Fabrique National of Herstal just announced a PDW-style version of their flagship SCAR rifle at this year’s Milipol defense expo. The subcompact rifle is designed for close-quarters combat and has one major new feature hopefully headed to the rest of the SCAR family.
The tiny wonder has a number of stock options including fixed, folding and telescoping stocks. FN also developed an offset stock for military and police users that’s compatible with riot gear. The company is clearly angling for government bids and package deals.
“FN SCAR rifles have a proud tradition of usage by US Special Forces,” reads the new product page. “The 5.56x45mm caliber FN SCAR-SC builds on this heritage with an extremely compact design that’s ideal for homeland security operations.”
“Specifically adapted for mobility and flexibility, the FN SCAR-SC has semi-auto only or selective fire capabilities, non-reciprocating charging handle and a wide range of add-ons,” says FN. “All of these add-ons have been tested and certified by FN Herstal as providing reliable, durable performance in even the toughest circumstances.”
The new SCAR-SC has a more compact receiver and low-profile gas block. The subcompact doesn’t have a fixed front sight assembly and instead it uses top-mounted iron sights. It also features a stubby, pronged flash hider instead of the full-sized flash suppressing compensator.
It retains the mostly-ambidextrous controls and adds the one thing users have been begging FN for years: a non-reciprocating charging handle.
If there has ever been a serious drawback to the SCAR design it would be the fixed charging handle. Charging handles prevent some shooting positions and handling methods and can also be dangerous to users. FN has been working on non-reciprocating charging handle systems for years. Now it looks like they’re ready to test it out as a standard feature.
With the standard PDW stock and 7.5-inch barrel, it measures in at about 21 inches with the stock collapsed and 26 inches with the stock extended. It weighs a hair under 7 pounds unloaded and for now is chambered for 5.56 NATO with the possibility of 300 AAC Blackout in the future.
Sadly, FN Herstal doesn’t have plans to bring the subcompact SCAR to the U.S. market for now. This could change down the line with FN America. It’s possible that FN has already allocated initial SCAR-SC production to a major buyer.
In order to sell it in the U.S. in any numbers the SCAR-SC would have to undergo some hefty changes. FN would realistically need to develop a pistol version to sell the gun on the non-NFA market. And they would also need to have enough U.S.-made production parts for NFA-regulated short-barreled rifle conversions to comply with 922(r) law.
This hasn’t stopped other companies from importing similar guns, though. Companies like CZ have been importing pistol versions of their rifles and carbines and upgrading them for sale on the American market for years. If there’s enough demand, it would be foolish for FN to skip over the largest gun-buying audience in the world.
But the real big news is the updated bolt system. Current FN SCAR owners will be very interested in a brand-new drop-in bolt assembly as soon as FN can put one up for sale.
Even if they can’t sell the SCAR-SC as-is in the U.S., FN can absolutely start selling bolt assemblies. If they don’t, they’ll be leaving a large amount of money on the table.