FNH-USA’s SCAR 17S (page 2)
The SCAR 17S is a semi-auto version of the military’s selective-fire MK17 Mod 0.
By Glenn M. Gilbert, AR Shooting Editor
The SCAR 17S is about 1 pound heavier, and the receiver is about 1/2-inch longer than a SCAR 16S. The extra bulk was noticeable when picking up one gun then the other, but much less than one would expect when stepping up from 5.56 mm NATO to 7.62 mm NATO. The stock is the same size as that of the lighter gun, as is the grip. Additionally, the size and placement of all of the controls, including the charging handle, selector lever, magazine release and bolt stop lever, are identical. The balance point of two guns is in the same place and the gun is anything but muzzle-heavy. In terms of handling and ergonomics, transitioning between the two guns was a snap. The extra weight was not readily apparent when the gun was first picked up, but after a dozen or more simulated action-style shooting stages there was no denying it was a bigger, heavier gun.
Unadorned, the gun is very svelte and handy for a .308 Win. semi-automatic carbine, but if you mount a heavy scope or drape the fore-end with a lot of accessories, I think you are going to find a vertical fore-grip an outright necessity. The mechanical rhythm of the gun (the lock time of the trigger system and the dwell time of the bolt) was similar to its lighter counterpart, but the extra recoil of the .308 Win. round required significantly greater recovery time. Just how much of a penalty this will exact in terms of engagement time will depend on the shooter’s skill, body size and mindset. In short, the better the shooter is able to cope with the extra recoil, the more he will get out of the rifle.
I am a left-handed shooter, but I wanted to try shooting it without reversing the charging handle, thinking there might be some advantage to working with my strong hand. But I found that the charging handle kept brushing against my fingers as the bolt cycled. Naturally, that wouldn’t be a problem if I used a vertical fore-grip or disciplined myself to keep my support hand glued to the front of the magazine well. In the end I switched the charging handle over to the right side of the gun. I felt like I had punted, but it really made more sense to work the bolt with my support hand since it was already in motion swapping magazines. It also kept my working hand in front of my face, rather than hidden by the receiver, which makes for smoother work in almost any endeavor conducted in a high-stress environment, whether that be a timed Heavy Metal match or a self-defense situation.
From my point of view, the arrival of the semi-automatic SCAR in .308 Win., though belated, is most welcome. Reliable and accurate, it is easy to see why it is the .308 Win. carbine of choice for our elite troops. When SOCOM originally wrote the specifications for the proposed SCAR, one of the main requirements was the ability to shoot a variety of calibers, up to and including .308 Win. One might say that the SCAR Heavy is what SOCOM’s operators wanted all along. The arrival of the SCAR 17S greatly expands the potential of the SCAR platform.
See American Rifleman Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe trying out the FNH SCAR MK17 Mod 0.
Importer: FNH-USA; (703) 288-1730; www.fnhusa.com
Caliber: .308 Win./7.62x51 mm NATO
Action Type: gas-operated, semi-automatic center-fire rifle
Receiver: aluminum upper and polymer lower
Barrel: 16¼", cold-hammer forged, chrome-lined
Rifling: six-groove, 1:12" RH twist
Magazine: 10- or 20-round detachable box
Sights: flip-up front post detent-adjustable for elevation (1-minute clicks); folding rear aperture finger-adjustable for windage (1/2-minute clicks) and range (200-600 meters); Picatinny rail
Trigger Pull: non-adjustable, single-stage; 6 lbs., 5 ozs.
Stock: folding synthetic: length of pull, six-position adjustable in 1/2" increments from 141⁄8" to 115⁄8"; drop at heel, 11⁄4"; drop at comb, 1/8", 0" (comb raised)
Overall Length: 381⁄2" (buttstock extended) 281⁄2" buttstock folded
Weight: 8 lbs.
Accessories: one 10- or 20-round magazine, owner’s manual
Suggested Retail Price: $3,349