The SCAR's charging handle can also be moved to either side, making it easy for anyone to operate. Yes, it is a reciprocating handle and that seems to tweak the noses of the AR purists, but honestly, my advice to AR purists is to get over it. Having run AK-47 rifles, G36 rifles, and a few others, I can tell you that if you are actually focusing on the threat, you don't notice. Short of pushing the rifle into the ground as you shoot it, it would be pretty difficult to induce a malfunction .
Another nice touch on the SCAR 17S is the assortment of sling attachments on both sides of the rifle. It can be slung on the right or left side, and can be slung when folded.
The SCAR's folding stock is nice for storage in a trunk, in a rack, or just in general. The stock also adjusts for length of pull to accommodate body armor and different body sizes.
One of the last features of the SCAR 17S that I want to discuss may be the most important: the sights. This rifle comes with an excellent set of battle sights that accommodate the entire range of the caliber.
About the only thing missing from the SCAR 17S right out of the box is the two extra magazines. Again, why manufacturers do this is clear, but it is still something you will always see me complain about. Magazines are essential, especially with this rifle. The magazines are proprietary and few places stock them. It would be nice to see three come with the rifle.
Since the magazines came up let's deal with the proprietary magazine. It is great marketing to have your rifle fit all the "popular magazines," but I don't think that's the best way to do things. This is true if you are selling rifles, or you are in the military where logistics are an issue. For me, it is all about how it works, and unless you are preparing for the invading horde as an apocalyptic warrior you only need three magazines. More importantly they need to work all the time and when the magazines are made specifically for your gun, they do.
Testing the SCAR 17S
The best test for this rifle was right out of the box with iron sights. Initially all that I added was a sling. The rifle was zeroed and fired for groups at 100 yards from prone using my drag bag on the range. No bipod was used although one could be added easily, especially one that goes over a rail.
From this position most of the groups measured between 1.5 and 2 inches. Federal 168-grain Gold Medal Match was my preferred ammo. Since shooting groups is all about the "system" not just the rifle, it is likely that the SCAR 17S is actually more accurate than it was in my test, but a 1.5-inch group gets the job done in most any case where it could be used in a patrol environment. Put a scope on this rifle and you may see groups closer to an inch, which is about as good as it gets.