i saw and handled my first fn scar in caliber 7.62x51mm nato this afternoon.
well, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the fn scar flatters the ar-15 rifle system with utmost sincerity. it is as simple as that.
the fn scar is not an outright copy of the ar-15. it may as well be. no feature of the fn scar upper receiver does anything in any fashion or by any mechanical contrivance that is not being done by any manner of ar-15 rifle platforms, as sold my any number of manufacturers and vendors in the united states.
end of discussion on that point.
if there is any innovation in the rifle it comes in the lower portion of the rifle, and in the butt stock. the butt stock folds forward from the rear of the receiver along the right hand (ejection port) side. that is about the only feature not commonly found on ar-15 rifles, and even that could be quite easily emulated by a stock that fit over and not on the return spring housing, which projects behind the receiver in the ar-15.
finally, the upper seems well made and well thought out to me, ... , it ought to be, it basically is an ar-15 upper receiver with a monolithic receiver/forearm arrangement. the lower receiver is, how should i put this precisely, ... , "cheesy" seems the appropriate word. the plastic magazine well does not inspire confidence, as it looks flimsy and sounds the same rapped with a knuckle. the stock controls are overly stiff and balk at every effort of manipulation, which suggests they have been made/fitted overly tight in order to compensate for loosening with wear as the rifle is used. the pistol grip is nothing too much to get excited about, but, that is of little consequence as magpul and others will have aftermarket stuff out in a jiffy, and i suspect magpul's pistol grip already fits the fn.
in short, i remain underwhelmed.
it would be, however, just about the perfect platform for my little "jj's brit," ™, as it will accommodate a .473" bolt face.
it retails at $2,999.99 . for that price, i can buy 3 pretty nice & well equipped ar-15 uppers, and they will send bullets down range fully as well as the scar. maybe even better.
i don't see that it is much of an accomplishment, this fn scar, in terms of advancing the utility and efficacy of the ar-15 rifle system. it is simply another iteration of the ar-15. likely its equal, but hardly its superior.
john jay @ 05.21.2012