FNH-USA SCAR 17s 7.62x51mm NATO Semi-Automatic Carbine with Trijicon M150 ACOG Scope


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

August 3rd, 2010


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SCAR 17s features an excellent set of folding sights...



...plus plenty of Picatinny rail to attach optics and accessories.



Trijicon ACOG scope.



LaserLyte laser bore sighter saves a lot of ammo and time.



Author recommends Buffalo Bore Sniper ammo for its superb accuracy.



Accuracy was tested at 100 yards using a Leupold Mark 4 scope, with the SCAR rested on a Model 500 Rifle Rest from Target Shooting, Inc.












It has been about nine months now since I reviewed the latest combat rifle adopted in limited numbers by the US Special Operations Command. That rifle as adopted by the military is the 5.56x45mm NATO MK 16. The civilian version that I reviewed is the SCAR 16. It proved to be a very accurate, reliable weapon, and I have since been anxious to try out the 7.62x51mm version. In January, I had the opportunity to fire the MK 17, which is the select fire version of the SCAR 17s shown here. It was a lot of fun to shoot, but I did not get to do any accuracy testing at that time, awaiting the arrival of the production SCAR 17s for that. It has arrived, and after putting a lot of ammo downrange, I am not disappointed.

The US military wanted as much parts commonality between the MK16 and MK17 as possible, and FN achieved that goal with about eighty percent of the parts being interchangeable between the two weapons. SOCOM also wanted the weapon to be as user-friendly as possible, and fully ambidextrous. Soldiers vary in size from petite women to huge men, and from petite men to huge women, so the new weapons had to be adjustable as much as possible to fit everyone, and to also be adjustable to fit the soldier whether dressed in full body armor or running around naked. FNH met those goals with a weapons system that has ambidextrous controls, adjustable buttstock, adjustable cheek piece, reversible charging handle, and a folding buttstock for use in close quarters. The military version is capable of both semi-auto and full-auto fire, and can be field serviced, even to the extent of changing the barrel. The rifles can also be fitted with a grenade launcher. Very cool stuff.

Since I am too old and fat to join the Army, unless things get really bad, I have to be content with the semi-auto version: the SCAR 17s. That is not too much of a disappointment, as I like sleeping in a soft bed with the air conditioner running and eating fresh grub that is not in a green pouch. Besides that, my left ankle is not up to a five-mile run every morning, as is enjoyed by my son-in-law. Also, he is leaving in about six days for his second all-expense-paid trip to Afghanistan, after getting back from his third all-expense-paid trip to Iraq just a few months ago. I appreciate him going, but have no desire to go with him. Instead, I will stay here, mow his yard for him, play with his kids, and pray for his safe return along with the safe return of his fellow soldiers.

The SCAR 17s is fitted with a one-in-twelve twist sixteen and one-quarter inch chrome-lined hammer-forged barrel. The barrel measures .664 inch diameter. The overall length varies between 28.5 and 38.5 inches, depending upon the position of the buttstock. While on that subject, the SCAR can be fired with the buttstock folded or deployed, which is a nice feature. The weapon weighs eight pounds empty, which is lighter than most semi-auto 7.62x51mm rifles. The barrel is fitted with a very efficient and effective muzzle brake, which helps to lessen the felt recoil of the weapon. The gas regulator has three positions; one for normal fire, one for suppressed fire, and another for disassembly. The regulator controls the amount of gas bled off to operate the short-stroke gas piston system. The SCAR 17s comes with either a ten-round or a twenty-round steel magazine. As mentioned above, the reciprocating bolt handle can be swapped to either side of the rifle.

The SCAR 17s has plenty of Picatinny rail for mounting optics and accessories. The folding sights are superb, easy to use, easy to fold, and easily adjusted. The finish options are black or flat dark earth. My sample rifle is black, but the first ones to be shipped are finished in flat dark earth, and they are shipping now. More on that later.

Shooting the SCAR 17s revealed no surprises. Being familiar with FNH quality and the SCAR 16s, I was expecting a rifle that was very close to perfection, and that is what I found. I first fired the 17s for function with a variety of 7.62x51 NATO ammunition and with commercial 308 Winchester ammunition. Functioning was perfect. There were no failures to feed, fire, or eject any cartridge fed it.

Accuracy was, as expected, very good. This is a match-accurate battle rifle. Both Federal Gold Medal and Buffalo Bore Sniper Match would group well under one inch at one hundred yards, all day. I particularly like the Buffalo Bore ammo. It uses 175 grain Sierra bullets. The group shown measures five-eighths of an inch, and it was not alone. Every group fired went well under one inch, even after the barrel heated up in the one-hundred degree heat and high humidity. Winds were dead still in the hollow between the ridges of my shooting range, and the accuracy of this SCAR was so consistent as to border on monotony. Again, even with the commercial 308 ammo, reliability was perfect, just as it was with the military ball ammo.

While the sights on the SCAR are very good, I like an optical sight. The SCAR has plenty of rail to accommodate any optic desired, and I chose the superb Trijicon ACOG scope to top the SCAR. The particular ACOG shown here is the latest US military version, the M150. This ACOG is the natural progression of that excellent scope sight. The reticle has a red chevron that is illuminated by tritium that is always “ON” and never needs batteries. In addition, it has a fiber optic illuminator for daylight use, and the brightness of the reticle adjusts automatically to the existing lighting conditions. The ACOG is a very tough scope. Talking to soldiers who have been in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, other optics are sometimes issued, but they always trade up to an ACOG when possible. This particular ACOG shown here comes with a nylon case, lens pen, instructions, and flash-kill to keep glare off the objective lens. The adjustment caps are tethered to prevent loss. The ACOG is an excellent battle sight, and is made in the USA. I highly recommend it, and own a few myself.

Back to the rifle. As mentioned above, the SCAR 17s is now shipping. The first rifles will come with a certificate showing that the weapon is from the initial production, and it will ship in a Hardigg Storm case. This is one of the best cases on the market. I have three of them, and can attest to the quality of the cases. The first production is only available in the dark earth finish, just like the US SOCOM rifles. The FNH SCAR 17s is a fine weapon; powerful, reliable, lightweight, handy, and match accurate. It is not cheap, but you never regret buying the best.

Check out the extensive line of FNH products inline at www.fnhusa.com.

For a closer look at the excellent Trijicon ACOG scopes, go to www.trijicon.com.

For the location of an FNH dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.

To order the SCAR online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.

To order the Buffalo Bore ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com.

Jeff Quinn 


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to:

To buy this gun online, go to:





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FNH-USA's SCAR-17s 7.61x51 NATO semi-automatic carbine w/ Trijicon M150 ACOG scope.



Buttstock folds...



...and is adjustable for length.



Reversible charging handle.



Bolt release (top) and ambidextrous magazine release (bottom).



Ambidextrous safety levers.



Adjustable comb.



Sling attachment points.



Two position gas regulator.



Muzzle brake is very efficient.



Ten-shot and twenty-shot (shown) magazines are available.



Empty case deflector.