parts kits, entire forums devoted to SCAR rifles, nor will it ever serve as a service rifle for 90 countries.

I fail to see the big advantages this rifle offers me over a $1200-1500 FAL because there aren't really any for the CIVILIAN user.

You do realize that the SCAR is brand new and the FAL has been out for about 60 years now. The FAL is old technology.

Your condemning the rifle before its even out of the gate.

January 16, 2011, 02:52 AM
Hard to get the circumstances FAL was brought up in. There was a revolutionary new way of thinking about the combat rifle, there was a new aliance and a new generally adopted cartridge.
The FAL was a great revolutionary rifle that showed up in the exact time everyone was looking for a new rifle.
Something really revolutionary have to happen to get that kind of mass deployment.
Maybe LSAT can get that kind of movement......
.....or that phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.:D

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