FN SCAR 17: The Quest for the Perfect Semi-Auto Battle Rifle

The full-sized SCAR 17 is a hard hitting .308 designed for portability and ease of maintenance.

The full-sized SCAR 17 is a hard hitting .308 designed for portability and ease of maintenance.

Read more: http://www.fnhusa.com/products/carbines/scar-series/scar-17s/

Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=scar%2017

The Quest

I have always thought that the .223 has some serious limitations. Among these weaknesses are the bullet weight, energy and effective range. I am certainly not a hater of the .223; I own several and have launched the round from almost every variant of the platform. For close range, low recoil, manageable weight, availability of ammo… nothing beats the .223. It works–that’s not what I’m here to debate.

But what if you want more effective terminal ballistics, or a round that hits hard at extended ranges? What then? The shortcomings of the .223 are easy to see. In times like these, we reach for something bigger.

There's nothing to say that the .223 can't be effective at distance, but it is no match for the .308.

There’s nothing to say that the .223 can’t be effective at distance, but it is no match for the .308.

What I have tried

Throughout my Quest for the Perfect Semi-Auto rifle, I have tried out many different calibers, including the .30 Remington AR, .450 Bushmaster, 300 AAC Blackout, 7.62X39 and the .308 Winchester. In the rifle platform, I have sized up examples of the AR 10s, HK91 and the FN-FAL. These are all guns that I have owned throughout my Quest, without tallying up the guns I have rented or borrowed from friends.

Part of the dilemma is the round itself. Once you have an idea of what you want the round to do, then choosing a rifle should be a bit easier. The .450 is still obscure. Even .300 AAC can be hard to find at times. The .7.62 x 39 lacks range–but the .308 seems like a contender that’s here to stay. Like the .223, the .308 is readily available. There are countless variants. Ammo is cheap. Match grade ammo is easy to find. The .308 is devastating at close range, and longer ranges too. The only drawback I can see is the weight of the individual rounds (when compared to the svelte .223). Because of the weight, the battle rifle concept typically trades volume of fire for extended range.

The SCAR offers controls that AR shooters should master quickly.

The SCAR offers controls that AR shooters should master quickly.

Batter up

The next gun in the gauntlet is the FN SCAR® 17S. This rifle is the civilian version of the SCAR-H, Mk 17 Mod 0, and it was developed for the Special Operations Forces. There were 2 versions developed: the Light (.223) and the Heavy (308 Winchester).

The SCAR 17S is a relatively large platform, which is to be expected with a .308 Winchester round. This rifle is not huge by any means, but it feels big when compared to a .223. It is also a piston-driven gun with a reciprocating charging handle, which eliminates the need for a forward assist. It comes with rails on all four sides of the gun, and flip-up sights are standard.

FN SCAR® 17S Special operations forces Combat Assault Rifle

  • Caliber: 7.62x51mm
  • Twist Rate: 1 in 12″
  • Barrel Length: 16.25″
  • Overall Length: 28.5” to 38.5” (folding closable stock)
  • Weight: 8.0 lbs. empty
  • Ammunition Capacity: 10 or 20-round detachable box magazine
  • Price–somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,800

What I like

There is no shortage of things to like about this rifle. I enjoy the stock, which features a telescoping side-folding polymer construction with an adjustable cheek piece. This is the only factory rifle I am aware of that has this kind of stock, and it works for me without issue. Although it feels a bit clunky compared to some of the others out on the aftermarket today, I cannot say that it lacks in performance.

The stock adjusts easily.

The stock adjusts easily.

It does have a distinctly plastic feel, which turns off some traditionalists.

It does have a distinctly plastic feel, which turns off some traditionalists.

This rifle has the standard A2 grip you would expect on most other rifles in its class. Operating controls (except the bolt catch, which is only on the left) are ambidextrous; in this day and age ambidextrous controls should be the standard. This benefits not only the left-hand-dominant shooter, but the cross-eye-dominant and CQB shooter as well.

Even the charging handle may be mounted on the right or left side, which could be important as the handle reciprocates with the bolt. But the handle on the SCAR is so much easier to use than the charging handles on AR style rifles. The forward placement is easy to find.

I also appreciate that the enlarged trigger guard has enough room for gloved fingers. Just about everything on the SCAR 17 is sized up, yet it can still be compacted with the help of the folding stock.

A good muzzle brake is a must for rapid fire. This one holds the gun down nicely.

A good muzzle brake is a must for rapid fire. This one holds the gun down nicely.

Because of the SCAR 17S’s design, the top rail is a single piece that runs the length of the rifle. This makes it is easy to mount optics, and prevents issues with multi-rail alignment. You can throw on scout scopes, red dots, or (if you want to open it up) any type of magnified optic.

The gun seems to be soft-shooting for a .308 Winchester. I don’t know if this is due to the muzzle break, piston design, plastic parts that absorb the recoil, or a combination of one or more of those features. I do know that this gun shoots soft and fast, and is great for CQB work. I am running a Burris XTR II 1×5 power scope, and with the magnification set to 1 Power, this gun is nimble and fun to shoot.

The piston system keeps most of the gases out of the chamber. This means the gun runs clean, especially when compared to a direct impingement rifle.

As I mentioned above, the stock folds. While that may seem odd for a rifle with a barrel this long, it is a useful feature. The folding stock makes getting the gun into and out of a vehicle much easier. And if it were to be combined with an even shorter barrel, this beastly gun would be even more effective for close quarters.

We tried three different shooting rests, four scopes, and at least 30 different .308 loads. Our best groups came in at 2 inches from 100 yards.

We tried three different shooting rests, four scopes, and at least 30 different .308 loads. Our best groups came in at 2 inches from 100 yards.

What I do not Like

I demand one quality above all others from any rifle I keep around: accuracy. This SCAR 17S is, at best, only capable of a 2 inch grouping at 100 yards. This simply does not meet the standard of what I have expect of a service rifle. I have not been able to find a round that this SCAR will spit out in a consistent manner. I had plans to run the gun out to at least 300 yards to get a feel for it, but this accuracy problem has not improved sufficiently for me to do so.

I will add that I am not the only person that has shot this rifle during my testing, and this mediocre accuracy has been consistent across the course of multiple days. My testing has been conducted using a Caldwell lead sled to steady the rifle, atop a concrete shooting bench with a quality optic. Try as I might, I cannot convince this rifle to live up to the potential of the .308 Winchester or the 7.62 x 51 round.

Is the rifle capable of more? Of course.The gun’s barrel has the potential. It is hammer-forged, chrome-lined, and fully free-floated. And we know FNH can make tack drivers. To begin with, I’d suggest a trigger upgrade. This trigger has no take-up, but it begins to move with 5-6 pounds of pressure. Then it creeps a bit before breaking.

Some of the SCAR aficionados out there are ringing 1 MOA out of their guns with upgrades to the triggers. After that, you would want to test as many varieties of ammo as you can. Bullet shapes. Grain weights. Powder loads. Find that perfect match for the gun.

The hooded front sight is built into the gas block.

The hooded front sight is built into the gas block.

The rest of the SCAR

This gun comes with adjustable folding front, and folding/removable rear iron sights. Practically-speaking, this means that the rear sight is removable and folds, and the front sight folds but is not easily replaced. The front sight has a full hood, which offers rugged protection, but makes it slow for me to pick up. If I were keeping this rifle, I would cut the top off of the hood to speed up target acquisition.

The rear sight is most-similar to the Lyman Tang Peep Sight found on a Winchester lever-action. There are other sights available, but most will rely on optics anyhow. As back-up sights, the ones included on the gun are certainly sufficient.

This gun is made in Belgium, which causes the rifle to fall under control of the pesky 922(R) law. FNH USA receives the “gun” and then changes out parts to achieve 922(R) compliance. Following this exercise, they can modify the lower receivers to take “high-capacity” magazines. This method adds cost with no additional value, which is especially odd when you consider that FNH produces the same basic gun in the USA for the military.

The SCAR uses a propriatary magazine. There are aftermarket options, like this plastic version, available.

The SCAR uses a proprietary magazine. There are aftermarket options, like this plastic Thermold version, available.

There was one other issue that bears mentioning. Somewhere during the review process, my editor lost the magazine for this gun. I tried to convince him that it doesn’t work very well without it, but he won’t listen. I cannot find a magazine for this gun locally, and have instead been using a plastic aftermarket knock-off (which, to be fair, works perfectly). If you run a SCAR, you need to be aware of the expense associated with buying extra mags.

The Bottom Line

Out of the box, I would place the SCAR 17S in the middle of the pack for a .308 battle rifle. How well will it perform with some upgrades and serious attempts at ammo matching? That would be the next step. But good triggers cost good money, and the SCAR isn’t inexpensive. The initial investment (somewhere in the ballpark of $2.8k) will keep it out of most people’s hands.

When this rifle was introduced in 2007 it was a big deal. In 2015? It is still a big deal, but it has big competition from much older platforms that have leveled the playing field through continuous upgrades. Could it be the SCAR needs some upgrades, too?

There are a couple of ways in which the SCAR still excels. The folding stock makes it a more compact than the competition. The weight (8 pounds empty) is manageable, and significant for anyone who might need to schlep a .308 for any real distance. And the gun kicks ass at close quarters. The gun can be manipulated quickly, which is a distinct advantage it has over some of the competition. The accuracy is sufficient at 100 yards, and still reliable out to 200. The accuracy isn’t going to be competitive in old-fashioned paper-punching competitions, but if you are just ringing steel (or ringing someone’s bell), the SCAR will get the job done.

The reticle in the Burris is ideal for a QCB rifle, and versatile enough for longer ranges.

The reticle in the Burris is ideal for a QCB rifle, and versatile enough for longer ranges.

It lights up red and green, which makes it easier to see, but I still prefer the crisp lines of the black.

It lights up red and green, which makes it easier to see, but I still prefer the crisp lines of the black.

One advantage of the SCAR platform is flexibility. There is more than enough rail space.

One advantage of the SCAR platform is flexibility. There is more than enough rail space. But watch out for that reciprocating charging handle.

If I had to point at the gun's main weakness, it would be the trigger. Fix that and the accuracy should get more predictable.

If I had to point at the gun’s main weakness, it would be the trigger. Fix that and the accuracy should get more predictable.

{ 61 comments… add one }
  • John Betancourt February 6, 2019, 1:44 am

    2″ at 100 yrds?! Learn to match ammo to your firearm…How did this guy become a contributor to a gun forum?!

    • Charles Valenzuela February 10, 2019, 8:05 pm

      Exactly. And, he’s using a lead sled and still can’t tighten the groups up? He says it would be better with an after market trigger. . . really, you think the trigger is the problem when the gun is being fired from a lead sled? I own a SCAR17S and even at 70+ years old I shoot under 1 moa all day every day with my SCAR and ordinary M80 military ball ammo and the factory iron sights. Mr. Two-inch Group has an optic AND the lead sled and he thinks the trigger is the problem. . . . Yeah, mine doesn’t like ELD-X bullets. That’s all. Lost the magazine? Really? If you had a question about dummy cords this guy would answer them all.

  • Steve October 7, 2018, 7:09 pm

    I have just recently purchased the scar 17. I’ve fired it for feel so far… guess the range will be next. I hope it’s better then what’s been said. I expect more…
    Funny thing that comes to mind when reading here is the time I called sierra about bullet info on reloads. They talked about groupings at 100 yds. When asked if we can go further out, Sierra asked how far… I said let’s start at 300. Sierra was like: what? “We don’t recomend firing any gun past 100 yds”. Wtf? At that time I was using a win mag 264.
    I have AR’s & now both scars 16 & 17. I didn’t get them for range… but, for bad times. I’m a preper… and being able to find parts for my weapon when it breaks down is important. Sure there will be some AR’s lying around… but, then they won’t be like yours. My son and I have exactly the same model… I can’t shoot his like mine.
    AR’s have some flaws… and the scar is suppose to be a step up. But neither is a sniper rifle.

  • Fröman July 27, 2018, 6:10 pm

    I am making 1000 yard hits about 70% of the time with 168gr Federal Gold Medal Match and starting to get into the 85% range with handloads.

    My one caveat is that the barrel needs to cool for a couple minutes between 5 shot strings or it opens up to about 2MOA but I really am getting 1MOA performance when I treat it realistically and use ammo it prefers.

    My rifle is setup as follows:

    SWFA SS 20×42 30mm scope

    Bobro 30mm SCAR Dual Lever Mount

    Geissele Super SCAR Trigger(early billet version)

    Geissele Super SCAR Heavy Hammer Spring

    Atlas Bipod with ADM QD Throw Lever

    Griffin Taper Mount Flash Suppressor

    KBA Shoulder Ring(barrel is too skinny for many Brakes/FHs)

    Any other mods I have made are merely ergonomic and don’t really affect accuracy.

    The rifle is acceptably accurate and more importantly is is bedrock reliable, lightweight and has the lightest recoil impulse of any sub 15lb 308 rifle I’ve ever shot.

    Not bad for an 8lb .308 rifle that gun rental ranges like Battlefield Las Vegas are seeing a 200,000rd service life out of.

  • Nick May 6, 2018, 2:00 pm

    It’s hard to believe FN SCAR 17 is shooting 2 inch groups , when my Galil Ace is doing 1.5″ @ 100 yards. I have 3-9×40 scope,nothing expensive or fancy, but I’m doing 10 out of 10 in the red 2″ bulls eye with 7.62×39 Golden Tiger russian ammo steel case.The problem is either the scope, the ammo, or the SHOOTER!! Change one or all and try again.SCAR 17 is my next purchase and I believe it can OUT-PERFORM Galil Ace

  • Robert Goodrich June 13, 2017, 6:52 pm

    I have a SCAR 17 and my wife gets the 16. When you get to this level of excellence, there is no “better.” At this point, it is user preference. We can fold the stock on the 16 down to fit in my psuedotennis case, so it’s easy to take with us traveling.it shoots straight and fast and is light. It’s design is Combat proven. It will last forever.. And it is very cool. Those are our uses for a 16.
    I had a Wilson Combat 5.56, but my daughter got that for her high school graduation. Now I have no 5.56 gun. I do have a Surefire 7.62 SOCOM II suppressor in tax jail. When it gets out, a magazine of Lehigh defense cqb and that suppressor will be plenty accurate as a 17, should unwanted visitors come to call. I am an average sized guy. While I definitely can’t sling around that 8 lb rifle like I can an AR, 2300 ft lbs or so of muzzle energy is hard to argue with.And my Scars have appreciated by about $500 each. Factor that in when the tearing of hair and knashing of teeth about the price starts. When I bought all of my rifles in 2010-2012, it was one at a time on layaway, working 3 jobs. I , and my family and friends, have immensely enjoyed not only shooting the weapons, but just having pride of ownership is great fun.And that’s multiplied by each one I bought. And I’m slowly making my money back. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture. As Clint Eastwood say, “A man’s gotta know his limitations!” I cannot afford a Wilson Combat .45. I cannot afford a Barret .50cal.And I can’t afford a myriad of other weapons and optics they. That does not mean I am going to denigrate those products, nor the people who value those products. I know that I can have some things, but or others. I don’t get why those who’s real problem with the rifle is its cost, are merely looking at their perception of value. Some will agree. Some will not. Look at SCAR’s still flying out of gun shops, especially 17’s.. so why the anomaly between the accuracy of this particular rifle? Something is clearly wrong. The writer used multiple shooters with multiple ammos and had repeatable problems. This is FN’s very public problem. Although I love FN’s, they have to stand behind their product. Good review!! Much appreciated

  • Adams August 3, 2016, 8:00 am

    I believe as one person noticed that it is the scope. You said you were running at no magnification. At a 100 yard shot you aren’t actually holding it on the target in the exact same place if you have no magnification. Therefore, everyone using the same scope with like results were not either. Just an idea.

  • Travis July 24, 2016, 5:26 pm

    I have had my SCAR 17 for 2 years. And after all the modifications I have made I can say my particular SCAR IS a SUBMOA rifle. Mine has a 20″ SS 1:10 twist instead of the Chrome-lined 16.25, which improved accuracy. I have the HANDL Defense lower with a Geiselle 2 stage trigger. It also has a MAGPUL PRS stock for better cheek placement and a fully polished BCG. With 168 SMK ammo, it is a tack driver.

    • GTOGreg January 9, 2017, 1:40 pm

      How much $ would you say you have in the rifle to get it to this configuration, to where it is shooting great?

      • Travis May 26, 2017, 6:37 pm

        A lot. Over 10k

        • R. Hebel October 7, 2017, 4:05 am

          10grand? That makes absulatly no sence try a bore sight and start fresh out of the box a beginner could equal to better your grouping within 100 rounds of practice. You must have a serious issue with your scar sorry

  • Scott Dixon June 26, 2016, 3:31 pm

    Need more videos showing proof in the pudding and less comments about here say.

  • Doug May 10, 2016, 4:33 pm

    I call BS on all of these guys getting “1/4 MOA” out of their SCARs. Im a decent shot and its a damn good day when I can get even my custom bolt guns with handholds to preform that well. If you can consistently get 1/4-1/2 MOA out of a SCAR, quit your day job and join the US olympic shooting team. I have seen SCARs hold 1-1.5 MOA at BEST. Granted I’ve only seen a few shot and put a couple dozen rounds through one. People dished out almost 3 grand for these things and they feel the need to justify their purchase. Im not saying that the SCAR is a bad weapon, quite the contrary… its reliable, light, hard hitting and ergonomic. It just isn’t a target gun.

    As far as .308s go I own an FN-FAL (2-3 MOA accuracy) heavy as a bitch but reliable as all hell, an M1A (.5-1 MOA accuracy) very reliable but also heavy… all in all if I had one gun it would be my M1A. I do however love my LMT CQB MRP in 6.8… almost no recoil, hard hitting, reliable.

    My next .308 will either be an LWRC REPR (I’ve shot em, again heavy but accurate) or a Ruger SR 762.

    If my calling BS on all of you sniper armchair commandos getting 1/4 MOA pisses you off, post some video or a link of a video to you shooting your 17S that well and I will gladly apologize.

    • GTOGreg January 9, 2017, 1:49 pm

      Agreed, complete BS on .25″, lol. Keyboard commandos. One thing that is glaringly missing on the list of negatives is how awful this beautiful rifle is on optics. It jars the optics forward in a way they weren’t intended. Add even more money for a reliable Elcan (and more weight). The problem with the stunningly beautiful gun is that it is a money pit. Kind of like my Tavor, but less so (trigger and optic money adds up quickly). For the price of one SCAR, I have one Savage FCP-10 that is .75 MOA, a beautiful Mega Arms 18″ build for S/A precision, AND and an Aero Precision battle rifle type in 18″ – with a FN barrel no less. All have fantastic triggers from the jump. But, I don’t have a SCAR 17H, and they are stunningly beautiful with their tri-color FDE factory mismatch anodizing work and Ugg boot stock. I’ll get by.

  • doeisthejohn March 13, 2016, 9:04 pm

    I fine tuned my sights and on regular basis hit my same hole in the target at 100 yards the trigger takes some getting used to but its almost like a 2stage with that creep I like it I check all the screws in the gun every 1000 rounds

  • Jon Doe November 25, 2015, 4:03 am

    have one, love it. If you cant shoot better than a 2MOA you should consider a different hobby. SCAR owners should check out a company called handl defense. they make all sorts of goodies to mod these beasts including billet lowers that will accept different mags like p-mags, sbr kits and other cool shit. check em out, youre welcome

  • larry November 19, 2015, 1:39 am

    Though not as compact, the Springfield M1A shoots 1″ groups at 100 yards. Great gun but a little heavy.

  • Susan layer November 18, 2015, 8:44 pm

    Your review and accuracy are user caused. Scar 17s is by far the best civilian battle rifle period.

    • GTOGreg January 9, 2017, 1:54 pm

      Maybe in 2011. Don’t let your investment blind you. You can build, and even buy, better for less. Not as avant-garde, not as SOCOM, but a true performer that AT LEAST rivals the SCAR, and for better money. The SCAR is a good investment though, I’ll give you that, as there is always a strong market for them.

      • dc May 22, 2017, 7:36 pm

        POF P308 has evolved to the point where, IMHO as of 2016 it has eclipsed the SCAR17.
        And now with the new “revolution version” it may be a jump ahead at 6.5 lbs for a .308 battle rifle.
        I completed a tactical carbine course with a POF P308 gen 3 and have run 3-gun with it. i loaned it to an instructor and he rang steel at 600 yards on our lunch break.
        I’m not a great shot but ran the POF p308 + my CZ SP-01 shadow w/in 2.5 seconds of the fastest stage time of the day on my last outing and I know for sure, it wasn’t because of my weak-a@@ pistol skills.
        I have multiple FAL and M1a…..so the POF is not my only experience with a .308
        I really want to like the SCAR 17, but when it comes down to it the POF is my “go-to” gun. i should probably just sell the rest of them.

  • petru sova November 18, 2015, 6:51 pm

    I have seen posts on the internet which claim the plasticky frame on the .308 flexes and cracks. I have read also that the original model had magazines falling out of the gun because the plasticky mag release catch was wearing out fast so they then stared wrapping some thin stamped sheet metal around this part and its seat in the plasticky frame. If true this is a real turd of a gun.

  • downsjr November 18, 2015, 2:11 pm

    Re the accuracy issue: to add a comment, you may have encountered some harmonic trouble using the fixed sled atop a concrete bench (as featured in your accompanying pictures). That is not to say that the sled/bench set up will always result in harmonic trouble and thus problems with grouping – each rifle having its own unique harmonic qualities – but in the case of this test of the SCAR-17 that may have been a contributing factor to the deplorable MOA grouping. Certainly 2 MOA is contemptible for a modern sporting rifle, especially one of this pedigree, manufacture and price point; however, rather than conclude “this rifle is inaccurate” I am most interested now in wanting to trouble shoot and tame it. If you get a second go-around with it, run it off sandbags in the prone for better harmonic dampening (or let a peer have a run with it to see if this is shooter error). I read in the other comments a recommendation on bullet weight, and I’ll echo that with the 1:12 twist the 147 -155 grain projectiles may stabilize best. That’s based on experience, others may have loads that employ a heavier pill which they find work well with the given twist ratio. I hope you are able to work out the bugs.

    • GTOGreg January 9, 2017, 1:57 pm

      What is up with the harmonics on this thing?! I knew about the optics, but the frames too? And I’ve heard of it breaking lights too. WTF charlie? Sounds like a show-stopper design flaw. I would never own one unless it was clear they resolved this bug.

  • Falcon November 17, 2015, 2:27 pm

    Check the grains of your bullets you are testing with. I am holding three to four inches @ 800 yards with lighter weight high-end varmint rounds. Try it. 150 Ajax.

    • Phillip November 17, 2015, 4:01 pm

      Mine definitely prefers heaver projectiles…168gr and above…

  • Robert Sparks November 17, 2015, 11:10 am

    Accuracy- Watch the video’s 600-800′ tac driving. I spent three years after American Rifleman released a story about the Scar 17 looking for a better. Hands down, beyond a shadow of a doubt the Scar is the best all around SHTF gun. A “heavy” but light enough to carry all day. You can find rounds CDVS.com to bust through 2″ of steel, and light enough recoil for my 100lb wife to not complain about it. Every time I leave the range or go on a blast rampage, I am even more delighted with the money spent. Until we make a hand held rail gun I am sticking with the scar. Trial and Error lead me to the Burris xtr 1.5×9 with red dot and the 45″ iron sight mounts give you the best of three worlds. “just my $4k worth”. The Magpul 2 point quick adjust sling with the QD mounts the way to go for the carry. PS I purchased a FibreTec tennis bag that it fits perfect in. Talk about in conspicuous.

  • Ty Noslrac November 17, 2015, 12:12 am

    The reveiwer is nothing short of an amateur if he can only pull off 2″ groups at 100 with the 17S. Any shooter with adequate experience and decent fodder can shoot 1″ groups if not sub-1″ groups at 100 with the Scar17S. Your “negatives” about this rifle you should chalk up to your own shooting ability, and not what the actual rifle itself is capable of. There are plenty of YouTube videos to back up what I am saying, check it out.

    • Jon Hodoway November 17, 2015, 1:40 pm

      Ty I am an idiot, what was I thinking testing the rifle and not just watching a Youtube video.

      I wanted this rifle to preform and was surprised and disappointed. You can note in the article others shot this rifle with like results these were snipers if it was just me I would own it.

      Thanks as always for your keen insights, BTW do you own a SCAR17?

      Jon Hodoway

      • docJim November 19, 2015, 8:01 pm

        Jon, I do appreciate your article & time you put in to bring it out, but from many responses here I see some validity there, especially the question of your gun’s barrel torque, not to mention the gun’s individual “quirks as in using the sled on cement as opposed to a wooden bench I use with sand bag in rear & Harris bipod. Prone I get even better <.25 at 300 yards with 150 fmjbt Fiocchi which shoots very clean, yet with very good terminal velocity for any deer that may be wondering about.
        Albeit I'm basically a ELR target guy I do have some 308s using either my Steiner M5x 5-25 X56 or Schmidt & Bender P3. Awesome glass in my book.
        FN across the board is simply an acronym for highest quality off the shelf weapon systems.
        I'm now going to go out & pick a SCAR up.
        By the way the PS90 is one fun gun for those into CQB weapons & a lot of fun. Downside is ammo can get hard to find if you're out in the weeds.
        As to Geissele triggers for the AR I can't find any sweeter. For my bolts I prefer the Jewel. I just haven't found any of my long guns, from the factory to truly have anything close to glass breaking & giving me the opportunity to improve my accuracy. Like previously noted a high end trigger or trigger job doesn't make any gun more accurate, it just improves the shooters opportunity to improve.
        Thanks again for the thought provoking article.

  • Mike H November 16, 2015, 4:55 pm

    I have to disagree with the accuracy part of the article. Mine shoots consistent 1″-1 1/4 ” groups
    at a 100 yards and consistent 2 1/2″ groups at 200 yards. I think if I were you, I would get the
    barrel changed. My groups were shot with standard military ammo and I expect the groups
    to tighten up with my own reloads.

  • Oaf November 16, 2015, 1:53 pm

    FN needs to re-name the SCAR for it’s civilian version. Calling a semi auto sporting rifle a “Combat Assault Rifle” just gives the anti’s a crap load of ammo.

    • Andrew November 16, 2015, 4:56 pm

      I respectfully disagree, the antis will find something else to complain about. No matter what we call it. So they can stuff it and ill keep oiling my weapons with liberal tears.

      • Will Frost September 7, 2016, 2:58 pm

        Actually tears have salt/sodium in them that could reek havoc on your parts. Just saying.

  • Jeff Green November 16, 2015, 1:36 pm

    All must understand that the weapon was designed for military use. 5-6 lb trigger is as low as you are going to go on a military issued battle rifle. Even in service rifle matches, triggers are weighed and must be 4 lb or above. The actual weight of this weapon is 7.6 lbs unloaded. You will not find a lighter 7.62 military battle rifle this light. Accuracy: understand that the weapon was designed for quick barrel changes per mission. If you are having accuracy problems I would check to make sure the barrel has been torqued properly to the receiver. Even if you haven’t ever removed the barrel, it is possible that the weapon came from the factory torqued wrong. It happens. I was involved in the testing of this rifle from the beginning and using the standard barrel (16 in) we were getting consistent shots in the 10 ring at 1000 yds. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

  • Higherview November 16, 2015, 1:25 pm

    Great review, I likewise have tried many different rounds and battle rifle combinations in search of improved terminal ballistics and power at extended ranges. Up to this point I have found any .308 platform a bit too heavy for my taist for carrying in forest and field. I have an AR-10 and an LR-308 but carry an AR-15 in 6.8 Rem SPC. This is a great caliber used by special forces and falls in between the 5.56 and 7.62 rounds in light of ballistics, but is in the same platform as the 5.56 so it is much more portable. Out to 500 and beyond yards it shoots flat and hits hard. I have killed deer with mine with great results. Mine is sub MOA has little felt recoil and ammo is a lot easier to fine than a SCAR proprietary magazine! There are a growing number of people using this round and ammo and reloading information is readily available. You aught to try it out and do a review on what you find.

  • Dug November 16, 2015, 12:20 pm

    At a long distance rifle class during the 100 yd zero session, I was able to get .50 MOA w/the stock crappy trigger. I was shooting PPU 168gr match ammo. Not top shelf but was able to group well shooting prone.

    Set up:
    Horusvision Falcon w/H25 reticle scope
    Atlas Bipod
    Shitty stock trigger and stock
    Ergo grip w/shelf

  • Andrew Perchikoff November 16, 2015, 11:24 am

    I have not had the accuracy issue that you do with your example. My personal Scar 17 shoots 1 moa with m70 ball and sub moa (1/4″) at 100 yards with match ammunition at 100 yards. I run the stock trigger and a trijicon accupoint, its a good system and honestly if I were you I would try a higher end optic and make sure your not jerking the trigger.

  • hey November 16, 2015, 11:19 am

    How does a LaRue tatical ar compare to the other rifles? I have heard they are as accurate as a bolt action rifle. I have been thinking about a .308 with a 18 or 20 inch barrel. Are they a good value for the money or would I be buying upgrades?

  • JohnL November 16, 2015, 11:12 am

    Safe to say 6.5 Grendel AR upper is a much better and cost effective approach. Plus with the new coatings it s easy peasy! Not that there was ever a DI mil spec issue to begin with. It s just silly to spend that much. I have the same issue with the Tavor! Why not just purchase an American made K&M MH17 with Elfman trigger? Really liked the article. Thx for your time.

  • Pitcher November 16, 2015, 11:02 am

    Perhaps at the bottom of these articles you should make a list of the rifles you have tested to include the rifle in the article. It is very easy to day this rifle is mid pack, but against what? I have no idea what other rifles you have fired other than a few sized up AR10’s (no names) a HK91, and a FAL (my personal favorite, with a pinned 14.5 barrel) perhaps a list would help the casual reader?

  • steve November 16, 2015, 10:25 am

    everyone should know the scar17 by now and that it absolutely requires a trigger job. i went with the super scar from geissele. it is the best i have found out of i believe timney and another manufacturer that i cannot recall the name of.

    2moa is the fault of the shooter not just the trigger. i cant shoot better than that stock but my precision went up by a lot after the super scar.

  • Cody K9 November 16, 2015, 10:03 am

    Speaking on which round is preferable, any opinion on the 6.5×55. It hangs in there between the 223 and the 308 and has punch and distance with a fairly flat trajectory. Lighter than 308 and little more than the 223. I would like to see the SCAR 17 in 6.5×55.
    Love to ask dumb questions.

  • Rick S November 16, 2015, 9:34 am

    After spending a day at the range sighting in a bunch of my M-14 builds (I’m an M-14 Armorer), a friend tried to hand me his SCAR-17. I resisted, as I didn’t want to be tempted to add another .308 to my collection. Damn him. After a day shooting 13-18 lb. configs of M-14’s – the way-lighter SCAR was a featherweight in comparison. Pulling the first shot (with almost no recoil in comparison to the M-14), and I was ordering one on the drive home (cursing my friend the entire way).

    Don’t know about the reviewer, but mine shoots right around 1-1.5 MOA all day long (and this is Lake City or PP M80 Ball).

    I’ve added a few upgrades to mine. Firstly – the GGG Non-Reciprocating-Charging-Handle mod (doesn’t appear on their website any longer – so it may not be available). This alleviates the “thumb smack” of the charging handle, if you favor an “over-the-barrel” forward grip. But at the cost of losing the “forward assist” capability of the fixed charging handle. In over 1,000 rounds, I’ve never had a FTF or FTE, so it hasn’t been an issue for me – but I could see it might be – in very adverse conditions (filthy ammo cases, or sandy environment).

    2nd upgrade was the GGG single point sling adapter. This mounts on the lower, just forward of the buttstock. Provides an ergonomic mounting point with good balance for those of us that like to run & gun with a single-point. Rifle hangs in the perfect location with a Magpul MS3 sling, grab the pistol grip and push and the rifle swings right up to shoulder. VERY NICE.

    Last upgrade (and the best one) was the Geissele Super-SCAR drop in trigger Not much needs to be said about Geissele triggers – they are the number one critical upgrade for accuracy and feel that you can put in any firearm (and I run them in my AR variants, my SIG MPX, and my Tavor). It’s not that the trigger makes the GUN more accurate, but it makes the SHOOTER more accurate. I cleaned up the stock trigger somewhat – but knowing how sweet every Geissele I’ve ever installed feels (over factory, and even most of my own “match trigger work”), it was a no brainer when they went on an attractive sale at one of my parts vendors.

    Mags were in short supply when I picked up my SCAR – when they came back into availability, I grabbed a dozen. They are pricey – but I would trust OEM/Factory mags over thermolds of dremel’d FAL mags. And DO BUY a SCAR-LULA – they work well and save on thumb-fatigue during a busy range day.

    I’ve been asked – if I could only keep 2 of my rifles out of the rack – my SCAR-17 and Tavor, would be the two I’d keep.



    • Phillip November 17, 2015, 3:56 pm

      Strange…Im in the same boat……Tavor or SCAR17. (an having many other choices at hand)

      • WillieFlo June 13, 2016, 3:33 pm

        Get both and change the trigger on them and choose the right ammo. I did to both and they are tack drivers once tuned.
        My Tavor has a Geissele Super Sabra trigger pack and I shoot Hornady 75gr Match BTHP. At 100 yds,, 2-3 out of 5 rounds will touch each other.
        With my SCAR 17S, I installed a Timney trigger and shoot Barnes Tipped TSX 168gr rounds and can touch 3-4 out of 5 regularly with a Titanium suppressor. Kicks like a SOB, but accurate!

  • Bob Bennett November 16, 2015, 9:20 am

    I love my SCAR17 308 w/ Eotec Military grade red dot and flip magnifier. Mine is 1 mo at 100 yards consistently. I like it better than my Rock River Standard Operator 20″ and 3x12x50 scope which is supposed to be a 1mo rifle but has never done better than 3mo at 100 yards! I do agree the SCAR trigger is poor.

  • Scotty November 16, 2015, 9:14 am

    Over the years I have acquired four fn fals for less than one scar. Granted, prices have risen over time, and today they are close to one to one. I’ll stick with the fal. There are some decent aftermarket upgrades for the lackluster rear sights now, and a little polishing can make the triggers better. With surplus military ball, I have found accuracy to be quite good out to four hundred easily. ( hitting one foot gongs is no problem). Reliability has been 100%. The adjustible gas system is wonderful.
    Yes, they are old school, but built like a truck. Non-recipicating charging handles, so nothing to get caught up while carrying. (I beleive if you don’t seat a round, cycle it to get a fresh round, rather than ramming a bad one into the chamber.)
    I did get a Sig 716 a few years back, and really like that,too, but have less ammo through it than I’d like to declare it ” perfect”. Good option though for a lot of people, and cheaper than a scar. The saved funds can buy a nice optic and ammo. P-mags work flawless and the 25 rounders are nice.

  • Jeff Reuter November 16, 2015, 8:48 am

    I stopped reading when I got to the $2800 price tag part.

    • Phillip November 17, 2015, 3:49 pm

      I got mine for $2500…

  • Doug November 16, 2015, 8:34 am

    I bought a Ruger SR 762 a year ago, for $1,700. Added a bullet proof trijicon military scope, a two stage trigger, and a silencerCo muzzle brake.
    I now have a weapon with .75 MOA at 100 yds, with piston driven, clean running operation. All for less than $3,500. It’s the quest ender!

    • Walt Kuleck November 16, 2015, 9:56 am

      Plus one on the Ruger. I have the SCAR, the FAL, the G3; of these peers the Ruger is the most pleasant to shoot and the most accurate. Surprisingly, the absolute most fun is my Fulton Armory 16″ Titan with a now-discontinued Brownells-brand muzzle brake. The sights never leave the target whilst the rifle cycles.

      I’m planning some extensive work next year in support of an M14/M1A book and plan to run them all side-by-side. I’m looking forward to the results.


      Walt Kuleck

    • hey November 16, 2015, 11:50 am

      How long is your barrel?

  • Ralph November 16, 2015, 8:05 am

    I have searched for years for the perfect all around caliber for a an all around battle type rifle and have decided on the 6.5 Grendel for mine. I have built several ARs in the past including an AR 10 in the 7.62 X 51. As hard as I tried, I could not keep that rifle to a manageable weight. I then started to look for a caliber to build in the AR15 platform and found the 6.5 Grendel to be perfect for me. The ammo can be readily available on line as a reasonable cost. Now that companies like Wolf and PRVI have jumped into the game you can find ammo as low as $.34 a round for steel cased and $.60 for brass. I generally shoot Hornady A-Max or SST 123gr. match ballistic tip ammo for hunting or serious shooting and have had great results from small sized game up to large whitetail deer. This ammo can be had for around $.94 a round. I have shot Sub MOA all day long with this round as well.

    • Michael November 16, 2015, 9:19 am

      I have 2 custom build 6.5 Grendels and both are tack-drivers. One is a 20″ DI, the other a 18″ piston, and they are my personal current go to rifle. I got the steel cased FMJ ammo at SGAmmo for $170ish / 500 rds, and also use the Barnes TSX for deer, hogs, and smaller critters with fantastic results. There is no problem getting ammo, and the ballistics are amazing. Very high BC on the heavy for caliber rounds, remaining supersonic long after the .308 has gone sub. I still love my 308s, but they get a whole lot more quality safe time these days.

    • Carl July 2, 2016, 1:12 am

      Sorry, just to josh you…large white tail deer…ahem…they’re all pretty small mate!

  • Eric November 16, 2015, 7:47 am

    Nice article. I was interested in purchasing one. Is there anything else that comes close or better than this .308 that was reviewed?

    • docJim November 19, 2015, 7:12 pm

      I have found the FN SPR A5M absolutely outperforms the SCAR 17.
      I’ve been shooting the A5M for some time with sub .5 moa consistently at 100 – 300 yards.
      I did upgrade the trigger with a Geissele 2 stage & improved my groups to .236 average at 100 & .313 at 500. Hard to beat using off the shelf ammo & AR 16″ gun, in my book.

  • Michael November 16, 2015, 7:45 am

    I too have experienced the accuracy issue, on 2 different rifles, which we bought for our tactical rifle course. Over 40 students of all different levels shot this rifle, both with high-end optics, and with 12 different available commercial loads. The best we cold muster was 1.72 MOA @ 100yds. The triggers were not upgraded, but I suspect more than a craptastic trigger is to blame. In comparison the Adams Arms Alpha-S 308 that was used in the same classes averaged just under 1 MOA @ 100yds and that with the factory trigger and commercial ammo. It runs about $1000 – $1200 less then a reasonably priced SCAR 17s. I really do like the SCAR’s iron sights though, and some of the features are wonderful. Folks complain about the reciprocating charging handle, but that is simply not an issue for me. It has a lot of potential and I may try the trigger updates to see if that helps at all.

    Nice review!! Stay Safe.

  • Phillip November 16, 2015, 6:56 am

    I have found more or less the same from an accuracy stand point. My accuracy improved from 2 MOA to 1 MOA with a new trigger assembly. (2 stage) with Federal GM308 (168Gr BTHP) ammo. However I do reload and I have spent the better part of a year testing and looking for a bullet / powder combination that with match the Federal load. I do know that the weapon does not care for 150 GR bullets and has a preference for heaver 168Gr and above projectiles. I also get slightly better results from 4064 than from 748. Keep in mind I am NOT using a target optic, which will make considerable difference. I now use the Leupold Mark 6 1-6x with CMR. I have NOT outfitted the weapon with “do-dads” and find the platform extremely ergonomic and easy to use. Definitely an overall improvement from the Stoner(AR), M1a, 91/G3, Galil 7.62×51 platforms that I also have used for years.

  • Flep Vandergaard November 16, 2015, 6:01 am

    To tackle the magazine issue, you take measurements of the stock magazine and duplicate the notch with a Dremel tool on a perfectly good and plentiful FN FAL magazine. It will work, and the ones that I have function in both guns.

  • Powers November 16, 2015, 3:26 am

    Your accuracy with the rifle does not reflect my experience. I am a mediocre shot. I am definitely no expert or anywhere near pro status. Military Arms Channel posted videos in which he gets great results, and I have excellent accuracy as well. Again, I am no expert, but if I take my time I get 1″ to 1 ½” MOA groups at 100 with my 17. So can the 2 others I shoot with regularly. Thats just our experiences. But I seem to hear generally positive accuracy results in regards to the SCAR 17. I love shooting it. The soft recoil is a huge plus. As for magazines, they are pricey, 40 to 50 or more bucks inline. But I have not had a problem finding them either online or locally. Good article..The price is the biggest negative in my opinion.

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