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Why the Military Loves FN SCAR for Special Activities

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Why the Military Loves FN SCAR for Special Activities

navy seal with scar rifle

The old adage, “The right tool for the right job” is applicable to many jobs in life. Whether those jobs consist of cooking, carpentry, mechanics, or even military operations. When it comes to the “tools” the military has at its disposal, they have just about every “job” covered.

From UAVs to the ARTEMIS hyperspectral sensing system, the military has no shortage of tools at its disposal. One of the military’s go to tools these days is the FN SCAR family of rifles.

The SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) family is a family of modular rifles that come in a light version and a heavy version. Though the military is phasing out the light version, they are bulking up on the heavy version; the SCAR-H. It is fairly obvious why the SCAR-H is the right tool for just about any job that military has lined up.


The SCAR-H is described by its maker, FNH USA, as the Swiss Army knife of the rifle world. FNH USA states:

“Built with an eye toward the economic realities and small logistic footprint requirements of today’s highly mobile military, every component of the FN SCAR® Family is readily adaptable to future upgrades and enhanced ammunition designs.”

For example, even though the military is no longer planning to purchase the MK-16 that does not mean they will be turned to scrap. Because of the weapon’s modularity and adaptability, the existing MK-16s the military currently owns can be upgraded to the MK-17, aka the SCAR-H. However, not only can these weapons be upgraded from light to heavy, but the weapons have the ability to be upgraded per mission. Each SCAR-H can even be equipped with a grenade launcher.

Due to these easy upgrades, the military is also planning on replacing a number of existing weapons completely. These weapons include the MK 14 EBR and the MK11 / M110 (including the DMR and EMR). These replacements are pretty impressive due to the fact that the MK 14 Mod O Enhanced Battle Rifle boasted a 22-inch barrel, a telescopic stock, and a set of Pictatinny rails, which allowed all manner of accessories to be attached. Furthermore, the MK 14 was constructed out of lightweight aircraft alloy. Using the SCAR-H to replace the MK11 /M110 is just as impressive since these weapons have quite the military record. According to

“The M110 has been used by Delta Force snipers operating in the mountains of Afghanistan, most notably during the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Tora Bora, 2001. Navy SEAL snipers used MK11 Mod 0 to take out pirates holding Captain Richard Phillips hostage aboard a lifeboat in 2009.”

The idea that the military is willing to replace the weapons with the SCAR-H says quite a bit.

scar-l and scar-h rifles

Advantages of SCAR-H Rifle

The SCAR-H can do everything these other weapons can do and much more. The SCAR-H can be modified to be used in close combat or long-range warfare. This allows the same weapon to be used in open fields to urban warfare to jungle fighting or desert missions with very little effort exerted in customizing this weapon for the mission at hand. Such operation is so easy that FNH USA contends that “nearly all standard maintenance can be easily accomplished at the operator or unit armorer level”.

Military operations, just as any other job, usually take a specific tool to get the job done correctly. However, sometimes a specific tool is so adaptable and so versatile it can easily become the go-to tool of choice for a wide variety of jobs. This is definitely the case with the SCAR-H rifle.

Image Credits:
(1) Wikipedia: Navy SEAL w/ SCAR Rifle
(2) Wikipedia: SCAR-L and SCAR-H Rifles

Originally published on

  • TaskForceGreen

    I was the most skeptical butthole about such an overly bulky system like the SCAR (when M4A1’s w/kkkhkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkeavier 77 gr rounds dropped bad guys in Tel Afar, Ramadi, etc just fine…without breaking a sweat)…
    NOW, though, the modularity, the fact that it just plain looks ugly (yet gorgeous) is a plus….Now I would use either a 416C (Compact and/or 10″ barrel w/ short can suppressor…which HK is great at) OR I WOULD USE THE COMPACT SCAR!! Hands down. Those who use the SA-80 (regardless of mods made to it) just seems retarded. It’s a plastic-like rifle unlike the more reliable, iron-clad HK 416/417 OR the one and only MK 16/17. I would say my doomsday ARs would be an AK (obviously…but only the newer Hungarian ones that seem to be really well made), but mostly and priority….Mk 17….And if there were none left…I’d go for the ol’ “Lone Survivor” old school long gun. The Mk 12 suppressed and the only difference is, A) 77 gr ammo only if I could find it and B) a short can to keep it from waking neighbors in the zombie land.
    OHHHH,….and a CZ 75B (first Gen), as they never break or jam hardly ever. Those would be my choice weapons. and if all armories were stripped (as I’d assume they’d be), I just find me an old fashioned DPMS low end AR to do the job with a non-battery req red dot (like those new ACO type Aimpoints and maybe just for good measure, get a 12″ barrel and a good, super high quality foregrip (since they make em by the trillion now).

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