SCAR worth the $$$ ?

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by Squawk, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Squawk

    Squawk New Member

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    Looking into the future, I want another auto rifle. Every time I see a SCAR, I have to wipe the drool off my face. Is it worth it though? I mean $2500 (give or take a couple benjis) is a lot of money for one gun. Pros and Cons?
     
  2. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    IMHO, no. I don't think it's any better than a $1200 Colt AR-15.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Scar 17 yes
    Scar 16 no

    The 16 doesnt do anything better than a regular lightweight ar15 middy.

    The 17 packs more punch is very accurate with just about anything you stuff in it. Its rated for both 308 and 762 nato according to the manual. The barrel is rated for full auto so you can heat it up pretty good and still retain good accuracy.

    Nothing cheap when dealing with a scar17. Mags are hard to find unless you replace the lower with a magpul compatable lower. Upgraded trigger groups start at 300$. The fn mags run 40-60$ each.

    Ive got a 17 and absolutely love it. Its got the accuracy i want even with the crappy milspec trigger. The scar17 is the only milspec 308 out there for sale.

    Biggest drawback to me is the pws brake but its easily replaceable and about the only thing you can swap out that isnt horridly priced. Since it uses a jam nut to hold the device on its easily swapped with simple tools.

    The only thing to be wary of is the bottom rail is held on by two screws using red locktite. Its likely other rail screws are the same so take care if your diying.

    I love mine and wouldnt trade it off for anything.
     
  4. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Let's see here:

    $1000 - Colt 6720

    $700 Aimpoint CompM3 in a LaRue mount

    $300 SureFire X300 Ultra

    $100 MagPul CTR stock

    $200 SureFire M73 picatinny rail for the X300

    $30 MagPul MIAD grip

    $20 MagPul aluminum trigger guard enhancement (a requirement, not enhancement for me)

    $20 MagPul BAD lever (again, a requirement for me)

    Total Cost - $2370

    SCAR 16S:
    Price $2300-$2500 from the ones I've seen advertised at the local gun shops

    $300 SureFire X300 Ultra

    $700 Aimpoint CompM3 in a LaRue mount

    Total Cost $3300-$3500

    I'm still not sure what it is, exactly, that a SCAR does that my Colt won't do.

    Are you going to run a can on it or NV?

    If I was inclined to run a can I would at least consider a piston gun. In my limited experience with suppressors AR's do blow some powder back in your face with a can, but it isn't a problem with eye protection. I still find shooting AR's with cans more pleasant than without.

    I do have a SCAR 17S. I own a M1, sold a real HK-91 that I owned while I was still in the service, and have shot M14's (service only, can't speak to civilian versions). I've never shot a FAL that I can recall, but have handled them. The SCAR 17S just has better ergonomics and more features than the other rifles.

    I have owned a Colt 6920 (sold), Colt 6720, Colt 6721 (sold), and Colt 6600. From a cost and weight perspective I can't justify having a carbine that's 1 pound shy of a battle rifle and costs as much as a battle rifle, but that's just me.

    If you want a carbine with equivalent weight, you can always get a 6721.

    There are AR manufacturers out there that make better AR's than Colt in terms of features and frills, but it's hard to beat Colt on price for feature set these days. I consider proper materials, maufacturing techniques, and testing to be "features". Almost all of the "better" AR's also weigh more.

    I like being able to carry and shoot my Colt. I have yet to have any major issue with one. Sure, parts wear out - but that happens with every gun with enough use and at least you can get parts for the Colt. I just buy spares. Ammunition cost $300 - $500 a case, so I don't complain too much about purchasing $100 or so worth of spare parts.

    If I was willing to pay more money I could get a better AR, but I'm not. I like all those listed accessories I added to my carbine too much to pay more for something I can upgrade myself.

    I like the fact that there are so many knowledgeable people I can ask questions of who use AR's for a living and who can provide information and even wisdom on their use.

    If you want a "cool" gun that's fun to take to the local range, I say rock the 16S.

    If you want a plain-Jane working carbine, I say pick up a Colt. I don't care if you can buy Brand X cheaper, all the Colts I have and have had were of demonstrated quality.
     
  5. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I would like to relay that the reason I sold the 6721 and went to the 6720 was weight. After actually carrying it in my hands and running around with the heavy barrel carbine for a few hours, I noticed that my accuracy would suffer and it pretty much defeated the purpose of carrying a heavy barreled carbine. The pencil weight barrel of the 16S makes sense from that perspective. The 6721 had too much weight out front for extended use with a high activity level.

    Perhaps you're stronger than I am and that won't matter or you don't run around that much with your carbine. My personal experience with heavy barreled weapons taught me to keep it light and that accuracy is mostly about what you can do, not the weapon. The 6720 with all the listed accessories weighs about the same as a 16S with no accessories.

    It's your money and you can do what you like, but I've wasted enough money on supposed capability to know that practicality is more important than possibility. For me good ergonomics, excellent balance, and weight trump any potential accuracy or reliability benefits, both of which have to be put into context.
     
  6. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    Weight is an issue for me as well. If I have to prop my elbow up on my belly to hold the gun steady it's to heavy to be practical. I need to be able to swing a rifle like a shotgun to hit a moving target.
     
  7. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    One last point I'd like to make is that blowing a bunch of cash on fancy rifle and then not having money left over for a carbine course and a few cases of ammunition is probably not going to help anyone become a better rifleman. Training costs way more than the weapons and I wouldn't put too much faith in the superiority of one weapon over another, even if the SCAR 16S is a demonstrably superior weapon from testing.

    That said, economy is useful to a point and then a certain level of quality becomes a necessity. Extravagant quality and materials aren't necessary, but generally the military builds guns with a purpose in mind and the level of quality has to be sufficient to fulfill the purpose. Anything that is of acceptable quality for military use is probably of sufficient quality that no civilian shooter will push the limits of what the platform is capable of.

    The reason I threw the Colt out there is for reference purposes only. Cheaper guns, like BCM's, can be just as good as a Colt, but proper manufacturing techniques, testing, and quality materials have a real and inescapable price tag attached to them. To my knowledge, Colt Defense doesn't cut too many corners when it comes to quality.

    If you can afford a SCAR 16S, how much better will you be armed with that carbine versus a Colt or BCM?

    If you don't have plenty of cash left over for ammo, how much money do you want to part with for your finely machined club?

    I like my carbine much too much to turn it into a club for lack of ammo.
     
  8. climate17

    climate17 New Member

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    I'm going to go the other way with this. In order for you to get a weapon as good as the scar in an AR 15 you need one of these guns LWRCI M6 series (1800-2400) a POF (2200-2600) or a hk mr556 (3295) so any one talking about how there stock AR stacks up doesn't have one of these, and they probably aren't even gas piston AR's like the ones I mentioned are. So they aren't comparing apples with apples. The answer is yes scars are worth every penny, no matter if it's the 16 or 17. They ARE worth it.
     
  9. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One of the desireable things about my Colt 6940 is that it DOESN'T have a useless piston to add weight and more parts to break.:p
     
  10. climate17

    climate17 New Member

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    Useless now that's funny. Not really funny haha just funny if you catch my drift.
     
  11. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    The scar17 i have is ver well balanced. Its not in anyway related to an ar15 or ar10 series. The only part semi-interchangeable is the pistol grip and front sight post. So since they were designed from the ground up as piston guns they work without the issues of the typical ar15 conversions.

    I still think that the scar16 is no real advance over the ar15 as there are a lot of ar15 that do the same job with the same reliability and accuracy of a scar16. In that i think its not worth it.

    For the scar17 equivelant competition in the price range just doesnt come anywhere close even the cheaper and more pricey guns in 308 dont come close. The scar17 is worth its price
     
  12. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    All excellent points, kbd512, and well stated. I'm also a fan of the Colt 6720 and pencil barrels in general. The only reason I didn't go with Colt was I prefer a 16" in midlength gas. Feel free to jump in anytime ... again, well stated opinions.

    Like locutus, the extra weight, complexity and cost of a piston AR are negatives for me. I'd take a DI Colt, BCM, PSA, Daniel Defense over the SCAR 16 then take advantage of the leftover $1K.
     
  13. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    With respect to stock AR platforms being as good as stock M6 or MR556A1, it would be helpful to quantify what you mean by "as good as". Are we talking reliability, weight, balance, ergonomics, access to plentiful replacement parts and accessories, or something else? Who leaves any fighting rifle stock?

    Reliability:

    How reliable is reliable enough?

    John Moses Browning created a M1917 machine gun that fired for something like 45 minutes without cessation of firing or failure of any kind, but the gun weighed more than a M2HB machine gun.

    I'm not willing to sacrifice 2 pounds of weight, the equivalent of a 30 round stick and all the accessories on my rifle, for more reliability than I already have.

    I'm a civilian and I don't jump out of airplanes, assault any beaches, or wade through any mud pits. If you are SOF, infantry, or law enforcement, I understand the need for a heavy duty carbine that is more tolerant of filth. In the worst realistic scenario I can think of, I might have to patrol the neighborhood after a hurricane or flood. In all honesty, it's improbable that the carbine will see use much further than my front doorstep. For those realistic use scenarios, the weight, balance, and pointability features are more important to me than ultimate reliability.

    From experience, my personal AR's have had very few problems not related to crappy or damaged USGI magazines and no problems that couldn't be immediately corrected. I do have to replace parts and use quality magazines and ammo, but the gun functions as designed. If that were not the case, I would not use it.

    Weight:

    All piston guns based on the AR platform are heavier than DI guns with one exception that I know of. All piston guns designed from the ground up as piston guns are heavier than DI guns period because they are designed to be machine guns. Part of what made the M1917 machine gun reliable was the weight of the bolt, its design, and method of operation. All current piston combat rifles and carbines that an operator will carry in his or her hands for an extended length of time have been built for full auto. The requirements for full auto are different than for semi-auto. Lighter weight parts could be made, but it would adversely affect cost, service life, and/or reliability.

    M6 is slightly lighter than the SCAR 16S, the MR556A1 weighs almost as much as a loaded SCAR 17S, and the POF is slightly lighter than an unloaded SCAR 17S. All weapons listed are equivalent to or heavier than a loaded 6721 with accessories. The MR556A1 is so heavy it's more near a DMR or battle rifle than it is a carbine. HK should have put their rail system on a diet. You can easily get yourself into an 11 pound gun with that platform. The M1 rifle weighs between 10 and 11 pounds, given different stock materials. Not my cup of tea for something I actually have to carry.

    Balance:

    All piston guns apart from bullpups have the weight of the piston mechanism in front of or near the front of the operator's support hand. Humans, to include Navy SEAL's and Delta Force, experience muscle fatigue. Physical fitness helps, but all humans fatigue and dexterity suffers.

    The DI platform places more weight nearer to the operator's fire control hand. Any static weight in front of or behind your hands you'll constantly fight against as long as the weapon is in your hands. After about three hours of actually holding an 8 to 9 pound gun in my hands and ready to use, I determined that heavy and/or muzzle heavy guns were not for me. Slings and weight distribution help, but all other factors being equal a lighter weapon with better dynamic weight distribution will serve you better in situations where movement is involved and/or mother earth isn't helping you hold your weapon.

    Shoulder your fully equipped M6, MR556A1, or SCAR 16S with one hand and see how long you can keep it there. Then repeat the test with a 6720 or other pencil barrel AR. Keep the weapon shouldered in a firing position and pointed at a target like a screw on a wall-mounted light switch from say 15-25 feet. Let me know how that goes.

    Ergonomics:

    There isn't much difference between the M6, MR556A1, SCAR 16S, and a Colt. The SCAR requires an aftermarket charging handle to clear optics and so do the AR designs. I guess the manufacturers of the "improved" weapons didn't take charging the weapon into account. Of all the rifles listed, only the LWRC has true ambi controls from the factory. If mirrored controls are important, then LWRC has the best controls. The POF's only have a bolt release on the ejection port side, if memory serves. The SCAR has ambi mag release and selector lever, but no ambi bolt release. If you leave your charging handle on the left hand side, that isn't a problem. I like not having to leave fire control for bolt manipulations. MagPul provides that functionality on a stock Colt for less than 20 dollars.

    I've never had a problem with reciprocating charging handles but some people don't like them. I think it's a useful feature for malfunction clearing, but to each his own.

    All the other designs except the Colt have fold down front sights. I don't like crap in the way of my red dot. Perhaps it is simpler, but it isn't ideal. If Colt wanted to improve the 6720, they'd make the carbine more optics friendly with a dovetail gas block with sling mounts and a pic rail below for a light in lieu of the stupid bayonet lug so no rail system would be necessary.

    Parts and Accessories:

    While all the lights, lasers, and optics work with all aforementioned platforms, the continuous optics rails of the piston platforms are better than the Colt. The SCAR 16S has the best side rail layout, in my opinion, and it still has too much rail. I just think it's dumb to have pic rail where your hand goes. I've never seen anybody with half a clue mount a light or other accessory, apart from a sling mount, on a side rail where they have to place their support hand. It looks really cool, but it serves no purpose. The POF, LWRC, and MR556A1 all have this cool and useless feature that adds needless weight and bulk.

    All of the aforementioned platforms have proprietary parts that are not present in the DI guns. Most are more expensive than parts for the DI guns and availability may be an issue.

    Final Thoughts:

    For users who require full auto and go over the beach, the "better" guns may be "better". To me, they're all just heavier, have poorer balance, are more complicated, and much more expensive.

    If Colt wanted to make the 6720 "better", they could do the following:

    1. Dovetail gas block with side sling mounts and bottom picatinny rail for a folding front sight and weapon light

    2. Rugged plastic lower receiver with steel or aluminum reinforcement where necessary to reduce weight

    3. Better trigger

    4. Full ambi controls

    5. MagPul CTR stock and MOE or MIAD grip

    6. CHF barrel with vortex style flash suppressor EDM'ed into the barrel versus threading the muzzle

    7. Nickel-Boron plating for the bolt, carrier, and barrel extension

    If Colt did all that to their 6720 and charged no more than perhaps 1500 for it, I think you'd be hard pressed to justify the weight and expense of a piston gun if you were not a government user.
     
  14. climate17

    climate17 New Member

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    Stock colts weigh in at around 6.8-7.1 lbs no piston

    Lwrci m6a2 spr is 7.1 lbs with piston

    M6a2 spr weight distribution is at the fire control end.

    So how I the colt an advantage?

    Listen I get that the colt is cheaper but it has no piston. Say what you will but you have to compare apples with apples di guns are NOT as rugged as piston guns.

    Even socom uses piston guns. I site the m27 it's basically an hk 416d.
    There ar10 is the scar17. So am I missing something, no. The discussion is this are scars worth the price when compared to a similar product, yes. Is a di gun a similar product? No it is not.

    Is the di the better more economical chose for a civilian, yes. But if you have the means why wouldn't you want the piston gun? For the difference in weight? There isn't any difference if you configure it correctly. For the balance? Again correctly configured the piston gun is still as balanced as the di gun. And after the scar is much more ergonomic. the weight on the scar is a nominal difference and I site numerous three gun competitors using the scar the balance is wonderful. It's not a bad thing to have weight on the front of a gun especially when transitioning between targets it helps your swing. Trap shooters add weight to the barrel side of the gun to help with this all the time. I don't understand people's aversion to piston guns they don't break down that's a ludicrous argument. And better yet they don't foul. Shoot five hundred rounds through a di gun and a piston gun and then pull the bolt carrier group then tell me di guns are better.
     
  15. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Eugene Stoner knew more than I do.

    And his design is proven on battlefields all over the world for the last 50+ years.

    I'll stick with Stoner.

    Which weapon would I choose if going into battle today??

    U.S. rifle, cal. 5.56X45MM NATO, M-4.
     
  16. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The Colt 6720 (pencil barrel) weighs approximately 1 pound less than the Colt 6721 (heavy barrel). Colt includes the weight of the detachable carry handle in the weight of the gun. The Colt 6721, which I have previously owned, weighed right around 9 pounds with the following accessories:

    1. SureFire M73 rail

    2. SureFire X300 weapon light

    3. MagPul MIAD pistol grip

    4. MagPul CTR stock

    5. MagPul sling plate

    6. Fully loaded 30 round MagPul magazine

    7. Aimpoint Comp M3 in Larue Lever Mount

    8. Aimpoint Magnifier in Larue Lever Mount

    I know this because I actually put the gun on a scale. I don't care what Colt's website or anyone else says about the weight of the carbine. I use my own scale and I weigh things myself.

    The current piston AR's are just refined solutions to problems that have already been solved, in my opinion. All of the piston design stuff was researched, proposed, and ultimately rejected by the US Army back in the late 60's to mid 70's. All of the piston designs, except for the new ICE-15 design, weigh more than DI guns. Weight can be a good thing for a machine gun, but for a semi-auto carbine designed for a man to carry on foot it doesn't add any benefit. The ICE-15 is the only example of a piston system that weighs less than the DI system. It is possible because half the mass of the bolt carrier was removed from the design and the gas port has been redesigned. Eugene Stoner and friends designed a piston platform, the AR-18 - a gun meant for mass production, not too long after he designed the AR-15 series. The design was presented to the US Army, they were ordered to test it, and they then rejected the design.

    Are you in SOCOM or infantry? If so, then you might need a piston gun. SOCOM also asked for the MK23 pistol and then complained that the weapon was too big and stopped using it. The Navy SEAL's used the MP-5 for boarding operations for quite some time. See many operators using MP-5's anymore? SOCOM rejected the implementation and use of the Mk16 and left the decision to the subordinate commands. They decided to use the Colt M4 with a heavier barrel. The M4 with the heavy barrel still weighs less than the Mk16 with the pencil barrel. Those are facts, not opinions. Apparently SOCOM agrees with me on this point.

    The M27 is not the same as the MR556A1. The MR556A1 has too many goofy "features" to be to my liking. The gun is just too muzzle heavy, mostly because of the rail system and barrel that's actually heavier than the M27 barrel, and quite simply too heavy. You need a tool to push the pins out, the buttstock pad unlocks if you cant the weapon while it's shouldered, and it doesn't even come with iron sights in the versions I've seen in my local gun shops. The taper bore and lack of a chrome lining are really puzzling to me. I live in an area with high humidity, but maybe you don't. The only "feature" that I really liked was the cheek weld.

    The DI semi-automatic carbines are competing products intended for the same role as piston semi-automatic carbines. The DI guns happen to weigh less than the piston guns, have better balance, and are cheaper to manufacture. The piston guns you listed have all been around for less than 10 years and only the HK design was actually selected for military use as an automatic rifle BECAUSE THE SAW WAS TOO HEAVY FOR INFANTRY ENGAGEMENTS REQUIRING HIGH MOBILITY! Imagine that, the USMC of all services admitting that weight, balance, and ergonomics matter. BTW, I'm doing the same thing here in all of my posts to this thread - attempting to tell people that weight, balance, and ergonomics matter.

    The DI guns have been around since the Viet Nam War and have more design and development time and money incorporated into them for improved reliability and parts longevity. When the ICE-15 comes to fruition, I will purchase one. Until that time, I see no tangible benefits to proprietary semi-auto piston carbine designs for civilian use.

    Is a SCAR 16S worth the money to me? No. I have a SCAR 17S. The SCAR 17S is lighter and has better ergonomics than any comparable M1, M14, FAL, or G3 derivative. That's why I have one. I don't have a bone to pick with the FN SCAR 16S design, the HK MR556A1 design, or the LWRC M6 design. I am noting that those designs were primarily intended for full auto, weigh more as a consequence, and full auto guns have been restricted to government entities since 1986. If I could have a full auto gun, I would have the heavy barrel variant of the FN Mk16.

    In your first sentence you came to the same conclusion that I did. Then you asked the question, "If money were no object, why wouldn't you want a piston gun?". If money was no object, why bother to ask the question? Get all the guns you want. After all, the money's not an issue. I've tried to answer the question of why you would not want a piston in a lightweight semi-automatic carbine designed for civilian versus military use, but apparently all facts concerning cost/weight and evidence of DI reliability are not enough to dissuade some people from buying semi-automatic piston carbines.

    Noting that 3 gun competitors use the SCAR doesn't dissaude me from my opinion. Do the 3 gun competitors carry their SCAR in their hands for several hours or more at a time? Have any of them ever attempted to use their SCAR with one hand? You noted that a properly configured piston carbine balances just as well as a DI carbine. You really mean that by adding even more weight to a gun that's heavier to begin with on the other end, the piston carbine balances as well as a DI carbine. A SCAR equipped like my aforementioned 6721 would weigh around 9.5 pounds. You can always delete capability and the weight associated with it, but I think a red dot and white light are required accessories. If you really want a carbine that weighs as much as a battle rifle, go for it.

    As for "swing" weight, an understanding of basic physics should tell you that a gun that is less muzzle heavy and less heavy period is easier to "swing" onto target. The only question is whether or not you have the fine motor control required to stop precisely where you meant to. That is probably why people like Kyle Lamb have rifles that are very light out front with a very long handguard. I've never heard anyone call him slow at target transitions. If you don't have the fine motor control from actually practicing weapon presentations, it won't matter how heavy or light your carbine is.

    I could keep going on, but I think I've made my points about as well as I can make them. If you just like piston guns, get a SCAR 16S, LWRC, MR556A1, or whatever else strikes your fancy. If you want something that you and your wife or girlfriend might actually be able to carry and use for an extended length of time, get a Colt 6720 or something similar from BCM or Daniel Defense.
     
  17. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I should add that I have no emotion invested in my Colt carbine. The Colt carbines are of sufficient quality to do the job and that's about it. The Colt carbines are not the "best" weapons out there and probably never will be. The pistol I learned to shoot with was as a kid was a Colt M1911-A1. I have owned two of them and retain only one now for recreational purposes only. I will never buy another for carry use. I have never had a Colt 1911 go 5k rounds before a major parts failure of some kind. Extractor tension, front sight fell off from poor staking, or firing pin shearing. I carry a Glock now. I will sell the 6720 when something tangibly better, to me, comes along. To me, "better" means less weight, better balance, and improved or mirrored controls and/or other ergonomics enhancements.
     
  18. FullautoUSA

    FullautoUSA Welcoming Committee/ Resident Pellet Gunner Lifetime Supporter

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    I rented the SCAR 16 and it was great

    Pros-
    •Collapsable and folding stock with cheek riser
    •Great ergonomics
    •Lightweight
    •Looks really cool
    •Made by FNH
    •Reliable
    •Excepts STANAG magazines
    •Nice tactical configuration
    •Very little recoil
    •Uses A2 style pistol grips so I think it uses any AR pistol grips
    •Overall great gun

    Cons-
    •Does not except Pmags
    •The one I used had a heavy trigger pull
    •The one I used had some problems chambering the rounds, but it only happened 3 times and I fired 100 rounds, they were still able to be fired the bolt just hit the case and dented them
    •Pricey

    Overall worth the money if you can afford it.
     
  19. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I keep reading posts about SpecOps troops using HK and SIG rifles, M14s, etc, and .45 pistols.

    I've read a half dozen books written by SEAL and SpecForces operators, and they all used M-4s, Mk 12s and Berettas.:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  20. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    the adoption of the scar17 is new to socom. any real world use is under strict nda terms. with obama cracking down on navy seals for just letting cod black ops take pics of their socks its unlikely your going to hear about any scar17 usage anytime soon