My SCAR 16s review so far has focused on a broad overview of the weapon. Part two will feature how the SCAR 16s handles, shoots, and feels. The intention of my SCAR 16S review is to give shooters on the fence an accurate explanation of the way the weapon functions and handles. I’m trying to avoid comparisons to any other rifle on the market. For a quick rundown check our first impressions post, or FN’s website, here.
On the Range – SCAR 16s Review
I was extremely excited to get to the range with this bad boy. My home range is maxed out at 25 yards. So for accuracy testing for a rifle I’ve got to travel. For the review, I shot the gun as it came from the factory. That means iron sights only.
At 100 yards I tested two types of ammo. The first is the always affordable Armscor 55 grain 223. This is the ammo I typically buy in bulk locally and it well priced for brass cased ammo. Next was some Fiocchi match ammunition, 77 grain. Because the rifle’s 1:7 barrel can stabilize the heavier loads I figured it would be worth a try. Due to the price difference I tested significantly less 77 grain rounds, only a hundred to be exact.
Accuracy proved to be as good as expected. I fired from the prone position, with a backpack acting as a sandbag. I used a basic bullseye target to measure groups. With the 77 grain rifle match ammo I averaged 3 inch groups. I blame this mainly on myself, and the fact I haven’t gotten much time at the rifle range recently. A fellow shooter at the range who is always shooting mil surplus bolt guns took some time behind the rifle. He was much more skilled than I and proved it.
Up close and Personal
Needless to say, the rifle is certainly accurate enough for social work. Shooting for groups is kind of boring. CQB drills are a lot more fun, and I can do them on my home range. If you are reading my SCAR 16S review to figure out if this would be a good home defense gun, it is. If you are reading my SCAR 16S review to find your next three gun rifle, then you have it.
The SCAR 16S is perfect iff you need a rifle to shoot fast and accurate. The SCAR 16S handles like a dream up close and personal. It’s well balanced and almost recoil-free. The excellent trigger reset cuts time between shots, and the short pull makes hammer pairs a breeze.
Throughout the close range firing portion of the SCAR 16S review I fired the Marine Corps Table 3A Day, short-range shoot. I followed it up with Table 4A Short-range training. Both tables of fire emphasize speed and accuracy. Ranges vary from 5 to 25 yards. Moving is a significant portion of the courses as well. There are also position changes and an emphasis on multiple target shooting and accuracy. Together each course uses 194 rounds.
The controls are ambidextrous and built very big. Big controls are much easier to use on the fly. So reloading and switching from safe to fire is very, very easy. The safety has a short arc from safe to fire. Even when wearing gloves, the controls are simple and intuitive. Reloading rapidly is quite simple and the side charging handle really shines here. Your hand naturally flows after releasing the magazine to the charging handle. You do not have to move the rifle, or shift your line of sight, or even break cheek weld to reload.
Recoil? What recoil? Throughout my SCAR 16S review, I find the recoil to be what I describe as minimal. Not exactly a 22LR, but on the low side for the 5.56. That big brake on the end of the barrel works absolute wonders. It minimizes muzzle rise to the point where my hammer pairs have never been more accurate. The downside is the blast can be unpleasant for shooters to the left and right of you.
Finally, I used a few randomly placed snap caps to have mock failures. Another case where the side charging handle shines. Tack, rack, and bang was the chosen immediate action technique. The rack part being the most affected. Just like reloading you can rack the rifle without breaking grip or cheek weld. This adds speed and accuracy to the follow-up shots.
The SCAR is compatible with AR15 magazines, but it is not an AR 15. Magpul Gen 2 magazines is the reason I mention this. Gen 2 Pmags could actually seriously break your SCAR if used extensively. Gen 2 PMAGs would push the bolt catch slightly upward, not enough to engage the bolt. This would cause the bolt to rub against the bolt catch until it sheared off. This has been corrected with Gen 3 magazines.
I tested the following mags with the SCAR and almost all of them worked. The only one that didn’t work was an ancient Thermold mag, it wouldn’t seat or lock into place. It’s also a $5 dollar magazine made twenty-something years ago.
- Lancer Hybrid
- Magpul Gen 3
- OKAY Industries USGI magazines
- Daniel Defense DD32
- 2nd Amendment Magazines
- Troy Battle Mags
- FN Factory mag (Duh)
An important note is this weapon is made for factory FN mags, or standard USGI mags. That being said only USGI, FN magazines, and the Lancer Hybrid dropped free when empty. Most would drop free when loaded with at least a few rounds.
With that being said there were no feed issues with any magazine used in the SCAR 16s review. I loaded 8 30 magazines to capacity, 1 32 round Daniel Defense mag, and 2 forty round magazines. I proceeded to run through these mags through Tables 3 and 4. After both tables, I had a 150 rounds to play with. I simply ran them through the gun. I changed positions, did random box drills, failure to stop drills and plenty of reloads. Through all of this testing, I had zero malfunctions.
Remember when I said I had to use snap caps for mock failures? You should it was only a few paragraphs ago. I had to do that because I had zero malfunctions. Even when the weapon was all hot and bothered. It ran smooth through every round. There was never a noticeable shift of POI when the barrel got hot, which it certainly did. Ted Cruz could cook bacon with it.
Overall I like the SCAR 16S. How much? Well, I’m literally putting my money where my mouth is. I’m in the process of purchasing the weapon direct from FN. I plan to make this my main defensive rifle. The weapon worked, it shot true, and it’s well built. What’s not to like?