Issue 01 SCAR 17: Game Changer Or Pretender? Dennis Ideue 2 Comments, Join the Conversation The FN SCAR 17S is the civilian version of the popular .308 rifle currently used by U.S. Special Forces. Read more here at Recoil Magazine. Time for the SCAR 17 As the current line of military firearms surpasses the half-century mark, manufacturers are working to produce the next generation of small arms. Enter the SCAR 17. Aging designs patterned after the AR-10 and AR-15 have served the U.S. military well, but there is always room for improvement. Through the use of modern design theory and advanced materials, FN Herstal seeks to change the game with an entirely new design, the SCAR. A Look at the SCAR 17S The SCAR 17S is the semi-automatic civilian version of United States Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) newest battle rifle, the SCAR-H. What initially impressed us was the light weight and compact size of a rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win). We were able to fit it in a short, 30-inch zippered bag, thanks to the SCAR’s folding stock. The AR has always needed a folding stock, but the buffer tube assembly rendered that impossible. FN overcame the problem with a totally different design that moves the recoil assemblies forward far enough for the stock to fold. FNH SCAR 17s folding stock side view. Overall, the SCAR 17S is a solid, rugged design, and the weapon has a very nice feel and balance in the hands. Its light-profile 16.25-inch barrel features a 1:12 twist rate and a hard-chromed bore. An FN-marked PWS FSC muzzle brake comes standard. This four-pronged brake is great for both its recoil- and flash-reducing properties. The Test Gun For our review, we equipped the SCAR 17S with a TangoDown Stubby Vertical Grip, Surefire X300 Weapon- Light with XT07 Remote Switch, and the aforementioned Aimpoint optics. We also switched out the Aimpoint optics for Trijicon’s ACOG 6×48 (factory calibrated for 7.62) for longer-range shooting. To stretch its legs, we first ran the SCAR 17S as a tactical carbine. Our course of fire was up close and personal, with paper targets situated at 10 to 20 yards and steel targets at 50 and 75 yards. We fed the SCAR American Eagle .308 Win 150 grain and didn’t experience any hiccups. The .308 definitely packs a big punch compared to .223 Remington, and the steel gongs we engaged swung violently each time they were hit by the SCAR 17S. This article originally appeared in RECOIL Issue 1. Be sure to check out the new book Tactical Gun Digest. Corey Graff contributed to this article. Explore RECOILweb:New DEFCON Vans dropping this weekendHammer Time - The Best Tools for Nailing an AttackerDiamondback’s Sidekick: A Great CompanionGLOCKLive - Train With Shane NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.You want this. Trust Us.