SCAR Beats the XM-8 (11/17/04 Entry)

On Strategy Page:

Last year, the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) issued a specification for the SOF (Special Operations Forces) Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR). At the time, the U.S. Army was also developing a new assault rifle, the XM-8, and it was thought that SOCOM might use a version of the XM-8 for its own needs. SCAR, however, is somewhat different from the XM-8. For one thing, SCAR must be able to quickly change barrels and receivers so that it can fire 5.56mm, 7.62mm (large cartridge, like the M-14 and American medium machine-guns) or the short, AK-47 7.62mm rounds. Moreover, SCAR has to be even more rugged and reliable (and expensive to build) than the XM-8. As a result, the XM-8 lost out to a custom weapon from the Belgium firm, FN Herstal.

See more at Strategy Page.

Okay. Special Operations Command and the US Marines have decided against the XM8. You all I know I love the thing, but this has got me concerned.


  1. What do they mean by being able to quickly change? I tought the XM-8 could do that too. Though I do understand that barrel life was supposed to be 30,000 shots for SACR, not XM-8’s 20,000 shots fired, and the old standard (not HK’s new standard) rails would be built in, but still… And what exactly is FN’s offering? WANT PICS NOW! ;)

  2. I think if the XM8 was chambered for a larger ound – even the – I think most of the objections would be much quieter. A lot of people are fairly dubious of the essential goodness of the 5.56mm. I think we need to switch to a 20mm hand cannon. That will scare the bejebus out of of the enemy.

  3. Anyone know what this SCAR looks like? I’ve been looking on the internet, but cannot get any conclusive info other than required specs with no Pic’s.

  4. Don’t know about FN’s entry into the contest but here’s Robinson Armament Co.’s entry: ‘The XCRTM Modular Weapon System was designed specifically for the U.S. Special Forces. The goal was to design a rifle which was as reliable and durable as an AK47 but which had the ergonomics, accuracy, and accessory options of an M4 Carbine. What we ended up with is a rifle which is as reliable and durable as an AK47, but which has better ergonomics, accuracy, and accessory attachment options than the M4, combined with the ability to quickly and efficiently change barrels and calibers. ‘

  5. Gene: This just means that Special Forces Command isn’t going to go with the XM8. The Marines already decided not to go with it and chose the M16A4 instead. The Army is still looking for a new rifle, and the XM8 still seems to be the leader.

  6. HMM…It looks bigger, heavier, and less ergonomic than the M4. Interchangeable magazine wells is a novel idea. Quick changeable barrels and accuracy don’t really mix. You can do this on a m4 fairly easily already by swapping bare upper reciever and bolt. They are reporting less than 2400fps with 7.62mm nato, this isn’t much better than the ballistics of 7.62X39 out of a AK. The front site should be on the end of the barrel to lengthen the sight plain and increase achieved accuracy. The front site should be flip up when optics are in use. The bolt carrier should have a reciprocating cocking handle so the seating of the bolt carrier can be ensured and the cycled manually if necessary. If the bolt has a large extractor and fixed ejector like the saw it will help reliability. The safety should flip down for semi and up for auto……..The whole thing sounds like a expensive waste of time and money. If a 7.62X39 is needed by SF then they could have AK’s with a rail handguard forless than $500 apiece. If they want the 6.8×43 then they could just buy another upper for the M4’s they already have. SR 25’s and m14’s are already in the system if they need 7.62X51. We don’t need a brand new super expensive do it all wonder rifle in several years after the war is over. Buy us what is available now that we know works with the ammo to train on it so we can more effectively kill our enemies today, tomorrow, and next month….I’m not concerned with the ‘future battlespace environment’

  7. The SCAR will NOT replace the XM8. The XM8 will be the Army’s main battle rifle, with variants made for the various positions of a squad. The SCAR is the same thing, only for SOG units.