Preview – Run Your SCAR 17S Like a Pro
Erik Lund, a Member of FNH USA’s Pro Shooting Team, Shares His Tips for Setting Up and Running FN’s Battle Rifle
While looking at your favorite semi-automatic .223 (5.56mm) rifle in the corner of the safe, you’ve come to the realization that it’s time to step up your game. That little .223 round just isn’t doing it for you anymore, so it’s time to upgrade to its bigger brother — the .308 (7.62 NATO) cartridge.
There are many quality options when it comes to selecting a .308 semi-automatic rifle, but regardless of what you choose, there are still some universal truths that the new owner will have to overcome. Most all of the .308 rifles available are going to be heavier than their .223 counterparts and their ammunition will generate more recoil. If you wanna step up to a man’s cartridge, then you gotta pay a man’s price.
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your performance with that new rifle.
The No. 1 question I get when it comes to setting up or using a .308 rifle is, “What optics should I get?” And my answer is always the same: “What do you want to do with it?” The increased performance of the .308 round also increases the number of jobs we can ask it to do. Mount a nice red-dot sight on it and it makes a dominating, quick-shooting rifle. Mount an optic with some magnification in the 10-15 power range, and if you can see it, you can hit it out to about 800 to 1,000 yards, depending on your ammunition selection. A rifle with that kind of performance demands a versatile scope.
In my experience I have found that a low-powered, variable scope fits that description — something in the 1-5 or 1-6 magnification range. The upper magnification factor isn’t as important as the lower factor. It’s critical to select a scope that has a true one power on the lower end. What that means is that the scope actually has no magnification on one power. You are essentially looking through a glass tube with a reticle. Having no magnification on the lower end allows you to see as if you were using red-dot sight, but instead of an electronic dot, you have a glass-etched reticle. Selecting a scope with this feature will allow you to maximize your speed on up-close targets, but still allow you some upper-end magnification to engage those faraway targets. My second bit of advice is to “buy once, cry once.” Spend the money and get a high-quality scope. While you may wear out the rifle one day, a high-quality scope will last you a lifetime.
An interesting feature on the SCAR 17S is the ability to mount the charging handle on either side of the receiver. The charging handle fits into a recess in the bolt and runs along a track machined into both the sides of the receiver. The charging handle attaches to the bolt and will reciprocate with the bolt during the firing sequence in exactly the same manner as the AK-47 bolt handle. This lets you place the charging handle on the opposite side of locking nuts or throw-levers that may protrude off the side of any mounted optics. This allows for better manipulation of the charging handle without bruising your knuckles on the protruding mounting devices. Being a right-handed shooter, I prefer to run the charging handle along the left side of the receiver. It’s a faster and more efficient way to manipulate the charging handle, because I can do it without dismounting the rifle from my shoulder.
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