The SCAR is a rifle with a very storied reputation. There’s a lot of good, there’s some bad, and a little ugly too. Like the M16 and M4 before it, the SCAR has its detractors and haters and it has those that love it. I count myself among the latter group as it is my favorite rifle.
When you scrape away the hype though, positive and negative alike, you get down to a highly reliable rifle with some interesting requested choices in its design. The SCAR came our of an era just before the longer handguards were becoming the norm, it therefore suffers a little in the rail space department without some outside assistance. It also comes with a reciprocating charging handle that has caused operators some issues here and there. Other rifles have other issues, the SCARs charging handle sometimes smacks thumbs and can cause stoppages. Even FN is wondering why SOCOM requested the reciprocating design, they have a version without it. The textbook answer is forward assist capability, another item more lauded in earlier eras.
But for all the quirks of the gun, it centers around one of the lightest (especially in 7.62) and most robust and durable rifle cores that have yet to be produced. On top of that they are very accurate rifles and allow their shooters an excellent degree of distance, even in the 17’s shorter 13″ configuration.
All in all, the SCAR (especially the factory stock model) could do with an update, especially to the exterior hardware to support a more modern rifle outlook. A longer M-LOK integrated handguard, the non-reciprocating charging handle package, no need really for a front sight integrated gas-block so shave that down to the adjustable 2 or maybe 3 position, and done. SCAR updated for the 2020’s. Dropping 6.5 Creedmoor or the emerging 6.8 cartridge into it (at least Sig’s and True Velocity’s) shouldn’t pose that great of a challenge either, and the 17 could get even more legs under it for distance.