I was filming an episode of American Rifleman Television at the offices of FN USA recently, when they broke out one of the most important American military rifles of the past 25 years: the very first SCAR Light. The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) required a 7.62x51 mm selective-fire rifle that would give them increased range and knockdown power. The engineers at Fabrique Nationale in Herstal, Belgium, responded with the gun that would become the Special Operations Command Combat Assault Rifle, the SCAR in both 7.62 and 5.56. The rifle shown here was the 5.56 rifle fabricated by FN and sent to SOCOM. It has fired literally tens of thousands of rounds, and it performed so well that the gun was adopted by SOCOM. Though there are no active SCAR Light contracts, it remains an important part of the SCAR family.
FN's engineers were very proud of the futuristic F2000. They thought it was the modern solution for infantry soldiers on the battlefield. But the operators in SOCOM wanted something more akin to a conventional infantry rifle. What they wanted was the SCAR. Because of this prototype and its 7.62 brethren, U.S. SOCOM troops and Army Rangers have one of the most effective rifles ever produced.