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What does the Acronym SCAR Mean?

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Have you ever heard of SCAR? It has been around since 2004. SCAR stands for Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle. This powerful assault rifle, the FN SCAR, has been used by the world’s most demanding combat and security units. It is chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO caliber and is fitted with a standard 16” barrel. 

What is a SCAR?

SCAR is a piston-driven design with a reciprocating charging handle, aside from being chambered for the same 5.56X45 NATO cartridge. There is a little similarity between an AR-15 and a SCAR-L. No, the AR15 is a DI gun, however, the SCAR is loosely based on the AR18.

The FN SCAR is a gas-operated, short-stroke gas piston, self-loading rifle with a rotating bolt. It has a barrel change to switch between calibers and is constructed to be extremely modular.


The SCAR was developed by a Belgian manufactured named FN Herstal (FNH) specifically for the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to meet the requirements of the SCAR competition.

Two versions

The SCAR rifles consist of two main types:


The L is for "light," which is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. Same round as the AR-15/M4/M16. 


The H is for "heavy," which is chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO (.308).

Both are available in Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Standard (STD), and Long Barrell (LB) variants.


Here is a timeline of SCAR:


The USSOCOM (United States Special Operations Command) issued a solicitation for a family of Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifles, the SCAR, designed around two different calibers but featuring high commonality of parts and identical ergonomics.


The FN SCAR system completed low rate initial production testing in June 2007.


After some delays, the first rifles began being issued to operational units in April 2009, and a battalion of the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment was the first large unit deployed into combat with 600 of the rifles in 2009. 


The U.S. Special Operations Command later canceled their purchase of the SCAR-L and planned to remove the rifle from their inventory by 2013. The U.S. Special Operations Command will continue to purchase the SCAR-H version, and also plan to purchase 5.56 mm conversion kits for the SCAR-H, allowing it to substitute for the SCAR-L.


This rifle is in service in over 20 countries around the world currently.

U.S. Military

Here is some information about the acceptance of the FN SCAR in the U.S. Military:

The SCAR was selected in 2004 out of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Combat Assault Rifle Program. The Mk 16, Mk 17, and Mk 13 were officially designated as operationally effective (OE), operationally suitable (OS), and sustainable as a result of a 5-week Field User Assessment conducted by operational SOCOM forces in late 2008. These SCAR variants began fielding in April 2009. On 4 May 2010, a press release on FN America's official website announced the SCAR Acquisition Decision Memorandum was finalized on 14 April 2010, moving the SCAR program to the Milestone C phase. This was an approval for the entire weapons family of the SCAR-L, SCAR-H, and the Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module.

The Mk 16 has a rate of fire of 625 rounds per minute (RPM), and the Mk 17 has a rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute. This was done to improve the control during fully automatic fire.

In late October 2010 SOCOM approved full-rate production of the Mk 20 sniper variant of the SCAR, with fielding beginning in mid-May 2011.

Magazine Available

Thermold Magazines sells a magazine for the FN SCAR Heavy. It is called Thermold FN SCAR Magazine. The description is 20 round black Nylon magazine for SCAR HEAVY, 7.62x51 .308 cal. It sells for $29.95. You can order it online through our website, and we will have it shipped directly to your door.

Thermold Magazines produces weapons magazines and has become the product of choice among military personnel, law enforcement officers, and sport shooters around the world with their products proudly made in the US. Time-tested quality and reliability. That's Thermold. Call 877-548-4062 and/or contact us.